Josh Beckett’s relaxing at his South Texas ranch (and the weather’s beautiful in this part of the world, by the way), presumably sipping some sweet tea and reflecting on having completed one of the best postseasons in baseball history.
In fact, all the Red Sox seem to be laying low. The parade’s over, negotiations with the two big free agents don’t begin until next week, all the drama (like usual) is occurring a couple hundred miles to the southwest. It’s a calm, relaxing time — helped immensely by the fact that, unlike 2004, the Sox only have a couple big-time free agents to worry about, and none the caliber of Pedro Martinez or Jason Varitek.
That situation is largely a product of design, as opposed to happy coincidence — the Sox have a lot of young players locked up for a long time, which has led pundits already to begin saying they could be back in the Series next season, if not winning it. For a very good roundup of the State of the Red Sox, though it does trend toward the optimistic side, check out Baseball Analysts and their three-part series.
We’re not ready to get on that bandwagon yet. We’re always nervous about the Yankees will do, the Indians look to only get better, and there’s always a sleeper out there, waiting to knock off the defending champs. But less than a week after the Series, there’s a feeling of deep contentment in Red Sox Nation and, for the first time, a feeling that next year could be even better.