Before each baseball season myself and my friends would make our picks for the upcoming baseball season. This year we actually documented our selections on the site so that at the end of it all we could not only mock each other for such horrible prognosticating skills, but you the reader could do the same. So take a trip down memory lane with us and let's recap the sheer stupidity we exuded during Spring Training.
ALL STAR SELECTIONS
We'll get this one out of the way early because this was entirely a solo mission on my part. We may expand it to include everybody next year just so I don't feel like an even bigger idiot than I already do. If you went through any of the 30 Teams in Under 30 Days articles ahead of the 2015 season, you would have seen my picks for All-Stars from each team at the bottom of each article. I was looking to improve from my performance from last year in which I hit on 45% on the American League All-Stars and 37% on the National League All-Stars. I know that isn't setting the bar very high, but even that low leap was too much for me to handle.
I regressed significantly to 36% for the AL and 33% for the NL. While there was plenty of pats on the back for nailing sneaky selections like Tampa Bay closer Brad Boxberger and Yankees set-up man Dellin Betances, there were ten times as many "What the fuck were you thinking?" picks made. Here are some of the best gems from the NL:
- Jimmy Rollins, SS (Dodgers)- Hit a career worst .224 and his 12 stolen bases were his worst full season total.
- Nick Vincent, RP (Padres)- Spent the majority of 2015 at Triple-A, lost his only decision in the Majors.
- Devin Mesoraco, C (Reds)- Was hitting .178 before a bum hip wiped out all but 23 games of his year.
Somehow the American League was so much worse...
- Travis Snider, OF (Orioles)- Was presumably on crack when I picked this one. Hit .232 with 4 home runs between Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
- James Paxton, SP (Mariners)- Injuries limited him to 13 starts. His 1.43 WHIP illustrates that those starts weren't that good.
- Hanley Ramirez, OF (Red Sox)- Told everybody who'd listen that it wasn't going to work out with Hanley and that wall. Then I picked him to be an All-Star. I suck.
- Rick Porcello, SP (Red Sox)- Sported the worst ERA in the league for the majority of 2015 before getting it to a "respectable" 4.92 with a strong final month.
- Aaron Loup, RP (Blue Jays)- A situational lefty who couldn't get lefties out. All-Star!
- Danny Duffy, SP (Royals)- Ended up being demoted to the bullpen due to ineffectiveness. At least he got a World Series ring.
- Fernando Abad, RP (Athletics)- My total hipster pick. "You don't even know this guy but he's so good." A 4.15 ERA and 1.34 WHIP say otherwise.
- Collin McHugh, SP (Astros)- Went down the wrong road on the path to find the next AL Cy Young.
- Neftali Feliz, RP (Rangers)- Nothing screams All-Star like being designated for assignment right before the All-Star Break.
- Rougned Odor, 2B (Rangers)- My picks had his last name.
Now that my individual shaming has been completed, let's go on to the group humiliation portion of the article! Between the six of us we were able to only get three awards picked correctly. It was a parade of failure as you scrolled down to each successive block of embarrassing forecasts. Well, here's the first float now!
I'm just going to say now that Sanford picked Joe Kelly for every award. So when you see me completely ignoring his input over the next several paragraphs, that is why. American League MVP was an award that we all went all in on. It was Mike Trout or bust for the BYC boys and Josh Donaldson made sure we all suffered the bust half of that equation.
On the National League side, Josh was the only person with the vision to see Bryce Harper morph from a floppy haired doofus to a floppy haired doofus with an MVP trophy on his mantle. Colin had a big swing and a miss with Yasiel Puig. A freak injury wiped out what would have been a solid pick for Matt and Andrew in Giancarlo Stanton. My pick of Andrew McCutchen placed fifth in the voting. Light golf clap for myself.
In all the years we have been making picks as friends, we've never learned not to trust the Seattle Mariners. Again King Felix did the majority of us in. The other non-Joe Kelly selection made was Corey Kluber by Andrew. Kluber couldn't quite recapture the magic of his 2014 Cy Young win, but was better than his 9-16 record suggested. Our two guys finished with 13 combined Cy Young vote points, which would have been good enough for fifth.
Me and Colin got burned by Johnny Cueto's trade in the NL Cy Young, but that is shame on us for not thinking that a guy who had been on the trade block for five years wasn't finally going to get shipped in his contract year. The other three actual pickers made respectable misses in Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. I don't think Jake Arrieta or even Zack Greinke came up in any of our preseason conversations. Boo us.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Rookie of the Year is always one of the hardest awards to project and in the AL this year it was no different. There was such an influx of rookies that not one of us picked the same guy to take home the prize. Not one of us picked the right guy, Houston's Carlos Correa, either. Well at least the majority of us had that puncher's chance. Josh's pick of Francisco Lindor even finished second to Correa. Colin though...oh Colin, Colin, Colin...he picked Mookie Betts, a player ineligible to win the award. Yup that about wraps that up.
The National League ROY was much easier. Just pick a Cub. The majority of us for once actually picked the right one as Kris Bryant took the league by storm, made the All-Star Team and won the award unanimously. Point at laugh at Andrew! Not the one that picked Joe Kelly, the one who went against the grain and picked the wrong Cub Jorge Soler. MUAHAHHAHAHA! It's nice to laugh at someone else's terrible picks for once.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
We continued the time honored preseason picks tradition of picking a Manager of the Year that ends up being fired. Just a week after the season ended, Mariners' manager Lloyd McClendon (whom three of us picked to win Manager of the Year) got the axe. Can't trust the Mariners...blah blah blah...we never learn...yada yada yada. Colin actually came the closest for once with his pick of Toronto manager John Gibbons. He finished fourth in the voting and even got a first place vote! Way to go Colin! We strive for mediocrity!
The NL Manager of the Year picks showed that the two NL fans in the lot didn't know as much about the NL as we thought we did. While the three AL fans all picked correctly with Joe Maddon, the two NL fans watched their pick Matt Williams get a pink slip after Washington failed to make the postseason. Oh Washington, you and your miserable 2015 is going to feature very heavily in this next segment.
LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP AND WORLD SERIES SELECTIONS
The Royals proved 2014 was no fluke as they returned to the World Series and won the whole damned thing. None of us picked Kansas City to even LOSE in the ALCS. The Indians, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox, and those pesky Mariners all factored into our choices coming out of the AL, but the champs didn't even get a sniff. The only thing you are sniffing right now is the putrid stench coming from said choices.
The Mets came out of left field this year to take the National League, besting the Cubs and Dodgers on their way to the Fall Classic. So of course the kid who picked Joe Kelly to win every award was the only one to choose the Mets to win the National League. We'll ignore that he had them beating the Marlins in the NLCS and give credit where it is due. Colin and Matt both at least had playoff teams in those Cubs and Dodgers, although they each picked them to win it all. Myself, Josh, and Andrew though fell victim to the Nationals hype machine. Not only did we pick the Nats to take the NL, we picked them to win the whole shebang. I can't even make fun of Sanford's Red Sox pick right now I feel so downtrodden.
I miss baseball. I am already looking forward to making horrendous picks next spring. At least I have our EPL picks to hang on to in the mean time. Oh wait, I picked Manchester City to finish outside the Top 4? FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!