The Sox/Yanks Road to the Playoffs

The Sox/Yanks Road to the Playoffs

Sox Sweep Seattle, Yanks Come to Beantown

So, there's good news—but there's a lot more bad news.

The good news on the Sox: We swept Seattle, with almost every player contributing. And Lugo's still on the DL. The bad news: It took 12 innings last night to beat a team that is currently in last place in the AL West standings. We're 3-3 going into the series against the Yankees. Analysis: There was no need for it to get down to the wire like it did last night. There's no excuse. (Ichiro Schmichiro.) We need to do better, starting now.

The good news on Tampa Bay: There isn't any. The bad news: They've taken four of the last six games since the All-Star break. They're currently half a game ahead of us. Analysis: Can't be in first place for long. Rookies don't know how to hang.

The good news on the Yanks: They've got an aging roster and key players on the DL: Matsui, Wang, Damon. Posada's not doing so well, either. The bad news: They've swept the last two teams (A's, Twins) they've faced since the break. They're only three games behind us going into this series. Analysis: Supporting the Yankees makes the baby Jesus cry.

And now the Yanks want in on some of our mojo this weekend. Not that I'm scared. Nah man, fuck that.

I'm excited, but I'm also screwed, because I'm going to be in Canada this weekend, and I'm going to miss two-thirds of the series. Argh.

Friday's gonna be one hell of a good game, too. We've got our ace, Beckett (ERA: 3.98), facing off against NY's wannabe ace, Joba "Hey, I'm Native American" Chamberlain (2.52). Yes, his ERA is lower, but he's only had, what, six, seven starts in the major leagues? Please. Beckett's gonna wail all over him tomorrow night.

We've also got a brand-new face at short (Dear God: Keep Lugo hurt. Signed, Red Sox Nation), Jed Lowrie, who's a young 'un, but is playing like hell for a position he wants to keep. And we're getting Papi (.294, 3 R, 6 RBIs in the minors) back tomorrow. (That sound you just heard? Fans from around the country heaving a collective sigh of relief.) And hopefully, with his boy back, Manny will straighten up. Because, frankly, even I'm getting pissed off by his antics by now.

Although both teams have declared that no beef will be had on the field, fans of both know this not to be true. After Papelbon's comments—taken completely out of context by the Daily News reporters—on the Yankees' Master Closer, and the resentment the Yanks must feel toward the Sox for invading and MVPing on their turf, we all know someone's gonna get hit. My question is: How will it go down?

My guesses: Beckett beans A-Rod. Joba aims for Manny's head and misses. Crisp jumps Jeter. Pedroia elbow-drops Cano. Varitek rips off Giambi's 'stache. And Papelbon stands in the dugout, far away from the fray, yelling "YEAH!! YEAH!! GET 'EM, GUYS!!!"

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