5. PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Pirates All-Star lefthander Denny Neagle leads the league in impersonations. His best stuff: Seinfeld's Kramer and the train whistle at Three Rivers Stadium. If only the rest of the Pittsburgh staff could impersonate his pitching. Take Neagle (13-8 with a 3.43 ERA) out of the rotation, and last year's starters were a combined 26-49 with a 5.27 ERA.
First baseman Jeff King refused to file for free agency in the off-season and re-signed for less money—$5 million over two years—than he would have received on the open market. King, who hit 18 homers and had 87 RBIs in '95, decided to stay in Pittsburgh because he liked the city, the team and its manager. How refreshing.
The Pirates are too inexperienced to win consistently—last year 16 rookies appeared in at least one game. Expect another injection of youth this season, led by 21-year-old catcher Jason Kendall.