Usually the format might address the questions or uncertainty facing a team. As a precursor to a more thorough dissertation on why the Sox will prevail in 2009, I'll supply some answers.
Health. Trading in excuses doesn't either bring victory or relieve the 'pain' that fans experience. But injuries have a way of disturbing man's plans. Last season critical injuries to Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, and J.D. Drew cost the Sox dearly. With the exception of Schilling, we can expect more normal performance.
Of course, the Sox will have a cadre of recovering commodities in 2009, including Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie, Takashi Saito, and Brad Penny.
The best man will win. Jed Lowrie proved to be a reliable defender and a solid offensive contributor until a wrist injury betrayed him. Julio Lugo, he of the big paycheck, will get the first shot to unseat the new incumbent.
Father Time. Long-time Sox catcher Jason Varitek returns with a strong work ethic and weaker bat. A combination of need (to generate offense) and rest (Josh Bard or George Kattaras) will lighten the load and increase Variteks performance.