The Annual “Show’em How Little You Know” Thread: SF’s 2006 Predictions

Last year YF took the crown, with more correct predictions than yours truly.  This year it will be different.  And that’s not because we expect to do much better than him (these predictions are at once fun, silly, and fruitless, owing to the major roster changes that occur over the course of any given season).  It’s because we have a spry and young mind in our midst now, in the form of Nick-YF, and we’re nervous.  We better raise our game.  So here goes:

AL East: TB, Bal, Tor, Bos, NY

Sorry, lost my mind there for a second. Now, for real:

AL East: Boston, NY, Tor, TB, Bal  (what would biased predictions be without a little homerism?)
AL Central: Min, Cle, Chi, Det, KC
AL West: LAAoA, Oak, Sea, Tex
AL WC: NY (ride that offense to first round disappointment, baby!)

NL East: Atl, Phi, NY, DC, Fla
NL Central: StL, Hou, Chi, Mil, Cin, Pitt
NL West: LA, AZ, SD, SF, Col
NL WC: Phi

AL Champ: Bos
NL Champ: StL
WS Champ: Bos

AL Cy: Santana
AL Man: Gardenhire
AL ROY: Johjima
NL Cy: Peavy
NL MVP: Howard
NL Man: Manuel
NL ROY: Zimmerman

Call it wishful thinking, call it a Bostonian’s biased boosterism, but we call it the year the Yankees rely too heavily on their offense while their defense up the middle and pitching staff crumble and the Red Sox shoot by them for the division.  Finally.  There are simply too many question marks for the men from the Bronx.  Is Mike Mussina cooked?  Is Wang for real (or dependable from a health standpoint)?  Will the real Aaron Small finally show up?  Is Jorge Posada going to play like he’s 47 years old? Our answers?  "Like a hot dog at a tailgate", "every other start", "in his first start, and every start thereafter", and "nope, like he’s 44".  Now before everyone (Yankees fans, that is) gets in a tizzy, we admit that yes, the Red Sox have similar question marks – can Beckett throw 200 innings and stay healthy?  Can Schilling rebound?  Is Foulke still a viable Major League closer?  Who’s on third? Will Manny lose a fly ball in the glare of his PSP?  But we predict at least two of those get "yes" answers, and handheld video games have already been banned from the Sox’ clubhouse.  Optimism abounds.

As for the rest of the league, we profess that since giving up the drug of rotisserie baseball our in-depth knowledge of starting players, bench jockeys, and minor league talent down to the Single A level has dropped precipitously.  So we came up with our remaining prognostications based on a little bit of research, some cursory residual knowledge, and a dartboard.  We have high hopes for the Phillies, no confidence in the Mets’ staff, no idea how many games Barry Bonds is going to play so therefore cannot locate the Giants with any confidence, but conversely know that the Cubs are going to do their thing and break the streak of tired, winless franchises grabbing the World Series title, and thank god for that.  Who needs happy Cubs fans, right? 

Next up, over the course of the rest of the week, this site’s two Yankees fans weigh in.  Just like here, don’t plan on being too surprised by what you’ll read.

5 comments… add one
  • World Series champs! Strange, thats my prediction too, SF! Fabulous job as always.
    I differ with you just about everywhere else though. I have Chicago (LesserSox), Oakland, Philly, StL and LA. And gimme Papi and Pujols as MVPs while I’m at it.

    mattymatty March 29, 2006, 11:46 am
  • It pitching wins championships, I have to agree with you.
    I have to say, though, that with the rest of the AL East impoving over the off-season (well, perhaps with the exception of Baltimore) enough wins may be siphoned off the Sox and Yanks to throw the wild card to the Central or, more likely, the West.

    Vic March 29, 2006, 12:36 pm
  • Speaking of Sox pitching, that guy Tavarez should play hockey; what a fucking goon. Between him playing for the Sox and Farnsworth playing for the Yankees, rivalry games will be very interesting this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were at least two bench clearing brawls with those meatheads on the mound.

    Joe in NYC March 29, 2006, 3:59 pm
  • I don’t think any AL East team is going to win it all. The AL strikes me as quite balanced, with a bunch of good but not great teams. Everybody has flaws and question marks. The Red Sox are certainly no exception. I will grant that the Yankee rotation is scary, but I’m surprised at Red Sox fans’ take on theirs. The Red Sox certainly have more depth and a better bench (the Yanks appear to be deliberately trying to construct the weakest bench in the game), but the starting position players seem to me to be much superior. LOTS of question marks for Boston. Lowell. Loretta (2005: injury-induced down year, or the beginning of the end?). Gonzalez (actually, no, no question mark. He can’t hit). Crisp, even, to an extent (I think he’ll play well, actually, but it’s not a sure thing).
    Could Boston win the division? Sure! Hell, Toronto could (unlikely, but possible) if things went just so. But I still see the Yanks as the favorite.

    Rob March 30, 2006, 4:52 pm
  • It just seems if you’re going to call Crisp and Loretta question marks, then you need to call Giambi and Sheffield question marks, along with Williams (no question mark; he can’t hit either) and Damon. Lowell is a big question mark, but the backup plan on him is certainly stronger than the one for what happens if Damon’s shoulder tendinitis sits him for a month in August, or if the wrong version of Giambi shows up.
    Overall though, you’re right. Both teams have significant question marks, particularly in the rotation. What puts the Sox on top to my mind is fewer ?’s in the pen (Foulke notwithstanding), a stronger bench, a deeper rotation (and I’ll take the Beckett/Wells/Clement questions over the Small/Wright/Pavano questions, thanks very much) and imminent help from the minors. The Yanks have the bats, for sure, but I don’t think they’ll score so many runs as to make up the difference with their weak pitching.

    Paul A. March 30, 2006, 8:37 pm

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