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Can Bo Go?
Tim Kurkjian
March 01, 1993
How well Bo Jackson's artificial hip holds up tops a list of baseball questions that only spring training can answer
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March 01, 1993

Can Bo Go?

How well Bo Jackson's artificial hip holds up tops a list of baseball questions that only spring training can answer

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4. Can Barry Bonds play the Giant outfield all by himself?

Bonds, the best player in baseball the past three years, hit .311 with 34 home runs and 103 RBIs in '92. The other top seven outfielders whom San Francisco has in camp combined to average .257 with three home runs and 22 RBIs last season.

5. How much will the Blue Jays miss Tom Henke?

The No. 1 reason why Toronto won the '92 World Series and why the Blue Jays have the longest string of consecutive .500-plus seasons (10) in baseball is the bullpen—specifically Henke and Duane Ward in recent years. Both players reached double figures in saves each of the last five seasons; no other relief tandem has done it more than three straight years since the save rule was adopted in '69. But with Henke (34 saves) having taken the free-agent route to Texas, Ward (7-4, 1.95, 12 saves), the premier setup man in baseball, becomes the closer—a far more pressurized job. Mike Timlin (0-2, 4.12) inherits Ward's role, but it's hard to imagine him doing it as well.

6. Has a 38-year-old outfielder with bad knees ever been asked to do more for a team?

Andre Dawson of the Red Sox, in his first spring with an American League team, is being trusted to play rightfield regularly, give power to an outfield that hit .246 with 31 home runs last year, add professionalism and class to a clubhouse lacking in both, and serve as a lightning rod in altering perceptions that Boston is a racist city.

Dawson can do all those things—he's that good an athlete and human being. What he can't do, however, is play the infield (the Red Sox have the worst infield in the AL East); be the third starter, behind Roger Clemens and Frank Viola; or save manager Butch Hobson's job if the Red Sox set off to a slow start.

7. Is there a more unlikely looking first baseman than the Cardinals' Gregg Jefferies?

At 5'10" and 200 pounds, Jefferies was known as Pugsly in Kansas City last season. Traded to St. Louis two weeks ago, he will play his fourth infield position since being drafted by the New York Mets in 1985, and it's doubtful he can be worse defensively at first base than he was at second, third or shortstop. He also can't be any worse than Pedro Guerrero, the Cardinal first baseman for most of the last four years. But Jefferies can hit (.285, 36 doubles, 75 RBIs last year), and St. Louis first basemen got only 66 RBIs last year.

8. Is the NL East so weak that even the Phillies have a chance to contend?

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