The Boston Red Sox have now won three World Series championships in the last 10 years. That is very impressive, and they capped a strong season with their Game 6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals last night.
Not sure many O’s fans will pass along even grudging congratulations, but now the offseason is officially here and the it’s the job of Orioles management to try to figure out how to beat them and get back in the playoffs next season.
So now, with the season over, how did you do with any preseason predictions?
I had mixed results and certainly was not correct with my prediction that all five American League East teams would win 81 games or more. Here is what I predicted back on April 2:
Tampa Bay: 91-71
New York: 81-81
Well, I had the Orioles winning seven more games than they actually did, and yes, I missed on that prediction of an AL East championship.
I did correctly have Tampa Bay in second place (got one right) and was just one off the Rays’ win total of 92. I bought into the sentiment last March that the Yankees were in disarray and in for a tough year. I didn’t predict Toronto to finish first as many did (remember when they won the offseason?) and had them in fourth place. They won just 74 games in 2013.
I give myself minor props for predicting Boston to win 86 games in a bounceback season. My preseason take on the Sox was, “Boston had a great spring and I am buying into it. I think Jon Lester may return to previous form and Jackie Bradley Jr. may be the real deal.” Did anyone outside of Boston have the Sox winning 97 games?
Here is what I wrote about the Orioles:
“I like the Orioles’ pitching depth and while they don’t have an ace pitcher, they have several that pitched like No. 2s and No. 3s last year - and they can do it again. I am very confident that if pitchers like Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman have some drop off, it won’t be much.
“I love the back end of the bullpen and its overall depth. It is among the best in the game. The offense can be at least league average, maybe a notch or two better.
“The defense looks outstanding and Matt Wieters shows the way for the pitching staff. Run prevention is maybe the most unappreciated aspect of the sport, but the O’s pitchers take the mound with confidence because of the defense behind them and the guy calling the pitches.”
Here are a few comments some of you left on that predictions blog from last April:
Raven guy said, “I am looking for Jones, Davis and Wieters to make a dynamite middle of the order, with each of them having their best year to date.”
Tom McAllister said, “As bad as the Yankees look right now, I still have a hard time putting them last after they’ve made the playoffs 17 out of 18 years.”
Teddy Wilson wrote, “I have to give Boston’s front office credit - they’ve made moves to reshape their team chemistry, and they’ve put winners in the starting roster. They should be tough throughout the whole year.”
Ed Morris wrote, “I think Davis will bang out 45 and be in the running for the AL MVP.”
Click here to look back at what we wrote and said on that blog on the eve of the 2013 season.
So how did you do with your preseason predictions? Any early thoughts on 2014? Which AL East teams will be most active this winter? How active will the Orioles be?
MLBTradeRumors.com published its offseason outlook for the Orioles yesterday, ending it this way:
“The good news for Orioles fans is that their club looks to have a solid enough core in place that nobody is worrying about the bottom falling out for the O’s anymore. Even in the tough AL East, it seems like Baltimore has enough quality pieces to be competitive, though some work still needs to be done to make this roster into something special.”
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