Tag: Reds

MLB Predictions 2016

by Dallas McLaughlin

Well, it’s time for a time-honored, time-sensitive, timeless piece of work known as my 2016 Major League Baseball Predictions! I spend countless time researching and reading and more research and more reading of things, and of course tons of insider information (I know the guy who cleans the Phillie Phanatic costume, so that’s something) that all is equated, tested, and scientifically reworked to provide the closest outcome possible to what might end up being the outcome.

The analysis may sound off, but the picks are always real. And timeless.

Let us start with Alexander Cartwright’s National League:

NL EAST:

Philadelphia Phillies: This season the Phillies try something new – and kill Ryan Howard. Not for anything specific, just because. Unfortunately, no one knew that Howard had a direwolf named “Subway”, which goes on a rampage and attacks any Phillie under 25 years old. They play bandaged and bloody, but play well and finish in 3rd.

New York Mets*: Add eight more stud pitchers to the team while forgetting about 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base, Shortstop, Catcher, and all three outfield spots, but, man that rotation is sweet!

Montreal Nationals: Trade Daniel Murphy after he hits six homeruns in the first week, and no homeruns for the next two months. This opens a spot for Trea Turner who immediately becomes the best second baseman in the history of the game and the Nationals still can’t make the playoffs.

Florida Marlins of Miami: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fof40yqaW1U

Atlanta Braves: Atlanta does everything it can to garner interest in a team that is fielding…Freddie Freeman! They introduce “So, There’s That Night” where any fan who can name the starting outfield wins Freddie Freeman for a day.

NL CENTRAL:

Pittsburgh Pirates: Continue to tease fans like your 10th Grade English teacher. Sure, she made it seem like there was a chance, but you knew deep down it would never happen. I mean it might. It totally could, but won’t. Ever. Not until she’s 45 and your 23 and by that time it won’t even be worth it.

St. Louis Cardinals: Who gives a shit?

Chicago Cubs*: The Cubs begin season two of The Riz Goes Mads, and it’s a mess. Anthony Rizzo has left the show due to creative differences (socks), and is replaced by Kris Bryant. However, The Bry Goes Mads never catches on, and the show is cancelled three episodes in. Joe Maddon resigns, Rizzo is busted for steroids, and Kris Bryant gets engaged to Tila Tequila. This leads to a new reality show called The Bry Digs the Hard Stuff, and it runs for eighteen seasons. Somewhere along the way the Cubs do not win the World Series.

Milwaukee Brewers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJzF8_df1R8

Cincinnati Reds: Realize that Brandon Phillips was always on the team, and will always be on the team. He’ll never play anywhere else, and he will never retire. He is the beginning and the end. Genesis and Revelation. He is. Jay Bruce is murdered.

NL WEST:

San Francisco Giants* (guest written by Sean O’Donnell): The Giants buy into the “even-year” theory so hard that they declare themselves World Series Champions on Opening Day. They don’t show up to any games, and go 0-162. Somehow they still come in 3rd in the NL West.

Colorado Rockies: Totally forgot they had Jose Reyes. When they remember why he was gone everybody kinda gets the heebie jeebies. Like, ehhhh. You know? Gross. They finish last in the division and DESERVE IT FOR NOT RELEASING HIM WHO CARES ABOUT THE ALLEGATIONS AND RESULTS GROW A FREAKING SPINE HE IS NOT WORTH IT!

Arizona Diamondbacks: Despite the high profile acquisitions and “go for it” attitude, nothing seems to work out right. Goldy breaks his leg in May. Greinke goes into hiding after a fan calls him “incendiary” and he doesn’t know how he’s supposed to take it. AJ Pollock starts making weird splatter paintings with spit in the outfield grass. They lose 83 games, and Pollock doesn’t sell one piece at his first art show “Grass Works”.

San Diego Padres: Andy Green brings a new attitude into the clubhouse, and surprisingly the team finishes in second place in the West. The celebration is cut short when in a ‘happy rage’ Mark Maguire eats Andy Green whole, and all the ghosts that Fernando Rodney has been shooting all these years with ghost arrows enact their revenge on the unsuspecting San Diego public.

