Sunday, April 03, 2005

Predictions for 2005

Perusing most national and local prognostications for the 2005 season, the consensus puts the Indians in 2nd place in the Central, behind the Twins, winning between 88-92 games. I would certainly take that season to continue the growth of this process. I think that those goals are attainable and see the Indians sticking around the AL Central race up to the end, when the Twins will unfortunately pull away. Contrary to popular belief, I think that the Tribe will be in the Wild Card race, though it won't be as close, or for as long, as the Central.

Here's the predictions I've seen thus far:
Sports Illustrated: 2nd in the Central, behind the Twins (10th best team in ML)
ESPN the Magazine: 2nd in the Central, behind the Twins
(with Eric Wedge as AL Manager of the Year, Charlie Manuel as NL Manager of the Year!)
Peter Gammons: 2nd in the Central, behind the Twins
-lists Victor Martinez as MVP Candidate
-lists Coco Crisp as a Breakout Player
-lists Aaron Boone as a Comeback Story
-lists Franklin Gutierrez as a potential late-season rookie impact player
Buster Olney: 9th best team in ML (Twins #4)
Plain Dealer: Consensus 2nd in the Central, all behind the Twins with a few exceptions
-Burt Graeff has them winning the Central, with Wedge winning Manager of the Year
-The all-knowing Roger Brown has the White Sox winning the division
Jim Caple of has the Tribe as a Wild Card
Terry Pluto: 2nd in the Central with 88 wins

In anticipation of the Season Opener, I'd like to introduce some nicknames, and re-establish the ones that should, by now, be standard fare for our Tribesmen:
Victor "Vic the Stick" Martinez
"Big" Ben Broussard
Ronnie "Jelly" Belliard
Travis Hafner "Pronk"
C.C. "Colonel Curveball" Sabathia
Jake "the Snake" Westbrook"
Coco Crisp (no need for a nickname, you can't top that)
Casey "and the Sunshine Band" Blake
David Riske "Business"
Bob "Slick" Wickman
Grady "Babyface" Sizemore
Ryan Ludwick "van Beethoven"
Some are cheesy, some are decent, but with Chris Berman no longer doing SportsCenter on a regular basis, I thought it was necessary.

First Pitch tomorrow 3:05PM vs. ChiSox. Jake Westbrook vs. Mark Buehrle. Go Tribe!

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