Start Me Up

Baseball season is finally back, and although the offseason for the Boston Red Sox didn’t go the way I’d hope it would, I’m still optimistic for a successful 2009 campaign.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that Theo Epstein and Terry Francona don’t read If they had, we’d be watching Mark Texiera and Derek Lowe gearing up for the season in Fort Myers, while watching the enigmatic Julio Lugo and overrated Jason Varitek packing their bags to destination Anywhere But Boston.

But after my initial disappointment with the lack of big name signings, I’m starting to really like the additions of Brad Penny, Takashi Saito and especially future Hall of Famer John Smoltz. These guys are low cost, with potential huge rewards for Boston. Even though Smoltz won’t be ready until June, he could be the big addition to the lineup that usually takes place at the trade deadline. If Boston makes the postseason, a lineup with Josh Beckett and John Smoltz would be scary.

Before we can talk about the playoffs, there are a lot of questions about this team that could severely affect their post season chances. Will Josh Beckett, David Ortiz, and Mike Lowell rebound from their 2008 injury-plagued season? With Coco Crisp shipped off to Kansas City, is Jacoby Ellsbury ready to be the everyday centerfielder and leadoff hitter? Can a full season of Jason Bay make up for the loss of Manny? Who will be the Red Sox catcher of the future?

To make matters worse, rivals Tampa Bay and New York revamped their already dangerous lineups. The Yankees decided to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on big-game choker CC Sabathia, the oft-injured A.J. Burnett, and current public enemy #2 Mark Texiera. Will this high priced talent lead to a return to the postseason for the Bronx Bombers? Or will these guys wilt under the pressure of playing in the Big Apple like Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown and Carl Pavano? Let’s hope for the latter.

As for the Rays, I really like the additions of Pat Burrell and Matt Joyce to fill the right field and designated hitter spots. This is a big upgrade of the Gabe Gross/Cliff Floyd combo. I’m interested in seeing whether Evan Longoria can duplicate his rookie season, and if the Rays can repeat their success with their closer-by-committee bullpen.

The good news is baseball is back.
The competition  for the AL East crown promises to be fierce.
Let the games begin!

3 Responses to “Start Me Up”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Really good piece there Dave. I’m going to wait and see how the first half of the season plays out to make my choice on wether or not I’m a fan of this off season. “Risk Taking” I think is the term I’m looking for here. I think Lugo and ‘tek are well past their prime, but who knows what the future holds. I’m very much looking forward to the first game of my spring training friday. Even more so, I’m looking forward to only driving 5miles to see that game, and even more then that, I’m looking forward to some real competition in the AL East. I know the Sox will take it all, that’s a no brainer, but it’s nice to see other teams up there with us, enjoying beating the Yankees just like we do…

    Dylan “I hope my name doesn’t come up positive for roids before the MDA tournament” Hamilton

  2. Dave Says:

    The smell of fresh cut grass, the crack of the bat, Manny holding out for a ridiculous deal, and Dylan commenting on Baseball is officially back.

  3. Boston Braves " Foulline Fantasy Baseball Champion" Says:

    I would just like to add Dave still dreaming about being a champ your wife wqill win before you do. This year you should take lessons from her..

    The Champion

Leave a Reply