Los Angeles Dodgers of Anaheim (guest written by Q): Hit with so many injuries that they sparked a M.A.S.H. reboot—delighting white people everywhere! The Dodgers decided to just go with Kershaw, A-Gonz, and Puig in the field. Unfortunately, Puig was injured riding an actual bull in from right field and Adrian left to model Doublemint gum.  So Kershaw played on. Alone. Somehow, the Dodgers still finished 13 games ahead of the Padres.

WILD CARDS: Dodgers, Pirates

NL CHAMPION: Giants

Now, on to Ban Johnson’s load of bull, American League:

AL EAST:

New York Yankees: On “Old Timers” Day, the team tries to bring Yogi Berra back to life using jumper cables. Amazingly it doesn’t work, and the results are horrifying. The whole fiasco curses the Pinstripes and they lose a record 145 games. They still finish in 2nd place.

Baltimore Orioles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLaM1d383eg

Boston Red Sox: In the grand tradition of not letting the Yankees outdo them, they try to bring Curt Schilling back to life. Everything was going smoothly until someone realized he wasn’t dead. This caused the Red Sox brass to claim the experiment a success, and that they are once again better than the Yankees. David Ortiz explodes from all the steroids.

Toronto Blue Jays*: At the beginning of the season John Gibbons brings a life-size cardboard cut out of Goose Gossage into the locker room. It’s covered, and every time the Blue Jays win, a piece of the cover is removed revealing more and more of Gossage. The strategy works and the Blue Jays win 120 games. When all the pieces are removed, the Toronto Blue Jays become 35 of now only 63 people who know why Gossage got the nickname “Goose”.

Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria is still playing on this team.

AL CENTRAL:

Cleveland Indians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpZ3LODBK7E

Chicago White Sox: After a very strange Spring Training, to regain the love of his players, Jerry Reinsdorf decides to sign Drake LaRoche to DH in his father’s place. Surprisingly he hits for a better average, but unsurprisingly he’s a little brat. They immediately release him, and sign the pop star Drake to pitch relief. Unsurprisingly he is booed during every appearance.

Kansas City Royals: Chasing the dragon, they start the season by winning 45 games in a row! However, it all comes to a screeching halt on ‘Mike Moustakas Bobble Head’ night when George Brett brings an actual moose to the stadium and it tramples Sal Perez to death.

Detroit Tigers*: Verlander almost makes a comeback. Miggy hits 36 homeruns. Upton has a great year. JD Martinez strikes out a lot. That’s all.

Minnesota Twins: If you listen hard enough, you can hear the faint sounds of every fan in Minnesota softly chanting, “Kumite, Kimute, Kumite…”

AL WEST:

Anaheim Angels of Dodgers: Completely shocked he still manages the team; Mike Scioscia decides its time to test the limits. He benches Pujols and starts CJ Cron, trades Garrett Richards and Huston Street to the A’s for Eric Sogard and Josh Phegley, starts Trout at Catcher, and re-signs Josh Hamilton to do absolutely nothing. They win 64 games and he signs a contract extension for $30 million over seven years.

Oakland Athletics*: With Richards and Street now on the roster, they win the division and lose in the first round of the playoffs.

Houston Astros: Springer gets hurt in the first week, Gattis retires after they make him shave his beard, and oddly, Doug Fister does not work out. They still show a ton of effort, and everyone is just really very proud of them.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners re-sign Ichiro for one more victory lap, and he amazingly hits .320 for the season and the team begins to compete for a wild card birth. This ignites the city, and all the fans that claimed to always be Seahawks fans, have once again shifted back and now always claim to have been Mariners fans. Marshawn Lynch sings the National Anthem on opening day.

Texas Rangers: The Rangers are forced to trade Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar when all the other teams enact a long forgotten rule called the “But, It’s Not Fair” rule. They trade Gallo for Steven Matz from the Mets, and Profar for more sunflower seeds.

WILD CARD: Astros, Yankees

AL CHAMPION: Blue Jays

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS: San Francisco Giants (in 6)

That’s it! That’s the prediction. I wish I could have picked some fancy winner, but it’s an even year and what do you want? I was the only one who picked the Giants to win back in 2012, and hot damn I’ll do it again!

