The buying or selling Red Sox series
Believe it or not, tonight marks only the third time the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees have taken the diamond to play each other this season. The circumstances are not much different this time around. At the time of the first series in April, the Boston Red Sox were facing many questions about their team as they had only won four games as the Red Sox were beginning the third week of the season.
Coming into the final series before next weeks All-Star break, the Boston Red Sox still face about the same amount of questions and they all focus on the same basic idea.
“Are the Boston Red Sox contenders?”
After a disastrous first month and a half of the season, the Boston Red Sox turned it around a bit and righted the ship. They started to make a run in the American League East Division and the Wild-Card standings and slowly but surely worked their way into the picture. Despite numerous injuries to key guys, the Boston Red Sox were staying afloat and just hoping to be within striking distance as the second half the season began.
The Boston Red Sox are within striking distance of the American League Wild-Card standings, trailing Baltimore by only 2.5 games despite getting swept out of Oakland earlier this week. For the Red Sox, however, the question about whether or not this team can win has nothing to do with where they are in the standings or their record or how many games out.
These guys need to prove they can beat good baseball teams.
That’s why this Yankees series is so vitally important to setting up the month of July. Four games in Fenway Park against the leaders of the American League East. At most, they can close the gap to 3.5 games and at the very worst they can fall an almost insurmountable amount of games back of 11.5 as the season hits it’s final half.
Being at home and against the best team in the division is a perfect time to determine what kind of baseball team this Red Sox team is. Winning this series or splitting four really close game will be the first step in the Red Sox showing that they can, in fact, make a late run at Octob
er. Losing this series, and it may be time to start figuring out which pieces the Red Sox can drop off to more worthy contenders.
It may sound very black and white, but at some point a team has to decide where they stand the grand scheme of baseball. This is the kind of series where the Boston Red Sox can make their mark.