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View Poll Results: Who Should Be Pre-Ranked Number One?
Anaheim 0 0%
NY Yankees 8 61.54%
Atlanta 1 7.69%
San Francisco 1 7.69%
Boston 0 0%
Other 3 23.08%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-27-2003, 09:59 AM   #1
bama4256
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Question 2003 Pro Baseball Pre-Season Rankings

(1.)-NEW YORK YANKEES--I realize they are picked first every year, and have been since 1996 it seems, but what the heck let's go one more year with them. Owner George Steinbrenner set party animal Derek Jeter straight, so look for Jeter to really contribute and maybe be AL MVP this season. By the way, Jeter contributes a lot already. The Yankees pitching staff is slowly growing old, but Mike Mussina, David Wells, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte may have one more great year left. Clemens is at 293 career wins. I don't see him going past 309 wins in 2003, but he will probably retire after this season. I'm excited to see how Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui does. The Yankees also signed 31-year old Cuban defector Jose Contreras. Contreras is regarded or was regarded the best amatuer pitcher in the world. Time will tell or the 2003 season will at least. Opens regular season March 31 against Toronto.

(2.)-ATLANTA BRAVES--Atlanta lost pitchers Kevin Millwood which wasn't good, and Tom Glavine to their division rivals, the New York Mets and Philadelphia. But here's the good news-Atlanta signs pitchers Russ Ortiz from SF, Paul Byrd from KC and Mike Hampton from Colorado. If Hampton can't pitch well and win he can at least be counted on for 30 homeruns, if he plays in every game as a position player haha! Byrd was 17-11 with KC last season and Ortiz was 14-10 with SF. Both had ERA's in the 3.00 range. Greg Maddux is still around and earlier signed this week, for over $14,000,000.00 for one season. Wow! He won't be worth it in 2003 I guarantee it. You have to love Atlanta's offense with Chipper Jones, Gary Sheffield, Andruw Jones, and Robert Fick. I think catcher Johnny Estrada who came over from Philadelphia will strive in Atlanta if given the chance to play 140 games. But I think Javier Lopez will hold on to the catching job for a while. Why? I can't answer that. Opens regular season March 31st against Montreal.

(3.)-BOSTON RED SOX--Could this be their year? Really tired of hearing that after being in this world 46 years. But this could really be their year. If pitchers Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe pitch as well as they did in '02 watch out. If outfielder and slugger Manny Ramirez has a healthy season and lead-off hitter Johnny Damon raises his average, and .OBP, things could get good in Boston. Got to like ex-Yankee bullpen ace Ramiro Mendoza being in Boston. I think starting pitcher John Burkett is way past his prime and may hurt the team if allowed to have more than 25 starts. Opens their regular season March 31st against Tampa Bay.

(4.)-ANAHEIM ANGELS--You got to like the defending world champs. The same lineup returns in 2003. Keep your eyes on pitchers Kevin Appier and Jarrod Washburn. Both will do well in 2003. I think Anaheim will win their division in 2003, especially if outfielder Garrett Anderson has another fine season at the plate. The Angels bullpen is awesome with closer Troy Percival at the helm and rookie Francisco Rodriquez returning. Opens their season March 30th against Texas.

(5.)--SEATTLE MARINERS--New manager in town with Bob Melvin. Can he work magic and bring this team to the A.L.C.S? Only if second baseman Bret Boone and Ichiro have great seasons and a few others. Pitcher Joel Pineiro and Freddy Garcia may each win 20 games this season, and if they do this team will take off like a rocket. Acquiring outfield Randy Winn from Tampa Bay doesn't hurt matters. Winn knocked in 75 runs for TB in '02. Opens their season on March 25th against Oakland in Japan.

(6.)-OAKLAND ATHLETICS--They also have a new manager in Ken Macha. The A's have perhaps the best overall starting pitching staff in baseball with Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. Hey the A's have a pitching prospect named Rich Harden-watch out for him in the near future. They traded closer Billy Koch, but picked up Keith Foulke from the White Sox. Foulke had 11 saves for Chicago. Not very impressive. The A's will earn a playoff spot I feel, especially if shortstop Miguel Tejada has another great season like in 2002, when he hit 34 homeruns and drove in 131 runs. Third baseman Eric Chavez needs to repeat his 34 homerun year too. I also like the fact that the A's picked up Erubiel Durazo as their DH from Arizona. Durazo does have power to spare.

