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100 Win prediction not to be taken lightly

by Christopher Hackett

I really believe that the 100 win goal didn't start with Josh Beckett. This team is expensive, talented, and young in the right positions. It has also been 4 years since we tasted the World Series and watching the Yankees and Rays each play in the October classic since could not have been easy for the players.

This team has the right feel about it. Everywhere you look our best players have something to prove. Just look at the starting rotation.

Lester is trying to really separate himself from the pack and show his number 1 starter dominance. Buchholz needs to prove last year was no fluke. Dice K and Beckett need to prove they are healthy and worth the money. Lackey needs to prove he can handle the pressure of pitching in Boston.

It continues when you look at the line-up. Is Saltalamacchia ready to be a starting catcher? Did Gonzalez recover from shoulder surgery? How is Pedroia's foot? Is Lowrie ready to take over at shortstop? How will the full-time move back to third effect Youkilis? Can Ellsbury put last year behind him? Will Crawford benefit from playing in a major market with die hard fans? How much does Ortiz have left?

Like last year's club I see lots of questions. Unlike last years clubs I anticipate we will like the answers when it is all said and done. I think the line-up looks more dangerous and should have better situational hitting. I think the bullpen looks much stronger with the addition of Bobby Jenks, a seasoned Bard, and Papelbon in a contract year. I really believe that people have forgotten just how good our starting rotation should be if all are healthy.

I think this club collectively knows how good it can be and we will see more unity than in years past. This season should be similar to the 04 team that really rallied around each other at times of pressure. What better way to make a statement than to finally give Boston a 100 win season and decisive division championship?

I don't think Beckett was just speaking his mind. I think this entire team is buying into something bigger this year. There are no excuses this year. Management did it's job and signed everybody we needed and plugged every area of weakness. From a distance you can see the difference already.

After 2 World Series wins in 4 years I think the fan base became a little content and satisfied. Nothing is more beautiful than that uptight pessimistic tension that lives in the hearts of New Englander's rooting for the Red Sox. I think it was missing lately and the players felt it. Management felt it. The feeling is back. People are anxious. The tension is already there. Will this year be the year? The 100 win prediction is not to be taken lightly as it embodies and more importantly acknowledges the sense of urgency to win in Boston again.

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