Box Score Bank: When the Jays Were Good

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Box Score Bank: When the Jays Were Good

Do you realize that it's been almost 19 years since the Blue Jays made the playoffs?

Think about that for a second. Around here, we're ready to drink a vat of poison after two months of sub-par baseball, up in Toronto they've been living it for nearly two decades.

There are players on that team who weren't even five years old the last time Toronto was in the post-season. Of course there's one guy Omar Vizquel who was 26, but that's not the point.

Point: It's been a long, long time since these guys were good. And even though things are certainly looking up in Toronto, it will very likely still be a little while before they find their way back to the postseason.

As a tribute to their struggles, let's trek back to 1993, the year Toronto won the second of their back-to-back titles.

The Sox went 3-10 against the Blue Jays that season, and oddly enough, two of those three wins came in starts by Danny Darwin. The third win is today's Box Score Bank.

So, let's crank it bank to September 22, 1993

Bill Clinton was finishing up his first year as President. Jurassic Park (which came out in June) was still no. 1 at the Box Office. Dream Lover by Mariah Carey was in its third of eight weeks atop the Billboard charts. Michael Jordan was less than two weeks away from the shocking the world with his first retirement. Jose Iglesias was three

and over at the SkyDome, Butch Hobson's Red Sox were putting down a beating on the Blue Jays.

Final Score: Boston 7, Toronto 5

Man, what a line-up those Blue Jays teams had:

First of all, three Hall of Famers in Rickey Henderson, Roberto Alomar and Paul Molitor. Then there was John Olerud (who hit .363 that season with a .473 .OBP), Joe Carter who hit 33 homers with 121 RBI (and hit one pretty big homer in the playoffs) and All-Star center fielder Devon White (who stole 34 bases and was in the midst of winning five-straight gold gloves).

They were a beautiful thing, those Jays. But on this day they were no match for the Sox! OK, actually the game was pretty close.

Boston was up 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth, when Roberto Alomar hit a two-run double off of closer Ken Ryan to send the game to extra innings

Where the one and only Rob Deer hit a two-run blast off the one and only Mike Timlin to propel the Sox to a dramatic victory. Good stuff!

Not so good: The Sox missed the playoffs for the third straight year.

But hey, it beats 19.

(By the way, on that same afternoon, 26-year-old Omar Vizquel went 1-5 in Seattle's 7-4 win over the Rangers)

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

First impressions: Tampa Bay Rays 4, Boston Red Sox 0

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First impressions: Tampa Bay Rays 4, Boston Red Sox 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

What was Jackie Bradley thinking in the fifth inning? He wasn't, apparently.

Trailing 4-0, the Red Sox had runners on first and second with two out and Christian Vazquez at the plate.

Inexplicably, Bradley broke from second base in an attempt to steal third. Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore simply pivoted and threw the ball to third, where Bradley was tagged out for the final out of the inning.

Not only did it end the threat, it guaranteed the weak-hitting Vazquez would lead off the next inning.

It was the first time in his career that Bradley was thrown out trying to steal and one that he -- or the Red Sox -- won't soon forget.

David Price didn't like the strike zone.

On at least two occasions, Price made a detour from the mound to the dugout after innings to confer with home-plate umpire John Hirchbeck, presumably about the latter's strike zone.

It may be true that Price got squeezed on some pitches, but when you give up four runs to a light-hitting lineup that had lost 12 of its last 13, it's not a good look to be placing any of the blame on the umpiring.

The Red Sox aren't the worst team in baseball with the bases loaded; it just seems that way.

The Sox threatened in the sixth when Vazquez and Mookie Betts singled and, after a flyout by Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts singled, too.

But David Ortiz couldn't handle some fastballs in the strike zone, popping up in the infield, and Hanley Ramirez hit a ball off the end of the bat for an inning-ending flyout to right.

For the season, the Red Sox are 18-for-70 for a .257 batting average with the bases loaded, ranking them 17th -- or just below the middle of the pack -- in baseball.

Still, it seems that the Sox have been particularly inept in those situations of late, most memorably when they loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth against Chicago two weeks ago and improably came away with nothing.

Red Sox aggressively chasing big-name pitchers like Fernandez, Cole

Red Sox aggressively chasing big-name pitchers like Fernandez, Cole

Sean McAdam talks with Toucher & Rich about how aggressive Dave Dombrowski will be in trying to acquire pitching help. The fact they made calls on Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole says they will be very aggressive.