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18 Mar

Annual absurd predictions

Normally I would have an “all predictions guaranteed” joke here, but I don’t have one this year. Sorry.

NL EAST
Atlanta
Philadelphia (WC)
NY Mets
Washington
Florida

NL CENTRAL
Chi Cubs
St. Louis
Milwaukee
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati
Houston

NL WEST
Arizona
Colorado
San Diego
LA Dodgers
San Francisco

NLCS
Braves over DBacks

MVP
Mark Teixeira

Cy Young
Johan Santana

Rookie of the Year
Colby Rasmus

Manager of the Year
Bobby Cox

AL EAST
Boston
NY Yankees (WC)
Tampa
Toronto
Baltimore

AL CENTRAL
Detroit
Cleveland
Kansas City
Chicago
Minnesota

AL WEST
LA/Anaheim
Seattle
Oakland
Texas

ALCS
Boston over Detroit

MVP
Miguel Cabrera

Cy Young
Felix Hernandez

Rookie of the Year
Evan Longoria-Parker

Manager of the Year
Trey Hillman

WORLD SERIES
Braves 4, Red Sox 3

WS MVP
John Smoltz

I am allowed to be a homer.

62 Responses to “Annual absurd predictions”

  1. 1
    Smitty Says:

    I like your picks. Though I thik we take the Sox down in 6.

  2. 2
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Mac,

    You forgot NL Comeback Player of the Year–Mike Hampton.

  3. 3
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I should point out that if Colby Rasmus wins the ROY we’re going to look even stupider for picking Joey Devine one pick ahead of him.

  4. 4
    td Says:

    Not that I think it will happen, but is Escobar elgible for ROY, or does he have too many at-bats?

  5. 5
    jea Says:

    That’ll all work for me. St. Louis ahead of Milwaukee, though? Regression for Milwaukee and unexpected surge from St. Louis or just that it’s a bad division?

  6. 6
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It’s a bad division. I don’t expect anything from Sheets anymore, and without him the Brewer pitching staff is basically one kid and a bunch of soft tossers. That can work if you have a great defense. The Brewers are probably the worst defensive team in baseball.

  7. 7
    Mike Says:

    Joey Devine is gonna be an all star! Count it!

  8. 8
    csg Says:

    so is Andy Marte :)

  9. 9
    Justin Parker Says:

    I still can’t get all bothered about giving up Joey Devine. 1) he still goes by Joey, b) he was never going to gain Booby’s trust, 3) he appears to be a ROOGY and that’s not as good as being a LOOGY, which isn’t all the great to begin with. So I just have never been all that upset about losing him.

  10. 10
    jea Says:

    At 9. I don’t know whether “Booby” is a typo, but I like it either way. And I had forgotten about how bad the Brewers’ defense was.

  11. 11
    c. shorter Says:

    By the way … the ides of March have passed and I’m pretty sure Smoltz is still standing. Dix’s prediction seems to have been faulty.

  12. 12
    c. shorter Says:

    I don’t know if Sheets can offer much, but if he is going to put it back together then now would be the time. He seems to be healthy for the time being, apparently he’s refound his arm slot, and it’s a contract year. We’ll see.

    I think the brewers will score plenty of runs, but that defense is pretty brutal (and arguably their best defender has to sit out 25 games).

    They have a good chance to finish ahead of St. Louis.

  13. 13
    Landogarner Says:

    Wow, the Mets finishing 3rd?

    With the pitching they have I don’t see how you can pick them for anything less than 2nd, if not 1st.

  14. 14
    Coop Says:

    You rule, Mac.

    However, is there any way you can exclude the Yankees and Red Sox from the playoffs along with the Mets?

  15. 15
    Justin Parker Says:

    “Booby” is my special nickname for our beloved manager. Its amazing that this man can win so much while making decisions like platooning Diaz with Willie Harris for four months, or consistently using Tyler Yates in consecutive games. Its like having dumb luck I guess.

  16. 16
    Jay Says:

    Mets have serious problems. No way Cincy finishes so poorly.

  17. 17
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yep, Bobby’s had dumb luck for 30 years. It’s amazing, really.

