Media predictions for the 2002 season — Pedro Martinez, Red Sox pitcher,Boston Red Sox

pedro martinez

Media predictions for the 2002 season

If you see any others (especially Red Sox), send them in.

Predictions page 2

March 29, 2002

Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

American League                        National League
East         Central       West        East           Central       West

New York     Minnesota     Seattle     New York       St. Louis     San Francisco
Boston       Chicago       Anaheim     Philadelphia   Houston       Arizona
Toronto      Cleveland     Oakland     Atlanta        Chicago       San Diego
Tampa Bay    Detroit       Texas       Florida        Cincinnati    Los Angeles
Baltimore    Kansas City               Montreal       Pittsburgh    Colorado

Bob Ryan, Boston Globe
American League                        National League
East         Central       West        East           Central       West
New York     Chicago       Oakland     Atlanta        Chicago       Arizona
Boston*      Minnesota     Seattle     New York       Houston*      Los Angeles
Toronto      Cleveland     Texas       Florida        St. Louis     San Francisco
Tampa Bay    Kansas City   Anaheim     Philadelphia   Cincinnati    Colorado
Baltimore    Detroit                   Montreal       Milwaukee     San Diego
World Series -- New York Yankees over Atlanta
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
American League                        National League
East         Central       West        East           Central       West
New York     Minnesota     Seattle$    New York$      Chicago       San Francisco
Boston*      Chicago       Oakland     Atlanta*       Houston       Arizona
Baltimore    Cleveland     Texas       Philadelphia   St. Louis     Los Angeles
Toronto      Detroit       Anaheim     Florida        Cincinnati    San Diego
Tampa Bay    Kansas City               Montreal       Milwaukee     Colorado
World Series -- New York Mets over Seattle
Michael Holley, Boston Globe
American League                        National League
East         Central       West        East           Central       West
Boston       Cleveland     Texas       New York       St. Louis     San Francisco
New York*    Chicago       Seattle     Atlanta        Chicago*      Arizona
Baltimore    Minnesota     Oakland     Philadelphia   Houston       Los Angeles
Toronto      Detroit       Anaheim     Florida        Cincinnati    Colorado
Tampa Bay    Kansas City               Montreal       Milwaukee     San Diego
World Series - Red Sox over New York Mets
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
American League                        National League
East         Central       West        East           Central       West
New York     Minnesota     Oakland     Atlanta        St. Louis     San Francisco
Boston*      Chicago       Seattle     New York       Houston*      Arizona
Toronto      Cleveland     Texas       Philadelphia   Chicago       Los Angeles
Tampa Bay    Kansas City   Anaheim     Florida        Cincinnati    Colorado 
Baltimore    Detroit                   Montreal       Milwaukee     San Diego
World Series -- New York Yankees over St. Louis

March 28, 2002

American League Preview
Bryon Evje,

Here we are, days away from the start of another baseball season. … We see the A’s reaching the ALCS and the Twins playing meaningful games into late September labor strife, and all that other nonsense. … Here’s how we see the American League shaking out:

American League

East                     Central                  West
New York     101  61     Chicago      91   71     Oakland    96  66
Boston        89  73     Minnesota    90   72     Seattle    91  71 [wc]
Toronto       87  75     Cleveland    88   74     Anaheim    89  73
Baltimore     70  92     Kansas City  72   90     Texas      73  89
Tampa Bay     63  99     Detroit      62  100

Red Sox: Boston will again suffer from an injury to Pedro Martinez. The other starters will pick up some of the slack, but the loss of Martinez will put too much strain on the bullpen. The revamped offense will be more exciting and keep the Red Sox in the wild-card hunt until the last week of the season.

