"We have a very strong division, but it’s about us," Varitek said. "We have to play well, and when we play well we can get this team back on a roll."
And that's the simple truth. The Red Sox, not the Yankees or the Blue Jays, are the team to beat in the AL East. With very few holes in their defense, strong hitting for the most part, an incredible closer with a very reliable ace, the Sox may only be a half game up, but I'm not (very) worried.
Yes, the Yankees and the Blue Jays are both strong teams. But they're also very flawed teams, with very little chance of going all the way this year. The Red Sox are one pitcher away (Josh Beckett, anyone) from being able to put this team out in front.
So despite losing 3 of 4 to Oakland, I was very encouraged by three things. One, the Royals are next on the list. Two, Schilling shut the As down completely and three, Wakefield is doing well enough that he's starting tonight.
For a Monday, I'm awfully optimistic.