Another baseball season is upon us and with it brings a litany of irrational predictions from fans, beat writers, analysts, and crazy homeless people who live in front of my building. For my inaugural blog for TSB I have decided to throw out the most irrational preseason prediction ever! Let’s start with the 2013 final standings…get ready to laugh/challenge me to a fight.
Wait, what? The Mets in 2nd place with a winning record? Are you nuts, the Mets are the worst team in baseball!!!! Well, I don’t think the Mets are the worst team in baseball nor are they anywhere near as bad as people think. And while my final record prediction is admittedly optimistic, I’m basing it off of two things. #1. The Mets are overall better than they were last year on paper anyway. #2 The rest of the division outside of the Nationals got worse.
Behold my team by team breakdown!
The Nationals are the only full proof team in the N.L. East but they still have some questions. They ended last season with a hilarious collapse in the division series and that probably didn’t help the psyche of the team. Last year they shutdown that freak show Stephen Strasburg, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he got hurt sometime this year (See – Joba Rules or Phil Hughes). They also brought in Dan Haren to replace Edwin Jackson. Which is a slight downgrade. They do have a ton of offense though, led by that little creep Bryce Harper. So, even if their rotation isn’t as good as last year they’ll probably be able to outscore most teams. Another concern for the Nationals is the fact that Davey Johnson looks like the grim reaper and has already said that this will be his last season. Davey has already named his replacement for 2014 and it’s none other than Jerry Manuel, so no pressure guys.
(Scary ghost noises)
I predicted that the Mets will go 87-75 this year… but hear me out! I know the old adage is lose a 20 game winner and finish 20 games worse the next season….OK that’s not a real adage and anyone who even remotely believes that statement needs to not follow sports anymore. The Mets rotation will be better than last year. Niese, Harvey, and Gee will all win between 12-15 games and Hefner and Marcum, who scare me, will be OK until either Santana or Wheeler takes one or both of their spots. The bullpen also has the potential to be improved. Bobby Parnell is the closer (yipes) but he has gotten better year after year. And if he sucks he will be replaced by Brandon Lyon or a rejuvenate chair throwing Frank Francisco. Their offense will also be improved. John Buck with one arm is better than anyone the Mets had catching for them last year. But don’t you worry. If he sucks too, Travis d’Arnaud will be here sooner than later. I will miss Jason Bay running into the wall every three weeks and while the outfield wasn’t legitimately upgraded, it will still be a more cohesive unit then last year when the only guy giving you any real offense was glorified bench player Scott Hairston. Lucas Duda still probably sucks but might accidentally hit 20 home runs and not be as tragic in LF as he was in RF. Free of Valley Fever, ankle issues, and alcoholism, Ike Davis might be primed for a huge season. And don’t forget that David Wright will probably ho-hum his way to another .300 20 90 season while being COMPLETELY UNCLUTCH!!! Kidding, maybe, I don’t know. The Mets bench once again is very good with the pie master Justin Turner, Mike Baxter, Collin Cowgill, Anthony Recker, and Omar Quantanilla. The only real hindrance to this team is the fact that their manager is kind of a dumbass. But if this team gets off to a bad start you might see the end of Terry ball and the beginning of Wally ball or Teufel ball or Joe Pontillo ball, let’s get freaky. And one more thing, how about the Mets actually win some freaking games in their home ballpark this season? That might be a difference maker.
Hoping for more scenes like this but in a good way?
The Braves were crowned the off season champs by a few beat writers and quite frankly, I think their off season was pretty dumb. They brought in both Upton brothers and lets be real. B.J. Upton is not very good. He is a huge downgrade from the legendary Michael Bourn (I say legendary because to some people he was the difference between the Mets winning 70 games or being World Series Contenders). Justin Upton on the other hand is good, however he has yet to realize his full potential and you have to question why the Diamondbacks were trying to get rid of this guy as if he was carrying the plague. Granted Kevin Towers was smoking some good drugs this off season (See – trading for the 400 lbs wonder Heath Bell) but still why get rid of Upton who thrived in that ballpark? In order to get Upton the Braves had to give up one of their best players in Martin Prado. Looking at their 40 man roster I have no idea who is taking his place. In other Braves news, one of the worst human beings on the planet retired this off season, Chipper Jones. He will be replaced at 3B by Chris Johnson who is a pretty crappy player unless he is facing Chris Schwinden. At 1B the Braves still have that mutant Freddie Freeman and he is actually very good but their all star catcher Brian McCann will start the season on the DL and may not be ready until May. So while the Braves upgraded one outfield position with Justin Upton they downgraded another outfield position, got worse at SS and 3B and don’t have a catcher. Yee-haw! They still have pretty good pitching though, especially in their bullpen so that might be the only thing that stops them from falling completely out of the playoff race this season.
Chipper Jones’ ex -wife and his mistress spend some quality time together.
The Phillies had one of the most confusing off seasons in baseball history and most of their roster will be collecting social security checks within a few years. Roy Halladay’s arm is about to fall off, Cliff Lee only managed to win 6 games last year, and Cole Hamels looks like he sleeps in a freezer box. They brought in Michael Young who is old, on the decline, and has spent his entire career in the AL, where he hasn’t been asked to play the field regularly. Ben Revere, who has some speed but has zero pop and had a sexy .675 OPS last year. And for good measure, they brought in Delmon Young who is most famous for getting into a fist fight with a bunch of rabbis. Throw in the fact that Chase Utley hasn’t played a full season since 2009, Ryan Howard is another year older and oh yeah Carlos Ruiz is suspended to start the year and you’ve got yourself a potentially vomit covered season in Philly.
Going to be a lot of this in Philadelphia this season.
The big joke among beat writers seems to be who is worse, the Marlins or the Mets? Anyone with a brain doesn’t need to ask this question considering the Marlins opening day starter is Ricky Nolasco….I shouldn’t have to go any further than that. But oh wait, they literally traded away all of their good players with the exception of Giancarlo Stanton and all teams will have to do is not pitch to him and they should be OK. They did get some decent young talent back in the trades. Knowing the Marlins, who are the cancer of Major League Baseball, they will probably be competitive again in a few years and their three fans will realize this will have been all worth it. But for now, they stink so I’m not going to talk about them anymore. That and I don’t want to get sued for slander by Jeffrey Loria.
Say goodbye to your money Miami!
For some idiotic reason I’m looking forward to this season. Look for my next post in May in which I frantically deny I ever made these predictions.
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Listen to me on www.WRCN.com or 103.9 FM This Wednesday, March 27 from 6-10 AM or catch me Thursday night in NYC at Broadway Comedy Club at 9pm, Friday night at Tribeca Comedy Club at 9pm and Saturday at Botanica Bar at 7pm and New York Comedy Club at 9pm.