Sunday, October 01, 2006

Baseball 2006: wrap

Today is the last of the Major League Baseball season. For the Boston Red Sox their "hot stove" season began in August. My 2006 pre-season baseball picks can be found here. I did slightly better than last year. So here is this year's wrap-up. Let's see how I did:

New York Yankees … I picked the Boston Red Sox. Injuries and a lack of a rotation doomed the Sox in the second half of the season. Surprisingly, the Yankees have had pretty good pitching all year. From top to bottom they have a well-rounded line-up.

Minnesota Twins …I picked the Chicago White Sox. The Word Series Champions will not repeat. I did predict that the Detroit Tigers to win the Wild Card: “I would not be surprised if they earn the Wild Card this season with manager Jim Leyland at the helm.” Can you think of anyone else who made such an accurate prediction? The Tigers' manager Jim Leyland, an “old school manager”, should certainly be a lock for manager of the year.

Oakland Athletics … I picked the Los Angeles Angels. This division is always a tough one to pick, in part because Oakland always competes well despite a small payroll and is always “rebuilding.” The Angels, even at 89-73, were certainly the biggest disappointment of the year. (The Angels were my first little league team, so they are always a sentimental favorite around here.)

New York Mets …Yeah baby. I nailed this one! At 97-65, they tied the Yankees for the best record in the majors. For the second straight year, my out-on-a-limb™ pick hit pay dirt!

St. Louis Cardinals … Yeah baby. I nailed this one! After 105 and 100 win seasons in 2004 and 2005, respectively, they needed only 83 wins this year to clinch the top slot. A division win is, well... a division win.

San Diego Padres … I picked the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won the Wild Card, nevertheless. I did predict that the Friars would be in contention for a division win. Los Angeles has a solid team and should go far in the playoffs. We all learned that Nomar can still play: .303 20 93! It's good to see both him and Derek Lowe doing well for Los Angeles.

Now for my World Series™ prediction:
Drum-roll … New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Scratch, too easy, how about Minnesotta Twins vs. Los Angeles Dodgers? I like it. And now it's "on the record" for all to see! (and hopefully admire?)

Of course, here are the individual honors.

Batting: Joe Mauer, Minnesotta (.347)
Home Runs: David Ortiz, Boston (54)
RBI: David Ortiz, Boston (137)

Wins: Johan Santanna, Minnesota; Chien-Ming Wang, New York (19)
Strikeouts: Johan Santanna, Minnesota (245)
ERA: Johan Santanna, Minnesota (2.77)

Batting: Freddy Sanchez, Pittsburg (.344)
Home Runs: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia (58)
RBI: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia (149)

Wins: Harang, Lowe, Penny, Smoltz, Webb, Zambrano (16)
Strikeouts: Aaron Harang, Cincinnati (216)
ERA: Roy Oswalt, Houston (2.98)

Photo: Julio Franco September 30,2006 (Nick Wass/ AP)


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