NEW YORK -- Bobby Valentine insisted Friday that all is well with the Red Sox.
"I think we're headed in the right direction," Valentine said. "We're five games over .500 since [April 21]. I think we can build on it and get to 10, 15, 20 games over."
Uh, Bobby, now you're just four games over .500 since April 21, after a 10-3 Friday night loss to the Yankees. And now 8-14 this month, and 1-6 in your last seven games.
Now you're 11 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees.
And you're headed in the right direction?
Do you believe that? More importantly, do Valentine and his bosses actually believe that?
And will they still believe it if the rest of this series against the Yankees goes the way Friday's game did?
Rival teams aren't sure. While general manager Ben Cherington still says he can't see the Red Sox becoming sellers, other teams are at least preparing for that possibility.
The Rangers have long been interested in Cody Ross as a right-handed bat (think Jeff Francoeur's role on the 2010 Rangers). The Red Sox haven't to this point shown an interest in moving Ross, but the Rangers did have a couple of scouts at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
If the Red Sox sold, the Rangers or other teams could also be interested in some of their relievers.
And then there's the Josh Beckett question.
The Red Sox have reportedly taken some phone calls on Beckett. But Beckett has performed poorly (5-9, 4.57 in his 17 starts this year), and he has a huge contract ($15.75 million this year, and for each of the next two years, as well).
Teams would have more interest in Jon Lester, even though his numbers are even worse than Beckett's. But the belief is that the Red Sox are not at all interested in trading him.
Valentine, of course, expressed confidence that Beckett and Lester would be fine.
"They're healthy, and throwing the ball well," he said.
All is well, right? No problems at all, right?
"This is a team that's coming along well," Valentine insisted. "I don't see things going backward."
Do you believe him?