One thing you can say about Mike Evans is that he never makes the same mistake twice. That was evident in the third quarter of Monday’s 30-10 win over the New York Giants when the Buccaneers star receiver became the all-time leading touchdown scorer in franchise history with his 5-yard reception from Tom Brady. To Evans’ credit, he had the wherewithal to know that he had just made the record-setting catch and actually hung onto the historic football this time around.
That wasn’t the case back in Week 7 when Evans was on the receiving end of Tom Brady’s 600th touchdown pass, a mark that had never been achieved by a quarterback in NFL history. After Evans hauled in that momentous touchdown, he gave the football to a fan in the stands at Raymond James Stadium, forgetting the historic significance that the ball held. Once he got back to the sideline, he exclaimed, “Oooooh, I gave the ball away!” That then led to a negotiation between the fan, Brady, and the Buccaneers to retrieve the milestone ball that resulted in the fan receiving a number of items, including a Bitcoin from Brady.
Fortunately for Evans and the Bucs, there was no need to go back to the negotiating table with another fan as he hung onto the ball to keep as he ascended into Tampa Bay’s record books.
Evans passed Mike Alstott’s long-standing record with his 72nd-career touchdown as he helped Tampa Bay snap a two-game losing skid. While all of Evans’ 72 touchdowns have come as a receiver, 58 of Alstott’s 71 scores came on the ground and 13 through the air.
Historically, the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Boston Red Sox have had long periods of dominance in MLB.
In fact, those are the teams with the most World Series victories.
The Yanks have 27 (the last one coming in 2009), the Cardinals are second with 11 (the most recent one being in 2011), and the Red Sox are tied with the Oakland Athletics (previously Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics) with nine.
Since 1993 and up until 2022, a span covering 30 seasons, at least one of those teams was in the playoffs, often all three and sometimes two of them.
However, all good things (and bad, too) come to an end.
2023 will be the first season in 30 years in which none of those three historically relevant franchises will be in the postseason, according to ESPN.
The Yankees are the only team of the bunch with a positive record, but things went south almost from the beginning.
Aaron Judge had two long stints on the injured list, Giancarlo Stanton regressed, and Carlos Rodon was either injured or inconsistent, not to mention a myriad of injuries to starters, relievers, and lineup regulars.
The Red Sox made huge strides with their farm system, but even though they stayed relevant and competitive for most of the year, couldn’t get key wins and all their AL East foes are just better.
The Cardinals’ pitching was never good enough for the team to contend.
With demanding fanbases and a sense of urgency, all three teams will likely find a way to contend soon enough.
For now, though, they will have to watch the postseason on TV.