On Wednesday morning, Evan Longoria asked for it:
You can relive the call of the dinger that clinched the AL Wild Card over at Rays Index.
After the game, FOX Sports Florida’s Todd Kalas interviewed the man of the hour. When TK asked Longoria if he could stop laughing, the third baseman said:
I can barely breathe, to be honest with you. I mean, it doesn’t even seem real. I mean, we get a huge homerun from Dan Johnson again you know, the same guy that did it in 08 for us, when we got our backs against the wall. We got huge momentum after we tied that game up in the ninth, you know everybody in the dugout is just believing. It’s incredible.
Kalas spoke to Longoria about his three-run shot in the sixth that brought the Rays within one run, but Longo was still living a dream:
I can’t even think about it right now. I mean seriously, it doesn’t even seem real. All these fans stuck around, it’s midnight, you know what I mean. It’s crazy.
Rays fans learned as Longo prepared to come to the plate that the Orioles had defeated the Boston Red Sox. Longoria knew what the cheers meant, but he had a job to do.
I was actually on deck and really just trying to focus on the at-bat. It was getting crazy in here for no reason, they [Boston] had to have lost. But I’m not even thinking about hitting a homerun right there.
The Rays were nine games back in the month of September. They were down by seven runs to the Yankees in heading into the bottom of the eighth. They had two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Dan Johnson had a 2-2 count. What does the series of improbable comebacks say about Tampa Bay’s team for Evan Longoria?
It says a lot about having fun. This group has been the same way all year. Man, I can’t wait to celebrate. It’s been an unbelievable ride.
This morning, my dad sent me this quote:
Luck is the residue of design. -Branch Rickey
After the win, Johnny Damon, a veteran of postseason baseball, said what many of us were thinking:
“This game really happened.”