Forget, for a few minutes, about general manager Theo Epstein's unsettled contract situation. Forget that Johnny Damon, very much the spark of these Red Sox the last four years, is just a phone call, e-mail or fax away from filing for free agency. Forget that Manny Ramirez might ask to be traded yet again. Forget that the bullpen needs an overhaul.
Instead, think back to exactly what you were feeling when Keith Foulke, a look of utter ecstasy on his face, grabbed that tapper from future teammate Edgar Renteria and underhanded it to first base for the most memorable 27th out in the history of the Boston Red Sox.
For that crowning accomplishment forever changed the culture of being a Red Sox fan. Long-suffering, a moniker which once fit like a glove, no longer applies.
The only beauty of Boston's postseason ouster in 2005 -- they were swept by those White Sox in the Division Series -- was that the postmortems were simply about what went wrong this season. There was no need to dredge up every bad thing that happened to the Red Sox over the previous eight decades. There was no more baggage.
Each season the Red Sox play from here on out is viewed in the context of that one year, instead of the weight of generations of heartache.
With no baseball game to watch Thursday night, let your memory wander. Particularly when the clock hits 11:40 p.m. ET (that was what time it all ended a year ago), contemplate your favorite memory from the magical October of 2004.
Was it Dave Roberts grabbing that bag in the ninth inning in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series? How about David Ortiz, by packing such wallop on that walk-off blast against Paul Quantrill that same night, making a 3-1 series deficit somehow feel as if all the pressure was suddenly on the Yankees?
Think back to the epic Game 5 of that ALCS, when Trot Nixon made two season-saving catches in right field. Remember Big Papi launching one over the Monster off Flash Gordon in the eighth and then putting together one of the best at-bats of his life in the 14th inning before blooping one into center field to send the series back to New York.
Of course, the indelible image from the whole thing was Curt Schilling, his right ankle being stitched together and his sock seeped in blood, willing his way to victory in Game 6 in New York. Then there was Damon putting Game 7 out of reach early with a grand slam, helping the Red Sox become the first team in the history of Major League Baseball to bounce back from a 3-0 deficit in a postseason series.
While the World Series sweep over the Cardinals lacked the drama of the amazing comeback against the Yankees, the Red Sox put on a certifiable clinic, not trailing once in the entire series.
There was Mark Bellhorn's game-winning knock in Game 1, Schilling's bloody sock encore in Game 2, Pedro Martinez's farewell masterpiece in Game 3 and Damon's leadoff homer that set the tone during a beautifully pitched clinching win by Derek Lowe in Game 4.
Over the last year, the Red Sox savored their accomplishment while at the same time giving it all they had in an effort to duplicate it. Ultimately, there were injuries and declines in performance that made it a fruitless effort.
But it is fitting that the White Sox, another team that released decades of baggage, grabbed the championship mantle from the Red Sox.
All in all, Thursday is very much a day for the Sox.