    The Mets have Santana — who I picked to win the Cy Young — but there are still some cracks in the pitching. Maine wore down badly as the season went on, Perez is inconsistent (except against us) and Pedro’s shoulder is always a concern. And if Wagner goes down, there’s nobody to take his place.

    But mainly I think their hitting is a concern. Wright will be great, but Beltran’s knees are bothering him, Alou is already out, Castillo is done, and Delgado has gone Mo Vaughn on them.

    I said in comments to the last post that I thought that the Rays could catch the Yankees… but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  18. 18
    Alex R. Says:

    Mac, I love your picks. here are mine for simple posterity:

    NL East

    1. Braves
    2. Mets* (WC)
    3. Phils
    4. Nationals
    5. Marlins

    NL Central

    1. Cubs
    2. Cardinals
    3. Brewers
    4. Astros
    5. Reds
    6. Pirates

    NL West

    1. Diamondbacks
    2. Padres
    3. Dodgers
    4. Rockies
    5. Giants

    *For the most part, mac, I agree with you on the Central. I think the Mets are better than Philly, though.

    MVP:
    Alfonso Soriano

    Cy Young:
    John Smoltz

    Manager:
    Bobby Cox

    NL Playoffs:

    Braves over Cubs
    Mets over Diamondbacks
    Braves over Mets (NLCS)

    Al East:

    1. Red Sox
    2. Yankees
    3. Blue Jays
    4. Rays
    5. Orioles

    AL Central:

    1. Tigers
    2. Indians (WC)
    3. Twins
    4. Royals
    5. White Sox

    AL West:

    1. Angels
    2. Mariners
    3. A’s
    4. Rangers

    MVP:
    Miguel Cabrera

    Cy Young:
    Josh Beckett

    Manager:
    Terry Francona

    Al Playoffs:

    Red Sox over Indians
    Tigers over Angels
    Tigers over Red Sox (ALCS)

    WORLD SERIES:

    Braves over Tigers (6 games)

  19. 19
    chris Says:

    ummmmmm…no

    if this team gets to the post-season, and that’s a BIG IF (most scouts, though, think our youngester…Escobar, Johnson, Frenchy and BMac look REALLY good now), we go to the world series…our 1-2 of Smoltz and Huddy should beat any 1-2 in the NL (sorry Mets Homers who troll here) and our OFFENSE will be sick…

    but getting to the post season is gonna be tough

  20. 20
    ububba Says:

    I don’t think that the Braves winning the division is an unreasonable notion.

    Again, the Phils will be a crazy, fun team to watch. High-powered, sure, but with their pitching & that ballpark certainly no lock. I can see them taking the division again in a close race, but I don’t see them running off & hiding.

    The Mets lineup troubles are well-detailed. Lotsa ifs with that team. If Santana is Santana, if Maine & Perez hold up their ends & if Pedro comes back with anything approaching his old self, they’ll be tough—but not impossible.

    BTW, the NL Central is woeful.

    Hopefully, we’ll do a whole lot better than 22-20 this year. And we simply gotta improve on that 1-6 mark vs Cincinnati.

  21. 21
    Justin Parker Says:

    Mac,

    Anyone who has followed the Braves has got to admit that Booby’s won despite some humurous platoons and lineup orders. He’s also not been the best manager for bullpens which is pretty important these days with appearances at an all time high. Maybe dumb luck is the wrong phrasing, but you have to admit that the Braves have won just as many games inspite of his decisions as they have as a result of his decisions.

  22. 22
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The Astros have completely collapsed, by the way. They have two stars (Berkman and Oswalt), one good player (Lee) and 22 guys who wouldn’t be out of place on the Marlins (if young) or Giants (if old). In the Central, that might be enough to compete.

  23. 23
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Also, if he becomes the star I expect he will, Colby Rasmus will officially be renamed “Columbus Native Colby Rasmus, Whom The Braves Were Supposed To Pick But They Took Joey Devine Instead.” Or CNCRWTBWSTPBTTJDI for short. Not since Tyler Houston over Frank Thomas… Hey, Thomas was from Columbus, too. What’s their problem with people from Columbus?

  24. 24
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The other top active player from Columbus is Tim Hudson. He wasn’t a first-rounder, of course; the A’s took him in the sixth. The Braves’ fifth-round pick was… Horacio Ramirez!

