Originally Posted by TommyJohn
Thank you! Pitching, or lack thereof, is the main reason the Sox did not get back to the playoffs in 2006. Buehrle fell off in the second half, and as you mentioned, relievers like Politte and Cotts had career years in 2005. There is no guarantee that standing pat would have led to a repeat. After all, Thomas suffered season-ending injuries in 2004 and 2005. There was no guarantee (there's that word again, but it's true) that he would've been healthy in 2006. We only know this in hindsight. But some people love to live in the Land of If Only.
It's the biggest reason but not the only one. 2005 has been the only season in the 21st Century that the Sox didn't have that frustrating feast or famine, often one dimensional offense. As for the trade, yes you have to make it, if for no other reason than to keep Konerko. The 2005 team had a 101 ways to beat you, including the lock down bullpen mentioned by Bob Roarman. People are going to play the what if game because a repeat of 05 would have been so satisfying.