Child’s play

Every year, when the baseball season is ready to kick off another 162-game campaign, experts from all around the world make their predictions to show everybody how smart they are. I did it in my first blog entry, picking the Yankees to win their 27th World Series title.

There is no science to these picks, just a gut feeling based on what I saw the teams around the Majors do this winter to make themselves better, and what I think each team’s ceiling may be.

I have rarely — if ever — gotten these predictions right.

To show you how silly predictions are, I had my 11-month-old son, Ryan, make his picks for the 2006 season. I wrote the names of the teams in each division down on paper, then had Ryan point to the teams he thought would win the division and then the wild card. Ryan_dj

DJ, Ryan’s buddy in Baltimore, also made his picks. DJ (right, in the Ravens jersey) is three weeks younger than Ryan, so he probably won’t be as good at this. DJ’s dad, Danny, has been my archrival in rotisserie baseball and video games since 1987, so it’s nice to see our sons competing against each other already.

Ryan’s 2006 MLB predictions:

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: Twins
AL West: Angels
AL Wild Card: Blue Jays

NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Diamondbacks
NL Wild Card: Braves

ALDS: Angels over Blue Jays, Yankees over Twins
NLDS: Braves over Cardinals, Diamondbacks over Mets

ALCS: Angels over Yankees
NLCS: Braves over Diamondbacks

World Series: Angels over Braves

DJ’s predictions:

AL East: Blue Jays
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Mariners
AL Wild Card: Angels

NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Rockies
NL Wild Card: Dodgers

ALDS: Angels over Indians, Mariners over Blue Jays
NLDS: Cardinals over Dodgers, Rockies over Mets

ALCS: Angels over Mariners
NLCS: Cardinals over Rockies

World Series: Cardinals over Angels

We’ll see how they stack up against me by the end of the season. Good luck, boys.




    Anyone else find it a little curious that Ryan “picked” the Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Mets, Cardinals and Braves? I’m thinking daddy may have had more than a little role in these choices. Given papa Feinsand’s history of roto maneuvers and video game shenanigans, I’m not surprised Ryan is starting early. DJ says hi by the way.


    Hey, when I worked in newspapers, we had Mookie the Dog, owned by a sportswriter, that picked football games. He was better than our human prognosticators.


    I used to do football picks with my family growing up and more times than not my Mom always won and she hardly had any idea on who was good. lol


    I used to have my two girls pick who would win the series. Of course, the only name in the hat was the Yankees. To this day, they are both diehard Yankee fans and make Dad very happy. Of couse the rewards they receive for being yankee fans are more expensive now.

  5. Mark

    Considering that I didn’t pick the Mets, Twins, Blue Jays or Diamondbacks, I don’t think there’s any reason to call shenanigans on this one. These are all Ryan.


    all due respect to mr. feinsand, ryan, peter gammons and jayson stark, i’m a yanks fan, have been since birth, and i just don’t see why people picked them to come out of the east this year, let alone win the series. what am i missing?


    by the way, as i typed that message, wang finished an inning in which he lost the strike zone and gave up three runs (all with two outs), and ortiz homered to give boston a 2-0 lead over the jays. how did people not see this coming?


    I am seriously at a loss for words. Call me a naysayer all you want. I will be until I see them pitch better and play in the clutch better. If they can’t do these things, then it will be a long season folks.


    are you even kidding me? Do you think tonight was a good game for us? Will we bounce back to win tomorrow, well, yeah we will. By my calculations, we should score about 15 runs tomorrow, and A-Rod will have 2 home runs, ya know, the kind of runs we need the most, kind of like his over-the-top clutch hitting he has produced so far during his stint in NY.


    at this point, i’m inclined to agree with skull. there’s a difference between wanting your favorite team to win and understanding that they have some serious holes. through fifteen games, they have demonstrated inconsistent pitching (starting rotation and bullpen), poor defense, and an inability to hit with runners in scoring position. those are not the makings of a playoff season, much less a championship season. it doesn’t make me happy – in fact, it’s incredibly frustrating to watch – but it’s reality. the yankees are in the cellar of the AL east. sure it’s early, but look at the other teams currently bringing up the rear in their respective divisions: KC, seattle, florida, pittsburgh, arizona. are those championship baseball teams? nope.


    If you look at the statistics, you’d see that both our bullpen and our defense have been quite good so far this year, and while that is very encouraging, I’ll concede the other points of our team that need improvement.

    What I want to say though is that there is no need for all these portents of doom and despair so early in the season. Last year when we went 10-19 with the O’s leading the division, I’m sure you were saying the same exact thing you’re saying now. And what happened? A-Rod won MVP, Cano got runner-up to RotY, and Mariano had the best season of his career and was robbed of the Cy Young award. No, we don’t have rings to show for it, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was dazzled by the Yankees after the All Star break…ESPECIALLY after the trade deadline.

    I’m not saying that we should have blind faith in our team no matter the circumstances, but I am saying that we shouldn’t resort to such pessimism. Whenever things like these happen, I think about what I would do if I were at Yankees stadium at the time. Would I have booed Chien-Ming Wang off the field? Of course not. Would I have booed after every hitter stranded runners in scoring position? No. Will I rise up and encourage my favorite team of all time even when they’re getting hammered? Yes. I say this because, frankly, they don’t need the criticism. These players are their own worst critics, and the last thing they need is to have the fans turn their backs on them.

    It will be a long time before we can ever form the clutch squad that won 4 World Series Championships. But that is no reason to harbor such deep-seated resentment toward the current team. And I’m sure Mark knows personally that that is the last thing anyone on that team wants.


    I am a diehard Yankee fan, but I gotta say that if they don’t get some quality pitchers, you can count them out again this year. Why didn’t they go after some top notch pitchers in the off season? What’s up with their minor league clubs and scouting? Surely there must be good pitchers available somewhere……


    Good thoughts Swolansky, the boos can really bother me.

    Getting breifly into those points that need improvement: this squad isn’t operating as a well-oiled machine in the field at all. Maybe it’s not having Bernie out there to captain the outfield or something, but it seems like they haven’t quite clicked in terms of knowing how each other are gonna play certain balls or what is within each others physical limits (in terms of arm strength and the like). It’s strange considering the only change from last year was an upgrade in centerfield, last years only glaring hole, but hopefully as this season progresses the defense will tighten up some. I believe the guys Cash puts on the field have the talent to form a solid defensive unit, it’s frustrating that for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out that way so far.

    As for the clutch hitting, I have major questions about Joe’s batting order and his motivations for it. Doesn’t seems like there’s any consecutive three-man sequence we’ve been able to count on day-in and day-out. That inconsistency has been killing us. There could very well be a quick fix available with a shuffle of the 3-6 hitters, but somehow Torre seems to feel like the current order is the best he can come up with. I disagree. See comments under the Home Sweet Home post for some reader ideas on this.

    I hope the Yanks score 15 tonight. I would be far less frustrated with their inconsistency then I would be happy not to watch another grueling 4 1/2 hour long loss. It’ll be tough today against Cabrera if he’s throwing strikes, but like always, I have faith.


    Now this is more like it. Good, solid pitching and timely hitting. I really like when the Yankees keep their foot on the opposing pitchers’ throat. That is what makes the Yankees. When they can slam the door on their opponent, they do it better than anyone else. It is only the 6th ,but so far, so good.

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