Last year the Red Sox had their season ended on the last day in gut-wrenching fashion by the Orioles. The last place Orioles. The doormat Orioles. The cellar-dwelling Orioles.
You remember them, right? Those were the same Orioles who won five of their final seven games in the last 10 days of the season against the Red Sox. Those same Orioles had not been to the postseason since 1997. The devilish joy of playing spoiler in September was made for those kinds of teams.
Those Orioles are now not only contending for the playoffs but contending for first place in the American League East.
While the Red Sox will miss the postseason for the third straight year, they were at least in contention in those Septembers. This season, out of contention and struggling to stay competitive, they find themselves in the unfamiliar – and unenviable – position of hoping to at least play spoiler, having some say in the play-off race, ending the season with some measure of respectability.
The Sox’ final 21 games are against their American League East rivals. Beginning Tuesday, all but three of those games (this weekend in Toronto) are against play-off hopefuls, with six each against the Yankees, Rays, and O’s. The Sox host the Yankees for three games beginning Tuesday.
CSNNE:Time to play spoiler
It would be great to play spoiler to any of the teams since each team has their own special reasons. Why not give some payback to the Orioles for eliminating us from playoff contention? Or perhaps finally get some revenge on the Rays for the past three seasons. (This one may be the toughest one but a great consolation prize would be throwing at Luke Scott.) And of course go after the Yankees to and add some life into a rivalry that could use something like screwing the Yankees out of a AL East title.
Are any of these likely? Not with the way the Sox are playing now. The Patriots & the Red Sox have the exact amount of wins in September and the Pats could surpass them on Sunday. This is the definition of bottoming out and let's remember that this is what we wanted. I'm sure everyone wants to forget about 2012 as soon as humanly possible but perhaps they can take a page of the Orioles' playbook by knocking out someone out of playoff contention and use that momentum and turn it around next season. Crazier things have happened.
Rest of the links:
Globe:Red Sox fall again | Matsuzaka may be shut down | Ortiz may not return this season | Salty suffers back spasms | Herald:Ortiz looks to future | Where has the power gone? | Buchholz gets last chance | CSNNE: Buchholz can't hold on in 9th | Sox drop finale to Jays, 4-3 | WEEI: No easy solutions to power outage in 2013 | Sox swept by Jays | Dice-K might be done