September has arrived and the Red Sox are seven games out of a playoff spot with 30 games left to play.
There are approximately three ways this can go:
Out on their shields: That would require going 17-13 or 18-12 the rest of the way and winning a respectable 90+ games. But it would give them the right to say, "You now, despite everything, we did win 90 games." At some point they could even sniff the playoffs again, if only for a day. Fans will stay somewhat involved. The players will leave with their heads held high.
Staying professional: This is probably what will happen. The Sox will roughly split the remaining games winning 13-15 of them, something like that. They'll win just under 90 games and slip out the door quietly, but not ashamed. By Sept. 15, you'll be caught up in the Patriots but not furious with the Sox. It's hard to expect much given all the injuries.
Total trainwreck: Going 10-20 and ending up with 84 wins, the fewest since 2001. This is not impossible. The Sox have seven games left against Chicago, six against the Yankees and three against the Rays. Those teams all have something to play for. As it gets uglier, some media people (most of whom never stepped foot in the clubhouse this season) will rip Theo Epstein, Terry Francona and every player. By the end, Fenway will be half full. The players will slink out of town as quickly as possible.
So what do you think? How will this season end for the Sox? Leave a comment with your prediction.