Red Sox Redux

Red Sox Redux

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Red Sox Redux

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The disappointing collapse of such a promising Red Sox team last year hardly seems like a bright spot. Jon Lester, David Ortiz and even Peter Gammons had health scares that put them in the hospital. In fact, the entire team became so ravaged with injury that Julian Tavarez was at one point our staff ace and Kevin Youkilis was at one point our cleanup hitter. The frustration of the 2006 season could be personified almost perfectly by a 5 game series against the Yankees in August. During that series the Red Sox pitching completely collapsed as Red Sox fans watched the team’s playoff hopes end in their own ballpark. It was in fact the biggest heartbreak that I, as a Red Sox fan, have endured since the 2003 ALCS. However, it did set into motion actions that will change the course of the Red Sox franchise for years to come. And just like the 2003 season, 2006 may have set the table for a year to celebrate. In fact, 2006 may have encouraged developments that could make the Red Sox one of the most powerful forces in baseball for years to come.
Fortunately, it wasn’t all disappointments that laid the groundwork for the 2007 season. Perhaps the most important developments of 2006 were the statements made by youngsters Jonathan Papelbon and Kevin Youkilis. Both young players proved not only that they could play at the major league level, but that they could be some of the most valuable players on a major league team. Last year also brought about the continued development of Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen, Dustin Pedroia and Craig Hansen, all of which are products of the Red Sox farm system who will be counted on in 2007. Epstein’s revitalization of the Red Sox minor league system is finally starting to pay it’s dividends. The Red Sox don’t have the best system in baseball, but they do have a remarkable knack for refilling their system with top level prospects. Somehow, they

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