Winners! Losers! Awards! Your 2010 predictions, guaranteed correct or your money back

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Opening Day.jpg

Never make predictions, especially about the future.

— Casey Stengel

That’s some great advice, Casey, but it’s Opening Day, we’re all happy and giddy and optimistic and everything, so let’s moot the entire season right now by telling you everything that’s going to happen.  As the headline says, 100% correct or your money back.

THE DIVISION RACES

If you’ve been following the Springtime Storylines you already know what I think is going to happen in all the races this year, but let’s put them all down in one place so that they’ll be easier to find this October when you’re all ready to congratulate me for my shocking prescience. Links go to the full-blown team preview.

AL East: Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays
AL Central: Twins, Tigers, White Sox, Royals, Indians
AL West: Angels, Rangers, Mariners, Athletics

NL East: Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Mets, Nationals
NL Central: Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, Cubs, Astros, Pirates
NL West: Rockies, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres

Predicting the playoffs is a fool’s errand because approximately 3,252 things are going to happen between now and October that will impact all that, but why not?

  • Yankees beat the Twins and the Rays beat the Angels in the ALDS
  • Yankees beat the Rays in the ALCS
  • Braves beat the Cardinals and the Rockies beat the Phillies in the NLDS
  • Rockies beat the Braves in the NLCS
  • Yankees beat the Rockies in the World Series

Oh, stop your complaining. It’s not like you know any better.

AWARDS

AL MVP: Kendry Morales. I can’t say why other than to say that no one on the Yankees or Rays will get credit for a great year because it’ll be viewed as a total team effort and because writers will only vote for Mauer and Morneau so many times.

NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki, partially because he’s awesome, partially because Pujols fatigue will cause voters to search for other candidates despite the fact he’s still the best player in baseball.

AL Cy Young:  CC Sabathia because, despite the fact that Greinke will pitch better than him, the writers won’t want to give another 16 game winner the Cy Young. And no, last night’s game won’t matter in all of this, so just cut it out.

NL Cy Young:  Roy Halladay, who will simply abuse the NL this year.

AL Rookie of the Year:  Austin Jackson, not because he’s better than all the other rookies, but because he’ll have a lot more plate appearances and will compile some respectable numbers.

NL Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward. We are all witnesses.

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, for managing an insanely talented team whose talent people won’t fully acknowledge past a flawed Red Sox team that no one will admit is flawed.

NL Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox. Part retirement gift, part legitimate for passing the Phillies, who everyone on the planet except me is picking to win the East.

So that’s that. As Johnny liked to say in the World Series threads last fall: MARK IT DOWN!!

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
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In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.