Friday, July 04, 2014

Baseball Second Half Predictions

While we haven't quite reached the All Star Game, we have hit the midway point on the baseball season in terms of games played. It's the time of year when contenders separate themselves - slightly - from the rest of the pack, when teams decide whether to trade or go for it, and flash-in-the-pan first half phenoms get weeded out as real stars emerge. It's also the part of the season where the guys on Baseball Tonight go completely incoherent, largely because they're still trying to wrap their heads around Tim Kurkjian's performance in the Sausage Race in Milwaukee.

That being said, with a half-season under our belts, we feel confident in posting some predictions for the second half. Gaze into the crystal ball with us and see that:

  • Nelson Cruz of the Orioles will continue his hot hitting, providing ammunition for those who view the current compensation rules for free agents as totally not a problem.
  • Kendrys Morales of the Twins will continue his ice-cold hitting, providing ammunition for those who view the current compensation rules for free agents as a cart-load of llama manure.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays will finish the season in last place. Further examination will reveal that this is caused by running 2/3 of the Durham Bulls' roster out there at any given point during the year.
  • David Price will be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's not like they need him. They just like having nice things.
  • Immediately after the Cubs trade away Jason Hammel, Jeff Samardzjia, and every other marketable commodity on the team, angry mobs will storm the front office. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will be forced under threat of physical violence to promote Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, and all the other guys they swear are coming to save the franchise. The body of Mike Olt is never found.
  • As the Yankees continue to stick around the fringes of the playoff race, New York baseball writers churn out an ever-increasing number of "What would George have done?" pieces. This, of course, helps tremendously with the team's lack of a 3rd baseman, immobile shortstop, and ace's busted knee, but like Cthulhu cultists, they keep invoking their dread lord anyway.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers, sensing the playoffs are within their grasp, make a trade for a mid-level starting pitcher who does absolutely nothing for them. 
  • A scalper in Pittsburgh sues the Pirates for not bringing up Gregory Polanco sooner, thus devaluing his tickets during the pennant chase and costing him revenue. The case reaches the Supreme Court, where in a 5-4 decision it's ruled that being cheapskates and messing up prospects is in fact a deeply held belief of the Pirates' organization.
  • Most of your friends will give up on their fantasy baseball teams and stop telling you about them. This is a good thing.
  • In their desperate, ongoing attempt to get the Oakland A's out of the Coliseum (so they can tear it down and build a new football-only stadium), the Oakland Raiders plant a booby-trapped xylophone near 2nd base that will explode if someone plays "Those Endearing Young Charms". This backfires spectacularly when it is revealed that no one on the A's has ever heard the song, and Raiders owner Mike Davis eventually rushes onto the field to play it himself, with predictable consequences.
  • The Phillies finally admit what the rest of baseball has known for 2 years and decide to rebuild. They don't do anything about it, they just decide to.
  • The Seattle Mariners, led by a ruthless pitching staff and All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, make the playoffs. The Yankees don't. New York writers still decry Cano as a greedy mercenary who doesn't care about winning.
  • Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, tired of the front office denying rumors that he is about to get traded, seizes control of the franchise and then trades himself somewhere he doesn't have to hit in front of Casey McGehee. 
  • Marlins 3B Casey McGehee finishes a remarkable comeback season with a .300 batting average and 96 RBIs. He then goes back into hibernation for another 4 years.
  • Toronto wins the AL East. This has the unfortunate side effect of introducing the rest of the world to the "OK, Blue Jays, Let's Play Ball" song. For this, Canada may never be forgiven.
  • The new Padres GM, whoever it is, surveys the vast, barren wasteland of the organization and immediately trades everyone, on the principle of "hey, it's not like it can get any worse, right?"t
  • The Red Sox don't do anything interesting and largely stay out of the national conversation. Which drives every Red Sox fan, everywhere, nuts.
  • Clayton Kershaw continues to be really, really good.
  • Jedd Gyorko continues to be really, really bad.
  • And nobody remembers our pre-season prediction of a Rays-Dogers World Series, right? Right.

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