Division Series: Yankees over Mariners; Athletics over White Sox
Championship Series: Yankees over Athletics
World Series: Yankees over Cubs in 7

AL MVP: Magglio Ordonez, Chicago
AL Cy Young: Barry Zito, Oakland
AL Rookie of the Year: Hank Blalock, Texas
AL Manager of the Year: Jerry Manuel, Chicago
AL home run champ: Troy Glaus, Anaheim
AL batting champ: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle
AL stolen base champ: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle
AL ERA champ: Barry Zito, Oakland
AL fireman of the year: Mariano Rivera, New York
AL breakthrough season: Kelvim Escobar, Toronto
AL comeback player: Nomar Garciaparra, Boston
AL downward spiral: John Rocker, Texas

National League Preview
Jerry Beach,

National League

East                       Central                West
Atlanta       96  66       Chicago     92   70    San Diego     89  73
New York      91  71 [wc]  St. Louis   89   73    San Francisco 87  75
Montreal      84  78       Houston     87   75    Arizona       85  77
Philadelphia  78  84       Cincinnati  76   86    Los Angeles   79  83
Florida       72  90       Pittsburgh  72   90    Colorado      72  90
Milwaukee   62  100 

Division Series: Cubs over Atlanta; Atlanta over Padres
Championship Series: Cubs over Atlanta
World Series: Yankees over Cubs in 7

NL MVP: Phil Nevin, San Diego
NL Cy Young: Kerry Wood, Chicago
NL Rookie of the Year: Sean Burroughs, San Diego
NL Manager of the Year: Bruce Bochy, San Diego
NL home run champ: Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati
NL batting champ: Todd Helton, Colorado
NL stolen base champ: Roger Cedeno, Mets
NL ERA champ: Randy Johnson, Arizona
NL fireman of the year: Kyle Farnsworth, Chicago
NL breakthrough season: Daryle Ward, Houston
NL comeback player: Edgardo Alfonzo, Mets
NL downward spiral: B.J. Surhoff, Atlanta 

March 27, 2002

Projecting the leaderboards
Joe Sheehan,

The Wilton projection system, developed by Clay Davenport, is an integral part of every “Baseball Prospectus” annual. We run projections for every position player in the book, almost 1,000 players in all.

AL Batting Average
Nomar Garciaparra .362
Ivan Rodriguez    .335
Ichiro Suzuki     .335
Derek Jeter       .333
Jason Giambi      .331

NL Batting Average
Todd Helton    .365
Juan Pierre    .356
Larry Walker   .347
Lance Berkman  .343
Sean Casey     .331

AL Home Runs
Alex Rodriguez  50
Rafael Palmeiro 46
Jim Thome       45
Troy Glaus      43
Carlos Delgado  42

NL Home Runs
Sammy Sosa    51
Barry Bonds   51
Todd Helton   45
Jeff Bagwell  40
Richie Sexson 39

Alex Rodriguez  131
Manny Ramirez   130
Rafael Palmeiro 123
Mike Sweeney    123
Jim Thome       120

Todd Helton   128
Richie Sexson 122
Lance Berkman 122
Sammy Sosa    119
Jeff Bagwell  114

AL Equivalent Average
Jason Giambi      .358
Manny Ramirez     .340
Nomar Garciaparra .336
Alex Rodriguez    .333
Jim Thome         .324

NL Equivalent Average
Barry Bonds   .357
Todd Helton   .335
Lance Berkman .335
Chipper Jones .328
Sammy Sosa    .327

Baseball Weekly — Predictions 2000
Bob Nightengale, Paul White, Chris Colston, Steve DiMeglio, Seth Livingstone

                     BN         PW        CC         SD                SL
AL East              Yankees    Yankees   Yankees    Red Sox           Yankees
AL Central           White Sox  Twins     White Sox  White Sox         White Sox
AL West              A’s        A’s       A’s        A’s               Rangers
AL Wild Card         Mariners   Mariners  Rangers    Mariners          Mariners
NL East              Atlanta    Phillies  Atlanta    Atlanta           Mets
NL Central           Cardinals  Astros    Astros     Cardinals         Cardinals
NL West              Giants     Giants    Dodgers    Giants            Dodgers
NL Wild Card         Astros     D’backs   Mets       Astros            Astros
AL Pennant           A’s        Yankees   Yankees    A’s               Mariners
NL Pennant           Atlanta    Phillies  Atlanta    Cardinals         Cardinals
World Series         Atlanta    Yankees   Yankees    Cardinals         Yankees

