TV: WPTZ, WFIL and WPFH
Many good things that will make a difference. We have a new shortstop, John Kennedy, the first Negro in club history; bonus baby Harry Anderson; and a new first baseman, Ed Bouchee. Our three star pitchers, Roberts, Simmons and Haddix, will have the help of talented youngsters.
We have the power, stronger pitching, better balance and we've had the experience as a pennant contender. Pitching wasn't too strong last year. The acquisition of Warren Hacker, plus Don Gross and Tom Acker, who show great promise, gives us a lot more pitching strength.
The experience gained from last year's close race is bound to help. The club has more spirit and desire than ever. Fred Haney has placed great stress on fundamentals, which he feels cost the Braves the pennant last year. The same personnel, with Haney and added experience, should do it in '57.
Bill Virdon in the lineup from the start will be a major change for the better. His acquisition last year ranks ahead of the Brink's job as a steal. Other factors which should put us in the first division are Frank Thomas starting at third and Bill Mazeroski in his first full season at second.
The supposedly fading veterans—Campanella, Hodges, Reese, Furillo and Snider—are all driving hard to prove they have what is expected of champions. The youngsters—Zimmer, Neal and Cimoli—are pushing to play regularly. Podres answers Alston's need for a top left-hander.
The root of our woes during the past decade—too many chiefs and not enough Indians—is remedied with the acquisition of Vice-president John Holland. With his sound baseball knowledge, plus the attitude Manager Bob Scheffing has instilled, we have taken a tremendous stride in rebuilding.
St. Louis Cardinals
One of our best pitchers during last season ranks ninth on the current staff. That's the tip-off. Frank Lane has added pitchers like Murry Dickson, Herm Wehmeier, Jim Davis, Sam Jones and Hoyt Wilhelm. With Del Ennis, we now have the home run punch we need. We are also improved through the added experience gained by Ken Boyer, Don Blasingame, Hal Smith, Larry Jackson and Vinegar Bend Mizell during last season's race.
New York Giants
The Giants had the misfortune of losing three of their finest young players to the service—Willie Kirkland, Bill White and Jackie Brandt. So this year they've taken a good look at Andre Rodgers, a shortstop who has a chance for stardom in the National League, and a determined older outfielder, Hank Sauer. We won't be the door mats that the general public thinks we will be. We can finish fifth or fourth, with a little bit of luck.
The new team manager, Kerby Farrell, is a hustler who has been stressing speeds and better base running throughout spring training. We'll be a much faster ball club this year than we were last. With Herb Score physically well and the entire pitching staff obviously deeper, our pitching should be stronger than ever. If Roger Maris can make the grade in center field and Larry Raines can make a good showing at third, look out Yankees.
Boston Red Sox
A year makes a big difference. Last year, youngsters like Brewer, Delock, Sisler, Gernert, Lepcio reached major league maturity. This year, all five may star. The real difference could rest on the success of surgery to Mel Parnell's elbow. With baseball's best outfield, the outlook seems brighter.