Yes, it is that time of the year again: baseball season. In years past, I have used all manner of device to try to pick the “winners” for the baseball season and they have all ended in tears (except that one year I picked the Phillies to win the World Series … and they did! That was awesome).
So, here I am trying to make these wild accusations about most team’s performance, which will be mostly wrong. To make this more fun, I think I’ll compare each time to a U.S. president so you can get an idea what the level of success we might have, where the gold standard is Abraham Lincoln or FDR and the bottom of the barrel is, oh, I don’t know, Andrew Johnson?
We’ll start in the National League, shall we?
- Philadelphia Phillies: 93-69: Ronald Reagan – A president that made it seem that disaster was around every corner … yet somehow avoided it.
- Atlanta Braves: 90-72: Bill Clinton – Of course, it could just be the accent.
- Washington Nationals: 81-81: Harry Truman – Without Strasburg, everyone will be claiming Dewey wins.
- New York Mets: 79-83: George H.W. Bush – Strong legacy, no charisma.
- Florida Marlins: 70-92: Franklin Pierce – Unremarkable man who has a small public college named after him. Marlins won’t even get that.
- Chicago Cubs: 91-71: Andrew Jackson – It took a couple tries, but Ol’ Hickory made it to the White House.
- Cincinnati Reds: 89-73: Woodrow Wilson – I couldn’t find any president who removed arms like Dusty Baker, so Wilson’s League of Nations seemed close enough.
- Milwaukee Brewers: 87-75: Grover Cleveland – Good enough to win two non-consecutive terms, but not enough to be a great president.
- St. Louis Cardinals: 81-81: George W. Bush – Thrust into history, but ultimate not enough there to keep it together.
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 68-94: Gerald Ford – Couldn’t even beat Jimmy Carter.
- Houston Astros: 58-104: Chet Arthur – I’m guessing some sort of horrible scandal will come from the sale of the Astros. Chet would be proud.
- San Francisco Giants: 93-69: Thomas Jefferson – Is the whole Bonds thing like Jefferson owning slaves?
- Colorado Rockies: 90-72: Lyndon Johnson – You almost feel bad that no matter how good they are, no one really remembers your accomplishments.
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 85-78: William Howard Taft – Hey, the wheels didn’t come off the country, did they?
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 72-90: Calvin Coolidge – A whole lotta nothing, but it could be worse.
- San Diego Padres: 66-96: Richard Nixon – Not to say the first term was bad, but the second term is a disaster.
- Boston Red Sox: 97-65: Dwight Eisenhower – People seem to think that the Sox will be walking on water. Eep.
- New York Yankees: 93-69: U.S. Grant – He served two terms, was well loved but was mostly an old drunk.
- Tampa Bay Rays: 88-74: Teddy Roosevelt – 2011 might be the baseball equivalent of the Bull Moose years.
- Toronto Blue Jays: 78-84: Pierre Trudeau – I’ve probably offended every Canadian reading this, but he was the only Canadian PM I could remember.
- Baltimore Orioles: 70-92: Jimmy Carter – So much optimism with so little to be to really optimistic.
- Chicago White Sox: 90-72: John Adams – Ozzie might be the only MLB managers that could start an X, Y, Z affair via Twitter.
- Minnesota Twins: 86-76: James Monroe – Mostly so I could mention the Morneau Doctrine, which I think involves keeping Michael Cuddyer out of his locker.
- Cleveland Indians: 82-80: James K. Polk – Clearly, the darkhorse here, just like Polk.
- Detroit Tigers: 77-85: Martin Van Buren – He tried so hard to be President but never really got it right.
- Kansas City Royals: 72-90: Rutherford Hayes – Now, if ever there was a caretaker roster, it is your 2011 Royals. You’d be lucky to see 10% back for 2012-13.
- Texas Rangers: 95-67: James Madison – The War of 1812 might be like losing Cliff Lee, but it probably helped the country unify.
- Oakland A’s: 85-77: William McKinley – In which I suggest that Oakland provoke war with San Francisco in order to move to San Jose.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 82-80: Herbert Hoover – Things started off so promising from Mike Scioscia, but the Depression looms.
- Seattle Mariners: 68-94: Barack Obama: Last year, I picked the Mariners to win the AL West. I was high on the unbridled enthusiasm about their plan to cultivate defense and pitching to win games … and then they sucked like you wouldn’t imagine. Yeah, that about sums it up.
- Red Sox over White Sox
- Rangers over Yankees
NLDS (* COL wins tiebreaker over Atlanta)
- Philadelphia over Colorado*
- Chicago over San Francisco
- Boston over Texas
- Chicago over Philadelphia
- Boston over Chicago
- AL MVP: Dustin Pedroia (2B Boston) – Everyone says Adrian Gonzalez, so I’ll be different
- NL MVP: Carlos Gonzalez (OF Colorado)
- AL Cy Young: Jon Lester (SP Boston)
- NL Cy Young: Roy Oswalt (SP Philadelphia)
- AL Rookie of the Year: Hank Conger (C LAA) – This will only happen if they fire Scioscia, which they won’t.
- NL Rookie of the Year: Freddie Freeman (1B ATL)
Enjoy … !