SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 4: Aaron Cook #28 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on September 4, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
We all know about the Red Sox epic collapse at the end of September 2011. Things changed this off season, with Terry Francona and Theo Epstein out. But what fans are wondering is, how can the Red Sox avoid that happening again? How many more wins can they get?
Last season they finished with 89 wins and just one win out of the playoffs. It is said that you need 95 wins to win the AL East, but now there are two wild cards in place. Does this justify the Red Sox "lack of spending"?
Well for one, the Red Sox have to pay about $20 million more to their current roster players, due to raises to Carl Crawford, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez.
This off season can be seen as a success for the Red Sox if two of these starting pitchers (Clayton Mortenson, Carlos Silva, Aaron Cook, Brandon Duckworth, Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves, Vincente Padilla, Ross Ohlendorf, Michael Bowden, Junichi Tazawa, Alex Wilson) can step up. It's all a matter of if they do.
If the Red Sox can win as many games as they won last season, they should at least get one of the two wild cards. Have they done enough to assure themselves of that?