New York Yankees Hit 3 Grand Slams in One Game: A Red Sox Fan Takes the Blame

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Bill Kostroun/AP

The New York Yankees who hit grand slams against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011, in New York. From left are Robinson Cano, in the fifth inning; Russell Martin, in the sixth inning; and Curtis Granderson, in the eighth inning.

They call them the Bronx Bombers for a reason, you know.

The New York Yankees’ 22-9 rout of the Oakland Athletics on Thursday contained an unprecedented three grand slams. The record books will show that, firstly, Robinson Cano hit a bases-loaded shot into the right-field stands in the fifth inning. In the very next inning, catcher Russell Martin hit a grand slam to right field. And then in the eighth, Curtis Granderson set the record by launching the ball to right-center.

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With the national pastime in its 136th year and approaching its 200,000th regular-season game, an utterly unique event of this magnitude was always going to go down this way. But what history won’t record is how this Boston Red Sox fan feels responsible.

At the start of the day, I couldn’t help but crack the following joke to my Yankees supporting colleagues in TIME’s New York office: in light of the A’s Coco Crisp (who once played for the Sox, to no great acclaim) pretty much single-handedly beating the Yanks on Wednesday night, I noted that it was “his best ever game for the Red Sox.” Well, presumably, two recently departed Yankees legends, owner George Steinbrenner and announcer Bob Sheppard, must have been listening in and decided to intervene as quickly as possible.

What’s even crazier is that New York had chances to pile on the misery as they came to bat a ridiculous 16 times with the bases loaded. But don’t think that this doesn’t happen to make life glum for all members of Red Sox Nation, who must suffer through the headlines on a night that the Sox dismantled the Texas Rangers 6-0 to maintain a lead atop the AL East! One shivers just by having to listen over and over to the on-air calls made by TV commentator Michael Kay (couldn’t you have just been satisfied with calling Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit this season?) or radio’s John Sterling (who, ESPN reports, “needed a throat lozenge after the home run calls.”)

But it gets worse. It would have been almost acceptable if, in the aftermath, the Yankees came out and boasted about how this could never happen again and only they could have pulled it off in the first place. Yet Captain Classy himself (and even Red Sox fans tend to tip their hat to him) Derek Jeter modestly claimed that, “You’re not going to see it again, probably.” Ugh. It’s the “probably” that kills you because he’s actually open to the possibility.

And just to rub it in, the final out of the night was made by catcher Jorge Posada, making his first career appearance at second base, who fired a one-hop throw that even knocked over first baseman Nick Swisher (it left him laughing as he caught it.) Posada’s having the worst year of his career and even he gets in on the action by not playing his position!

There were small crumbs of comfort: some fans supposedly left early with their team trailing 7-1 after three innings (the rain was still falling in a game that began after an 89-minute delay) so they’ll never be able to say there were truly there.

But that aside, it brings to mind the former Red Sox pitching great, Pedro Martinez, who famously complained after a 6-4 loss to the Yankees in 2004, “What can I say? I tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy.” I’m more than happy to do the same in this instance, but before any Yankee fans start to get carried away, we all remember how the 2004 season ended.

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Glen Levy is an Executive Producer at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @glenjl. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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