  25. 25
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Justin @ 21,

    I generally agree but I think you could say that about pretty much any manager that has ever lived. The problem is managing has traditionally been such a seat of the pants affair compared to, say coaching football, where they study film and so forth. In baseball, even great managers do a lot of things by instinct and habit and sometimes they end up doing weird things. In general, I think baseball strategy is vastly overrated and how you handle the clubhouse is much more important. And having real good players helps too. Bobby has been great on both those last two counts. I do think that a manager that really was up on statistical analysis and so forth could take advantage of a “market inefficiency” but such a guy, if he exists, would probably not get hired and, second, might have a problem in the clubhouse because players don’t like the statistical approach. Davey Johnson used stats to some extent with the Orioles (he was a math major apparently) and he had success but obviously rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

  26. 26
    Kyle James Says:

    I hope your right… although making back to the playoffs have to be priority 1 then we see how far we can go from there. It all could happen… I just wish I was that optimistic.

  27. 27
    Kevin Lee Says:

    I’d have picked the WC from the NL West, but I couldn’t say who will win the division!

    Will the interleague games prove such a buzzsaw for the Brave this year?

  28. 28
    Mac Thomason Says:

    We don’t have to play the Red Sox (until the World Series, of course!) this year. AL teams are:

    Oakland
    Texas
    Seattle
    Toronto

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    dang it, doping has begun in billiards

    http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/7923510/German-billiards-champ-tests-positive-for-EPO-agent

  30. 30
    Kevin Lee Says:

    This just in: Hampton splits himself in half!
    (A slight exaggeration)

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080317&content_id=2432419&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

  31. 31
    PaulV Says:

    With those interleague opponents would Braves have won division last year? Or just not traded for Tex?

  32. 32
    jea Says:

    With the Braves playing Seattle, I am now torn between wanting to see Bedard pitch in one of those games and not wanting to see half the lineup strike out every time up against him.

  33. 33
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I’m glad they aren’t playing the teams they played last year, but I think scheduling in baseball is a bit overrated. If the Braves had gone 6-1 against Cincinnati, they would have won the division (or, tied, I guess). It really depends on how your team is playing and how the other team is playing at a given time. They won the series from Cleveland and got crushed against the Tigers, yet Cleveland ended up winning the division.

  34. 34
    JoeyT Says:

    Might as well put mine out:

    NL EAST
    Atlanta
    Philadelphia
    NY Mets
    Florida
    Washington

    NL CENTRAL
    Milwaukee
    Chi Cubs
    Cincinnati
    St. Louis
    Pittsburgh
    Houston

    NL WEST
    San Diego
    Arizona (WC)
    LA Dodgers
    Colorado
    San Francisco

    Round 1
    Braves over Arizona
    Padres over Brewers

    NLCS
    Braves over Padres

    MVP
    Ryan Howard

    Cy Young
    Johan Santana

    Rookie of the Year
    Fukudome

    Manager of the Year
    Ned Yost

    AL EAST
    Boston
    Tampa (WC)
    NY Yankees
    Baltimore
    Toronto

    AL CENTRAL
    Cleveland
    Detroit
    Kansas City
    Minnesota
    Chicago

    AL WEST
    Anaheim
    Texas
    Oakland
    Seattle

    Round 1
    Boston over Angels
    Tampa over Cleveland

    ALCS
    Tampa over Boston

    MVP
    A-Rod

    Cy Young
    Sabathia

    Rookie of the Year
    Adam Jones

    Manager of the Year
    Joe Maddon

    WORLD SERIES
    Braves 4, Tampa 2

    WS MVP
    Kelly Johnson

  35. 35
    landogarner Says:

    World Series MVP KJ? lol, way to aim high!

  36. 36
    Godot Says:

    I remember the draft we took Devine in. It was a major curveball which the Braves threw.
    They supposedly had some interest in Pennington ( who the A’s took ) and Rasmus.
    I think lot of people had the Braves pegged for picking Rasmus then.
    We did pick up a Rasmus, just a year later!

  37. 37
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The rong Rasmus.

