Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 in Review

In which I revisit my preseason picks and marvel at the credibility one man can sacrifice in a year.


My NL East Predictions:

  1. Philadelphia Phillies (90-72)
  2. Miami Marlins* (86-76)
  3. Atlanta Braves (84-78)
  4. Washington Nationals (79-83)
  5. New York Mets (65-97)

What REALLY happened:

  1. Washington Nationals (98-64) +19 wins
  2. Atlanta Braves* (94-78) +8 wins
  3. Philadelphia Phillies (81-81) 9 wins
  4. New York Mets (74-88) +9 wins
  5. Miami Marlins (69-93) 17 wins

This is an all-around misfire.

I underestimated the collapse of old age in Philly while overestimating the impact of some free agents in Miami. I underestimated the Braves – my Braves – I guess because I wasn’t confident in the offense. And the Nationals took us all by surprise; I actually thought I was being generous by putting them so close to .500. Oops.

My NL Central Predictions:

  1. Cincinnati Reds (91-71)
  2. St. Louis Cardinals* (89-73)
  3. Milwaukee Brewers (84-78)
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates (78-84)
  5. Chicago Cubs (73-89)
  6. Houston Astros (63-99)

What REALLY happened:

  1. Cincinnati Reds (97-65) +6 wins
  2. St. Louis Cardinals* (88-74) 1 win
  3. Milwaukee Brewers (83-79) 1 win
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates (79-83) +1 win
  5. Chicago Cubs (61-101) 12 wins
  6. Houston Astros (55-107) 8 wins

Redemption! I did far, far better in the Central Division, getting the order of finish exactly right. I tend to be cautious when predicting extreme performances, which is why I was a little bearish on the Reds and gave the Cubs and Astros the benefit of the doubt.

My NL West Predictions:

  1. San Francisco Giants (83-79)
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers (81-81)
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks (80-82)
  4. Colorado Rockies (78-84)
  5. San Diego Padres (66-96)

What REALLY happened:

  1. San Francisco Giants (94-68) +11 wins
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers (86-76) +5 wins
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks (81-81) +1 win
  4. San Diego Padres (76-86) +10 wins
  5. Colorado Rockies (64-98) 14 wins

I did pretty well at the top of the division. The Giants really played to the top of their potential in 2012, with very few things going wrong. Even those problems they did have (Lincecum screwed up, corner outfield problems), just about everything else went according to plan.

The Padres’ run of success at the end of the season went well beyond my expectations, while the Rockies are looking like the most hopeless franchise in the league. San Diego may be turning things around, but it’s going to be a long, slow trip for Colorado.

MY NL Postseason/Awards Predictions:

NLCS: Reds over Phillies

Not a bad choice, all in all.

NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

If 1) the Marlins had actually contended, and 2) Stanton had stayed healthy, this might have happened.

NL Cy Young: Cole Hamels, Phillies

Hamels was excellent.

NL Rookie of the Year: Devin Mesoraco, Reds

Mesoraco struggled in what playing time he did receive.


MY AL East Predictions:

  1. New York Yankees (93-69)
  2. Boston Red Sox* (89-73)
  3. Tampa Bay Rays (86-76)
  4. Toronto Blue Jays (82-80)
  5. Baltimore Orioles (68-94)

What REALLY happened:

  1. New York Yankees (95-67) +2 wins
  2. Baltimore Orioles* (93-69) +25 wins
  3. Tampa Bay Rays (90-72) +4 wins
  4. Toronto Blue Jays (73-89)9 wins
  5. Boston Red Sox (69-93)20 wins


My AL Central Predictions:

  1. Detroit Tigers (91-71)
  2. Cleveland Indians (83-79)
  3. Kansas City Royals (78-84)
  4. Minnesota Twins (74-88)
  5. Chicago White Sox (70-92)

What REALLY happened:

  1. Detroit Tigers (88-74) 3 wins
  2. Chicago White Sox (85-77) +15 wins
  3. Kansas City Royals (72-90) 6 wins
  4. Cleveland Indians (68-94)15 wins
  5. Minnesota Twins (66-96) 8 wins

I can usually remember what I was thinking when I made my preseason predictions. But I have no f’ing clue why I thought the Indians would finish second. Nor do I know what I picked the Sox to finish last, behind the Twins. I’m funny that way.

My AL West Predictions:

  1. Los Angeles Angels (96-66)
  2. Texas Rangers* (93-69)
  3. Seattle Mariners (76-86)
  4. Oakland Athletics (68-94)

What REALLY happened:

  1. Oakland Athletics (94-68)  +26 wins
  2. Texas Rangers* (93-69) Exactly Right!
  3. Los Angeles Angels (89-73) 7 wins
  4. Seattle Mariners (75-87) 1 win

The A’s had what looked like a pretty marginal offense made up of cast-offs. Their pitching staff was a bunch of rookies, an injury-prone Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy, and Bartolo Colon. Who knew? (Not I, obviously.)

MY NL Postseason/Awards Predictions:

ALCS: Angels over Yankees

Well, I had the Yankees losing, which is always a comfort.

World Series: Angels over Reds

Would’ve been fun.

AL MVP: Albert Pujols, Angels

Sadly, Albert lost a step.

AL Cy Young: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox

I went out on a limb, which snapped, leaving me to fall down the tree and hit every branch on my way down.

AL Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish, Rangers

Darvish finished second to “Force of Nature” Trout


I’ll be back in late March to make a fool of myself once again.

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