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June 10, 1998
BP Polling: Dave Pease's BallotTop Ten Teams:
1. Yanquis. I thought they'd be good. They've been significantly better than I expected.
2. Braves. Always a great team, they're getting good seasons from their Colorado imports. Whowouldathunk?
3. Padres. Everything's coming together for this team. Except Joey Hamilton.
4. Astros. Again very solid, and getting some unexpected pitching help.
5. Red Sox. The outfield has been a surprise. Tom Gordon destroying batters from the pen hasn't.
6. Giants. And for the life of me I don't understand why.
7. Indians. Some shaky pitching, but Thome, Justice, Giles, Ramirez, and Lofton are a nice antidote for that.
8. Rangers. Of course, what team batting Tom Goodwin and Mark McLemore 1-2 wouldn't be on this list?
9. Cubs. Wood has been the focus of this team's good start, but it won't last.
10. Mets. The excellent Piazza trade puts this team in contention.
1. Orioles. Uh, yeah. Like we said, they aren't very good, no matter how much money Angelos throws around.
2. Mariners. Very disappointing early on. What's up with that bullpen?
3. Dodgers. A perennial disappointment for their fans. Despite talent, they'll again be scrambling for the postseason.
1. Mark McGwire. Only his health will keep him from a serious run at Maris.
2. Chipper Jones. His hot start helps here.
3. Barry Bonds. Shrugged off a slow start to resume his normal place as NL's most productive OF.
4. Greg Maddux. Like Bonds, he's again the NL's best.
5. Jason Kendall. Best hitting catcher in the league, with a nod to Piazza and Lopez.
1. Ivan Rodriguez. Awesome. More average, less power, but similar to Piazza's 1997.
2. Damion Easley. Whatever this guy is sprinkling on his cereal, I need some.
3. Ken Griffey Jr. Unlike Frank Thomas, the 1998 edition of Junior is as good as ever.
4. Bernie Williams. The best offensive player on a great Yankee team.
5. Alex Rodriguez. I wish he'd take more passes, but you can't argue with his awesome power.
Cy Young Award
1. Greg Maddux. He's so good, he's boring.
2. Andy Ashby. A nice comeback; he, not Kevin Brown, has been the Padre ace so far.
3. Tom Glavine. See Maddux.
1. Chuck Finley. Every year I think he's through, and every year he proves me wrong.
2. Baby Huey Irabu. Wow. Maybe he *is* as good as he thinks he is.
3. Pedro Martinez. A mostly successful move to the AL for baseball's richest man.
Rookie of the Year
1. Kerry Wood. Breathtaking talent. 20 K was no fluke.
2. Matsao Yoshii. A big part of New York having the NL's best rotation.
3. Derek Lee. Started out strong, but Florida is playing games with his playing time.
1. Rolando Arrojo. The lone bright spot in Tampa Bay's dismal maiden season.
2. Ben Grieve. Already he's Oakland's offensive mainstay.
3. Dave Ortiz. A shame he got hurt; he was having an excellent season.