Open Season

Luck Be a Yankee Tonight

Pitching Underachiever:Andy Pettitte. Despite his postseason atonement, he's far from his Cy Young form of 1996. And at 26, he is the staff's biggest question mark. But at least he's not Kenny Rogers.

Same Old, Same Old:Mariano Rivera, Ramiro Mendoza. Rivera is simply the most irreplaceable player on the team. And if (when?) one of the starters gets injured, it's easy to see Mendoza in the rotation, winning 16 or 17 games.

So what's the bottom line? Figure that the offense sags by 30 runs— that's what STATS Inc. projects. Figure that the pitching staff gives up 30 more runs, bringing them back to a 1997 level. Crunch the numbers and the Bronxville Nine projects out to 105 wins in a division where 92 should get you second place— which would make Don Zimmer Bob Lemmon with a plate in his head.

But could they make another record run? "I think you're more likely to see teams winning 107, 108 games," says Zminda. "But 114? That's going to be tough."

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