Sunday, April 04, 2010

My predictions for the 2010 baseball season

It’s time to play ball! The first pitch will be thrown in anger tonight as the 2010 major league baseball season begins.

For years the tradition was to have the Cincinnati Reds play the first game (since they were supposedly the first team). But now that television runs the sport that tradition has been obliterated in favor of the Yankees playing the Red Sox. Christ! I’m already sick of the Yankees playing the Red Sox.

This is the time of year when everyone makes their predictions even though no one has any idea who’s going to get injured, what trades are going to be made, who will be suspended for steroids, and how many Minnesota Twins home games will be snowed out (the over-under is 50)?

So here are my educated-stab-in-the-dark predictions for this season.

The Atlanta Braves will be better than most people think.

Bud Selig’s suit will come back into style.

The Texas Rangers are to be applauded for standing behind Ron Washington when he confessed to using cocaine.

Ron Washington will be the first manager fired.

Joe Morgan will not say anything he hasn’t already said five thousand times. You’d think that just once he could say it grammatically correct.

No one will go out to the Oakland Coliseum (or whatever the hell they call it now) to see the A’s, no matter how good they are.

The worst giveaway will be the Giants’ wearable blanket night.

The Yankee-Dodger series will sell out.

The Padres-Mariners series will not.

When Manny Ramirez returns to Boston with the Dodgers he will receive a standing ovation. And a second one when he drops a routine fly ball.

Mark McGwire will get booed everywhere he goes (but not enough for my money).

Roger Clemens will be caught having sex with Bombshell McGee.

Steve Phillips will be back in sex rehab after trying to get the Phillie Phanatic drunk.

Pedro Martinez will be back by August. So will Bobby Valentine.

Bruce Bochy will do a great job managing San Francisco and get no recognition.

One idiot in every fantasy league will draft Joe Nathan.

By June Dick Enberg will be rethinking this idea of announcing 100+ Pares games a season.

The Cincinnati Reds may surprise some people.

Pitcher Brian Matusz (who???) of the Orioles will be the AL Rookie-of-the-Year. That’s only ‘cause there’s no 35 year-old eight-time Japanese batting champion joining a US team. In the NL it’ll be Atlanta’s Jason Heyward.

Comeback players of the year – Tim Hudson of Atlanta. And Julianna Margulies of THE GOOD WIFE.

At least one player will be out for the year as a result of a horrible bar-b-queing accident.

Clayton Kershaw will win the Cy Young award. Maybe even this year.

The happiest day of the season for me will be when my former partner Jon Miller gets inducted into the Hall of Fame. He makes the fourth broadcast partner of mine to go into the Hall. Meanwhile, Pete Rose will get in before I do.

Out of 2430 games, the National Anthem will be butchered 2421 times.

It’s worth spending $120 to sign up for the MLB gameday package just to hear Vin Scully call Dodger games.

NL MVP - Ryan Howard. AL MVP - Carl Crawford.

The games will seem too long but the season will go by too fast.

I’ll be co-hosting Dodger Talk again this year with Josh Suchon on Talk Radio 790 KABC, KABC.COM, and iTunes radio after every Dodger game, home and away.

People always ask me why I am so in love with baseball. I think George Carlin said it best: “Baseball is the only major sport that appears backward in a mirror”.

What are you predictions? I'll hold you to yours as much as you hold me to mine.


Oyboy said...

AL West - Angels, followed closely by the Mariners

AL Central - Twins (depending on how the new field plays), followed by Detroit and the ChiSox

AL East - Tampa Bay over Boston (a lot of the key Yankee players are either too old or not old enough)

AL Wild Card - Detroit in a close race with Boston

AL Pennant - Tampa returns to the World Series

NL West - No clear-cut favorite here. The Giants have great pitching, but their lineup is suspect; the Diamondbacks have the opposite problem (after Dan Haren and maybe Brandon Webb, their pitching could be problematic); by default I'll go with the Dodgers, solid, but not spectacular all around

NL Central - Reds could surprise, but I'll take the Cardinals. Any team with Carpenter, Wainwright, Pujols and Holliday, barring any disastrous injuries, of course

NL East - The Mets ... ha! Just kidding. Assuming Cole Hamels has a comeback year and Ryan Howard doesn't fall apart as many suspect, the Phillies will run away with the division

NL Wild Card - How about the Reds, just for something different

NL Pennant - Cardinals, though I admit to being biased toward them. Hoping for a Cards/Phillies NLCS - Carpenter vs. Halladay, Wainwright vs. Hamels ...

World Series - Cards over Rays in six. (But it wouldn't kill me to see the Rays win it)

Simon H. said...

