It's Opening Day 2013. Red Sox vs. Yankees in the Bronx. While there's always a lot of excitement to start a new year, both of these teams have major issues and injuries and by most "experts" aren't given a shot to make the playoffs let alone the World Series. Go on all the major sports sites this morning and look at the predictions. No Red Sox in sight. And honestly how could they be? They're a team coming off a 69 win season, who didn't make huge sign this offseason and their middle of the line-up power DH is starting on the DL. Still, it's a new year. Like every other team in MLB, Boston is 0-0.
The biggest story over the past few weeks has been Jackie Bradley Jr. and what the Red Sox should do with him to start the season. That question has been answered as he's starting in left field this afternoon. While I understand he had off-the-charts stats in spring training and the "sizzle" PR-wise he brings to the Red Sox, I would have started him in Pawtucket and brought him back up April 12th gaining control of his contract in 2019. It also eliminates the problem of when to send him back down for 20 days during the season again to gain control of that extra year, which is extremely important, when you're talking about a player of his caliber in what would be the prime of his career with an agent named Scott Boras.
The best matchup of the day is definitely between the starting pitchers Jon Lester and CC Sabathia. Although the battle of the clean-up spot between Boston's Mike Napoli and New York's Kevin Youkilis could be one for the ages. It's interesting that both of these clubs, who perennially have some of the most potent line-ups in baseball, are dealing with major injuries and starting off the season with pedestrian line-ups at best. If both pitchers are on, we could see zeros on the board into the late innings.
As bad as the Red Sox were last year and as much as I disagree with how this offseason went, I'm excited baseball is back and interested to see how this team will develop throughout the season. How do you feel about the Red Sox heading into this afternoon?
Red Sox Opening Day Line-Up 2013
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli 1B
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Jonny Gomes DH
Jackie Bradley LF
Jose Iglesias 2B
(Jon Lester P)