1. Does the lineup need a big bat?
A year ago at roughly this time, the Sox began the World Series with David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell batting in the Nos. 3-4-5 positions; this year, they were effectively without all three. Lowell was injured, Ramirez was in Los Angeles and Ortiz was ailing or ineffective -- or both. In the end, the Red Sox offense was not nearly as imposing. The good news is that Jason Bay arrived and Kevin Youkilis emerged, which seems to give the club a good starting point. From here, the Sox need to decide whether they want to keep Bay here beyond 2009 (and if he wants to stay), and if both Ortiz and Lowell can return to the form of 2007.
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