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Boston Red Sox Offseason: 5 Moves the Sox Should Make Heading into 2012

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Boston Red Sox Offseason: 5 Moves the Sox Should Make Heading into 2012
Fenway Park (Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons)

For the first time since the Boston Red Sox won the team’s first two World Series since Woodrow Wilson inhabited the White House, the club is in a state of flux going into the Hot Stove League.

To recap: The Sox suffered an ignominious and record-breaking September collapse, and players later admitted to drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during the team’s slide out of playoff contention. Amidst reports of distractions in his personal life and allegations of prescription drug abuse (both of which he denied), beloved, longtime manager Terry Francona was fired after the season ended, despite having helmed both of the aforementioned World Series-winning clubs.

Then, as if all of this wasn’t enough, the Sox watched Theo Epstein, the local kid done good and boy wonder general manager, leave for Chicago to take over as President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs.

Now, as 2011 winds down, the Sox have some difficult decisions to make. First and foremost, they need to find Tito’s successor at manager. But they also need to address gaps at the back end of the starting rotation, the bullpen, and a handful of everyday positions, and to evaluate whether some supposed mainstays should stick around.

Here are five moves the Sox should make to help their chances of returning to form in 2012.

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