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After MLB's greatest day, uncertain futures

Updated: September 29, 2011, 11:05 AM ET
By Buster Olney

The theater was unlike anything any baseball fans have seen in one day of a regular season, whether in 1908 or 1940 or 1949 or 1951 or 1967 or 1982, and for baseball fans who weren't invested in the Red Sox or the Braves, they saw events they will never want to forget.

The Yankees hadn't lost a 7-0 lead in the eighth inning or later since 1953, and that's what happened. The Red Sox were undefeated this year when holding leads after the eighth inning, yet they lost. There were four games involving the wild-card races Wednesday, and in three of those, a team came to within one out of victory, and lost. At 11:40 p.m., the Atlanta Braves matched the greatest September collapse in history, and 25 minutes later, the Red Sox set a new standard for September collapses. And Evan Longoria's game-winning homer was merely the second in history that propelled a team into the playoffs, on the last day of the season; the other belongs to Bobby Thomson. Somebody will write a book on baseball's greatest day ever.

But there is more personal history to come, because some people -- many of whom you may have never heard of -- may lose their jobs, or be demoted. There will be consequences, in Boston and Atlanta, some of it undoubtedly unfair, because if either the Red Sox or the Braves made the playoffs Wednesday then had success in the postseason, the same people would be lauded as heroes.

A half-dozen whose status is in question:

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