I have very low expectations for this Red Sox season.
They are coming off back to back third place finishes and I see no reason why it won't be three in a row.
And my predictions have been emboldened with news of the last two days.
Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard are going to be in the rotation.
Think about that. As of now 40% of the Red Sox games will be started by Doubront and Bard.
(Feet of) Clay Buchholz is also in the rotation. Are you expecting a full season from him?
And now Josh Beckett has a thumb issue. GREAT!
So the rotation will be "Lester and pray for a tsunami."
Oh wait! Andrew Bailey, the new closer, is having thumb surgery.
Sox fans, this year is NOT going to be pretty. It will probably be a winning season, but please don't have images of Divisions or Wild Cards dancing in your head.
This pitching staff was feeble enough before the thumbs of the #2 starter and the closer became in question.
Keep something in mind, Red Sox fans.
Left field is in doubt.
So is right field.
So is shortstop.
So is catcher.
So are at least three spots in the rotation.
And two spots in the bullpen.
That's 9 HUGE question marks on the team.
There is no way the Red Sox are going to fill 9 holes this year, either through trades, comebacks or the farm.
But they can fill 4.
4 is realistic.
A couple of pitchers, an outfielder and someone else.
If the Red Sox can fill 4 holes and have Youkilis, Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Lester and Pedroia all still excellent in 2013, then next year they will be a pennant contender.
We all said we can die in peace if we saw them win one World Series.
We've seen them win 2.
This isn't dying in peace. This is rebuilding intelligently.
Lower your expectations and pop in the 2004 and 2007 DVDs if you get antsy.
In 2012, they are just twiddling their thumbs.