Closing the Book on 2005

With the loss to the White Sox last night, the Red Sox’s season finally comes to a close, and I think it was quite fitting. All year long, this team just never felt right. It may be the injuries to Schilling and Foulke, or the bullpen woes, or just simply the construction of the team, but this team never gelled and fit.
All year long I’ve maintained that this club really only has one final shot before it is broken up. You could argue it was last year because there was a significant amount of turnover, but most of the turnover was Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez. This year promises more turnover, with lesser names. I have also maintained all year long that we are probably in store for a retooling season, yet one that still keeps us competitive and in the hunt for the division title/wild card.
The Devil Raya are slowly improving, and the Orioles are stuck in perpetuity but will always give you around 70-80 wins, playing spoiler. The Blue Jays are a year or two out from being division champions, and as the Yankees age and continue spending on the wrong people, they’ll be less and less effective. Still near the top, but less effective. Theo can use the 2006 season to get younger, to retool and get this team more in sync so that when the Blue Jays and Devil Rays arrive in full force, the Red Sox will be there, too.
2005 was an odd season for me. I was never truly invested in this team. Unlike 2003 and 2004, I did not love this team. I followed this team because they were the Red Sox, not neccessarily because I loved the team. I am, however, extremely excited about 2006 and the possibilities it brings.
The final game of the 2005 season was a 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. I, unfortunately, left the transfer cable back in my apartment and I will not be returning there until Tuesday, so pictures and videos from the final game will have to wait until next week. Overall, it was a good game marred by an interminable sixth inning that saw the bases loaded with zero out and us unable to capitalize. As soon as Orlando Hernandez walked in, I knew I was in trouble and I turned to my friend and said “he’s the best postseason pitcher of all time.” Hernandez did nothing to change that statement.
The suicide squeeze the White Sox pulled in the top of the ninth was so awesome, I couldn’t believe it. Not only was it so unexpected, they manufactured a run, a run they needed to push the game further away from the Red Sox. This is the main difference from the Red Sox this year and last year. This year we completely relied on the five-run homerun to win games. The Red Sox last year and White Sox this year can manufacture runs, can beat you so many ways. They had the pitching to hold up, but the office was so dangerous that you couldn’t beat them one way because they’d beat you the other way.
I’m not really sure what else to say about 2005, so before moving onto 2006, I figured I’d take a seminal post from January through September that perfectly illustrates this season.
JANUARY: A Ball, A Ball, My Kingdom for a Ball
FEBRUARY: Could Mark Bellhorn Dissapoint? (By the way, this month is also when I published the Jonathan Papelbon interview)
MARCH: When should the Red Sox rebuild?
APRIL: The Red Sox Home Opener!
MAY: Here’s What’s Wrong With Manny
JUNE: B-E-N-C-H-O, and Bencho was his name-o
JULY: a surprisingly boring month. Trading rumors galore, and nothing. I did find this, however: Jon Papelbon blanks Norwich; catching up with Jon
AUGUST: Has Terry Francona Helped Or Hurt The Red Sox?
SEPTEMBER: The Sin of the Shortstop: Edgar Renteria Not Performing Up To Expectations?
2006, here we come. But before 2005 is truly closed, who do you want in the World Series? I want the White Sox and the Houston Astros.

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