Fans Are the Only Ones Who Can Guarantee There's No Place Like Home as Hopeful Red Sox Return to Fenway

Editor's note: is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.

Everybody has a rough day or two, and when things get really bad, they want nothing more than to walk into their own place, settle down and make themselves at home.

The Red Sox, off to a 1-5 start this season, are no different.

After running into a Detroit Tigers team that put on offensive and defensive clinics over the weekend, then wilting in two out of three games against the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Red Sox now have a day and a half off. On Friday, they welcome another tough opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays, but this time it will be at home.

Playing in their own house could cure all of the Red Sox' ills. The players will be close to their actual homes, they'll have the advantage of a field they know well, and — most important of all — the stands will be filled with supporters, not streakers. (Thanks, Toronto.)

That's the key, after all. Playing at Fenway Park does little to provide an advantage to the Red Sox over any other team, but the one thing that could really help the games go the Red Sox' way is some belief. They need their fans not to mope about 1-5 but instead cheer them on to 1-0 at home.

Bobby Valentine has yet to experience a Boston home crowd. As a big-league lifer, he knows of Red Sox lore, but he only knows it from the outside. He's never had the chance to draw on it in the best of ways, when the fans can lift a struggling team and motivate great play with their spirit.

Then again, Boston fans have been known to kick a team when it's down more than a few times, and that's probably why Valentine’s words came with a disclaimer ("we'll find out").

Valentine thinks he's got the greatest fans in the world behind him, just like he still thinks highly of his Red Sox team, no matter the record. It's up to the fans to help the team prove him right on both counts.