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    Lucchino tries for positive spin on season

    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was not mentioned in a letter team president Larry Lucchino sent to season ticket holders.

    As the Red Sox prepared to begin the second half of the baseball season Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, team president Larry Lucchino sent a letter to season ticket holders in which he urged fans to “keep the faith.”

    In the letter, Lucchino strikes a positive tone to what has been a trying season for Red Sox fans. He mentions the emergence of rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks and the constancy of “our beloved Big Papi, David Ortiz” among the bright spots.

    Lucchino also reminds fans of what he calls the return of the “varsity” team, in reference to Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Andrew Bailey, and Dustin Pedroia. All are expected to come back from injuries in the second half of the year.


    Before Friday’s play, the Red Sox’ record stood at 43-43, and they were tied with the Toronto Blue Jays at the bottom of the AL East. Read the text of Lucchino’s letter below.

    Dear Season Ticket Holder:

    As we cross the midpoint of our 2012 season, we thank you for your loyal support thus far. We met many of you at our new spring home, JetBlue Park at Fenway South, and renewed more acquaintances as we opened the 100th Anniversary season at Fenway Park. We sensed that the nostalgia touched you, and we hope to continue to celebrate this special anniversary from time to time throughout the year.

    Our play on the field has at times tested the mettle of the faithful. It could be maddening one day, enthralling the next day. Along the way, we have seen our bullpen gel, young players emerge, and veterans lead. We have watched the team coalesce into a close group. Personalities are enhancing the chemistry, such as the cheerful Cody Ross, the friendly Mike Aviles, and the inspiring story of Daniel Nava. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has shown power, in the clutch, worthy of an All-Star. And as the talented Will Middlebrooks forced his way into the lineup, we bade farewell, with gratitude, to Kevin Youkilis, who helped us win two World Championships.

    The one constant on the field has been our beloved Big Papi, David Ortiz. How thrilled we were that our gregarious leader reached the 400-home run plateau in a career that we hope will forever be with the Red Sox.

    The one constant off the field is that we have had a veritable All-Star Team on the disabled list. As we begin the second half, we look forward to the return of the “varsity,” including Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Andrew Bailey, and the ever-dirty Dustin Pedroia.

    While this infusion of such talent in late July may make other General Managers green with envy, you can be sure that Ben Cherington and his Baseball Operations Staff will approach the July 31 trading deadline with their tireless work ethic. If someone can further help this club, and if the deal makes sense, we will be aggressive. We want to play October Baseball this year.

    Keep the Faith, Larry Lucchino