Unfortunately for Raul Ibanez, his heroics may be temporarily overlooked by the rest of America, seeing as the Oakland A’s just completed another legendary comeback to extend their season beyond the sad outcome at both the beginning and end of Moneyball.
But, Old Man Rah Ool and his two home runs on two consecutive swings – one to tie it in the bottom of the ninth, and another to win it in the bottom of the 12th – were another picture perfect moment in the long history of picture perfect moments that is October baseball.
Bucky Dent be damned. Aaron Boone, step aside. As incredible as those two home runs are and will remain, Ibanez’s double-double was even more improbable and just as stutter-inducing.
The 40-year-old New York native is older than the movie Serpico, yet he looked younger than A-Rod. To make the story even better, Rodriguez was the guy Ibanez was filling in for. He’s spent his career toiling away in Seattle, and re-establishing himself in Philadelphia.
Now, he’s a Yankee through-and-through.
With Jeter and Alex both in the dugout, with the ghosts of their dominant seasons now retired, transferred, or FUBAR’d, the Yankees relied on the still-stable shoulders of a guy born in 1972. They’ll continue to. And, Andruw Jones. And, Russell Martin. All those guys who were passed over and passed up on by other clubs have found a home in The Bronx.
They’ve been ripped for their age, but it’s only made the stronger. Suddenly, the Orioles are forced to improvise. They have to now win two in a row in New York, even though they were so close to having command of this thing before Raul stepped up to the plate three innings before he ended up winning it.
Buck Showalter and his boys had their ALCS all wrapped up.
It was torn apart by a Yul Brynner look-alike.