Up here in Toronto, where the weather is magical for those of us who love the crisp, Autumn air.
Speaking of magic, this is the time of year where magic numbers dominate the topic of conversation.
The Red Sox, entering play today, have a magic number of two to clinch a playoff berth. Simply stated, if the Red Sox win two out of their final nine games, they are in the playoffs, no matter what anyone else does. In other words, it would take the biggest choke in baseball history — and the most magical comeback in baseball history — for them to be October spectators.
There is a very small chance the Sox could clinch today. This is what would have to happen.
The Red Sox must beat Roy Halladay and the Jays (1:05 p.m. ET game). The Yankees — pitching a young prospect named Alfredo Aceves — must lose their 1:05 game to the Orioles. And then, if those two things occur, either the Twins — facing Scott Kazmir at 3:55 — or the White Sox — playing at Kansas City at 7:10 p.m. ET — must lose.
How do the White Sox — who lead the Twins by 2.5 games in the AL Central — factor into this? Here’s the deal. The White Sox have 68 losses as of today and the Twins have 71 losses. The White Sox and Twins have three head-to-head games left this season which means that if the Twins were to run the table, the White Sox would have to finish with a minimum of 71 losses (72 if they lose today). If the Red Sox win today, the most losses they can have is 71. That’s why a loss by the White Sox or Twins — along with a loss by the Yankees (71 losses) could clinch things for Boston. Get it?
By the way, huge thank you to Jeff Goldberg of Hartford Courant fame for helping me out with this. I hate to break it to Jeff though — I’m still going to rip him apart in fantasy football this year even if he doesn’t know it yet.
As for the news of the day, J.D. Drew remains, at best, in limbo, and, at worst, haunted by the prospect of not playing another the game this season. He just can’t get rid of the spasms. And anyone who thinks that J.D. is dogging it is being unfair. You don’t get multiple injections and epidurals in a desperate attempt to make pain go away if there is no pain. He was extremely dejected last night.
That’s all for now.