Saturday, March 31, 2007

Picks Guaranteed to Go Wrong

I've been thinking a lot about morality & ethics lately. I have some thoughts to share and I'll be fleshing them out here in the coming weeks. So don't give up on me & tune away just yet.

But for now, I've got to get my MLB predictions out before the season begins.

AL East

94-68 x-New York Yankees
90-72 y-Boston Red Sox
80-82 Toronto Blue Jays
75-87 Baltimore Orioles
65-97 Tampa Bay Devil Rays

AL Central

93-69 x-Detroit Tigers
88-74 Cleveland Indians
85-77 Chicago White Sox
82-80 Minnesota Twins
60-102 Kansas City Royals

AL West

94-68 x-Los Angeles Angels
84-78 Oakland Athletics
83-79 Texas Rangers
70-92 Seattle Mariners

NL East

92-70 x-New York Mets
87-75 Philadelphia Phillies
86-76 Atlanta Braves
72-90 Florida Marlins
59-103 Washington Nationals

NL Central

90-72 x-Milwaukee Brewers
89-73 y-St. Louis Cardinals
83-79 Houston Astros
82-80 Chicago Cubs
77-85 Cincinnati Reds
65-97 Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West

90-72 x-San Diego Padres
82-80 Colorado Rockies
80-82 San Francisco Giants
78-84 Arizona Diamondbacks
75-87 Los Angeles Dodgers

Too many games to be played for me to try to predict how it will play out in October. But I will say (go ahead & call me a homer...) that I like the Red Sox in a short series. ;-)

AL Cy Young:
Johan Santana, Minnesota Twins

Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians

AL Rookie of the Year:
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston Red Sox

NL Cy Young:
Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers

Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

NL Rookie of the Year:
Josh Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds

Random Predictions:

  • Barry Bonds hits 30+ homeruns and thus breaks Hank Aaron's all-time record of 755.

  • Bobby Cox hangs 'em up as Atlanta Braves manager at the end of this season when the new cheap ownership allows John Smoltz & Andruw Jones to walk. Smoltz signs with the Detroit Tigers & Andruw signs with the Boston Red Sox.

  • Bobby's successor will be Joe Torre. Joe returns to Atlanta where he has formerly played & managed. He's not tired of baseball; just tired of the unreal Yankee expectations. He's attracted to Atlanta by his history with the franchise, the first-class front office headed by John Schuerholz, and the opportunity to teach young ballplayers. Another first-round failure in the playoffs marks Joe's final season in pinstripes.

  • This is NOT A-Rod's final season in pinstripes.

  • Torre's successor in the Bronx will be the overwhelmingly popular Joe Girardi.

  • Roger Clemens announces that he is returning to the Yankees around Memorial Day. Sometime around the middle of September, he will pull up with some kind of nagging injury and announce his retirement from Major League Baseball FOR GOOD. No one believes him, but 2008 comes and goes & Clemens fattens up and it becomes apparent that his retirement actually is for real. Three years following the retirement, some crafty investigative reporter will release a blockbuster, best-selling tell-all book that reveals an organized MLB cover-up of Clemens' 2007 positive test for steroids. This reporter chronicles how MLB didn't want another black eye & convinced Clemens to finally retire and avoid public embarassment. Forget the controversy over Mark McGwire; "The Rocket" becomes the new poster child for steroids in baseball as America finally wakes up to realize how more pitchers than hitters are users.

Okay, I know that my last prediction was very random, and very randomly detailed. But if it happens, I'll look like a GENIUS, no?


Chad Billy-Steve Pknicholson said...

Love the Clemens prediction. Hate the Bonds prediction, but just because it's Bonds. I don't see the Angels winning that many with that offense, but still coming out on top. I will doubt the Brew Crew, bump the Cards up one, and the Cubs with the wild card. Also, the Giants will come in last, and the Dodgers in second. And yes, the Sox will again win it all!

David Johnson said...

