Why 2012 was Actually a Good Year for the Red Sox

Sept. 10, 2012 - Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)
Evan Marinofsky
Contributing Writer

With the recent excerpts from Papi: My Story by David Ortiz and Michael Holley that highlight the disaster that was then-manager Bobby Valentine, it has brought the memories of 2012 back to us Red Sox fans.

Obviously 2012 was bad. At the time, if you had asked me to name one positive thing from that season, I would never have been able to. 2012 gets talked about as if it's that thing you just don't talk about: the minute it gets brought up, someone else shuts it down. It's a dark memory, one in which should be forgotten. No one is to speak of it. Not only will I speak of it in this, but I'm actually going to talk about it in a positive sense.

The bottom line is that the World Series in 2013 does not happen without the disaster in 2012.

The Red Sox finished last in the AL East with a record of 69-93. The team was in shambles and with what we learned from the excerpts, we now know that a lot of that stemmed from Valentine. There was no team chemistry, however that team had one thing that united them all: they hated their manager.

That hatred for their manager led to a chemistry that carried through to 2013. Had Valentine never been hired, the Red Sox would have hired a normal manager who would have coached them to a better record and most likely would not have been fired after the 2012 season. This team would have never been able to hire John Farrell who was in an instrumental part of the 2013 World Series ring.

With a better coach, they would have had a better season. They probably would not have made the playoffs, but they would have been right around .500. If the team was good, there would have been no chance that they made the one move that almost directly won them a World Series the next year and that was the blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The trade with the Dodgers salvaged the future of the Red Sox: the massive contracts of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford being shipped west saved the Red Sox from their eventual slow death.

Had the Red Sox done well in 2012, they would have never felt the need to trade those two away. They would never have gotten Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, and Jonny Gomes -- three of the most important pieces in the 2013 World Series win.

Initially, Gonzalez and Crawford were brought in to solidify the future. But because of the team's nose-dive in the summer of 2012, the front office felt it was necessary to ship those two out. That move was crucial and without it, the Red Sox would not have won the World Series the very next season.

2012 was a huge wake-up call for the franchise. Even though they had bad years in 2014 and 2015, the team began to build up their farm system and create the team that it has today; one that is sustainable and built somewhat intelligently. Had 2012 been even a mediocre season, Gonzalez and Crawford would most likely have stayed a few more years at least.

As painful as 2012 was to endure, it was necessary for the future of the Red Sox and the World Series in 2013.

Follow Evan Marinofsky on Twitter (@emarinofsky) for all of his Red Sox thoughts and opinions.