(7.)-PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES--Can the Phillies overcome the Braves in the N.L. East? Well, if they don't do it this season they never will. The Phillies had an exciting off-season, making deals and moving people. They acquired pitcher Kevin Millwood from Atlanta, slugger first baseman Jim Thome from Cleveland and third baseman David Bell from San Francisco. And to top it off, they still have slugging outfielder Pat Burrell. Burrell hit 37 homeruns and knocked in 116 in 2002, and could very well improve on those numbers. His fellow outfielder Bobby Abreu is no pushover either. I like pitcher Vincente Padilla as one of their starters and Randy Wolf could go either way. Philadelphia will be a wild card team and may advance far into the postseason. Opens regular season March 31st against Florida.

(8.)-SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS--Yes Felipe Alou has returned to managing. Great manager, especially with young players. Will he be able to stroke Barry Bonds huge ego and keep him happy? Or can Bonds make Alou happy with his play and attitude? I think losing second baseman Jeff Kent to Houston was a mistake. Taking his place is newly acquired Neifi Perez or Ray Durham. Not your best power hitters! As for their starting pitching I really like the acquistion of lefty Damian Moss from Atlanta. Could be the next Tom Glavine, his mentor while at Atlanta. Moss went 12-6 with Atlanta in 2002 with an ERA of 3.42. He had 111 strikeouts through 179.0 innings of pitching. I also like lefty pitcher Kirk Rueter. He went 14-8 last season for SF with an ERA over 3.00. SF made some decent pick-ups over the winter. Lost Reggie Sanders, but picked up outfielder Marquis Grissom. Sanders is the better player I believe. SF also picked up third baseman Edgardo Alfonso from the NY Mets. If Barry Bonds has another super year and their starting pitching wins game this team could repeat as N.L. Champs. Got to love their closer Robb Nen. He had 43 saves in '02. Opens regular season March 31st against San Diego.

(9.)-ST. LOUIS CARDINALS--The Cardinals ended the '02 season as the team to beat in the N.L., but lost in the playoffs finals to SF. St. Louis had a surplus of pitchers last season, but injuries decimated the staff. The Cardinals picked up several pitchers during the off-season, such as Brett Tomko, Joey Hamilton, Chris Carpenter and Al Levine. The problem is none of these pitchers had very good records in '02. Pitcher Matt Morris returns to lead the starting pitching staff. Morris was 17-9 with an ERA of 3.42 in '02. Woody Williams has very good potential if he stays healthy in 2003. Tomko will join the starting pitching staff along with Jason Simontacchi and Garrett Stephenson. Simontacchi was 11-5 with St. Louis in '02. The good news is that outfielder Albert Pujols return. Pujols had a great sophomre year after an outstanding rookie season in 2001. Pujols hit 34 homeruns and knocked in 127 last season, while batting .314. He will only get better. Fellow outfielder J.D. Drew had a good season in '02, but only played in 135 games due to injuries. If healthy all season watch out for this guy. First baseman Tino Martinez was a disappointment in his first season as a Cardinal, but if he can regain most of that '01 form he had as a Yankee, he will really help this club. Weak spot is the bullpen for the Cardinals. Al Levine who came over from Anaheim will anchor the bullpen with Steve Kline. They only had 11 saves between both of them in '02. Opens regular season March 31st against Milwaukee.

(10.)--HOUSTON ASTROS-- They sport one of the best pitching duo in their division with Roy Oswalt and Wade Miller. Oswalt was 19-9 in '02 and Miller was 15-4. Both had ERA's over 3.00. These pitchers should get even better. This will be manager Jimy Williams second year with Houston. Things will start to happen in 2003 I bet. Houston led the N.L. In defense last season, committing only 83 errors and allowing a league-low five passed balls. Every baseball fan knows by now that ex-Giants second baseman Jeff Kent plays for Houston now. Big big plus here. That will help counter the Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen. Houston already has a great hitter in outfielder Lance Berkman. Berkman hit 42 homeruns with 128 RBI's in '02. He batted .292. I see him only getting better. Berkman is only 27 years old. The Astros need first baseman Jeff Bagwell to improve upon his numbers of a year ago. He had 31 homeruns with 98 RBI's in '02, but should be able to do better offensively in 2003. As for the Astros bullpen they have Billy Wagner, who had 35 saves in '02. He is very effective most the time and should be healthy going into spring training. Houston has never won a N.L. Pennant in their history since 1963, when they were called the Houston Colt 45's. Opens regular season April 1st against Colorado.

