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 Post subject: '06 Predictions
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:19 pm 
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Location: The Empire State
Anyone got any predictions? Here are mine:

AL:

East: Yankees or Red Sox, whichever team stays healthier and has fewer steroid-related suspensions
Central: White Sox
West: Angels
Wild card: Indians

NL:

East: Braves
Central: Cardinals
West: Dodgers
Wild card: Mets

ALDS: Yankees or Red Sox over Indians
White Sox over Angels
ALCS: White Sox over Yankees or Red Sox

NLDS: Braves over Dodgers
Cardinals over Mets
NLCS: Cardinals over Braves

World Series: White Sox over Cardinals


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:54 pm 
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As moderator, I should point out that you posted last year's predictions, Wordy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:18 pm 
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Location: Washington
My predictions:

— New Yorkers will viciously turn on Johnny Damon for being merely as good as he always was.

— Manny Ramirez will issue, and then rescind, trade demands at least four times during the calendar year, just for fun.

— The Cleveland Indians will be this year's White Sox.

— Ichiro will be soundly derided by the press corps for hitting .335.

— Barry Bonds will retire after hitting home run #754, just to perplex and annoy people.

— David Wright will emerge as the best player in New York.

— Alfonso Soriano will refuse to wear pants in the outfield by midseason.

— Roger Clemens will return May 1 to Houston.

— Frank Thomas will be AL Comeback Player of the Year.

— Jim Bowden will receive Worst Executive In Baseball honors.

— Randy Johnson's daughter will win AL Rookie of the Year honors after going 15-8 with 247 strikeouts and 74 hit batsmen.

— The Atlanta Braves will win their division again, easily. And everybody, the Braves include, will cringe because of it.

— Derek Jeter promises to make futile full-body dives for ground balls more fan-pleasing than ever.

— Trot Nixon will be released by Boston and signed by the Yankees, who will immediately waive him just because they can.

— As he is every year, Bobby Abreu will continue to be the most complete player in baseball.

— Nobody will be able to name Toronto's double-play combo without having to look it up.

— Felix Hernandez will ascend to the third seat of the Godhead.

— Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawbery will be tearfully reunited in the Broward County lockup.


Last edited by Wabberjocky on Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:33 pm 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
As moderator, I should point out that you posted last year's predictions, Wordy.


Hmm. I looked through last year's posts here and didn't find any such prognostication.

What are your thoughts on this year's season, JJ?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:02 pm 
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
I predict at least 225 daily papers in the United States will use PLAY BALL! as their hed for Opening Day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:17 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
I think only two predictions can be made with any confidence about baseball in 2006:

1) Every sports section in the country will run at least one column a month bemoaning the downfall of the sport of baseball, blaming the sorry state of the game on overpaid players, steroids, Bud Selig, Don Fehr, Barry Bonds, George Steinbrenner, overlong games, the left-wing media, the right-wing conspiracy, the designated-hitter rule, the wild-card rule, the World Baseball Classic, the continued existence of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, goats, global warming, fan apathy or some combination of the above;

and

2) MLB attendance will break the 75 million mark for the first time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:58 pm 
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Location: Baltimore
Is George Mason University in the AL or NL? (I'm still stunned from March Madness)

Joy in Baltimore: Guy doing TV sports Sunday night said, "No more Sosa! No more Palmeiro! No more Ponson!"

I don't see the Orioles doing better than fourth, but what do I know?

The Red Sox might be interesting to watch, if only to see if they've ruined themselves.

In other words, I don't have a clue.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Rob Neyer (in a paid-subscription-only column at ESPN Insider) argues that every team in the American League except for Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Seattle has a legitimate prospect of reaching the playoffs this year. I think he may be slightly too optimistic about, say, the Detroit Tigers, but I do think he's absolutely right that this should be a very even season. Parity in baseball is on the upswing (if that's not an oxy-moron).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:02 pm 
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wordygurdy wrote:
jjmoney62 wrote:
As moderator, I should point out that you posted last year's predictions, Wordy.


Hmm. I looked through last year's posts here and didn't find any such prognostication.

What are your thoughts on this year's season, JJ?


I was just remarking that your predictions for this year look a lot like last year's finishes. I was being snarky.

Me? I know nothing. I'll defer to Keith Olbermann who just now sounded like he knows everything, including the prediction that some young arm on the Tigers could win the Cy Young. But maybe it's not hard to sound smart next to Dan Patrick and Tino Martinez.

I'll offer a little intelligence on two things:

** Like I warned you last year, the Yankees are on the decline. Expect another breakdown this year, especially in their starting rotation. The heyday is over.

