As will often be the case, Jacoby Ellsbury leads off for the 2011 Red Sox.

Shortly, Jacoby Ellsbury will step into the batter’s box and face the first pitch of the season, from Texas lefty C.J. Wilson. The Texas ballclub (nicknamed the Rangers, I’m told — it never says so on their jerseys) won the American League pennant last year, and with all due respect, the hope remains that the Red Sox will rip that from their sun-beaten hands this season.

Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen. But it all begins today, the 2011 season and, hopefully, the slow march to the World Series in October. Until then, here are today’s lineups for Game 1 of 162:

Boston Red Sox:

CF — Jacoby Ellsbury 2
2B — Dustin Pedroia 15
LF — Carl Crawford 13
3B — Kevin Youkilis 20
1B — Adrian Gonzalez 28
DH — David Ortiz 34
RF — Mike Cameron 23
C — Jarrod Saltalamacchia 39
SS — Marco Scutaro 10

P — Jon Lester 31

Texas Rangers:

2B — Ian Kinsler 5
SS — Elvis Andrus 1
LF — Josh Hamilton 32
3B — Adrian Beltre 29
DH — Michael Young 10
RF — Nelson Cruz 17
1B — Mike Napoli 25
C — Yorvit Torrealba 8
CF — Julio Borbon 20

P — C.J. Wilson 36

First pitch: 4:05 p.m. EST. TV: NESN/ESPN. Radio: WEEI 850 AM.

Opening Day is here. Thank God, Allah, Buddah, Hari, Lemmy, Clapton, or whomever your deity of choice may be.

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