Archive for the ‘ Re-View of the Preview ’ Category

Re-view of the Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

First of all, here (http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com/2011/04/15/milwaukee-brewers-offseason-recap-and-preview/) is the entry.

Predicted Record: 85-90 wins
Actual Record: 96-66

I really thought that the Brewers lost enough talent to hinder their progress made in the acquisitions. What I didn’t account for is the progress their players would make. Both Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun were better than they were in 2010. I don’t know how much better the numbers were, but they were both MVP candidates while none was in 2010.

I think that most of the reason is that I got this prediction so wrong (which wasn’t that wrong, relatively speaking) is becauseI was stuck on how many net wins I thought they had added. Actually, if you go by the net wins last offseason, I might have actually been a little optimistic, because they lost so many player last season. Sure, they weren’t top-of-the-line players, but they were mostly above average, and not players you are dying to get rid of.

All in all, I made a good intellectual decision, but if you followed this team, there was something magical about this team. Some were put off by how they expressed it, but they had some true synergy, which is why I picked them for the World Series once the Phillies got knocked out. I think that they would have appeared there too, if they hadn’t run into a team that was a little more magical.

I visited Milwaukee in August, and I can’t think of a better, louder environment than I was in. I think the fans could feel how special this team was, too. I’ve always kinda of liked the Brewers, and I’m disappointed what has happened to them with the loss of Fielder, and the probable loss of Braun.

Re-view of the Preview: Saint Louis Cardinals

First off, here, is the link to the initial entry.

Predicted Record: 80-85 wins

Actual Record: 90-72

I actually wrote this entry a little after Adam Wainwright went down to Tommy John Surgery. So, had I written the entry in early March, I probably would have been almost right on. Even though I made a small deal about him going down in the entry, I was slightly doubting my decision to do so. Just the previous season, Wainwright was one of the top 5 pitchers in the National League, if not all of baseball. I think the reason is that I didn’t react as much as I should have, is that the Cardinals had what I perceived to be a really good rotation other than Wainwright.

I think the obvious answer, for those who pay closer attention to Baseball, as to why the Cardinals did succeed like they did was Lance Berkman. They got a player they thought to be on a downward slope and ended up with a near MVP candidate. He wasn’t the NL Comeback Player of the Year for nothing. Personally, the Cardinals were one of the two top road teams I saw in 2011, if not the top road teams I saw, and Lance Berkman was the guy to hit a ball to me in Right Field of whatever stadium I was in.

All this said, the Cardinals were very lucky to make it into the playoffs. They were a below average team in the first half of the season, and had the Braves won two of their last 5, they wouldn’t have had the chance to make it into the playoffs. Also, although I congratulate them for winning and appreciate what a World Series they gave us, the Cardinals winning the World Series yet again with the lowest win total in the NL just goes to show why it is meaningless to win as many games as possible during the season when even the worst team can win the playoffs (World Series). Basically, that’s it.

Re-View of the Preview: Cincinnati Reds

First off, here, is the entry in question.

Predicted Record: 85-90 wins

Actual Record: 79-83

I really don’t know where to start with this entry. For whatever reason, I detailed the Reds losing talent at almost every position, yet I only downgraded them one win. In addition, I should have expected either a fluctuation up or down with this team because of their youth. I should have put this in the first entry as a provision in the first entry.

This is the only way I can explain being off by the amount I was off by. Other than that I really have nothing to say. I wish I did, I’m kind of disappointed by how short this entry is.

Re-View of the Preview: Washington Nationals

First of all, here, is the initial entry.

Predicted Record: 70-75 wins

Actual Record: 80-81

I actually thought this would be a stallish year for the Nationals waiting for both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper to come up. However, the Nationals had a surprisingly strong lineup. Whenever I was in the Outfield for their At-Bats, I was always confident that I could possibly get a ball hit to me within three hitters. Actually, Jayson Werth was one of the weaker parts of the lineup.

