Revamped Red Sox Offer Lots of Promise

AP Photo

The Red Sox were the best team in baseball back on Sept. 1, 2011, when summer turned into a bleak fall after the 7-20 collapse and final-day elimination. That spun out into stories of clubhouse ignominy, the firing of manager Terry Francona, the exile of general manager Theo Epstein and a last-place season in 2012 bookended by the hiring and firing of manager Bobby Valentine, who now knows how presidential candidate George McGovern felt in November 1972, as Valentine's ravaged September roster lost its final eight games and finished with 93 losses.

With the deal for reliever Joel Hanrahan completed -- and if and when the Mike Napoli signing is cleared medically and legally -- the Red Sox have added eight and maybe even nine players. They have brought former pitching...

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