The Red Sox experienced one of the worst collapses in Major League Baseball history last season as they saw one of the best records in the league falter in the last month of the season until they lost to the Tampa Devil Rays in the postseason. To help remedy the situation they hired a new coach in Bobby Valentine who is expected to turn the club around and lead them back to the glory that they have experienced in recent years.
It was hoped that he could fix some of the clubhouse chemistry issues that they were having and get the BoSox aging roster to produce on a more consistent basis. This has just not happened. Their position players and their pitching staff have struggled mightily through the beginning of the season. They are also seeing some of the same issues in the clubhouse that they experienced at the end of last year as well.
One silver lining with this problem is that it is early in the season and they are an experienced veteran team that possesses the talent to turn the season around with the right play and attitude. It won’t be an easy task though. They may have to call up their moving company and have a few veteran players that were very important to the team in recent seasons shipped out to bring in some new prospects that can breathe life into the struggling franchise. They also may have to tinker with their lineup and pitching rotation if they want to improve in the win column and have a shot at being a playoff team this year. Here some things that need to change so that Bobby Valentine still has a job next season.
· Marlon Byrd must produce – The Cubs outfielder was acquired by the team just hours after their devastating 15-9 loss to the Yankees recently. He will be called upon to replace some of the production that they received from Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford who are both out with injuries currently. If he can produce in the field and at the plate until those players return it could be a great step in the right direction for Boston this season.
· Don’t get hurt – The Sox have experienced a lot of injuries considering how young the season is. Their two best outfielders are currently injured along with veteran third baseman Kevin Youkilis. It will be important for the team not to rush the players back because they are desperate and remember that the goal is to have long-term success. If they can make it back in time to help the Red Sox it could be vital to their success this season.
· Regain their swagger – The Red Sox have been a confident team in the last decade. Who wouldn’t be after the success that they have experienced? If they can find a way to regain this confidence they could start hitting and pitching better and win more games. Mental attitude goes a long way towards success, especially in baseball.
The Red Sox still have plenty of time to turn this season around if they want to make the playoffs and contend for the World Series. The key is changing their attitudes and getting some of their star players back from the disabled list. Doing these two things will go a long way towards ensuring that new manager Bobby Valentine has a job in Boston next year.