At the beginning of the year I made my 40 Fearless Predictions… and I also made my divisional picks…
I am sure some look prophetic and others looked pathetic.
I don’t hide from my bad picks.
2. THE RED SOX WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS BUT MISS THE WORLD SERIES. FRANCONA’S JOB IS SAFE
So far the Sox have the best record in the American League. But October is a strange month and the Tigers could be that kind of team that wins a game in Fenway and next thing you know the Sox are facing elimination on the road.
Either way, Francona isn’t going anywhere.
3. IF DAVID ORTIZ’S BAT IS SLOWING DOWN, HE’LL BE ON THE TRADE BLOCK
When Ortiz was well below Mendoza’s standard and had one more homer than me, the Red Sox would have dealt him in a heartbeat if they could find a taker.
Now he’s hitting again and all of Red Sox nation aren’t watching his at bats as if we were watching Charlie Brown in the spelling bee.
There are still 2 1/2 months to the season… and you know it is possible.
If you told me that one game after the All Star Break the Mets would be 4 games UNDER .500 and trailing the Phillies by 7 1/2 games, 8 in the loss column, I would be almost 100% certain this prediction came true.
But alas, this is one of my stinkers.
6. ORLANDO CABRERA WILL HAVE ANOTHER YEAR THAT MAKES RED SOX, ANGELS AND WHITE SOX FANS SAY “WHY DID WE LET THIS GUY GO?”
7. VLAD GUERRERO WILL NOT BE A FACTOR THIS YEAR DUE TO INJURIES… AND THE ANGELS WILL PLUMMET IN THE STANDINGS
10. BOBBY COX CALLS IT QUITS IN MID SEASON AND TERRY PENDLETON BECOMES THE MANAGER
Cox has nothing left to prove, but I have the feeling he wants to leave the Braves as a winner. The team no longer has Maddux, Glavine or Smoltz and the new Braves are hovering around .500.
So far this prediction is wrong, but if they finish above .500 for the season, I think he’ll call it a Hall of Fame career.
11. THE BREWERS SLIDE BACK INTO MEDIOCRITY AND PRINCE FIELDER HITS THE TRADE BLOCK
Now THIS what you call a lousy prediction… at least so far.
The Brewers are a modest winning streak away from being a first place team.
They are also a 4 game losing streak away from being sub .500.
Ah, the perils of parity in the National League.
12. THE UPTON BROTHERS BOTH HAVE BREAKOUT YEARS.
Well Justin is holding up his end of the bargain. He’s already established a career high in homers and RBI, has a batting average of .301, an OPS of .918 and made his first All Star team.
B.J. came back from surgery slowly… like sub .180 batting average and sub .500 OPS slowly.
But he got his average up to the .240s and his OPS in the .700s… maybe he’ll have a monster second half.
13. CHAD TRACY WILL HIT 25 HOMERS AND MAKE THE ALL STAR TEAM
This was a hunch pick.
I thought the D’Backs were going to be decent and I thought some of their bats were going to wake up.
Instead Bob Melvin is searching the help wanted section and Chad Tracy missed all of June with injuries.
14. MANNY RAMIREZ WILL HIT 50 HOMERS, WIN THE NL MVP AND TAKE A WIZZ ON THE LEFT FIELD SCOREBOARD
Oh yeah, like YOU knew he was going to test positive!
Missing 50 games makes 50 homers a stretch.
There’s still time for him to take a leak on the scoreboard.
16. THE NL WEST WON’T BE AS BAD AS PEOPLE THINK
The Dodgers have baseball’s best record.
The Giants are the wild card team.
Jim Tracy has righted the ship in Colorado.
Only the Padres (division champs of 2005 and 2006) and the Diamondbacks (division champs of 2007) stink.
17. CLIFF LEE’S 2008 WAS A FLUKE
The whole Indians team has fallen apart and Lee isn’t on anyone’s short list for Cy Young contenders.
But his 3.31 ERA plus a few recent gems thrown should make him very very interesting trade bait for the Indians who need more pieces to the puzzle and probably won’t be a pennant contender until Lee is in his mid 30s.
18. KEN GRIFFEY JR’S FAREWELL TOUR IN SEATTLE WILL BE NICE BUT IN THE END KIND OF SAD
I’ve written about the strange cross road that the Mariners have hit. They would be trading veterans all over creation and possibly laying down the foundation for the next great Mariners team… if only this team did what it was supposed to do and suck!
But save for a few homers, Griffey is a shell of his former self. And it’s always kind of sad to say goodbye.
A few weeks into the season, it looked like the Marlins would win 100 games!
If only they could play the Nationals every day.
Either way, they have their nose above .500 and a solid second half could bring them over the top. No team is as streaky as Florida!
