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Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  September 28, 2009 06:23 PM

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Tonight, it would be nice if the Sox, who have a magic number of 2, could take care of business on their end and the Angels could do them a favor by beating the visiting Rangers, thus locking up their spot in the tournament.

While the Sox have been going about their business as if they are already in -- selectively resting the regulars, giving the jayvees some playing time against the Yankees, getting their ducks in a row for the postseason at the expense of a minuscule shot at the AL East title -- there are those among us who don't like to tempt the baseball gods by making assumptions. And it's never much fun to see the Sox punt away three in a row in the Bronx under any circumstances.

But save for the relatively meaningless results or the unnecessary worries of those who still possess an archaic fear of curses, ghosts and pinstripes, it really wasn't bad as far as lost weekends go. I saw what I needed to see -- Dice-K pitched well enough to give us a little bit more encouragement regarding what's to come, Jason Varitek struggled against the running game to the point that the Red Sox may have no choice but to do the right thing . . . and what could have been a disaster certainly looks like a bullet dodged.

Consider this, Sox pessimists: If we'd truly returned to that pre-2004 baseball universe where the Yankees reigned supreme over the Sox and fortune always smiled in the direction of the Bronx, Jon Lester's leg would be in a cast right now.

Lester looks like he's going to be good to go. Assuming "back spasms" aren't a euphemism for a recurrence of last season's oblique problem, I'm not sweating the late-breaking news that Josh Beckett has been scratched from his start tonight, either

Again: Do whatever you must do, Tito, to put your team in the best position and condition entering the postseason. We're with you, even if it means Beckett doesn't see the mound again until Game 2 in Anaheim.

In the meantime, we'll be waiting for the Sox' requisite woo-hoo-we're-in! celebration in the next day or two. Here's hoping it's appropriately understated. Because the hunch here is that it won't be their last this fall.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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