February 3, 2004

The AL Beast. Peter Gammons looks at the AL East: "Barring some breakdown and given the encouraging throwing sessions by Steve Karsay, New York goes into camp with all 11 pitching spots in place, while Boston is looking for a possible second left-handed reliever. New York has to solve the third-base situation, decide how the Bernie Williams/Kenny Lofton combination is going to work and do some minor tinkering with the bench. Boston, presuming Ellis Burks signs, may not have one positional decision for Terry Francona, from Jason Varitek catching all the way to Mark Bellhorn and Tony Womack. ... On paper, [Boston] is a much-improved team because of the pitching. Curt Schilling, Martinez, Lowe and Tim Wakefield comprise one of the most reliable rotations anywhere. And after going through a year of Chad Fox and Rudy Seanez and 10 different pitchers getting saves, they now are 1-through-10 in place, with Keith Foulke set up by Williamson, Embree, Mike Timlin and Bronson Arroyo."

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