YF’s Annual Demonstration of Ignorance/2005 MLB Season Preview

Last year, out of some 19 categories, we hit something like 5 correct. Not so good (though, admittedly, better than SF, and on par with most professional scribes). Will we do better this year? Almost certainly not, but here we go anyhow:

AL East: NY, Bos, Balt, Tor, TB
AL Central: Min, Cle, Chi, Det, KC
AL West: Ana, Oak, Sea, Tex
AL WC: Bos

NL East: Atl, Fla, NY, Phi, DC
NL Central: StL, Hou, Chi, Cin, Mil, Pitt
NL West: SD, LA, SF, Col, AZ*
NL WC: Hou
* Unless Barry has 400+ plate appearances, in which case SF wins

AL Champ: NY
NL Champ: StL
WS Champ: NY

AL Cy: Johnson
AL MVP: Matsui (Just to piss off SF)
AL Man: Gardenhire
AL ROY: McPherson
NL Cy: Sheets or Peavy (a hedge; we love Sheets, but Peavy should get more Ws)
NL MVP: Pujols
NL Man: LaRussa
NL ROY: Burke

Notes on the only two teams of serious interest to the discerning fan:

Yankees: Sabermetric analysis suggests last year’s Yanks outperformed reasonable expectation; that we’re not likely to see another 60-plus come-from-behind wins in ’05. Perhaps not. But by our reckoning what drove all of those wins was the fact that 4-5 cycles through the Yankee lineup are just too much for most staffs to handle on any given day. And we expect improvement from many of the team’s big guns this go around: A-Rod and Jeets both struggled last year; Sheff was injured; Matsui seems to have found his stroke; Giambi/Tino is going to be better than last year’s first base combo. Even if Posada regresses slightly he’s still murder, and Bernie and Womack shouldn’t be catastrophic. As for pitching, they added an ace, still have Moose, and the gloomy projections for Pavano and Wright seem to be overblown worst-case-scenarios (we hope). It’s certainly hard to imagine them being any more problematic than last year’s Vazquez/Contreras duo. And the potential upside is large. Kevin Brown, too, can hardly be worse, and there’s always Sturtze/Wang to step in and cover (not an ideal scenario, but whatever). There are issues: there’s no real lefty in the pen, the defense is bad, the bench thin, and the minor league system doesn’t have too many blue-chippers to be used as bait. But this is still a team that’s taken it’s division for 7 consecutive years. We’ll believe that streak is over only when we see it.

Red Sox: Forget doctors and lawyers. Now all nice Jewish boys are going to want to be GMs. Give Theo and Team James credit for this cleverly constructed squad. Anyway, it looks good on paper. But one does get the sense that it’s balanced precariously. They’ll score zillions of runs, for sure. Clement (great pickup) and Arroyo make for a solid back end of the rotation. But Sox fans should be concerned about how many games Schilling, Wells, and (eventually) Miller can pitch. And even when they do start, how effective will they be? Pavano has been a whipping boy of the sabermetric community, but Wells seems an even more likely candidate to implode upon return from a pitcher’s park in a league with no DH. Barring health problems and with their intelligent management, the Sox might just end the Yankee run. But don’t count on it.

Check in tomorrow for SF’s swing at prognosticatory glory.

14 comments… add one

  • errr….
    Jeter had the type of year you’d expect from him. He didn’t get on base as much, but he slugged more. He didn’t struggle.
    What you saw is what you’re going to get from A-Rod. His road splits pretty much stayed the same from 2003 to 2004. He just can’t hit in Yankee Stadium.
    Sheffield is still hurt. And old.
    Bernie and Womach will be catastrophic.
    I never realized how great it would be to see Yankee fans grasping at straws trying to convinced themselves that everything will be ok.

    Brian March 30, 2005, 4:07 am
  • “Jeter struggled last year”?!! What a piece of absolute revisionism from the esteemed YF. If I recall, Jeter had a rough 45 days, and then became his normal gold glovin’ sluggin’ baserunnin’ fallin’ into the stands self, or at least he did according to YF and his incessant “Jeter Meter” threads. I think YF made about 30 posts, if not more, documenting Superboy’s Lazarus-like return to MVPism. If YF wants us to take his prognostications seriously, he ought not make things up out of thin air to suit his predictions.

