The Cold Takes First Annual Intentionally Wrong Predictions
by Patrick Dubuque
The baseball season has crested the horizon like a Sunlight Dome in a Bradbury short story, and with it comes its close family relation, prediction season. I’ve already made my real predictions for FanGraphs, meaning I spent fifteen minutes thinking of ways to not bet on the field in every single possible race without looking dumb enough for them to kick me out. (Clayton Kershaw, back-to-back MVP!)
Following the real predictions are often the bold predictions, the ones that no one expects to come true but are feasible enough to warrant consideration and surprising enough to amuse. I like those. Because no one actually cares how well anyone predicts anything; no one keeps score, except ourselves if we haven’t forgotten by the end. (Everyone does.) But every once in a while, someone pulls a Mike Blowers and calls for something extraordinarily goofy and rare, and that thing actually does happen. And when it does, we don’t bow down to Mike Blowers as a sun god or anything, but we are all momentarily amused and pleased, as if to pretend that sheer coincidence does, in fact, have a face, and that it’s capable of smiling. It’s nice.
So this got me thinking: how many intentionally bad predictions would you have to make before it became likely that one of them, by chance alone, was right? What about, say, twenty-six?
We’ll find out, in six months. Well, I will. If I haven’t forgotten by the end.
AL East: New York Yankees (this is probably actually the hardest one)
AL Central: Minnesota Twins
AL West: Texas Rangers
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds
NL West: Colorado Rockies
AL Champion: Minnesota Twins
NL Champion: Colorado Rockies
MLB Champion: Colorado Rockies
AL MVP: Kendrys Morales, DH, Kansas City
AL CY: Joe Nathan, RP, Detroit
AL ROY: Raisel Iglesias, SP, Cincinnati
NL MVP: Ryan Howard, DH, Philadelphia
NL CY: Kyle Kendrick, SP, Colorado
NL ROY: Rymer Liriano, OF, San Diego
AL Manager: AJ Hinch, Houston
AL Comeback POTY: Stephen Drew, New York
NL Manager: Chip Hale, Arizona
NL Comeback POTY: Rafael Soriano, currently unsigned
First major-leaguer to be busted for steroids in 2015: Endy Chavez
Somehow on a major league roster for the entire month of April: Endy Chavez
1. John Baker, journeyman catcher, is the first player to be traded five times in a single season. Due to his travel costs, he also becomes the first player in modern history to lose money playing baseball.
2. Due to construction issues, lawsuits and eventual indifference, the Wrigley bleachers are never completed. They are left, half-built and rusting, as a testament to man’s folly.
3. In a protest over an announcement that the pitch clock is coming to the majors in 2016, David Price makes sixteen consecutive pickoff moves in a game in September, and is ejected.
4. A new, Bash Brothers-level high-five substitute is invented, and sweeps throughout the game.
5. Brandon Webb gets a miracle surgery to repair his rotator cuff and returns, triumphant, to baseball at the age of 36. (Note: Brandon Webb is only 36.) He pitches twenty innings of middle relief and the world is so, so much happier. They name the surgery after him.
I hope I’m right about every single one of these. Except maybe the John Baker one; he seems like a nice guy.