Meanwhile, Tom Boswell joins the chorus of critics who think the Yankees' front office have made some suspect decisions this winter:
What odds could you have gotten last fall that Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, David Wells and Jeff Weaver -- four-fifths of the New York rotation last year with 120 starts among them -- would all be pitching for other teams? It's unparalleled and almost incomprehensible.
Losing Pettitte, largely because George Steinbrenner snubbed him with offseason indifference, may haunt New York for years. Pettitte was penciled in for five more fine seasons and a place next to Whitey Ford. The Yankees can talk all they want about their rebuilt staff, but it's a bluff. This team is gut-shot. You don't win titles at Yankee Stadium without a quality southpaw starter. Kevin Brown will be 39 in March and missed half his starts in 2001 and '02. Pitching depth has always been Joe Torre's hole card. Now he can't name his fourth or fifth starter.
At the same time, Boswell likes the boys from Boston:
Hard as it is to accept (without smelling salts), the AL favorite is clearly the Red Sox. Curse or no curse, you can't get around it. The Red Sox are now the overdogs. They're so loaded and rich that they might as well wear pinstripes this season.
I have a feeling that the Red Sox will be the favorites in many a pre-season prognostication. Don't you?