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The end of the road

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It's over

Jim Rogash

The Red Sox' 2014 season is over.

I could tell you about their 9-5 loss. I could tell you at length about a decent start from Clay Buchholz undone by a rough fourth inning, or a terrible outing from Craig Breslow that sealed the deal for New York. But...well, we don't need that.

The Red Sox lost today much as they have 90 other times this season. It leaves them locked in for the sixth-worst record in the league, last in the AL East, and only two wins better than the terrible 2012 team. There was nothing particularly interesting about this loss to separate it from those others except that it was, mercifully, the last.

That's the...well, that's the neutral news, frankly. The good news is that tomorrow is, for Boston, the first day of the offseason. One which, with a lot of money available and, more importantly, a market that aligns with the team's needs, should help the Sox recover from this terrible year.

Five months from now it will be a new season, or at least the beginning of spring training before it. The Red Sox will be looking at a full season with a revamped rotation, a full year of Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo. Xander Bogaerts will have a fresh slate to work with. Some combination of the injured Red Sox will be healthy once again, though it's certainly optimistic to expect to avoid that plague in any given year.

It's always been right to hope for the 2015 team. Ever since the Punto Trade, there has been no moment where the Red Sox have been beyond the salvation of a good offseason. It's just often hard to see, or at least appreciate that when we're dealing with the misery that is the slog of a 71-91 campaign.

That part is over now. We lose the good parts too--say, Mookie Betts' 17th multi-hit game of the season--but as evidenced by 71-91, the Red Sox had fewer of those than those bad parts. We can all take some time off from thinking about the team and then, when all is said and done in October, get invested in the fun madness that is the Hot Stove.

The too-long season is over. The too-long offseason is about to begin. We'll all get tired of it eventually. Let's appreciate this time when it's a novel relief.