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The X-Factor
Michael Farber
March 23, 1998
Nobody was crying in Boston late last season when Steve Avery hinted that his return to Beantown was unlikely. The tears came in the off-season when the lefty decided to exercise his option for another Red Sox go. Translation: Boston, hardly in need of an ace after signing Pedro Martinez, must shell out $3.9 million for a pitcher who allowed 178 base runners in 96? innings. Based on that performance, Avery might start the season in the pen, but that won't last. Boston's staff is shaky, and Avery, 27, will get his chance. To stay in the rotation, though, he must win seven games by the break.
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March 23, 1998

The X-factor

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Nobody was crying in Boston late last season when Steve Avery hinted that his return to Beantown was unlikely. The tears came in the off-season when the lefty decided to exercise his option for another Red Sox go. Translation: Boston, hardly in need of an ace after signing Pedro Martinez, must shell out $3.9 million for a pitcher who allowed 178 base runners in 96? innings. Based on that performance, Avery might start the season in the pen, but that won't last. Boston's staff is shaky, and Avery, 27, will get his chance. To stay in the rotation, though, he must win seven games by the break.

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