Friday, April 08, 2005

Farest-Fetched Predictions

The season is already on the way and we didn't have to wait long for the first drama. Alex "Bunthit" Sanchez was accused of taking steroids, John Schmoltz' outing as a starting pitcher was shorter than his closer appearances and Mariano Rivera has blowen two saves in a rown against the Red Sox. But I still want to take a look back at all the predictions made in the offseason and see who made the farest-fetched, most outrageous or ridiculous predictions. Come october, one of these guys might look smarter than all the others.

AL Cy Young - Zach Greinke - Phil Rogers (ESPN)
Greinke pitches in Kansas City, where he would have a hard timing winning 15 games even if he pitched like Randy Johnson. And you can pitch as good as it goes, if you don't have the wins, you don't get the votes. Also, there's little concern about Greinke's line drive percentage. I expect Greinke to do well though, but he won't win the AL Cy Young, even if Johnson, Santana, Schilling and Harden all get hurt.

Randy Johnsons wins: 30
I don't remember where I read this, but some guys think Johnson will make a serious run a 30 wins. Johnson is a very, very good pitcher and the Yankees will give him some wins even if he doesn't pitches like it. But 30 wins, come on. He is a year older now, has knee problems and move from the NL to the AL and not the other way around. So he will have to face a DH instead of a pitcher now and that will add some points to his ERA. Last year, it was 2.60, so expect it to be in the 2.80 - 3.20 range and you don't win 30 games with a 3+ ERA. Also remember that a lot of his starts will come against Boston and Baltimore, premier hitting clubs.
Even if he stays healthy and make 35 starts, there will be days when the opposing pitcher shuts out the Yankees' lineup and Johnson won't get a decision. 25 wins is certainly possible, though even that is unlikely.

AL East Division Champs - Baltimore Orioles - 3893 (15%) Voters on Sportsnation
Are you kidding me? I can accept 1.2% voting for the Blue jays and 0.7% for the Devil Rays, these are fanatic fans, but 15% for the O's? Come on, even if Sammy Sosa hits 70 homers they don't have a chance, there's an off chance they might catch the Yankees or the Red Sox, if one team underachieves, but both?. Who's pitching for them again?

Ichiro batting .400 and breaking the 56-game-hitting-streak-record
Well, this one isn't THAT far-fetched, but I'm running out of material here and it's still pretty unlikely. Last year, some people predicted that Barry Bonds would hit .400, what he managed
was .362. That's still pretty good, obviously, but not close. Ichiro had 262 hits last year and an average of .372, but that's still 20 hits shy of .400. Do you think he will break his own all time hits per season record by 20? Hardly. He obviously has to take more walks, but that's not his kind of game. He puts the ball into play and hopes to beat it out when it doesn't leave the infield. I think taking more pitches will hurt his performance because he's not used to that and won't feel comfortable. Fact is, in 2004, Ichiro had a career year and it's very unlikey he'll even a better year in 2005. I agree when someone hits .400 soon then it's Bond or Ichrio (or Pujols?), but I don't really think it will happen.
And the 56-game-hitting-streak-record is save, that's for sure. A hitting streak is not something a batter can control himself. If you get hot, the pitcher may work around you, even when you're speedy like Ichiro. There will be times when Ichiro starts a game 0-2 and then be intentionally walked in latter innings.

AL Cy Young - Kelvim Escobar - Bjoern
Well this is just rid..., ah, I mean, you all will see it and bow to genius!!! Harhar!


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