As February approaches, fans await the two most heartwarming offseason trivialities that mean baseball season is pending. First, the truck leaves!! Second, we have the (poosibly too early) Somethingth Annual Notin Baseball Predictions!! A tradition that dates all the way back to, well, maybe 2008 or 2009? Not really sure. Go look it up and get off my back about it.
And who better that to clue you in to what the future holds than the Reigning Champion of the BDC Fantasy Baseball League! Assuming "champion" means coming in eleventh place out of eighteen teams, of course.
The legal department at Notin Industries has advised me to tell you these are for entertainment purposes only, and any attempt to use them as a gambling tool in Las Vegas is not only remarkably ill-advised, but losses are not the responsibility of the originator. If you win, he does get a cut, however.
And now, on with the predictions!
1.Tampa Bay Rays. An awkward moment occurs early in the Tampa clubhouse when newly acquired teammates Roberto Hernandez, formerly Fausto Carmona, and Juan Carlos Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, sit through most of Joe Maddon's seminar on stealing before both simultaneously realize it has nothing to do with identities.
Bonus Tampa Joke: With both Hernandez and Oviedo on the roster, North Carolina truth in advertising laws require Tampa affiliate Durham Bulls to add the word "hitters" to the end of the team moniker.
2.Toronto Blue Jays. GM Alex Anthopolous traded away 5 of his top ten prospects, emphasizing his new "future is now" strategy. In an Einsteinian contradiction, the future becomes now, now becomes the past, and the past becomes the future, causing entire team to implode in a logically anachronistic supernova.
3.New York Yankees. As yet another PED scandal tatters his career, dethroned star Alex Rodriguez finally decides it is time to take action and emulate another fallen icon in Lance Armstrong, and he immediately starts dating Sheryl Crow.
4.Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles look to improve on last year's surprising Wild Card season with the big offseason additions of Jair Jurrjens and Alexi Casilla. Because we all knew the missing ingredients were a hitter with a .603OPS and a pitcher with a 6.89ERA.
5.Boston Red Sox. Not that I really think they will end up here, but every season they do finish lower than I predict. So If I do this, I figure they either will either wrap around to the top of the AL East, or drop down and win the AL Central.
1.Detroit Tigers. One can only hope Tiger radio and television announcers can work the name of left fielder Andy Dirks into every call. As in "Cabrera swings! Andy Dirks one out to deep center field!!"
2.Chicago White Sox. In business, Lawrence Peter developed the Peter Principle, which effectively states people are promoted to higher levels of management directly proportional to their level of incompetence. The MLB equivalent is the Kenny Williams Principle.
3.Kansas City Royals. After years of starting beanball brawls and struggling through losing seasons for a team loaded with top prospects and hope for a brighter future, newly acquired RHP James Shields reflects upon his current situation and changes his nickname from Big Game James to Big Karma James.
4.Cleveland Indians. One can only hope Francona learned from the past, and the Chicken and Beer fiasco is not repeated in his new clubhouse with the more volatile staples of Cleveland cuisine, including kielbasa, corned beef, and stuffed cabbage.
5.Minnesota Twins. And the scary thing is, one of these guys gets to be an All Star.
1.Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels appear to have a set lineup with solid regulars capable of playing every day at every position. Frustrated serial tinkerer Mike Scioscia resigns in anger.
2.Oakland Athletics. Bartolo Colon will be returning this year. His last 4 teams included the Red Sox, whom he quit on. Then the White Sox, where he ran away and disappeared. The Yankees, where he was surrounded by allegations of blood doping. And finally the Atheltics, where he was suspended for 50 games for failing a PED test. Now how bad can unemployment be in this country if this guy keeps finding work?!!?
3.Seattle Mariners. I simply cannot ever pick the Mariners to win anything, for the sole reason that their mascot is a moose. What does a moose have to do with a Mariner? Wouldn’t a more appropriate choice be an albatross? Or at least Chone Figgins?
4.Texas Rangers. After an off season loaded with inquiries about shortstop Elvis Andrus, GM Jon Daniels reportedly announces he would only make the deal if he received a "Teixeira type package." This apparently means Andrus would only be dealt for a package that includes Andrus plus top prospects.
