Sunday, February 15, 2004

Preseason power rankings

The Cincinnati Enquirer

1.Boston Red SoxNo A-Rod, but Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke cement the Pedro Martinez-led staff.
2.Chicago CubsYoung pitching matures. Note the "time-to-beat the curses" theme.
3. Anaheim Angels Add Vladimir Guerrero and Bartolo Colon to a solid nucleus, then dig the rally monkey out of the closet.
4. Houston Astros Can Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte help Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggo reach elusive postseason success?
5. Philadelphia Phillies A big payroll boost thanks to a new ballpark rebuilds the bullpen, with Billy Wagner at the end.
6. New York Yankees Were they worried about the Red Sox? Guess so - to the tune of, oh, $150 million or so for Alex Rodriguez.
7. Florida Marlins Defending champs lose catcher-of-fortune Ivan Rodriguez, but so what? It's about the young arms.
8.Cincinnati Reds OK. We confess. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.
9. San Francisco GiantsCan they really remake this team, again? Two words: Barry Bonds.
10. Atlanta BravesWhere were you in 1990, the last time they didn't finish first?
11. Oakland Athletics Shortstop Miguel Tejada's gone, but Hudson-Mulder-Zito made up for loss of Jason Giambi, too.
12. Seattle MarinersUntil proven otherwise. Randy Johnson, Junior Griffey and A-Rod leave, but winning doesn't.
13. Minnesota TwinsShannon Stewart and the Baggy stay; Eddie Guardado and LaTroy Hawkins go.
14. Kansas City Royals Funny how this small-market team can come up with cash for players (Juan Gonzalez).
15. Chicago White Sox Enough talent to join Twins, Royals in AL Central slugfest.
16. Los Angeles DodgersNew owner might yet spend money. Get a lead, hand the ball to Eric Gagne.
17. San Diego PadresAnother new ballpark, another team putting its money where its hopes are.
18. Montreal ExposNo Vlad, but never underestimate manager Frank Robinson's magic.
19. St. Louis CardinalsPitching staff suspect, but Albert Pujols just might be the next Bonds.
20. Toronto Blue JaysAdded Pat Hentgen and Miguel Batista, presumably to help overcome loss of Cory Lidle.
21. Baltimore OriolesJavy Lopez, Tejada, Rafael Palmeiro and Sidney Ponson mean one thing: another fourth-place finish.
22. Arizona DiamondbacksGetting old, but there are some live young arms behind the Big Unit. We'll miss you, Mark Grace.
23. New York MetsTypical. Yankees add Godzilla Matsui, Mets add pip-squeak shortstop Matsui.
24. Colorado RockiesTodd Helton putting up Lou Gehrig numbers, Coors Field or not.
25. Cleveland IndiansBattle of Ohio. Who can rebuild with youngsters more quickly, the Tribe or the Reds?
26. Milwaukee BrewersRichie Sexson is gone; the Selig family is soon to follow.
27. Tampa Bay Devil Rays Don Zimmer is Lou Piniella's senior baseball adviser. Can't wait for the first co-tantrum.
28. Detroit TigersNice move, Pudge. Sure, it's not about the money.
29. Pittsburgh PiratesQuick, name three players not named Jason Kendall.
30. Texas RangersAlex Rodriguez leaving AL West cellar, but you can bet he'll keep his wine cellar.

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Preseason power rankings

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