So far, the Red Sox have been able to replace closer Jonathan Papelbon (18 saves with the Phillies) with Alfredo Aceves (19 saves) and not feel much pain.

As it turns out, the team probably never stood a chance of re-signing the loquacious reliever once it fired manager Terry Francona after the season.

"I'd say it pretty much closed the door, yeah," said Papelbon. "Not 100 percent, but I wasn't going to go there and not know what manager I was going to play for."