I'm with the other guy--I don't see the Angels winning quite that many with their offense, unless 3 things happen: 1) Vlad drives in at least 125 runs; 2) Gary Matthews, Jr. performs at least as well as he did last year; 3) Juan Rivera comes off the DL to improve upon last year's numbers (he needs a .320-28-100 year for them to win that many games, IMO).

But I'm waiting for your thoughts on ethics and morality.

David Johnson said...

Oh, yeah, and Milwaukee winning the division depends upon Ben Sheets. I personally don't think they come close to winning even if he stays healthy, but he absolutely must stay healthy for them to even have a shot.

I also think that the Rangers have a great chance this year. The Ranger pitching staff was uncharacteristically decent last year--although the bullpen, courtesy of Francisco Cordero, left something to be desired. But there are 4 things for the Rangers that have to happen: 1) Blalock has to be good at the plate again; 2) Teixeira must not wait until August to start hitting; 3) Sammy has to replace or better Matthews, Jr.'s run production; and 4) the pitching staff has to have about as good a year as they did last year (and better in the 9th inning). That's a lot to ask, I know. But I really see the AL West as easily the weakest division in the AL--Seattle will likely have 100 losses or so and if there is a 90-game winner (or two) it will only come through beating up teams in the West.

Yanks win the AL East, Boston grabs the AL wild card.
Detroit wins the Central, although Minnesota keeps up with them until mid-August.
Anaheim wins the West.

Mets win the NL East, but the Phillies hang close and grab the wild card.
Astros win a free-for-all in the NL Central, with the Cubs right on their heels all the way; in an interesting twist considering last year's collapse, the Cards fall behind early only to gain ground in August and September.
Dodgers win the NL West, and San Diego's pitching keeps them close all the way.

Unknown said...

I will not call you a "homer." If you were a homer you would have chosen a Florida based team (Marlins or Devil Rays)- or even the Dixie dominating Braves...but the Sox? When was your home Beantown?

III said...

Don't worry, boys. It's young, but the Angels will have plenty of offense. They will also have plenty of pitching once Colon & Weaver get healthy. They'll hang around in the first half & turn it on full-throttle after the All-Star Break.

As for the Brew Crew, Prince Fielder will be this year's Ryan Howard & Rickie Weeks will stay healthy and be a poor man's Alfonso Soriano. They have a solid starting rotation (can St. Louis say that?) and a potentially dominant bullpen. And yes, Dave, I am betting on a healthy season from Ben Sheets. One look at my fantasy team could tell you that. ;)

BTW, folks, my Mom is in the hospital. Please remember her whenever it is you kneel. And the morality blogging will have to wait for now... though I've already started gathering some notes & am excited to "put it to paper."

David Johnson said...

Milwaukee may have a decent starting rotation, but you're making some outlandish predictions regarding Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks. Granted, Fielder may approach 40 homers, but I'm betting he'll make smaller strides--maybe 34 homers. But he won't hit .300 (Howard hit .313) and he won't walk 90 times (Howard walked 108 times) and he won't drive in 125 runs (Howard had 149 RBIs). The difference between Howard and Prince Fielder is that Howard's prodigious power was already present in his rookie year (22 HR in 312 at-bats--and 10 HR in 97 September at-bats). Fielder's power looks like longer in developing--just like his father's (if you remember, Cecil had to go to Japan for a few years before coming back to the states and hitting 51--before that, he'd never hit more than 14). He stayed fairly consistent for the entire year last year. Both before and after the all-star break, he averaged 1 HR for every 20 at-bats and 1 2B every 16 at-bats--28 HR and 35 2B in 569 at-bats. He hit .344 in April and .208 in June, and never hit more than 7 HR in a month.

As for Rickie Weeks, he might have the base-stealing ability of Soriano, but he has yet to show significant power. I'll be surprised if he hits more than 20 this year, even with a full season.

Bets on how many starts Sheets will make? I say no more than 24.

David Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Johnson said...

I'm not saying that Prince Fielder will not be able to hit 45 homers a year, and maybe even 50 on occasion, within 2 or 3 years. Just that he won't do it this year, and perhaps next year as well.