Sunday, April 1, 2007

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Put me in coach, I'm ready to blog.....

Baseball season starts today!! As Paul at the Yanksfan Vs. Soxfan blog pointed out, "We are officially in that golden time where all things are possible and nothing is sure. Soak it up. This is one of the best weekends of the year." Indeed -- this Saturday and Sunday, it's still possible to envisage the Kansas City Royals wining the World Series.

The Red Sox season starts tomorrow -- along with Passover. Prior to 2004, of course, this confluence of events would be freighted with more symbolic meaning. Now, it's just going to cause me to whisper "Next October in Fenway Park" at the end of the seder.

Two years ago, I was confident about the future of the Red Sox and gleeful at the anticipated downward trajectory of the Yankees. This offseason, on the other hand, has sobered me up. For all the talk about parity, the scariest thing facing Major League Baseball is a Yankee franchise that actually knows how to develop, trade, and inculcate top prospects.

Just about every reasonable projection I've seen has the Yankees winning the pennant again this year. I am not so foolhardy as to make predictions, but I do have several reasons for optimism regarding the Red Sox chances this year:

1) Neither Randy Johnson nor Ted Lilly is pitching in the Al East. As mediocre as their years were in 2006, these guys were always able to manhandle the Red Sox. That's a lot more competitive games against AL East rivals than in the past.

2) Spring training was light on casualties. With the exception of Mike Timlin, none of the Red Sox regulars had any major injuries. This includes hothouse players like J.D. Drew and Josh Beckett. The Yankees were not as fortunate, though they should be healthy by the end of the month. An interesting question this season will be which duo will spend more time on the DL -- Andy Pettite and Mike Mussina, or Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield.

3) Josh Beckett has apparently located his Spootenator.

4) The Shaughnessy-Schilling dustup has settled down to a low hum -- which will hopefully allow Schilling to focus on the season.

5) Steve Phillips predicts the Red Sox will go 82-80. 'Nuff said.

Let the season begin!!

posted by Dan on 04.01.07 at 03:39 PM


How sad. You never got the point that that World Series thing happened to renew the Sox fans' hopes for the future. It had been so long, that Soxies were just giving up. Then the World Series win! Now there is hope again. And there will be hope for the foreseeable future!

Hopes that the Yankees will crush, throw down and stomp on. Go ahead Dan, get your hopes up.

But we WILL prevail.

Your pal,

A Yankee Fan

posted by: JohnF on 04.01.07 at 03:39 PM [permalink]

May I point out that every baseball season we have to listen to Red Sox fans display their commitment to displaying their commitment to their team, and bemoan the cruel destiny that has put their team in the same division with the only team that spends more money on players than the Red Sox do?

You're telling me I just did point this out, by way of a rhetorical question? Well all right, then. By the way, the Yankees didn't actually win the pennant last year. The Tigers did, and the Tigers will probably win it again this year.

And the best story in baseball will revolve around whether Bobby Cox can get the Braves into the World Series one more time before the new ownership group forces the breakup of the team. I can't not root for a team whose No. 1 starter is almost as old as I am. Smoltzie's up against Philadelphia tomorrow.

posted by: Zathras on 04.01.07 at 03:39 PM [permalink]

How can you write about reasons for optimism in Beantown without a single word about Dice-K? Reading about him in SI the other day reminded me of nothing so much as reading about Sidd Finch some years back. Only this guy's real. Except for that bit about the "Gyroball".

Dice-K, Schill, Beckett: either the best front 3 in the majors,.. or the biggest disappointment.

posted by: lewp on 04.01.07 at 03:39 PM [permalink]

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