 

Also, I think part of the reason they improved so much was via the simple improvement on defense. Can anyone remember the years the Nationals were REALLY bad? It was almost hilarious some of the error they would make on defense to lose games. Their Pitching still has to improve in the rotation, but the virtual additon of Stephen Strasburg shouldn’t be that bad.

 

Another thing, the second most important addition I had for the Nationals last offseason didn’t even play for most of the season. I had Adam LaRoche being the second biggest impact player the Nationals acquired behind Jayson Werth. Of course, the Nationals eventual MVP for the year now plays at 1st Base: Michael Morse. However, if you don’t remember, I went to the Nationals’ last three home games this past season (the links are here, here, and here starting with the last game and going backwards. Also, for newer readers, I usually do take a bunch of pictures with the games I got to, but I lost all of the pictures for those three games. A better example of one of my entries for a game can be found: here.) and Michael Morse was being put in the Outfield. Yes it is definitely not his defensive strong suit, but I  think this is a sign that they expect to have him in the Outfield next season.

 

Anyway, the Nationals, I think we can agree, were a surprising team in 2011 and I did not predict they would do this well.

Re-View of the Preview: New York Mets

First off, here, is the initial entry.

Predicted Record: 65-70 wins

Actual Record: 77-85 wins

Ok, so maybe I was a bit too overreactive to the Mets. After all, they did have 79 wins in 2010 and I gave them a B- grade, which meant I saw it as a sucessful offseason. However, I did make my prediction on the notion that the Mets would be unloading both Carlos Beltran AND Jose Reyes. Yes, that Jose Reyes who had the highest WAR among BOTH leagues among this season’s Free-Agent class at somewhere in the 7 range. Also, the Mets played above my expectations in most other fields except pitching.

 

I really don’t have much of an explanation as to how. Why? As crazy as this may seem, I attended less games at Citi Field (13) this past season than I did the year before (15). It’s crazy, because in 2011 I attended 46 games whereas I attended only (I love being able to say that) 20 games total. The reason being that Citi Field just stresses me out in general. It really wasn’t a fun place for me any more for a variety of reasons. As a result, I tried to avoid it at all costs and go to Nationals Park instead. So, i really wasn’t able to get a good grip on what the Mets were, because if I don’t go to the games, last season I was just too busy between going to games, writing entries, doing community service, etc to do much else at all e.g. watch Baseball TV.

 

So, I really just fed off the sentiment of the rest of New York in this prediction. Everyone held the Mets as a laughing stock and I made a prediction amidst all of that. Thus, my prediction reflected the panic/mocking and I didn’t use my head as I did with most of the other entries. I think the Mets will be a…Wait, this isn’t the Offseason Recap and Review entry. I guess you’ll just have to wait until then to see what I think of the Mets’ 2012 season.

Re-view of Preview: Atlanta Braves

First off, here, is the entry horribly mangled by the transition to WordPress. It just happens that some pictures in certain entries appear as several in this particular entry appear as they were lost in the transition from Two Apart to WordPress.

 

Predicted Record: 91-96 wins

Actual Record: 89-73

 

This was pretty much right on because most of my prediction revolved around the acquisition of Dan Uggla, who was absolutely wretched compared to expectation this season. I mean, yes, he did have a 33 game hitting streak from the beginnings of July to the beginnings of April, but do you realize that despite that he had a .233 average for the season. This just shows how terrible his first half was that he could get at least 1 hit for 33 games straight and still not have an average above .250.

 

Imagine he actually hit his usual .260-.280. We would have a different World Series champion this year. It wouldn’t necessarily be the Braves, but they were the team the Cardinals beat out to get into the playoffs in the first place. Despite all of this, I still have no idea how the Braves didn’t make the playoffs. After the first game in their penultimate series against the Nationals (which I was at all three games of) the Braves magic number (number of their wins+ Cardinals losses to get into the playoffs) was 2 or 3. The weirder thing: a Nationals fan in the bleachers the second game was telling  a Braves fan that nothing would give him more joy than to keep them from the playoffs, which looked like a fantasy at that point.