MLB HR Leader        Sosa 61    Bonds 67  Sosa 58    Griffey 59        Sosa 81
Surprise Team        A’s        Phillies  Rangers    Reds              Rangers
Surprise Player      THundley   VWells    ABeltre    SSchoenewis       DBaez
Disappointing Team   Mets       Mets      D’backs    Yankees           Atlanta
Disappoint Player    MVaughn    TZeile    MCordova   RSierra           DHermanson
Date Work Stoppage   Nov. 2     July 8    None       2nd day after WS  None
Bowa or Rolen
– Who Goes First?   Rolen      Bowa      Rolen      Rolen             Rolen
Smallest Expos Crowd 1,412      3,016     1,234      505               317 family/friends
First No-Hitter      MMorris    RJohnson  JBeckett   BZito             RJohnson

March 26, 2002

ESPN Predicts the Season

Karl Ravech, Peter Gammons, Dave Campbell, Jayson Stark, Tim Kurkjian, Rob Neyer, Dan Patrick, Rob Dibble, Tom Candiotti, Mike Macfarlane, Jeff Brantley, Dan Shulman:

           KR   PG   DC   JS   TK   RN   DP   RD   TC   MM   JB   DS
AL Central Min  Min  CWS  Min  Cle  CWS  Min  CWS  CWS  CWS  CWS  Cle
AL West    Sea  Oak  Sea  Sea  Sea  Sea  Sea  Sea  Oak  Sea  Oak  Sea
AL WC      Oak  Sea  Oak  Bos  Oak  Oak  Oak  Oak  Sea  Bos  Sea  Oak
NL East    Atl  Atl  Atl  Atl  Atl  Atl  Atl  NYM  NYM  NYM  Atl  Atl
NL Central StL  StL  StL  StL  StL  Hou  StL  StL  StL  Hou  StL  StL
NL West    SF   Arz  SF   SF   Arz  SD   Arz  Arz  Arz  LA   Arz  Arz
NL WC      Hou  Hou  Arz  Phi  NYM  NYM  NYM  Cubs LA   StL  Hou  NYM

World Series
Karl Ravech: St. Louis over Oakland
Peter Gammons: St. Louis over Oakland
Dave Campbell: New York Yankees over St. Louis
Jayson Stark: Seattle over St. Louis
Tim Kurkjian: New York Yankees over Atlanta
Rob Neyer: Oakland over Houston
Dan Patrick: St. Louis over Seattle
Rob Dibble: New York Mets over Seattle
Tom Candiotti: New York Mets over Oakland
Mike Macfarlane: New York Yankees over Houston
Jeff Brantley: St. Louis over Oakland
Dan Shulman: Seattle over St. Louis

Karl Ravech: Alex Rodriguez
Peter Gammons: Alex Rodriguez
Dave Campbell: Jason Giambi
Jayson Stark: Jason Giambi
Tim Kurkjian: Alex Rodriguez
Rob Neyer: Ichiro Suzuki
Dan Patrick: Alex Rodriguez
Rob Dibble: Jason Giambi
Tom Candiotti: Jason Giambi
Mike Macfarlane: Frank Thomas
Jeff Brantley: Alex Rodriguez
Dan Shulman: Alex Rodriguez

Karl Ravech: Gary Sheffield
Peter Gammons: Sammy Sosa
Dave Campbell: Sammy Sosa
Jayson Stark: Sammy Sosa
Tim Kurkjian: Chipper Jones
Rob Neyer: Jeff Bagwell
Dan Patrick: Chipper Jones
Rob Dibble: Barry Bonds
Tom Candiotti: Mike Piazza
Mike Macfarlane: Mike Piazza
Jeff Brantley: J.D. Drew
Dan Shulman: Sammy Sosa

AL Cy Young
Karl Ravech: Tim Hudson
Peter Gammons: Tim Hudson
Dave Campbell: Mike Mussina
Jayson Stark: Tim Hudson
Tim Kurkjian: Tim Hudson
Rob Neyer: Mike Mussina
Dan Patrick: Mark Mulder
Rob Dibble: Mark Mulder
Tom Candiotti: Pedro Martinez
Mike Macfarlane: Tim Hudson
Jeff Brantley: Mike Mussina
Dan Shulman: Mike Mussina