Thanks for reading, now go watch some Baseball you idiot!

For more expert analysis and things you won’t like follow me onTwitter @dallas_mc

Kept Faith’s Podcast: Ep. 6

This week the guys talk about Matt Kemp’s comeback, what Melvin “BJ” Upton can possibly bring to the table, and if trading Justin Upton is in the cards. They also spend some time talking about Pete Rose and if what he did is worse than steroids. Finally they have guest Red Sox correspondent, Liz Malloy, on to talk about the fan at Fenway getting hit with the bat.

Download the episode here!

Padres V. Reds: A Series of Learning

During last weekend’s Pads/Reds series I reached out to my old friend Lance Arthur Smith. Lance is a die-hard Padres fan who, along with me, shares some fan loyalty with the “great” state of Ohio. However, we end up learning a lot of things about each other we didn’t know…and that no one really cares about the Reds. Lance is also the author of a great book entitled ‘Princess Geek: Dad and Daughter Braving the New Geek Chic Together‘, click on the title to get your copy. It’s a funny and important read for any Dad in this era. On to the series:

DALLAS MCLAUGHLIN Friday June 5th 9:30am PST

Dearest Lance,

It’s been a long time since we’ve broken bread, but now we can do so via the internet. Amazing times we live in. My editor thought it would be fun for us to have a back and forth about the Padres/Reds series that starts tomorrow night in Cincinnati. His reasoning is that we both have Ohio roots, and we both live in San Diego. Also, we both root for the Bengals. In his mind this means you should root for the Reds as well, but do you? Does your Cincy love spread that far? Do you even care about the Reds? And how do you feel about communism? And, have we ever actually talked about our Ohio roots? I know this seems like a lot of questions right off the bat, but sometimes I feel like for as much as we know each other, we know nothing about each other.

For Sparky,

Dallas.

LANCE ARTHUR SMITH Friday June 5th 1:15pm PST

My darling Dallas,

I should clarify a few points. I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM and was a diehard Dukes fan. The Dukes were the AAA farm club for the Dodgers until they changed their name to the Isotopes; New Mexico loves to appropriate pop culture (Isotopes from THE SIMPSONS, the city of T or C from the old game show TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, and celebrating anywhere BREAKING BAD filmed). I remember how cool Mike Piazza was to us kids who hounded him for autographs, and we thrilled to performances by the San Diego Chicken. My dad shared custody of me with my mom, who lived in Las Vegas with my stepdad. Our AAA club in Vegas was the Stars, the farm club for the Padres. I still have my Minor League cards of all the Alomars, who used to sign for any kid with a good story and somewhere at my mom’s house is a signed SCORE Andy Benes card. I also had two sets of aunts who lived in SD, and Tony Gwynn was always in my top five favorite players. Along with Chris Sabo, whose flat top I emulated at various times throughout my life.

I’ve been to Cincinnati one time in my life. It was a layover. I had drinks at the bar and bought a Bengals beer coozie, so I could say I owned a piece of Bengals paraphernalia from Cincy. Most folks in NM are either Broncos fans or Cowboys fans. My older brother has been a fan of the Bengals franchise since Paul Brown started it. My older sister is a Jets fan because she loved Joe Namath’s tight pants. At four years old, I thought tigers were cooler than airplanes. I’ve been a Bengals fan ever since. Oh sure, I like the Chargers and actively root for them, but the Bengals have my heart.

Why is all this important? Because I don’t give a fig about the Reds (except for Sabo and his goggles). Sparky was one of Dad’s favorite coaches, but that was when he was the Tigers’ skipper all those years. Dad followed the Tigers since the Hank Greenberg days. My baseball team, all day, every day, is the Padres. I’ve only lived in San Diego since 2005, but I love it and I love them.

