2005 Season Closing Remarks
Well, we have officially reached the end of yet another Red Sox season. And even though our team was injured and deficient in many ways, I think this group pulled together to give us a decent 2005. Anytime we are lucky enough to get to the post season, I am happy. Some teams expect to be there, and while I sort of admire setting the bar that high or higher, I don't want to fall into that category of fan. The sort whose world might shatter if the team they've hardly paid attention to all season suddenly doesn't make it beyond September.
One of the best things to come out of the season (dare I even say the best thing) was the emergence of Jon Papelbon. I have a feeling that this kid is going to become tremendously important to the franchise and to we fans. Balancing the scale would be the season's greatest disappointment: Edgar Renteria. I like him. He seems like a sweet man. I liked Darren Lewis, too. And Tony Clark, when he wore a Sox uniform. But, liking players isn't enough to win games. I didn't necessarily like Pedro Martinez, but I was sad to see him leave us because I understood the void he left in our starting rotation. I do hope that Edgar has a better year in 2006. There were some good signs toward the end: some clutch hits, some good defensive work. But, sadly, he just didn't perform to his potential this year. I guess not everything works out the way it's supposed to on paper.
The season's greatest turnaround for me was David Wells. As you know, I was not only shocked when Theo acquired him, I was mortified. I've got to hand it to the fatty - he really grew on me. Even his strange and awkward ramblings. I now see his unhealthy obsession with Babe Ruth as an endearing little quirk. He's a real team guy with a blue collar sensibility. He knows how to have fun without taking things too seriously. I'll admit that I wasn't happy to see him at one of the Celtics playoff games when he had the cast, but, I am willing to oversee that because he really delivered.
Other unfortunate and unforeseen happenings:
1. Foulke's sudden inability to find the strike zone
2. Clay Meredith's major league debut
3. Bellhorn's many, many strike outs and his ultimate betrayal
4. Embree's lack of strike outs and his ultimate betrayal
5. The pace of Schilling's recovery (I think we started to see signs of his former self, though, with his last couple of starts. Prediction: Back to ace status next year.)
6. Doug Mirabelli's offensive decline (Is it me, or was he just not as clutch this year?)
7. Kevin Millar's all around lack of productivity
8. The team's collective season ending fizzle
1. The additions of Cora and Graffanino
2. Varitek's first career grand slam
3. Holding first place for 3 months
4. David Ortiz's MVP consideration
5. Bringing back Kaplar (but add his season ending injury to the unfortunate column)
6. Curt, for being a team guy and stepping in as closer for Keith
7. Timlin, for stepping in as closer for Curt
8. Manny. For being Manny.
9. Youk's consistency
10. Johnny's resilience and mad base stealing
11. Bill Mueller's under-credited work at third base
12. Trot's clutch hitting
So, the good things appear to outweigh the disappointing things - at least for me. All said, I enjoyed the season and my desire to go to the world series was not any softer because of last year's victory. I'm glad I wasn't complacent.
I do look forward to all the off season action. We are on the heels of a truly exciting time of the baseball year.