NL Cy Young
Karl Ravech: Randy Johnson
Peter Gammons: Matt Morris
Dave Campbell: Randy Johnson
Jayson Stark: Kerry Wood
Tim Kurkjian: Curt Schilling
Rob Neyer: Randy Johnson
Dan Patrick: Randy Johnson
Rob Dibble: Randy Johnson
Tom Candiotti: Matt Morris
Mike Macfarlane: Roy Oswalt
Jeff Brantley: Matt Morris
Dan Shulman: Curt Schilling

AL Rookie
Karl Ravech: Hank Blalock, Tex
Peter Gammons: Hank Blalock, Tex
Dave Campbell: Hank Blalock, Tex
Jayson Stark: Hank Blalock, Tex
Tim Kurkjian: Hank Blalock, Tex
Rob Neyer: Hank Blalock, Tex
Dan Patrick: Hank Blalock, Tex
Rob Dibble: Nick Johnson, NYY
Tom Candiotti: Carlos Pena, Oak
Mike Macfarlane: Carlos Pena
Jeff Brantley: Hank Blalock, Tex
Dan Shulman: Hank Blalock, Tex

NL Rookie
Karl Ravech: Josh Beckett, Fla
Peter Gammons: Sean Burroughs, SD
Dave Campbell: Sean Burroughs, SD
Jayson Stark: Josh Beckett, Fla
Tim Kurkjian: Josh Beckett, Fla
Rob Neyer: Ishii, LA
Dan Patrick: Mark Prior, Cubs
Rob Dibble: Cesar Izturis, LA
Tom Candiotti: Sean Burroughs, SD
Mike Macfarlane: Josh Beckett, Fla
Jeff Brantley: Josh Beckett, Fla
Dan Shulman: Sean Burroughs, SD

Comeback Player
Karl Ravech: Nomar Garciaparra
Peter Gammons: Nomar Garciaparra
Dave Campbell: Mo Vaughn
Jayson Stark: Nomar Garciaparra
Tim Kurkjian: Frank Thomas
Rob Neyer: Mo Vaughn
Dan Patrick: Darrin Erstad
Rob Dibble: Mo Vaughn
Tom Candiotti: Mike Lieberthal
Mike Macfarlane: Frank Thomas
Jeff Brantley: Mike Lieberthal
Dan Shulman: Frank Thomas

Breakout Player
Karl Ravech: Jack Wilson, Pit
Peter Gammons: Adrian Beltre, LA
Dave Campbell: Eric Chavez, Oak
Jayson Stark: Adam Dunn, Cin
Tim Kurkjian: Adam Dunn, Cin
Rob Neyer: J.D. Drew, StL
Dan Patrick: J.D. Drew, StL
Rob Dibble: Nick Johnson, NYY
Tom Candiotti: Russell Branyan, Cle
Mike Macfarlane: Josh Beckett, Fla
Jeff Brantley: J.D. Drew, StL
Dan Shulman: Vernon Wells, Tor

March 25, 2002

Projected Standings for the 2002 Season
Tom Tippett,

Here are the projected final standings, based on the fifty seasons we simulated:

W, L, Pct, GB — average wins, average losses, winning percentage, games behind leader
RF, RA — average runs for and against
#DIV, #WC — number of division titles and wildcards (fractions given for ties)

AL East         W   L   Pct   GB    RF    RA   #DIV   #WC
New York      104  58  .642    –   919   680   45.5   1.5
Boston         92  70  .568   12   851   727    4.5  24.5
Toronto        77  85  .475   27   781   839          1.0
Baltimore      66  96  .407   38   721   861
Tampa Bay      61 101  .377   43   696   902

AL Central      W   L   Pct   GB    RF    RA   #DIV   #WC
Chicago        89  73  .549    –   827   762   40.5    .5
Minnesota      81  81  .500    8   791   796    6.5
Cleveland      78  84  .481   11   827   852    3.0    .5
Kansas City    64  98  .395   25   725   906
Detroit        63  99  .389   26   708   883

AL West         W   L   Pct   GB    RF    RA   #DIV   #WC
Oakland        96  66  .593    –   850   669   31.5   6.0
Seattle        91  71  .562    5   792   691   10.0   9.5
Texas          88  74  .543    8   901   830    6.5   5.5
Anaheim        82  80  .506   14   769   751    2.0   1.0