** If he's eligible, Jim Thome for comeback player. And not just because I saw him hit two homers, one to left, one to right, a week ago against the Cubs in Mesa. He's going to turn it on this year and remind you of a combination of Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble. Now those were the days. .... Break it down, Jack Brohamer time.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:46 pm 
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3) Three minutes into the Yankees' season, I will tell the owner of the local sports bar that I'm never coming to his establishment again when he refuses to turn on the Yankees game on any one of his 12 televisions because a bunch of frat boys are holding him hostage for the NCAA championship game.

OK, that's not a prediction, it's an account of my evening. But seriously, what is a Manhattan sports bar thinking in not turning on Opening Day Yankees in favor of a basketball game between Florida and UCLA?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:41 am 
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That's pretty bad, Matthew. Wasn't any of the Brother Jimmy's branches, was it? I could sort of understand if it were, given how many frat boys and frat-boy alums from schools around the country hang out there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:27 am 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
I was just remarking that your predictions for this year look a lot like last year's finishes. I was being snarky.

Me? I know nothing. I'll defer to Keith Olbermann who just now sounded like he knows everything, including the prediction that some young arm on the Tigers could win the Cy Young. But maybe it's not hard to sound smart next to Dan Patrick and Tino Martinez.

I'll offer a little intelligence on two things:

** Like I warned you last year, the Yankees are on the decline. Expect another breakdown this year, especially in their starting rotation. The heyday is over.

** If he's eligible, Jim Thome for comeback player. And not just because I saw him hit two homers, one to left, one to right, a week ago against the Cubs in Mesa. He's going to turn it on this year and remind you of a combination of Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble. Now those were the days. .... Break it down, Jack Brohamer time.


I'll take your word for Olbermann's omniscience.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Yanks won 100 games or 85, given the age of their rotation. The heyday, my friend, ended in the Arizona desert in November 2001.

But I am optimistic that Steinbrenner will live up to his pledge to give Cashman more authority--Steinbrenner has so far, from all reports--and that this could lead to a rejuvenated farm system and more intelligent drafting, trading and free agent signing. A new heyday could well be on the horizon.

Jim Thome is, as John Sterling once said, "built like the village smithy." I wholeheartedly agree that he can be a force if healthy. I was very surprised, though, to see Murray Chass in the Times pick the White Sox for third in their division, behind the Twins and Indians. With the White Sox' rotation not having undergone any downgrades (unless you want to see the addition of Javier Vazquez as a downgrade, which is possible), I don't know how you can pick against them.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:42 pm 
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One of the interesting things Olbermann pointed out was how much of a case you can make for the Sox being a fluke last year. They were on the brink of one of the all-time great collapses until they got hot just in time and Cleveland itself collapsed a bit. If you get hot for a month and that month happens to be Sept. 20 to Oct. 20, you can win a championship.

(And let's not forget the dropped-third strike, which could have turned the Angels series around.)

He also said that the best thing about the Sox' pitching staff last year was Rowand in centerfield, and he's not there this year. He's in Philadelphia, a team both KO and T-No both picked to go to the World Series.

And in my opinion, they also got rid of El Duque, a guy I'll adore till my dying day.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:25 pm 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
One of the interesting things Olbermann pointed out was how much of a case you can make for the Sox being a fluke last year. They were on the brink of one of the all-time great collapses until they got hot just in time and Cleveland itself collapsed a bit. If you get hot for a month and that month happens to be Sept. 20 to Oct. 20, you can win a championship.

(And let's not forget the dropped-third strike, which could have turned the Angels series around.)

He also said that the best thing about the Sox' pitching staff last year was Rowand in centerfield, and he's not there this year. He's in Philadelphia, a team both KO and T-No both picked to go to the World Series.

And in my opinion, they also got rid of El Duque, a guy I'll adore till my dying day.


Olbermann makes a good point about the Sox' near collapse last year. Yet in doing so, he ignores the fact that they were hot for most of the season; they had double-digit leads in the division until September, if I'm not mistaken. So if you take most of the regular season and add the postseason, the Sox were hot more than they were not.

He also has a point about defense and being strong up the middle. The Sox have a pretty good double-play combination in Juan Uribe and Tadahito Iguchi, though, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski seems to have found a group of guys he can't offend enough to force the team to trade him. I guess it will remain to be seen how much not having Rowand makes a difference, though Brian Anderson is a pretty highly touted rookie from what I've read. Rowand sure could go get 'em, though. He put on quite a defensive show in Yankee Stadium late in the year. He was getting to balls that should have been the right fielder's and the left fielder's.

KO and T-No? Nice.


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