9 Keys for the Boston Red Sox to Be a Contender Next Season

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9 Keys for the Boston Red Sox to Be a Contender Next Season
Elsa/Getty Images

On Opening Day every spring, all 30 MLB teams begin the season tied for first place.

To steal a line from the infamous Lloyd Christmas, "So you're telling me there's a chance the Boston Red Sox can be a contender in 2013? YEAH!"

Yes, and that chance might even be higher than the one out of a million shot Mary Swanson gave poor Lloyd in the 1994 film "Dumb and Dumber".

Just because Boston collected 16 wins in August and September combined, currently has no manager amid an organization in disarray, and things look bleak for 2013 and beyond, it doesn't mean that the Red Sox can't be a contender next season. 

Last December, the Oakland A's, fresh off a 74-88 finish, traded 16-game-winning, 26-year-old stud Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals, a seemingly desperate move to unload a young, premier arm to reload for the future. Gonzalez went on to win 21 games while leading the Nationals to the postseason, while the A's defied all logic and wound up winning the AL West, despite being pinned as a last-place team well into June.

The point?

There's no hard-set way to tell how a team will perform from Game 1 to Game 162.

That doesn't mean that teams should just blindly jump onto the field and hope for the best, though, so here are some ways that the Red Sox can try to solve their issues from 2012 and give themselves a better chance to be in the mix down the stretch next season.

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