Epstein: Red Sox have a lot to prove

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Josh Beckett said the other day the Red Sox had a chance to win 100 games. Mike Cameron said this morning that he liked the sound of that.

Enter Theo Epstein, equipped with a bucket of cold water.

“I think it’s nice that those players feel good about themselves and their teammates and what we have here. But let’s be honest, we haven’t done anything yet,” he said. “All we have is a bunch of guys in this clubhouse here to try and set out and do a job. We’ve got a lot to prove. We’ve got to prove we’re not a third-place team in this division. We’ve got to prove we can stay healthy. We’ve got to prove that we can repeat performances, what guys have done in the past; that they can come out and do it again in 2011, or improve upon those performances.

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“We’ve got to prove we can come together as a team. We don’t have win No. 1 yet. We have a lot to prove and the work is just starting. That said, I like that these guys feel good about themselves and their teammates and our chances.”

It’s hard to argue with any of that. But “We can win 100 games” is sure more fun than “this is a bridge year.”