Looking Back in Anger at MLB Picks that weren’t, Plus Jews eating Pulled Pork

I'm a fat guy
I’m a fat guy

BOCA RATON, FL – Let’s flash back 6 months to Spring Training 2013.  We’re having coffee outside Einstein’s Bagels on Palmetto Park Road, opposite Publix and diagonally across from Latex Warehouse – where the dreams of many Latex salesmen have gone to die.  The subject turns to baseball and predictions for the upcoming 2013 season, when my old buddy Hank Goldberg sidles up to our table and starts chatting us up.  Hank fled to Miami in the mid-80s when he stood up the 249th Street Boys for about 30 large, and has more or less been on the lam ever since. And the pork chops, and the beef on weck, and cheeseburgers, too.  Hank’s a portly fellow, given to bouts of Bosco addiction and wild, dark-meat-turkey-infused-benders that can turn ugly in a hurry. So, we’re shooting the breeze with Hank and we start kicking around our Predictions For 2013.

beef on a weck
MLB Picks: Beef on Weck sure thing.

I have the Mets pegged for 102 losses, the Marlins for 106 and the Astros sitting for 115 plus losses on the year.  I’m also calling Toronto a lead-pipe-lock for the American League Pennant. The Jays will probably face San Francisco in the World Series…  Can’t bet against the Giants’ pitching…  My NL MVP is Bryce Harper, while Mike Trout will run away with the hardware in the AL. For CY Young, give me Verlander and Cain…  The Yankees, I’m certain, will win their usual 90 games and grab a Wild Card spot led by the always reliable Sabathia and the rock solid iron man at 1B, Mark Texeira.  The other AL WC will be Orioles, as long as they can find some left-handed power somewhere.


NL Wild Cards, I was certain, would go to the Phillies – since with their top 3 pitchers all healthy, they throw an ace at you almost every night. The Brewers, and their great slugger Ryan Braun (another Jew) would bring the 2nd wild card to Milwaukee.

After Hank stops laughing and removes all of the pulled pork from his teeth, he issues the following predictions for me to chew on:  The Mets will be neck and neck with Philly all year.  In fact, the Mets will finish ahead in the standings of the GiantsBrewers, Rockies, and in the AL, they will have a better record than the White Sox, Blue Jays and the Mariners to name a few. Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 7.32.44 AMIn fact, even after adding Josh Hamilton to Pujols and Trout and the rest, the Mets will own a better record nearly the entire season than the Angels. We sat there stunned. Stunned that Hank had the balls to make such ridiculous predictions. Stunned that Hank would go out on a limb like that. Stunned that Hank was losing his marbles and stunned that somehow Hank had gotten Pulled Pork on West Palmetto Park Road from Einstein’s Bagels. So, as the regular season comes to a close this weekend, I thought I’d look back at Hank’s predictions from last March and see how he’d fared.  And then I compared his picks to my own

I told you he was a Winner!
Told you he was a Winner!

My World Series picks, the Giants vs the Jays will go down as absurd… My MVP choices of Harper and Trout? Trout wound up having a great season but did so for a team well under .500 most of the season. Harper? He spent lots of time on the DL. Lots of time getting drilled by opposing pitchers and lots of time counting the days until Davey Johnson’s retirement.  Whiffed on those picks too…  My playoff predictions that had the Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays, Twins, and Rangers in the AL to go along with the Giants, Nats, PhilliesRockies and Brewers from the NL? Well, you almost have to try to be so inept as I was/am.

Bryce Harper
Davey hates my hair.

Hank scored on almost all of his picks. When he told me that the Mets would go down to the wire with the Phils, I assumed the Mets would push 90 wins. A better record than the Angels? The Blue Jays? Even the Giants?! Hank nailed it. He hit on every pick that day back in Boca.  How does he do it? How could he be so sharp, so prescient, so clairvoyant?  How could he be so locked in? How could I have gotten in touch with the 249th Street Boys?  And what’s more, he even gave me a couple of predictions for the NFL season. Hank knows what a NY Football Giants fan I am, so he reassured me back in the summer that though the year may be bumpy,  I shouldn’t worry. He said the Jints would be every bit as good as the Steelers, A.P. and the Vikes, and even the up-and-coming Bucs.

Where was Sid Rosenberg when I needed him?

Someone that always looks back in anger – Angry Ward – tomorrow.

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About Fake Sandy Alderson 175 Articles
Big Al Sternberg/Fake Sandy Alderson is from a not-so-nice part of Queens. But through grit and elbow-grease finds himself living on Long Island with his bride and twin 12-year-old sons. He is a sports encyclopedia... and a loose cannon. In fact, Michael Baron of Metsblog.com blocked him on Twitter. You can find The Blocked One's Tweets here: @AldersonFake