December 2011

Re-View of the Preview: Boston Red Sox

Let’s start off with the link to the initial entry, here.

 

Predicted record: 94-99 wins

Actual Record: 90-72

 

This is yet another one of those teams that really confused me when it came to this season. However, as you can see by the margin in records, they didn’t completely fool me. For example, Adrian Gonzalez didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but he was in a ballpark range of what I predicted (click the link to the original entry at the top of this entry to find out what said expectations were). Then there were players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford who completely defied my expectations for them.

 

The result of these unpredictable swings being, the Red Sox underachieving a bit and not getting into the playoffs, leading to a mass leadership upturning this past offseason. However, I DID predict that the rotation of the Red Sox was not the unstoppable force people were predicting it to be, I’m not saying I knew they were eating chicken, but the pitchers in their rotation did not make it great by any means.

 

So that is that. I sort off predicted what the Red Sox were going to do in 2011, even if I was off by a few wins like most people.

Re-view of the Preview: New York Yankees

First of all, here, is the link to the initial entry for all of your viewing pleasure.

 

Predicted record: 87-92 wins

 

Actual Record: 97- 65

 

I know it does look like I got them wrong, but if you read the actual entry, you will see that NO ONE had the Yankees close to what my prediction was. I am not exaggerating when I say that New York sports fans hyperbolize -*EVERYTHING!!!*- (sorry, couldn’t resist using that joke). Seriously, though, I heard people speculating they would be in third or fourth place in the division. It was to the Yankees’ credit, though that they resisted the temptation to make their usual Mega-star signing of the offseason and opting to sign Rafael Soriano instead, which I still don’t understand. Instead they went a more Ray-esque route of signing undervalued place holders and winning through their ab-par performance. As in, who could have expected both Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to be viable starting options for the highest payroll in baseball.

 

My main point in the enty was to point out that the Yankees weren’t going down the tube, but instead, the Yankees were going to maintain their same general level of play and have a chance at making the playoffs in September. In this respect, I was right in the spirit of  my words. In the extent to which they accomplished this I was a bit off.

 

On more thing I would just like to explain about the Yankees is that their high payroll does not mean that their Front Office is dumb and a s a result inefficient. The reason that they spend so much and don’t ever try and be patient and make smarter signings is that the Yankees always have the money to spend a lot in the offseason, and, unlike almost any other team, there is a pressure to win Every. Single. Year. So, because of the the overreactive tenency of Yankee fans, the Yankees must spend every year and not back off for a year or two and be smarter about how they use their money.

 

Overall, I was a bit off on the Yankees, but I was a lot closer to the reality than the public perception was.

Re-view of the Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

Never mind what I said about my worst predictions being in the AL Central. Here is the link to the horrible prediction in form of entry.

 

Predicted Record: 65-70 wins

Actual Record: 91-71

 

So… at best I was 21 games off with this prediction. I still don’t know how the Rays did this. I don’t know if I mentioned this in the entry of my 100th ball game at Tropicana Field, but they have a “pump-up” segment before each game that is a highlight reel for the Rays that begins with the showing of the quote “Luck is the residue of opportunity and design.”- Branch Rickey. Well, they certainly explicated the quote throughout the year. I didn’t closely follow the Rays during the season, but one example of the Rays winning games through smart moves was the acquisition of Casey Kotchman. That said, it doesn’t make sense that they won the number of games that they did.

My main point in the entry was that they lost most of their relief pitching and I honestly don’t know how they made up for the pitchers they lost. I have seen the roster, but they lost some quality pitchers out of that bullpen. I think I compared the Rays of 2011 to the Rays of 2007, or whenever the year they were in last place was. This was mostly out of comparing the bullpens and offenses. The thing I didn’t account for was the new Rays ownership, who has really made a difference. On a side note, I am and have been reading The Extra 2% for a while (just because I have been really busy and have like 10 baseball books in front of it), but from what I can tell, it is going to be a really good book and shows why the Rays have been winning, because of the attention to detail.

 

I apologize to the Rays for grossly under-estimating them.

Re-view of the Preview: Kansas City Royals

First of all, here is the link to the first entry. By the way, I always put the link to the previous entry on the word “here” just because it would be tougher to link a whole phrase of words.

 

Predicted record: 68-73 wins

Actual record: 71-91

 

This prediction I pretty much got right, which in the AL Central is the equivalent of throwing a strike to the Home Plate at Yankee Stadium from the upper deck. I didn’t really get the prediction right, though, as to how exactly the Royals would win their games. I really predicted, because it was mostly an entry on the offseason moves, that the Royals would win their games through all  of their newly acquired pitching. However, I failed to look at what they already had on their team. The Royals offense, was their main asset.

 

I failed to see their offensive potential, because they really didn’t have much. The main reasons the Royals succeeded so were: Billy Butler doing what he always does, Alex Gordon finally living up to some of the hype, and Eric Hosmer coming up and helping. There were other people, but these were the main reasons, as far as I can tell from what I watch of the Royals during a typical baseball season (I really don’t watch them much at all).

 

Whatever the case, I’m glad that I’m starting to go to the AL East in this series of entries where I (hopefully) did better on my predictions than I did in the AL Central. This was just brutal. I truly messed up on these.

 

The first entry in the AL East will be the Red Sox, I believe. Maybe not. I can’t remember if I did it in order of the last season’s record or of the predicted record. If it was the former case, it will be the Rays that come first.

Re-view of the preview: Cleveland Indians

First off, here is the original entry detailing the Indians 2010 season, their offseason, and predictions for their 2011 season, which is now over.

 

If you are new to the “Re-view of the preview” entries, they are entries looking back at a series of entries I did last season called “Offseason Recap and Preview”, which were entries that examined teams’ free agent signings and trades during last offseason. I then went on to predict how the moves would affect the respective teams and their records for the 2011 season. First, I attach a link to the initial entry as you saw above. Then I go into how well I actually predicted that team’s season now that the season is over and I can actually see the discrepancy in record.

 

Predicted record: 73-78 wins

 

Actual Record: 80-82

 

Although it may seem like the two records are pretty similar, I really underestimated the “Tribe” they started off really well and cooled off from then. When I saw them play in Chicago, I think it was the first time I really had a look at their entire lineup and I do believe their first half record was closer to the mean and their second half was a *bit* of bad luck and they could easily have won in the 84-ish range.

 

My mistake in looking at this team was that although they had a tough(er) 2010 season, they had some prominent players injured and the return of these players made them a better team than the net gain from their “Notable” additions and subtractions during the offseason would suggest. Their pitching pretty much stayed the same, if you ignore the addition of Ubaldo Jimenez.

 

Overall, I kind of, sort of pegged this team.

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