The beauty of starting the new baseball season is that every team is tied for the division lead and that the hope of a World Series ring is still a reality for all fans. The funny thing about opening day is that half of the teams fans wake up the next morning with optimism and the other half with pessimism. I know that it is only one game and I have only a small sample size to go with, but what have I learned so far about the Red Sox?
- 1. Beckett will bounce back. With a contract secured and opening night jitters out-of-the-way, I expect a strong second start.
- 2. Pedey and Youk look primed for a strong year. It was nice to see visions of Manny and Papi with their first game performance, reality is to expect 50-55 home runs combined for the two.
- 3. Middle relief will need to improve to bridge the gap to Bard who then will hand the ball to Paps. If this bridge stumbles, it will be a long year.
- 4. Yo Adrian has third base locked down. He looked very smooth and is everything defensively that was advertised.
- 5. If Ellsbury struggles to jump out of the gate and set the tone for this lineup, expect Marco to leap-frog to the top.
- 6. Big Papi must start the year out fast or questions will continue about his lack of pop in the middle of that order. I believe that it is more mental than anything else.
- 7. If Paps continues to use his split finger he will be dominant. If not, expect the walk to strikeouts ratio to go through the roof.
- 8. Neil Diamond sounded horrible. Thank God for the Fenway fans drowning out most of his lyrics.