Let me give this a whirl, and see how wrong I am at the end of year

AL West: Mariners by a game over the Angels. The Angels if Cliff Lee misses any significant time or decides to take out an umpire with another one of those "got away from me" pitches

AL Central: Twins, though the White Sox have a good shot with their pitching. Mauer gets richer either way.

Al East: Rays by two games over the Yankees. Hell freezes over soon after.

Wild Card: Yankees buys, I mean outplays their way over the Angels

NL West: Eeny, meeny, miney, moe, I pick the Rockies by a toe.

NL Central: Cards, with the Reds as a potential sleeper pick and maybe the Cubs now they have debradleyized themselves.

NL East: Want to say Braves, have to go with Phillies. Not enough offense by Atlanta to make it all the way, unless their pitching is just lights out from top to bottom.

Wild Card: Reds, doing it Rays-style circa 2008, as in great starting pitching and bullpen help, good defense, and just enough offense to get by. Braves if the Reds are befallen by over a thousand injuries like last year. Could see the Dodgers, Giants, or Cubs even.

Concur with OyBoy that it will be a Cards-Rays World Series, but with the Rays winning in six. Take it to the bank. And by that, I mean it will be a Pirates-Orioles World Series.

Mike McCann said...

>>Pedro Martinez will be back by August. So will Bobby Valentine.

The question is which of them has the better chance of appearing in the post-season... I'm thinking Pedro, who'll be devouring cheese steaks by Bastille Day.

As for my "predictions":



World Series - YANKEES over PHILLIES

First manager fired - JERRY MANUEL

Wallis Lane said...

Copmltely agree about the baffling continued employment of Joe Morgan. Really the worst announcer out there. I loathe Tim McCarver, but at least he's occasionally informative (or at least over-informative). I feel sorry for Jon Miller having been saddled all those years with Morgan as partner. It's like Placido Domingo having to duet with William Hung.

Also, any time Morgan does a Dodger game, his palpable and ill-concealed hatred for the Boys in Blue makes the unpleasant experience akin to hearing Sean Hannity narrate the Democratic National Convention.

bevo said...

I will give this a try:

No one will discuss how MLB stole the Montreal Expos and fucked their fans in the process.

The media will continue to discuss performance enhancing drugs in the past tense.

No one will wonder why Albert Puljos seems to get as injured as frequently as Mark McGuire.

Should Puljos actually play the entire season, no one will mention the only season McGuire played a full slate. McGuire was juiced in '98.

Everyone will talk glowingly about Jamie Moyer. No one will wonder how a 47-year-old can still pitch juice free.

Continuing a long line of brain dead ideas that includes the DH, night baseball at Wrigley, interleague play, and three divisions, lots of people will talk about floating divisions.

No one will discuss my idea of two divisions labeled, "Owners Who Care about Their Fans," and "Owners Who Shit on Their Fans". In the AL, the Yankees, BoSox, ChiSox, and Angles compete in the former. Remaining AL teams are in the latter.

In the NL, the Dodgers, the Giants, the Cardinals, the Braves, the Mets, and the Phillies compete in the former. Remaining NL teams are in the latter.

Bud Selig's revisionist history will continue to gain momentum. No one except me will think this line should be included: he gives anti-Semitism a good name.

Despite overwhelming evidence to support this award, the National Socialist Party will not name Selig their Man of the Decade.

No one will wonder how the New York metropolitan area with roughly 14 million people can support two MLB teams when the same area with about 7 million in the 1940s supported three MLB teams.

No one will explain how the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area supports one MLB team despite a population that exceeds New York's population of the 1940s that supported three MLB teams.

Regardless of venue, the Florida Marlins will draw 950,000 people who were waiting for the Dolphins' season to start.

A black guy or possibly a Hispanic guy will win the NL MVP. A white guy will win the NL Cy Young.

A Hispanic guy or possibly a mixed race guy will the AL MVP. A white guy will the AL Cy Young.

wc - nalcon: a flightless cousin of the falcon that steals food by running very quickly.

Question Mark said...

AL West: Angels, Rangers, Mariners, Athletics
AL Central: Tigers, White Sox, Twins, Indians, Royals
AL East: Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Blue Jays
NL West: Rockies, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres
NL Central: Cardinals, Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Astros, Pirates
NL East: Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals
Wild cards: Atlanta, Boston

World Series....
Philadelphia over Boston

NL MVP: Albert Pujols
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
NL ROY: Jason Heyward
AL MVP: Evan Longoria
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
AL ROY: Michael Brantley

Rich said...

Ken -- Not a prediction. A request.

Like you, I grew up in Los Angeles listening to Vin Scully. I was 7 when the Dodgers came to L.A., and Vin Scully quickly became my hero. Scully and the Dodgers were on KFI, a 50,000 watt clear channel station, so when I went on vacation I could still hear their night games when my family was on vacation in Seattle.