(11.)-TEXAS RANGERS--Here's the Cinderella team. First, I like Buck Showalter at the helm. Secondly, shortstop Alex Rodriquez will only get better. That is a scary thought. Rodriquez only hit 57 homeruns with 142 RBI's in 2002 while batting .300. If anyone can break Hack Wilson's single season RBI record of 191 Rodriquez can. Or is it 190? One year they take away from Wilson's record, then the next year add it. I'm confused. What excites me about this team is youngster and rookie third baseman Hank Blalock. Trust me he will be Rookie of the Year in 2003. Just a feeling, but a strong one. Look for outfielder Carl Everett to bounce back and have a strong season. First baseman Rafael Palmeiro is always good for 40 plus homeruns in a single season. I know I know, the starting pitching staff deserves a "D" in grade. Yes their best pitcher last season Kenny Rogers is gone, but the staff they have with Chan Ho Park as their leader will excel in 2003 somehow or by miracle. I like their young pitcher Ryan Drese who pitched for Cleveland in 2002. He has great potential. Also, the Rangers picked up closer Ugueth Urbina from Boston and that is a plus.

(12.)-NEW YORK METS--The Mets were expected to have a great season in '02, but all their new players let them down, especially Roberto Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz, Roger Cedeno and Mo Vaughn. But 2003 is a new season thank God. The Mets were busy beavers during the off-season again. They really landed a big fish this season by acquiring lefty pitcher and veteran Tom Glavine from Atlanta. He should be good for at least 15 wins. Also, they picked up outfielder Cliff Floyd. Good offensive choice in my opinion. Another good pick-up was lefty bullpen ace Mike Stanton, formerly of the NY Yankees. Armando Benitez is still the closer as far as I know. He had 33 saves for the Mets in 2002. New York could challenge Atlanta for the N.L. East, but I think they will fail again unless their starting pitching does real well and Roberto Alomar and Cliff Floyd and others have good or decent seasons. Opens their regular season March 31st against the Chicago Cubs.

(13.)-ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS--Ok they fell short last season and didn't repeat as champions. So what? Not many teams do. This team is getting old, but look for starting pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling to dominate again this season. Arizona picked up Elmer Dessens from Cincinnati, and I think he will improve in that warm air. Dessens was 7-8 with an ERA of 3.03 while with the Reds in 2002. I'm not crazy about their overall starting lineup, but maybe Luis Gonzalez will return to his 2001 form and hit over 50 homeruns. I don't think he will. Kind of like Brady Anderson of the Orioles when he hit 51 one year and never got close again. Opens their regular season March 31st against Los Angeles.

(14.)-MINNESOTA TWINS--Young talent will ensure last season was no mistake or fluke for the Twins. This team was to be contracted in '02, but now everyone knows that would have been a mistake. The Twins had to let DH David Ortiz get away because of financial restraints. He was third on the club with 20 homeruns in '02. The Twins have some of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball. Brad Radke, Eric Milton, Rick Reed and Kyle Lohse combined for a 50-29 record in '02. Joe Mays had some injury problems last season and could only win four games in '02, but he was tough enough in October to deal Anaheim its only loss, 4-1, in the A.L.C.S. Outfielder Torii Hunter is the lead man on this club. Solid glove in the outfield, which earned him a Gold Glove. Hunter hit 29 homeruns and drove in 98 runs for his team in '02. Also, he stole 23 bases. Another Twins outfielder Jacque Jones(27 homeruns-85 RBI's while batting .300 is a very good player and has plenty of pop in his bat. I also like third baseman Corey Koskie. He has great talent and potential. I see the Twins winning their division again unless the White Sox just turn completely around in '03. Opens their regular season March 31st against Detroit.

