There were many reasons to think the Boston Red Sox were going to be among the best teams in baseball when the season began. Those reasons include, but are not limited to, a deep starting rotation, franchise players at second and third and the addition of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, two players who finished in the top 10 of the MVP vote in their respective leagues last season. But even the most optimistic Sox fan would have not have included "Jacoby Ellsbury performing like Jim Edmonds circa 2000" among the possible scenarios that had Boston in line for its seventh trip to the playoffs in the last nine seasons.
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12hTony Lee, Special to ESPN.com