2003 baseball preview
Another year, another set of milestones
500 Sammy Sosa could make it with his first swing. Rafael Palmeiro is on deck, while Fred McGriff and Ken Griffey Jr. are well within range. Sosa heads into Opening Day at Shea Stadium with 499 home runs, followed by Palmeiro at 490, McGriff at 478 and Griffey at 468.
White Sox should yield the Big Hurt's 400th career home run. Thomas, who has averaged 28 home runs per year, enters the season at 376. Just four ahead of Thomas is Houston's Jeff Bagwell, and two behind Thomas is Arizona's Matt Williams.
350 Five players are poised to reach this markMike Piazza of the New York Mets (347), Ellis Burks of Cleveland (345), Gary Sheffield of Atlanta (340), Larry Walker of Colorado (335) and Jim Thome of Philadelphia (334).
300 Barring injury, Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez (298) will hit this mark in the first few days of the season. A repeat of last year's performance (54 homers) will push him into the 350-plus club. Also within reach are Tino Martinez of St. Louis (284), Ruben Sierra of Texas (276), Dean Palmer of Detroit (275), Robin Ventura of the Yankees (275), Edgar Martinez of Seattle (273) and Eric Karros of the Cubs (270).
100 Derrek Lee of Florida has 99, as does Mike Lieberthal of Phildaelphia and Craig Paquette of Detroit.
Runs batted in
1,653 The next RBI for San Francisco's Barry Bonds will break a tie with Tony Perez (1,652) for 19th place all time; 44 will push him past Cal Ripken Jr. (1,695), with Reggie Jackson (1,702) and Honus Wagner (1,733) next. It'll take a monster year for him to catch No. 15 Frank Robinson (1,812). Palmeiro needs 25 for 1,600, Sosa needs 53 for 1,400 and Thomas needs 15 for 1,300.
61 Starts by Bonds will give him 2,500 for his career. If he plays in 130 games, he'll move from 55th all time to 35th. Palmeiro needs 87 for 2,500, McGriff needs 53 for 2,400, Mark Grace of Arizona needs 21 for 2,200, Sosa needs 25 for 1,900 and Griffey needs 39 for 1,900.
9,000 What Palmeiro will reach when he bats eight times this season. Other active leadersMcGriff (8,388), Roberto Alomar (8,386), Bonds (8,335), Craig Biggio (7,960) and Grace (7,930).
32 Times Thomas needs to score to reach 1,200. Bonds needs 70 for 1,900, Palmeiro needs 44 for 1,600 and Bagwell needs seven for 1,300.
2,000 Edgar Martinez of Seattle needs 27 hits to reach it. Also closing in on 2,000 are Bagwell (1,969), Sosa (1,955), John Olerud (1,934), Devon White (1,934) and Omar Vizquel (1,921).
300 Roger Clemens needs seven wins to become the first pitcher to post his 300th win since Nolan Ryan in 1990 and the 21st pitcher to accomplish the feat. With five-man rotations and the reliance on relief pitchers, there may not be many more after Clemens. The next closest are Greg Maddux (273), Tom Glavine (242) and Randy Johnson (224).