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The Red Sox, Your AL West Champs

This article is more than 12 years old.
The Red Sox celebrate Ryan Kalish's grand slam in the team's win over the LA Angels on Tuesday. (AP)
The Red Sox celebrate Ryan Kalish's grand slam in the team's win over the LA Angels on Tuesday. (AP)

If only the Sox played in Oakland. Or in Texas. Or, let's take LA.

They wouldn't be the Boston Red Sox and they wouldn't have the lovable history or the rabid fans.

And we wouldn’t live or die with every home run and heart-stopping save. And we wouldn't care about the next big thing in the minor-league pipeline — we'd be too busy surfing (or eating delicious BBQ).

But at least the Sox would be in the playoffs. Currently languishing in third place in the brutal American League East, the Sox would be division leaders if they played in the AL West.

In that division the Sox would be leading the Rangers by a game, the Angels and A's by eight, and would be crushing the hapless Mariners by more than 20. Instead, the team is staring up at the Yankees and the Rays, and looking with envy at the Rangers, who basically have a playoff spot locked-up.

Just imagine if the Sox played in LA: The Green Monster covered in Hollywood Stars, like the Walk of Fame. Pesky Pole renamed the Pesci Pole. Pink Red Sox hats replaced with … pink Red Sox hats.

We'd have Fenway Franks with avocado, pretzels with salsa and fro-yo in little batting helmets. Instead of "Heah we go Sawx!" we'd have "Vamos los Medias Rojas!"

Playing in LA, the team might lose its rivalry with the Yankees. No matter, the Sox surely can find a team of hate-able overpaid superstars there. Mel Gibson would look good in pinstripes.

Right now, stuck as they are in their traditional division, the Red Sox' playoff quest looks like a lost cause. While they can't yet be officially written off, many are sharpening their pencils.

The Sox, as of Friday afternoon, sit 6.5 games behind the division-leading Yankees and 5.5 behind the second-place Rays, who also hold the Wild Card.

The battle for the AL East is the battle for the best record in the American League. The Rays trail the Yankees by only one game, but they lead Minnesota, the third-best team in the league, by a full four games.

Both the Yankees and Rays have won more than 60 percent of their games this season — a 100-win pace. If each team continues at its current pace, the Sox would have to win 31 of their remaining 40 games to even compete for a playoff spot. In other words, Sox fans need to hope New York and Tampa Bay start losing. A lot.

If the Red Sox were in the West, they'd be leading a pitched battle against the Texas Rangers. Instead, they're mired in the rearview of the top two teams in the American League.

Nobody wants a Fenway Frank with avocado, but I'd like to watch baseball in October.

There's no question that the Red Sox would lose a lot by switching coasts, but they'd win a playoff spot. Perhaps the Olde Towne Team wouldn't be quite so old, but they'd be fighting for a ring.

This program aired on August 20, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Jeremy Bernfeld Producer
Jeremy Bernfeld was formerly a producer for WBUR.



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