(15.)-CHICAGO CUBS--Yes Dusty Baker is the new manager of the losing and unlucky Cubs. Can Baker produce a miracle in Chicagoland? He help lead SF to the World Series against Anaheim in 2002, but his team lost game seven and the series. Can he take Chicago to the World Series? I think he can, but probably not this season. You have to like his starting pitching rotation with Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Shawn Estes and Matt Clement. I really like Clement and his potential, He struck out 215 batters through 205.0 innings. The Cubs added catcher Damian Miller from Arizona during the off-season. Cub fans are also excited about rookie first baseman Hee Seop Choi. He's 6-5-235. Has plenty of power and that is one reason Fred McGriff was traded to LA. Chicago also picked up first baseman Eric Karros and second baseman Mark Grudzielanek for insurance. Outfielder and slugger Sammy Sosa is Sammy Sosa. Sosa hit 49 homeruns in '02 and seems to be more of a complete player. Good news for the bullpen. Chicago acquired Mark Remlinger from Atlanta. He was Atlanta's best long inning relief pitcher. He had an 1.99 ERA with Atlanta in '02. This team could do very well, especially if Sosa hits over 50 homeruns and Choi does his part power wise.

(16.)-LOS ANGELES DODGERS--Can the Dodgers fragile starting rotation hold up most of 2003? You can flip a coin and probably decide that. Pitcher Kevin Brown, headed into the fifth year of a five year contract, $105 million dollar deal and is coming off his 10th trip to the disabled list and worked only 62 2/3 innings in '02. They need him pitching well in '03 to have any kind of chance of winning their tough division. Darren Dreifort couldn't pitch last season due to injuries. He is needed in the worst way. Dreifort underwent reconstructive sugery on his right elbow for the second time in his career. He could be used out of the bullpen. The Dodgers need another big year from pitcher Hideo Nomo, who went 16-6 with an ERA of 3.39. I also like pitcher Odalis Perez(15-10-in '02), and this guy could win 20 if given some run support. Outfielder Shawn Green hits with plenty of power. Hit over 40 homeruns in '02. LA acquired first baseman Fred McGriff from the Cubs and he is usually good for 30 homeruns and over 100 RBI's. Really like Dave Roberts in the outfield. He is a speed threat with leadoff potential. In the bullpen Eric Gagne a converted starting pitcher was second in saves in the N.L. with 52 saves, Only John Smoltz of Atlanta beat him out and he had 55 saves. What will hurt LA this year is their depleted bench. Lost Tyler Houston, Dave Hansen, Marquis Grissom and Jeff Reboulet.

(17.)-CHICAGO WHITE SOX--The past couple of years Chicago has been hurt by free agents that just didn't produce like they should have. The White Sox made two great acquistion during the off-season. Pitcher Bartolo Colon and closer Billy Koch. Koch had 44 saves for Oakland in '02. Colon won a total of 20 games last season. Played for Cleveland and Montreal in '02. Pitcher Mark Buehrle won 19 games in '02 for Chicago. If they can get a good season out of pitcher Jon Garland, the White Sox could win the A.L. Central. Dan Wright too, who went 14-12 for Chicago last season. Outfielder Magglio Ordonez is the power man and RBI machine for this team. Ordonez hit 38 homeruns while driving in 135 in '02. DH Frank Thomas got a pay cut for last year's performance, but could bounce back solidly in '03. Also, you got to like first baseman Paul Konerko who hit 27 homeruns with 104 RBI's last year. Konerko batted .304 in '02. I'm not crazy about Jerry Manuel. Too laid back. Must get aggressive in hit and runs and in stealing bases. Just needs to make things happen and score runs for his good pitching staff. On the farm or in their minor league system they have a catcher named Miguel Olivo. He is an outstanding defensive catcher. At AA, he hit .306 with 24 doubles and stole 29 bases. He can hammer a gopher ball. The White Sox have a good bench. Tony Graffanino is the main man coming off the bench. That helps win ballgames. Opens their regular season March 31st against Kansas City.

(18.)--TORONTO BLUEJAYS--Manager Carlos Tosca along with GM J.P. Ricciardi were very aggressive during the off-season and plan to be during the 2003 season. Ricciardi is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming GM's in all of major league baseball. This team could very well be the next Cinderalla team. I really like them picking up ex-Oakland starting pitcher Cory Lidle. I know his numbers were not good in '02, but 2003 could bring a change for him. He's only 29 years old. Third baseman Eric Hinske and Carlos Delgado will lead the offense along with outfielder Vernon Wells. Wells knocked in 100 runs in '02 for Toronto. Outfielder Josh Phelps has great potential. He is 25 years old. He hit 15 homeruns and drove in 58 runs for the Bluejays in '02, while playing in only 74 games. The Bluejays ace starting pitcher is Roy "Doc" Halladay. He won 19 games for them in '02. Lidle could win 18 to 20 this season.

