As the Red Sox collapsed this season, Andrew Bailey was a helpless spectator. The pitcher expected to be the team's new closer missed the first 116 games recovering from surgery on his right thumb.

Bailey also was in the uncomfortable position of being close to manager Bobby Valentine — the two became friendly in recent years after meeting at a charity event — and not being able to help him win games.

"It has been a little awkward," Bailey said. "Watching it from afar, you're with the guys but you're not really out there having the satisfaction of having success on the field. You feel like you're not really part of it."