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.




REDS SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW
O'Brien looking to turn it around
Here's the drill: It's back to basics
Locked in, if not loaded
You'll know it's a good spring if ...
You'll know it's a bad spring if ...
Five Reds on the spot
Five young Reds to watch

MORE BASEBALL
Bronx bombshell in works
A-Rod to Yankees makes perfect $ense
Preseason power rankings

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals seeking skill off field, too
Rude reception awaits Clarett

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The Tourney race is on
Cage's confidence music to surging Muskies' ears
UC looks for a shot in the arm
Daugherty: Prosser finds self at home
Huggins ailing but expected to coach
Smith fumes as Bulldogs jump Wildcats
Top 25: Stanford, St. Joe's still unbeaten
Shields' home finale a classic
Brock powers NKU women

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: Brackets offer great potential
Ernst: No rest for weary Clippers
CHCA, Landmark win titles
Kennedy leads Walton to win
Swimming: Lions leave competition in their wake
Wrestling: Fairfield back on top
Gymnastics: Anderson captures team championship
Prep sports results, schedules

PAGE TWO
Good Sports: Talented family making quite a racket
What's up with that? Odds and ends in the news
A quick chat with ... Jerry Jones
Planning ahead
All thumbs
Comeys have made squash a family affair

DAYTONA 500
Daytona victory eluding Little E
Top stories not limited to race's winning driver
Why I hate NASCAR
Why I love NASCAR

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Daly turns back clock to 1995
Pacers' Jones wins dunk contest despite miss
Nona Gaye sings national anthem with late father
Sports digest
Sports on TV, radio

THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION
How do you feel about Joe Nuxhall's replacement?

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