January 9, 2013
Out of Left Field
Jumping the Gun on 2013 Predictions
Great thing about the internet: lowered barriers to entry for writers everywhere. This is good for people like me and at least debatable for people like you. But there’s a far less important side effect to all of this. It makes being the first to an idea next to impossible.
An example: some time ago I thought up a piece about the Worst Baseball Game of the Year. Proud of myself, I emailed my editor, who kindly informed me that 1) it was a wonderful idea, and 2) he had written it himself. Last year. Whoops.
So in the interest of not getting scooped again, we’re going to do some gun-jumping here at Out Of Left Field. It’s time to make some predictions for the 2013 season! Of course they’ll all be wrong, but if I wait until the end of Spring Training they’ll all be wrong anyway. So why wait? Why get scooped? Let’s get right to the (wrong) predictions!
1. Four of the six division winners will not repeat.
This past season, thanks to the Rangers folding on the last day of the season, only the Yankees repeated. In 2013 maybe the Royals will step forward. Or the Pirates. Or the Padres. Sure it sounds ridiculous right now, but last year, heck, six months ago, saying the Orioles would be a game out of first as of late-September would have got you laughed out of a room full of Orioles fans. Point is, with six divisions and now 10 playoff teams, parity, or at least some form of it, has arrived. Maybe we should cease being so surprised by it.
OK, maybe not.
3. The Dodgers will fire Ned Colletti. His replacement will be Ned Colletti.
Colletti is in charge of the same franchise, but all of a sudden his resources, goals and implementation process are all as different as can be. Is he better at picking top-end talent than he was at locking up mediocre relievers to three-year deals? He didn’t give Josh Hamilton $300 million, so that’s a start.
4. At least one of next Season’s MVPs Didn’t Receive Any Votes This Season.
5. The Dodgers might win the World Series but only if they change their name to the Yankees.
Instead I looked up the payrolls of the World Series winners during that same time period. Considering the above information, it won’t shock you that the Yankees’ two World Series wins were the only instances of the team with the highest payroll winning it all. Boston’s two Series victories both came when it finished second in payroll, but beyond that, none of the remaining nine World Series winning teams had a top-five payroll. It’s not like the rankings are evenly distributed though. Only one team with a payroll in the bottom half got to hold a parade, the 2003 Marlins. So it helps to spend, but once you reach a certain point, the quality of the spending matters more than the quantity. Of course, this all assumes that the playoffs are more than just dumb luck.
6. A bad team will start quickly. I will totally buy it.
The Pirates went 37-47 the rest of the way and finished 18 games back. A year and a month before that, the Marlins were two games behind the Phillies in the NL East. Me:
(I’m a big fan of the triple exclamation point.) They went 41-67 after that. When will I ever learn? This year? Maybe, but then probably not.
What? The time stamps are all wrong on those tweets and you think I made this all up just to make a silly point about hot starts from middling teams? Oh look! My last prediction!
7. Yu Darvish will unveil his 18th and newest pitch.
Be afraid, American League. Be very, very afraid.