Red Sox

Valentine Boldly Declares Sox Will Win Championship If They Keep Current Pace

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BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 22: Manager Bobby Valentine (R) and David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox look on during batting practice before the start of the Red Sox game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 22, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 22: Manager Bobby Valentine (R) and David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox look on during batting practice before the start of the Red Sox game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 22, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox, after a 6-5 win in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon, not sit at 22-22 on the season. It’s a record that has them in last place in the AL East,  5 1/2 games out of first place. Wednesday’s victory ended a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, a period in which the Red Sox went a mediocre 11-9.

Yet, manager Bobby Valentine saw something special in that stretch, so much so that it’s got him thinking about October glory.

“I am so proud of this group of guys,” Valentine told NESN shortly after the win in Baltimore. “I know that’s an overstated line but those are men playing 20 days of real tough, hard ball with hard travel, with hard competition, some weather factors, injury situations that they had to put out of their mind and play the way they played today and play played that way the whole 20 games. If we play like this the rest of the season, we’re going to win a championship.”

Technically, if the Red Sox play the way they did over that 20-game period (.550 winning percentage), they’ll end the season 87-75. That record would give them a .537 winning percentage on the season.

Of course, Valentine’s statement needn’t be dismissed so quickly. With the new playoff format that will have two wild cards teams play each other in a one-game playoff with a berth in the ALDS on the line, the Red Sox currently sit just 1 1/2 games out of that second wild card spot.

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