Monday, July 12, 2010

First Half in the Books

One of the things that comes with age is that if nothing else, time and experiences teach an old fellow that nothing can be determined in only one half a season in baseball. The baseball season is such a long one and so much can change between the end of the first half and the end of the second half. The 1977 Yankees were 14 games behind the Red Sox and led to the Bucky Dent game. The 1951 New York Giants were the same amount of games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers before the eventual "Shot Heard Round the World" by Bobby Thompson. Pennant contenders crumble. Teams in the middle of the pack go on unpredictable runs and nothing is ever what you think when the All Star Game comes around.

Certainly, some patterns have already been established and based on probability statistics that are so easy to obtain in this day and age can give us a hint at what should happen. It's a pretty good bet, based on their history that A-Rod and Josh Hamilton will drive in 100 runs or more by the time the season. But they can just as easily get hurt (God forbid!). You just don't know. Right now there is some team out there with the pieces already falling into place that will make a run that will surprise us all. The Mets? The Marlins? Maybe. Maybe not. But some team will surprise us. Another team that seems to be a lock to contend all year may suddenly drop like a rock. The Reds? The Dodgers? Maybe. Maybe not.

All we can do is make some educated guesses. But it will be amazing how many of them will be wrong. A lot of people were predicting that the Mariners would compete this year for the AL West. Many also thought the same of the Cubs. Both of those educated guesses sound pretty silly right now. But the Fan makes predictions every day, so this writer is pretty used to looking silly. Here are some educated guesses on some things concerning the second half.

  • The Mets will stay in the race in the second half. Their pitching is coming together, they get Beltran back after the All Star Game. The Braves, Phillies and Mets will all be involved all season.
  • The Rangers won't be that much better with Lee because they are still a hitter or two short. But they will have no competition in the AL West.
  • The Padres will not win the NL West. Their pitching can only get them so far. Sooner or later, they have to fall.
  • The Reds will not win the NL Central. The Cardinals have been hugely disappointing, but they'll figure out a way to win the division.
  • The Yankees and the Bay Rays will make it ot the playoffs. It doesn't matter which one comes in first. The Red Sox miss out.
  • The White Sox will win the AL Central (okay, so the Fan was wrong). The Tigers and Twins simply can't match the White Sox and their pitching.
  • The Cubs will fire both Piniella and Hendry, but it won't happen until after the season.
  • The Dodgers will win the NL West. Don't know how. But Joe Torre will figure it out somehow.
  • Jason Heyward will come back in the second half and amaze us. He'll be the rookie of the year.
  • Josh Hamilton will win the AL MVP.
  • Johan Santana is already showing that he will be awesome in the second half.
  • Ubaldo Jiminez will win 23 games and his second half will be called disappointing.
  • Boesch will be the AL rookie of the year.
  • The Blue Jays will trade at least two of their veterans for prospects.
  • Prince Fielder will get traded.
  • Pablo Sandoval will be hut down and told to come back next year in much better shape.
  • Roy Oswalt will end up with the Dodgers.
  • Nobody will want Berkman.
  • Sabathia and Pettitte will both win 20.
  • Aramis Ramirez will have a great second half.
  • A couple more hot prospects will make striking debuts. Hellickson? Aroldis Chapman?
  • Robinson Cano will hit in the .330s but will not win the batting title.
  • Adam Dunn will be traded.
  • Beckett will come back strong for the Red Sox.
  • Wainwright will win the Cy Young Award.
  • Hanson will have a much better second half than his first half. Derek Lowe will fall off.

And this Fan will be amazed at all the things that will happen that were never expected and at least half of these guesses will end up looking really stupid.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

I don't know what the Rays are waiting for with Hellickson. He appears ready and Wade Davis is just mediocre. Supposed to be the next Dan Haren.