Why the Red Sox Will Bounce Back and Win the 2011 World Series
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The Boston Red Sox had a very disappointing 2010. It seemed like the disabled list was bigger than the active roster - 3 of the 5 pitchers in the starting rotation were on it, and 5 of the 9 starting fielders were too. Of those 5 starters, 3 of them were on it for more than half the season. At one point, the starting catcher and backup catcher were on the DL at the same time. There were some bright points, but overall, it was a disastrous season.

But now we're on the verge of 2011, and things are looking up. In fact, things are looking awesome. The Sox managed to pick up 2 key players that will help them in the long term, and a lot of players are coming back healthy. So, here's my New Year's prediction - the Red Sox will win the 2011 World Series.
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1. Board Game: Modern Land Battles (MLB): Target Acquired [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
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Adrian Gonzalez

The Sox traded away 3 top prospects to get him, but Gonzalez is the big bat in the middle of the order that they needed. He's a power hitter who gets on base a ton. With the Fenway right field wall moving in a few feet, he'll probably reach a career high in home runs. The long term deal isn't signed yet, but it appears to be only a formality at this point.
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2. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:149]
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Carl Crawford

The other big acquisition this offseason. Regardless of whether you think the Sox overpaid for him, he's a major outfield upgrade. He hits for average and has a little pop in his bat. Plus, he's a stolen bases machine.
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3. Board Game: Odd [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
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Dustin Pedroia

He missed most of 2010 with a broken foot, but he's a warrior, and he'll be back ready to compete.

"Laser show. Relax."
 
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4. Board Game: Monster Maker 3: Nihon Youkai [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Kevin Youkilis

He missed a big chunk of 2010, but he'll be back for the start of 2011. Plus, he's moving back to his natural position at third base.
 
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5. Board Game: The Nancy Drew Mystery Game [Average Rating:4.47 Unranked]
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J.D. Drew

He sucked last year, but he mysteriously plays better in contract years. 2011 is the last year of his contract with the Sox, so I'm expecting an uptick in performance.
 
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6. Board Game: Speed Racer Collectable Card Game [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
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Jacoby Ellsbury

He missed practically all of 2010. A healthy Ellsbury will be a major improvement to last year's outfield. Plus, he's moving back to center field.
 
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7. Board Game: Play-Beck [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Josh Beckett

He was injured in 2010 and pitched downright lousy. But, he has a knack of coming back strong after a bad season.
 
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8. Board Game: The Crow and the Pitcher [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:8192]
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John Lackey

He was 2010's big acquisition, and he played like crap. The good news is he was pitching better as the year went on. Now that he's adjusted to the pressure of the AL East, he should be back to his old form in 2011.
 
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9. Board Game: Bobby Sitter [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:7499]
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Bobby Jenks

2010 was a bad year for Jenks, but hopefully he'll rebound with a new team in 2011. He'll only be in a setup role with the Sox, so he won't have to deal with the pressure of the closer role.
 
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10. Board Game: Wheeler Dealer [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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Dan Wheeler

He's a solid setup guy who has experience in the AL East. Wheeler fills a big hole in the Sox bullpen, and he's pitching for his hometown team now.
 
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11. Board Game: Critter-Tek [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
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Jason Varitek

Tek has become a very valuable backup catcher and will mentor Jarrod Saltalamacchia this year. If he stays healthy, he could even end up platooning. He still has some pop in his bat, and although his batting average isn't great, it was better in 2010 than in years past.
 
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12. Board Game: Uncle Lester's Word Game [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
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Jon Lester

2010 was his best year - he was a Cy Young candidate and is a legit #1 starter. And he'll only be 27 years old at the start of spring training.
 
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13. Board Game: Claymania [Average Rating:5.70 Unranked]
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Clay Buchholz

2010 was by far his best year, and he was a Cy Young contender. Buchholz has developed into the pitcher that management projected him to be, and he'll only be 26 years old when the season starts.
 
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14. Board Game: Shakespeare: The Bard Game [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:6735]
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Daniel Bard

He had an amazing 2010 and is arguably the best setup guy in baseball. He'd be the closer on most teams.
 
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15. Board Game: Paparazzi [Average Rating:5.49 Unranked]
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Jonathan Papelbon

He had career highs in 2010 for ERA and walks - not good for a closer. If that's not enough to light a fire under his butt, Jenks and Bard will be challenging him for the closer role. Papelbon is a free agent at the end of the 2011 season, and closers get paid a lot more than setup guys. I'm expecting him to rebound in 2011.
 
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16. Board Game: UNO: David Ortiz Limited [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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David Ortiz

Big Papi had a respectable 2010 and proved he can bounce back after a slow start... again. He's playing for a contract, too.
 
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