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Once I was a rich man
Now I am so poor
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Don’t hate on the Rays just because they’re young, talented and successful.
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When you're in the Top 5 in team salary in Major League Baseball, the questions surrounding your team entering the season are often of lesser significance than most. Such is the case with the Boston Red Sox, one of the richest and most dominating clubs in the sport. The impressive thing about the Sox, though, is that it truly is a very well-run organization that makes smart decision both off and on the field. With that said, though, no team is without question marks. Let's have a look at the biggest mysteries surrounding the Sox as the club prepares to enter the 2009 season in search of another World Series title.
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I can’t imagine being an Orioles fan.  For the past decade or so, your most frequent thought has been “Stupid Angelos,”  the team has been stuck on ‘suck’ forever and they play in a division with upwards of three behemoths; It’s like being a Jays fan, but worse. 

But maybe, just maybe, there's some light at the end of the tunnel.  And a good chunk of it comes in the form of a potential superstar catcher.

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You know, there are two professional sports teams in North America that inspire, concurrently, both the fiercest loyalty from their fans AND the greatest and most vehement abhorrence by, well, everyone else.

I have had the "privilege" to live in the media epicenter of both these teams; I live in North Texas -- moved here from New York 12 years ago -- where you can see the new Dallas Cowboys stadium being built from a window down the hall from my office. But where love/hate is concerned, Tony Romo is no Derek Jeter. Where controversial Hall of Fame talents are concerned, even recent 'Boy departure Terrell Owens is no Alex Rodriguez. Where Jerry Jones is secretly relieved that, as a meddlesome, loudmouthed owner, he is now being compared to Hank, not George Steinbrenner.

That's right, welcome to New York Yankees v.2009, where an entire borough is seeking an answer to the question, "What the hell is going on? Why haven't we won a World Series this entire century?"
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Opportunity, opportunity
This is your big opportunity

- Elvis Costello

Recent developments in the AL East have got me thinking. Which is probably something I should be worried about, but it's too late to stop now.
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We have collectively tried to come up with a Manager's Box for John Gibbons.
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Time to consider the local heroes....

We have optimism, we have pessimism. We have faith, we have skepticism. We have - ahem - covered many of the bases.
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Sort of.

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Playing in New York, or in the New York minor league system, puts a different spin on a player's career right from the outset. It's almost impossible to arrive on the scene "quietly" -- though Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang and Melky Cabrera have done as fair an imitation of that as anyone recently. Uusally it's all magazine covers and impossibly early Hall of Fame projections (are you listening, Joba Chamberlain and Philip Hughes?) ...

And besides, the Yankees are better known for huge splashy freeagent signings and player acquisitions (heads up, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu). Hey, Andy Pettitte has even managed to fill both of those roles -- young farm system product and returning veteran hero -- in his career, before and after the train stop in Houston.

So what does all this have to do with previewing the 2008 season for the Yankees? Well, fans tend to split pretty black-and-white into "I love the Yankees" and "I hate the Yankees" (with very little in between), so let's change the face of the Great American Baseball Franchise & Dynasty-Maker and take a look at what we can learn about the team from the greatness of Sean Forman's BaseballReference.com ...
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I thought for a while about what angle to take for my Baltimore Orioles preview. 
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These guys are for real.
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Box veteran Mike Denyszyn returns to provide our look at the Sox in poetry and prose. Thanks and take it away, Mike D.
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Yesterday, the Roster looked at the Jay offence, and this morning, it was the pitching and defence. It is time for some Friday afternoon fun. We asked the Roster to supply their win predictions, and keys to the season in a sentence or two.


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Yesterday, the Roster dissected the Jays offence. Less fun, but just as necessary is today's look at the pitching staff and defence.  We welcome #2JBrumfield to the Roster. #2JB will be joining the minor league crew in 2007 and makes his debut here.
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