As the Boston Red Sox now sit at home for the third consecutive postseason, it feels like decades ago since the storied franchise was one of baseball's elite teams.
While remaining relatively competitive since the 2009 campaign, it is evident that the Red Sox have lost their way since their last World Series triumph. Finishing last place in the AL East for the first time since 1992, the Boston Red Sox must now endure a rebuilding process that is several seasons in the making.
Following the collapse of September 2011 and the departure of Red Sox staples Theo Epstein and Terry Francona, a decade of dominance came to a disappointing conclusion.
Pitching was nowhere near the level it once was, and Boston was primarily focused on "feeding the monster" as opposed to making smart baseball decisions. As a result, Ben Cherington took the reins as the new general manager, and Bobby Valentine was hired as the new skipper.
Although Boston was never expected to be a true competitor in 2012, it was nearly impossible to believe the team would finish in last place. Plagued by injuries, struggling with inconsistency and facing a "toxic" clubhouse, Boston suffered and had one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
There is no question this will be a very busy offseason for Cherington, as the rebuilding process is now under way.
It will be intriguing to not only see how the team rebuilds on the field, but off the field as well. The following slides are my suggestions as to how the Red Sox can once again see relative success in the near future.
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com