NL East         W   L   Pct   GB    RF    RA   #DIV   #WC
Atlanta        88  74  .543    –   748   686   25.5   5.0
Philadelphia   83  79  .512    5   735   706   13.0   1.5
Florida        82  80  .506    6   753   736    7.5   3.0
New York       80  82  .494    8   704   717    4.0   1.8
Montreal       69  93  .426   19   705   830

NL Central      W   L   Pct   GB    RF    RA   #DIV   #WC
St. Louis      90  72  .556    –   797   711   28.8   5.0
Houston        87  75  .537    3   837   783   13.8  11.0
Chicago        81  81  .500    9   779   781    4.8   2.0
Cincinnati     80  82  .494   10   785   796    3.0   3.3
Milwaukee      73  89  .451   17   735   832           .5
Pittsburgh     72  90  .444   18   689   765

NL West         W   L   Pct   GB    RF    RA   #DIV   #WC
San Francisco  88  74  .543    –   772   717   22.5   4.3
Colorado       85  77  .525    3   967   931   12.0   5.0
Arizona        84  78  .519    4   729   713   11.0   5.0
Los Angeles    79  83  .488    9   706   709    2.0   2.5
San Diego      77  85  .475   11   728   765    2.5   1.0

Ten of the fourteen AL teams qualified for the playoffs in at least one of the simulated seasons. … The National League could set a new standard for parity this year. …

Boston Red Sox (92-70, division title 9%, wildcard 49%)

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

New owners (John Henry et al), a new CEO (Larry Lucchino), a new acting general manager (Mike Port), a new field manager (Grady Little), a new pitching coach (Tony Cloninger), a new center fielder (Johnny Damon), and several new starting pitchers (including John Burkett) have provided some reasons for optimism after last year’s embarrassing late-season meltdown.

Some things are the same, however. If this team is to contend, the guys who have been here a while (Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Varitek, and to a lesser extent, Trot Nixon and Derek Lowe) have to stay healthy and perform at their peak levels. And even if they do, they’ll probably still be looking up at the Yankees in the standings. In one of our simulated seasons, almost everything went right, the Sox won 109 games, and they still finished three back of New York thanks to a season-ending four-game losing streak.

Difference makers: Moving to a DH league and a hitter’s park, Dustin Hermanson posted an ERA in the low 5’s in our simulations. He could be better than that if he realizes the promise he showed a few years ago, or the Sox could go with Juan Pena or someone else who’s having a better spring … Carlos Baerga projects as a below-average hitter, but arrived in camp in much better physical condition and could help the Sox fill holes at second and third … Any of the key guys who were hurt last year (Pedro, Nomar, Varitek) may struggle to reach their established level of performance.

Boston Red Sox season preview
David Schoenfield and Tom Candiotti,

Q: Do the Red Sox have enough pitching behind Pedro Martinez to challenge the Yankees?

The Red Sox will score runs with Johnny Damon leading off in front of Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez. But pitching is the big concern. A healthy Martinez will lead the staff, but then who? The Red Sox replaced Hideo Nomo with John Burkett. While Burkett has pitched great in the NL, the AL has not been kind to him. Can Derek Lowe endure a 200-inning workload or can knuckleballer Tim Wakefield shine while constantly being shuffled between the bullpen and the rotation? There are too many questions and unknowns hovering around the pitching staff. The offense will take pressure, but the Red Sox will break more hearts because their pitching will come up short.

March 23, 2002

Boston Red Sox 2002 Preview
Andrew Sutton, The Sports Network

Also: New York Yankees — Toronto Blue Jays — Baltimore Orioles — Tampa Bay Devil Rays

March 21, 2002

It’s shaping up as more of the same: Pray for Pedro and wait till next year
Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated

Since Feb. 27 Boston has changed owners, general managers, managers, scouting directors, managers again, hitting coaches and corporate cultures. For all those machinations, though, absolutely nothing has changed when it comes to the fate of the ball club: It falls hard and heavy on the spindly frame of Martinez.

