Cockcroft: Bold Predictions for 2007

The Red Sox are simply no fun. In one of our mid-January podcasts, colleague Eric Karabell and I were discussing the team's recent signing of Joel Pineiro, presumably to groom the troubled right-hander as its new closer. At the time, I scoffed at the idea, and when pressed to pick Boston's 2007 team leader in saves, I picked, what seemed at the time, a most unlikely candidate: Jonathan Papelbon.

And on Thursday, sure enough, the Red Sox converted that bold prediction into a predictable reality, naming 2006 closer Papelbon their 2007 closer as well. Leave it to those pesky Red Sox to steal a favorite preseason prediction! (Though heck, with that shoulder of his, Papelbon could always still be a bust, but the point is it's not as fun a call now.)

The Papelbon news did get me thinking, though. It's prime time for predictions, and boy, us fantasy owners sure love making 'em. So, a little more than a week before opening day, it's prime time to offer up my "Bold Predictions" for the 2007 season.