So it all comes down to this. The last three games of the season. Absolutely meaningless for us. Absolutely critical for the New York Yankees.

In a year in which we couldn’t do anything right, in which we tripped over our own ass right out of the starting gate, in which things got worse even when they seemed they couldn’t possibly get worse, we still, amazingly, have the chance to be a thorn in the New York Yankees’ side.

If the Orioles can hold their own against the Rays, and we can muster enough strength to kick the Yankees around for three games, we could help force New York into a one-game Wild Card elimination round. Which would only make things tougher for them. And we like it when things are tough for them.

They sure want the division, as Nick Swisher explained:

“This team wants to win the division. The wild card is not how we get it done. The city and the team expects to win [the AL East] and that’s what I expect.’’

Bobby V, I know this is one year you’d like permanently erased from your memory banks. But if you can somehow cajole this team into sweeping the Yankees in New York — a tall order, I know — many sins will be forgiven. As I said yesterday: this is your chance for the 2012 Red Sox to be remembered as “those bums” or “those bums who at least kept the Yankees from winning the East.”

Now: go and make things happen. To the Yankees.