Team Preview: Boston Red Sox

Team Name: Boston Red Sox

Last Years Record: 95-67, lost ALCS

Key Losses: No one. Maybe Coco Crisp, though I would not call him key.
Manny Ramirez is gone, but the Red Sox played the final three months
of 2008 without him.

Key Additions: Brad Penny (#5 starter) and John Smoltz (returns in
June). Rocco Baldelli for the bench, Takashi Saito in the bullpen.
Some promising additions, but nothing huge.

1. What significant moves were made during the offseason?

Not many. We now know mark Teixeira was never going to sign with
Boston, so Theo Epstein cannot be blamed for not grabbing him.
Reliever Ramon Ramirez came over from the Royals for Crisp. Smoltz and
Penny were signed to cheap one-year deals and could,a long with Saito,
potentially be a huge bargain. The biggest move was the non-move of
trading pitching prospects for a catcher to replace Jason Varitek.

2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?

It’s an all-around solid team. The influx of younger players — Dustin
Pedroia, Jed Lowrie, Jacoby Ellsbury — is very encouraging and there
are more on the near horizon. The bullpen has the potential to be
devastating. Terry Francona and John Farrell are a fantastic
manager/pitching coach combination.

3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?

The lineup is weaker without Manny, though they should still score
runs. It is uncertain how Mike Lowell and David Ortiz will do as they
return from injuries. Our catcher cannot hit at all. As always, the
health of the players will be a huge factor.

4. What are the goals for this team?

The Red Sox lost the ALCS in seven games, so any improvement would put
them in the World Series. It’s well within reach.

5. Just a couple of observations:

The sports media’s praise of Varitek’s intangibles behind the plate and with the pitching staff has increased in inverse proportion to his decline as a hitter. And while he receives tons of praise when the Red Sox pitchers do well, he somehow gets none of the blame when they implode and do poorly. Teflon Tek.

Predicted Record: 98-64

From: Joy of Sox

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