Using SI’s team rankings, here is its division predictions (numbers are team’s MLB ranking according to SI):

American League                              National League

East           Central          West         East              Central         West
New York (1)   Chicago (10)     Seattle (2)  Atlanta (5)       St. Louis (3)   Arizona (4)
Boston (9)     Minnesota (13)   Oakland (6)  New York (8)      Houston (7)     San Francisco (11)
Toronto (21)   Cleveland (14)   Anaheim (18) Florida (12)      Chicago (15)    Los Angeles (16)
Baltimore (26) Detroit (24)     Texas (20)   Philadelphia (17) Milwaukee (23)  San Diego (19)
Tampa Bay (30) Kansas City (28)              Montreal (25)     Cincinnati (27) Colorado (22)
                                                               Pittsburgh (29)

Best Records in League: Yankees and Arizona
Wild Cards: Oakland and Houston
ALDS: Yankees over Oakland; Seattle over White Sox
NLDS: St. Louis over Atlanta; Arizona over Houston
ALCS: Yankees over Seattle
NLCS: St. Louis over Arizona
World Series: Yankees over St. Louis

Red Sox in SI’s Player Value Rankings (ranking at position; ranking among all non-pitchers; pitchers are ranked among other starters and relievers, respectively):

C: Jason Varitek (11, 180)
1B: Tony Clark (21, 140)
2B: None listed
3B: Shea Hillenbrand (27, 230)
SS: Nomar Garciaparra (2, 32)
OF: Manny Ramirez (10, 15)
OF: Johnny Damon (40, 82)
OF: Trot Nixon (45, 92)
DH: Brian Daubach (7, 165)

SP: Pedro Martinez (1, 1)
SP: John Burkett (40, 55)
SP: Derek Lowe (70, 95)
SP: Frank Castillo (87, 129)
SP: Dustin Hermanson (98, 144)
RP: Ugueth Urbina (21, 75)
RP: Rich Garces (36, 122)

SI’s website has a complete list of PVRs by position

March 20, 2002

Some comments from Peter Gammons’s March 20 Mailbag

I think the teams in each league with the best chance, in no set order, are:
AL — NY, Oakland, Seattle
NL — St. Louis, Houston, Atlanta, Arizona

If [Kerry Wood] stays healthy, I think he wins 20 and dominates … I love the character and the mean streak.

[Most competitive division in 2002?] The AL West.

March 8, 2002
Street & Smith's

Lord George and his wallet will preside over another division title
Joe Strauss, Baltimore Sun

Only the Red Sox appeared to challenge the Yankees early sweep of the free-agent market. Initially held hostage by the pending sale of the club by the Yawkey Trust, embattled General Manager Dan Duquette appeared to make the Sox a more functional bunch by trading away gifted but combustible center fielder Carl Everett, trading for starting pitcher Dustin Hermanson and signing free-agent center fielder Johnny Damon, who will be a huge plus for a team long lacking speed and defense.

American League                        National League

East         Central      West         East         Central      West
New York     Chicago      Seattle      New York     Houston      Arizona
Boston        Cleveland    Oakland      Florida      St. Louis    San Francisco
Toronto      Minnesota    Texas        Atlanta      Chicago      Los Angeles
Tampa Bay    Kansas City  Anaheim      Philadelphia Milwaukee    Colorado
Baltimore    Detroit                   Montreal     Cincinnati   San Diego

Wild Cards: Boston and San Francisco
World Series: Yankees beat Arizona
AL MVP: Jason Giambi
AL Cy Young: Pedro Martinez
NL MVP: Sammy Sosa
NL Cy Young: Randy Johnson

March 6, 2002

Chin Music Divisional Preview #3: The AL East
Craig Calcaterra,

Past Yankees teams were made up of binge drinkers, prima donnas, and wife-swappers. They fought in the dugout. They painted the town red. They even managed to win a bunch of championships in the process. … Theres little doubt that they will dominate their opposition, but the 2002 Yankees are going to be the most uninteresting 105-win team in baseball history. Theyll say all the right things to the media. Theyll give each other friendly, but restrained high-fives after home runs. They’ll show up with their moms in those Chunky soup commercials. Sad. …

The Red Sox may not have won a World Series in our lifetime (or our fathers’ lifetime, or hell, some of our grandfathers’ lifetimes) but they have rarely if ever been a bad team. … [T]here is a lot for Sox fans to like about their own team. Sure, the Yankees may have an all-world, GQ cover-boy shortstop in Derek Jeter, but the Sox have an even better all-world, GQ cover-boy shortstop in Nomar Garciaparra. The Yankees may have a fireballing ace (and former Red Sox star) in Roger Clemens, but the Sox have an even better fireballing ace in Pedro Martinez. The Red Sox may not be as strong as the Yankees from top to bottom, but they have the chance to be really damn good this year, and their fans should enjoy it.

Projected Finish: New York, Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, Baltimore
AL West: Oakland, Seattle, Anaheim, Texas
AL Central: Chicago, Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit, Kansas City

March 1, 2002
Will Christensen on the AL East (pdf)
Main page to read previews of the other divisions

February 28, 2002
Canadian Baseball Abstract 2002
     W   L   RF   RA         W   L   RF   RA         W   L   RF   RA
Oak  91  71  880  770   Chi  87  75  878  810   NYY  92  70  879  757
Sea  88  74  810  737   Cle  86  76  865  808   Bos  87  75  885  815
Tex  87  75  930  858   Min  82  80  802  791   Tor  78  84  800  833
Ana  78  84  785  817   Det  74  88  753  825   TB   68  94  728  867
                        KC   72  90  735  831   Bal  64  98  722  909
     W   L   RF   RA         W   L   RF   RA         W   L   RF   RA
Ari  87  75  810  748   StL  89  73  860  771   Atl  90  72  795  706
SF   84  78  820  788   Hou  87  75  915  845   NYM  87  75  788  728
LA   78  84  730  760   Chi  85  77  778  736   Flo  81  81  780  780
SD   78  84  765  795   Cin  78  84  809  842   Phi  79  83  800  820
Col  77  85  920  971   Mil  73  89  740  825   Mon  72  90  727  821
                        Pit  71  91  721  825

February 21, 2002 chat with baseball editor David Schoenfield

Do the Red Sox have a chance to challenge the Yankees in the AL East?

David Schoenfield: Let’s see … Pedro makes 32 starts, Nomar plays 150 games, Manny plays 150 games, Damon hits .300, Burkett has a 3.25 ERA, Urbina saves 45, Red Sox win 100 and win AL East by 4 games.

February 18, 2002

The Sporting News

American League                        National League

East         Central      West         East         Central      West
New York     Chicago      Seattle      New York     St. Louis    Arizona
Boston        Minnesota    Oakland      Atlanta      Chicago      San Francisco
Toronto      Cleveland    Texas        Philadelphia Houston      Los Angeles
Baltimore    Detroit      Anaheim      Florida      Cincinnati   San Diego
Tampa Bay    Kansas City               Montreal     Milwaukee    Colorado

Wild Cards: Minnesota and Atlanta
World Series: Yankees beat St. Louis
All seven writers picked Boston for 2nd place — two picked Boston for the wild card — no one pick Boston for the pennant.
One writer picked Nomar for MVP; 3 writers picked Pedro for the Cy Young.


American League                        National League

East         Central      West         East          Central      West
New York     Chicago      Oakland      Atlanta       St. Louis    Arizona
Boston        Minnesota    Seattle      New York      Houston      San Francisco
Toronto      Cleveland    Texas        Philadelphia  Chicago      Los Angeles
Baltimore    Detroit      Anaheim      Florida       Cincinnati   Colorado
Tampa Bay    Kansas City               Montreal      Milwaukee    San Diego

Wild Cards: Seattle and San Francisco
World Series: Yankees beat St. Louis
NL MVP: Roberto Alomar, Sammy Sosa, J.D. Drew
NL Cy Young: Matt Morris, Randy Johnson, Ryan Dempster
AL MVP: Jason Giambi, Magglio Ordonez, Derek Jeter
AL Cy Young: Mike Mussina, Tim Hudson, Pedro Martinez

February 15, 2002

Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella predicted his squad would win the AL West again this season: “I’d pick us. I’d preface that by saying it’s a very tough division. Anything can happen. It’s a very improved division. If we can stay healthy in our pitching, we’re a better team. I’m not talking about 117 better, but better.”