My first Padres game in person was Game 1 of the NLDS in 2006 against the Cardinals. The Cards, specifically Pujols, ripped Peavy a new one in that game. It was still fun and my future mother-in-law bought Colleen and me matching shirts. I took Scottie several times before she was a year old back when we lived downtown. I’ve sat in a premium box and eaten like a king when I was doing a musical workshop for the owner’s son (Bud Black’s first year, if I recall correctly). And I’ve listened to the Boys on the radio since visiting my Aunts as a kid. I currently enjoy a Sirius subscription and I tune in any chance I get. I don’t have MLBTV or Cox or whatever the hell you have to own to watch it.

You know what I’m most looking forward to in this series? How awful the Reds are right now. They are downright offensive. I take joy in that, hoping the Padres can keep this massive two-game winning streak going. It’s good to have Yonder back. Kemp, of course, worries me.

I feel that communism was given a bad rap, but that like Lukas Haas states in MARS ATTACKS, perhaps we could all live in teepees because it’s better in a lot of ways. Now you know me, and knowing is half the battle. I don’t know what the other half is.

Yours in Friar faithfulness,

Lance

The Pads beat the Reds 6-2

DALLAS MCLAUGHLIN June 6th 1:08pm PST

Oh Lance,

See, I told my editor this was a bad idea. I never knew you weren’t from Ohio. It’s cool, Ohio is pretty lame. I mean if you like a lot of nothing mixed with spotty cell reception and often times blatant racism, then Ohio is your spot. I grew up in San Diego, but my father lives in Ohio, and so I spent about fifteen summers there rooting for the Reds the whole time. Chris Sabo was my God. Well, Sabo and the Nasty Boys (Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, and Tom Browning), and my heart was full every time Paul O’Neill hit one out. In fact, when O’Neill went to the Yankees, I became a Yankees fan. I didn’t want to, but I grew up idolizing him so much, it felt like I had to! He also wore goggles. But, Sabo took the cake. He was a scrappy guy who looked like an extra from Major Dad. The trophy in my fantasy baseball league is named “The Chris Sabo CommerativeCup”. I spelled ‘Commemorative’ wrong on the engraving sheet and no one noticed for three years.

Anyway, I also love the Bengals. I met Boomer one time, and it changed everything. Nicest guy I’ve ever met with huge hands. I dig the Chargers, but I don’t want to waste one more second talking about that mess. You think Dalton ever gets the Bengals over the hump? Remember when you almost traded me Giovanni Bernard for David Wilson in fantasy football? Good times.

The Reds are the strangest franchise to me. They’re the first professional franchise in Baseball history and because of this fact they always played the first game of every season. That honor changed back in 2003, but it was a cool little piece of history no one seems to care about. The Reds are also at the center of arguably Baseball’s biggest scandal, and Baseball’s most uncomfortable racist tirade. They have such a deep and rich history in the game, but get little respect from media or Major League brass. I’d guess most people had no idea the Reds started professional Baseball, and probably think they were expansion team from the 60’s. Why do you think this is?

The Reds are playing terrible this year, and I have no idea when the Reds will be relevant again. They got no-hit by the Cardinals a few seasons ago in the playoffs, and it’s been downhill ever since. Votto is a beast, but not enough to carry the squad, Phillips is old, and Cueto can’t seem to stay healthy or consistent. The pieces are always almost there, but they never come together. Reminds me a lot of the Padres. When these two teams play each other, I feel like they are on the same level at all times. When one team is playing well, so is the other, when one is at .500, so is the other, and when one is terrible, so are the Padres. It’s weird, but oddly factual going back to the late 1980’s. Hell, they both got new stadiums around the same time too!

As a true fan of both teams I’ve been pretty frustrated for a long time. It’s like always rooting for 3rd place. In fact I’m betting they each win one game this series and somehow end the 3rd game in a tie. How high were your expectations this season with the Padres, and do you have a second Baseball team that you root for? Also, where do you stand on Pete Rose?

With Goggles Wrapped Tight,

Dallas.

LANCE ARTHUR SMITH June 6th 4:22pm PST

Big D,

Where in Ohio? I want to do a mileage test, and find out why you like the Bengals more than the Browns. Did you see Draft Day? Kevin Costner is the worst GM in history. His ass would’ve been fired before he even gave away the #1 pick. But let’s get back to baseball.

