It is really tough to say whether or not Bobby Valentine will lead the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title, but there is an opportunity that he could fail based on what the Red Sox have at their disposal.
Boston fans, the starting rotation and even the bullpen are all part of this Red Sox atmosphere that could lead Valentine to a long and hard 2012 season that nobody, including himself, will be proud of.
Josh Beckett is still the ace of this staff, and the Boston Red Sox know four of their five starters from the 2012 season—but if one of their top three goes down for a long stretch, then the Red Sox would be in some trouble.
The Red Sox are not too deep in their starters this season, and if any big injury affects their ability to pitch, then Bobby Valentine will need to go to Ben Cherington to trade away high prospects to get another top-of-the-rotation starter.
Jon Lester, Beckett and Clay Buchholz are way too valuable for this rotation to lose, and failing for a third straight season is not what Valentine needs to keep his job in 2013.
The starting shortstop position is up for grabs on the Boston Red Sox, with the stellar defensive play of Jose Iglesias vs. the bat of Mike Aviles leading the way for Bobby Valentine to make a tough decision at the end of spring training.
Iglesias has impressed with his glove and has shown he can hit some so far in spring training. Aviles is an average shortstop, but knows how to hit in the majors.
Valentine needs to make sure that the young prospect can handle the Boston media before making the move, but anything is possible when it comes to the Red Sox farm system.
Theo Epstein has long since been given away to the Chicago Cubs and Ben Cherington has taken over duties as the GM, but he has not made his name known to Red Sox Nation.
The Boston Red Sox did not make any big-time moves in the offseason, and no matter what people may think, John Henry and Larry Lucchino are both controlling Cherington like a puppet.
He is doing their bidding, and has not been able to make a name for himself. This lack of credibility will hurt both him and Bobby Valentine in the long run.
Andrew Bailey is the closer for the Boston Red Sox in 2012, and is definitely a downgrade from Jonathan Papelbon, who signed a big deal with the Philadelphia Phillies over the winter.
Bailey has never pitched in a big market, and that could lead to tough situations against AL East opponents. Maybe the media attentions gets to him, but if he enjoys the attention it could bolster his chances of gaining some confidence early in the season.
However, if he blows several big saves, Bobby Valentine will be faced with the decision to use other relievers in his place. Maybe even Chris Carpenter, after being given as compensation for Theo Epstein, could get some good usage as a closer.
The Boston Red Sox need to make the playoffs and win at least one series for Bobby Valentine to keep his job in 2013.
The fans are sick and tired of waiting in the rain to watch a team that has paid their players too much money to not make the playoffs.
The September collapse is what caused both Terry Francona and Theo Epstein to leave town, and now Valentine needs to make it known that the Red Sox are back in the hunt for a World Series before the fans run him out of town.