A WHOLE NEW LINEUP

April 15, 1985

Let's play hardball. Choosing winners and losers is never easy, and justifying the choices is hardest of all. This year we make our case for 1985 with a colorful array of graphs, ratings, breakdowns, statistics and in-depth analyses. On the page opposite, the progress and regress of all 26 teams is charted since the decade began. Truly, the last have become first. The clubs are also rated in their respective divisions on the basis of eight essential criteria, including "chemistry," the esprit de corps that can bring a team from 10 runs or 10 games behind. On the following pages we present the teams in a unique way—from best to worst, from No. 1 to No. 26. This system points out the overall strength of the AL East and the weakness of the AL West, though it doesn't allow for the inevitable surprises. Complementing the reports are statistics from The 1985 Elias Baseball Analyst*, by Seymour Siwoff, Steve Hirdt and Peter Hirdt, released by Collier Books this month. The authors have broken down the batting averages of each team's lineup into eight categories, one of which is late-inning pressure situations, that is, with two or fewer runs separating the teams after the seventh inning. Now all you need to supply are the peanuts and Cracker Jack.

AL EAST
The Blue Jays, eh? Well, if they had had relief in either of the last two seasons, they might have won a title. They have it now. The Tigers? They look as strong as the blessed boys of 1984, but although history repeats itself, a champ seldom does.

AL WEST
The best the Royals could do in the ALCS was make the Tigers breathe hard. But in the mild, mild West, K.C. is a virtual dynasty. If the Royals have their health, they also have the division. Then, in the new, expanded playoffs, they can lose to Toronto.

NL EAST
Chicago left a job undone last October in San Diego. The team knows it, and the fans know it. This season the Cubs should beat the Mets and their own tradition of defeat and disappointment and reach their first World Series since 1945.

NL WEST
The Padres are coming out in pinstripes this year, which might seem a bit presumptuous. But they're a strong team in a weak division, and they proved their worth in a classic NLCS in 1984. They'll get back into the playoffs, but probably not the Series.

*COPYRIGHT © 1985 BY ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU INC.

[originallink:10635851:43492]

FOUR PHOTOSLANE STEWART ILLUSTRATION FOUR CHARTSNINO TELAK

1980

1981*

1981**

1982

1983

1984

1985 RANKINGS

Starting

Relieving

Hitting

Power

Speed

Defense

Chemistry

Mgr./Coaches

1

1

3

3

2

5

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

2

1

3

4

1

1

2

1

2

2

5
4

2

5

7

DETROIT TIGERS

1

2

4

1

4

2

1

2

3

3

2

4

1

1

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

3

4

5

3

6

3

6

4

4

5

5

7

4

NEW YORK YANKEES

5

3

2

5

2

5

7

6

5

4

6

1

3

2

BOSTON RED SOX

4

7

1

2

7

7

5

3

6

6

1

6
7

4

6

CLEVELAND INDIANS

7

6

6

6

3

4

3

5

7

7

7

6

3

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

6

5

7

7

5

6

4

7

*Pre-strike finish
**Post-strike finish

1980

1981*

1981**

1982

1983

1984

1985 RANKINGS

Starting

Relieving

Hitting

Power

Speed

Defense

Chemistry

Mgr./Coaches

1

2

1

6

5

1

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

2

1

1

5

2

1

1

1

2

4

2

1

1

6

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

1

2

4

2

4

2

2

2

3

5

4

5

4

3

MINNESOTA TWINS

3

4

2

1

7

5

5

4

4

6

3

7

2

2

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

5

3

6

6

1

3

3

3

5

1

7

2

6

5
7

SEATTLE MARINERS

4

5

5

7

3

6

4

7

6

7

5

4

3

CALIFORNIA ANGELS

6

6

7

3

6

4

7

5

7

3

6

3

7

4

TEXAS RANGERS

7

7

3

4

5

7

6

6

*Pre-strike finish
**Post-strike finish

1980

1981*

1981**

1982

1983

1984

1985 RANKINGS

Starting

Relieving

Hitting

Power

Speed

Defense

Chemistry

Mgr./Coaches

1

1

2

4

1

6

CHICAGO CUBS

1

1

3

3

5

2

1

2

2

4

4

1

3

5

NEW YORK METS

3

2

4

1

3

4

2

4

3

2

1

2

2

4

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

4

3

1

2

1

6

5

5

4

3

5

3

4

1

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

6

6

2

5

2

1

4

3

5

5

6

6

6

2

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

2

5

6

4

6

3

3

1

6

6

3

5

5

3

MONTREAL EXPOS

5

4

5

6

4

5

6

6

*Pre-strike finish
**Post-strike finish

1980

1981*

1981**

1982

1983

1984

1985 RANKINGS

Starting

Relieving

Hitting

Power

Speed

Defense

Chemistry

Mgr./Coaches

1

2

1

4

2

6

SAN DIEGO PADRES

1

2

1

2

1

1

1

1

2

3

3

2

4

1
4

ATLANTA BRAVES

6

1

5

1

3

2

4

5

3

1

5

5

1

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

2

3

4

3

6

5

5

2

4

4

2

6

6

2

HOUSTON ASTROS

3

4

3

6

5

4

2

4

5

5

4

1

5

3

CINCINNATI REDS

5

5

6

4

2

3

3

3

6

6

6

3

3

5

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

4

6

2

5

4

6

6

6

*Pre-strike finish
**Post-strike finish

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)