CHAVEZ RAVINE – Another holiday Monday for me, and it’s my favorite one… Opening Day!
It’s the time of year when lesser publications start publishing all sorts of predictions and prognostications and when I say lesser… I mean us! So here goes with our own official iron-clad, lock-of-the-shoe-in declarations of how this baseball season will go… here are our/my Rock Solid Baseball Predictions…
We’ll start off easy:
The Mets will win a game. It may not look promising after their somnabalistic shuffling through the spring and then picking up right where they left off by losing to the Kansas City Royals last night. Cespedes is giving notice that Yasiel Puig isn’t the only Cuban outfielder prone to crazy brain farts. Why they get today off I don’t really understand, but a few early off days to ease the pitchers back into shape will pay off later.
The Cubs will not win the NL title this year. They won’t even win the NL Central! Every year somebody seems to load up on whoever that winter’s sexy free agents were, and it rarely pans out. Because the Cubbies were thwarted – mainly by an unconscious Daniel Murphy at the worst possible time for them last year – they were already going to be favored before picking up Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist, so now they’ve all but already been crowned the champs this year. That’s the kiss of death, the kind that especially wreaks havoc on the inflated hopes of desperate fan bases, and there’s none more desperate in all of baseball (sorry, Mets fans), you’re pretty neurotic but even you have to give it up to the Cubs’ suffering). I’ll take the Pirates because they’ve got the fun vibe and I simply refuse to pick the Cardinals even if they brought back the Gashouse Gang (read this) and Ozzie Smith.
Too easy? How about this:
The Mets will win the NL East again! I just wanted to write that out loud to hear the collective gasp of you readers, for reasons listed above. They won’t score many runs, but it’ll be just enough to win a lot of close games. But what about the Nationals you say? It’s been “win now” there for a couple of fruitless years now, so I’ll believe it when I see it.
Tanaka is going to tank. Decreased velocity, no late break, elbow history, his saying he’s “in a good place” in life, there are more red flags than a Russian parade and I’m doubting he even finishes the season. Ivan “Champagne Super” Nova is getting back in that rotation one way or another.
CC Sabathia Comeback Player of the Year? Clean and lean, if not exactly mean, named the fifth starter of the Yanks’ rotation on Friday, Sabathia is 35, which makes him seven years the junior of Bartolo Colon, and it isn’t too far beyond the realm of probability that he’ll find a similar career trajectory. Yankee fans will welcome that, especially when Pineda inevitably gets hurt and they blow Severino’s arm out… but my vote goes for Chien Ming Wang, for simply still drawing breath. Chien Ming Wang! The last time I saw him was two months ago when I popped in my old MLB 2K7 for a lark. After a year out of baseball he’s earned a spot in the vaunted Royals’ bullpen.
Yes, Wang, it’s still a parking lot.