In many ways, Sunday’s game was probably the most fitting way for the Red Sox’ 2006 season to end. An unfinished spectacle under cloudy skies, sailing along wonderfully for us until the switch got flipped, and everything went dark until next April.

Forget about the monumental collapse. The August Massacre at the hands of the Yankees. Watching the Jays slip by us in the standings. This game delivered plenty of goodness to carry me through the off-season. The unfortunately named Hansack put up five innings of no-hit ball. Trot got his last official standing O as a member of the Red Sox. Lowell, Loretta and Hinske went deep. And The Gammons, with the beautiful and talented Kelly the Ball Girl at his side, threw out the first pitch.

It was a brief, effective and ultimately satisfying coda to a most bewildering season. I’m hoping that 2006 turns out to be Theo’s Zooropa*, and that he’s saving his All That You Can’t Leave Behind for 2007.

Alas, when the twain betwixt results and expectations is so vast, heads need to roll. The first are Dave Wallace and Papa Jack.

Anyway, about the only thing that can make me feel better at times like this is a video of Andy Kaufman singing Slim Whitman’s “Rose Marie” in a turban and diaper. So here it is:

*I know that U2 released Pop between Zooropa and All That. But seriously, do we even want to acknowledge it?