And in the afternoon. And pretty much any other time. All-star break 2008, and the Red Sox are sitting exactly where they should be: atop the AL East standings. Sure, it’s only half a game and they took a strange path to get there, but in the end it really only matters that they are there.

For anyone that thought the Rays would hang on and win the division, I can only shake my head sadly and hope that next time you’ll have a little…what’s the word…faith. The Rays are a fun team, always worthy of a good brawl, but they were way over their heads in this thing. Honestly, I didn’t expect the meltdown to happen until..another of my favorites here…the dog days of August. I’m sure by now the entire Rays roster has taken the PA announcer that blared “Sweet Caroline” after the sweep out behind the Trop and treated him to a little frontier justice. Not that it was his (or her) fault that are in an 0-7 slump, but it was a serious violation of Karma. Nope, getting outscored 45-13 falls more on the players than any poor music selection.

So here we are. Schilling gone and all but forgotten, Papi nursing an injured wrist, and the Captain in a hitting slump of epic proportion, and still the Sox look down at the rest of the division. After the mid-summer classic, the next milestone of the season is the trading deadline. Assuming Ortiz is coming back healthy, I am of the opinion that the Red Sox essentially stand pat. Maybe a deal for another bullpen arm, but certainly not a trade of Youkilis-for-Teixeira proportions. What say you, SG Nation, on the second half roster?