Last off-season, the Red Sox were overwhelming favorites to win the World Series. What’s changed? A couple pieces of the starting rotation? Were expectations really that high for Lackey and Dice-K that we should expect a dramatic drop off? I didn’t remember anyone singing their praises last April saying they were the keys to the season. Can it really be about the number four and five starters?
Or a questionable shortstop? Is the ability of our number nine hitter the key to it all? Were we expecting an MVP season from Scutaro? I know I wasn’t.
Or closer? That can’t be it. Flipping one all-star closer for another all-star closer can’t possibly be the downfall of the season. Can it?
The questionable bullpen? Is there a bullpen in baseball that isn’t questionable? Weren’t there questions last year? Is this a new concern?
Isn’t the answer to all of this “no”?
It can’t possibly be because of the end of last year, can it? Are they really not the favorites because last season their #3 starter got hurt? He’s back now, remember? Are they not the favorites because last year Tim Wakefield was a distraction? Did they not see the wonderful retirement ceremony? Did they not see this offense almost carry a pitching staff that injuries left in shambles? Are they planning on the 3-5 starters going down again? Because you can play that game with any team.
If anything, shouldn’t the events of last year be a good sign for this year? Will this team take even one game for granted? Will they start Kyle Weiland against the Rays in September? Will they be anything but the most driven team in history? In 2006, the Sox missed the playoffs. In 2007, they kicked butt as they had the best record in the league.
Why won’t that happen again?