It’s fun to make predictions before the start of the season. We all do it- and with different degrees of success. This year I limited myself to handicapping teams, because I haven’t had much luck recently when trying to predict individual award winners. Sticking with what I felt I knew best, I wrote a few articles that ended with a prediction. The results were good, bad, and ugly.
Let’s start with the ugly. Everyone knew the Astros were in for a tough season. This article talks about how I thought the Athletics would be equally as bad as the Astros. WRONG!
Having recently spent several years living in a National League West city, San Diego, I felt qualified to pontificate on the division. I wasn’t perfect, but not too bad. Arizona let me down a bit, but the Giants and Dodgers came through as projected.
Saving the best for last, way back in January and February I ran a series of articles entitled the N.L. Central Farewell Tour. It was a big undertaking that included some help from some of my FanSided brethren, but the predictions were all mine. This was definitely some of my best (guess)work. On the Cincinnati Reds I said:
The Reds finished below .500 in 2011 but have improved their team with the additions to the pitching staff. Both Milwaukee and St. Louis lost their cleanup hitter this winter and figure to creep back towards the pack. I think the Reds roster from top to bottom is as good as any in the division. If Zack Cozart can provide good defense at the SS position and a decent bat, and Scott Rolen is as healthy as he says he is the Reds should stay in the hunt all season long. Prediction: Reds wear the 2012 N.L. Central crown.
Genius! While everyone was predicting the Cardinals, or even the Brewers, I went out on a limb and nailed this one.
On the Cardinals:
The offense should be solid. The question is- how far can the pitching staff take new skipper Mike Matheny? Prediction: Cards finish second and secure a wildcard spot.
I outdid myself on this one, calling the Cards as a wildcard team. Nice!
But what about the Brewers? I said:
Everything will need to go right in 2012 for the Brewers to be contenders. Honestly, I just don’t see that happening. Prediction: Brewers finish in third place.
Okay, maybe I got lucky on that one, but that’s still three for three. And the Pirates?
The Pirates ranked near the bottom of the National League in several important categories last season- 14th in homers, slugging, & OPS on the offensive side, last in strikeout-to-walk ratio and 15th in WHIP on the pitching side. Neal Huntington has brought in some new faces to try and add to last year’s progress. I just don’t see it happening. Prediction: Pirates extend their streak of losing seasons to twenty en route to a fourth place finish.
Score that one: Pirates losers, Greg winner.
And those loveable losers that play in Wrigley Field?
Epstein and Hoyer inherited a mess. Add one more to the streak of 103 years without a championship. Prediction: Cubs finish in fifth place.
That was too easy. I didn’t have to write an article about how the Astros would finish last, that was implied. Six for six, my personal equivalent to Rennie Stennett. Let me bask in the glory because it will never happen again.
Next season I’ll try my luck in the Astros new division, the A.L. West. I’m confident that I can go 0 for 5 this time around.