So the Red Sox got beat by the best pitcher in the AL, and the dream of Jermaine Dye as our fourth outfielder melted away like pissed-on snow. Beckett failed to pick up “W” number 14, sending him into an F-bomb laced tirade. Meanwhile the Yankees jumped ugly on the White Sox and played home run derby with their pitching staff. Even Shelley “don’t call me Winters” Duncan got in on the action. And Boston’s lead is not down to 7. So what? Big picture, folks.

The Yankees are not going to have the luxury of playing ball with the likes of Tampa, KC and Chicago forever. The playground bullies will have to face real pitching soon enough. Also, the Red Sox aren’t going to be facing Eric Bedard, or anyone even close to his level, more than a handful of times for the rest of the year. But the most significant event of the evening: the Sox out dueled the Yankees again at the trading deadline. Boston beefed up their already-beefy bullpen while the Yankees got rid of what they need the most: pitching help. They didn’t even get rid of the arm that has hurt them all year in Kyle Farnsworth. Instead, they sent burnt-out Scott Proctor on his way for yet another bat that they don’t have a position for.

Your first place Boston Red Sox have just added one of the better closers in the game to their staff, and that is magnified by the fact they will be using him as a set-up guy. In effect, they have shortened every game by an inning. With Delcarmen and Okajima available in the 7th, Gagne in the 8th and Paps in the 9th, the starters’ job just got easier. Christ, these guys will be like state workers for the rest of the season. Plus Gagne has that half-crazed, I-might-throw-you-a-pitch-or-I-might-kill-your-entire-family look about him, and I like that.

Oh, and in other news, some dude Schilling pitched in AAA last night. How’s that for a trading deadline pick-me-up? The dog days are here, friends. By the time the team heads to the Bronx, the lead will be double-digits and we’ll all be humming Tessie as we start thinking about October.