It's finally here!
All the waiting. All the anticipation. All the boredom. It all ends today, because Red Sox baseball is back!
The bad news? The Sox are already in second place. The good news? They're still ahead of the Yankees.
The even better news? The Red Sox have the reigning Cy Young award winner on the mound for them today. I think the expectations were too low on Rick Porcello entering last season, and they'll probably be a little high for him this season. But, it will be exciting to see what he can produce now that his good year in Detroit wasn't the "fluke."
Pablo Sandoval will also be back. I see no reason not to think he'll have a bounce back year. (I think I got all the negatives to work out there...) It will be fun to see what he can produce with a healthy season. Especially since I think most fans have washed their hands of him, so the pressure will be off. Anything we get will be enough for most.
And, it's the low expectations at some positions that I think will save the Sox this season. Yes, David Ortiz is gone. Yes, David Price is hurt. But, compare the team to last year. Does subtracting Price and adding Sale make the rotation better? Yes. Does subtracting Buchholz help? Sure. Might Porcello slide back a bit? Sure. But I think we can agree, compared to Opening Day last year, this is an upgrade.
But, will the Sox score runs without Ortiz?
I don't see why not.
Sure, they'll take a hit with (essentially) Mitch Moreland taking Papi's place in the line-up. But, it more than that. A healthy Sandoval takes the place of the hot mess at third base last year. That's an improvement. Anyone think that Andrew Benintendi won't be an improvement over what the Sox got out of left field last season? When the Sox had to force Swihart out there for crying out loud?
So, yes, I think the Sox offense can make up for the loss of Ortiz. No, you can't replace him straight up. But, you can make smaller improvements elsewhere. Which is just what the Sox did.
So, let's see how it all plays out. Mother Nature has decided to hold of on the snow for a day to allow the Sox to open in the sunshine. Even she is excited to get things started. She wants to make sure everyone gets a good start to the day. And the season.
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