I have good news. I did a test run of the Phillies home opener on MLB The Show 2K11 and we won 4-0. Roy Halladay butchered the lineup. Ryan Howard doubled in two runs. Charlie Manuel had a good-natured guffaw.
I mean, yeah, Chase Utley was in the lineup. And so was Dom Brown. Also we were playing the Orioles at night under clear skies in Baltimore. And the Phillies were for some reason wearing their spring training hats, home jerseys, and throwback pants. Mainly, what it will have in common with today’s contest is that the Phillies were playing and I was watching it, repeatedly furious over the smallest thing.
Here’s your obligatory things that are not going to be the truth and we’ll all have a good laugh at in a few months, or in some cases, two hours.Anyways, the season begins in a second or two, and you haven’t even read my predictions yet. The hell’s your problem. The Phillies have finally slapped together a roster, and Charlie squinted at it long enough that it became a lineup, so we seem to be ready to go.
Sports Illustrated picked the Phillies over the Braves, citing all of their current problems, and claiming they were still a good pick even things went even more wrong. So I just want to make it clear that I think that is just tits-up foolhardy. The Phillies can survive; or they can just bleed out until September, then scoop all their blood back in and make an insane dash to the finish line. Wilson Valdez can hang out for a bit, and it can’t hurt the rotation to be leaned on from time to time; that’s what they’re there for.
Like I’d really pick against the Phillies anyway. We have sort of a Phillies “theme” around here.
Oh, NL Central; with your too many teams and your Pirates. You instinctively kick the Bucs about of bed, and the Astros are right behind them. You fondle the Cards, but lose interest. You blow on the Cubs’ ear and get no response. You wander if the Reds are up for it again so soon. And you assume the Brewers armed themselves with the most protection so they’re probably the safest bet, even if their fumbling to get things going.
Look, we were all watching last night. That’s the beauty of making predictions after some of the games have already been played. We all saw Buster Posey inexplicably throw down to first way, way after the fact. We all saw his throw dribble into left field and Panda collide with Shawn Kemp on his way to not get it in time. As long as we don’t watch any other Giants baseball for the rest of the season, we can safely assume that the World Series championship has gotten to them, and they will begin to slowly crumble until they are nothing but a humiliating shell of their former selves.
And yet I’ve still picked them to finish second. And I know the Dodgers should be solid again, but
NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki
NL Rookie of the Year: Freddie Freeman
NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson
Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “The Orioles in second. What a sane thing to suggest,” and then quietly reach for the phone to call someone to come and take my kids away from me. Well, the joke’s on you! Those kids I’m always talking about on here? They don’t exist! Ha! That’s just how I refer to a collection of Phanatic dolls I’ve stolen from actual children.
Now that we’ve proven my sanity, I’ll defend myself thusly: Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Orioles finished in second? I mean, having people on their team that I’ve heard of is the same thing as having a good team. And the rest of the holes are filled in by all those guys who were supposed to be great 5 – almost 10 years ago. Sure, the collective age of the pitching rotation barely makes them able to rent porn [EDITOR'S NOTE: Who "rents porn?" Do you think its 1995?] but let’s assume the pitching is enough to keep them competitive and Buck blackmails everybody/walls members of their immediate family into a mausoleum or whatever he did last year to bring on that turnaround. It could happen! In a few years! I don’t have that kind of patience, though. So I want it now.
And if you don’t believe that, then let’s just say this is a social experiment to prove how ridiculous predictions are. Steve Berthiaume picked the Astros to win the NL Central, and we don’t even go to the same opium den.
- Red Sox
- Blue Jays
You may have noticed the Royals aren’t in last place. Apparently, I expect this to be the year that everything changes. Except for the Phillies. And… Twins.
- White Sox
When you overload a pistol, it explodes in your hands. Let’s hope the same doesn’t go for a baseball team, because the Rangers, like the Phillies, have heavily layered one portion of their roster while watching another slowly wither. Only in their case, the offense is electroshocked with hitters, and the pitching staff is anchored by C.J. Wilson, whose most noticeable trait is that he is not Cliff Lee.
I love it when the A’s succeed, but… they won’t, too much. So Rangers it is, because they’re not starting Dallas Braden on opening day. Whom I forgot about.
AL MVP: Joe Mauer.
AL Rookie of the Year: Michael Pineda. Wouldn’t it be fun to have two starting pitchers in Seattle?
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander