Hello hopeless, my old friend. Yes, the Rays are here again.
They are back at the edge of never and the brink of forgotten. They are behind the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series, and perhaps hours from wasting one of the greatest comeback stories in the game's history.
This time, there is no safety net beneath them. This time, there is no need to keep an eye on the out-of-town scoreboard. This time, there is no chance of reprieve.
For the first time in a season of endless pursuit, the Rays wake up knowing they must win a game or head empty-handed into winter.
As you probably know, this is the end that was forecast for a downsized roster from the time Carl Crawford, Carlos Peña and an entire bullpen fled Tampa Bay.
Only the players who stayed behind never accepted their fate and now, 165 games later, their season has finally devolved into a day-to-day proposition.