Another six weeks of spring have come to a close, at least for me. The Redbirds have two more Spring Training games, but the next time I see them will be Opening Day in Philadelphia. I absolutely love Florida, and I absolutely love Spring Training, but I absolutely love my wife and my dog and my cat even more. So it will be delightful to be home, even if it’s for a few days.
The players have reached the point where they’re obviously ready for the games to start counting, and heaven knows the writers have too.
With all that said, here are my predictions for 2006:
First, the Cardinals — they will win 92-94 games and win the NL Central, but it will take a significant midseason trade for that to happen.
Now, the rest of baseball:
NL East champion — Atlanta
NL Central champion — St. Louis
NL West champion — Los Angeles
NL Wild Card — New York
NL award winners — MVP, Albert Pujols; Cy Young, Roy Oswalt; rookie and manager, no idea
AL East champion — Boston
AL Central champion — Chicago
AL West champion — Oakland
AL Wild Card — Los Angeles
AL award winners — MVP, David Ortiz; Cy Young, Johan Santana
World Series (I know, I’ve said it many times, and I still believe it, it’s a fool’s errand to predict playoff series; but I have to get it out there just in case I’m right): Atlanta over Oakland
My "I Have a Feeling" teams — Atlanta, Oakland, Texas, Colorado, Detroit
Basically, these are the teams that I think are better than they are being given credit for. Obviously success will have various meanings with these teams. If the Braves win 88 games and win the Wild Card, I will have been wrong on them. If the Tigers win 88 games and win the Wild Card, I will have been right. My No. 1 IHAF team is Texas, a club I think could be a real playoff contender. My No. 2 is Atlanta, which I think could win the most games in the NL.
Feel free to tell me I’m an idiot. But if you say so, come up with some predictions of your own.