|CF||Jose Cruz Jr|
|SP||Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Jason Bere, Shawn Estes|
|RP||John Smoltz, Antonio Alfonseca|
The Mallards, a good team through the late 90's and world champions in 1997, grew suddenly old in 2001 and fell into the cellar. The 2002 team has a new look, but the core of the team remains familiar.
strengths:The Mallards trademark, Bitchin' Pitchin', should return this year, and the Mallards, who for years subsisted on middle relievers in the closer role, froze two closers in 2002 to shore up the bullpen. There's some youth on the team, and up the middle the Mallards have stars in their prime years.
weaknesses: The Mallards have never been fleet of foot, and once again they have little team speed.The middle of the order has some power, but McGwire's home runs will be missed.
outlook:: If the Red Sox players (Varitek, Nixon, Pedro) have great years and nothing goes wrong, the Mallards could contend. But there are lots of question marks, and a few key injuries could lead to another dismal year in the Fells.