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.