Thursday, March 31, 2011


Drunk Predictions 2011

I write here now, in the wee hours on the eve of Opening Day of the 2011 season, World Series commemorative Bluray on TV, geared to Game Five for good luck, and I don't want tomorrow to come. For the first time in my baseball-adoring life, I wanted the offseason to go on forever. Five months of San Francisco Giants as unequivocal World Champions for the first time ever. The longer this offseason went on, the longer it could be before anybody challenged the Giants for the champion title. The joy of October is still fresh in my mind. I don't want to face a future where the Giants aren't the defending champs anymore.
So here I go, being dragged kicking and screaming into the 2011 season. Let the torture begin. Again.

Here are some quick predictions for the oncoming season. You know how this goes. I write a bunch of random numbers down, and come October we can revisit this little post and see whether I look like a baseball genius or a complete, raving ass. Nothing scientific about this. I simply close my eyes, pull some numbers out of my backside, and pretend that there's some process behind this. The fact that I'm not drinking as I write this seems wholly inappropriate.

Look for newly-christened Stankeye fave Cody Ross to have a
shockingly good power year

Here are my projected hitting leaders:

AVG: Pablo Sandoval, .305

R: Andres Torres, 105

2B: Torres, 45

3B: Torres, 7

HR: Cody Ross, 28

RBI: Buster Posey, 95

SB: Torres, 33

BB: Buster Posey, 75

OPS: Buster Posey, .880
Nope, nothing out of the ordinary here. Just your typical, conservative educated guessing, and everything seems reasonable enough. PECOTA would be proud, and I'm sure ZiPS would be too, and...wait, what the hell?!? Cody Ross? 28 homers? Leading the team? You have been drinking, haven't you, Paulie?
That's right, 2011's Completely Insane Giants Prediction has Ross leading the team and setting a career high in jacks. In fact, I was going to pin his total at over 30 before he got hurt. Before you send the men with straightjackets to come get me, let me explain the method to the stark raving madness. Guys like Ross, i.e. guys with legit pop but who have nondescript careers and basically middling overall hitting ability, tend to have That One Crazy Good Year, where their home run total will shoot up. It's a one-year anomaly, like Rich Aurilia's 2001 or Jose Bautista last year. I think Ross is primed to hit a bushel-full of homers this season, while not necessarily being any better of a hitter.
Other than that sad attempt to be provocative, everything else is relatively standard. I think a slimmed-down Panda will get his groove back and push his average into bamboo-worthy territory. I think the revived Torres is mostly for real, although don't be surprised if his batting average dips to .250 under a sea of strikeouts.
Now for the pitching...
W: Tim Lincecum, 21
K: Lincecum, 240
IP: Lincecum, 223
ERA: Lincecum, 2.89
SV: Wilson, 32
As expected, Lincecum dominates the leaderboard, but anybody who has read my little pitching previews (thanks, Mom) already knew that. The shoulder inflammation that bugged Matt Cain terrifies me, so I'm not even predicting him to be more of an inning horse than Timmy.
I'm assuming (praying?) that B-Weezy's stay on the DL will be brief , so his save totals will still be fairly high, if not as gaudy as last year. I'm more concerned that his ability to be a multi-inning reliever might be put in danger by the oblique injury. That willingness and ability to effectively pitch more than one inning in relief is what seperates Wilson from most closers on the planet. I'm also concerned that continued exposure to The Machine will prevent me from being able to keep my lunch down.
OK, deep breath. I'm not sure I'm mentally prepared for Giants baseball yet, but I guess I have no choice. Screw it. Let's do it! Full on, bull rush into the oncoming season. It's less than 24 hours away!
Go Giants! Repeat, baby!

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