For a few years now I have made annual predictions for the upcoming baseball season. These were shared with mostly family members, including the co-founders of the Red Sox Maineiacs site. In some small part this annual tradition caused us to start this website.
The predictions are done in a manner that pays homage to Peter Gammons and the Boston Globe using the format they created in the 1970's.
So with no further ado here are the 2013 predictions.
1. Tampa Bay- The Rays are not Perfect, but the Price is Right
2. Boston- What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
3. Toronto- Another Off-Season Champ Fails to Make Post-Season
4. New York- Elderly Empire Falls Back
5. Baltimore- Return to Earth in One Run/Extra Frame Games Means Return to Fifth
1. Detroit- Top Talent Takes Tigers to Title
#2.Cleveland- Francona- The Indians Years....First Chapter=Second Wild Card Spot
3. Kansas City- All-In Kansas City Shields Selves from Another Losing Campaign
4. Chicago- First Fan Barack Obama's Second Term will be Smoother than Ventura's
5. Minnesota- Target will be Squarely on Ron Gardenhire
1. Oakland- Oakland Outlasts Over-Spending Opponents
* 2 Los Angeles- Grabbing Wild Card Despite Thin Pitching is No Joshing Matter
3. Texas- End of the Ron Washington Error
4. Seattle- Offense has Smoak-No Fire...but They'll Always Have Felix
5. Houston- "Alex, I'll Take "Historically Inept" for $2,000"
*= First Wild Card, #= Second Wild Card
Wild Card Game Indians over Angels ( Not Weaver's turn to pitch)
ALDS Rays over A's in 4, Tigers over Tito's Tribe in 5
ALCS Detroit over Tampa Bay in 5
MVP Mike Trout
CY Jered Weaver
Mgr of Year Tito
ROY Aaron Hicks ( you know I really meant Jackie Bradley, Jr. but I don't wanna jinx it)
1. Washington- No National Deficit in Talent
*2. Atlanta- Really Good Team, but Not Chipper Enough To Catch Nats
3. Philadelphia-Phils Finally Find Young Players.....Unfortunately They're Michael and Delmon
4. Florida- Fish Finish outta Fifth Following Fire Sale
5. New York - Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, please Meet Your New York Mess
1. Cincinnati- Cincy Choo-In as Central Champs
#2. Pittsburgh- Buccos Avoid September Swoon, Hurdle over .500 mark
3. St. Louis- Next Wave of St. Looie Stars Keep Cards Contending
4. Milwaukee- Offense has Braun, but Hurlers Get Sand Kicked in Their Face
5. Chicago- Theo's Second Season in Second City Resembles Initial Campaign
1. Arizona- Backs Buck Odds...Chase Down NL West Crown
2. San Francisco- Giants Only Grab World Series Trophy Every Other Year
3. Los Angeles- Money Can't Buy You Love
4. San Diego- Young Padres Can Contend....in 2015
5. Colorado- Their Entire Pitching Staff is ...well....Rockie
* #= same as AL above
NL Wild Card Game Buccos over Braves ( One game format bites Atlanta's ass again)
NLDS Washington sweeps Pirates, Cincy sweeps Arizona.
NLCS Nats over Reds in 7 games to bring the World Series to DC for the first time since 1933.
MVP Andrew McCutchen
CY Stephen Strasburg
Mgr. Davey Johnson
ROY Oscar Taveras, St. Louis
WORLD SERIES-- Washington wins first DC crown since 1924 by beating the Tigers in the 12th inning on a Anthony Rendon home run, mimicking the Senators 12 inning Game 7 win over the Giants in 1924.
Some thoughts explaining some of the above and other random predictions:
* The last place team in the AL East will be within single digits of first place in the Games Behind column. This parity plus the fact that the AL West teams will feast on Houston and to some degree Seattle ( not to mention they all get the Cubs in inter league play), while the Central top tier chews up the Chisox and Twins, means no wild card team will come from the East.
* If any AL East team does fall way behind the pack, it will be the Yankees because they cannot overcome the injuries that have all ready begun.
* Don Mattingly will be the first manager fired ( Charlie Manuel the second). Carl Crawford will blame the firing on the Boston media.
* Giancarlo Stanton wins the All Star Game with a walk off 508 foot home run off Mariano Rivera at Citi Field. This will allow the Nationals ( the team and the League) to have home field advantage in the World Series again.
* The Rangers are still reeling from their last week of September collapse in 2012. They also cannot recover from losing veterans like Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, and their long time team leader, Michael Young. Despite a winter full of the Rangers pursuing Zach Greinke and Justin Upton, etc. they have not added any help at all. The fired Ron Washington will be replaced by DeMarlo Hale.
* Because of the year old changes in the CBA, the trade deadline activity is only moderate. However, even though the Red Sox are neck and neck for the AL East lead, they trade Jacoby Ellsbury to the Giants and Stephen Drew( back to Oakland to replace an injured Jed Lowrie at shortstop). The Sox permanently install Jackie Bradley, Jr. in center and Jose Iglesias at short and their pennant contention does not skip a beat with the changes. The Sox also get contributions from Allen Webster, Bryce Brentz, and after a September call up Xander Bogaerts.
*The Pirates not only jump over .500 after 20 straight losing seasons and claim a wild card spot, but this will begin a decade long string of contending Pirate teams.
* The move to the AL means not only will the Astros lose over 100 games again, but they will challenge the 1962 Mets record of 120 losses. Like everything else, Houston will fail in this attempt.
*The Braves will have the first outfield in MLB history to have all three starters break the 25/25 HR/SB marks. Jason Heyward will finish a close third in the MVP to Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper.
*Miguel Cabrera becomes the first batter in major league history to win the Triple Crown in consecutive years. However, this time in part due to remorse over the 2012 vote, Mike Trout edges Miggy for MVP. Dustin Pedroia finishes third.
*Within two weeks from the end of the World Series, both fall classic skippers retire. Jim Leyland ( to jump before the Tiger ownership cans him for losing the Series for the second year in a row) and Davey Johnson both call it a career.
* During the December Winter Meetings, the Yankees finally re-sign free agent Robinson Cano by matching a 8 year 184 million dollar offer from the Dodgers. Cano had all but signed the LA offer because Brain Cashman told the New York media he would not pay for a player's decline years. The Steinbrenner boys channeled their father's inclination to meddle and overruled the GM. The Yanks keep Cano, however Cashman quits and takes over Joe Torre's job in the MLB office.
So that is the way 2013 will go down ( no, really). A couple of last thoughts. I really believe the AL East will be a five team race as mentioned above. And because of this parity, as I wrote on this site a month or so ago, no AL East team may get to 90 wins. Because of this and the improved players and atmosphere in the Red Sox, I really believe they contend until the end. I probably would expect them to beat out Cleveland for the wild card despite my prediction above, but hey they did finish last in 2012. They have to earn our trust again. But, damn it will be fun.