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A sour mood in Boston still lingers over the team’s record collapse at the end of last season, when the Red Sox slumped through September and were knocked out of playoff contention in the final game.

“I was told there was a lot of negative feelings about last year. The first month of play, we haven’t done anything to erase those feelings,” Valentine said. “We have to play better and I think it will get better.”

As for Beckett, a few good outings would probably restore a positive outlook among the fans who are angered by his golf outing. A few bad starts, however, and the pressure on him is only going to increase.