Mark Twain more or less said while history may not repeat, it rhymes. Will the 2011 Boston Red Sox season rhyme with 1918, 2004, and 2007? I think so. The 2011 club is not perfect. But let’s take a look at how few blemishes there are. We start with Theo Epstein, Mister Sabermetrics, in the front office, and move on to Terry Francona in the dugout. Given his postseason success (most friends get to call him), TC may be the most underrated manager in baseball.
Is The Greek God of Walks, Kevin Youkilis, Greek? Irish? Jewish? (James Joyce would love it.) None of the above? Who cares? With Gonzalez aboard, Youkilis returns to third base. Marco Scutaro is more than adequate at shortstop. Dustin Pedroia, a dirt-on-the-uniform-choking-up-on-the-bat throwback, is All-World at second base.
Mister DH, David Ortiz, is set to pick up where he left off most of 2010 following his dismal April (and May I think).
The rotation is second only to the Phillies, and thus number one in the American League: Jon Lester, Josh Beckett (in his walk year, so look for maximum effort), Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, and Daisuke. I do not know what these Sox are doing for left-handed relief, but the pen is several notches above most. (Why worry with such starting pitching?)
This is your prototypical, scrappy, lunch-bucket brigade, un-flashy, fiendish (for the rest of the American League) balance of veteran experience, youth, speed, and power: young, fast, and scientific. Red Sox Nation’s back, baby!