Play Ball 2011: Sox lineup deep, dangerous

Play Ball 2011: Sox lineup deep, dangerous
March 30, 2011, 3:38 am
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When looking at the Red Sox' potential Opening Day lineup, with the additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, it's hard not to think it will be one of the best.

One of the best in the league? One of the best in Red Sox history?

To both questions, Lou Merloni and Sean McAdam answer "yes."

Merloni compared this lineup to the one the Red Sox had in 2004, when they won their first World Series in 86 years.

"They have that power. They can get that three-run home run to win ballgames when they need to," Merloni said. "When facing tough pitchers they can do it on the basepaths. They can manufacture runs. Guys at the bottom of the order can hit and run. There are a lot of different ways they can attack teams."

McAdam compared them to the powerful lineups the Red Sox had in the 1970s, but with more speed.

"They have a 100-RBI guy hitting sixth," McAdam said. "That tells you a lot about depth and a lot about the balance that they have of speed, athleticism at the top, and guys who can clean that up at the four-to-six spots. They have some guys at the bottom who aren't to be dismissed either. I think it's a good lineup. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better one in baseball."