This year things look different. For one, Justin Masterson's season just ended - in Cleveland - and JD Drew is enjoying his retirement, probably hunting an alligator or something.
For another, the 2008 playoffs began with the Rays as the AL East champs, while the Red Sox were the Wild Card entry. Luckily for us, this was before the introduction of the second Wild Card and the one-game playoff.
In 2008, the Red Sox were looking for their second World Series title in two years, and their third in five years, while the Rays were looking for the first title in franchise history.
This year, the Red Sox are looking for their first World Series title in five years, and the Rays... are still looking for the first title in franchise history.
The ALDS starts this afternoon. A best of five series isn't nearly as terrifying as a one-game playoff, but it's still far from a sure thing, especially with the Rays pitching staff. That being said, I have faith in this team. These guys have proven over and over that they're worth believing in, and I can't wait to have my faith rewarded.