The dope's that there's still hope

We know what the experts say.

We know what I say (88-74, second place in the Central).

But with the 2009 season on the horizon, what do you have to say about the Indians’ chances this year? I’m calling on my vast congregation of 12 readers to share, for the record and in the comments section below, their prediction for what lies ahead.

If you nail the exact won-loss total, you’ll win a free autographed copy of my upcoming book, ‘Stache: The Sal Fasano Story.*

*book does not exist

39 Comments

world champs…haha

I’ll go with 89-73, first place in the Central. Even if it’s only 88 wins, I think it’ll be enough to take the division.

I’m also going to go out on a limb here – the Kansas City Royals hit .500. You heard it here first.

89-73 Record ( was going to predict 90 wins, but the rotation is weak.)Barely wins/Losses the division to the Twins.
Just send the autographed Book to….

32-130.

Scott Lewis goes 26-4, wins the cy young, but the tribe can only muster 6 wins on non Lewis days. 4 for fausto & 2 for reyes!

2nd AL Central.

91-71. Win the Central. Then I don’t know, because no one knows what happens in the playoffs.
Melissa

I’ll change my prediction to 90-72 since Ryan went with 89 wins already. I still think the rotation is weak though.

I’m going to be the optimist (for once in my life) and go with 96-66, first in the division. Things will have to fall into place, but it’s an odd year, right?

91-71 (1st place in AL Central)

I have no clue why some of these “experts” seem to think the team that wins the AL central will mostly have 85 wins. Yes, the AL Central will be competitive, but we are not the AL West and history has shown that 2, maybe 3 teams will contend, that’s it.

I think they finish around 90 wins and beat out the White Sox (not the Twins) in a close one for the Central Division. I look for the Twins to finish dead last, even behind KC who will emerge this year as a contender.
Other suspected nuggets:
Travis Hafner is able to rebound and hit 30 homeruns.
Grady steals 50 bags and lowers his strikeout total AGAIN.
David Delucci is gone by the 4th of July.
Anthony Reyes wins 15 games.
Wedge shows more fire, and is tossed from 5 games.

101-61
Everyone has a banner year
Go Tribe

Hmm, I want to be an optimist, so I am going to say 90+ wins.

There are so many question-marks with this team, and I don’t even have to say the questions, just Hafner, Victor, Lee, Carmona, Pavano, Wood, etc. At the same time, after the performance in the second half of last season, I feel there is a lot of good things that could happen here, and this is the kind of team, that while a guy like Grady may be the MVP at the end of the year, there will be many guys who the team has to blame for its success or failure. I’m looking forward to it and ready to roll!
— Extended Predictions—-
AL Central… 1.) Indians, 2.) White Sox 3.) Tigers 4.) Twins 5.) Royals
AL Playoff teams … Red Sox, Rays, Indians, Athletics.

93-69.

Please.

32 wins? Lets hear it for that eternal optimist!!! I say 88-75. Wait a minute, that adds up to 163 you might say. Well, that is because they had to play an extra game in Kansas City to keep those pesky and underrated Royals out of the playoffs for the 145th year in a row. Write that down baby!!!

95-67, That’s wishful thinking but i think they’ll win the division. Go Tribe

I like 89-73 too.

90-72 and they will win the division.
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

I said 90+ but I should be more specific. After careful scientific research, I was reminded that since the rebuilding process ended, the Indians won 93 games in ’05, 96 games in ’07, so thus they WILL win 99 games in ’09. It’s simple math people.

95-67
Carmona is running for Cy Young along with Lee. Hafner steals 1 base this season, and Fransisco knocks in 100+ RBIs.

92-70. Due to weakness among the White Sox, Tigers, and Royals, the Indians and Twins go 1/2, and the runner-up will be the AL Wild Card.

97-66
1st place in central, best record in AL.
Team plays to potential. Hafner and V-mart bounce back. Lee falls of some but not too much. