17 Predictions That Will Be Right

Last week, full-time employee Dave Cameron unveiled his 2011 Predictions That Will Be Wrong. I guess there’s a certain humility in that, but I also detect a lack of courage. Believe me, as someone who inserts a qualification in every sentence he writes (almost), I know that “covering your butt” is as much a play to shield oneself from criticism as it is intellectual honesty. So I’m going to show ya’ll how it’s done. Thus, here are some predictions for 2011 that will be right.

1. There will be blog entries written early in the season than begin by warning about small sample size, then go on to ignore sample size anyway.

2. Some rookies will play surprisingly well, leading some to make overly optimistic predictions for their futures.

3. Jeff Francoeur will have at least one hot streak (it may have already begun), perhaps even including some walks. This will lead a number “maybe he’s finally got it!” pieces. He will then return to being Jeff Francoeur with very little fanfare

4. Despite my having written that the Blue Jays will probably not win as many games in 2011 as in 2010, when they fail to do so people will say that shows that their Organizational Ranking was “wrong.”

5. Some rookies will not meet expectations, leading some to make overly pessimistic predictions for their futures.

6. At least one terrible or mediocre non-contender like the Royals, Pirates, Mariners, Orioles, or Cubs will get off to a “hot start.” Numerous words will be spilled to the effect of that they might “make it.” They won’t.

7. Managers will continue to make silly and/or superfluous pinch-running moves. Some will “work” and will be praised. Some won’t, and will be ignored.

8. During a Yankees-Red Sox tilt, Marco Scutaro and Brett Gardner will jointly set the single-game record for “total number of pitches taken in plate appearances resulting in a weak grounder to second.”

9. The Orioles will not win the American League East.

10. Or the AL wildcard spot.

11. The Angels will inspire multiple “this looks like a team put together by the guy who is filling out your fantasy league and hasn’t really paid attention to baseball since 2006″ jokes.

12. At least one fan base will get really angry when the All-Star Game television commentators obviously don’t know much about whatever reliever from that fan base’s team who gets into the game.

13. More than one game involving the Indians, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Mariners, Nationals, or Diamondbacks will inspire a post from one of our writers, who wonders “Doesn’t this really belong on NotGraphs?”

14. The Home Run Derby will be boring.

15. Numerous bad jokes will be made at the expense of this poor fellow’s name.

16. Kansas City will win an early-season 12-9 extra-innings slugfest against the Angels capped by a game-winning home run by Assistant Kendall Matt Treanor. The real hero of the game will be Bruce “Cy” Chen, who manages to keep the game close after an early five-run difference. Pitch to the score! Jack Morris, baby!

17. Bereft of things to write about early in the season, indolent FanGraphs authors will come up with cheap posts based on lists of things no one cares about and/or are meaningless.

Book ‘em.




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Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the Greater Toronto Area. If you can't get enough of him, follow him on Twitter.


75 Responses to “17 Predictions That Will Be Right”

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  1. Rui says:

    Heh. Adcock.

    +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • rbt says:

      I have yet to figure out why people find his name so funny. I mean, yeah, I get it, but I don’t understand why it’s funny. Just me, I guess.

      -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • UZR is a Joke says:

      What did the pivot girl say?

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    • Wraithpk says:

      Men everywhere will cringe every time he strikes out, “And Adcock gets punched out.” Good thing he’s a pitcher, shouldn’t happen too often…

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        or “Rung Up” or “Caught looking” or “lost the handle” … or course, as a pitcher he can “break it off”.

        Of course, Adcock has to “throw a heavy ball” (probably two of them).

        How do people not think this is funny. Hell, there are two weightlifting lifts called the “clean snatch” and a “split jerk”. I mean if you can’t do one, you can always do the other. How’s that not funny?

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      • Kurt says:

        Too bad the Mariners got rid of him, he could’ve pitched behind Fister in the rotation and at least once a month, the 2nd and 3rd game of a series would be pitched by them and the announcers would wrap up the 1st game by saying “the Mariners are going to try and overcome this one game deficit to win the series, it’ll be FISTER and ADCOCK, before continueing the homestand/road trip…”

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  2. Jim McLennan says:

    And I was so certain #15 was going to go here

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  3. Cody says:

    Bravo!

