Thursday, February 23, 2012
The Rest of the East: Boston Red Sox
The team was largely impacted by the September 7-20 collapse. Manager Terry Francona was fired, GM Theo Epstein chose to go to the Cubs, and Boston fans were ready to jump off the deep end.
I don't see Boston being a major factor this season in the AL East. The hiring of Bobby Valentine will help the Sox in terms of discipline, but I don't see the players taking to Bobby V's methods. Papelbon leaving Boston for Philadelphia and trading Lowrie to the Astros leaves them without an everyday shortstop and a legitimate closer. They acquired Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon but not without losing their right fielder, Josh Reddick.
The Red Sox will settle somewhere within that 89-92 win spectrum, with a third place finish in the AL East behind the Yankees and Rays, respectively.