Monday, April 03, 2006

Duty Calls

With the season starting in just over 2 hours, I suppose convention dictates that I drop a little bit of a preview in this space - and a very little bit of one follows.

The baseball congnoscenti seem to believe that 2006 represents a retrenching year for the Sox. Most experts have conceded the division to the Yankees, and many are positioning the Blue Jays as the 2nd-best team in the AL East. In my most rational moments, I buy the argument, viewing the Sox as an 85-95 win team that's pointing to 2007 to really do big things - lots of questions about integrating new faces into the lineup, and injury issues regarding key pitchers (Schilling and Foulke, of note). That said, there's a lot of my less rational side that's bullish about this team's upside - tons of pitching depth, interesting options offensively and defensively, and a gross of young pitching talent that could make a major impact over the 2nd half of the season.

I guess you could call me cautiously optmistic, with markedly less angst than I usually carry into season openers. If they gel, they could be really good. If not, they've still built a terrific foundation for the future.

Schilling vs. Millwood in Texas at 2:00 EST, on the same day that March Madness ends. I've had worse days.

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