Let's check where the Red Sox are in the standings - and share a few Red Sox random thoughts - before the Yankees invade Fenway Park for a four-game series this weekend.
1. New York Yankees 49-32
2. Baltimore Orioles 44-37 5 GB
3. Tampa Bay Rays 43-39 6.5 GB
4. Boston Red Sox 42-40 7.5 GB
5. Toronto Blue Jays 42-40 7.5 GB
The Red Sox are also just two-games back of the Orioles for the final A.L. Wild Card playoff spot.
Congratulations to David Ortiz, who belted career home run number 400 yesterday.
I am a firm believer that Ortiz, and any other players associated with performance-enhancing drugs, should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Any player associated with PED's should have that enscribed on their plaque in Cooperstown. It is a part of the history of the game and their feats should not be forgotten.
The Red Sox should be getting back Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford right after the All-Star Game. Both players should make significant contributions to the team as they make a push in the second half of the season to make the playoffs.
The surplus of outfielders on the Red Sox roster that will be caused by the return of Ellsbury and Crawford should also allow Ben Cherington to make a deal to bring back some pitching help.
Speaking of pitching help, it looks like Daniel Bard is making progress in Pawtucket and could be coming back to the Red Sox after the All-Star break, if not during the Yankees series.
If Bard has put the pieces back together after his failed attempt to be a starter, the Red Sox bullpen will get a lot stronger. The bullpen also stands to improve when Andrew Bailey and Rich Hill return from injuries.
I still want to see Cherington pull off a Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish for Felix Hernandez trade.
"King" Felix would be a sensation at Fenway Park and the Red Sox need a true ace for the rest of the season and going into the future.