Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 8/5/12

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In a loss that would have been stunning if only it wasn’t so predictable, closer Alfredo Aceves gave up a three-run homer to Joe Mauer in the ninth inning last night. And in the blink of an eye, the Sox went from being one strike away from a rousing victory to a 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins, only the latest gut punch in a season that has turned into a ghastly mess.

“They’re all devastating now,” utility infielder Nick Punto said in a clubhouse that was mostly silent except for a stray expletive screamed by manager Bobby Valentine in his office. “You get this late in the season and you look in the standings and we’re not really sitting in a great position in the wild card.

“We really can’t afford to lose games like that.”

Herald: Sox hit new low in latest setback

There is no question that this team is near rock bottom. There is a fine line that defines rock bottom and this team has pulled themselves away from it many times this season. After losing 3 straight games against a team that came into Fenway 16 games under .500, the Sox are closer than ever to that line.

It is extremely hard to watch this team when there is always the thought of blowing any lead. We encountered it at the beginning of the season, then gained confidence in the pen and some starters, and now it has returned to their original state of the 2012 season.

I could go on about how pissed I am with this team and all of the unnecessary drama ******** surrounding them, but it has been said by many before and I have just had enough.

On Page 2, Andrew Bailey doesn't give a **** what his role is.

“I don’t give a [expletive], frankly. I just want to play and get to the playoffs,” Bailey said. “Whatever role they see fit, that’s what I’m going to do. If it’s setting up, if it’s doing whatever, that’s fine by me and we’ll address it next spring.”

The Red Sox bullpen already leads the American League in holds. Adding Bailey, who was the key return in the trade that sent Josh Reddick to the Athletics, will likely only make the team’s bullpen better.

“[Aceves] and the whole bullpen has been doing great this whole year and whatever role they see fit, that’s what I’m going to do,” Bailey said. “If it is setting up or if it is doing whatever that is fine by me and we will address it next spring.”

WEEI: Andrew Bailey on bullpen role: 'I don't give a [expletive], frankly'

Sorry to break the news to you, Andrew, but this team is probably not making the playoffs. They don't deserve it and if they do make it, it will be a very quick exit.

I have some more news for you, Andew. You are not going to be the difference maker in this bullpen. The whole group, the entire team, sucks!  I feel sick.

The rest of the links:

Herald: Three former pros expound on significance of team dynamics | Bobby Valentine, Sox weigh sabermetrics | Deal with it, Jacoby Ellsbury stays | Red Sox wasting away | David Ortiz can only watch, wince | Injuries no crutch | Kelly Shoppach aims to cut down on stealing | Sox have to react and subtract | Globe: Coaching shakeup possible | Morales set to start over | WEEI: Alfredo Aceves: 'Why don't you ask the umpire how he missed the pitch?' | Jarrod Saltalamacchia returns to lineup uncertainty: 'It's frustrating not knowing' about role |  ESPN Boston: Valentine: Ellsbury's leg 'not an issue' | Middlebrooks reluctantly takes day off | CSNNE: Haggerty: These Sox not playoff worthy | Bullpen implodes, wasting Buchholz's gem, 6-4 | Buchholz: It's about the team

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