Friday, July 18, 2008

Pre-season predictions revisited

Before the season started I made a bunch of predictions about how the year would play out, at least as far as the worst teams were concerned. Now that we've reached the halfway point of the season, let's check in on how those predictions are looking.

AL EAST: I guessed that the Orioles would find themselves settled comfortably in last place in their division, and I was right. They're currently at 45-49, 10.5 games out of first. Also, in what is an early nominee for understatement of the year, I proclaimed the Rays to be on "the verge of relevance."

AL CENTRAL: I said the White Sox would be the division worst. Oops. The Sox are currently atop the division standings with a record of 54-40 and a 1.5 game lead over the Twins. I'll need a historical collapse for my pre-season guess to prove right. I did say, though, that the Royals wouldn't finish last. That honor currently goes to the Indians, who are 13 games back and have already thrown in the towel with their trade of CC Sabathia.

AL WEST: Another candidate for understatement of the year, "the addition of Josh Hamilton should replace some lost power..." and then some. He's been awesome, and in the process keeping the Rangers out of the cellar. They're currently in third place with a 50-46 record; not exactly stellar. The Mariners will easily finish last in the division, as they're already 20 games out.

NL EAST: The 50-45 Marlins are in 3rd place; I guessed they'd finish last. Not sure what I saw in the Nationals to not think they'd go into the break with a Major League worst 36-60 record.

NL CENTRAL: I predicted the Pirates would be the loss leaders in the Central division, and I was pretty much right. They share the distinction with the Houston Astros and a 44-51 record. When the dust settles, I still believe the Bucs will end up at the bottom.

NL WEST: "Too bad Barry Zito isn't as good as his contract would have you believe." Truer words have never been spoken. Fortunately for the Giants, the rest of their staff has stepped up enough to keep them out of the basement. Although their 40-55 record is pretty pathetic, it's good enough for 3rd place in baseball's weakest division (no team has a winning record). At the bottom are the San Diego Padres with a record of 37-59.

OTHER NOTES: I hit a grand slam when I said the Padres and Mariners, while being teams many thought would contend for division titles, could just as easily disappoint, and disappoint they have. The teams are nearly tied (one loss separates them) for the worst record in baseball.

All in all, not too bad, and I'll certainly revisit these predictions once more at the end of the year. A took a giant swing and miss with my AL Central pick of the White Sox, but hey - you can't win them all.

The Nationals would certainly agree.

In other Bad Baseball news from Thursday night...
Of the few games that were played in baseball's return to action only one ended with a noteworthy performance. The Mets rallied for four runs in the 9th against Reds closer Francisco Cordero, who blew his fifth save of the year after allowing four runs on six hits, and recording just one out. Chalk it up to rust. Hopefully there'll be lots more Bad Baseball action in tonight's first full slate of games after the break.

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