Making the grade: Looking at my preseason MLB picks

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I had a mild cold this week – my body is numb from all of the medicines and cough drops that have been pumped into my system.



No sympathy for me. I asked for it.



I could have easily gone into the press box last Friday when the rains started to fall over Memorial Stadium for South Lafourche’s football game with Terrebonne.

I’m stubborn. I took my drowning from Mother Nature like a man and now here we are – low grade fever and what feels like a golf ball lodged into my throat.



No biggie.



This is a walk in the park for someone who has Mononucleosis.

But while on a medicine schedule, I figured I’d take my lumps and evaluate my preseason baseball picks.



Back in April, I made 10 bold predictions for the 2012 MLB season.



With the regular season now in the books and the playoffs under way, it’s a good time to evaluate how I did.

Believe it or not, I got most of them right.



Unfortunately, both of my World Series picks missed the postseason.



I’m used to it.

Another one bites the dust.



Grading the sports guy’s 2012 MLB picks



Prediction 1: The Cubs will not win the World Series

Grade: A+



This is the easiest prediction of the bunch. The Cubs will not win the World Series any time in the near future – Theo Epstein or not. Baseball’s loveable losers made true to their name all season, disappointing their hungry fan base and falling flat. A lot of young talent is on the team’s roster, and Chicago diehards swear the future is bright. But I’m 25 now. Those same diehards have been touting a bright future for my entire life. It never seems to pan out.



Prediction 2: The Nationals will be a major pain in the neck in 2012

Grade: B-



I give myself a B- for this pick because in my original column, I said that the team wouldn’t chase the postseason, but would instead be a tough, rugged out. I was wrong there – this team leaped my learning curve for them by a season. The Nationals are as solid a baseball team as there is in the MLB. They have tons of pitching, capable power hitting and most importantly – youth. Even without ace Stephen Strasburg for the final month of the season, Washington’s baseball franchise held onto its division lead and captured the NL East. They are serious World Series contenders both now and into the future.



Prediction 3: The Red Sox will have trouble getting outs

Grade: A



ESPN and other national media mouths talked all offseason about how the Red Sox would rebound from their 2011 collapse. To me, the math never added up because the team did little to fix the pitching woes that plagued the team last September. Turns out, I was right. The Red Sox were one of the laughing stocks of baseball this year. From the weekly headlines made by Bobby Valentine to the atrocious bullpen, the team has serious work to do. Fortunately for them, they traded millions of dollars in payroll to the Dodgers, so they have flexibility.

Prediction 4: The Dodgers have a chance to win the West

Grade: C+

This has been a wild season for the Dodgers. From a highly publicized ownership change to virtually taking the entire Red Sox’s roster at the trade deadline, the team has had no shortage of news coverage. I said in the preseason that they should be the favorites to win the NL West. They fell short of that goal, but proved to be huge challengers for the title. I worry about their financial future going forward because they now owe lots of money to marginal players.

Prediction 5: Houston Astros might be historically bad

Grade: A+

This one was easy. The Astros started the season with a poor roster loaded with Triple-A players. After trading names like Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez and J.A. Happ, they now have almost entirely a minor league squad. I said they’d be 52-110 in the preseason. I wasn’t far off. That’s bad news for our area’s most local baseball team.

Prediction 6: Tigers will roar in ‘12

Grade: B

I really thought the Tigers would be a wrecking ball that would absolutely maul everyone in the American League Central. On that note, I was wrong – the team struggled for most of the season and had to rally late to make the playoffs. But the Tigers have arguably the AL’s best lineup and also arguably the best pitcher in baseball. That makes them a tough out this October.

Prediction 7: Manny will not finish the season with the Oakland A’s

Grade: A+

Could I have been any more right on this one? Manny Ramirez not only didn’t finish the season with the A’s – he never even played for the team. After his 50-game suspension ended, the team sent him to Triple-A to polish his craft. After growing impatient with the amount of time he was spending in the minors, Ramirez asked for and was granted his release. That’s just a jerk being a jerk. Or Manny being Manny – however one prefers to look at it.

Prediction 8: The Phillies will win the National League

Grade: F

This is where things begin to go sour for the ol’ Case-man. I knew the Phillies would be slow starters in 2012 because of injuries to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. But with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, I thought the team would be able to stay afloat. With absolutely no offense at all for the season’s opening months, the team floundered and sunk so far that they actually were sellers at the trade deadline. I’m not complaining – I’m a Braves fan. If I could curse any one team, it’d be the Phillies.

Prediction 9 and 10: The Angels will win the American League and the World Series

Grade: F

Again, I swung and missed badly on this one. After loading up with talent in the offseason, it surely looked like the Angels would eclipse the Rangers as the top team in the American League. They were solid, posting a 90-win season. But the Angels just never got traction after a slow start, finishing third in the division. They are the biggest disappointment in baseball.

So in total, I got a mixed bag of A’s and B’s with a few poor grades at the end.

Not bad – history shows that’s good for me.

It’s off to bed for me now.

This dang Nyquil is a killer.