Even after finishing 2005 with the same record as the Yankees, the Red Sox are in familiar territory. Relegated to second place in the American League East, despite their 95 victories, they will enter the playoffs as the AL Wild Card for a third consecutive year.
But that puts them in uncharted waters -- in 104 years, the Red Sox hadn't made the playoffs in three straight seasons.
After winning last year's World Series as a Wild Card, just like the two prior champions, last year's "Idiots" are back with another Johnny Damon original slogan: "11 More Wins."
Boston fans can help celebrate the Red Sox's World Series championship defense by attending a Rally Monday celebration at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place between noon and 2 p.m. ET. Fans will be allowed to enter Fenway through Gates A or D, beginning at 11 a.m.
NESN will cover Rally Monday live from 1-2 p.m., when Red Sox players are expected to make speeches live via satellite from Chicago, where they open their American League Division Series on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The club has a workout Monday at U.S. Cellular Field at 2 p.m.
In addition to hearing from the players, fans will have the chance to interact with club officials and NESN personalities, and they will have the opportunity to win tickets and prizes. Fans will be seated on the first-base side, facing a stage atop the Red Sox dugout. Concession stands and restrooms will be open. The video board will provide musical vignettes of Red Sox history and the 2005 season.
The Red Sox encourage fans to reach Fenway by means of public transportation.
Ben Couch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.