A year of Thursdays later

Here we go again! Sports Illustrated has Johnny Damon on the cover of the baseball preview issue this year, because clearly, they know who people want to see. And here’s their predicted order of finish in the divisions:

NL East
1. Atlanta Braves
2. Florida Marlins
3. New York Mets
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Washington Nationals

NL Central
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Chicago Cubs
3. Houston Astros
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers
6. Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West
1. San Francisco Giants
2. L.A. Dodgers
3. San Diego Padres
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies

AL East
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Toronto Blue Jays
5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

AL Central
1. Minnesota Twins
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Detroit Tigers
5. Kansas City Royals

AL West
1. L.A. Angels
2. Texas Rangers
3. Oakland A’s
4. Seattle Mariners

Guess you can’t go too far wrong with what are basically the final standings from last year. Remember, baseball is unlike mutual funds in that quite often, past performance is a guarantee of future results.

I can already tell this season isn’t going to be quite as good as 2004. No MLB team will be serving poutine at its concession stands, and worse yet, Hostess doesn’t seem to be making Baseballs this year.

In other news, the famous iPod has been sold, and it is on its way to the purchaser.

Original comments…

Luke, hanger-on: Most important: Do you predict a baseball-related road trip this year?

Levi: There has been some discussion, but we have yet to finalize any plans, primarily because the “Levi” part of the team isn’t very good at getting organized enough to finalize plans.

And what a season it was

Levi’s obviously extremely busy at work, but if we all clap our hands, maybe he’ll show up and make some observations on the playoffs once they get under way tomorrow.

Subheads in today’s L.A. Times: “Angels have conjured a special season, and if the franchise is haunted by ghosts of ’86 playoff loss to Boston, the players seem unaware of it” and “The Dodgers had 53 come-from-behind wins, 26 in final at-bat, but keeping that magic going against powerful Cardinals won’t be easy.”

Now we get to make fun of Sports Illustrated for being very wrong about the National League division winners in their before-the-season predictions. The teams we saw on the trip are in bold.

SI Prediction Actual Results

NL East
Philadelphia Phillies Atlanta Braves
Florida Marlins Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves Florida Marlins
Montreal Expos New York Mets
New York Mets Montreal Expos

NL Central
Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates Milwaukee Brewers

NL West
Arizona Diamondbacks L.A. Dodgers
San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres San Diego Padres
L.A. Dodgers Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies Arizona Diamondbacks

AL East
New York Yankees New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Tampa Bay Devil Rays Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central
Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers Kansas City Royals

AL West
Oakland A's Anaheim Angels
Anaheim Angels Oakland A's
Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers Seattle Mariners

In other news, over the offseason, the Dodgers are going to add 1,600 more ridiculously expensive seats to Dodger Stadium by moving the dugouts forward into what’s now foul territory and putting in more seats between the current ridiculously expensive seats behind home plate and the new dugouts. They’ll also be transforming the current rubberized warning track into a dirt track. I hope having the new expensive seats distracts them from raising ticket prices elsewhere in the stadium, namely, the reserved level (third deck) tickets that are currently $17, $12, and $10.

Original comments…

Toby: Levi is probably too busy still celebrating NU’s big win over Ohio State Saturday. …And rightfully so.

Jim: But he’s not posting on the Football-Related Program Activities blog, either! Oh, wait, there is no such thing. Football ticket prices (especially in the NFL) and game schedules don’t lend themselves to road trips.

An e-mail from my father: “Wore my NU hat to the Bucs game and was literally hugged by Buckeye haters.” That’s “Bucs” for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, not the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As so often happens twice

Hey, remember this post? Might as well revisit it and look at the actual team standings as of the All-Star break, along with how often we’re going to see each team.

NL East
1. Philadelphia Phillies (1x)
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Florida Marlins
4. New York Mets
5. Montreal Expos (1x)

NL Central
1. St. Louis Cardinals (2x)
2. Chicago Cubs
3. Cincinnati Reds
4. Milwaukee Brewers (2x)
5. Houston Astros
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (3x)

NL West
1. L.A. Dodgers (1x)
2. San Francisco Giants
3. San Diego Padres
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

AL East
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox (2x)
3. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
4. Toronto Blue Jays (1x)
5. Baltimore Orioles

AL Central
1. Chicago White Sox (2x)
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Cleveland Indians (1x)
4. Detroit Tigers (2x)
5. Kansas City Royals

AL West
1. Texas Rangers
2. Oakland A’s
3. Anaheim Angels
4. Seattle Mariners

That’s right, Sports Illustrated predicted in April that we’d be seeing only one first-place team, but if the standings stay this way for the next five weeks, we’ll be seeing four.