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!!

Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph: “We suck”

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, Baltimore lost its 107th game last night, tying its 1988 mark for the most losses in Orioles history. They will certainly break that record and will almost certainly blast by the all-time franchise loss record of 111, set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. That team only played a 154-game schedule so the O’s likely won’t be the worst team in the franchise’s 118-season history by winning percentage, but it’ll be close enough.

Over at The Athletic Dan Connolly reports that one Oriole, catcher Caleb Joseph, is well aware of how bad the Orioles are and he is not mincing words about it:

“I’m not a loser. So, to be associated with that severity of losing is embarrassing. It’s shameful really . . . I don’t blame [fans] at all [for not attending games]. We suck.”

That last bit was in response to Matt Olson of the Athletics coming up to him before a recent game, noticing how many empty seats there were in Camden Yards and asking Joseph if it was always like that. Let that sink in: a player for the Oakland Athletics who, year after year, have some of the worst attendance in baseball, is shocked at how poorly Baltimore is drawing.

As for Joseph, he spends a lot of time talking about how the attitude is all wrong with the Orioles, how there does not seem to be any accountability and how things weren’t like that when he came up back when the Orioles were winning. Which, well, yeah.

Baseball players often attribute winning and losing to whatever attitude is prevailing around the clubhouse. Maybe that’s true on greatly underachieving teams or borderline teams that aren’t catching the breaks, but it seems far more likely that winning makes teams happy and instills camaraderie while losing makes teams sad and makes people look inward. Players tend to get the causation wrong about all of that because, I suspect, they don’t want to admit that they’re not as talented as the competition so it has to come down to some motivational or mental defect. Which, if that makes a player feel better, fine, but these O’s weren’t going to win many games even if they came in with smiles on their faces while singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” out of their rear ends every day. They just aren’t good.

Whatever you think of all of that, one thing is clear: the O’s need to clean house in a major, major way.