(19.)-FLORIDA MARLINS--I call them young guns. Talking about their young pitchers with great potential. I really like Josh Beckett, Brad Penny and A.J. Burnett. Burnett had the best record of the two with a 12-9 record in '02. They will only improve or they should. As for their outfield, they picked up Juan Pierre from Colorado. He's speedy and stole 47 bases in '02. Juan Encarnacion is too unpredictable, and he could go either way. Meaning hitting or slumping. They made a nice acquistion for reliever and ex-Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Spooneybarger. He had a 2.63 ERA with Atlanta in '02.

(20.)--COLORADO ROCKIES--The Rockies need to change their luck. They've had four losing season out of the past five seasons. Attendance has fallen for six straight years. This is the team that needs to be contracted if any. The biggest pluses for Colorado are outfielder Larry Walker and first baseman Todd Helton. Walker batted .338 and Helton .329 in '02. Great fantasy ballplayers to have on your team anytime. Helton led the team in RBI's with 109. He can do better. Colorado did add Preston Wilson to their outfield, but lost Juan Pierre during the off-season. Wilson in '02 hit 23 homeruns and knocked in 65 while playing for Florida last season. Pitcher Mike Hampton is gone and his losing ways. Last year's rookie pitcher Jason Jennings returns. He was 16-6 with an ERA of 4.52 in '02. That type ERA at Coors field means nothing. It is expected. Lefty Denny Neagle will try to make a comeback after a horrible season in '02. Closer Jose Jimenez certainly did his job last year. Jimenez had 41 saves in '02. Colorado also picked up catcher Charles Johnson from Florida. Boy does he move around a lot. Really had a bad year in '02. But he is a good catcher and can hit at times. The Rockies stand no chance in the tough N.L. West division in 2003.

(21.)--SAN DIEGO PADRES--This could be another Cinderella team or sleeper. Why? Good young pitching staff and Phil Nevin hitting along with Ryan Klesko. The Padres were busy during the off-season. GM Kevin Towers didn't get the best players, but you never know how they will play in sunny San Diego. They acquired second baseman Mark Loretta from Houston. Loretta is up and down a lot. Also, picked up a good bench player in Dave Hansen from LA. They even took a chance on ex-Cleveland Indian pitcher Jaret Wright. Now that is a gamble. The young pitchers I was talking about are Jake Peavy, Oliver Perez and Adam Eaton. Brian Lawrence is no slouch either. Lawrence was 12-12 in '02 for the Padres. Bad news closer Trevor Hoffman likely out till July. Arm problems or shoulder. Klesko led the team with 25 homeruns and 95 RBI's. Nevin missed a lot of games due to injury. Played in only 107 for the Padres in '02. But take my word watch out for this team. They could surprise you and me. Third baseman Sean Burroughs needs to establish himself in 2003 as a quality hitter and player.

(22.)--KANSAS CITY ROYALS--Good news for the Royals? His name is Michael John Sweeney. Sweeney plays first base and does his job well, especially with his bat. He hit 24 homeruns for the Royals, while playing in only 126 games in '02. Outfielder Carlos Beltran led the team with 44 doubles. I can't hardly pronounce the names of their starting pitchers. I'm afraid not too many fans will be repeating their names that much anyway. I hope manager Tony Pena does well, but it will take a lot of work and long long hours.

(23.)--MONTREAL EXPOS--The team will be playing 22 home games in Puerto Rico. Hope they enjoy the beach afterwards and all learn to speak spanish. Montreal played well in '02. They were 83-79 and finished second in the N.L. East. Can they do it again? This is not a first place team for sure. Outfielder Vladimir Guerrero is their best player and would be for any other team. Guerrero is the second-youngest active player to hit 200 homeruns before the age of 27. Jose Vidro showed last season he was a very talented player. He drove in 96 runs, while batting .315. Quality player. Bad news is, they lost pitcher Bartolo Colon to another team.

