It was predictable. It was not surprisingly. And unfortunately, it was the inevitable.
Back when the New York Yankees threw around 423.5 million dollars at prime free agents Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett, and former Indian C.C. Sabathia in the winter of 2009, the Boston Red Sox, were going to strike back as soon as their pocket book allowed them to.
They are known as the ‘little brother' of the Yankees, and since has been trying to one-up their hated foe for several years until they won two World Series's in four years. This time around, the Sox one-uped the Yankees again, and are perhaps the favorite to win the American League Pennant.
Top flight free agents Carl Crawford, an outfielder, and first basemen Adrian Gonzalez will add a ton of thumb to perhaps the best lineup in baseball one through four. Opposing AL pitchers will have to deal with Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Gonzalez in the first inning; all of which are complete hitters. They put the bat on the ball for high batting averages, and produce runs also. All four are All-Star caliber players at their respective position. Designated hitter David Ortiz, who hit 32 home runs in an off year, will bat fifth.
If Boston's pitching can match its fierce lineup, then they are the clear favorite it win the American League Pennant. Proven aces Josh Beckett and John Lackey under performed last year despite injuries, as young arms Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz filled that void at the top of the rotation. The Sox may not need Lackey or Beckett to do as much as they were paid either, because this rotation is six-deep. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who throws almost every pitch in the book, and knuckle baler Tim Wakefield, make this rotation flexible for potential injury. Ex closer Bobby Jenks' arrival to a battered bullpen provides insurance for shutdown closer Jonathan Papelbon.
This very well could be the best team in the Majors here. Outside of the Phillies fearsome foursome of pitching, the Red Sox lineup may be the most feared asset to a team.
Crawford is a four time All-Star selection and an ex Gold Glover, Pedroia a three time All-Star with one Gold Glove, Youkilis has been to the summer classic twice, with a defensive award, and Gonzalez has won the award twice with three All-Star selections. Jason Varitek has a Gold Glove and reserve outfielder Mike Cameron has three. Needless to say, Boston can play solid defense. With the some top flight free agent additions, Boston's formidable roster has made them into the team to beat in the A.L., but they could never take the title of ‘most hated team' from the Yankees...no matter how much dough they spend.