Jonny Gomes is being counted on to bring chemistry back to the Red Sox. Image via Boston.com.
There was no visible chemistry within the 2012 Red Sox roster and their abysmal record shows it. Not that 2011 was much better.
The Red Sox of 2004 looked like family; like they knew and loved each other. And "idiots" or not, together, they won.
The Red Sox of 2012 had attitudes, egos and a last place finish in their division.
How will this year's cast of old and new blend? Spring training—a time for team bonding—will serves as a strong indicator.
At least you'd hope that seven weeks would be enough.
The return of the beloved Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek will help build chemistry. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia can't do it alone, but they're always good for it.
The Red Sox dropped toxins like Valentine and Josh Beckett—plus a giant chunk of payroll. Good guys like Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes (a proven winner) were brought in to help out with the "C" word. Some might argue that character was a bigger factor than stats.
High expectations of leadership are falling on the shoulders of Gomes, who Farrell praised.
He's gonna add a hell of a lot of personality to the clubhouse, I know that, which is consistent with the reputation he has as a player. He's a hard-working guy, loves to play the game, loves to compete and when you talk to players that have been teammates of his, there's nothing but rave reviews about the personality, the teammate that he is and the liveliness he creates in the clubhouse all in a good way. He's a breath of fresh air.
So far, it's been "Camp Tranquility" down in Fort Myers.
But chemistry is just one part of winning. If the pitching is weak, the bats cold and the injuries common, the Red Sox might not be any higher up in their finish than last year.
Though one can argue, at least they'll be likable again.