So in preparing my 2012 MLB predictions post, I actually did a little research. Not much -- let's be honest here, my greatest skill is my ability to bullsh*t my way through something, toss it against the wall, and somehow it comes out as interesting and entertaining. (Or at least I tell myself that. Please people, don't kill the dream.)
I looked around ESPN, SI, Sportsline, SB Nation, and a few other reputable sites, seeing if someone -- anyone -- would predict the Royals to at least be the last wildcard team. And out of every top-o-the-line website I looked at, I found exactly one reputable, respectable reporter or blogger who said "hell yes, the Royals are going to the playoffs!"
Well, I've never claimed to be reputable, or respectable, or responsible, or any other r word you can come up with save for maybe retarded, I've fit the bill there more than once ... so move over on the front row of the bus, sir. I'm coming on board.
Yes, the Royals are making the playoffs. Yes, I am anticipating this season more than any since 2004. And to answer the obvious at seeing the first two sentences of this paragraph, yes, I have been drinking.
Here then are my season predictions, and then the games I’m most looking forward to, and why. At some point, I might offer some legitimate analysis … but I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for it.
1. New York Yankees
2. Tampa Bay Rays
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Baltimore Orioles
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Detroit Tigers
3. Minnesota Twins
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Chicago White Sox
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Texas Rangers
3. Oakland A's
4. Seattle Mariners
Wild Card Play-in Game: Rangers over Rays
Yankees over Rangers in 5
Royals over Angels in 4
Yankees over Royals in 6
AL Champions: New York Yankees
AL MVP: Eric Hosmer, Royals
AL Cy Young: CJ Wilson, Angels
AL ROY: Matt Moore, Rays
AL Manager / Year: Ned Yost, Royals
AL Comeback Player: Justin Morneau, Twins
First Manager Fired: Eric Wedge, Mariners
1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. Miami Marlins
3. Washington Nationals
4. Atlanta Braves
5. New York Mets
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Houston Astros
6. Chicago Cubs
1. San Francisco Giants
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. San Diego Padres
Wild Card Play-in Game: Brewers over Reds
Cardinals over Brewers in 5
Giants over Phillies in 5
Cardinals over Giants in 7
NL Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
NL MVP: Joey Votto, Reds
NL Cy Young: Cole Hamels, Phillies
NL ROY: Devin Mesoraco, Reds
NL Manager / Year: Bruce Bochy, Giants
NL Comeback Player: Buster Posey, Giants
First Manager Fired: Don Mattingly, Dodgers
World Series: Cardinals over Yankees in 6
World Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
Now, having gotten the formalities out of the way, a "games I am intrigued by" look at the home schedule ...
* Home Games I'm Most Looking Forward To (And Why):
Friday April 13th (vs Indians): the home opener!
Sunday April 15th (vs Indians): first Sunday Funday Tailgate?
Friday April 20th (vs Blue Jays): first of four chances to boo the Canadian National Anthem.
Sunday May 6th (vs Yankees): definitely a Sunday Funday Tailgate!
Thursday May 17th (vs Orioles): first "blow off work for a ballgame" possibility.
Tuesday June 12th (vs Brewers): first of three potential Wacky Zacky starts.
Friday June 22nd (vs Cardinals): first of three straight against the defending champs. Both weekend matchups are day games!
Wednesday June 27th (vs Rays): definitely blowing off work for a ballgame if Matt Moore is pitching.
Sunday July 8th: Futures Game, at Kauffman Stadium. Sweet!
Monday July 9th: Home Run Derby, at Kauffman Stadium. Awesome!
Tuesday July 10th: All Star Game, at Kauffman Stadium. Epic!
Saturday July 21st (vs Twins): strong 510,001st ounce potential.
Friday July 13th (vs White Sox): first of ten straight home games against probable also-rans (Sox, Mariners, Twins).
Friday August 3rd (vs Rangers): first of three against two time defending AL Champions.
Saturday August 18th (vs White Sox): also strong 510,001st ounce potential.
Tuesday August 28th (vs Tigers): first of three. Biggest series since early September 2003?
Monday September 3rd (vs Rangers): first of four against two time defending AL Champions.
Sunday September 9th (likely home opener!!! Please let it be denver, please ...): oh wait, wrong sport, wrong team. Sorry about that.
Monday October 1st (vs Tigers): first of the final series of the season. How epic it could be ...