FORT MYERS, Fla. -- General manager Theo Epstein knows full well that the dramatic moves he made over the winter have made his team a potential juggernaut in the minds of many pundits. Optimism is filling the clubhouse as well, as Josh Beckett said earlier this week that the 2011 Red Sox have the capability of winning 100 games.
But from where Epstein sits, the hype means very little.
"I think it's nice that those players feel good about themselves and their teammates and what they have here, but let's be honest, we haven't done anything yet," Epstein said. "All we have is a bunch of guys in this clubhouse here to try to set out and do a job. We've got a lot to prove."
"We've got to prove that we're not a third-place team in this division. We've got to prove that we can stay healthy," Epstein said. "We've got to prove that we can repeat performances -- what guys have done in the past, they can do it again in 2011 or improve upon those performances. 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."
Still, Epstein is glad to hear players like Beckett feel so optimistic about the team.
"I like that these guys feel good about themselves, their teammates and our chances," Epstein said. "I don't think they're getting ahead of themselves, because they know how much work they need to do."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.