I'd think they'll be around .500. The offense is better, the pitching is a question mark. I don't see them being better than Oakland. I think it's wishful thinking among M's fans that Oakland will finish last. The A's may have lost Hudson and Mulder, but they have some good young pitchers in the rotation and bullpen. The M's didn't do anything pitching-wise. Moyer is a year older and was terrible last year (44 homers allowed!). Meche is a yo-yo, you never know what you'll get from him. Franklin's magic pixie dust has worn off. Madritsch pitched great last year but was abused by Melvin over the last two months of the season. I like Pineiro best out of the starters and he's coming off an injury.
The bullpen doesn't look very strong either. Guardado could blow out his shoulder on any pitch. Shiggy, Villone, Putz, Sherrill . . . ick.
Roger Angell: I was talking with Bob Gibson and I said: 'Are you always this competitive?' He said: 'Oh, I think so. I got a three-year old daughter, and I've played about 500 games of tic-tac-toe with her and she hasn't beat me yet.'