Do not listen to fans.
Even intelligent, well-meaning ones. Fans are reactionary by nature. Fans pay a lot of money to be entertained. They want instant gratification. Many demand it. They are hyper-focued on the outcome directly in front of them on the field, or on the television. A few may possess a binary view that allows them to keep an eye on both the present and future, but their focus will always be more intuned to the present. Don't underestimate the subconscious financial influences involved. Fans are paying for an experience. You are being paid to keep emotion out of it. It is up to you to not cave into that outside pressure. That is why decisions for the good of the franchise are made in meeting rooms, away from the fields of play.
You have a large market team with the resources to rebuild the organization through the farm system and at the MLB level by making intelligent FA signings. You have made mistakes and misallocated resources in both avenues, and you will continue to do so. But you have not been without your successes either. And you have used both methods, no matter how much some fans may scream that you have done nothing but improve the farm teams. You have played the middle tier of the FA market, looked for bargains, attempted to not overpay and burden your team with an onerous contract down the road. You have tried to add a couple of long term assets, while also keeping an eye out for flip candidates that can help the MLB team in the short run and the pipeline in the long run.
It doesn't mean I'm happy with the product that has been out on the field that past couple of years. But I understand it. I understand the process. I understand the new CBA blew up some of your plans, forcing you to readjust the timeline a little. More unforseen circumstances will crop up, causing constant tweaks to the plan, hopefully some of the unforseen circumstances will be positive developments. I expect the team to be improved in 2014, but I still won't panic if it isn't. Some of the young players should start seeing time next year, and with that comes struggles. Those growing pains will come, and they will extend beyond 2014. But the tangible evidence of growth will be present. Expectations will grow.
Excuses will no longer fly once 2015 arrives. The books are clean in 2015. Only the players you wanted to be here are under contract. Your honeymoon period will be over at that point. Your prior successes bought you this period of faith. And the fans have been calm. We've been patient. If you think the pressure is bad now, just wait until 2015. It will be suffocating. It will be oppressive. We will not be denied. We will demand the championship you promised us. We will demand the second that you brought to Boston as well. In fact, we expect nothing less than the second coming of the Murderer's Row Yankees. The Yankees bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox, we bought you. We expect no less of a return.
Do not listen to fans.