Sunday, April 01, 2007

It Happens Every Spring

Preseason predictions are always useless, and they're more useless in baseball than any other sport. The game's too random for consensually accepted research, let alone forecasting. Nevertheless, preseason predictions are a sports' pundit's duty. Fans are the only ones who recall them come October, and then only when said pundit was not just off base, but not in the stadium parking lot.

There are 1 billion preseason predictions last spring, and none of them forecast the Tigers as American League champions. Of the googoplex words analysizing the possible outcome of the World Series, two of them were NOT "pitchers' fielding," which in fact was the decisive factor. Anyone who predicts a winner in the NL and AL Central is just g

Still we pundit on, knowing our grim fate. The know-it-all virus has a death grip on our bloodstreams. Therefore, here are a few predictions about the 2007 season in which I have some confidence. That's because they have little to do with winning or losing.

The Yankees and Red Sox will finish 1-2 or 2-1 in the American League East. Neither will be 2007 world champions. As compensation, they'll both be on ESPN and Fox more than the eventual Series winner will.

If and when Barry Bonds gets to about 745 career home runs, wise citizens will cope by avoiding the sports pages, radio, TV, the Internet, and all human contact until further notice.

There will be a great many 11-10 or higher games, and the Cleveland Indians will be involved in more than their share.

On an ESPN Sunday night telecast, the Yanks and Red Sox will play the first non- rain delayed, 9 inning, 5 hour game.

Ken Griffey Jr. will get injured. I know, that's like predicting sunrise. But this year, Griffery's going to suffer a NEW injury to a formerly healthy part of his body. I think the inner ear is all that's left in that category.

The time between the first Red Sox loss of the season and when WEEI hosts begin their discussion of trade deadline possibilities will be less than 10 seconds.

One of the traditional downtrodden "small market clubs" will be surprisingly good until at least mid-June. Best bet: Devil Rays.

One of the expensive pitchers being counted on to succeed in spite of age, injury, or a documented history of mediocrity will be lost for the season by Mother's Day. Best bets: Carl Pavano, Jared Wright, Adam Eaton.

Tom Glavine will win more games than fellow old-timers Greg Maddux and Curt Schilling.

The team which will lose the most regulars, lineup and pitchers combined to injury will be the Angels.

Unless it's the Cubs.

The Phillies should win the NL East, but won't.

Julian Tavarez, starting pitcher, is a story that won't end well.

Absolutely irreplacable stars who're overdue for serious lost time injuries: Mariano Rivera, David Ortiz, Barry Zito, Ichiro Suzuki.

Number of times the thesis of "Moneyball" will be misrepresented in the media: What number comes after googleplex?

Oh, what the hell. American League champion: Cleveland Indians.
National League champion: Atlanta Braves.
Series winner: Braves.

Save those three for October, gang. Don't worry, I can take it.


Post a Comment

<< Home