Here's my request. Someone -- and you are the ideal person -- should arrange to have Vin Scully sit down in front of an open microphone and record Vin Scully's Oral History of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Think about it. The man was there for all of it, and he's the most eloquent person to talk about it first person.

I don't know what for this would take -- ESPN documentary, LA Dodger produced product, whatever. But SOMEBODY should suggest this.

The best description of Scully I ever heard was, "He's the only broadcaster who is better than the game itself."

Simon H. said...

Some more predictions

Milton Bradley will create another set of headaches for the Mariners. They'll let him go or trade him at the end of the year. Some other team will pick him, convinced he will finally change this time. This prediction will be repeated for the next three-five years.

Ken Griffey Jr. will retire without getting to a World Series, a fact that will be become one of the biggest shames in the history of baseball.

More than 20 people will show up for an August game with the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium. I actually did this once in 2005. If you like heat stroke, I highly recommend it.

ESPN will show a game without the Red Sox or the Yankees in it.

Pujols will continue to be the man.

Mark McGwire will continue to be the douche.

Vin Scully will continue to be the gold standard.

The Rays will continue to have the most-underrated radio broadcast team in the nation. And still have the worst stadium.

Steroids will bring someone down this year you're not suspecting.

The fact that I'm pointing out you can save 20 dollars on the MLB online package by getting 14 free issues from Sports Illustrated will save someone here 20 dollars. You're welcome.

Bud Selig will bore someone at a press conference. And by someone, I mean anyone who is listening.

And lastly, Ken will finally admit Skyline Chili is not nearly as bad as he said it was a few months back.

Should be a great season! Good luck to your favorite team everyone!

Mark Edwards said...

This might sound a bit out of left field, but hear me out. Mark McGwire will be a cancer on the Cardinals, causing too much distraction at every away game, as well as some home games. The team will become unfocused, and two or three injuries during the first half of the season will both hamper their play and demoralize them. In the end, they might just have to dump McGwire to let the team get on with playing baseball.

I don't think Cardinals management has a clear grasp on the impact of their new hitting coach, and they're coming into the season with WAY too much cockiness. People in St. Louis consider the season "locked up", and we all know nothing is "locked up" until October.

Look for the NL Central to be a lot more interesting than in the last few years.

I'm just sayin'...

VP81955 said...

Tampa Bay -- Will bounce back from a so-so '09.
N.Y. Yankees -- They won one for the new digs; now age catches up with them.
Boston -- Solid team, but not as overpowering as recent Bosox units
Baltimore -- Some good young talent, but the rotation has holes.
Toronto -- A few good hitters, not much else.

Chi. White Sox -- Rios and Peavy will prove the difference.
Minnesota -- Good lineup, but losing dome advantage could hurt.
Detroit -- Strong rotation, but iffy elsewhere.
Cleveland -- Another rebuilding project on Lake Erie.
Kansas City -- Is Greinke this generation's Ned Garver?

L.A. Angels -- Somewhat weaker,but hanging on.
Texas -- If the pitching develops, a year away from taking over division.
Seattle -- Nice offseason, but team is less than sum of its parts.
Oakland -- Like the pitching; can't figure out thr rest of the roster.

Philadelphia -- Still class of division, but window is beginning to close.
Atlanta -- Nice players, just not enough of them for Cox's finale.
Florida -- Could contend if defense was steadier.
Washington -- In the right direction, but with a long way to go.
N.Y. Mets -- Confused franchise needs to rebuild, a word New York teams are not supposed to say.

St. Louis -- By default as much as anything else.
Cincinnati -- Could be a surprise, but do they know how to win?
Milwaukee -- Should finish over .500, but not quite good enough.
Chi. Cubs -- Signs of decline on the North Side.
Pittsburgh -- The curse of Francisco Cabrera enters its 18th year.
Houston -- Likely owner of the top draft pick in June 2011.

Colorado -- Strong enough to finally get postseason home-field advantage.
L.A. Dodgers -- Regressing, thanks in part to the McCourts' divorce.
San Francisco -- Good pitching, bad hitting.
Arizona -- Will battle Padres for fourth place.
San Diego -- Waiting for the Gonzalez trade.

Wild cards: Minnesota, Atlanta

AL: Tampa Bay over Minnesota, Chicago over Los Angeles
NL: Philadelphia over St. Louis, Colorado over Atlanta
AL pennant: Tampa Bay
NL pennant: Colorado
World Series: Colorado over tampa Bay in six.

Scott said...

ok, here goes:

-James Loney has a better year than Matt Kemp, but they both do very nicely. Kemp still takes some heat for not quite meeting his lofty expectations, and naturally, Rihanna and his "gone Hollywood" lifestyle is blamed.

-Manny: .285, 25 HR. Draws more cheers than boos at home, but gets plenty of both all season long.

