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Friday, February 4, 2011

Turning the page on the Red Sox - Yankees rivalry

The signing of Adrian Gonzalez marks the beginning of a new chapter in one of pro sports most fiercest rivalries. Although the Red Sox have won 2 World Series Championships to the Yankees 1 WSC since 2004, it seems as if the Red Sox have always been looking up at the Yankees whether it was in the AL East standings, or in the off season trades.

Looking forward to the 2011 campaign, the Red Sox have managed to rattle the Yankees’ cage with all the talk of offering a contract to Derek Jeter, which would have never happened, but still managed to elicit posts from major media outlets to insignificant fan blogs.

Chad Finn of Boston.com said it best:

All semi-serious snark aside, you know what the best-case scenario is for Red Sox fans? What's happening right now.

To top that, the Red Sox did indeed offer Mo Rivera a 2 year contract forcing the Yankees to sign him to a 2 year deal, what Mo wanted, rather than the 1 year contract initially offered by the Yankees.

And now the Adrian Gonzalez signing has the Yankees talking about chasing Carl Crawford in an attempt to drive up his price when negotiating a potential contract with him. The Yankees have no need for a left fielder. Brett Gardner is a Yankee home groan left fielder that Brian Cashman does not want to give up. If I know this, certainly Theo knows it, as does every baseball writer of any worth across the land.

If the Red Sox land Crawford, the Opening Day line-up could look something like this:

CF Ellsbury (L)
2B Pedroia (R)
LF Crawford (L)
1B Gonzalez (L)
3B Youkilis (R)
DH Ortiz (L)
SS Lowrie (S)
RF Drew (L)
C Salty (S)

(I said ‘could.’ I’m no baseball manager by any means, and I’m sure that this will not be the exact line up, but ‘could’ be close.) In any event, it will be a formidable offensive line-up, better than the 2010 offense which produced XXX home runs and XXX runs scored.

Lester and Buchholz have come of age and will only get better. Beckett, Lackey, Dice-K and Papelbon are due for bounce back years. The Red Sox won 89 games with basically a AAA roster for much of the year. With a healthy roster and 2 wins from Beckett, Lackey, Dice-K and Papelbon, and 1 win from Ellsbury, Pedroia, Gonzalez, and Youkilis puts this line up winning 101 games.

Theo had to give up 3 highly touted prospects and a PTBNL, but the Red Sox farm is quite fertile right now as it is, and only stands to get better with all the draft picks he’s managed to pick up along the way.

A new decade, a new order to the AL East.

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