Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was the man who kickstarted the Boston Red Sox historic comeback against the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. Boston was staring down a series sweep at home, down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, when Roberts was called on to pinch run.
He stole second base with Mariano Rivera on the mound, then promptly scored on an RBI single to tie the game. The Red Sox would win that game in extras, and then the following three to advance to the World Series, where they snapped their 86-year championship drought.
Roberts' steal was rightfully viewed as the catalyst for the Yankees' collapse because everyone either tuned in to the game or present at the ballpark knew he was stealing, from Rivera to the drunkard peeing himself in the bleachers.
Yet, Roberts still reached safely under Derek Jeter's tag after the shortstop fielded a good throw from catcher Jorge Posada.
But present day Dave Roberts? Not exactly the same guy. After guaranteeing a World Series for the 2022 Dodgers before the season even started and watching that blow up in his face, he tred lightly when asked about the team's championship aspirations in 2023. And then ... he apparently thought his jinxing abilities didn't apply to basketball and gave a cocky vote of confidence for the Boston Celtics heading into Monday night's Game 7 matchup with the Miami Heat.
Dave Roberts jinxed the Boston Celtics -- Hey, Yankees fans, this guy rules now!
Roberts, citing the fact that he lived a 3-0 comeback, said all the pressure was on the Heat right now, and he wasn't necessarily wrong. But it was the Celtics who played like all the pressure was on them, succumbing to a 19-point defeat on their home floor in Game 7 after storming back to win three straight contests as they stared down the barrel of elimination.
New York won't ever forgive Roberts for his stolen base that ended up destroying the Yankees' identity, but we're as close to "even" as we'll ever be with him after his Celtics jinx. That deserves a friendly beer, no? Imagine if we had to hear about TWO Boston 3-0 comebacks for the rest of time?
Instead, we got Robert Williams throwing up all game, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combining for 13-of-36 shooting, Tatum endorsing the team signing Brown to a supermax when Brown hasn't scored more than 26 points in a game in over a month, and the entire city of Boston feeling bad for themselves after being atop the world just hours prior as they had acted like the comeback had been completed and their place in history was sealed.
And what timing. The Yankees can get Roberts that drink this weekend when they're in LA for a series against the Dodgers.