The Red Sox win the AL East—the hard way

A champagne shampoo for the AL East champion Red Sox . . .

A champagne shampoo for the AL East champion Red Sox . . .

Nobody has ever accused the Red Sox of doing things the easy way. Why should clinching this year’s American League East be any different? Of course, the Red Sox don’t necessarily see it that way.

We didn’t play meaningful baseball games at the end of the year last year,” says David Price, moved to the bullpen of late after a few hiccups and elbow issues as a starter this year. “You play meaningful baseball games for 160 to 162 games, that keeps everybody on their toes.”

The last thing the Nats need

Papelbon (58) has the nerve to look surprised after being tossed for drilling Machado with apparent malice aforethought . . .

Papelbon (58) has the nerve to look surprised after being tossed for drilling Machado with apparent malice aforethought . . .

This one you simply can’t paper over, try though you might. Just keep your eye on Bryce Harper today. If the Nationals’ and maybe the National League’s best player this season gets drilled, you can thank his teammate Jonathan Papelbon—then ponder whether the Nats have plans to ship him off in the offseason to anyone who’ll have him.