After winning the World Series for the first time in eighty-six years and (if you buy into this stuff) breaking the Curse of the Bambino, expectations were high that the Red Sox could repeat as champions. There was a fair amount of turnover from 2004 to 2005 as the team lost Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, and Orlando Cabrera to free agency while they signed Edgar Renteria, David Wells, and Matt Clement to replace them. With the majority of the championship-winning squad coming back, it seemed as though the team was set to make another deep run in October.
While the 2005 Red Sox went an excellent 95-67 and finished second in the AL East while earning the American League Wild Card, their luck ran out in the ALDS where they were swept by the eventual World Series champion Chicago White Sox. While the Red Sox had a very good season, it never felt like they quite gelled as a team.
Wells was their best pitcher in 2005 and went 15-7, but he was forty-two years old and ran out of gas by the end of the season. Matt Clement was hit in the head by a comeback line drive during a July game and was never the same and Boston never really had a chance in that series.
At the time, no team had repeated as champions since the 1998-2000 Yankees and the Red Sox certainly put up a good fight, but things changed in 2006 when they slipped to 86-76 and finished third in the division and out of the postseason. With Johnny Damon leaving in free agency after 2005, then-GM Theo Epstein overhauled the team heading into 2007 for the next phase of the Red Sox championship decade.