The first thing the Red Sox did the day after the 2012 season ended was fire manager Bobby Valentine after the team went a horrid 69-93 and ended up last in the AL East.
Management brought in former Blue Jays manager John Farrell as Valentine's replacement, the man they had originally recruited for the position after 2011. The Blue Jays wouldn't initially release him from his contract for the 2013 season, but finally agreed to a trade in October, sending Farrell to Boston.
He came into this season with only two years of managerial experience and a 154-170 record at the Toronto helm. However, his familiarity with the Red Sox and many of his former players from four years as Boston's former pitching coach was a large draw in an effort to turn around the cancer-like clubhouse culture at Fenway Park.
Farrell would be hard-pressed to do worse than Valentine, but few expected his team to play as well as it has in the season's opening months.
In April of 2013, the Red Sox went 18-7 in their best start in many years. In 2010-12, it took Boston about that long just to reach .500.
The best part of all of this is the improvement of the starting rotation. Boston pitchers performed horribly in 2012, but now Clay Buchholz has bounced back to a perfect 8-0 start with a 1.62 ERA and is making a strong campaign for the Cy Young Award. Jon Lester has made a 180-degree turnaround and has a 6-2 record.
Farrell has also dealt with the critical Boston media gracefully while handling both his return to Toronto and clubhouse issues with players like Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront professionally.
The Red Sox are 36-24 and at the top of the AL East. What more could fans ask for?