Found April 01, 2013 on Ted's Army:
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. The Red Sox didn't get a lot of love from the 43 ESPN "experts" who made their picks for division winners and wild-card teams for the 2013 season, but they weren't shut out either.Four folks list the Red Sox as a wild-card team -- Karl Ravech of "Baseball Tonight", ESPN.com's David Schoenfield, AJ Mass of ESPN Fantasy, and our own eternal optimist Joe McDonald. The Rays and Blue Jays garnered the most votes, but all five teams received some attention as a possible playoff team. The Rays were picked as the division winner 19 times and a wild-card team 12 times, while the Jays got 19 votes as division champ and 11 votes as a wild card. The Orioles were picked as the division winner twice and got four votes as a wild card, and the Yankees got one vote to win the AL East and five votes to be a wild card.  ESPNBoston | ESPN predicts the 2013 season  What a difference a year (or two) makes. Heading into 2011, when the Red Sox famously had the greatest roster ever assembled, all of ESPN's then-45 experts had the Red Sox winning the AL East. A whopping 42 had them winning the AL. Last year expectations dropped so that just a third of the experts had them making the playoffs. And now here we are in 2013. The roster had a major facelift. Out goes the incompetent manager, in comes a guy we certainly hope isn't incompetent (but is as hated in Toronto as Bobby V is in Boston). The injured guys from last year -- sans David Ortiz, which is admittedly a big sans -- are ready to go. But nonetheless, ESPN's experts, who clearly just make their decisions based on who makes the splashiest offseason moves, are all psyched about the Blue Jays, who took most of the best players from a terrible team and all of a sudden are World Series favorites. I don't remember a season where the AL East was this unpredictable. There are reasonable arguments to be made for everyone. The Red Sox could catch a break on the injury bug, hang around until the deadline, acquire another piece or two and make a run. The Blue Jays really could harness all that talent, and Josh Johnson could stay healthy and Mark Buehrle could handle the AL East. The Yankees could ride out their injuries and then play .700 ball once everyone returns. The Rays could continue to live on pitching and defensive shifts and find their way. The Orioles could manage to win a bunch of close games thanks to their bullpen and managing, somehow overcoming their atrocious starting pitching. And while ESPN is down on the Sox, the Ted's Army staff is surprisingly positive, with four of us predicting playoffs (and as the lone dissenter, I said they'd be in contention). That's the fun of opening day, we all have a chance. We can stop fretting about Jacoby Ellsbury's future contract, Jackie Bradley's 2019 status, John Lackey's offseason workout habits, or whether the team is now as loose and determined as the Red Sox marketing wants us to think. We can focus on whether Jon Lester can shut down the Yankees. Now if only they would have it be a night game so we could actually watch. On page 2, an argument for Jon Lester being the most important player on the team. The one thing we’ve seen from Lester in spring training is more accountability. He finally understands how important he is to the success of this franchise. The No. 1 guy takes the pressure off everybody else in the rotation. He sets the tone. A successful No. 1 creates a healthy competition among the other spots in the rotation. A strong Lester should make Clay Buchholz think — “I’m gonna go out there and match him. I’m gonna be even better.” That’s what a No. 1 does. That’s what Sabathia does with Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova. That’s what Verlander does with Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, and Max Scherzer. Lester now has the chance to be that guy. Globe | Jon Lester remains the most important Red Sox player It's a strong argument, although I still find myself thinking Jacoby Ellsbury is the most important player to the team's success. Perhaps Cafardo's experience of being around teams allows him to know the mythical qualities of what a "true ace" means to a staff. As a regular old fan, it's harder for me to find that. I'll take a 2011 Jacoby Ellsbury over whatever the best Jon Lester can put up. Lester is a good bet for a solid year. Not just because of his strong spring (spring numbers are, obviously, close to meaningless), but because his track record suggests that last year is an anomaly more than anything. It happens for pitchers sometimes. Cliff Lee spent time in the minors after he had dominated for the Indians. Sometimes they lose their way for a while. I think Lester gets back on track this year. One last thing: Remember that today is April Fool's Day, so if you see somebody "reporting" that the Red Sox have signed Jackie Bradley Jr. to a $200 million deal, or have traded for Alex Rodriguez, don't start tweeting your outrage too soon.  ESPNBoston | Jackie Bradley Jr. causing a stir | Jackie Bradley makes Red Sox roster | Red Sox-Yankees: Who has the edge? | Fiery Pedroia hopes to spark fans' support | Globe | Will Middlebrooks of the Red Sox, the headstrong kid who made it to Fenway Park | Red Sox set to face Kevin Youkilis in pinstripes | CSNNE | Five reasons the Red Sox will contend this year... | ...and five reasons they won't | WEEI | A new beginning? Red Sox look to move on, build from embarrassment of 2012 | GM Ben Cherington: Red Sox farm system deepest he's seen it | Herald | Plenty to like at dawn of new era | Red Sox seek winning formula through chemistry experiment | Jon Lester set for big step | Good guy Jonny Gomes has appetite for playoffs | Prospects look bright | Ex-phenoms Lynn, Garciaparra have advice, praise for JBJ | Ned Yost predicts big things for Jon Lester in 2013 | Meet the 2013 Boston Red Sox | Nightmare of '11 too fresh to forget | AL East preview: Wounded Yankees hope to find a way | GMs don't learn formula in classroom | Ex-Sox enjoy giving back | John Lackey renewed by long road back | AL East preview: Rays rely on pitching once again | Talent still plays major role in results | Herald staff picks | Dempster delivers comic relief, hard work
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Jon Lester Doesn’t Want to Discuss Contract Extension During Season, Thinks It’s ‘Too Much of a Distraction’

2013 is a big year for Jon Lester in more ways than one. Not only will Lester’s performance have a huge impact on the type of season the Red Sox have, but the left-hander is also pitching for his next contract. Lester is in the last guaranteed year of the five-year, $30 million extension he signed prior to the 2009 season. The Sox hold a $13 million club option for 2014, but this...

