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09/29/2011 - 4:06am
Ortiz: 'This is worse' than end of 2003 season

BALTIMORE -- In his nine years in Boston, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has been a central participant in the most significant era in franchise history, a time that has included both championships as well as some crushing defeats. While the loss in Game 7 of the 2003 World Series had set the standard for misery during Ortiz' tenure with the Sox, the 35-year-old said that the completion of the Sox' historic September collapse had raised the bar.

"Not even close. Not even close to what happened to us in ’03," said Ortiz. "We walked into September nine games ahead, and look where we’re at right now. It can’t go no worse than that. This is worse.

"I never put any attention to where we’re at. ... But at one point, I was like, ‘Wait a minute – we walked into September nine games ahead.’ Wow. It doesn’t matter what anybody here does. That’s going to stay in your...

09/29/2011 - 2:28am
Papelbon: Moment won't define my career

BALTIMORE -- Moments after allowing two runs in the ninth inning of the Red Sox' season-ending, 4-3 loss to the Orioles Wednesday night at Camden Yards, Jonathan Papelbon talked about the fall-out from blowing the save, and how he will be approaching his future.

"I think this organization is obviously an organization I want to play for," Papelbon said. "I have to let the offseason dictate that and whatever happens, happens. This isn't going to define me. You look at some of the greats. You look at [Mariano Rivera], he's blown Game 7's and he comes back. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I've always come back from outings I have not done well and learned more from them, made me more of a leader. That's it really."

He later added, "I don't let one moment define my career. I don't let a 2007 championship define who I am. I don't let one blown save define who I am. I don't let any other championship define who I am. It'...

09/29/2011 - 2:28am
Francona: 'We weren't ready to go home'

BALTIMORE -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona, minutes after his team had completed the biggest September collapse in history, said that he was still struggling to process what had transpired both over a remarkable tailspin as well as in the season's final contest, a 4-3 walkoff loss to the Orioles that concluded moments before the Rays claimed an 8-7 walkoff victory over the Yankees in St. Petersburg.

While he was well aware of his team's month-long struggles, Francona said that his focus had remained on how is team would find a way to the playoffs. As such, he was not prepared for the crashing end to his year.

"Every time you lose, it hurts. When you go home before you’re ready, it hurts. As tough as it’s been this last month, we weren’t ready to go home," said Francona. "You want to go home when you dictate. Not when somebody makes you. It’s extremely disappointing."

For more Red Sox...

09/29/2011 - 2:19am
Sox GM Epstein: 'We did this to ourselves'

BALTIMORE -- Speaking in the Red Sox clubhouse after his team's season came to a shocking end, with the Sox suffering a 4-3 walkoff loss moments before the Rays claimed an 8-7 walkoff victory to claim the AL wild card, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein suggested that he was not prepared to speak about the future of his club. Instead, the general manager suggested that all his team could do was take stock of its historic collapse, in which the Sox became the first team in major league history to miss the postseason after entering the final month with a lead as large as nine games.

"This is one for the ages, isn't it? What was going on with those two games, how poorly we played in September. We can't sugarcoat this, this is awful. We did it to ourselves, and put ourselves in a position for a crazy night like this to end our season. It shouldn't have been this way," said Epstein. "[A] 7-20 [record] in September, we go 9-18, we're where we want to be...

09/29/2011 - 12:11am
Longoria lifts Rays over Yanks, into playoffs
By: DJ Bean

Just three minutes after the Red Sox fell to the Orioles, Evan Longoria's second home run Wednesday provided the Rays with an 8-7 walk off victory in the bottom of the 12th inning and ended the Red Sox' season. With the victory, the Rays will enter the postseason as the American League Wild Card. The Rays had trailed the Red Sox by as many as nine games earlier in the month. 

The Yankees had jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to five runs batted in from Mark Teixeira. The New York first baseman hit two home runs off Rays starting pitcher David Price, including a grand slam in the second inning. Price lasted just four innings for the Rays, allowing six runs, five of which were earned. 

The Rays began their comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning, loading the bases with nobody out and eventually putting up six runs. Then, with the Rays down to their last strike in the bottom of the ninth, Dan Johnson homered off Cory Wade to complete the...

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