Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SweetSpot [Print without images]

Friday, October 1, 2010
Red Sox figure as co-favorites in 2011


Theo Epstein on the radio yesterday (via Pete Abraham):



The Red Sox have the fifth-best record and the fifth-best run differential in the American League. They've done this despite -- as Epstein mentioned -- getting little from their two highest-paid pitchers and losing one of their starting outfielders for nearly the entire season. What Epstein doesn't mention -- not here, anyway -- is that the Red Sox lost another starting outfielder (Mike Cameron) for most of the season, their best player (Dustin Pedroia) for half the season, and their best hitter (Kevin Youkilis) for a third of the season.

Many things went terribly wrong for the Red Sox this year, and just one thing (Adrian Beltre) went wonderfully right.

Epstein has to address a couple of huge questions this winter; specifically, who's going to play third base next season, and who's going to catch? But I'm perfectly willing to suggest, even before we know Epstein's answers, that the Red Sox will open 2011 on perfectly equal footing with the Yankees and the Rays.