Baseball 2001 Preview
The Sweet Science Of Baseball
Pivot Physics To solve the problem of turning two, a middle infielder must study the aerodynamics of the toss, the mass of the incoming runner and the angles at which to cross the bag
The Catalyst For the first man up in baseball's nuclear age, the prevailing theory is, Don't run your team out of a big inning. The objective is to get on base and wait for the big bang
Motion Theory Velocity is only one factor in the formula for success on the base paths--a bold nature and a keen observation of outfield tendencies are just as important
Launchpad An out-of-this-world outfield arm is more than a matter of anatomy: Positioning and range, velocity and accuracy must all coalesce to intercept the moving target
Throwing Good Money After Bad Teams are frantically bidding up the market for pitching--but their own research reveals how they should limit their largesse
Worth The Wait? If former underachiever Darren Dreifort's midseason mound turnaround proves to be permanent, the Dodgers may have gotten a steal when they signed him for $55 million
1 New York Yankees An unmatched quartet of starters will bring New York another Octoberfest
2 Boston Red Sox The rotation is rearmed and dangerous--but to opponents or themselves?
3 Toronto Blue Jays The new skipper comes from TV land. He may find his pitching hard to watch
4 Tampa Bay Devil Rays Help is on the way from the farm system, but it won't arrive soon enough
5 Baltimore Orioles They've vowed to rebuild, which is good, because this franchise is in ruins
1 Cleveland Indians As usual, precarious pitching will be saved by hitting, which may be even better
2 Chicago White Sox A proven postseason pitcher joins a powerful lineup for a playoff push
3 Kansas City Royals Runs will be scored, and at last there's a bullpen to make them stand up
4 Detroit Tigers Another change in philosophy for a team that can't afford a turn for the worse
5 Minnesota Twins Their young, spunky lineup returns mostly intact. Is that a good thing?
1 Oakland Athletics Watch out, world: The A's are even better than last year. Just ask them
2 Seattle Mariners Without A-Rod--or any other slugger--it will all come down to pitching
3 Texas Rangers A-Rod gives them marquee value, but how many 10-9 games can a team win?
4 Anaheim Angels A strong bullpen, a weak rotation and a big-bang offense add up to mediocrity
1 Atlanta Braves With Atlanta's Mr. October back on the mound, who needs free agents?
2 New York Mets They can still pitch, but let's face it: The reshuffled rotation is minus an ace
3 Florida Marlins A fresh battery provides a powerful charge for a fast-rising franchise
4 Philadelphia Phillies Can overpriced free agents improve a bullpen that has nowhere to go but up?
5 Montreal Expos Some promising arms and the league's best young player, but not a lot more
1 St. Louis Cardinals Is a World Series in the Cards? Only if Big Mac gets back, back, back to form
2 Houston Astros Will Enron Field be the same house of horrors it was in 2000? No way, Jose!
3 Cincinnati Reds If the starting pitchers don't fade, you can color this team a contender
4 Milwaukee Brewers An iffy rotation and lackluster defense need more than some comic relief
5 Pittsburgh Pirates A fast start by Adrian Brown will boost his confidence--and the team's
6 Chicago Cubs An anemic offense may get well if Rondell White can figure out how to stay well
1 San Francisco Giants Think the division champs didn't make a big off-season move? Think again
2 Los Angeles Dodgers A lot of quality pitchers, but good karma seems to be in short supply
3 Colorado Rockies Two more big-ticket pitchers believe they can conquer Coors. They may be right
4 Arizona Diamondbacks They have a healthy new attitude, but can their old guys avoid injuries?
5 San Diego Padres An emerging rotation hopes for an end to the defense's reign of error
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