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Below is his predictions for the NL East.


NL East





New York Mets


Did Florida really win the World Series last October? Sure doesn't seem like it. One of the most tired acts in sports is when a team babbles on about not getting respect, but the Marlins have a case for that this spring. Sure, they lost Ivan Rodriguez, Derrek Lee and Mark Redman, but they still have some pretty good players. Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, Dontrelle Willis and Carl Pavano make a pretty good front four in your rotation. Mike Lowell, Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo will win you some games. The biggest thing the Marlins have to worry about is that, traditionally, Jack McKeon's teams sink like Burger King's fortunes in McKeon's first full season with them.


Philadelphia has every resource to win now that the Phillies have closer Billy Wagner and added Milton to their pitching staff. They lost many games late last season, and that shouldn't be a problem in '04. Manager Admin Bowa's blood pressure, though, might be.


The Expos will be competitive because, as usual, they have a few pitchers many people aren't yet acquainted with -- Tomo Ohka, Zach Day -- and Atlanta, oh, Atlanta, what happened? The Braves' run of 12 consecutive division titles is remarkable, and they were able to overcome the losses of Tom Glavine and Kevin Millwood last season, but add the losses of Greg Maddux, Gary Sheffield and Javy Lopez to that this year and, well, you do the math. The Mets? Hey, at least Kaz Matsui, Jose Reyes and Mike Cameron will be fun to watch. But bring your glove if you're sitting down close -- Mike Piazza will play some first base this year.

NL Cy Young

Josh Beckett, Florida.


Think back to the way Beckett tamed San Francisco in the playoffs last October. Now think back to the way he whipped the Chicago Cubs. Now, think back to the way he dropped the Yankees in the World Series -- particularly in Game 6 in Yankee Stadium. The kid is fearless ... and he hasn't even pitched 200 innings in a big-league season yet. This is the year.



Here is the whole thing. Pretty good predictions I might say.



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