(24.)--CINCINNATI REDS--If Ken Griffey Jr. is healthy all season the N.L. Central could be a very tight race. Griffey played in only 70 games and had eight homeruns. If Griffey can hit over 40 and drive in over 100 runs this team will make things interesting. First baseman Sean Casey needs to find his groove too. Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns could make this one of the best outfield hitting trios in the league along with Griffey. Jimmy Haynes will try and be the pitching ace of this team. He was 15-10 in '02. Getting Ryan Dempster from Florida last season was a good move. This guy could win 20 easily, if the team backs him up with runs. Closer Danny Graves had 32 saves in '02. Opens their regular season March 31st against Pittsburgh.

(25.)--PITTSBURGH PIRATES--The Pirates have had 10 straight losing seasons. Will their fortunes change in 2003? Not by much my friends. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez needs to be the player he was in 2001. Outfielder Brian Giles led the team with 38 homeruns and 103 RBI's. Pirates added first baseman/DH Randall Simon from Detroit. This could be manager Lloyd McClendon last season if he makes it through the season, if Pittsburgh doesn't improve over last year's record.

(26.)--CLEVELAND INDIANS--Gone is the once mighty Indians of the 90's and part of the new millenium. Eric Wedge is the new manager. Pitcher C.C. Sabathia will head up the pitching. He was 13-11 in '02. He had a great rookie year in 2001, winning 18 games. Sabathia's ERA was a high 4.37 in '02. He should improve. Indians picked up Cub's pitcher Jason Bere, who was 1-10 for Chicago. Lefty pitcher Brian Tallet could pitch well this season. Tallet is 6-7 in height. Well, slugger Jim Thome is gone. He will be missed. Outfielder Karim Garcia could be the power man for this club in 2003. Garcia hit 16 homeruns in 51 games for Cleveland in '02. Opens their regular season March 31st against Baltimore.

(27.)-BALTIMORE ORIOLES--This team may be better than you think. Outfielder Jay Gibbons can hit for power and drive in runs. Just needs some people on base when he hits. Outfielder Melvin Mora is capable of a big year. Pitcher Rodrigo Lopez could be a diamond in the rough concerning his future. Lopez went 15-9 in his rookie season. His ERA was 3.57. Closer Jorge Julio is a good closer. Third baseman Tony Batista can still drive the ball over the fence and often. Batista hit 31 homeruns last season. Our hearts go out to the family of pitcher Steve Bechler who died during spring training this year of heat exhaustion.

(28.)-DETROIT TIGERS--The great ex-Tiger shortstop and superstar Alan Trammell is the new manager and may breathe life into them as least to where they will compete or give the other team a hard time. This team really stinks on paper, but on the field they will be at least scrappy or aggressive with Trammell in charge. First baseman Carlos Pena will produce and lead this team's offense.

(29.)--MILWAUKEE BREWERS--That town still makes the best beer. New manager Ned Yost couldn't make this team competitive if her were Miller Huggins. Seriously, teams like this will surprise you. First baseman Richie Sexson is capable of hitting a lot of homeruns, but he knows how to strikeout too. Outfielder Geoff Jenkins is capable of driving in runs when healthy. He was not in '02. They also acquired third baseman Wes Helms from Atlanta. Helms has not shown much, but could have a breakout season anytime soon. Pitcher Ben Sheets heads up the starting pitching staff. Sheets was 11-16 in '02 for the Brewers. Lefty Glendon Rusch didn't fair much better, but I think he will blossom some this year.

(30.)-TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS--New manager Lou Pinella has his work cut-out for him in 2003 and beyond. Shortstop Rey Ordonez was a good acquistion to start. Outfielder Aubrey Huff led the team in homeruns with 23. An impact rookie by the name of Rocco Baldelli who plays outfield could be very exciting to watch grow as a ballplayer. He was Minor League Player of Year by several leading sources. He's 6-4 and weighs 190 pounds. At three levels last season Baldelli hit .331. There is no good starting pitching in Tampa Bay or nobody has shown it yet.

