I will admit that Rivera is one of the best "3 out" closers of all time, but he is beyond due to break down...neither of us know if he is going to sharply decline this season, but the chances of him declining greatly very soon (this season) are more likely than not. It cant last forever, and he is old.
Boston will run the table, they are loaded. The Yankees will be the wild card, and they will continue their eternal duel come the postseason...
The Red Sox are not loaded. In fact, many would consider the Red Sox offseason to be a complete failure. Amidst rumors of them obtaining everyone from Adrian Gonzalez to Roy Halladay, everyone they got seems like a contingency plan. That is not to say that these are terrible players, but Boston didn't get the impact players they were looking for. This is a team that took a complete backseat to the Yankees last season and it could easily be argued that the Yankees actually had the better offseason. Thus, the better team actually improved more. There are still questions with Boston's bullpen as well as the back end of the rotation (you could argue Wakefield and Dice-K will be good but I wouldn't bet on it) and in losing Jason Bay, I don't think that type of bat was replaced. Mike Cameron is a downgrade in the lineup and he and Beltre combined don't improve upon Lowell and Bay. Boston still has talent, but they are not up to par with the Yankees. I wouldn't even be surprised if Tampa has a better year that Boston does, leaving Boston out of the playoffs.
I think the division is wide open. Yankees had some loses, Boston isn't that loaded. Tampa might have the best shot
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