It’s sad to think about what this series could have meant. Hell, what most of us thought it would mean a month ago. The showdown for the AL East. The chance to win the division and possibly knock the Yankees completely out of the playoffs. Now look at us.

It’s very possible the Yankees will finish the year with a double-digit lead over the Sox. It is also possible the Sox could drop to a third-place finish. I think it is an understatement to say it will be a disappointing end. What makes it worse is that most of the team is content to go out with a whimper. Pack up the clubhouse and go do whatever it is millionaire baseball players do during the fan’s hell that is the offseason.

Manny not in the lineup again, may shut it down for the year. Papelbon already has shut it down. Now Big Papi sits against the Yankees? And doesn’t pinch hit when he could have represented the tying run in the ninth? Not what anybody wants to see in a September Sox-Yankees series. Especially when Jeter and A-Rod played both games.

Then you’ve got a guy like Coco Crisp. Banged up finger, volunteers to play knowing the Sox desperately needed right-handed bats in the lineup. Looks terrible striking out three times, but gets a big hit late in the second game. Wily Mo Pena, looking as bad as a guy can look in both ends of a doubleheader yet still running into the wall late trying to make a play in the second game. In a painful microcosm of the injury-plagued season, Pena is later hurt swinging the bat.

It will be tough to watch for the next couple weeks. I guess you focus on watching for guys that might stand out and make a place for themselves on next year’s team. Players like Murphy or Pedroia or Breslow. Then you stack the firewood, fill up the Tequila cabinet, and get ready to wait out another long winter.