Odor 'not going to forget' fateful series-ending misplay
As he emerged, still in uniform, from the darkness of the visitor's clubhouse at Rogers Centre, long after most of his teammates had showered, dressed, and interviewed, Rougned Odor looked as though he'd taken a beating as he begrudgingly faced the media horde waiting for him late Sunday night.
Oh, how the tables have turned.
Almost five months after delivering a right hook to the jaw of Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista, it was Odor - the pugilistic Texas Rangers second baseman - who'd been knocked out. His errant throw on a potential double play in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 3 of the American League Division Series had effectively ended his team's season. The misplay, in front of 49,555 rabidly vindictive Torontonians, allowed Josh Donaldson to scamper home from third base with the winning run, guaranteeing the Blue Jays passage into the American League Championship Series.
Talk about a brutal one-two combo, eh?
"We worked so hard this year for a finish like this and now we have to try and forget about it and come next year," Odor told reporters following his club's 7-6 loss. "This team is like a family. After the game, everyone came up and talked to me. I tried to make the play, but pulled the ball a little bit; it’s part of the game. There's nothing I can do now."
As he expounded on his game-ending gaffe, Odor said he felt no extra burden that it came against the Blue Jays, of all teams, but for everyone outside the Rangers' clubhouse, this was poetic justice. Throughout his first game in Toronto since clobbering Bautista at Globe Life Park back in May, Odor was fiercely booed, Canadian geniality be damned. Every time he came to plate, and especially after his fourth-inning bomb off Aaron Sanchez, the partisan crowd wanted blood. One particularly creative fan brandished a sign with Odor's face photoshopped onto the body of a rat.
Still, Odor said, this one hurts, regardless.
"For me I don't care if it's Blue Jays, or I face another team. I don't care who it is, we just try to play how we play and win the game, but we didn't."
Just like Elvis Andrus a year ago, Odor is now poised for an offseason of getting punched in the face by his own memories. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, will continue their postseason run.
"It's hard to work like this and have the season end this way," Odor said.
"It's something I'm not going to forget, I'm just going to keep working hard, do my best in the offseason and come back strong."
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