TORONTO - Each spring we go south armed with a set question.
And we ask it to scouts, managers, general managers — everyone except the person at the Avis counter.
One year, the question was: “Does anyone have three starters under the ago of 25 as good as Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay and Kelvim Escobar?” (Answer: No.)
Another spring, some daffy manager said among outfielders Andre Dawson ranked a distant third as a Hall of Fame candidate behind Dwight Evans and Fred Lynn. (Answer: Ah, a big no.)
And we asked if the Jays would repeat in 1993 (never in doubt) and make it three in a row in 1994 (five games below .500 when the season was cancelled).
This spring, for 32 days in two states, I asked this question: Who will finish last in the American League East?
(Names have been omitted to protect the cooperating parties.)
“Orioles. They can’t pull that many rabbits out of their hats again this year.”
— NL scout. The Orioles were 29-9 in one-run games