March 18, 2004

Predictions, Part 3. Jack McDowell sees the Red Sox winning the AL East.

Boston Red Sox: "All of the offseason celebrations and high hopes for Red Sox fans were because of Schilling's signing. ... Anything less and this will be just another deal gone awry. ... All the pieces are in place for a dominant team. A rotation that features three No. 1s, a solid bullpen anchored by a new, proven closer (Keith Foulke) and last year's most potent offense with a few new twists. ... they were a few outs away from the pennant last year and have gotten better. Their success came without Derek Lowe having a stellar year. ... They will be tough to beat."

New York Yankees: "Kevin Brown comes back to the American League with the pressure of leading a rebuilt New York pitching staff. The A-Rod trade made a big splash, but if Brown doesn't shine, neither do the Yanks. ... The Yanks of the past decade were a tight-knit group ... This is a put-together team that has to achieve and jell in a hurry to keep pace with the Red Sox. ... A-Rod is great, but the key will be how Brown does back in the AL and how well Vazquez fits into Yankee pinstripes."

As Opening Day draws closer, if your local paper has predictions, send them in (with a link, if possible) and I'll post them here. ... And don't forget the contest.

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