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Sunday, March 31, 2002
Updated: April 17, 4:59 PM ET
What's hot, not for 2002 baseball

By Dan Shanoff
Special to Page 2

Whether you have "caught the bug that has been going around" in skipping work for Opening Day or you just don't pay attention to baseball until the Final Four and Masters are completed, consider yourself warned that the 2002 big-league baseball season is chock full of new trends, hot names and passé topics.

To increase your likelihood of becoming the office lunchroom hero, the barstool all-star and -- as always -- the apple of some significant other's eye, check out the list below for Page 2's guide to what's hot (and what's not) for the upcoming baseball season:

What's Hot, What's Not: The 2002 baseball season
Category Hot Not
Team
Minnesota Twins

Texas Rangers
GM J.P. Ricciardi (Blue Jays) Allard Baird (Royals)
Asian import
Kazuhisa Ishii (Dodgers)

Tsuyoshi Shinjo (Giants)
Minor-league franchise Brooklyn Cyclones Durham Bulls
Young flamethrower
Josh Beckett (Marlins)

Roy Oswalt (Astros)
Hat Montreal Expos Alternative-color Yankees
Dominican Republic's favorite son Cristian Guzman (Twins) Vlad Guerrero (Expos)
Endorsement contract Video-game headliner Stadium naming rights
Ballpark food Asian-themed food Garlic fries
Place to catch homers Waveland Ave., Chicago McCovey Cove, San Francisco
Hobby for ex-players Own minor-league teams Attend autograph shows
Medical situation Tommy John surgery Torn labrum
Player significant other "Stadium wives" The road-trip "friend"
Brothers The Minors (Damon, Ryan) The Giambis
Players' road-trip must Strip clubs in Montreal Strip clubs in Milwaukee
Starting pitching Back of the rotation Aces
Clutch closer
Matt Anderson (Tigers)

Mariano Rivera (Yankees)
Movie subject 35-year-old rookies Cape Cod League kiddies
He's due for hardware ...
Mike Mussina

Randy Johnson
We're already sick of ... The Jason Giambi hype The Ichiro hype
Rivalry Bowa-Torre Rocker-Fans
Music played before at-bat
Ludacris

J-Lo
Players' electronic must-have Color-screen celly Personal DVD player
Pitch Nasty slider 100-plus mph fastball
Historical homage Goodbye, Twins-Expos "Shot Heard 'Round ..."
Way to cheat Shady birth certificates Stealing signs from CF
Fashion trend Back pocket inside-out Wrist sweat bands
Lame excuse from a Rivera "It was Scott Brosius' fault." "Uh, that wasn't my glove?"
Red Sox trend Cleanin' house Winnin' titles
"He Hate Me" Sammy Sosa Barry Bonds
Jersey
Angels' "retro" look

A-Rod as Ranger
Fans' biggest fear Player walkout in September Management lockout in October
Relocated player
Robby Alomar

Carl Everett
Development trend Latin "academies" Scouting U.S. high schoolers
Latin America pipeline Panama Dominican Republic
Distraction Labor woes Contraction
Cubs' minor-league savior
Mark Prior

Corey Patterson
Managerial mind Jim Tracy (Dodgers) Tony La Russa (Cardinals)
World Series favorites
The Yankees

It's always the Yankees

Dan Shanoff is a regular contributor to Page 2.