I told you so! The Yankees win the Series.
The World Series has just ended with the New York Yankees hoisting their 27th championship. Yours truly takes pride in having predicted it. Check out the “Sports’ archives--my only qualm about the team was whether the Yankees would stay healthy. They stayed healthy enough and were clearly the best team in Major League Baseball, despite what Phillies resident loud-mouth Jimmy Rollins thinks.
Overall I did much better than most of the baseball prognosticators, though I got badly sucker-punched by a few teams with greater hype than stats. Here’s a capsule of my crystal ball highlights and lowlights:
--Predicted a Yankees championship. Check.
--Said that people who denigrated Derek Jeter were nuts and that the Yankees infield was the best in MLB. Double check.
--Predicted that Theo Epstein’s Red Sox team depended upon too many question marks. I nailed concerns that neither John Smoltz nor Brad Penny would pan out and that Baldelli, Wakefield, and J. D. Drew were fragile. (When wasn't Drew fragile?) Also right on target re: Dice-K and Jason Varitek.
--Predicted a falloff by the Rays and speculated whether Scott Kazmir would ever emerge. No, he didn’t and now he’s gone.
--The Jays were only slightly better than I thought they’d be and the Orioles were even worse!
--Picked the Twins to win the AL Central, so ring the bell on that one. But I got totally flimflammed by the Indians, who I thought would make a run for the crown. Instead they imploded and dismantled. It will a long time before they contend again.
--Picked the Angels in the AL West—a no-brainer, really. I was also right that it’s a team that’s only good enough to win a lousy division.
--I was also hoodwinked by the Oakland As, whom I thought might challenge the Angels. Billy Beane has lost his magic.
--NL East: I picked the Phillies, so chalk up that one. But I also thought the Mets would finish second. Ouch!!! The Mets prove that money can not buy championships. Or even respectability.
--I was off on the Marlins, though not as much as it might seem. Subtract their 11-0 start and this team was just one game over .500 for the season. I pretty much got the Braves right.
--NL Central: When will I ever learn? Break out the Dumbo costume; I picked the Cubs. From now on I advocated they move the team to Missouri, the Show-Me state, before I ever again pick them. I had the Cardinals slotted for third, largely because I didn’t think the magnificent Chris Carpenter would make it back from injury.
--The Cubs weren’t my worst pick. I had the pathetic Diamondbacks slipping by in the NL West and had the Dodgers fourth because of bad pitching. Turns out I was right about the Dodgers’ staff; they barely held onto a huge lead. But the D-Backs were cellar-dwellers and a very, very boring team to boot (which most of their opponents did). How bad to do you have to be to finish below the Padres?
--I predicted the Nationals, Royals, and Pirates would stink, but who can take credit for that? They’re not even major league teams.
Four out of six division winners, plus the World Series champs. Not bad! I'm tempted to give myself an A- but will listen to arguments I should get marked down for the Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Mets.