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April 05, 1990 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-05

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 5, 1990 - Page 11

Predicting

baseball's

East divisions

by Dan Zoch
Daily Sports Writer
The lockout is over and the
baseball season is about to begin.
While some races are going to be
tight this year, others will be like
the National League East, where the
Mets might as well start warming
yp for the playoffs. Here's why:
1. NEW YORK METS - The
only reason they're going to win the
division this year is because they
were supposed to do it last year and
didn't.
First baseman and team co-
Captain Keith Hernandez got the boot
at the end of last season, so the team
will have to adjust to Dave Magadan
at first. They will.
Speaking of team captains
getting the pink slip, catcher Gary
Carter was also dropped
unceremoniously from the line-up
after playing like an old man. Oh
yeah, he is an old man! Filling his
shoes will be Barry Lyons and
Macky Sasser. Who?
Darryl Strawberry was an
embarrassment to baseball last
season, so he'll probably hit .800
this year. The Mets are like that.
Mike Marshall joins the outfield
as a result of the Juan Samuel trade
last year with the Dodgers. The
Dodgers lucked out.:
- The only reason the Mets will
win, besides the fact that they didn't
last year, is because of their
pitching. Gooden, Viola, Cone,
Fernandez, Darling, Ojeda, Franco.
Enough said.
2. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS -
:'Whether or not they're any good
*,doesn't matter. Manager Whitey
.Herzog will find a way to keep them
in the race because he's the best
manager in baseball.
: The problem with the Cardinals

Mets are'
the team
to beat in
NL East

every other shortstop that he'll take
a while to sink to their level.
3. PITTSBURGH PIRATES -
Why not? They're due to come out
of the sewer sometime yet they'll
never win the division in our
lifetimes. Third place would be a
major improvement for the Pirates.
Pirate strengths: Bobby Bonilla
and Barry Bonds. They're fast and
they hit well. Andy Van Slyke is a
top-notch hitter and he'll drive in
lots of runs. Doug Drabek went 14-
12 for the Pirates last year and John
Smiley went 12-8. Not real
impressive, but they're not as bad as
the Phillies.
Pirate weaknesses: Those stupid
uniforms. Also, they've been so bad
so long that they've probably
forgotten how to win.
4. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
- Yeah, right. Maybe Mike
Schmidt will make the All-Star
Game again, even though he retired
last year.
5. MONTREAL E XP6S --
They'll be lucky to get a hit this
year. Where's that Mark Langston
guy, anyway?
6. CHICAGO CUBS - Mark
'Amazing' Grace, Ryne Sandberg,
Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe,
Jerome 'Rookie-of-the-Year' Walton,
Mitch 'Wild Thing' Williams, Mike
'18-7' Bielecki, and Shawon
Dunston! They have an incredible
line-up and they may be the best
team in the league.
They also have WGN announcer
extraordinaire Harry Carey, proud
promoter of Budweiser and master of
spelling opposing coaches names
backwards. This might not seem
difficult, but try saying "Nosnhoj
Yevad" 10 times real fast!

by Michael Bess
Daily Sports Writer
Spring is upon us once again,
which means it's time for one of the
annual rites of the season - lame
and inaccurate baseball predictions.
Though the American League
East was a true bastion of mediocrity
in 1989, none of its teams took
major steps towards improvement.
Instead, the division's teams in 1990
welcome a number of has-beens and
players who have chronically under-
achieved, which only adds credence
to the "subtraction by addition"
phenomenon.
The division may actually be
worse than last year, if that's poss-
ible. This is how the seven teams
should finish;
1. Milwaukee Brewers -
Selected for lack of a better team, the
Brewers should be the best of the
worst. The lineup, featuring '89
MVP Robin Yount, Paul Molitor,
and newly acquired Dave Parker, is
solid. Milwaukee has a capable
starting rotation and possesses one
of the best relievers in the game in
Dan Plesac. To win, the Brewers
must stay injury-free, which has
been no small accomplishment in
Milwaukee.
2. Toronto Blue Jays -
Toronto should be the favorite, but,
remember, we're talking about the
Blue Jays. It would be out of team
character for the Blue Jays to reach
their maximum potential two years
in a row.
3. Baltimore Orioles -

Brewers
should
rule sad
AL East

4. New York Yankees - Once
again the Yankees feature an-
impressive lineup, but, true to forn,
they have also stockpiled a rotation
filled with fourth and fifth starters.
George Steinbrenner delved into thee
free-agent market looking to in
prove a fifth place team.
The result: Pascual Perez and
Damaso Garcia. It must be depress
ing for Yankee fans to think that any
one of the Mets' six starting pitchers
would be the ace of the Yankee staff.
5. Boston Red Sox - The Rett
Sox, long known as choke artists,
won't have to worry about blowing
big leads in the playoffs this year.
Nick Esasky is gone, as is the Red
Sox' division hopes. Boston needs
quality starting pitching and must,
balance the egos of overaged reliev-
ers Lee Smith and Jeff Reardon. No
small task.
6. Cleveland Indians - What
do you get when you add Tom
Brook-ens, Keith Hernandez, and
Candy Maldonado to a sixth place
team? Sixth place. The Indians are
amaz-ingly consistent. At least
Cleveland fans aren't bothered by
such distractions as "hope" and
"excitement."
7. Detroit Tigers - The Tigers
should be better in 1990. Of course,
Detroit could still lose 100 games
and improve on last year's record of
59 wins and 103 losses. Lou Whit-
aker is out of shape, Gary Pettis is
out of town, and Tiger fans are out
of luck. But don't fret, Tory Lovello
is ready to make the call if needed.

Strawberry
is that, with or without talent,
they're not the New York Mets.
This means they'll have to finish
second this year and wait until the
Mets get bored with winning. The
Cardinals could have won it last year
but the Cubs saw the opportunity
and beat them to it.
What the Cardinals do have is the
fastest team in baseball. They will
get on base and they will steal often.
They also still have the best
shortstop in baseball, Ozzie Smith.
And even though he's starting to
slow down, he's been so far above

Yount
Baltimore, last year's surprise, made
no significant changes during the
off-season. No. 1 draft pick Ben
McDonald will challenge for a
starting position, which will only
add to the Orioles' talented pool of
youngsters. It's safe to say, how-
ever, that Baltimore is one year away
from the playoffs.

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