The Sox are off until tomorrow, when they'll resume action with a big three game series against the Yankees. Well, I guess it's big. OK, it's the Yankees. Of course it's big. Unfortunately, it's just not as meaningful as we're used to.
To be honest, part of me wouldn't mind seeing the Sox get swept this weekend. It's really too bad that it's come to this, but if that's what it will take for ownership to finally wave the white flag on this season and make some moves that can make Boston better for the long term, then so be it.
Anyway, the point of this post is that the Sox are off today, which allows us a chance to step away from the madness, block ourselves from the stench and maybe even have some fun.
Wait, what's that? How about a Box Score Bank?
OK, sure. Glad you asked.
So, let's set our sights on 15 years ago today: July 26, 1997
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (starring Jeff Goldblum and Carl Everett) was No. 1 at the box office. I'll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy was in the midst of its 12-week run atop the Billboard charts. Bill Clinton was in the first year of his second term as president. Bobby Valentine was in his second year of his only term with the Mets.
And over at Fenway Park, Mo Vaughn was jacking a three-run homer against the Angels in dramatic walk off win:
Final Score: Red Sox 7, Angels 6
It wasn't a great start for Boston and starter Steve Avery, who gave up a two-run first inning double to former Sox legend Dave Hollins. Hollins would later score on a wild pitch.
RBI singles by Moneyball's Scott Hatteberg and Suffolk County Jail's Wil Cordero cut Anaheim's lead to 3-2 in the third but the Angels came back with three more in the fifth.
Seventh inning home runs by Mike Stanley and John Valentin cut Anaheim's lead to 6-4.
And that brings us to the money shot.
Bottom of the ninth inning, and flame-throwing Troy Percival is on the mound . . .
First batter: Single by 24-year-old Nomar Garciaparra (tear)
Second batter: Single by Valentin
Third batter: Vaughn blasts a 2-2 pitch to straight away center field for the dramatic win.
Said Vaughn after the game: "Lap dances are on me tonight, fellas. Everyone to the Foxy Lady!"
No, he didn't. But you could imagine. And you can imagine the excitement in Fenway Park as Vaughn made his way around bases. Sadly, you can also imagine the disappointment when Vaughn finally crossed home plate and everyone realized that the Sox were still in last place.
Hmm, last place.