I’m not nearly as up to date on the Reds as you are. I said I don’t give a fig about the Reds, but please understand that I don’t dislike them. I love sports. Some fans I despise, but on the whole I don’t blame the teams. I agree with you about how important the Reds franchise is to Major League Baseball. Why do I think most people have a skewed view of the franchise? Exactly what you said. Media and MLB brass. Which is a shame, especially in light of the controversy (ies). I always think commissioners have a duty to be head-on when dealing with problems. That’s why I love our fantasy football league. Bring the issue to light, address it, don’t downplay it, but acknowledge that while black and white exist, gray is just as prominent. That’s why I despise Goodell but again, let’s get back to baseball.

I’ve listened to both games in this series, and have watched the minimal highlights I’m allowed by this “internet”. I love that Phillips is considered old, despite the fact that he’s a good four years younger than I am. He’s a stud, and his play in these two games has proven that (as has his upcoming bobblehead). There are indeed similarities between the Reds and the Padres, though this year, finally, the Padres have me believing I can sit at Petco and watch them in a quality postseason appearance. This is a miracle considering where they were last year. Coming into this year, I allowed my expectations to be insanely high. Wildcard? At least.

The Pads have won the series and are looking for a sweep. It’s so damn good to have Yonder back, obviously for his offense but for his defense too. Kemp is FINALLY doing what we needed. His defense has been ridiculous, and today’s homer/hitting display has him hitting with a modicum of power. And our Boys are above .500, which shocks the hell out of me.

Our bullpen, which has finally remembered what it did since Trevor’s days, still worries me. I’m unsure of SS, though when I badmouthed Amarista to my sister-in-law the other day, he hit two crucial ribbys. I badmouthed Kemp last week, and he nailed in the game-winning ribbys. It follows that I should badmouth the Padres as a whole, but as a Padres fan this is incongruous and no way for me to live my fandom life.

The Padres are my one and only. I admit to owning a Giants hat and rooting for them during the Will Clark era, though I’ve since learned that he’s a douche. A college classmate posted a picture of me on social media wearing a Florida Marlins shirt which I honestly don’t remember wearing/buying. I drank a lot of beer in college. Divisionally, I dig the Diamondbacks but I don’t actively root for them. When my pal and I headed out to Spring Training this year, we stayed at his mother-in-law’s house. She was a wonderful host. She also works for the Diamondbacks, so I feel I owe at least minimal allegiance to her team as long as it doesn’t interfere with my Padres.

Thank you, thank you for not giving me Wilson for Bernard. I was in four fantasy football leagues and I like some consistency among my teams, hence the David Wilson bid. You and I are champions. Never forget that.

Despaigne is good as a reliever, but he’s not a starter. The problem is, I don’t know who to put up there instead. I still think we’ll sweep.

Cheers, Lance

The Pads beat the Reds 9-7

DALLAS MCLAUGHLIN June 7th 1:32pm PST

Lance,

My family lives in a small town fairly close to Columbus, so they are right in the middle. My Dad has his choice and went with Cincinnati teams. I think he always loved Johnny Bench, and that was that. I didn’t see Draft Day, but I can’t imagine Costner was worse than the actual Browns GM. And, only since you brought it up – Goodell is the worst. You know when idiots claim Obama is a muslim and is actively trying to destroy America? I feel that way about Goodell. It seems he’s actively trying to end the NFL. Idiot. I’m also surprised you’re that happy with our commissioner(s) in our fantasy league. I feel like they’re pretty lazy, and it might be time for a vote.

I think people consider Phillips old because in Baseball years 33 is up there, especially for a second baseman who’s seen a dip in numbers and rise in injuries the last few seasons. Regardless, I’d take him in a heartbeat if the Padres could swing it. Yonder coming back is a huge plus, and when Myers gets back I think the team will once again play like they were in the first month. Those two guys are sparkplugs. Yonder’s season so far has made me pretty happy in general. I felt bad for him last season. He got a lot of crap, and played poorly. I maintain it was because he felt like he had to carry the team. Now, that he has hitters around him he can go back to doing what he does best – hitting for doubles.

