Rangers lose. Sox take Wild Card. Off to Anaheim we go.

Am I happy about seeing the guys back into this? No, but I take the Malcolm X approach when it comes to the playoffs: You get in by any means necessary. Like most of you, I can all-too-easily recall the dark ages when the Sox showed up in the playoffs about as often as Haley’s comet spun around. So I appreciate any extra baseball I can sink my teeth into.

That said, if the Sox want to make a show of it in the postseason, they’re gonna have to man up and sound off like they’ve got a pair. Ever since that ballbusting defeat in KC, where the guys dropped a sizable lead on one of the worst teams in baseball, they’ve been playing like a pack of smacked asses. And that won’t get you far in October. Just how many times can we expect the Angels to roll over in the ALDS? Especially when, this year, the shadow of Nick Adenhart looms large in their clubhouse, getting them all good and fired up and giving them something to rally behind?

I will admit that for a few moments during last night’s almost-comeback, I thought they’d found the magic again. When V-Mart stepped to the plate representing the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, I was convinced. It was gonna happen. And I settled back in my chair, certain that we were seconds away from Papelbon dropping trou and donning the celebratory Coors Light box hat.

Sadly, it didn’t quite happen that way. Yet, here we are, slipping in the back door, our ticket to the playoffs officially punched. And, like I said, I’ll take it.