Now I'm not saying it's quite time to focus exclusively on the wild card. But I am saying it's just about the only way to get through this particular Monday. We're tied for the wild card lead. So, you know, that's something.
Quick editorial decision today - until further notice, I'm going to pretend that this sweep didn't happen. It's not as difficult as you might imagine. Many of you readers will know that the ITM staff (and most of its extended family) caught only fleeting glimpses of the games this weekend - mostly between rehearsals, champagne toasts, frantic drives down Great Neck Road, first dances, and some wedding vows. Congrats to ITM founder and chief, D Vicino. It was an unforgettable wedding. The Sox could finish dead last for the next few decades, but based on the look on D Vicino's face all day Saturday, he's got enough happiness stored up now to wait them out.
So putting the Yanks behind us, we're looking at an important week ahead. The Sox have the AL Central leading Tigers in town for a four game series. Not an entirely pleasant thought, but at least it's in Boston. Seems like the Sox have been stumbling home quite a bit this year, but they can generally right the ship once back in the confines of Fenway. After that it's a pivotal trip to Arlington. It's almost exactly a month since the Sox got swept out of Texas, starting this whole mess. Now they find themselves tied up with the Rangers for the wild card lead. That right there could be the series of the year. Texas will be revving up early this week in Cleveland, and you've got to think they're going to take at least two from the newly depleted Indians.
Eyes will be on Tampa Bay, then, the late chargers. Fortunately, the Rays are in the middle of a West Coast swing. They got crushed last night and dropped two out of three to the Mariners (also charging late, getting into the wild card picture). Fortunately, things won't get any easier for the Rays quite yet. Before coming home to face Toronto, the Rays have a three game set against the LA Angels starting tonight. (Tomorrow's the marquee matchup between Price and Santana.)
It's worth noting, while we're at it, that the Yankees in fact have two West Coast trips still ahead of them in the dog days. Before coming back to Boston in a couple weeks, the Yankees will have seven games out on the other coast - four against Seattle and three against Oakland. Then in mid-September, the Yankees will have another three in Seattle and three in Los Angeles / Anaheim. The Sox, on the other hand, do have a bit of traveling left, but will never venture further than Kansas City and Chicago. So there are some small advtanges to be found.
Bottom line - the Sox have got to pull it together today, because if they let this weekend linger even a little, they could find themselves in serious trouble. More trouble than just a bit of wounded pride after a bad weekend in New York.
One more congrats to D Vicino. Enjoy the honeymoon. Keep the Sox completely out of your mind. The rest of us will be doing enough worrying for you.