McAdam: Critical for Red Sox to win division

McAdam: Critical for Red Sox to win division
August 17, 2013, 1:45 pm
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The panic has already set in among some in the Boston area. The darling Red Sox, the surprise team of the 2013 MLB season, have hit a skid in recent times, dropping six of their last eight contests and even losing a series to the downtrodden Blue Jays.

This has lead to questions of whether this seemingly too-good-to-be-true squad can avoid a late-season collapse. The Sox are now only one game ahead of the Rays in the AL East, and with the way they have played lately, there's no way they can hold on for another month and a half, right?

Lou Merloni isn't so ready to fill the air with doom and gloom. The former Major Leaguer felt this has been too small a sample size to determine that the Red Sox will truly fade down the stretch. In addition, he notes that fans should be more grateful for a 2013 team that many believed would take up the cellar in the AL East.

"If they get to the postseason, a lot is going to have to go right for them to go deep," Merloni said. "That's just the way it is, but it went from this team is awful, they can't make the playoffs to now this team is awful they can't win the World Series, it doesn't end."

Appreciation is key in this rebound campaign under a revitalized organization. The Red Sox shouldn't get too comfy though. Even if the Rays (or less likely, the Orioles) surpass the Boston squad in the AL East by season's end, the Sox will probably be able to nab one of the two American League Wild Card spots.

While a great a safety valve, this Wild Card pass may not be so desirable. As Sean McAdam reminds, a Wild Card slot means a one-game playoff and if the Red Sox drop into that spot, it could be a death knell for them in the postseason.

"It's important for them to hang onto the division and not have to subject themselves to that win-or-go-home play-in game because look at what happened with Texas last year," McAdam said. "From Day 1 to game 161, the Rangers were in first place in the American League West and then they fell apart in the last 10 days, they picked the worst possible time to go cold…all the momentum was gone and they were done in one game despite having been in first place for literally all but one day."