Boston Red Sox' Adrian Gonzalez(notes), center, is congratulated by teammates after his solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game in Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday, March 29, 2011.

Don’t look out your window this morning, especially if you live in New England, to believe me when I say spring is here. And when I say spring is here, what I really mean is that the Boston Red Sox are getting ready to play some baseball.

Thankfully, the person who does the schedule for MLB thought it was wise for the Red Sox to start the season on the road. It turned out to be a great idea with a little N’oreaster rolling through these parts.

Opening Day is always special, there’s no getting around that. To many, it means skipping work, heading to a local establishment and watching the game. For others, it means getting together with friends online and tweeting about the game while watching it. And for some, it’s just another day (booooo).

But now these games count. It’s game 1 of a 162 game grind and a loss isn’t going to eliminate you from the playoffs. But a win goes a long way in that 162 game grind.

And that’s what we’re expecting from the Red Sox this season. A lot of wins.

General manager Theo Epstein put together a squad that’s left many of his colleagues crying uncle. We know some teams will battle with the Red Sox all season long. And at the end of this wonderful 162 game grind, we can hope the Red Sox will be in the playoffs. They are built to win it all. It’s just a matter of avoiding the serious injuries during the season.

If that can happen, this could turn out to be a wonderful season for the boys in Beantown. Plus doesn’t 04+07=11.

Skipper Terry Francona announced his opening day lineup on Thursday and the only real surprise is the fact that J.D. Drew won’t be in the lineup. But then again, the Red Sox are facing Texas Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson, who is downright nasty on lefties. There are four lefties in the lineup as is so a fifth wouldn’t have been a smart managing move.

Thankfully, J.D. took it like a true professional and will be ready if called upon from the bench.

Now the wait begins until 4:05 p.m. I, for one, can’t wait. Hope you feel the same way.

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25 Red Sox, 25 Questions: Predicting the performance of the 2011 team [Alex Speier –]

This spring wasn’t hot for Youkilis [Boston Globe]

No doubt that Lester is worthy [Boston Globe]

Compliments from Wilson lefthanded [Boston Globe]

Catchy name [Boston Globe]

O’Brien gets extension at WEEI [Boston Globe]

Sox are for real [Boston Globe]

Sox again team for fans to rally around [Boston Herald]

Baseball stars share favorite recipes [Boston Herald]

Spotlight’s on Jon Lester [Boston Herald]

Lining up the lineups [Boston Herald]

Easy lineup for opener [Boston Herald]

Mike Cameron’s the man in right field [Boston Herald]

Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a better place [Boston Herald]

New Sox, no big deal, says C.J. Wilson [Boston Herald]

Five keys to the Red Sox’ 2011 season []

Taking the hits: Why Ortiz continues to play ball []

This Opening Day Red Sox aim for .500 []

Cameron on opening day: ‘Carpe diem, right?’ [ESPN Boston]

One more thing on Red Sox’ side: Math [Extra Bases]

Red Sox make more minor league cuts [Extra Bases]

How Far Will Red Sox Go in 2011? []

Red Sox Depth Provides Variety of Possible Lineups Against Every Opponent []

Terry Francona, Red Sox Feeling Confident and Comfortable Heading Into Opening Day []

Jacoby Ellsbury, Fenway Dominance, Harnessing Swagger Among 25 Keys to Red Sox’ 2011 Success []

Red Sox ready to put spring training behind, and begin facing up to expectations [Providence Journal]

Rangers have potential to ruin Red Sox’ season-opening party [Providence Journal]

Odds are this Sox season will be one to watch [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Journal: Iglesias to start season with PawSox [Providence Journal]

Simulated game goes fine for Dice-K []

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSNNEESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal and WEEI websites.

Photo credit: AP Photo