You know those special sections the Herald and Globe put out to kick off baseball season? This is the opposite. Sweet dreams! (Elsa/Getty Images)

The inaugural WEEI.com Not-So-Special Section: Previewing the 2015 Red Sox in a very average way

April 02, 2015 - 6:29 pm
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If you'd care to indulge us in a little inside baseball, nothing gets newspaper editors feeling as good-to-go frisky as a special section, the Spanish fly in their shot of journalistic tequila. Timed to start every baseball and football season (and maybe basketball and hockey, too, if anyone wants to buy an ad), the sections serve three purposes: 1. To whore for self-congratulatory awards no one cares about except an incestuous members-only club of award mongers; 2. To line mudrooms/light chimney starters/wrap presents if Santa hates you; 3. To sell advertising, which helps keep the rest of the paper in business. Can't fault that one. We'd cover the Red Sox in lederhosen if someone paid us. But read them? Please. Plenty of us dotcommers spent our former lives on the print side filling these sections ourselves, and nowhere is the ratio of work-to-consumption more skewed. You can write practically 8,000 words and spend half of spring training conducting interviews, but you might as well be filling pages 397-404 of the XI-XU Encyclopedia. No one is reading. This isn't to say they lack good work. The Players' Tribune shined a light on such quality, for instance, by running a first-person account from David Ortiz about steroids. The Globe's Bob Hohler had a superior story on the same subject sitting in Special Section purgatory, and Ortiz's piece forced Hohler's online immediately. In any event, the only special section anyone remembers from the last decade is one that became a punch line. The Boston Herald kicked off the 2011 baseball season with "Best Team Ever," and the Red Sox proceeded to deliver the Worst Collapse Ever a few months later. We're told it was Tomase's idea. All of this setup is meant to introduce WEEI.com's first annual Not Even Remotely Special Section, wherein we preview the 2015 Red Sox in a decidedly 2015 way -- 140 characters at a time. We take turns debating the topics that matter to Red Sox fans as a new season dawns, limited only by our imaginations, a vast library of emoticons, and whatever Vines, memes, and animated GIFs we feel like inserting. As long as it fits in a standard Tweet, it's fair game. Next year, we'll Snapchat half of it and make you swipe the rest on Tinder (WEEI's younger staffers inform us that sentence made no sense, but they can tell that to Siri while Instagramming an Uber with a selfie stick, because you're all a bunch of idiots, and we're old). In the spirit of special sections everywhere, feel free to print this on toilet paper and multi-task. Now let's get to it. What is your predicted order of finish in the AL East? @jtomase: Red Sox, O's, Yankees, Jays, Rays. This really is a mediocre division, and the Red Sox are the 1 team with a standout unit -- their offense. @bradfo: @Orioles, @redsox, @bluejays, @yankees, @raysbaseball How many games will the Red Sox win? @jtomase: Come hell or high water, it takes at least 90 games to win the American League East every year and this one will be no different: 93. @bradfo: @harrybelafonte is this many years old (Spoiler: 88) True or false: The AL East champ won't even win 90 games. @jtomase: False. As I already mentioned, the Red Sox are winning this thing with 93. No one else in the division reaches 90, though. @bradfo: Yes sir Who is your Red Sox MVP? @jtomase: Mookie! Mookie! Mookie! You win with your young stars now, and Betts is the brightest. @bradfo: RT

Without saying injuries, because that's boring, what could sink the Red Sox season? @jtomase: I'm going with the bullpen. Koji's age/injury are real concerns, and they're not blessed with hard throwers in the setup ranks. @bradfo: The performance of some guy named Clay Name your AL MVP and Cy Young. Do it now. @jtomase: Tempted though I may be to give both of these to Mookie Betts, let's go the boring route and pick Mike Trout and Chris Sale. @bradfo: All @Tigers: @miguelcabrera and @anibalsanchez19 Who gets more at-bats in a Red Sox uniform in 2015: Allen Craig or Jackie Bradley Jr.? @jtomase: JBJ all the way, once Craig gets traded. Bradley's my sleeper. We know the glove. If he hits a little, he supports an injury-prone OF. @bradfo: Craig become the Red Sox' single season all-time at-bat leader, guys with initials 'AC' division (passing @ac13alex) True or false: The Red Sox will lead the majors in runs scored. @jtomase: True. The Red Sox have built a beastly offense, which is easy to forget sometimes. Mookie, Pedroia, Hanley, Panda, Ortiz, Napoli, X ... scary. @bradfo: Nope. Close, but nope. Who will lead the Red Sox in saves, and how many will he have? @jtomase: I really want to say Papelbon, but not happening. There'll be fits and stops, but let's put Koji down for 26, with Mujica getting the rest. @bradfo: Mujica will start and finish as Red Sox closer, with some Koji in between True or false: Mookie Betts will make the All-Star team. @jtomase: True! When will our collective Mookie love be too much? Not yet. Betts is the real deal, and someone needs to lead off for the AL. @bradfo: RT (LOL) Rank these players in order of games played, from fewest to greatest: David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino. @jtomase: Victorino, Hanley, Ortiz. No one cares more than Vic, but back surgery is no minor thing. Hanley will pull something. Ortiz keeps trucking. @bradfo: Hanley, Victorino, Ortiz (With 116 characters left I choose to use telling you what a terrible movie Hot 'Tub Time Machine 2' was) Who is your Red Sox sleeper? @jtomase: Remember Mike Napoli? Dude with a lumberjack beard? Well he has a new face and now he can sleep (get it, sleeper?!). He could hit 30 bombs. @bradfo: We sometimes forget what a big prospect Xander Bogaerts was. This year we are reminded. Who is your Red Sox opposite of sleeper? @jtomase: Talk about boom or bust. Hanley Ramirez is either going to hit 40 homers or play 90 games. I feel like there's no middle ground. @bradfo: FWIW, TBH I also think it could be Panda FTL (For old fogies, here is a Twitter dictionary) Will the Red Sox be forced to acquire an ace, and if so, who? @jtomase: They're going to get their man -- Cole Hamels! And it won't take Mookie or Swihart to do it. A package built around Owens and Margot is fair. @bradfo: Not an ace, but a starter Because it's not a special section without league-wide predictions, give us your division winners, wild cards, and World Series. @jtomase: Red Sox, White Sox, Mariners, Royals, Orioles. Nationals, Pirates, Dodgers, Cubs, Giants. Dodgers over White Sox. @bradfo: Div: Bal, Det, Sea, Nats, Pit, LA. WC: Bos, WS, STL, Mia. WS: Sea, Nats. WC: Nats And finally, when will the Red Sox season end? @jtomase: I believe they make the playoffs and then lose in the division series to the ... White Sox. Ten years later, it's 2005 all over again. @bradfo: The day @BHarper3407 turns 23 (For the ultimate season preview, click here for all of WEEI.com's spring training coverage.)