Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In the mental duel to avoid Verlander, Boston and New York are exchanging brilliant strategies

Last night, Boston lost, putting us one game up... at least, until we play them again.

Simultaneously, Detroit's Justin Verlander won his 19th game, shutting down the otherwise scalding Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But who is screwing whom? Are the Redsocks playing dead, hoping to avoid Detroit in the opening round of the playoffs?

If they take the Wild Card, they'll play Texas - and although the Rangers can be tough, they won't have a Justin Verlander turning the screws in games one and four.

Then again, aren't we outsmarting Boston, by losing to them repeatedly and - well - artistically? By constantly retaking first place - and then crapping our trundle beds against Pedroia the dwarf and Youkilis the giant - the Yankees could be setting up our arch rivals to face Verlander twice in that first round: the kiss of death!

Then again, we still are in first place. Boston lost last night. What if they continue to lose, so much that even sweeping us next week - which we will let them do - is not enough to overcome our lead? Then we will face Verlander, the first round kiss of death?

But what Verlander gets hurt? What then? What if the winner of the Avoiding Verlander sweepstakes ends up not having to face Verlander, but Fister or Porcello, which would be a huge drop? Then the loser of the Avoiding Verlander contest would be the real winner? What then?

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