    SF March 30, 2005, 6:29 am
  • Jeets hit .172 in April and .261 in May last year. I would define that as stuggling.for a guy with a career .315 average. Obviously, he had a strong overall season.But whatever. Let’s not have an argument here about regression and means and blah blah blah.
    Just about everyone at BP, including their PECOTA projection, is predicting a bigger year from A-Rod.
    Anyway, we’re taking a break from our usual half-glass-empty New York attitude going into this season. At least until, like, week 2.

    YF March 30, 2005, 9:53 am
  • Amd YF’s predictive idiocy gets better:
    “we’re taking a break from our usual half-glass-empty New York attitude going into this season”
    HA! Who are you kidding? Since when? Or is the sarcasm just not showing up strongly enough to recognize?

    SF March 30, 2005, 10:09 am
  • This just in report’s indicate that the IDIOT NATION refuse to let the 2004 season go. Every one has been asking how will the IDIOT NATION react after winning there first world series in 86 years? Wellwe now have the answer. WEEI and NESN will replay the 2004 season for the next 26 years or however many years it takes to surpass the Yankees in world championships. Also all Boston news organization’s will also report on the 2004 season all over again. One of the IDIOT’S holding up his membership card proclaiming him a member of the IDIOT NATION was quoted as saying” This is a proud day for the NATION of IDIOT’S we will finally be betterer than the Yankees”. Meanwhile back in the real world they will be using Fenway park as a ice skating rink and for Curt Schilling to continue to tell the world how great he is. Also Kevin Millar and the rest of the Queer eye for the misfit’s will be drnking Jack Daniels while laying on the couch watching the world series DVD in the 406 club. Also as a side not Trot Nixon will be a guest clown for the Barnum & Bailey Circus. And Johnny Damon the IDOT’S resident Rock star will be joining ZZ Top for a world book tour slash concert tour. Anyone wishing to purchase ticket’s for any of these events please call 1-800-GO-IDIOT’S

    Bob March 30, 2005, 2:34 pm
  • Sunday this all ends, and my life gets a whole lot less entertaining. On Sunday the offseason is over, and we’ll (unfortunately) be spared the glorious and comedic spectacle of Yankees fans squirming in pain and classless defeat because of the Sox’ victory. When the Yankees won, it was always painful, I mean, I HATE the Yankees. But I don’t ever recall spending every waking minute of the offseason bitching and moaning about them (it was more like every third or fourth waking minute, so I am not totally exempt). Offseasons were almost always about recuperating from the pain of the previous season, about looking forward, and not about driving up my blood pressure by fixating on the victors to the point of psychosis. You guys need this coming Sunday, and bad.

    SF March 30, 2005, 2:52 pm
  • Ichiro had a bad April and May too. I suppose you’ll say that he struggled last year?
    PECOTA has Rodriguez going up .03 in avg, .08 in obp, and the only significant improvement of .39 in slg. That’s an improvement, sure. A very little one. If you want to go by them they predict his playing time to go down and his VORP to go down by 2.
    Yankee fans have a glass half empty attitude, eh? That’s funny, every Yankee fan I’ve ever met is an arrogant prick that thinks the Yankees are the greatest team to ever grace the earth….but maybe I just haven’t met enough of them.

    Brian March 30, 2005, 3:24 pm
  • Ichiro had a bad May if you consider hitting .400 bad. (What? You didn’t think we’d check? In April he was at .255.)
    I don’t have my BP 2005 book in front of me, but my recollection is that, outside of PECOTA, it predicted an improvement for A-Rod. And at a recent event in NYC, BP authors Joe Sheehan, Chris Kahrl, Pinstripe Bibler Steve Goldman, and Futility Infielder Jay Jaffe uniformly agreed that he was likely to have a significantly better year. I’m not a numbers cruncher, so I’ll take their word for it.
    Are all Yankee fans arrogant pricks? I think that’s an exageration, though I certainly understand how you might have erroneously come to that conclusion being that you hail from a provincial little city that shuts down at, like, 9:30. Also, THE YANKEES ARE THE GREATEST TEAM EVER TO GRACE THE EARTH. Happy now?

