Even after the blockbuster trade that seemed to signal a new plan of attack for the Red Sox in 2012, the season is far from over. In fact, more than a month remains, with the Sox playing not just for pride, but also to avoid making an ignominious bit of history.
The Red Sox have not finished a season under .500 since 1997, but unless they wrap up their final 33 games with a record of 19-14 or better, that's exactly what they will do in 2012.
If that's not enough to keep the players motivated through the final 33 games of the regular season, consider that Sept. 1 is right around the corner. That will mean that rosters will expand and the Red Sox can call up some of their best prospects to test them against major league competition and keep the veterans looking over their shoulders.
There's still plenty of season left for the Red Sox to re-find their winning ways and surge to a winning record. Besides, the last three weeks of the year are all against divisional opponents, and if the Red Sox aren't going to make any noise in the playoffs, they can at least do their best to play spoiler with other team's postseason hopes.