SI Vault
 
enemy Lines
Jeff Pearlman
June 25, 2001
Two advance scouts, one from each league, reflect on what they saw and heard last week:
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 25, 2001

Enemy Lines

View CoverRead All Articles

Two advance scouts, one from each league, reflect on what they saw and heard last week:

Padres first baseman Ryan Klesko is the most improved player in baseball. He's bubbling over with confidence, and he seems extremely relaxed when batting with runners on base. I don't know why any righthander would pitch to him....

The meltdown has started in Philadelphia. Legit contenders battle through adversity and have good pitching depth. The Phillies don't....

I'm still not 100 percent sold on Mariners rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki. I want to see how he plays through 162 games and the playoffs with transcontinental travel. There's a chance he'll fade....

The A's have the talent to make a run at the wild card, but they need to get injured DH John Jaha and his big bat back into the lineup. Also, I'm shocked by the terrible performance of outfielder Johnny Damon. Some players use their walk year as motivation and some guys implode under the pressure. He's imploding....

Don Baylor has done wonders with the Cubs, but my National League Manager of the Year is Jim Tracy of the Dodgers. That team has had key injuries, but he's kept the attitude positive. That's something Davey Johnson couldn't do....

This season, more than any I've seen, has reinforced the idea that good starting pitching carries a team much further than good hitting. Look at the Cubs and the Twins. Neither lineup scares me. But both teams can pitch.

1