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New York Yankees Fans: "Go Rays!"

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Ben Zobrist #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays scores a run as Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox is unable to handle the ball in the seventh inning at Fenway Park September 15, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Bernadette PasleyContributor ISeptember 15, 2011

A big four-game series starts Thursday night, and the Yankees will only be spectators.

Yes, I'm talking about the Red Sox-Rays series at Fenway.

Just before the season began, the Boston Red Sox were proclaimed AL East champions by just about every MLB "expert" from every media outlet in the country.  The Red Sox were going to run away with the division, they all said, and we were probably looking at a Red Sox-Phillies World Series.

Well, not so fast, guys. There appears to be a fly in the ointment, so to speak.

The Red Sox have played themselves out of first place and into a four-game lead against Tampa Bay in the Wild Card standings. Boston has been playing lousy lately and Tampa Bay has gained ground.

Can they gain more ground this weekend? I hope so. In fact. I'm hoping for a four-game sweep by Tampa Bay. I'm hoping Tampa Bay destroys Boston and, over the next few weeks, knocks them completely out of the playoffs.

Will my hopes turn into reality? Probably not. Boston is just too good.

But just imagine it happening. After all that was said in the offseason and during spring training and after Boston's complete domination over the Yankees practically all season long, the Red Sox don't even make the playoffs. Talk about a major upset!

I'll be watching this series closely all weekend and I hope it happens. Go, Rays!

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