For all of the hype that surrounds the Boston Red Sox franchise, the team hasn't actually been to the MLB playoffs since 2009, and haven't won a playoff series since 2008. With restructured leadership and a new batch of players, the 2012 Red Sox are set for a new chapter that hopefully includes postseason berths.
On Saturday, Red Sox principle owner John Henry, team president Larry Lucchino and team chairman Tom Werner held their annual Spring Training team meeting and press conference just outside JetBlue Park at the player development center just before the team's first official full workout.
"It was setting the tone for 2012," Lucchino said of the 45-minute gathering with coaches, players and general manager Ben Cherington. "It was a customary opening day meeting."
"We talked about how proud we are to be involved in this organization," Werner added. "They should feel proud. We have great fans. This is going to be a new chapter. We didn't spend too much time talking about 2011. It's a new chapter, we have a new ball park. Our fans are excited about this year. I certainly think our players are motivated to play postseason baseball.
Among the topics that were brought up was the team's payroll and possible flexibility to add/trade for players as the season progresses. Henry addressed those questions by saying the team will be able to add payroll, a figure that is expected to pull near $190 million on Opening Day.
As for Lucchino, he thought that the Red Sox' problems in September of 2011 wasn't about the focus of the team, but rather their motivation. He feels that with lessons learned from last year, they will be more motivated to get back to the postseason in 2012.
"That suggests they were not focused last season," Lucchino said. "I don't subscribe to that notion as a generalization but looking forward to 2012, I do expect this team will be focused, highly motivated." (via WEEI)
When asked about the team's new no-beer in the clubhouse policy, all three owners rebuffed the questions, saying it was strictly the decision of General Manager Ben Cherington and manager Bobby Valentine.