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Well, it was fun while it lasted

Disclaimer: I'd have trouble testing positive for anything lately. (Except maybe high levels of testosterone.)

What can I say? The struggles of late have sent me into a tailspin. My negative attitude is killing me and destroying the lives of those closest to me. But who among you can convince me that the last two weeks are but a speed bump on the long highway that is a major league season?

In my current state-of-mind it looks like we're going to have to take aim at the Wild Card again this year. How many years in a row is that now? I've lost count. I despise the Yankees as much as the next guy, but I have to tip my cap to them. To be where they are in the standings despite the losses they've incurred, despite their shaky rotation, is really quite impressive--the exact opposite of how the Sox have looked lately.

Let's be honest here. The pitching has been horrific. Beckett's fastball is thrown as straight as an arrow. And deposited in the seats far too often. Mike Timlin's age has caught up to him, probably wearing one of his own camouflaged T-Shirts. And Jon Lester? He's not even as good as we make him out to be. He needs to challenge hitters, not walk them. The defense hasn't even been as solid lately. Nice throw Hansen!

Deep, cleansing breath.

Okay, enough doom and gloom. There's nothing wrong with the Wild Card. Right? We parlayed it into a World Series Championship once, so who's to say that can't happen again?

Our chief competition for that spot, the White Sox, have looked just as shaky as we have since the All-Star break. And the second punch of the Twins' one-two pitching punch is headed for the DL. So it's not all bleak. Not yet, anyway. But we're in for a fight, that's for sure.

It's time for this year's team to show us what they're made of. It's time to "Man-Up," as my father would say. Time to dig deep. Because Heartbreak Hill is fast approaching.

After the final two games in KC, it's home for three with the Orioles, three with Detroit and FIVE with the hated Yankees, which, I have to be honest, has me more than a little scared. (Despite the incredibly high testosterone levels.) We'll know for sure if it's the Wild Card we're after by around 5:00 on Monday the 21st when the Sox board a plane for a nine-game west coast trip starting in Los Angeles on the 22nd.

Let's turn this thing around. Tonight!