February 11, 2002

Spring Training magazine

American League                        National League

East         Central       West        East           Central       West
New York     Chicago       Seattle     Atlanta        St. Louis     San Francisco
Boston       Minnesota     Oakland     New York       Chicago       Arizona
Toronto      Cleveland     Texas       Florida        Houston       Colorado
Tampa Bay    Detroit       Anaheim     Philadelphia   Cincinnati    Los Angeles
Baltimore    Kansas City               Montreal       Milwaukee     San Diego

February 10, 2002

Bosox Take Flag in This Race
Jon Heyman, Newsday

Almost everyone seems to agree that the Mets were the biggest winner this winter, and it’s true that general manager Steve Phillips remade the team without blowing the budget, a near impossibility. However, in our final winter rankings, the Mets finish only a close second to the Red Sox …


1. Red Sox (A-plus).
2. Mets (A-plus).
3. Yankees (A). Swiping Jason Giambi from their main competitor should ensure continuation of their stunning success. The one thing unanswered is why Steve Karsay ($22 million) is worth twice as much as Jeff Nelson when he isn’t half as good. Could it be what we suspected all along, that Joe Torre hated Nelson?

February 9, 2002

Sean McAdam, chat, January 31

John (hartford): Sean, who’s your pre-spring training picks for the World Series?
Sean McAdam: John, I’d have to say the Yankees and Cardinals right now.

February 8, 2002

AL East preview: Familiar ring as Yankees reload
Ken Daley, Dallas Morning News

… [Steinbrenner] immediately sought out the best hitter available on the free-agent market, yanking Jason Giambi away from the increasingly dangerous Oakland Athletics with a seven-year, $120 million contract. The Yankees also jettisoned much of their aging core group, replacing Paul O’Neill, Scott Brosius, Chuck Knoblauch and Tino Martinez with Rondell White, Robin Ventura, John Vander Wal and Giambi. To the bullpen that faltered in that seventh game, Steinbrenner added right-hander Steve Karsay, who got the fattest deal ever for a set-up man: Four years, $22.25 million. Yes, it appears the Yankees are prepared to bully their way to another championship, utilizing a player payroll of nearly $130 million that no rival can approach. And Steinbrenner’s team should again be favored to win it all.

Boston Red Sox

Spring cleaning: Manager Joe Kerrigan and general manager Dan Duquette await word on their fates as the new ownership group headed by John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner takes over. Whoever manages the team has a serviceable group, led by the starting rotation of Pedro Martinez, John Burkett, Dustin Hermanson, Derek Lowe and Frank Castillo. Swapping out Carl Everett for Johnny Damon is expected to improve the offense and clubhouse atmosphere significantly. But most Red Sox players would cheer the departure of Duquette even more.

Winter report card: B. Despite the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding a team sale many believe was rigged from the start, Duquette actually managed to make some productive moves in acquiring Hermanson from St. Louis and then signing Damon (four years, $31 million) and Burkett (two years, $11 million). But no move will help more than ejecting Everett from the clubhouse, which he had come to poison through various conflicts with Boston’s last two managers and some teammates. “In certain situations last year, people not only disrespected the Red Sox uniform,” outfielder Trot Nixon said, “they also disrespected themselves.”

New York Yankees

Spring cleaning: … Jason Giambi and Robin Ventura and outfielder Rondell White should minimize the blow of losing such key clubhouse personalities as Tino Martinez and the retired Paul O’Neill and Scott Brosius. Besides, it’s still Derek Jeter’s team, and with a reloaded starting rotation and beefed-up bullpen, it should be back in the World Series.

Winter report card: A. Sure, it’s easy to improve a team when you can spend nearly $130 million on payroll like the Yankees can. But give GM Brian Cashman and his front office credit. They’ve also developed some fine players and haven’t made nearly the mistakes on the free-agent market that have crippled other big spenders, such as the Orioles and Dodgers. The playing field is drastically slanted in favor of a team whose local broadcast revenues dwarf some competitors’ total revenue. Two of Cashman’s “smaller” moves should boost his team back into the World Series. Right-handed set-up man Steve Karsay (four years, $22.25 million) fills the Jeff Nelson void in the bullpen the team struggled with last year. And John Vander Wal gives the Yankees the platoon mate for Shane Spencer.

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