Another dreadful winter has passed and the start of the 2009 Major League Baseball season is close.
The 2008-09 season holds a lot of ups-and-downs for the Boston Red Sox. Many experts would say that this was the most productive offseason for signing free agents since they brought David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez to Boston.
Where depth in the lineup is highlighted by outstanding young talent, Boston went after some bigger names and failed, but did succeed in signing multiple superstars—and even a future Hall of Famer.
New key additions to the 2009 Red Sox Include:
John Smoltz, Starting Pitcher
The 42-year-old veteran still brings heat to even the league’s best hitters. Despite his age, the question to Red Sox Nation will be, How consistent will he be and stay throughout the season?
Brad Penny, Starting Pitcher
Penny is yet another starting pitcher to join a rotation that will hopefully not be plagued with injury in 2009. Penny has spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rocco Baldelli, Center Field
This young man has the talent to become one of the league’s most feared hitters and fielders. The Rhode Island native was diagnosed with a muscle-dulling illness, but now with the right medication, Baldelli looks to add depth to the outfield at Fenway.
The most prestigious title that was given out in 2008 was to the team’s hardest working player, that being MVP, Dustin Pedroia. After a year of great stats in 2008, Pedroia looks to mimic last season and bring Boston back to the World Series.
Another great surprise in 2008 was the leadership and determination of Kevin Youkilis as he was an MVP candidate. Youkilis still has the same beard and the same attitude leading into a season where he could possibly be batting in the No. 4 position as he hopes to keep delivering his power hook over the Green Monster in left field.
The one thing I hate about the start of this season is the World baseball Classic. This is taking great, hardworking players and injuring them before the start of the 2009 season.
The MLB season is filled with injury-plagued teams as it is. Why add to it before we even start?
I know there are critics out there who would say the complete opposite, and say that this is a great way to condition veteran players, but at the same time I have to say, “At what cost are we willing to jeopardize the World Series over the WBC?”
The Three keys to success this season are:
Don't let injuries bring team morale down. I cannot stress this enough. Winning a championship is a team effort, not a single-handed affair.
Big Papi Needs
David Ortiz may be past his prime, but he still has a jump in his step. In order for the middle of the lineup to be successful this season, we need a 35-home-run season out of him. Given his offseason tonight and loss of weight, he looks to be productive in 2009.
Order In The Lineup!
A great lead-off hitter is a key to success in 2009. This could easily be someone like Jacoby Ellsbury like he was in ’08, but look out for quiet, little Jed Lowrie who is fighting for his life at short stop.
A solid middle lineup would consist of Youkilis, Ortiz, and Jason Bay. This will be the recipe that wins it all in 2009.
My predictions for the 2009 season are quite predictable if you have followed my articles before. Red Sox will take the division, followed by a tight race for the Wild-Card from the Yankees and Rays.
Feel free to comment and give your feedback anytime.