  38. 38
    Stu Says:

    NLE
    1. Braves 2. Phils 3. Mets 4. Nats 5. Fish

    NLC
    1. Cubs 2. Brewers 3. Reds 4. Pirates 5. Cards 6. Astros

    NLW
    1. D-Backs 2. Pads (WC) 3. Dodgers 4. Rocks 5. Giants

    MVP
    Teix

    CY
    Peavy

    ROY
    Rasmus

    MOY
    Booby

    NLCS
    Braves over Cubs

    ALE
    1. Sox 2. Yanks 3. Blue Jays 4. Rays 5. Os

    ALC
    1. Tigers 2. Indians 3. White Sox 4. Royals 5. Twins

    ALW
    1. Ms 2. Angels 3. As 4. Rangers

    MVP
    Miggy C.

    CY
    Dice-K

    ROY
    Adam Jones

    MOY
    Whoever the Ms’ manager is.

    ALCS
    Tigers over Sox

    WS
    Braves over Tigers

  39. 39
    ububba Says:

    Mac,
    Both Tim Hudson & Colby Rasmus were born in Columbus, but they’re really Phenix City guys, Both went to high school on the other side of the river.

    Frank Thomas & Edwin Jackson are genuine Columbusites—Columbus High & Shaw High, respectively.

  40. 40
    Dan Says:

    NL East: Braves, Mets, Phillies, Nationals and Marlins.

    NL Central: Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Cardinals, Pirates and Astros.

    NL West: Padres, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Giants.

    Wildcard: Mets

    NL MVP: Mark Teixeira

    NL Manager of the year: Lou Pinella

    NL Cy Young: Brandon Webb

    AL East: Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles.

    AL Central: Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Royals and Twins.

    AL West: Mariners, Angels, Rangers and Athletics.

    AL wildcard: Indians

    AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera

    AL Manager of the year: John McLaren

    AL Cy Young: Erik Bedard

    World Series: Braves over Tigers in six.

    World Series MVP: John Smoltz

  41. 41
    ububba Says:

    So far, Braves over Tampa in the WS is my fave.

    I’d take that, of course, but I still have this one last year to realize my all-time dream: Braves win Game 7 of the WS in Yankee Stadium.

  42. 42
    Dan Says:

    “Baseball Prospectus’ John Perrotto says the Phils indeed desire a southpaw reliever for Helms, who is drawing interest from the Braves and Marlins (both clubs he’s played for previously).”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/03/what-to-do-with.html#comments

    Surely not. Not Wes Helms again. I fear a Royce Ring for Helms trade coming though.

  43. 43
    Mac Thomason Says:

    What the hell would we do with Smelms?

  44. 44
    Stu Says:

    Sign him to an extension and, BINGO, there’s your Teix insurance.

  45. 45
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Oh, okay.

    NL East: Braves, *Mets, Phillies, Nationals, Marlins
    NL Central: Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Cardinals, Astros, Pirates
    NL West: Dodgers, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Padres, Giants
    Al East: Red Sox, *Yankees, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Baltimore
    Al Central: Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Royals, Twins
    Al West: Anaheim, Oakland, Seattle, Texas

    NL MVP: Chase Utley
    NL Cy Young: Johan Santana
    NL ROY: Jay Bruce

    AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera
    AL Cy Young: Erik Bedard
    AL ROY: Evan Longoria

    NLDS: Braves over Cubs, Mets over Dodgers
    ALDS: Red Sox over Angels, Tigers over Yankees
    NLCS: Braves over Mets
    ALCS: Red Sox over Tigers

    World Series: Red Sox over Braves (sigh…)
    WS MVP: Daisuke Matsuzaka

  46. 46
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Ububba,

    It’s happened before (1957)during my lifetime (barely).

  47. 47
    csg Says:

    anyone know anything about this guy?

    “Sergio Valenzuela (RHP, CIN/ATL): Valenzuela was sold back to the Braves after not making a single appearance in a spring game. The Braves then traded Valenzuela to a team in the Mexican League. Which begs the question…Are “future considerations” from the Mexican League worth the $25K the Braves dropped to bring him back? Talking Chop finds the entire situation funny and is not surprised that Valenzuela did not stick with the Reds. “

  48. 48
    ububba Says:

    Marc,
    I know, and if I was a 60-year-old guy from Wisconsin, I’m sure I’d think about it all the time.

    Wes Helms:
    If we’re just talking bench/part-timer, Helms looks like Tony Perez compared to Pete Orr & Chris Woodward.

