Thomas Boswell WASHINGTON POST 1/30/04Hard as it is to accept (without smelling salts), the AL favorite is clearly the Red Sox. Curse or no curse, you can't get around it. The Red Sox are now the overdogs. They're so loaded and rich that they might as well wear pinstripes this season. Last year, Boston had three weak spots. They needed one more stud starting pitcher, a top closer and, finally, a manager who was at least minimally animate.