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  4. Bronnt says:

    I wonder how many people there are like Jeff Francoeur-players who were never any good but keep getting opportunities, and there’s always articles about how they’re “turning things around,” and “figuring it out.”

    Off the top of my head, Delmon Young.

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  5. Jaf says:

    #18 Derek Jeter will get his 3,000th hit and then embarrass himself and the Yankees by looking like a statue at shortstop and then have nowhere to play where he doesn’t embarrass himself because he can’t hit well enough to play anywhere else, much less DH.

    (Of course, this prediction will come true in 2012 and 2013, too, only more so.)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • descender says:

      #19 – Fans will continue to cling to the demise of Derek Jeter, and be wrong about it.

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      • tgayvert says:

        #20 – People on fangraphs(and other intelligent baseball websites) will continue to viciously hate on Derek Jeter as if he offends simply by the fact that he is still playing baseball. In turn, making it easier to the Murray Chass’s of the world to justify their dislike towards people associated with Sabermetrics/”Advance Statistics”.

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      • JoeC says:

        Murray suffers from the same ailment he accuses his sabermetric detractors of having, namely that of a too-big ego and an inability to see the viewpoint of the other side.

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  6. longbeachyo says:

    Hey, whatever happened to the top prospects report? Does anyone know? It was a list that from month to month (or whatever the time period was) had them going up or down depending on how they were doing in the minors.

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  7. MikeS says:

    Can’t argue with that list, but aren’t 6, 9 and 10 pretty much the same thing now that the Orioles are 3-0?

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  8. Kyle says:

    edit:
    9. The Orioles will win the American League East.
    10. And the Wildcard spot.

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    • Timmy C says:

      Does that mean they will play split-squad in both of the ALDSeses?

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      • Patrick42 says:

        And win them both? Yes.

        Due to being split squads, they will win in 4 games rather than sweeping. They will then play each other in the ALCS. The losing split squad will either rejoin the winners for the WS, or they’ll be murdered by the winners. Not sure, manager gets to decide.

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  9. gonfalon says:

    What do you mean the Pirates won’t “make it” this year? They won’t contend, but they’ll finish above .500 for sure!

    what’s that? why yes, I am on pain medication right now… I rolled my ankle yesterday. Why do you ask?

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  10. Azmanz says:

    Would the Padres of last year count for #6?

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    • smelly shelly says:

      I think they would, but they didn’t actually make it, and came up 1 game shy.

      Though I’m picking up what you are laying down.

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    • joser says:

      No, last year the Mariners were #6 — or did you miss pretty much every other irrationally angry post on every subsequent article Cameron wrote last year?

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      • victor says:

        I don’t think they would. The Padres hold up pretty well until the last month, when all hell finally broke lose – a bit late to still be considered a ‘hot start’ coming to an end.

        If I would label the 2010 Padres demise, I would say they made ‘a Mets’ of themselves.

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      • Patrick42 says:

        Oh man. Wow.

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  11. I don’t think #15 really makes because we’ve already had a historically significant Adcock, who at one time held the record for total bases in a game and just missed the only five-homer game in MLB history.

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  12. Fantastic. My one addition:

    Jeter will get his 3,000th hit, leading to a slew of “Is Derek Jeter the best Yankee ever?” stories, when the answer is clearly, “No.”

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Oscar says:

    So, when the Orioles make the playoffs, how mad will you be, bro?

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  14. Ricky says:

    18. Somebody this year, in a fit or anger, will mention #6 org, still in reference to the Mariners.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Paul says:

    Jeff Francoeur was a 4 WAR player in ’07.

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    • BlackOps says:

      Yeah, and he’s added a ton of value since then!

      (btw, his value in 2007 was based on an interesting UZR number. B-R pegs him at 2.1 WAR for 2007.)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Nom Chompsky says:

    Haha, I’m going to be mocking that guy’s name all the time.

    “Nathan.”

    What is he, a hot dog? He should play for the Brooklyn Cyclones! I bet his mustard is pretty sharp! He should relish this newfound fame!

