Hamilton headlines top '08 story lines 

January, 1, 2009
After Josh Hamilton, the rest of my top 10 individual story lines for 2008 is the following:

2. Brad Ziegler, Oakland. Yes, he set a record by starting his major league career with 39 scoreless innings and finished the season with a 1.06 ERA. Remember, he did this at the age of 28, after being released by the Phillies, going the Independent League route … and, on Sept. 15, 2004, getting hit in the forehead by a line drive in the California League playoffs. He suffered a skull fracture and concussion, then doctors learned fluid had started to build up on his brain and he spent six days in intensive care. This past winter, he got hit by a throw while working out at Missouri State and suffered another fractured skull. Ryan Howard's college roomie is a profile in courage. As is …

3. Jon Lester. As the 24-year-old cancer survivor regained his strength, he threw a no-hitter, won 16 games, touched 95-96 mph and became Boston's best pitcher, and one of the most personally respected people in uniform.