  49. 49
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Smelms also makes about $3 million this year.

  50. 50
    barrycuda Says:

    mac and ubba……….yes, it happened before…………i was 8 years old in 1957 and the only thing i knew about baseball was that you were supposed to hate the yankees. the braves did it and BINGO ! lifelong braves fan……….. since i was a natural-born yanks hater, it was a cinch to become a redsox fan too since i needed an AL team to root for. well, that and the fact that i learned a lot about ted williams at an early age…………………..inter-league play has tested my loyalties and when the braves and redsox play, i find myself pulling for the braves every time. the world series would be awesome.

  51. 51
    Stu Says:

    Well, Mac, if we give them Ring and Jeff Locke, I bet we’ll only have to pay him $500K.

  52. 52
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Eddie Mathews was my favorite player when the Braves moved to Atlanta (I was 10) and I read a lot about the play he made to end the Series in 1957. It would be cool if Chipper made such a play to end the 2008 Series, huh?

  53. 53
    josh @ mcg Says:

    NL
    East: ATL, NYM, PHI, FLA, WSH
    Central: MIL, CHC, CIN, STL, PIT, HOU
    West: ARZ, SDP, COL, LAD, SFG

    MVP: Mark Teixeira
    CY: Johan Santana
    Manager: Ned Yost
    RoY: Jay Bruce

    AL
    East: BOS, NYY, TBR, TOR, BAL
    Central: CLE, DET, MIN, KC, CWS
    West: LAA, SEA, OAK, TEX

    MVP: Travis Hafner
    CY: Scott Kazmir
    Manager: Eric Wedge
    RoY: Adam Jones

    NLDS: ATL over MIL, NYM over ARZ
    ALDS: DET over BOS, CLE over LAA

    NLCS: ATL over NYM in 7
    ALCS: DET over CLE in 6

    WS: ATL over DET in 7

    WSMVP: Jordan Schafer (who makes a diving catch in right-center to end the series during the bottom of the 9th at spacious Comerica Park)

  54. 54
    JoeyT Says:

    Has anyone not picked Boston to win the AL East?

  55. 55
    Frank Says:

    Re NL Central–count me among those doubting the Cards are good enough for 2nd even in that crummy division. I’ll go with Reds 2nd, Brewers 3rd, then the Cards in 4th.

    Re Astros–Hunter Pence is decent–0.899 ops last year. He’ll outperform Kotsay and anyone else who mans CF for ATL this year.

    Helms for Ring: Ring has looked bad this spring and Helms might be an upgrade over Thorman. They were equally misearable last year (both had ops of 0.650 or so) but Helms was over 0.800 the previous two years. He can also back up third when Chipper gets his annual injury. Thorman is 6 years younger, though, so there’s a chance that he might still improve.

  56. 56
    Justin Parker Says:

    csg,

    It cost the Reds $50,000 to pry Valenzuela away from the Braves, so even after paying $25,000 back they come out ahead.

  57. 57
    basil Says:

    My prediction: the Braves win the pennant on a walk-off home run. By Chipper. Against the Mets. In the last game ever played in Shea Stadium.

  58. 58
    Ethan Says:

    @57

    If that happened it would easily be in the top five best days of my life

  59. 59
    ububba Says:

    Basil,

    FYI– That’s patently impossible.

  60. 60
    basil Says:

    Yep, you’re right. My daydreams don’t always conform to reality.

    :)

  61. 61
    JoeyT Says:

    Not impossible. Turner Field has a locust infestation that would take weeks to clear, so they move game seven to Shea, but it’s still a “home” game on the scoreboard.

    It’s not unprecidented for a New York sports team to get an extra home game due to a natural disaster rendering a venue unusuable.

  62. 62
    HoboHal Says:

    I guess its hard to follow all the teams, but the Brewers comments are clearly rooted in some sort of emotion rather than reality. The “soft tossers” besides Sheets, are Gallardo, Villaneuva and Parra. Does any other team have guys like that after their one?

    And the whole defense is terrible shtick is uninformed. They were league average before the improvements. I’ll bet they finish ahead of the Braves in runs allowed. Actually I’m looking forward to the Braves games this year. I hope the mighty Braves have to go against one of their soft tossers.

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