Monday, April 1, 2013

Tribe 2013 Predictions/Thoughts/Analyzations

i was going to just add this in to my Brantley ST blog, but then, as i tend to do, i ended up writing a lot lol so i figured i'd give it its own blog. now without further ado, let's talk Tribe 2013.

my prediction for the Tribe's 2013 season, assuming everyone plays to the max of their abilities and we don't get hit with too many major injuries, is we go 78-84. a lot of people will predict more wins than that. i think considering where we've finished in 3 of the last 4 years, 78 wins would be a large improvement.

my PD boys, whom i respect a great deal, have made predictions that i will keep on record here. some i just don't agree with and also can't quite understand.

Hoynsie: 84-78, fourth in the central

Livy: 80-82, third

D-Man: 76-86, fourth

Terry: 82-80, second

Bud: 87-75, second

hey Hoynsie (haha), how are we going to have 84 wins and still finish fourth? is the division going to be a very close race this year? assuming we did win 84 games, i cannot believe that Chicago and KC are going to be that good that they will have 85 or more wins and finish ahead of us. who exactly did we beat to get these 84 wins? you might wanna rethink this...said with love lol

Livy, i am more likely to agree with your prediction, as it is closer to mine. i think we could move up to third in the division this year.

D-Man's prediction of 76 wins is also more like where i can see us finishing. if i had to choose between his or Hoynsie's fourth place prediction, i would expect 76 wins to be more fourth place-ish than 84 wins. this could be the best prediction out of the bunch.

Terry has us finishing just above .500, which would be a treat, but i don't think 82 wins is going to be a second place finishing team unless we have a great record against our division foes. (and normally we always struggle against Chicago, as well as sometimes against KC and Minny. how can we beat Detroit but not these teams? lol)

Bud, you have an optimism greater than most. i commend you, but think you're crazy lol

despite some nice offseason acquisitions, it's gonna be very hard to go from 68-94 back to .500 in just one season, even with Tito leading the pack. making the playoffs is not a concern of mine for 2013. this is not our one and only year with a window for contending; we've got time and i believe it will take time to get there. right now with so many questions, particularly surrounding our starting rotation, i don't see us being able to reclaim the Central Division, and i don't see us getting a wild card spot either. but again, i have the patience to not be upset if/when these things don't happen for us this year. doesn't change my passion for the team, obviously.

our lineup is going to have its good and BAD games. true, we have guys who can steal, and stretch a single into a double, and beat out a grounder to safely get on 1st base. we have more guys now who can knock balls outta the park, too. but we also have guys who will strikeout a lot. we will most likely finish with the most strikeouts in the AL this year, after finishing with the 3rd least last year. it will be frustrating at times, but it's something we're gonna have to live with. and remember, we will benefit having guys like Reynolds, Bourn, Swisher, and (hopefully) Stubbs in our lineup this year. more runs will be scored this season.

some things that might make a difference this year that we didn't have last year:

--a full season with Chisenhall in the lineup

--if Bourn, Swisher, Reynolds, and Stubbs get on base and hit home runs the way they are supposed to

--Santana batting lower in the order (hopefully taking some of the pressure off him)

--if Myers can make the transition to starter and be an innings eater for us

--if Kazmir can pitch at least a couple decent months for us

--a very speedy outfield that should be able to run down a lot of fly balls, limiting opposing runners from scoring

--an even stronger bullpen mafia

the biggest question mark for me, and probably a lot of other fans, is our starting rotation. if they underachieve, this year will be ugly. if they pitch decent, then we might be pleasantly surprised. it would be amazing if Masterson could rack up 15 wins this year, and if Ubaldo could win about a dozen. but let's face facts, that may not happen. we certainly do not have the most intimidating starting 5 in the league, not by a long shot.

Brett Myers could be really bad. and with Tito's attitude, they will probably give him a good 2 months as a starter before considering moving him to the bullpen. (and then i'm gonna question putting him in our pen and messing up the mafia...) Scott Kazmir could be the feelgood story of the year, or he could struggle and be inconsistent. then that would make it tougher to accept when any of the other 3 have a bad start. and you can't expect Masterson to win every time out, especially if we don't hit for him, which i hope won't be a problem this year. and even though Ubaldo had a nice spring, you never know what will happen with him when the regular season starts. can he stay confident all season and will that really help him throw more strikes and get more guys out? wanna put all your eggs in that basket? McAllister could also have his bad starts and sometimes be erratic.

if at some point we called up any of the Carrasco-Bauer-Kluber group, they all could be up and down with their performances as well. these pitchers all have potential and there's no denying they have good stuff, but none is an ace.

think the bullpen's not going to give up any runs this year? if these guys become overworked because our starters can't consistently go 5 or 6 innings, we're gonna be in trouble.

think Rage won't blow a couple saves? expect it, because it's gonna happen. no one's perfect and we have to be ready to accept that. but as long as it doesn't happen all the time, no one should really have much problem with it. i'd still rather have him closing over anyone else in our bullpen right now. that's not a knock on Vinnie, that's just my personal preference.

all these things could add one loss here, another loss there, and before you know it, we've got 80ish losses for the season. yes, we have more guys who can hit this year, but you can't expect us to score 6-7 runs every time one of our starters falters. that's not realistic and that's not fair.

there are just way more questions than answers at the moment. so you can see why i am not chomping at the bit right now to declare playoffs and 80 something wins for this team. and i know this probably sounds like i'm being super negative and have no confidence in this team, but really i'm just listing all the reasons i don't believe we are playoff bound this year.

all this certainly doesn't mean i'm not dying for baseball to get started again though. i've been going through withdrawal since that final out was called on October 3, 2012 =P i am not the casual fan, as most who know me can attest. i don't feel sorry for Tribe "fans" who have been waiting a whole 51 days for the season to start; i've been waiting for 181. i'm honestly no more excited about this season than i was last season. huh? well that simply means i'm just always excited about Tribe season, regardless of who we sign or don't sign during the offseason. i love baseball too much to be wrapped up in the front office dealings and ownership's money stinginess. without baseball, i am an incomplete person. even bad Tribe baseball is better than no Tribe baseball in my life. so if the team plays better this year, and if they could possibly get back to a shot at contention in the near future, that just makes it all the more enjoyable for me.

i have spent the last 2 seasons arranging my schedule to ensure that i didn't miss any Tribe games. this year, i vow to try my hardest to go for a 3rd straight year. i realize that's going to be tough, as things have changed and, as i like to say, "life is getting in the way" of my baseball habit lol after looking over the schedule, i would like to go to at least 10 games this year, but again, that just may not be possible. it's pretty strange to think i may have gone to more games last season than i will go to this season. alas, i am in this for all 162, win or lose, good and bad, hair pulling and object throwing, laughter and tears. that's what it means to be Ride or Die. Let's Go Tribe! =D

(and for the record, i'm picking Washington to go all the way this year. while most sportswriters see the Tigers returning to and winning the World Series in 2013, i am going with a matchup of the Nats and Angels. i believe the NL will beat the AL in the All Star Game yet again, so Washington will have home field advantage and win it in 6 games. yeah i might be sippin on the haterade, idc haha)

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