-GA: higher slugging percentage than Manny in 1/3 the plate appearances. Starting in May, you get an average of one call every two days that he should replace Manny in left.

-Chad Billingsley gets some goodwill for pitching a nice "clutch" game against the Braves in the NLCS...then gives it back by getting bombed in the cold in Minnesota.

-Dodgers win the NL pennant, but lose the WS to the Twins in 6, as the boys from SoCal have trouble pitching in the bitter cold. (I had this BEFORE Nathan went down. I'm honestly not as certain now, and I wasn't so certain to begin with, but I'm sticking to it.)

-Finally, Bud Selig will continue to enrage me by being the best MLB commissioner that the NFL ever had.

Scott from Marina Del Rey

-p.s. Ken, I respectfully, and STRONGLY disagree with one of your predictions, assuming you were serious. NO WAY Manny gets a standing O from Boston. Maybe after he retires, but not in a game where comes back for the other team, after the way he left. If I had to bet even money on this prediction, or just ONE of my others coming true (regardless of which one), I'd take this one by a mile.

Bob said...

Sorry Ken, but when you state that:

Joe Morgan will not say anything he hasn’t already said five thousand times. You’d think that just once he could say it grammatically correct.

Your grammar is incorrect. You should have said "You'd think that just once he could say it grammatically correctly". The word correct in your statement is used to define the verb "say". Therefore, and adverb is called for, "correctly", not "correct" (an adjective). Take out the word "grammatically", and it becomes more clear. You wouldn't say "You'd think that just once he could say it correct".

Ref said...

I'm a life-long Red Sox fan and I'M tired of having "Sox-Yankees"shoved in my face.

DodgerGirl said...

Joe Morgan sucks! (sorry, that's just a kneejerk reaction whenever I see his name)

growler said...

The Mets will break my heart again.

And, though I love Scully, the best broadcast team will continue to be Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez. Doubly so if they continue with the occasional guest visits from Ralph Kiner. Seriously, these guys can make even a boring or blowout game interesting to listen to (By that point you're reading instead of looking at the screen, but it's still nice to keep the game on to hear them).

Joe Morgan said...

Ken, I thunked you liked me.

Charles H. Bryan said...

If Dontrelle Willis doesn't need more anti-anxiety medicine this season, then maybe I won't either -- not until the All-Star Game and I have to hear McCarver again. (300 million people in this country and we get him year after year? Why can't the fans vote on that?)

I also predict that, if the opening pitch goes well, Obama will be offered a contract in the Nationals system.

kingvermin said...

The Braves are ALWAYS better than people think.

Will there be some sort of investigation into the two-decade long institutional drug distribution (performance or otherwise) in the Rangers?

The Reds may surprise us, but not for the long run. This might be the Brewers' last chance to make it all the way in the Central.


PS My band sings about the Simpsons. We rule.

kingvermin said...

Also, Joe Morgan is the only infielder who ever mattered, and thus the only infielder who deserves to be in the Hall, according to Joe Morgan. Most national broadcasters suck. Why is that? Are they ordered at gunpoint to laud the Yankees and ignore the underdog, even if the underdog is kicking their asses?

mike said...

Bravo to bevo! Absolutely right!

Tikabelle said...

I, along with the rest of the Cubs fans, will continue to insist to anyone who will listen that "this year is our year."

It will not, in fact, be our year.

David (not Isaacs) said...

Prediction: Despite being the top player of the '80s, Tim Raines will again be denied entry to Cooperstown.

Phil said...

Ken, thanks for offering up this subject. I agree that Joe Morgan is TERRIBLE as an analyst. Not only does he repeat himself from game to game, but he also says everything THREE TIMES within any given comment. (He obviously loves to hear himself talk.) Also, note how long it takes for Joe to mention that he’s in the Hall of Fame; he finds a way to work that in during every game. (Jon Miller should get into the Hall just for having to put up with the little blowhard.) Of course, Joe always thinks his opinions are correct, and he’ll get testy with Jon if the latter dares to express anything but total agreement.

Mark Edwards, I hope you're right about Mark McGwire and the Cardinals. No other team wants to be associated with him, especially as a HITTING coach. Charlie Lau must be turning in his grave. (Message to McGwire: BOO!!)

I predict that Manny Ramirez will find another way for his appearance to look grubbier than last year. (He’s done that for several years in a row.)

Do I dare predict that Sammy Sosa will continue to get weirder and weirder looking? (Several years ago, Rick Reilly was interviewing Sosa for a Sports Illustrated article. Sammy agreed that steroids were bad for the game, and he hoped that testing would be allowed. Reilly then suggested that they go to an independent lab right then and there for Sammy to be tested. Evidently, Sammy got pissed and stormed out. As John Wooden said, “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” BTW: Coach Wooden turns 100 on October 14.)