    YF March 30, 2005, 7:02 pm
  • You forgot to add the standard New York “asshole!” flourish at the end of your proclamation, YF.

    SF March 30, 2005, 7:59 pm
  • You see this is the problem with sox fan’s. They can say and do what ever it is they deem appropriate like wear T-shirts that say Jeter swallows or Jeter sucks A-rod. They think that is fine and see nothing wrong with. Forgive me I did not realize I was dealing with such righteous Probably spelled that wrong but hey I am a Yankee fan I am stupid! But back to the point when someone teases a sox fan that is unacceptable they have endure so much that the sox fan’s believe no one should say anything derogatory about there beloved Idiot’s. But the Idiot’s can say and do as they please and it is gospel. Forgive me for embellishing a few actual event’s and having a little fun. I live in Maine and witness the most arrogant fans from ME NH MA. For a team that has only won 1 world championship. So lets not talk about arrogance or AHOLES because RSN has more than there share of those. So lighten up and have some fun with. It might also help to stop the razing if the Idiot’s were a little more professional but they aren’t And the RSN supports the way they act. So if you support them you must deal with the consequences that go with there actions. After all it is acceptable to talk about drinking JD . But you had better not talk about how hard you work out in the off season.

    Bob March 31, 2005, 7:32 am
  • You see this is the problem with sox fan’s. They can say and do what ever it is they deem appropriate like wear T-shirts that say Jeter swallows or Jeter sucks A-rod. They think that is fine and see nothing wrong with. Forgive me I did not realize I was dealing with such righteous Probably spelled that wrong but hey I am a Yankee fan I am stupid! But back to the point when someone teases a sox fan that is unacceptable they have endure so much that the sox fan’s believe no one should say anything derogatory about there beloved Idiot’s. But the Idiot’s can say and do as they please and it is gospel. Forgive me for embellishing a few actual event’s and having a little fun. I live in Maine and witness the most arrogant fans from ME NH MA. For a team that has only won 1 world championship in 86 years. So lets not talk about arrogance or AHOLES because RSN has more than there share of those. So lighten up and have some fun with. It might also help to stop the razing if the Idiot’s were a little more professional but they aren’t And the RSN supports the way they act. So if you support them you must deal with the consequences that go with there actions. After all it is acceptable to talk about drinking JD . But you had better not talk about how hard you work out in the off season.

    Bob March 31, 2005, 7:33 am
  • Bob – I live in New York, as my adopted hometown. I hear people screaming the “F” bomb and other profanities at strangers here more than anywhere I have ever been. In Boston, nobody can understand a word people are saying, so perhaps it happens there too but just more unintelligibly.
    It’s endearing, the profanity, in a way. I was making a joke. So have a sense of humor, you asshole!

    SF March 31, 2005, 8:35 am
  • Now Now SF lets not get personal I seem to have sense of humor. Unlike the response’s I have gotten here. I am a native NewYorker so I do know what goes on down there. Fortunatly I now live in Maine and do not have to listen to the crap on the streets of New York or Boston. Thow I must say it is much worse in NY. I have walked in to Fenway with my Yankees hat once and I was lucky to come out alive. And I know it is the same at the Stadium. It is just ashame you can’t wear your team’s hat or Jersey and bring your kids to the game with out you or your child getting verbally insulted. But I guess that is just the nature of the beast. I could end this with a dirogatory name for you but hey I would rather make fun of the players for the sox. Nothing persoanl to any sox fan.

    Bob March 31, 2005, 9:51 am
  • Boston is wack. Remember people its all in fun, stop being crybabys. I would probably hate someone for steady kickin my ass. Show the Yankees some respect. 26-6.

    El Duque March 31, 2005, 12:11 pm

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