The optimistic Red Sox fanatic in me sees this and thinks: "Oooh! Lineups! With actual players! In a 1-9 arrangement! With a DH!"
The snake-bitten, gunshy pessimist looks and says: "Theo spent a kazillion dollars this offseason, and this is the best Tito can do for lineups? Seriously? W TF?"
I'm referring, of course, to the lineups for tomorrow's exhibition games against Boston College and Northeastern. While these are but collegiate teams, our dear leader, Terry Francona, has treated them with the due respect worthy of the Sox's greatest foes. After all, just look at the lineups he will pit against them: (per WEEI)
Against BC: Marco Scutaro, SS; Dustin Pedroia, 2B; David Ortiz, DH; Kevin Youkilis, 3B*; Darnell McDonald, LF; Ryan Kalish, CF; Lars Anderson, 1B; Josh Reddick, RF; Ryan Lavarnaway, C. SP: Stolmy Pimentel.
Against Northeastern: Jacoby Ellsbury, CF; Jed Lowrie, SS; Mike Cameron, DH; Daniel Nava, LF; Luis Exposito, C; Hector Luna, 1B; Yamaico Navarro, 3B; Juan Carlos Linares*, RF; Larry Sutton, 2B*. SP: Kyle Weiland.
Who can look at that lineup and not wonder: "Where the heck did all that money go?" Moreover, if you're from Northeastern, you've got to be wondering. "What are we, chopped liver?" When BC gets to face five actual members of the 25-man roster, and NU only gets three, you'd be justified in feeling a little shortchanged. Not to mention: Daniel Nava as your cleanup hitter? Really, Tito.
(On the other hand, NU is starting a lefty, which means they get to face Super!Jed, so perhaps that will take out some of the sting of facing the B-listers from the Sox's farm system.)
Although there's no sightings of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, or an actual, bona fide Red Sox pitcher anywhere on the horizon, it's something resembling an actual game. We even have Pedroia on record as wanting to "kick BU's (butt)."
Before long, it might even actually be Opening Day! (OK, just kidding. It's still about five weeks away, which in baseball terms is roughly equivalent to the amount of time needed for a new Pangaea supercontinent to form.)
But it's something. Yay baseball.
*[E/N: Listed differently by WEEI, but see the comments below.