Written by: Keith Thronson, Mobile, Alabama
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Old 02-27-2003, 10:10 AM   #2
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Ouch. A lowly 17th for my ChiSox. Oh well, we can work our way up. Plus, with pre-season rankings comes the reminder that baseball is not far on the horizon! I'm definately ready.
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Old 02-27-2003, 11:34 AM   #3
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Nate Chicago WS could be very good this season, especially if Bartolo Colon wins 18 or 20 and Mark Buerhle does the same. They need a big year from Frank Thomas too along with Paul Konerko and Magglio Ordonez. I have faith in the last two guys I mentioned. lol
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Old 02-27-2003, 05:03 PM   #4
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I hate to say it, but I think my Braves should be ranked a little lower. Personally, I think once the season starts, they'll prove those if's and be deserving of that spot. But until then, those if's are there.
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Old 02-27-2003, 05:18 PM   #5
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yah my Yanks are #1 for yet another season. now we gotta just put the sox out of their misery by July and we'll be well on our way. i however don't believe w/ the Rangers awful pitching that they will be the 11th best team by season's end unless Park and others surprise us
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Old 02-27-2003, 07:37 PM   #6
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HELL YEAH! I was expecting like number #30 or something but #2?! SOMEBODY ACTUALLY BELIVES IN US! Man I am ready for my Braves to kick some ass next season! Go Braves!
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Old 02-27-2003, 07:46 PM   #7
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Atlanta will be there or at least the wild card.
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Old 02-28-2003, 02:24 AM   #8
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Bama, how can you rank the Twins 14th when they are ranked in the top 5 by nearly every sporting magazine? I do believe you did this just to get a response from me, and I'll give you one.
Who is better in the majors defensively than the Twins? The answer to this question is "no one". The Twins do not give games away. Sure they don't have a guy who can hit 40+ Hrs, but neither do the Braves and, unless I'm mistaken, nor do the Angels or Mariners.
The Twins, as a team, will hit somewhere in the neighborhood of .285 and will steal somewhere around 200 bases. The should hit around 160+ hrs, also. Pitching, especially the bullpen, should remain strong, and if Mays and Radke can come back from disappointing seasons, the starters should be very solid (ranked 6th best as a group by the Sporting News, even with the question marks). With Johan Santana, the Twins have something that every team covets, a guy that is effective as a starter and out of the bullpen (he had the Twins "other" save last season).
I can see the Twins as a top 5 team, if all the pieces fall into place, and a top 10 team if they don't. To end up as the 14th best team would require the team to suffer more injuries than they did last season and have a much worse year, which I don't see happening. They have improved themselves by bringing some guys up from the minors to see what they can do.
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Old 02-28-2003, 08:49 AM   #9
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No Catman i didn't do it for your displeasure. The only two teams I'm taking a chance on that are ranked above Minnesota is Texas the the NY Mets.

I hope Minnesota does do well, but I have a feeling they won't do as well as last season, but I love their youth and enthusiam.
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Old 02-28-2003, 04:08 PM   #10
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I had to go with the Yanks, dammit. I would've loved to have put the Red Sox higher, but there are just too many ifs ... both the rotation (beyond Pedro and Derek Lowe) and the bullpen are big question marks.
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Old 02-28-2003, 05:00 PM   #11
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Red Sox: the rotation beyond Lowe is a question mark, the bullpen is a big if, and what of who's playing the infield corners? And can Walker turn a DP? Will Manny remain healthy? Will he stay in the batter's box long enough to watch a HR get out, or will he forfeit the run by failing to run the bases? Has Trot gained too much weight to play right field in Fenway? How are Damon's knees? Will Nomar stay in Boston, or be traded at the deadline? Will Fossum perform well enough to make fans forget that Theo didn't trade him for Colon? Will Theo hold up under the scrutiny of Sox media and fandom? Will the Sox even be in the race come July? And if they aren't, will Grady Little survive the season?

Same old Red Sox season...

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Old 02-28-2003, 05:42 PM   #12
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Yeah. Should be entertaining, if nothing else.
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Old 03-01-2003, 11:14 AM   #13
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If the Dbacks can get another starter to step up and win a few in support of Schilling and Johnson. I am hopefull of a good season.

Cannot really look past the Yankee's though for #1 favourites.
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Old 03-01-2003, 02:55 PM   #14
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Arizona may have a great pitching staff, but who is going to do all the hitting for them and driving in runs. Gonzalez of 2001 or of 2002.
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Old 03-01-2003, 03:27 PM   #15
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Hopefully the Gonzo of 01. He's fit again along with a few other casualties from last year.
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