Wayyyy back in spring training ESPN released its’ annual spring training predictions for the then upcoming 2011 MLB season. Needless to say, I bookmarked them for a reason.
45 out of 45 found the Red Sox wining the AL East, 39 of those having them going to the World Series and a full 31 of those found the Red Sux winning it all.
Those complete airballs were not the only ones that were way off, however. A full 12 had the Yankees completely missing the playoffs, two dozen or so had the Reds winning the NL Central and a half dozen or so did their best imitation of the dog from “Up!”, with the Oakland A‘s serving as this years “squirrel!”.
I guess they just said “hrm, pretty damn good pitching and absolutely putrid offense…hey, they remind me of the Giants“.
But the single worst of these sets of predictions was phoned in by one David Schoenfield, of “the Sweet Spot” fame.
On a side note, it must be the blog. The previous occupant, Rob Neyer, wrote some of the worst pieces in the history of baseball in my humble opinion. More often than not he just found some obscure piece on the net, tossed in two paragraphs of bad analysis and called it a day.
This is what Mr. Schoenfield came up with this past spring (with my commentary in red):
AL East: Red Sox (Yeah, um, guess not. Not bad choice, but seriously? EVERY ONE of you chose them?)
AL Central: White Sox (Not my first choice, but division was wide open. I still would have chosen Detroit over them any day of the week)
AL West: Rangers (You got one right! Yay you!)
AL Wild Card: A’s (Ok, step away from the crack pipe)
AL Champion: Red Sox (El oh el…maybe next year.)
NL East: Braves (They were NEVER better than Phillies in any phase of the game)
NL Central: Reds (Yeah, they underachieved. But they were luckiest team in baseball for 40 games last year so they were due for a big fall off)
NL West: Rockies (You couldn’t name one guy in their rotation at that time, could you?)
NL Wild Card: Giants (Cody Ross only had one soul to sell, buddy)
NL Champion: Braves (Did you wake up and think this was the mid-to-late 90’s?)
For those of you keeping score at home that is one out of eight playoff teams correctly chosen. One. Uno. Oh, did I mention that he had BOTH the Phillies and the Yankees completely missing the playoffs?
I know, I know hindsight is 20/20, but don’t gimme that s***. The A’s? The freakin’ A’s make it and the Yankees don’t? The Yanks have made the playoffs every year save one dating back to 1995. That year they saw both All-Star corner outfielders go down with injuries in April/May and not return until September AND saw their opening day rotation decimated with injures, starting a record 16 different guys that season.
And they STILL almost made it. They were not officially eliminated until only a week’s worth of games remained. You bet against them and you’re going to lose.
The Giants were going to make it, but somehow the Phillies weren’t? A team that has BETTER pitching AND an offense that is 87,541 times better was going to be the odd man out?
The Braves were going to win the NL East? See above. The Braves offense was anemic. Chipper is good, but never healthy. Heyward had some holes found in his swing mid-season 2010 and has never made the adjustments he needs to get back into form. McCann is only human and can only do so much.
Everyone knew this to be true. Well, everyone but you.
Yes, they were doing good until Jurrjens & Hanson went down, but you know what? They weren’t doing better than the Phils. Not even close. It was already becoming a runaway by the team from the City of Brotherly Love. Once those guys went down, the Braves were done.
More importantly, way back in March anyone who looked at the two rosters side by side saw a stacked in Philly and one full of talent & question marks in Atlanta. The only place the Braves were going to make it and the Phillies weren’t was in Bizzaro-universe.
This was just the single-worst collection of predictions one could have put together. No rhyme, no reason, and very much defying any & all logic.
Sorry Dave, you need to find another profession.