Boston, MA (PressExposure) June 22, 2009 -- The 2009 Major League Baseball A.L. east is without question the toughest division in the American League. That will make it exciting but arguably the most successful organization in baseball, the Boston Red Sox, should come out on top. It is very likely the Red Sox will be in the running to win their third World Series in six years. It truly is theirs to lose, in spite of the competition.
There may be two reasons the Red Sox can make it to the top of the Fall Classic in the great game. One loss and one gain. Obviously the biggest move made last year was letting go of Manny Ramirez. His volatile behavior was taking a toll on the Red Sox clubhouse and it's probably just a matter of time before the Dodgers get a firsthand experience of his big personality that rides along with his big bat. This really will prove that sometimes less is more. The loss of Ramirez could certainly be long forgotten with a big season by one of baseball's most dependable pitchers John Smoltz. Smoltz of course is reliable when healthy. The Red Sox took a chance on him this year 5.5 million and incentives but Smoltz has always been the kind of pitcher to be the best he can in any way possible, which is the kind of player that fits into the mold of baseball in Boston.
Keeping Jason Varitek may be another reason to believe that a third World Championship will be in Boston. No other catcher has played more games for Boston that Varitek (over 1000 games) and no other catcher in the history of baseball has caught more no-hitters (4). It is most assuredly Varitek's leadership in the clubhouse that Boston will be relying on the pull a group together that has plenty of talent and experience. Talent and experience is something you can expect from Boston's ace Josh Becket (12-10, 4.03 ERA, 27 starts, 174 IP in 2008). Even though last year was a down year, a rebounded attitude is what you can experience from a workman like fighter such as Becket. Jon Lester (16-6, 3.21 ERA, 33 starts, 210 IP) is a rising star and Japanese phenomenon Daisuke Matsuzaka (18-3, 2.90 ERA, 29 starts, 167 IP) are two amazing compliments to Becket. That's not all, however. Tim Wakefield (10-11, 4.13 ERA, 30 starts, 181 IP), accomplished knuckleballer and ex-Dodger Brad Penny (6-9, 6.27 ERA, 17 S) just add to what really should be the most feared pitching staff in Major League Baseball.
The curse of the Bambino seems only a distant memory after two World Series wins and a very successful season last year. The bar has been raised and Red Sox fans, as loyal as they have been, should be pretty disappointed if the Red Sox win less than 95 to 100 games in the 2009-2010 season. If injuries don't take any big piece of the puzzle, the Red Sox look to have the picture perfect season.