Cumberland Times-News

Baseball

October 4, 2013

Red Sox ready for playoffs after 4-day layoff

Will host road warriors today in opener

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox didn’t mind waiting a few days to start their playoffs.
Not after missing them for the past three seasons.
Not after the September collapse that ruined their chances in 2011.
And certainly not after they stumbled to the club’s worst record in 48 years in 2012.
“This was part of the mindset at the end of last year, a strong desire to rewrite what took place,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday.
The revised edition tied the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record, was the highest scoring team in the majors and turned a toxic clubhouse atmosphere into a fun-loving one that was a big reason the Red Sox had 28 more wins than they did last season.
They’ll try for their first in the playoffs on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of the best-of-five AL division series.
“Guys in here love playing baseball,” Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes said. “It’s a bunch of baseball junkies, so I’m sure they’ll be happy to strap on their cleats.”
Boston ended its regular season on Sunday then waited for its opponent to be determined.
Tampa Bay had to win three road games to get this far — at Toronto on Sunday to force a tiebreaker for the second AL wild-card spot, at Texas on Monday night in that tiebreaker, and at Cleveland on Wednesday night to advance to the ALDS.
“It’s quite an accomplishment,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “And, moving forward, I want to believe it’s going to create some kind of different form of momentum going into this series because we’ve been playing. We’ve been playing under duress and we’re not tired.”
But the Red Sox don’t think their layoff will hurt.

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