Mlb 2008: Red Sox Seek Another Championship

By: Stephen Lars

The beginning of the regular baseball season will take off in Japan; but already there have been players who have withdrawn for example; Josh Beckett who did not travel with his teammates and Curt Schilling who is inactive until July due to a shoulder injury.

The Boston Red Sox first actions have not been very dazzling but this does not mean the team does not have what is required to win a consecutive World Series title; an achievement no team has reached except for the New York Yankees back in 1998-2000.

There is no doubt Boston will face though competition from five or six very powerful teams in the American League.

Detroit went through lots of trouble to acquire the Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera who was exchanged for the Florida Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis. On the other hand, Seattle included Erick Bedard while the Los Angeles Angels hired gardener Torii Hunter. And let's not forget that Cleveland and the Yankees have new young pitchers.

Red Sox manager Theo Epstein stated that this is a very good league with many competitive teams. Beckett remained in Florida while his teammates traveled to Japan to inaugurate the season with a series Tuesday and Wednesday against Oakland Athletics in Tokyo. Boston expects their star player to recover soon, which will be a plus for the team and their plans for another championship.

Most of the 2007 baseball players are back including the Puerto Rican Mike Lowell, who was named the 2007 World Series most valuable player. Other like the Beckett's absence opens a space in the rotation of the young promises Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. The Dominican Bartolo Colon was also hired as insurance for the team.

New York won nine consecutive Eastern Divison titles until Boston broke that record last year. "This is the first year since I am here in five consecutive years in which we are not defending team and I believe that is a good position", indicated New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, who was selected as the American League most valuable player last season.

The New York team will move to a new stadium during the 2009 season and will retained their principal free agents and will say goodbye to their popular manager Joe Torre who led the Yankees to the playoffs in their 12 seasons as leader; he signed a new contract with the LA Dodgers and will be replaced by Joe Girardi

In the Central Division; Cleveland has gardener Grady Sizemore as well as the winner of the Cy Young last year C.C. Sabathia, who becomes free agent after this season.

The Cleveland Indians along with the Boston had the best record in the major leagues last year. While at the American League championship series the Indians had an advantage of 3-1 over the Red Sox before losing three consecutive games.

Additionally, the Angels have a roster full of talent besides their strong background of three consecutive divisional titles but their two better pitchers: John Lackey and the Venezuelan Kelvin Escobar are currently inactive until they can play again.

Ichiro Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners also count with strong active players such as: Carlos Silva, the Dominican Miguel Batista and Jarrod Washburn, besides J.J. Putz.

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