 

Anyway, I pretty much nailed the Braves if Dan Uggla would have played up to expectations.

Re-view of the Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

First of all, here, is the link to the initial entry.

 

Predicted record: 94-99 wins

Actual Record: 102-60

 

So I was 3 games off. I actually think that was pretty good. The only knock I have on my prediction is that their rotation actually was THAT good. I thought that someone was bound to have an off year and their rotation would be a little less spectacular, but they did not fail to disappoint. Even when a starter was injured, they had a hidden starter in the rotation in Vance Worley.

 

I will stand by my statement, though, that the Phillies’ lineup was nothing spectacular like the years previous when it was hailed as: “the only American League lineup in the National League”. Other than this, I really have nothing to say about my prediction but that I did underestimate the Phillies even with what I thought were pretty high expectations. I did predict they would be in the playoffs and I apologize. I think I am going to stop predicting the playoffs, because I am from the school of thought that the playoffs are very much luck dictated and the Regular Season is what shows the true best team. I’m not saying that the playoffs are bogus, but there should be no way that the Cardinals should have beaten the Phillies given their respective records. The playoffs do provide great entertainment value (just look at this past season), but it is not the best team that always wins the World Series. The worse team of any given match-up has a reasonable chance of beating the better team no matter the discrepancy.

 

Anyway, I underestimated them a little, but I did get the Phillies’ prediction mostly right.

Re-view of the Preview: Baltimore Orioles

First off, here, is the link to the entry where I didn’t get carried away in the (at the time I wrote the entry) magic of the “Buck Show”.

Predicted Record: 70-75 wins

Actual Record: 69-93

Yes , I did give the Orioles an A+. Yes, I did only increase their win total by 4-9 games.Let me explainthe logic. The Orioles were on their way to at least an 100 loss season before Buck Showalter stepped in as manager. I knew that Buck was agreat manager, but I also knew he couldn’t keep winning at the level he was at the end of the 2010 season, because he had never done so with a team of the skill level of the Orioles. Therefore, I lowered their record of last season by 5 games to 61-101, gave the Orioles 3 of those wins back for the buck factor, to raise their record to 64-98,  then examined the net wins added on by their acquisitions and came to the decision that they were a 70-75 win team. Certain players’ undeperformances (Cough, cough, Kevin Gregg, cough, cough) then lead to their underachieving my expectations for them this year and fall just below the record range I predicted for them.

 

I still stand by my point that the Orioles helped their potential win total last season more than the Red Sox did. Case in point, what match-up ended the Red Sox’s season? The Red Sox may have boosted their potential win total for next year or the years afterward, but the Orioles are much better than they would have been had last offseason never happened. I certainly stand by my point now more than ever when I say that the Orioles *need* starting pitching to win even more games. I was in Baltimore for only three games and I could tell that this was the case.

 

Again, not a totally correct prediction, but I did very accurately predict how well the Orioles did in 2011.

Re-view of the Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Here, is my entry analyzing  the Blue Jays’ 2010-11 offseason and predicting their 2011 season’s successes.

Predicted record: 77-82 wins

Actual Record: 81-81

 

Some how someway I predicted the Blue Jays’ 2011 pretty accurately. Let me explain my relationship with the Blue Jays: I do admire them as a team, but because of the circumstances (distance and the TV situations this creates), I pay attention to them probably the least out of the teams in the AL East with the Rays a close second.

 

Truth be told, I have little to no idea how the Blue Jays won their games. The extent of this knowledge is propbably that Jose Bautista was really hot in the first half and ended up with 50-some odd HRs.

 

I can’t really tell you how, but I was right in predicting the Blue Jays’ season even if I did pay less attention to them than I normally do in most seasons. Although, I do stick with my prediction of them getting better in the next few years as a result of Alex Anthropoulos, as he has demonsrtated his above-average ability to piece together what seem to be great trades (you can’t really evaluate any trade until all of the players in the trade leave the respective teams they were traded to).

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.

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