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It’s only the start of spring training but I’m already looking ahead to April and the beginning of the 2013 regular season. I can’t reiterate enough my obsession with erasing the Bobby V. era from my memory (as short as it may have been) and moving forward with the John Farrell era - Bobby V’s reign of terror may have been short by measurable (time) standards, but it felt like an eternity for Red Sox Nation.

Like a kid on Christmas Eve wishing the clock would spin its hour hand faster, I'm dying for this season to get under way. As we look towards the month of April (when opening day falls upon us) there are three predictions that can't be ignored. These predictions may fall under the “holy crap did he just say that” category, but hear me out before you snub your nose at it. Unless you’re a Yankees fan then I could care less what you think - unless it’s professing your closet love for the Sox.

Let’s get to it shall we?

Get a broom for the first Yankees series
The Red Sox start the season against their arch-rival New York Yankees playing three games in four nights. This series will set the tone for the entire year and possibility give the Red Sox some much needed confidence going forward.

The Red Sox and manager John Farrell see this series as an important jump start to the season and that's why I believe they'll go into New York and sweep the defending AL East champs. Sweeping the Yankees is an important statement right off the bat, and although it would be VERY early to make any definitive statements it's still a statement nonetheless.

Lackey’s perfect April 
The biggest surprise in April will be the performance (and record) of John Lackey. He's had the entire 2012 season to watch as the Red Sox crumbled under poor leadership and unstable starting pitching  Now after fully recovering from Tommy John surgery the Red Sox pitcher is fighting to regain his form back, and looks as if he's committed to doing so.

I'm not sure how many starts Lackey will pull during the month of April, but I do know he'll go undefeated during the month. While there may be concerns about his velocity and arm strength I think those issues will be worked out in spring training. Look for Lackey to start off strong in April - if only April.

Trade talks for Ellsbury begin early
Let's all be honest for a moment, and recognize that as soon as Jacoby Ellsbury steps into the batters box the trade rumors will begin. There's a perfect storm brewing in Beantown and Ellsbury is right in the middle of it. Will he stay? Will he go? At this point it's all up in the air - I don't think Ellsbury has any idea either.

I fully expect Ellsbury's name to be thrown around with every possible trade scenario MLB.com or ESPN can come up with. One question remains going forward: Will the Red Sox part ways with the injury prone outfielder or will they commit to what they know he's capable of?

What are your thoughts Red Sox Nation? Do you believe these are legitimate possibilities or just further proof I used an 8-Ball to answer my questions?

Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.

Scott Levesque 2/18/2013 02:00:00 PM Edit
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