Scouting Reports

March 23, 1998

Sad but true: Not every team is doing all that it can to win.
Blame clueless management, lack of playing talent, insufficient
funds, weakness of will. Because of all this--and the arrival of
the wild card--the traditional divisions have become a joke. The
Braves, a lock in the NL East, are more concerned with potential
World Series foes like the Indians and the Yankees than division
rivals. The Mets, hoping for a wild-card slot at best, are more
likely to worry about the Astros or the Rockies than the
unbeatable Braves. We've redefined the divisions, the better to
reflect baseball reality.

TANNED, FOCUSED AND LOADED

Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles
Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals
Seattle Mariners

CLOSE BUT NO CIGARS

Colorado Rockies
Toronto Blue Jays
Anaheim Angels
Houston Astros
San Diego Padres
New York Mets
San Francisco Giants

RIGHT ROSTER, WRONG DIVISION

Boston Red Sox

TALENT CHALLENGED

Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers
Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Pittsburgh Pirates

CLUELESS

Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies
Kansas City Royals

NOT EVEN TRYING

Chicago White Sox
Florida Marlins
Montreal Expos
Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics

TOM VERDUCCI'S PICKS (for traditionalists)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

EAST

1. YANKEES
2. ORIOLES*
3. RED SOX
4. BLUE JAYS
5. DEVIL RAYS

CENTRAL

1. INDIANS
2. WHITE SOX
3. TIGERS
4. ROYALS
5. TWINS

WEST

1. MARINERS
2. ANGELS
3. RANGERS
4. ATHLETICS

NATIONAL LEAGUE

EAST

1. BRAVES
2. METS
3. EXPOS
4. MARLINS
5. PHILLIES

CENTRAL

1. CARDINALS
2. ASTROS
3. BREWERS
4. CUBS
5. PIRATES
6. REDS

WEST

1. DODGERS
2. PADRES*
3. ROCKIES
4. GIANTS
5. DIAMONDBACKS

* Wild-card qualifier.

DIVISION SERIES
Indians over Orioles
Yankees over Mariners
Braves over Padres
Dodgers over Cardinals

LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Indians over Yankees
Braves over Dodgers

WORLD SERIES
Indians over Braves

B/W PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK CARDILLICCHIO EYES ON THE PRIZERangers first baseman Will Clark, a man of legendary intensity, believes Texas has what it takes to make the playoffs. We don't. [Will Clark's eyes]

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)