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ENEMY LINES
Stephen Cannella
April 23, 2001
Two advance scouts, one from each league, discuss what they saw and heard last week
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April 23, 2001

Enemy Lines

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Two advance scouts, one from each league, discuss what they saw and heard last week

There's talk that manager Larry Rothschild has lost control of the Devil Rays' clubhouse. There's a bit of a deathwatch in Tampa, with him the front-runner to be the first manager fired in 2001....

Former pitching coaches, like Rothschild, don't seem to work as managers. It might have something to do with the rivalry between pitchers and position players. I don't think the regulars respect guys who played every fifth day....

It's early, but Phillies reliever Ricky Bottalico is throwing as well as he did when he was Philly's closer four years ago. He's got his fastball up to 96 mph, and he's throwing a good curveball. Bottalico and Jose Mesa—his fastball is up around 96, too—have definitely solidified the Phillies' bullpen....

The Yankees' second-line hitters, guys like Scott Brosius, are off to a good start, and some of the credit has to go to new hitting coach Gary Denbo. He communicates better with the hitters than the guy they had last year, Chris Chambliss....

Marlins catcher Charles Johnson is striking out a lot (15 times in 37 at bats through Sunday). I think it's because his swing is getting long again—a troubling sign. Florida leftfielder Cliff Floyd, on the other hand, looks unbelievable. He's hitting the ball hard and might be the best hitter in baseball right now....

The Expos are a real surprise. They're thin, but their l-through-8 lineup is better than people think. They'll give teams trouble....

The Angels got off to a solid start, thanks to their 8 and 9 hitters, second baseman David Eckstein and shortstop Benji Gil. Everything those guys have hit has found a hole. Compare that with such good-hitting teams as the A's and Indians, who have yet to get on track.

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