In the clear light of day, I am sitting and looking at the 2006 Red Sox, and I have to be pretty pleased. They are a contender, still, and have gotten younger in the process. They've acquired a young ace-quality starter, dumped an albatross contract at short, and have two guys in Crisp and Youks who are entering the supposed prime of their careers getting a shot at being core contributors. While I am not sold on either player's defensive abilities at their new positions, you have to be a little excited to watch them hit.
Meanwhile they have a strong core of experienced players to provide leadership and stability. Varitek, Ortiz, Schilling, Nixon and the newly acquired Snow (I am a huge fan of this signing) know how to win, and create a clubhouse culture that fosters winning.
There will probably still be a deal with Alex Gonzalez, and it's pretty hard for me to believe Dustan Mohr is the answer for a Nixon platoon-mate, but if this was the group we went to war with in April, I wouldn't complain. We still have a surplus of pitching to carry us through injuries or get us a missing piece come July. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2006 Red Sox have a chance. Regardless of what happens now, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the ride.