Last year, I attended the last Red Sox home game at Fenway Park. It was September 21, and in the midst of the greatest September meltdown in history, they lost to the Orioles. As I was leaving the park, I didn't think anything of it (although it stands as one of just three losses that I've witnessed live at Fenway Park). I figured the Sox would take a few of the remaining six games, and that the Rays would lose enough of theirs for us to make the playoffs.
Boy was I wrong. I won't rehash my feelings about Game 162 again (i'm sure most of you have similar memories), but I would like to compare how I felt going in to last year's last home game and how I feel going into this year's last home game.
I was offered the tickets just last week, and since I knew I wasn't working on Yom Kippur, I accepted them knowing that the Red Sox had already been mathematically eliminated from postseason play. I hope the Red Sox win tonight - because I always hope the Red Sox win. Even if it makes no difference in the fact that this has been a failed season. Even though the win-loss record will be abominable with or without one more in the win column.
I also would really like to see the Rays miss out on the Postseason, since it was their late-season drama that helped to oust the Red Sox last season. I know you can make the argument that the Orioles beat us in Game 162 and gloated too much, so I should want THEM out instead, but I don't see it that way.
Orioles fans have put up with a lot since their last postseason berth in 1997, and I would like to see them go all the way. The Rays, on the other hand, have had a lot of luck recently, and if I have to sit out the postseason (again) I'd like them to, as well.
A Red Sox win tonight would pull the Rays further out of contention and be a final bright spot in the 100th year of Fenway Park operations. Tonight, more than most nights, I want the Red Sox to win.