The end of the baseball season is a strange phenomenon. The players spend virtually every day together from mid-February to early October. Then when it ends — poof! — everybody disappears in 30 minutes.
As you read this, most of the guys are either on their way home. Some drive cross country, others fly. Once that final pitch was thrown, they were hoofin' it out of town. They stopped only to drop checks on the clubhouse guys who took care of them all season.
With a few exceptions, most of the guys won't lay eyes on each other until they return to spring training. But there will be e-mails, text messages and phone calls.
Darnell McDonald is excited because Dustin Pedroia invited him to join his workout group in Arizona. It turns out that D-Mac lives only about 20 minutes away from where Pedroia trains. Daniel Bard is moving to Mississippi, about two hours from where Jonathan Papelbon lives. So they may hang out some.
Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester became buddies over the course of the season and may get together.
Kevin Youkilis, who lives in Boston full time, told everybody to check in with him if they come back to town for charity events during the winter.
Victor Martinez and Marco Scutaro, locker neighbors, both live in Florida and will meet up during the winter. Marco playfully used his phone to film Victor talking to the media today. "That better not get on YouTube," VMart said.
Then there's Terry Francona, who lives in Boston. He's due for knee surgery and is looking forward to one of his daughters getting married in January. He looked relaxed today. The team didn't make the playoffs but he liked the effort they gave to go 89-73.
Frankly, given the injuries and everything else, it's sort of a miracle the Sox had the 10th best record in baseball. Every year doesn't go the way you want. But as a manager, sometimes all you ask is for you team to play hard every night and the Sox did that.
As for Extra Bases, we'll have coverage of the playoffs from different venues. And once the hot stove heats up, there will be plenty of that. Our plan is to keep the blog humming along.
Speaking for everybody at the Globe and Boston.com, thanks so much for reading, commenting and supporting this enterprise. It really is appreciated.