The Boston Red Sox, winners of seven straight, look familiar in the most unfamiliar way imaginable. This is the team from the first half: a resilient, winning ball club that can beat you in myriad ways. The difference being, of course, the fact that they're wearing yellow and baby blue. A lot of people fucking hate these jerseys, hate 'em like poison. Exactly zero of those people live inside the boundaries of the city of Boston, which speaks volumes, but at this point if you still care you're just a miserable person in general. They're winning baseball games - games they were losing in July and August - and at this point of the season I find it near impossible to care about anything else.
The Yellow Sox hold a two game lead over the New York Yankees for the honor of hosting the Wild Card game. The Blue Jays are still looming, but after the cowardice they displayed against the Tampa Bay Rays this week I find it hard to view them as a legitimate threat anymore. Vlad Guerrero, Jr. is deserving of MVP votes, Marcus Semien was perhaps the best free agent pick up of the offseason, Jose Berríos or Robbie Ray could easily out-duel any pitcher they find themselves matched up against on a given night, and yet any team who finds themselves crying over notecards like a bunch of goddamn nerds does not deserve a moment of your fear nor respect. They play the Yankees directly after New York visits Fenway this weekend, so the Wild Card will sort itself out by the middle of next week. But from where this conversation was even a week ago, the Red Sox have appeared to flip their switch at exactly the right time as the Yankees, Jays, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics have all hit varying sizes of bumps in the road.
We spent a good chunk of the offseason trying to figure out how Chaim Bloom could attempt to replicate the 2013 instant rebuild. And as this team held first place until August, it felt as if he had. 2013 is a special team for a very specific reason, and this team hasn't accomplished anything as of yet. But I don't think it's any minor coincidence that the Nike City Connect jerseys which pay homage to the Boston Marathon have lined up with this team firing on all cylinders. Rob Manfred is already on my shit list for not allowing Jose Iglesias to play in the postseason - a rule in which he has little-to-no control over - I don't know what I'll do if he wont let the Red Sox keep wearing these UCLA colors in the postseason.
The Red Sox have the best home record in the American League - second best in baseball behind the Los Angeles Dodgers - and the highest home OPS in all of baseball. They're 6-1 on the year while wearing the yellow city connect jerseys, with the one loss coming back in April. This team, for whatever reason, is a different monster inside the friendly confines. And their final form appears to be yellow.