Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time to Break Out the Crystal Ball

Once a year in the FanDome, the crystal ball is found on the top shelf of the closet covered with a green felt wrap. Carefully, the glistening sphere is carried out to the dining room table where the sunlight is the brightest. After gazing deeply into its depths, the writer forgets all about projections and common sense. The spell it casts erases all on paper scribblings about what player or team is the best. The spell is impartial. The predictions are only compromised by the human lack of understanding. The crystal ball knows all and all the Fan can do is write as fast as possible to capture so many images. With human weakness and humility, this is what the old ball says:

In 2011:

  • Ian Kinsler will win the MVP Award. He will display the power of 2009 along with the batting average and on base percentage of 2008 and he'll have a monster year. He will top Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia in WAR.
  • Jake Peavy will win 12 games with an ERA in the threes and win Comeback Player of the Year.
  • Pablo Sandoval feels so good to feel like an athlete again that he goes on to compile a .920 OPS.
  • Derek Jeter will bat .310 and collect his 3,000th hit by June 2, 2011. His haters will gnash their teeth.
  • Alex Rodriguez will hit 40 homers and bat over .300. He will come in second behind Kinsler for MVP.
  • Clay Buchholz will win more games for the Red Sox than Matsuzaka and Beckett combined.
  • The Rockies will win the NL West and Troy Tulowitzki will win the MVP in the National League. After he wins the award, there will be twelve blog posts about his Home/Away splits.
  • There will only be two no-hitter/perfect games.
  • Ichiro Suzuki will fail to get 200 hits for the first time in his career. But the Mariners will still score fifty more runs than last year.
  • The Braves will run away with the NL East with a surprising first couple of month. The Phillies will rally at the end of the season but will have to settle for the wild card.
  • The Cardinals will win the NL Central and Albert Pujols will tearfully tell the fans there that it's been fun while it lasted.
  • Roger Clemens will be convicted. Barry Bonds will not.
  • By mid-season, Kila Ka'aihue will be the regular first baseman for the Royals.
  • Jose Bautista will hit 45 homers and a .930 OPS. He will be ignored in MVP voting again.
  • The NL East will finish: Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals, Mets.
  • The NL Central will finish: Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Cubs, Astros.
  • The NL West will finish: Rockies, Dodgers, Giants, Diamonbacks, Padres
  • The AL East will finish: Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Bay Rays, Orioles.
  • The AL Central will finish: Tigers, White Sox, Twins, Royals, Indians.
  • The AL West will finish: Rangers, Athletics, Mariners, Angels.
  • Roy Halladay will again win the Cy Young Award in the National League.
  • The NFL labor issue will be settled by July 4, 2011 as owners like Kraft and Jones cut through the chase for the rest of them. This, the regular season will be saved and Bud Selig will be disappointed. 
  • Jim Hendry will finally get fired at the end of the regular season.
  • The Mets will never overcome the Madoff story and Terry Collins will lose the team by August 1, 2011.
  • Edwin Rodriguez will start Bonifacio one hundred times and analysts will blow their gaskets.
  • Scott Rolen will not be a major factor for the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Cleveland's Grady Sizemore will play more games than Adrian Beltre. Both of whom will play more games than Chase Utley and Carlos Beltran.
  • Michael Young will be traded to the Minnesota Twins. That 7 foot tall pitcher will be part of the deal.
  • Kevin Youkilis will play only 130 games due to nagging injuries.
  • Dustin Pedroia will only hit .275/.350/.425.
  • Bryce Harper will hit .400 in the minors.
  • Hosmer will get to the big leagues before Kipnes and Chisenhall. But not by much.
  • Matt Cain will finally have an ordinary or sub-par season and analysts will finally be right after three years of being wrong.
  • Jose Reyes will out hit David Wright.
  • Livan Hernandez will have more wins than Carl Pavano.
  • McCutchen will be the best centerfielder in the National League.
  • Jason Kendall will continue to be the starting catcher for the Royals and KC fans will gnash their teeth.
  • Elvis Andrus will hit a homer this season.
  • Brett Gardner will finally look at Tony Pena, point to his nether regions and say, "Bunt this, okay?"
  • Logan Morrison will have a breakout season.
  • Jordan Zimmermann will have a break out season.
  • Chipper Jones will play 135 games and compile an OPS of .880. His Hall of Fame ticket will be punched.
  • John Mayberry Jr. will get more playing time than Ben Francisco.
  • Defense will betray the Twins.
  • Jeff Bagwell will get elected to the Hall of Fame.
  • One of the Phillies starters will strain a calf muscle and lose a lot of time. Couldn't see which one, but betting it's Oswalt.
  • Carlos Gonzalez will have a very good year but not as good as last year.
  • Jason Giambi will break John Jaha's record for highest on base percentage (.398) with a batting average under .200 with more than 100 plate appearances.
  • J. J. Hardy will have a good year at the plate and match his fWAR with his oWAR. He'll continue to be the best shortstop that nobody wants.
  • Stephen Drew will have a break out season. He'll finish second in NL MVP voting. It won't save Kirk Gibson from getting fired at the end of the season.
  • The Bay Rays finally lose patience with B. J. Upton and replace him in centerfield.
  • Manny Ramirez will compile an OPS of .890.
  • Brett Myers will not be able to duplicate last season's results.
  • Jason Marquis and Kyle Lohse will be this year's surprise pitching stars.
  • Kevin Goldstein's head will grow larger than Kevin Mench's big dome.
  • Jonah Keri's book, 2 1/2% will be the highest selling baseball book of the year.
  • Robinson Cano will get thrown out of at least one game by an umpire for walking all the way around the plate on a swing and miss.
  • Speaking of umpires, we'll see even more controversial plays on the field this year and the clamor for video will overwhelm Bud Selig.
  • The Padres will sink back to last place and the fans in San Diego won't notice the difference.
  • Adrian Gonzalez will have the fifth highest WAR among AL first baseman.
  • Buck Showalter will get a wood chipper by June 15 and chew up Mark Reynold's bats in it while glaring at Reynolds and saying he doesn't use them anyway.
  • Orlando Hudson will again put up respectable numbers for his team while infuriating his manager. He will move on again next year.
  • Russell Branyon will hit a homer for his 72nd team of his career.
  • Bartolo Colon will be the Yankees' fifth starter.
  • Russell Martin will again become one of the best catchers in the game and the Yankee pitchers will laud him as the big difference in their season.
  • Jesus Montero will be the regular DH by July.
  • Aaron Miles will pitch in a game, somewhere...for somebody.
  • Justin Morneau will have a very good season and people will talk about something besides his head.
  • Jason Bay will not have a good season and people will keep talking about his head.
  • Carlos Zambrano will win 18 games, but Garza will be a bust. Zambrano also hits five homers.
  • Marcum will turn out to be the Brewers' best pitcher.
  • Milton Bradly will quietly put up a .800 OPS.
  • The Giants will find someone else to play shortstop by May 30.
  • Jeff Franceour will again wonder why he isn't playing every day.
  • Adam Laroche will strike out 150 times and have a good year for the O's.
  • Ryan Zimmerman steal's Longoria's title as baseball's best third baseman by the end of the season.

And finally...

  • The Yankees will win the World Series.


Charles Simone said...

Wow! Will you be keeping score?

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Heh. That depends on how well the predictions go.