Since the conclusion of their worst season in nearly 50 years on Oct. 3, the Red Sox have done everything right.
The decision to fire Bobby Valentine came quick and without much drama. The decision to hire John Farrell and trade away Mike Aviles this past weekend came quick and without much drama. It certainly appears that Red Sox management has finally been humbled.
There was still plenty of doubt that that might not be the case even after the team lost 93 games after those six long months. Management continued to insult the intelligence of its fanbase throughout the 2012 season with goofy letters to season ticket holders (guess the 'friendly Mike Aviles' wasn't the next coming of Barry Larkin at short after all) and the much-maligned Fenway sell-out streak.
News of Farrell's hiring came out late on a Saturday night. In the past, you can bet that the formerly PR obsessed folks on Yawkey Way would have made sure to make the news of a new manager public on a Monday morning, mid-week or even during a Patriots game to bump them off the front page of the sports section.
However, for the time being it seems that Larry Lucchino and Ben Cherington are putting the typical Red Sox fanfare stuff on the shelf. Sure, there remains the chance that Farrell will enter Fenway Park Monday afternoon on a zipline that extends from the Prudential Building to Pesky's Pole. From a group that uses bricks as a source of income, anything is possible.
But give the Red Sox props today. It appears that baseball and baseball only is the only thing that matters this October. We haven't seen smear campaigns, long-drawn out managerial searches and the marketing of 'Schooled' on NESN seems to be scaled back a bit this October.
Following 365 days of hitting rock bottom every other week, the Red Sox are beginning the long climb back to relevancy. Quietly, but surely.