Jon Lester Bends, Doesn’t Break in Encouraging Opening Day Win Over Yankees

It took Jon Lester five starts to notch his first win last season, so the left-hander is already a step ahead of the game. Lester pitched five innings and earned the win in the Red Sox’ 8-2 victory over the Yankees on Monday. He threw 96 pitches (63 strikes), and allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. It was far from a dominant performance by Lester...

Red Sox-Yankees Live: Jon Lester, Sox Look to Get Off on Right Foot in Opening Day Clash Against Yankees

8 a.m. ET: Opening Day is finally up on us, and what better way to kick off the season than with a Red Sox-Yankees showdown? Jon Lester will take the ball for Boston after a magnificent spring. He led the Grapefruit League in ERA (0.75), and he looks poised to bounce back in 2013 after a horrendous 2012 season. Getting off to strong start will be a difficult task, though. The last...

Jon Lester Admits ‘It’ll Be Weird’ Playing Against Kevin Youkilis, Who Is Now ‘One of the Bad Guys’

Kevin Youkilis earned the respect of teammates and fans during his eight-plus seasons in Boston. None of that matters now. “Now he’s one of the bad guys. We’ve got to worry about him,” Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester told reporters on Sunday. Youkilis, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2001, won two World Series rings and was selected to three All-Star Games during his time in...

Red Sox Defeat Yankees in Opener

Lester needs to pitch like an ace for the Sox this year The Boston Red Sox will not start the season 0-6. They have won their first Opening Day in three years as they defeated the New York Yankees 8-2. Jose Iglesias picked up three hits while Jackie Bradley Jr walked three times and drove in a run. In the second inning Yankees starter CC Sabathia fell apart as Shane Victorino drove...

Recap: Sox grind out an 8-2 win over the Yankees

We shouldn't get too caught up over one game right? NAHHHHH. CUE THE DUCKBOATS.   162-0 baby! The Red Sox attacked an unusally shaky CC Sabathia and Jon Lester managed to work through a rough inning and let the bullpen come in and do shut down the Yankees and come out with an 8-2 win.  This wasn't a classic Sox victory with the lineup cranking out three or four homers...

Red Sox’ Opening Day Victory Shows Exact Formula Boston Must Use in Order to Win Games

Take a good, long look at the Red Sox’ Opening Day victory. It’s exactly how this year’s team plans to win ballgames. The offense collected 13 hits, Jon Lester pitched five solid innings and the bullpen proved to be the shutdown unit that many anticipate it being this season. On top of all that, the Sox showed grit, hustle, aggressiveness, plate discipline and the ability to...

Game 1: 3 stars of the game

In the first game of the season the Red Sox have already made it difficult for me to pick the top 3 stars of the game. This column will run after every game. The idea is to pick 3 players from either team, who put in the best performances, just like the 3 stars of the game for hockey. I will be keeping track of who earns the awards and with that will be able to accurately predict...

Red Sox 8, Yankees 2

Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox got off to a quick start after a dreadful 2012 season, giving new manager John Farrell an 8-2 win over the barely recognizable New York Yankees on opening day Monday. Newcomer Shane Victorino led a revamped Red Sox lineup with three RBIs and rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times and scored twice in his big league debut. Boston's big day...

Red Sox hopeful rotation can bounce back as season begins in the Bronx

Sox fans are hoping John Farrell can get Jon Lester and this rotation back into shape It’s finally here. Time to put last year’s nightmare season to rest and start the 2013 chapter of the Boston Red Sox. The Sox head to the Bronx Monday to open their season against rival New York Yankees. The Sox Yanks series to start the season should be exciting as they come, although neither...

Enemy Chatter: It won't be just like last year

I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers are saying about the Red Sox after playing the Red Sox. Here's a dose of 'enemy chatter' from New York. The Red Sox still may endure another season of misery, but it won’t be just like last year. After opening last season 0-3 on their way to 69 wins and the franchise’s worst...

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees Pitching Matchups: 4/1-4/4

Note: Pitching matchups are subject to change Monday,  April 1 @ 1:05 PM Jon Lester, LHP (0-0, 0.00) vs CC Sabathia, LHP (0-0 0.00) TV: NESN, YES, ESPN, MLB.tv Radio: Red Sox Radio Network, MLB Gameday Audio Wednesday, April 3 @ 7:05 PM Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 0.00) vs Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (0-0, 0.00) TV: NESN, YES, ESPN2, MLB.tv Radio: Red Sox Radio...

Painting the Black: The First 24 Hours by R.J. Anderson

Opening Day observations about James Shields, Jon Lester, Mike Moustakas and others.

How we see it goin' down: Sox - Yanks series

First Pitch: Monday 1:05, Wednesday 7:05, Thursday 1:35 Arms: Monday: Jon Lester, LHP  (0-0, -.-- ERA)  vs. CC Sabathia, LHP (0-0, -.-- ERA) Wednesday: Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (0-0, -.-- ERA) Thursday: Ryan Dempster, RHP (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte. LHP (0-0, -.--ERA)                                   Yard...

Pitching Matchups: Yankees - Red Sox

Here are the opening series pitching matchups & start times. Remember, if you're looking for last minute New York Yankees tickets for opening day or any games throughout the 2013 season, you can get them right here our partners at TiqIQ. Game 1: Today @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES/ESPN | Radio: WCBS 880 LHP CC Sabathia (0-0, 0.00) vs LHP Jon Lester (0-0, 0.00) Game 2: Wednesday...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.