After the 'Sox horrible end to last year's MLB season, coming off quite literally one of the worst collapses in sports history, the Boston Red Sox will be eager to get back onto the diamond as the 2012 MLB season rolls around.
For the cashed-up 'Sox, the off-season was full of changes, with the two biggest being Bobby Valentine becoming the new manager as well as losing closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Philadelphia Phillies. The team is also set to transition Daniel Bard from the bullpen in order to bolster the starting rotation… One which continually faltered towards the end of 2011.
Despite a solid hitting line up, consiting of big names such as Ellsbury, Youkilis, Pedroia and Ortiz, the 'Sox will once again face tough opposition in the star-studded New York Yankees as well as the never-ending resiliency of the Tampa Bay Rays. As a result of this, the 'Sox will be fighting for a playoff spot for much of the season – Just like last.
Personally, I wouldn't be shocked, and nor would anyone else, if they missed the playoffs again, however let's not forget that this team was still the MLB's best for most of 2011 and could just as easily win the AL East.
Predicted Finish: 2nd in AL East (Wildcard to Playoffs)
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