20. WASHINGTON NATIONALS WILL LOSE 110 GAMES AND PASS ON STEPHEN STRASBERG IN THE DRAFT
110 losses looks like a given at this point.
As for Strasberg, they did pick him, but if they don’t sign him it could be a disaster.
21. MATT WIETERS ISN’T READY
Man I drank the Kool Aid with Matt LaPorta, who didn’t exactly tear up big league pitching this spring before returning to Columbus.
But his .312 average and .929 OPS in AAA show he might be ready to break out in the second half… and Hafner, whose numbers aren’t horrible, needs to go.
23. THE PADRES WILL DEAL JAKE PEAVY TO THE CARDINALS AND INCLUDE DAVID ECKSTEIN IN THE TRADE
Ohhh man how happy are the White Sox that their trade was rejected!
And how mad are the Padres that they didn’t pull the trigger on a deal when they can?
The Padres will never get their peak value for Peavy… and the suffering in San Diego continues.
24 . PADRES MANAGER BUD BLACK WILL BE FIRED BEFORE JUNE.
Bud Black is still the manager for the Padres.
Isn’t that strange?
Anyone have any idea why?
He has the second half of the season to show that he is… and to retroactively earn that spot on the All Star team.
27. THE RAYS WILL STUMBLE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, RELAX AND MAKE A RUN AT A PLAYOFF SPOT
Hey! A prediction that so far looks pretty good.
28. DAVID PRICE WILL JOIN THE RAYS FOR GOOD IN MID MAY
Mid May was an easy prediction. But he’s been off and on with his effectiveness. He’s have to win 9 games in the second half to match my prediction of 12 wins.
He’s not showing a lot of control. Where was that lack of control in the 8th and 9th inning of last years ALCS?
29. THE CINCINNATI REDS WILL BE THE MOST EXCITING TEAM TO WATCH ALL YEAR
They haven’t been boring, that’s for sure.
There are some days they look like they are about to break out.
Then there are some days they look like a sub .500 team going nowhere.
They are sub .500 and 5 1/2 games out now… they’ll need a pretty exciting second half to make this an accurate prediction.
30. THE PHILLIES WILL WIN THEIR THIRD STRAIGHT DIVISION TITLE
Just a few weeks ago, it looked like there might be a 4 way tie in the NL East.
But with a rotten pitching staff, Brad Lidge imploding and Jimmy Rollins having a HORRIBLE first half, the Phillies find themselves with a 5 game lead and visions of Roy Halladay dancing in their heads.
Pretty safe bet.
31. DESPITE CHRIS IANNETTA’S BREAK OUT YEAR, THE ROCKIES WILL BE OUT OF IT BY MAY
It takes a really lousy crystal ball to get TWO things wrong in one prediction!
Iannetta has been anything but a breakout star, but the Rockies have been one of most pleasant surprises of the year.
After purging Clint Hurdle, Jim Tracy has piloted the team to a 30-13 mark and brought them to within 1 1/2 games of San Francisco.
32. THE ROYALS WILL HAVE A WINNING SEASON, BUT FINISH A DISTANT THIRD PLACE
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
That’s a cliche I know, but some cliches are there for a reason. The Royals started out great led by Grienke.
Now they are 37-51, sinking like a rock and thinking about rebuilding… again.
33. THE GHOSTS OF 2006 PERSIST IN DETROIT
The success of the Tigers completely baffles me… to the point that I don’t even want the Red Sox to see them in October.
I thought they were a mess, but here we are!
The Tigers have a 3 1/2 game lead over the White Sox and look like they may have the horses (and the arms) to pull this off.
34. GARY SHEFFIELD WILL HIT .198, 3 HOMERS AND BE CUT AGAIN IN JUNE
It’s shocking to see Sheffield had anything left in the tank. I kind of thought the Tigers cutting him was a sign that it was all over.
But true to form, Sheffield plays well with a chip on his shoulder.
The Mets are going nowhere in a hurry, maybe a team in need of a DH should take a flier on him.
Why not? The Tigers are paying for him anyway!
35. JUSTIN MORNEAU WILL LEAD THE TWINS TO AN EASY DIVISION TITLE
Morneau held up his end of the bargain! He’s as good an MVP candidate as anyone along with his teammate Joe Mauer.
The Twins are 4 back of Detroit.
The Division might not be so easily won, but it is not out of reach!
What a shock!
Lou Piniella and Milton Bradley weren’t a good fit!
Do GMs not read the newspaper?
I am probably the only person who didn’t think the Cubs were October bound this year.
They aren’t out of the race. In fact they are only 3 games out… but a few things need to break their way, and so far NOTHING has this year.
39. PEDRO MARTINEZ RETURNS TO THE DODGERS
The Dodgers were still the only place where it made sense for Pedro to go.
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