5.Houston Astros. Switching to the American League will offer nothing in the way of improvement. Next season, the Astros will try the Pacific Coast League.
1.Washington Nationals. After last season's controversial cap of 159 innings for star hurler Stephen Strasburg, team officials vow to extend his limit to 160.
2.Atlanta Braves. After a rough season in AAA, top prospect RHP Julio Teheran figures to drop significantly in n the Baseball America poll after being ranked at 5 in each of the previous two seasons. This is good news for the Braves, because if Teheran spends any more time in the top ten, he would be legally reclassified as a Beatles song.
3.Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies attempt to plug a huge hole in their outfield with Delmon Young. It would have to be a huge hole to fit the 300 plus pound Young.
4.New York Mets. Who will have more meaningful hits? The Mets' outfield? Or the band "The Outfield"?
5.Miami Marlins. The breakup off the Marlins becomes official once Taylor Swift debuts a new song about them.
1.Cincinnati Reds. Fascination with uber-fast prospect Billy Hamilton is short-lived, as he is lost for the season after his first plate appearance when he hits a line drive up the middle and it strikes him on the head as he rounds second base.
2.St. Louis Cardinals. Attempts to improve roster midseason are rebuffed as GM Jon Mozeliak puts together a package for Giancarlo Stanton, only to be told by Marlins president Larry Beinfest that any team acquiring Stanton also has to take owner Jeff Loria.
3.Milwaukee Brewers. As the Milwaukee offseason has been slow, GM Doug Melvin needs to invest heavily in pitching and is rumored to be interested in Kyle Lohse. This move is guaranteed to pay off, as Melvin can buy in on Lohse when his ERA is 2.86 and it is sure to go up to 4.50.
4.Pittsburgh Pirates. Starting right fielder Travis Snider finally decides to drop his nickname "The Franchise." After all, who wants to be the Pittsburgh Pirates?
5.Chicago Cubs. In an effort to make the punishment fit the crime, closer Carlos Marmol will spend the 2013 season trotting out to the mound to the Benny Hill theme.
1.Los Angeles Dodgers. Remember when Ned Colletti acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, citing that with a weak free agent class, the team would not be active in free agency as it presented so little opportunity to improve? Neither does he.
2.San Francisco Giants. Defending champions immediate future looks brighter with midseason acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton. However the long term future looks bleaker with midseason acquisition of Jeff Loria.
3.Arizona Diamondbacks. Let’s recap. Towers dealt starting centerfielder Chris Young for dethroned closer Heath Bell. He then dealt top prospect Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius. And then he dealt franchise player Justin Upton for Martin Prado and some Atlanta farm surplus. This guy is easier to fool on the phone than Manti Te'o!
Bonus Manti Te'o Joke: During the NFL draft press conference, Te'o announces he has decided to put the girlfriend travesty behind him and dedicate his NFL rookie season to a long lost cousin who died in an accident in a Nigerian diamond mine.
4.San Diego Padres. Not to harp on their mascot, but aren’t team names supposed to be intimidating and strike fear into opposition? Does anyone ever scream"Oh no!! Not PRIESTS!!"? What were the losers in this brainstorming session? The San Diego Accountants? The San Diego Dead Fish? The San Diego Pile of Oily Rags in the Corner of the Garage that Constitute a Fire Hazard?
5.Colorado Rockies. It is a well-known fact that the most annoying walk-up music in baseball perennially belongs to Troy Tulowitzki, who has used songs by Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. In an effort to dethrone his teammate from the title, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will change his walk up music to "Cotton Eyed Joe."
AL Wild Cards: Chicago, Toronto
NL Wild Cards: San Francisco, Atlanta
AL Champion: Tampa
NL Champion: Cincinnati
World Series Champion: Cincinnati Reds
The controversial awards section, with standard recurring and rather boring rule of Red Sox players being ineligible.
AL MVP: Evan Longoria
NL MVP: Justin Upton
AL Cy Young: Jered Weaver
NL Cy Young: Matt Cain
AL Rookie of the Year: Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland
NL Rookie of the Year: Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado