Even though he was roughed up in a minor league outing yesterday, Randy Johnson and the rest of the Yankees look relatively copasetic as spring training draws to a close. While there are new additions on both the Sox and the Bombers, many familiar faces are returning this season: Jeter, Posada, Bernie, Sheffield, Rodriguez, Matsui are still here, as are Damon, Bellhorn, Manny, Varitek, Nixon, and Millar. The clean-cut Yanks vs. the Dirt Bomb Sox. It will be interesting to see how the new guys figure into the rivalry. (It’s a drag that Edgar Renteria is on Boston, cause I’ve always enjoyed rooting for that dude.) Boomer Wells is a beauty fit, that’s for sure. Clement, Miller, Pavano and Wright change the look of the rotations, not to mention Mr. Johnson, of course.
But you know what’s got me bugged out? The Red Sox without Pedro. He’s been the most important player on their team since he arrived from Montreal in the late 1990s. With all due respect to Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro was the biggest star in Boston. Every series against New York, the talk revolved around Martinez: when was he pitching, was he healthy? The feeling was always that the Sox just had to win the game he started. I’m not saying the team is better or worse without him, just marketedly different. Life without Pedro will take some time getting used to.
Oh, and for those of you who are superstitious, SI has picked New York to win the Serious this year. That’s bound to bring a sigh of relief to many card-carrying members of Red Sox Nation. If you believe in that sort of thing, that is.