First, the cost of going to a game is a big issue, given the economy I know of a lot of families that took their kids to only 2 games and they said it was the cost for the cutbacks.
Second, this team was picked to be horrible. Sports Illustrated (which is a joke of a rag) picked the Sox to finish last with something like 65 wins. The team did make changes, Youk, Francisco, Wise and a boat load of pitchers from the minors but it always felt like no matter what, Detroit had the better team and would eventually get it together and grab it. Leyland was correct, the Sox were going to be in it all year.
Third, the team never pulled away. The 2000 team got super hot and built a large lead, the 2005 team was awesome all year. Those looked like playoff teams. I never felt this team was a playoff team, just didn't look or feel like one. I really hoped I was going to be proven wrong and they almost pulled it off by not getting eliminated till Oct. 1st, but the fans never bought into this team and neither did I.
Fourth, the Royals. We went 6-12 against them and Detroit has gone 12-4 against KC. If we go 10-8 against them we're 1 game up with 2 to play.