Is it Over?

BD_sox.jpgThat’s what Tony Massarotti says today in typically-understated Herald-esque fashion. With a 7.5 games lead and 31 to play, no matter what happens in the Bronx this week, the American League East race is ova-h, and your Boston Red Sox will be sporting commemorative AL East champ gear for the first time since 1995. Is it really over? Does it even matter?

To answer the second question: yes. It does matter. Assuming the Sox get in the playoffs either way, it matters because they can’t afford to blow this one. It matters because when you looked at your friend in October of 2004 and said it’s all different now, this is what you were talking about. If the Sox hold on, and realistically they should, then it is different now, and 1978 is just the year the Sex Pistols broke up.

Remember what Jason Varitek said the on the eve of the last time the two teams met? “They need to worry about us now.” It was a perfect statement from the Captain and reflects the attitude the Sox have now. They are better, and they know it.

Now, the first question. Is it over? Probably. After the Yankee series, the Sox play 18 of the final 28 games at Fenway with heaping doses of the Devil Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays. If the Yankees beat Detroit tonight, and even if they sweep, the lead would still be four and that still should be enough of a cushion.

Win one, or even two at the Stadium and you can wrap it up a nice pretty bow. More importantly, take a two out of three and you set the Yankees back in their own playoff chase, and really who would you rather see in the playoffs: New York, or Seattle?

Bring on the Mariner Moose. Coco Crisp will have his revenge!