Monday, October 4, 2010

Follow up to baseball predictions for 2010

So, the regular baseball season is over, let's see how I did.

Well, in the American League, I did predict 3 out of the 4 playoff teams. I mixed up the AL East and Wild card winners as the Yankees and Rays flip flopped and I missed on the West Division winner. Nice season by Texas and I gave them no chance in my preview. I did call Seattle's issues though, so I don't feel too bad about my predictions here.

In the National League, I picked the East and Wild card winners. I missed on the Central and I've been kicking myself all summer, as I really liked the Reds, but couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger on the prediction. I'm also kicking myself as I didn't identify them as my surprise team and the thought did cross my mind, but it's easy to say after the season isn't it. Great showing by the Reds and this team is definitely one that can maintain this level of play especially if their pitching comes around. My west pick of the Rockies wasn't bad, the Giants and Padres both had great years and until the last 2 weeks of the season the Rockies were in the discussion. The Dodgers were a nightmare, here's hoping that the McCourt fiasco forces them to sell the team to an owner that can run the organization with the respect it deserves. (2nd to the Yankees for all time organization, in my opinion.)

Now to the awards, I realize that they haven't been announced yet, but for my purposes (fuzzy math), let's see how we did.

AL MVP: Evan Longoria, probably won't be in the top 5 for voting, had a nice year, but did not break out, like expected. This one seems pretty far off from a prediction standpoint to some of the others I did.

AL Cy Young: Fernandez is in the discussions, Verlander, while having a good year is not. Fernandez's big question though is whether they can vote for him since he doesn't have the wins of two other contenders (Price and Sabathia). It would be easy to argue though that Fernandez was the best AL pitcher this year, and hence should win the award even if he doesn't.

AL Rookie of the Year: My pick of Brantley stunk, he just didn't have much of a season, my mention of Wade Davis looks pretty solid and considering the AL class was not as good as the NL, I don't feel bad about my predictions. My guess is the win is probably going to Texas' closer (although I'm not positive he still qualifies as a rookie). If Carlos Santana did not get hurt, he would have been in the discussion and that's good news for the Indians.

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Fausto Carmona, I feel pretty good with this pick, nice rebound year for the Indian's pitcher. Someone else could win the award, but he's in the Top 3 discussion.

AL Manager of the year: Ron Gardenhire, given that I'm seeing a lot of articles talking about Gardenhire doesn't get the credit for what he does, I'm feeling pretty good about this prediction. Nice year for the Twins and their manager.

NL MVP: Prince Fielder isn't even in the discussions and shouldn't be. I took a shot on someone other then Albert Pujols and picked wrong. In my opinion, Joey Votto (Reds) or Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) should be the winner, but we'll see what happens.

NL Cy Young: Adam Wainright, nice year by Wainright, but I think he get's overshadowed by Ubaldo Jiminez who if he had finished like he started would have been a slam dunk or by Roy Halladay, who lived up to the hype and delivered a great season for a Division winner. My guess is this vote goes to Halladay.

NL Rookie of the Year: A lot of good candidates here. I picked Heyward at the beginning of the season and he had some ups and downs. While I'm not sure whether he'll win the voting, a case could be made that he should be. The NL had a great class, so even handicapping at this point is a bit difficult. The AL is going to need a stellar class of rookies to keep the balance of power in their favor over the next couple years, as there are some superstars in the NL class this year. Stanton (Marlins), Baumgartner (Giants), Alvarez (Pirates), Posey (Giants), Strasburg (Nationals). If I had to guess who will actually win the award at this point, I'd probably choose Buster Posey from the Giants.

NL Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox, as his last year and the fact that the Braves made the playoffs, I'm guessing this pick is right.

NL Comeback player: Ricky Weeks, he's another one that is definitely in the conversation even if he doesn't win it. A good recovery from a broken leg.

NL Surprise team: As I mentioned in the preview, I had a hard time calling the Braves a surprise, but considering they had been down for a couple years they sort of fit the criteria. My real regret is that in choosing the Braves, it prohibited me from putting my thoughts on the Reds down.

Last review of my predictions post: The Cleveland Indians, oh how I wish things would have been better or would be better next year. There are some pieces here for this team. From an offensive standpoint if LaPorta can become a real player and team with Choo, Santana, and Sizemore (if he can get healthy) this team could have some consistent offense. The rest of the offense stinks though and the pipeline in the minors doesn't bring me a warm fuzzy feeling. Most of the minor league players are marginal at best in my opinion their 'ceilings' are as solid major league players, which means there aren't many potential superstars. The pitching staff has some bright spots, at the very least they'll have a solid rotation next year. If Fausto Carmona can revert to Cy Young form, it goes along way in carrying a pitching staff if you have a dominant ace. The other prospects and likely starters don't do much for the imagination. This seems to be the common theme for the organization over the last 10 years, there seems to be an inability for recognizing players with superstar potential, except in an occasional trade (Sizemore, Santana, Choo). You can't be a perennial contender by relying on other teams to develop your top talent.

I completely forgot to do an NFL preview, so most of the sports content is likely to just be thoughts on baseball and football over the next couple months.

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