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Don't count New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick among the doubters who gave up on the Boston Red Sox.
Long after fans streamed to the Fenway Park exits or turned off their TV sets, Belichick kept watching Wednesday night. The Red Sox overcame a 7-0 deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Rays and avoid being knocked out of the playoffs.
"I couldn't turn it off," Belichick said. "It didn't look too good there when it was 7-0. Then it was 7-1. Then it was 7-4. Then 7-6.
"I thought the Red Sox played with the heart of a champion last night. It was pretty impressive."
And why couldn't Belichick move on to something else? Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa would have been disappointed in him.
"That's the difference between baseball and football," Belichick said. "You have to get them out. You can't run out the clock. It's a tough nine outs. Joe Torre told me that, and LaRussa verified it. You have to get them out."
Belichick explained what would seem like a no-duh statement.
"That's the truth," Belichick said. "They give me a hard time about that: 'When you guys get the lead, you can just sit on the ball and run the clock out. We have to get them out. Somebody has to pitch and somebody has to get them out.'
"They made a good point there. I mean, that's true when you are on defense in football. You have to stop them. It's one thing if you have the ball, but if they have it you have to stop them."