In April, we predicted a 79-83 finish for the Red Sox, to the howls of some Fenway faithful.
Boy were we wrong.
The Sox followed up their September 2011 implosion with an even more astounding slow motion train wreck in 2012.
By now, everyone knows how bad it was in Beantown.
The Sox, with MLB's third richest payroll, won only 16 of their final 58 games to finish dead last in the AL East at an appalling 69-93. This was their worst record in nearly 50 years, resulting in Manager Bobby Valentine's ouster.
With the resurgence of the Orioles (did I just write that?), the AL East is becoming the NFC East of baseball.
Whoever their new manager is, the Sox will need to pitch much better and be free of injury and controversy in 2013 just to be competitive. The World Series years of 2004 and 2007 seem ancient history.