October 4, 2012

So, what happened this MLB season?

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

I’ve got to admit, I haven’t been paying nearly as much attention to baseball this summer as I usually do.

What was different in this year than last? Well, quite a few things actually. There was:

-A trip to Europe, where nobody cares about baseball at all and it’s nearly impossible to find a score in the paper.

-Euro 2012. I’m a much bigger soccer fan than baseball, so the second biggest international tournament was surely at the top of my sports priority list.

-The Olympics, which were essentially a sporting black hole in the middle of August, when most baseball teams were either gaining steam or slowly falling out of the race.

-The NFL wasn’t locked out. That meant a lot more time obsessing over training camp instead of when the work stoppage would be settled.

-The Jays – my home team – were obliterated by injuries. First, having three starters get hurt for extended periods in a four-game stretch, then seeing the offence fall apart after Jose Bautista was hurt.

-The Red Sox were all over the news, which I can’t stand. There’s nothing worse than hearing Bostonians complain about their plight after winning two recent World Series.

So what did we end up with? An amazing final few days where we saw some unlikely teams make the post-season, a pre-season contender that didn’t and a guy win the first Triple Crown in 45 years. Oh, and we could see a knuckleballer win the Cy Young. And the Mets had a no-hitter!

Pretty incredible, right. I almost can’t believe that I wasn’t watching.

But that’s baseball’s biggest problem. The season is incredibly long, stretching almost six months and 162 games. And running through summer, the nicest time of the year outdoors, when you don’t want to be sitting around watching three-plus hour games.

Anyways, I figured before doling out some predictions for who will win their playoff series (on Saturday, because let’s face it, the wild-card games will be essentially coin flips), we might as well look back at what I got right and wrong way back in March.

The rights: Jose Bautista won’t lead the league in HRs, Brett Lawrie won’t match his 2011 numbers, Michael Pineda will disappoint. Also, I had the Yanks, tigers and Rangers all making the playoffs in the AL and the Reds and Giants in the NL. I’m actually most proud of picking the White Sox, Reds, Pirates and Nationals to surprise.

I did also say the Yankees would win 100 games, which is technically wrong, but they did have the best record in the AL and the second best in the majors.

The wrongs: Adrian Gonzalez as MVP – ugh. The Red Sox, Marlins and D-Backs in the playoffs – ouch. Ryan Braun sucking after the PED scare – nope. Atlanta a disappointing team – not after winning the wild card.

We can’t be right about everything, right?

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