The Good: They're in first with a decent
offense sparked by Torii Hunter (.306, 20 HRs, 61
RBIs). The starting pitching's OK, and they've found
an All-Star closer in "Everyday" Eddie Guardado (29
saves). They're the only team over .500 in the
The Bad: The starting pitching's just OK. Joe
Mays (3 starts) and Brad Radke (10 starts) have been
hurt, while Eric Milton (10-6, 5.21 ERA) and Rick Reed
(6-5, 4.62) have been average, at best. The Twins need
great pitching and, right now, it's decidedly average.
What's Next: They collapsed in the second half
last season (only 30 wins) when pushed by the Indians.
A dive could happen again, but no one else in the
division looks like they'll push this time around. No
contraction, no competition = Central pennant.
The Good: Paul Konerko (.328, 20 HRs, 71 RBIs)
has been outstanding at first base, Magglio Ordonez is
his solid self (.305, 15 HRs, 67 RBIs) and even the
Big Hurt, Frank Thomas, has been semi-productive (54
RBIs) after a season off. Mark Buehrle (12-6, 3.57 ERA
in 128 2/3 innings) has been a horse.
The Bad: Todd Ritchie (5-11, 5.82) has been a
huge disappointment as a No. 2 starter, and then it really gets bad. Even closer Keith Foulke (nine
saves) has struggled, losing his job at least for the moment. A telling stat: They're 4-15 in
one-run decisions. Konerko has criticized Thomas for a
lack of leadership. This could get ugly.
What's Next: They have a load of games left
against the Twins -- 15 of them -- so they can still
make a run. But with that pitching, don't bet on it.
It would be nice if they at least climbed above .500.
The Good: The old guard, Jim Thome (.278, 26
HRs, 60 RBIs) and Omar Vizquel (.285, 10, 47), are
still standing and playing well. But they're
surrounded by youth and inexperience and rebuilding
and a lot of really, really hacked off fans in
The Bad: The Tribe has given up, flat and
simple, shipping ace Bartolo Colon to Montreal for
prospects. That leaves C.C. Sabathia (6-7, 4.95 ERA)
as the ace. Uh oh. Chuck Finley (4-11, 3.97) isn't
helping. And Ricky Gutierrez (.249, 14 RBIs), Alomar's
replacement at second, has been a bust.
What's Next: The "R" word -- rebuilding -- has
already started, which means some lean years ahead. At
least this one and probably all of next. The good news
is there are seats at The Jake to be had.
The Good: Let's see. Mike Sweeney (.361) may be
the best hitter in the league, at least south of
Seattle. Raul Ibanez (.284, 40 RBIs). Hmmm. Sheesh.
Ummmmm ... Oh yeah. Paul Byrd and Jeff Suppan are
workhorses who deserve better than this.
The Bad: A plus-5 ERA, a terrible offense with
a shortstop who can't hit a lick, a front office
handcuffed by the economic realities of the day.
They're 0-7 against the Orioles. We could go on. We
What's Next: They finally dumped Tony Muser
after an 8-15 start. They're 24-34 since. So that
wasn't the team's biggest problem, evidently. This is
one of those no-hope franchises, for this season or
any coming up.
The Good: Robert Fick (.290) is OK. George
Lombard, since his trade from Atlanta, has played well
(.300). Dmitri Young (.284, 27 RBIs) isn't all that,
but he's something. And Jeff Weaver is a solid starter
... wait, what's that? You gotta be kidding. To the
Yankees? Aw, c'mon, George.
The Bad: You'd have to say most of the rest of
the team. The Tigers started 0-11, were
beaten up in interleague (6-12) and have pretty much
stunk all in between, too.
What's Next: This is a team in need of just
about everything. Maybe direction more than anything
else. Phil Garner was fired after going 0-6. The
Tigers are still rotten. In a big, empty park in a bad