Red Sox nation will be looking towards 2013 to help them forget the dismal season that was 2012. The Sox finished last in the AL east and had the third worst record in the AL. The promise new manager Bobby Valentine brought to the team quickly evaporated when he called out Kevin Youkilis for not playing hard enough. The Red Sox never seemed to recover from this controversy. They proceeded to trade Youkilis, then went on to complete a blockbuster deal with the Dodgers sending them Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez. Add on top of that injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey, and others and the result was a disastrous season.
Gone is the distraction that was Bobby Valentine . In comes John Farrell, the former Red Sox pitching coach during their 2007 title run. Farrell is a guy who knows how Boston works. He understands how to manage the media and fans, and should be able to avoid controversy unlike his predecessor. Farrell has quickly looked to transform this team and put a new face on it with Boston’s offseason moves.
The Red Sox midseason salary dump trade to the Dodgers freed up a bunch of cash to spend this offseason. No, they didn’t sign major deals with the top free agents Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke. But they did add some pieces that should lead to a drastic improvement over last year. Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, and Joel Hanrahan headline to Sox offseason acquisitions. While they may not be the flashiest names, they add something the Red Sox desperately missed last season, character and toughness. Every one of these players embodies what it means to play in a Red Sox uniform, something that has been missing since the likes of Kevin Millar and Jason Varitek left Beantown. Now the Sox will be hoping they can return to the glory Millar and Varitek brought them with their 2004 and 2007 World Series wins.
The Red Sox don’t have the most talented roster in the AL east. But they do have a new manager, new roster, and new attitude. It shouldn’t be difficult for them to exceed their 69 win total of last season. An improvement of 15-20 wins should be easily obtainable.