Red Sox Have Chance to Play Spoiler - And Salvage some PrideMiserable is an effective characterization about the Sox. They weren't just terrible. They were unlikeable, at times unknowable, and at times simply unwatchable.
And yet, here at the end, they can redeem themselves perhaps, at some level. They can beat the Yankees on the road, and help give the Orioles the division win - and really hurt NY's chances at another series appearance.
Yes, the Orioles. An unlikely contender if there ever was one. With just a +8 differential in runs, (vs. the Yankees and TB tied at +112) the team comes down the stretch toe-to-toe with the Yankees at 91 wins. Their pitching does have some live arms, but statistically is in the middle of the pack, while their hitting is actually worse - except they have manage to slug their way to 91 wins, with over 200 HRs. Should the Orioles pull it out, the Yankees will be forced into a one game playoff, and if you haven't been watching, they haven't been playing so well either. They have steadily fallen from what looked like an easy trip to the pennant, as injuries, lack of pitching, and less than stellar all-star play from their perennial all-stars. The Yanks would be far from a lock in that game - and could be dispatched quickly this year.
A Sox's fan consolation is we can contribute, by beating the Yankees in the last games of the year, and hoping that the Orioles keep their improbable stretch going to deprive the Yankees (and Tampa) of their division.
No, it's not too early to start talking about next year
Still, it's fair to wonder what could have been. As I mentioned a couple of post ago, I thought that the end of the Sox season had a chance of being an extended audition for next years players. So quickly, here's some winners and losers based on 2012.
David OrtizDespite his nagging injuries, he hit like a champ, and with reduced payroll and reduced star power on the roster, the Sox need him more than they have the past few seasons. Look for the two year deal to happen quickly.
Will MiddlebrooksHis power and plate presence will make sure that sox don't take him out of the lineup. Let's hope that broken wrist won't get him on the injury train like so many of the sox.
Cody RossTook to Fenway like a fish in a pond. His average outfielder numbers obscure that he didn't shy away from the big moment, and was a threat from the right side.
Mauro GomezMauro outhit James Loney, acquired in the Dodgers trade, easily. Welcome to the bench James, if you don't get traded by February.
J. TazawaProved he belongs at the top level, and looked good doing it. Can you say 8th inning lock down guy?
Franklin MoralesHe ran out of gas at the end of the year, but he could be a good end of the rotation starter.
Leaving out the obivous losers this year (those who got traded), here are some other guys who probably wore out their welcome.