It was a slow sports day back in March that I penned a blog predicting the outcome of the MLB season and now that we’ve reached the slowest of all sports days (no, the ESPYs don’t count) on the calendar, I decided I should revisit my picks to see how silly they now look.
I picked everything from the division winners and runners-up to the MVPs, Cy Young winners and ROYs. And upon further review … it’s about as hit-and-miss as one might expect.
I absolutely nailed the AL East saying back on March 30: “With the addition of Curtis Granderson to the
lineup and Javier Vazquez to the rotation, the defending champs might
be better than last year. I’m reluctantly going with the Yankees to
win the division but I like the Rays to edge the BoSox for the
runner-up spot because I believe Tampa’s lineup can score outscore
Sure it wasn’t much of a stretch to pick the defending WS champs and Granderson has been hurt and Vazquez has only recently been helping the cause, but I thought taking the Rays over Red Sox took some stones so I’m feeling pretty good, for now.
After reviewing my AL Central picks I started feeling pretty good about myself and almost booked a flight for Vegas. On March 30 I picked: “While the fashionable pick seems to be the
Twins again this year, I can’t get past the White Sox impressive
pitching rotation and the potential of their lineup. With Mark Buehrle,
Jake Peavey, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and even Freddy Sanchez to a lesser
degree, Chicago’s staff can matchup 1-5 with any team in the either
league. Couple that with my belief that Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez and
Carlos Quinten will all produce bounce-back seasons and the pick is the
Southsiders. With an impressive staff of its own, I think the Tigers
will be close behind and Minnesota will have to settle for a
third-place finish. Upon further review of the current standings, that’s 6 for 6 with Vegas being the obvious next stop on my Jimmy the Greek Tour.
Then came the AL West picks and a major bump in the road. Back on March 30 I predicted: “I’ve seen may experts going with Seattle to
win the West but I see too many holes in their lineup and a big
drop-off after Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee on the pitching staff to
contend. Despite the lack of a true No. 1 starter, the depth of the
Angels’ pitching staff should keep them in almost every game and a
lineup that can do damage 1-9 should allow them to rise above the rest
in the West. I like the pitching-strapped Rangers to take second,
Seattle third and I expect Oakland could be mathematically eliminated
by Mother’s Day.
Close but no cigar on this one, as Texas is currently up on the Angels by 4 games, with Oakland a distant third and Seattle pulling up the rear and selling the little bit of talent they have left on the roster. And as for my A’s prediction, sorry Oakland fans, who knew guys like Sweeney, Suzuki and Kouzmanoff would be able to keep your squad within shouting distance of the top spot. I still expect a major drop i the second half but I’ll man up and admit my mistake on this one.
I didn’t really go out on a limb picking the Phillies to win the East but I thought taking the Braves to challenge the defending NL champs held some water and so far so good on that one, with Atlanta actually leading Philly and the Mets. Not bad at this point, probably looking at about a .667 clip but storm clouds moving in.
I’m embarrassed to display my picks for the NL Central but in my defense, who knew Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez would forget how to hit and that Carlos Zambrano would not only forget how to pitch, but that he’d also go ballistic in the dugout, throw yet another temper tantrum and divide the team. Never saw that coming. In my defense, I was drinking alot back in March after yet another forgettable March Madness in which I picked Arkansas-Pine Bluff to win it all.
On March 30 I predicted: “In what I believe is the most competitive
division in all of the land, I’m going to give the nod to the Cubs. As
a Brewers fan I have a hard time going that route but I believe a
rejuvenated and slimmed down Carlos Zambrano will solidify the best
overall staff and help lead the Northsiders to the top. Defending champ
St. Louis will be right there until the final days and so will
Milwaukee. I also believe the Reds will surprise many by remaining in
contention until the final month but in the end, their pitching won’t
be enough to get over the hump.”
OK, way off on the Central but maybe partial credit for the Cincy pick and St. Louis is in second, right? Batting about .500 now and starting to look like Corey Hart did after blowing his wad in the first round of the Home Run Derby, but we forge on.
Back on March 30 I predicted: “While the Central is the most competitive
division, the West is easily the hardest to figure. If the Giants had
more offense they’d be an easy pick with their impressive pitching
staff in toe and the Rockies would be an easy pitch if they had more
quality arms. The Dodgers are solid in both areas but not overly
impressive in either. The Diamondbacks are in trouble in Brandon Webb
is unable to get healthy and the Padres lineup looks solid from top to
bottom but their pitching staff features five No. 3 starters. I think
they’ll have to go out and sign another bat before the trade deadline,
but if they can solidify the lineup for the stretch run, I think the
Giants will somehow find a way to score just enough to compliment their
impressive pitching and win the West.”
While the Padres are leading the way, the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies are all within four games so the jury is still out on this one. Alright, I’m breaking the rules a bit with my abridged scoring system but the Giants are a Prince Fielder signing away from running away and hiding in the West so let’s wait and see on that one.
Overall, much like the Rays 2010 season, I bolted out of the gate in impressive fashion only to stumble into the break. There’s still 81 games left so things could get back on track so we’ll check back in October and see how things ultimately turn out. As for my Cubs pick, that one made about as much sense as blaming your infield’s effort level because you’re constantly giving up too many hits. Damn that Big Z.