The best thing so far about this series is that Bud Black is keeping the same lineup. Well, almost. But, one through six are consistent and that matters. I’m sure if we lose Sunday it’ll be back to shaking things up again. However, you should be playing to win a series not sweep. A consistent lineup will lose 30% of the time. A jumbled lineup will also lose 30% of the time, but has the chance to lose a lot more. That’s my feeling anyway. Baseball breeds repetitiveness, and I think a lot of these established guys need that to succeed.

The bullpen is finally coming together, and I think that has a lot to do with team chemistry. I feel like the month of May hit this squad hard, and it made a lot of them mad. That anger can either motivate or do nothing, and I feel like it motivated everyone. Apparently James Shields posted a sign in the locker room that read, “If you don’t like losing, then play better.” I like James Shields. As far as SS goes, it’s a toss up. In my MLB the Show franchise I play Spang at SS, and I actually feel like that could work in real life. He’s a natural 3B, and has a lot of playing time at 2B. Why not try it? I mean hell, they’re trotting out Middlebrooks at short!

Do you think we should trade for a SS? A lot of people do. I think it’s misguided. We need to get through June and see where we are. In fact, my expectations we’re a lot like yours – wildcard shot. I think next year will be the year we put some more pieces together and win the division. This isn’t our team for the next few years. Hedges or Norris will be moved, so will Gyorko or Solarte. We’ll probably trade a reliever or starter. It’s all for the greater good…I hope. However, Norris is my favorite Padre since Eckstein, and I don’t want him to go anywhere.

Nice job on skirting the Pete Rose question…we’ll talk about that some other time.

As I finish this the Reds blanked the Padres 4-0 to avoid the sweep. Odds on the lineup looking totally different for the Braves game tomorrow night? I’ll say Kemp and Norris are rested at least.

Also they just announced Melvin “BJ” Upton will join the team for the next series. Thoughts? Do we need him? Will he contribute? I think he could…and if he does…

Trust me Lance, knowing that I’m a fantasy champion gives me nothing but joy. I flaunt my victories, and curse my losses, but I’ll always have something that the other guys didn’t. Always.

Champions,

Dallas.

The Reds avoided the sweep and beat the Pads 4-0.

LANCE ARTHUR SMITH June 7th 5:10pm PST

Dallas,

Scandalous words about our current commissioner(s). Goodell is worse than any Browns GM ever could be. Tagliabue was the tits. Remember when he moved the Superbowl from Arizona because they refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday? Good guy.

I would love for the Padres to get Phillips, but I’m fine with our current lineup. Your suggestion to put Spangy at SS is intriguing. I thought Solarte could do it, and he can as a stopgap, but we need an upgrade there. I don’t think we should trade for a SS. Who are we going to get, and at what cost? I thought Spangy at 2nd was the best option, but I don’t honestly know. Where are you on the Gyorko experiment? Other than that, Wil Myers is a beast. Venable has performed admirably, and some of his catches were highlight reel material. I know, because highlights are all I see after I listen to Uncle Teddy and Scan. Upton Funk, Kemp the Faith, and Oscar Myers will kill it out there.

I think you’re dead on about consistency. We all know how much Buddy likes to roll the dice, and I don’t know anyone in San Diego who loves that. If we can hold on to Shields, we’ll be in a pretty sweet position next year. Cashner will explode next year. I feel it in my old bones. We can’t lose Norris- I feel as you do about him. I cried man tears when he blasted that grand slam.

Melvin “don’t call me BJ” Upton? Man, I think that’s a bust. I hope I’m wrong, but my gut says bust. I’m upset and also happy that we’re at .500. This is a good place for this team to live for a bit. Chemistry is a funny thing, and in this day of players coming and going, it’s tricky to find a combination that clicks. After this series, I have to believe Bud will tinker less and hit on the winning combination (I think he’s close, honestly).

My opinions on Pete Rose are quite strong. Better for another time, I think.

I’m looking forward to the Pads/Braves series. I love when players face their former clubs, and Upton and Kimbrel should be fun to watch.

I love that you have a Station fantasy football championship. I love that I have three of them. I look forward to our clandestine side meetings where we talk trade and drafting strategy, but nothing really happens.

