|2011 Boston Red Sox|
|Major League affiliations|
|Divisional place||3rd (7 GB)|
|Owner(s)||John W. Henry (Fenway Sports Group)|
|General manager(s)||Theo Epstein|
(Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy)
|Local radio||Boston Red Sox Radio Network|
(Joe Castiglione, Dave O'Brien, Jon Rish, Dale Arnold)
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The 2011 Boston Red Sox season was the 111th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. Before the season, the Red Sox were favored to win the American League East and reach the World Series, with some comparing the team to the 1927 New York Yankees. With a record of 90 wins and 72 losses, the Red Sox finished third in their division, seven games behind the Yankees.
After leading the Tampa Bay Rays by nine games in the AL wild card race on September 3—when their odds of reaching the postseason peaked at 99.6%—the Red Sox lost 18 of their final 24 games. On the last day of the season, September 28, a ninth-inning Red Sox loss to the Baltimore Orioles via a blown save, coupled with a 12-inning comeback victory by the Rays over the Yankees, made the Rays the AL wild card winners and eliminated the Red Sox from playoff contention.
Fans gathered at Fenway Park on February 8, 2011 in order to kick off the Red Sox preseason by celebrating Truck Day. The first full team workout of the preseason took place on February 19. Playing other teams in the Grapefruit League the Red Sox finished with 14 wins and 19 losses.
The Red Sox made several high profile roster moves hoping to return to postseason success after missing the playoffs in 2010. During the offseason the Red Sox traded for first baseman Adrián González, and they followed that move up by signing star outfielder Carl Crawford.
The Red Sox kicked off the year against the defending AL Pennant Winners, the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on Friday, April 1.
The Red Sox home opener was Friday, April 8, against the rival New York Yankees.
On May 15, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka were placed on the disabled list. On June 10, Matsuzaka underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery. Clay Buchholz was afflicted with what would be diagnosed as a stress fracture in his back and was also put on the disabled list on June 17, where he would remain for the rest of the season. Other pitchers including Rich Hill and Bobby Jenks spent significant time on the disabled list. The Red Sox obtained Érik Bédard from the Seattle Mariners seconds before the trading deadline, after Kyle Weiland (who was highlighted by his ejection on his MLB debut) proved ineffective. Starting pitchers John Lackey and ace Jon Lester were ineffective down the stretch, as the Red Sox crashed down to a 7-20 finish, blowing a 9-game wild card lead that they held entering September. Josh Beckett missed a start early in the month after spraining his ankle in a previous start, and was ineffective in most of his September starts after that point.
The Red Sox became the first team in the history of Major League Baseball to have a nine-game lead in September and fail to make the playoffs that season, thanks to their 7-20 record in the final month of the regular season. In the days following this historic collapse, the front office and manager Terry Francona decided to part ways, and not exercise either of the additional year options on Francona's contract.
After the regular season ended, General Manager Theo Epstein entered talks with the Chicago Cubs to interview for the National League club's vacant General Manager position. The Cubs offered Epstein the position of President of Baseball Operations, and he accepted. After five months of negotiations, the Red Sox and Cubs agreed to the compensation the Red Sox would receive for Epstein. The Cubs acquired minor-league first baseman Jair Bogaerts (twin brother of Xander Bogaerts) from the Red Sox, and the Red Sox received pitchers Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz.
Soon after the season ended, stories broke in the local media about several of Boston's starting pitchers, including Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and John Lackey, had been playing video games, eating fried chicken, and drinking beer in the clubhouse and dugout during games when they were not pitching. Jon Lester was the first to speak publicly about the allegations, and admitted to eating and drinking in the clubhouse during games, though infrequently, but denied that these actions ever took place in the dugout.
|2011 Boston Red Sox|
|New York Yankees||97||65||0.599||—||52–29||45–36|
|Tampa Bay Rays||91||71||0.562||6||47–34||44–37|
|Boston Red Sox||90||72||0.556||7||45–36||45–36|
|Toronto Blue Jays||81||81||0.500||16||42–39||39–42|
|Red Sox Win||Red Sox Loss||Game Postponed||Eliminated from Playoff Contention|
|Boldface text denotes a Red Sox pitcher|
|2011 Game Log (90–72)|
Note: ## = Player number; G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; BB = Base on balls; SO = Strikeouts; SB = Stolen bases; AVG = Batting average
Note: ## = Player number; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; SVO = Saves opportunities; IP = Innings pitched; H = Hits allowed; R= Runs; ER = Earned runs allowed; HR = Home runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; SO = Strikeouts
See also: Minor League Baseball
|AAA||Pawtucket Red Sox||International League||Arnie Beyeler|
|AA||Portland Sea Dogs||Eastern League||Kevin Boles|
|A-Advanced||Salem Red Sox||Carolina League||Bruce Crabbe|
|A||Greenville Drive||South Atlantic League||Billy McMillon|
|A-Short Season||Lowell Spinners||New York–Penn League||Carlos Febles|
|Rookie||GCL Red Sox||Gulf Coast League||George Lombard|
|Rookie||DSL Red Sox||Dominican Summer League||José Zapata|
Boston's selections during the first five rounds of the 2011 MLB draft were as follows:
|Round||Pick||Player||Pos.||School (sorts by state)|
|1||19||Matt Barnes||P||University of Connecticut|
|1||26||Blake Swihart||C||V. Sue Cleveland High School (NM)|
|1||36||Henry Owens||P||Edison High School (CA)|
|1||40||Jackie Bradley Jr.||OF||University of South Carolina|
|2||81||Williams Jerez||P||Grand Street High School (NY)|
|3||111||Jordan Weems||C||Columbus High School (GA)|
|4||142||Noé Ramirez||P||Cal State Fullerton|
|5||172||Mookie Betts||SS||John Overton High School (TN)|
Additionally, the team selected Travis Shaw in the 9th round, Daniel Gossett in the 16th round, and Mac Williamson in the 46th round.
Each of the above listed draftees went on to play in MLB, with Barnes being the last to leave the Red Sox organization, in January 2023.