Last year the Boston Red Sox cruised into September looking as if they would make the playoff easy. We all know what happened next, the Sox collapsed over the final month of the season and in game 162 they lost the wild card spot to the Tampa Bay Rays. This year the Sox have a few new faces. Theo is gone, Terry Francona is gone, Jonathan Papelbon has moved on to Philly, and Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek have both retired. It will be very interesting to see how things turn out in Beantown in 2012. The Starting staff is one of the best in the game with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Bucholz leading the way. Another thing to watch out for is how Daniel Bard does in his move from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Andrew Bailey is a big new face in Boston this year as he will become the Sox’s new closer.
The offense is stacked with guys like Adrian Gonzalez, former MVP Dustin Pedrioa and Jacoby Ellsbury who was an mvp candidate last year. Carl Crawford is also a big name in that lineup as he looks to bounce back from a down year.
This is a team that just like the 2011 version should be very good and should easily contend for an AL East title, look for the Red Sox to return to the playoffs in 2012.