Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
BOSTON — This year’s American League wild card race is going to be — get this — wild. Six teams are vying for two spots, and the madness will culminate with a one-game playoff to determine who will join the three division winners in the ALDS. The Red Sox have a stranglehold on the AL East and shouldn’t have to worry too much about the wild card race, but it’d be understandable if curiosity caused them to sneak a peek at what’s happening amongst their AL brethren. The glances have been few and far between, though, as the Red Sox seem to realize that securing their own playoff spot is the top priority with less than three weeks to play. “That would be a distraction,” John Farrell said whe asked if he’s keeping a watchful eye on the AL wild card race, “and I think we’ve done a very good job of keeping that at bay.” The Red Sox enter Friday’s game against the Yankees with an 8 1/2-game lead in the AL East. Their magic number to secure the division is eight and, according to ESPN.com, they have a 99.9 percent chance of making the postseason. In reality, the Red Sox have a playoff spot all but locked up. But given what happened in 2011, the reluctance to look ahead makes sense. “I’m aware of who’s involved and know that it’s certainly tightened up, but no, not above and beyond that,” Farrell said. “I’m not even considering who might we see. We’ve got to get there first and that’s the beacon; [it] is what we’re doing, not so much what everybody else is doing.” While the Red Sox might be paying minimal attention to what everyone is doing around them, it wasn’t long ago that it looked like Boston could end up playing in the one-game wild card playoff. Obviously, Farrell prefers the position that the Red Sox are currently in. “There’s probably two views,” Farrell said Friday. “I think in spring training, you’d say, ‘Yeah, I’ll sign up for a one-game play-in’ at the time in spring training. But then when get through it and you’ve gone 162 games, you hate to see a season in the balance in one game. We’re not here to change the rules, but there’s an awful lot that goes into a nine-inning game.” There are only 14 games separating the Red Sox from playoff baseball — assuming that they hang onto their commanding lead. During that time, they’ll likely have the luxury of giving players some rest and trying out some new tactics, particularly in their bullpen. Things won’t be so laid back for a host of other teams, though, and we should be in store for some exciting games to close out September. “It’s great,” Farrell said. “I can’t imagine what the final week of the season is going to be. I think the second wild card has really played into that. The meaning to every game played throughout that final week is heightened and this year might be tenfold what it was a year ago.” The idea of having two wild card spots has been a polarizing topic since its implementation prior to the 2012 season. But it’s also giving teams that would otherwise be on life support a chance to stand up and make tons of noise down the stretch. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here. Filed under: Boston Red Sox, MLB, Ricky Doyle, Top Stories
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jets players rip Patriots over Deflategate

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Report: A-Rod apologized to new MLB commissioner

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

NFL was profiting off Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab

NFL finally getting its own YouTube channel

20 most amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Six X-factors who could make an impact in Super Bowl XLIX

Five potentially fatal flaws for Patriots in the Super Bowl

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

WATCH: Chris Berman is not happy at the Pro Bowl

PHOTO: Brock Lesnar's tramp stamp says ‘Kill ‘em All’

WATCH: Hassan Whiteside blocks five shots in 7 minutes

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFL was profiting off Lynch's gesture

NFL finally getting YouTube channel

20 amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt'

Potential 'X-factor' Super Bowl players

Potential fatal flaws for Pats in SB XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Chris Berman isn't happy at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.