Shrader’s Official 2015 MLB Predictions

1 Comment | Category: Sports

It can be said that baseball season represents a form of salvation for the American public and that the pastime brings our nation together during the long, hot summers that engulf us from coast to coast. Over the last few days I have taken the opportunity to re-watch the first six chapters of the legendary Ken Burns baseball documentary, an exercise that has helped remind me about how important baseball is to our history and to our people.

More specifically, I have been thinking about how it has been a full 73 years since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authored the famous “Green Light Letter,” arguing that the shuttering of professional baseball during World War II would be a detriment to the nation and her psychological well-being.

In a letter to Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, commissioner of baseball, FDR argued that the forfeiture of the baseball season would deprive the war-weary public of a much-needed outlet for relief, relaxation, and rejuvenation. In Roosevelt’s words, the public “ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even more than before” and that the continuation of the season was a necessity for the American people. To this day, professional baseball helps unite the nation in the time of the year that most likely involves some rest and relaxation while inspiring us to remember our own history as Americans. No matter what others say, I am convinced that baseball is the most beautiful game.

As always, I offer my predictions for the upcoming season. However, I wouldn’t dare do so without my favorite Studs Terkel story on the eve of Opening Day.

Back in the era just before and after World War II baseball was the most popular thing in America. Most big cities—which happened to have major league clubs—were full of immigrant families and people of all walks of life who were obsessed with baseball. There was once an Irishman who was such an obsessed baseball fan that the game was all he would discuss with his friends. Eventually, one of his friends told him that his fixation had gone too far.

To prove his point, the friend asked the baseball-loving Irishman to imagine that he was out for a boat ride with his father and Ted Williams. All of a sudden, the boat sprung a leak and started sinking. Discovering that there was only one life preserver aboard, would he throw it to Ted Williams or to his own father?

Without hesitating, the Irishman replied: “Are you kidding me? My father could barely hit .200!”

Although I think that my Dad could hit better than .200, here are my official predictions for 2015:

 

American League:

East: Orioles

Central:  Tigers

West: Angels

Wildcard: Red Sox and Mariners

 

National League:

East: Nationals

Central: Pirates

West: Dodgers

Wildcard: Cardinals and Giants

 

AL Championship:

Angels over Red Sox

 

NL Championship:

Dodgers over Pirates

 

World Series:

Angels over Dodgers

 

Some other assorted observations:

  • The New York Yankees will remain in close competition with the Tampa Bay Rays for fifth place in the American League East until late September, when the Bombers will win 12 in a row to secure fourth place. Alex Rodriguez—suffering from a bad slump starting in June—will help lead the charge and will hit .490 in September.
  • After starting with a record of 3 and 16, the Phillies will go on a tear throughout May and June. The Phils will enter the All-Star break in second place as bona fide challengers to the Washington Nationals. Management will finally deal Cole Hamels to Boston and send a rejuvenated Ryan Howard to the Yankees. The Phils will ultimately finish the season in fourth place, just ahead of the Marlins. Philadelphia fans will celebrate the emergence of the hard-throwing Kenny Giles as the franchise’s next star closer, yet will curse Ruben Amaro, Jr. for not rebuilding faster and sooner.
  • A Los Angeles region World Series between the Dodgers and Angels will result in the remake of Dragnet, a classic cop show set in Los Angeles in the 1960s. The show will be called “Dragnet 2.0” and will include a cast of Christopher Meloni as Joe Friday and J.K. Simmons as Bill Gannon.
  • The Pirates will astonish fans with a 100 win season. In order to “reverse the curse,” the Bucs will invite Sid Bream to PNC Park to receive the team’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the first game of the National League Championship Series.
  • Last year I predicted that a grassroots movement will help ignite an effort to induct MLB hit king Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame. Just days before the first pitch of the 2015 season, new MLB commish Rob Manfred suggested that Rose “deserves a fair, full hearing” about being reinstated into the game, which suggests the possibility of reconciliation. By the end of 2015, baseball will be on the verge of reinstating Rose, who I predict will be a member of the 2017 class of the MLB Hall of Fame.
  • A reenergized Red Sox club will rally behind the likes of David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Napoli to produce a team that outscores every other AL and NL club by at least 50 runs. Devoid of starting pitching, the Sox will fall to Mike Trout and the Angels in a closely contested ALSC. Following their defeat, the Sox will name Pedro Martinez their new pitching coach and begin building a 2016 rotation around Cole Hamels, Rick Porcello, Justin Verlander, and Clay Buchholz.
  • Despite the deep roster additions, the Chicago Cubs will finish in fifth place in the NL Central. The Wrigley Field faithful will enjoy the additional publicity and will blissfully accept another season as the “doormat of the National League.”

Category: Sports

    1 Comment so far


  1. Dad says:

    I could hit close to .300 right now! Nice article! Historical perspective is important in our ” micro-second” culture of 2015. The good parts of the good ole days are awesome. The rotten, selfish part of our past must also be explored in depth. I am very upset over the outward bigotry of the conservative members of our world. Their past needs to be spoken of clearly also! Hate equals fear, Republicans! You must be defeated nationwide! Sorry, Go Buccos!

  2. Have An Opinion? Leave A Comment!


    Comment:
     

© 2017 Nathan Shrader. All rights reserved. | Log in