There's been a ton of talk (or, you know, panic) around Red Sox Nation this offseason that all this talk of "improved pitching and defense" is just code for "second rate team that can't score runs." For now, I'm willing to believe the company line... and the players, at least publicly, seem to be buying into it, too.
In fact, on an interview with WEEI's Mut and Bradford Show, Dustin Pedroia was very outspoken about the perception that [his] the team's offense will be weak:
“I think a lot of guys are going to take that personal, and as an offensive unit we need to score a lot of runs and I have a lot of confidence we’re going to do all kind of good things... It gets to you a little bit. Every time I’m on the show somebody is calling asking about that. It kind of gets to you a little bit. A lot of guys take pride in having good at-bats and doing everything we can to score runs."
Honestly, every time he says "a lot of guys," I mentally replace it with "I." We all know Pedroia is one of the most feisty and proud players in the game, and that he uses the words of doubters as motivation; I think it's pretty clear what the scrappy second baseman thinks of when he has to get through that last set of sprints.
Personally, I'm rather optimistic about the potential for a big year from the offense. Scutaro and Martinez will fill the vortexes that were in the lineup last year, and though David Ortiz's level of production is a BIG question mark, this team has the potential to be very, very good. And in the end, does it really matter if there were more games with scores of 2-0 than 12-8?
So long as we get to the promised land of October baseball, I think not.