Please give my love to your family. Maybe one day we’ll Sublime Ale House it. I would like that very much.

Keep slugging,

Lance

Follow Lance on twitter here

For more expert sports stuff, and things you probably won’t care about, follow me on Twitter @dallas_mc

You can buy either of us dinner and beer at Sublime Ale House anytime. 

2015 MLB Predictions

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time for me to be incredibly impressive with my accurate predictions for the forthcoming MLB Season. As always, the picks are real, and you are extremely welcome for the insider info. Please take my picks, go to Vegas, and put all of your money on what I think is right.

We’ll start with the League of our Forefathers: National

NL WEST:

Arizona Diamondbacks: After years of mediocre Baseball, and subpar seasons of rebuilding and selling off young talent for nothing in return, the Diamondbacks ask to officially change their name to the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles Dodgers of Irvine: After losing their first 20 games, the Dodgers announce “Rub Tommy Lasorda’s Belly Night”. The promotion goes awry when Tommy gets completely naked and runs onto the field during the 7th inning stretch yelling, “FERNANDO-MANIA HAS RETURNED!”

Colorado Rockies: Have not been heard from for the last six years. If you have any information regarding their whereabouts please e-mail ToddHelton@DanteBichette.geocities.com

San Diego Padres: Have done everything they can to eventually let us all down. KEEP THE FAITH!

San Francisco Giants*: After losing a few key players to free agency, the Giants replace them with castoffs and unknowns and somehow make the playoffs. A statue of Bruce Bochy is erected on top of Alcatraz. He is The Rock.

NL CENTRAL:

Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce hits .220 with 30 homeruns. Joey Votto hits .290 with 79 RBI. Billy Hamilton hits .183 and steals 92 bases. Johnny Cueto wins 13 games and strikes out 202 batters. The team collapses of monotony and finishes 3rd.

Pittsburgh Pirates*: Are just sooooooooo close!

Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo decides to give himself a Mohawk, wear nothing but cut off shorts and tank tops, and demand that everyone calls him “The Riz!” Joe Maddon likes the idea and pitches a reality show where he and The Riz are unlikely roommates in a downtown Chicago loft. The Riz Goes Mads is a huge hit, and the Cubs lose 98 games.

Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun is once again caught for steroids, but this time it really wasn’t his fault. You see, Jonathan Lucroy dared him to eat all the steroids in the locker room, and at first Braun was like no way, but he’s always been super serious about dares, so he tried to pretend like he was eating them, so he wouldn’t look like a wimp, but then ended up actually eating them all by accident.

St. Louis Cardinals: Are so boring that it took me three minutes (an actual three minutes) to remember they were in this division. Listen, I know two guys who love the Cardinals…So, Sam and Jimmy, I wish you all the luck Matt Adams will have versus Left-Handed pitching this year.

NL EAST:

Atlanta Braves: For the first time since the 90’s the Braves aren’t relevant. We can all sleep a little better at night.

Miami Marlins: Christian Yelich surpasses everyone’s expectations by hitting 45 homeruns and knocking in 139 RBI. The Marlins then sign him to a 20-year $874 million dollar contract. Both of his arms are tragically bitten off by an actual marlin on “Bring Your Own Marlin Night”.

Philadelphia Phillies: Finally trade Cole Hamels…for Cliff Lee. Everyone is confused, and no one is happy.

New York Mets: To drum up interest in the new season, ownership starts a nationwide contest called ‘Pitch for the Mets’! Anyone is eligible* (*must be willing to have Tommy John surgery immediately)

Washington Nationals*: The Nationals win over 100 games and go on to the World Series! Bryce Harper drinks soda for the first time and disappears for games one and two. When he finally does show up, he’s married, has no memory of the last three months, and burns all of Max Scherzer’s shoes.

NL WILDCARDS: Padres & Cubs

NL CHAMPS: Nationals

Now, on to the League of Miscreants and Vagabonds: American

AL WEST:

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Josh Hamilton is officially listed as a character from The Wire.

Houston Astros: Listen, you can put the Astros in the Premier League and they’d still be the worst at Baseball.

