With a month left of the 2010 baseball season, I think it's safe to say that the Boston Red Sox will not be playing very far into October. I can't say that I had high hopes going into the year with the only changes being the off-season acquisitions of Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro, but the team has managed to stay somewhat in the post-season race even with injuries to nearly the entire starting line-up.
Seriously, here is the opening day line-up with players in bold who have not spent significant time on the DL this season:
Jacoby Ellsbury LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
J.D. Drew RF
Mike Cameron CF
Marco Scutaro SS
I hate to make excuses, but I wonder how many other teams would have faired as well as the Sox have with two-thirds of their starters not playing ball? To me, Youk and Pedroia are the heart and soul of this team and both have been injured for the majority of the season.
As far as the healthy guys are concerned - Ortiz is having yet another good year after yet another incredibly slow start, Beltre has surprised everyone by putting up some tremendous numbers and Scutaro has been consistent if nothing else. Previously unknown players (to me at least) like Darnell McDonald and Bill Hall and rookies Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish - not to mention a somewhat-healthy Mike Lowell - have helped keep the team close to the top of the highly competitive AL East.
That said, after this past weekend's abysmal sweep by the visiting Chicago White Sox, the East Coast Sox find themselves ten games behind the Yankees in the East and third overall in the Wild Card race behind the Rays and - the White Sox.
Yes, there is still a month to go and yes, there are still series versus the Yanks, Rays and White Sox left to play, but it is hard to imagine a happy ending at this point. I haven't given up on my favorite team, but I am looking forward to the start of football season ...