Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 7/23/12


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After getting swept by the Blue Jays yesterday to fall back not only to .500, but into last place in the American League East, the Red Sox have officially reached a crossroads.

With the trade deadline looming on July 31, they have a little over a week to prove to management that they are worth bolstering with the kind of go-for-broke trade that defined both their 2004 championship run (Nomar Garciaparra), as well as their near miss in 2008 (Manny Ramirez and Jason Bay).

Otherwise, perhaps the “bold” move that president and CEO Larry Lucchino spoke of on WEEI last week will be of the plunger-depressing variety.

“You can’t think about that stuff,” veteran infielder Nick Punto said. “That’s out of our control. We’ve got to go out on this road trip, we know it’s going to be challenging, but we know we’ve got to come home with four wins. That’s just the way it is.”

Herald: Week ahead might break sagging Sox

After hearing of the demoralizing beatdown that the Blue Jays gave Jon Lester, I was ready to call it quits for the season. They're done. No chance they make the playoffs, even with the second wild card. Not with this pitching staff at least.

But then I actually looked at the wild card standings. 3 1/2 games back for either wild card spot. That's still totally achievable! Even with Jon Lester doing his Daniel Bard imitation and Josh Beckett still counting his off days, this team can still grab the wild card. Now if the Sox could somehow find someone to take Beckett, even in a salary dump situation, the Sox could be better off. The old addition by subtraction theory would work wonders for this team.

It's impossible to believe that the Sox are done with the lineup they possess. If they just make a much needed adjustment in the rotation... well hey anything is possible. Just look at the tear Oakland is on.

Rest of the Links: Globe: Heartbreak hill |  Ortiz to skip trip,may join Sox in NY | Tazawa a bright spot out of bullpen | Herald:  Lester's new low | Farrell finds Lester's weak points | Tazawa saves bullpen | CSNNE: Just who are they?  | Look no further than Lester, Becket for Sox struggles | Lester at an all-time low after Jays beating | WEEI: Make or break moment | Lester: "I've let my team down a lot" |  Blame starts (and ends) with Lester & Beckett

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