Oakland A’s*: Surprise the Baseball world once again by winning 90 games and not surprisingly celebrate their great regular season with a 1st Round exit from the playoffs. Billy Beane is found on top of the Oakland Bay Bridge singing “Everybody Hurts” and screaming, “Brad Pitt was me!!”

Texas Rangers: After losing 45 out of their first 60 games, the Rangers clean house. They trade Yovani Gallardo for three double-A relievers, Shin-Soo Choo for Michael Cuddyer, Jr., Elvis Andrus for Elvis Grbac, Prince Fielder for more uniforms, and sign Jurickson Profar to an extension. The strategy does not work, although at least one or two dudes thought it totally could have.

Seattle Mariners: To better connect with the city, the team forces all their players to choose either Nirvana or Pearl Jam songs for their walk-up music. Robinson Cano is fined $10,000 when he defiantly chooses Mudhoney’s “Chain That Door”. [Please note: This joke, and these references would’ve absolutely killed in 1993]

AL CENTRAL:

Detroit Tigers*: After letting Kate Upton throw out the first pitch the team becomes cursed. They lose every other game, and somehow nude photos of every player surface on the Internet. Justin Verlander’s demise is finally explained, but everyone agrees it was totally worth it.

Kansas City Royals: After a miracle 2014 season, the Royals are unable to repeat the magic. Ticket sales plummet, and at dinner on July 30th your father is overheard saying, “Now, this is more like it.” Eric Hosmer once again shows a lot of potential.

Chicago White Sox: After spending a busy offseason signing some high profile free agents, it’s unanimously agreed that no one cares and it was all futile. Jeff Samardzija spends all of June crying in the clubhouse when it’s revealed that absolutely no one knows how to spell his name.

Cleveland Indians: Sign Lebron James as a publicity stunt, but when he shows up ready to play, the team just goes with it. He is very bad, and once again the debate begins on who’s better: Jordan or Lebron. Having coached Jordan in the minors, Terry Francona publicly comes out in support of Jordan. Lebron has Francona fired, and takes over as manager. He immediately signs Johnny Manziel, and the Indians go on to lose an unprecedented 300 games; thus completing Lebron’s finite revenge on Cleveland’s sports fans.

Minnesota Twins: Torii Hunter does not work out.

AL EAST:

New York Yankees: When Chase Headley is named the starter at third base, A-Rod goes into a roid rage. He breaks all the Hall of Fame plaques in two, eats the bases, and uses Joe Girardi’s legs to beat Didi Gregorious to death. Somehow the Yankees still don’t release him.

Baltimore Orioles: Have another great year, and absolutely no one notices.

Toronto Blue Jays: Heading into the All-Star break in first place, the Blue Jays are riding high, then go on to lose their next 40 games. In an attempt to regain their fan base they invite The Kids In Hall to perform post-game for an entire weekend. Every game is a sellout, but things take a turn when Josh Donaldson is injured as a guest vocalist on “These Are The Dave’s I Know”. [Please Note: This reference is great.]

Boston Red Sox*: After failing to sign every single free agent available, the Red Sox are forced to start some of their young talent. It works out fine, and things go well.

Tampa Bay Rays: After losing Andrew Friedman and Maddon, many feel the Rays mystique is gone. To fix this the team convinces Chris Archer to wear Maddon’s famous thick-rimmed glasses. This inadvertently turns Archer into an elite pitcher, and he wins the Cy Young. The celebration is cut short on a very sad episode of The Riz Goes Mads when Archer is caught stealing all of Maddon’s glasses. Archer is sent to prison, where he starts an all-new reality series –Three Strikes, I’m Out – chronicling Archer’s journey to find redemption, and the perfect curve.

AL WILDCARDS: White Sox and Angels

AL CHAMPS: Red Sox

WORLD SERIES CHAMPS: Nationals

Well, there you have it: a completely flawless and analytic look at the 2015 MLB Season. Yes, I have the Nationals winning it all, which is highly unlikely, but so far I’ve been .500 in my picks, so there. SHUT UP.

Happy Opening Day!

For more expert sports stuff, and things you probably won’t care about, follow me on Twitter @dallas_mc 

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