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Rays' Maddon hoping for reverse of 1995

Posted on: September 15, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 7:11 pm
 
BOSTON -- On the list of all-time collapses, the 1995 Angels don't get enough attention.

The Angels held an 11-game lead in mid-August, still held a 7 1/2-game lead on the morning of Sept. 1, and missed the postseason after losing a one-game playoff to the Mariners.

The website coolstandings.com calls it the worst collapse ever, because their computers gave the Angels a 99.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, as of Aug. 24 that year. That's a higher percentage than the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers ever had (99.7 on Aug. 13), higher than the 2007 Mets (99.5 on Sept. 13) and way higher than the 1964 Phillies (96.3 on Sept. 20).

Joe Maddon remembers. He was on the Angels coaching staff in 1995.

So if you ask Maddon if he ever doubted that the Rays could get back in the race this year, he insists that he didn't.

"I lived it, man," he said Thursday. "We had an [11]-game lead. We were playing games that were over by the sixth inning. We were annihilating people."

And then they lost.

The Angels went 14-28 over their final 42 games, while the Mariners were going 27-17. Maddon pointed to the M's acquisition of Vince Coleman on Aug. 15 as the difference-maker.

"Believe me, it was awful," Maddon said. "So why can't it happen to someone else?"

The Rays trailed the Red Sox by nine games in the wild-card race on the morning of Sept. 3. Thursday, they began a four-game series at Fenway Park facing a four-game deficit.

They don't absolutely need to sweep, but . . .

"That's the goal," pitcher David Price said. "We're four games back."

Category: MLB
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