What a difference a year makes. Last October, this would have been a profanity-filled rant with all sorts of illogical reasons why the Sox are doomed to break our hearts and spirits again. Now, I know better; this is simply a test. For all the fans who swore up and down after the 2004 ALCS that they would never lose faith, it is time to put up.

Yes, we are down 2 games to none. Yes, last night was a nut-buster. Yes, the sins of the 2005 season were all repeated and wrapped up in a nice little one-game summary; poor defense, no timely hitting, swinging at first pitches and a serious lack of hustle. But still I have faith. The Red Sox have been in this situation before. In 1999 to Cleveland and in 2003 to Oakland. In both cases, they prevailed, and against better teams than the White Sox.

Look ahead, not behind. Friday, Tim Wakefield takes the hill. Who has been more steadfast than Wake? One win. Saturday, Curt Schilling. ‘Nuff said. Two wins. There is no way that the ChiSox are going to come into Fenway Park, The Church of Baseball, our House of Faith, and win a game. That leaves game 5 in Chicago. With a little help from the weather this weekend, Wells will pitch game 5 on full rest. And full of righteous anger to get the win he deserved last night. Faith.

So, we get an off-day to simmer in the bitter taste of a bad loss. As fans, today is darker than a phone booth full of assholes. But how do you think Tony G feels? How do you think David Wells feels? How endless are the next thirty-plus hours going to seem to them? Faith. These guys will be busting at the seems, Incredible Hulk style, to take the field and begin yet another comeback. And they are just the guys who can do it.

In the 2005 post-season, a hero will arise. Last year it was Schilling and Foulke who shook off injuries and mediocrity to help win a championship. Who will it be this year? Who will ratchet up their intensity and their game to reward our faith? My vote is Bill Mueller. Let’s hear your voice…