Sorry, Mark Melancon owners. You lost this battle.
Bobby Valentine announced on Wednesday that Alfredo Aceves will open the season as Boston's closer. Here's the Red Sox manager, via the Boston Globe:
"On the days when Alfredo's not available, if Mark Melancon is available, he'll be doing it. I think the guys leading up to that will be very credible," Valentine said. "Just from what we've seen this spring and [Aceves is] a little more familiar with the American League. He was in the plans while he was starting."
As Rob Neyer just pointed out, Aceves' career record is 24-3, which is ridiculous. He earned two saves for Boston last season, though both were of the three-plus-innings variety. Aceves is certainly capable of succeeding in the closing gig, as are many relievers. Go get him if he's still available, gamers. This will serve as last call.
(Note: Of course I'm not talking to you, Mackdaddy. We all know you added Aceves six weeks ago, when it became obvious that Bailey would suffer a 3-4 month injury, and neither Melancon or Padilla would get the ninth inning. Please take your usual victory lap, right here...)