    (I stole these jokes from Rick Reilly)

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Paul says:

    I know. The point wasn’t about Francoeur not being a scrub, it was about Delmon Young’s 2-WAR season last year not meaning much in terms of him “getting it.” Let’s see if it’s for real first.

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  18. Brandon says:

    At least his first name is Rubby.

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  19. Steve says:

    Matt Klaasen, and pretty much all wanna-be baseball scientists, will continue to sound like know-it-all douches while saying basically the same things that baseball writers have been saying for 100 years.

    -35 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BlackOps says:

      Did you forget he’s writing from his mother’s basement? Totally different.

      +17 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      Yes Steve, they’re saying exactly the same thing baseball writers have been saying for 100 years. I remember all those turn-of-the-20th-century references to FIP, WAR, OPS+, UZR…they were as innumerable as the sands on the beach…

      *rolls eyes*

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Are the Cubs really that bad? The rotation could be interesting with Dempster, Garza, Zambrano, Wells and Cashner. Garza looked great in his first start, too. Starlin Castro appears to be establishing himself as one of the top shortstops in the game. Soto is a great catcher, Pena, Ramirez and Soriano can always bounce back, and even Fukudome is useful. The bullpen is thin and Marmol can be sketchy, but isn’t it conceivable that the Cubs win 85-87 games? And in that case, can’t they win the division given some of the issues other teams are having?

    Seems like calling them a mediocre/terrible non-contender isn’t entirely fair.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. CK says:

    9 & 10 will be wrong

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  22. AA says:

    18) Russell Martin will make the Dodgers look awful for non-tendering him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. CircleChange11 says:

    Adcock isn’t too bad.

    Lucious Pusey (football player), now that’s a name you don’t want. He’s since changed his last name.

    Now Glascock is a funny last name … for somebody else to have.

    —————————

    Anybody see the ESPN graphic showing the O’s in 1st place by 4.5 games since Buck took over? Something like the last 60 games played.

    As a fan of an NLC team, I reiterate that the O’s and TOR would likely be very competitive in 3 of the 6 divisions, which is deflating for fans of teams in those divisions.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. CircleChange11 says:

    The best name of all, from NASCAR (of course), Dick Trickle.

    Talked to a coach the other dat that played for a guy named Richard Fase. Seriously.

    Once saw a girls name on a college student list, last name Panzaroff. No doubt, a very popular girl.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Mickey Tettleton says:

    Don’t count the Orioles out!

    Why not, 2011!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Anthony says:

    know a girl with a last name of “Dickbernd” sounds like “Dick burned”. She probably has some sort of terrible STD.

    As a statistically minded person I’d say that around 84.5839% of these will be correct with a variance of 3.2222221% using a 95% confidence interval.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. surferfromSD619 says:

    18. Milton Bradley will do something on/off the field that will make us collectively as baseball fans either palm-slap to the forehead or laugh uncontrollably (depending on your sense of humor.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Kyle says:

    I predict that I will be one of those who thinks Francoeur may have finally put the pieces together if he goes on a two week tear while gunning down baserunners(the one-tool player’s one tool is a rocket launcher for an arm.) Then he’ll have a month where he crashes back down to Earth. And I’ll remember that every year he’s going to hit a few 500 foot bombs, flash his cannon on some suckers, and end up being a .245 hitter with 13 homeruns just like he has the past 3 seasons.

    And Zambrano will have his yearly melt down causing most people(well just me)to wonder if he should already have been a Rick Ankiel pitcher converted to hitter, but playing in the American League so that he can DH. He can straight-up mash, and isn’t even 30 years old yet.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Anthony says:

    I think they should reformat the All Star game like the NHL did. Pitchers vs Hitters. You take either the 20 worst pitchers and put them on a team with the 20 best hitters vs the 20 best pitchers with the 20 worst hitters, or you have one team of only pitchers (have athletic guys play the field, but Zambrano or other well hitting pitchers there too) against a team of only hitters and have guys who can pitch a little do the pitching.

    Be entertaining as hell I think. The winner decides whether or not the World Series will be played with a DH or not all 7 games.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Lee says:

    This “article” was a complete waste of my time

    -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. Mike H says:

    #8 is impossible. The bar was already set way too high by Mark Kotsay/Juan Pierre in nearly every White Sox game last year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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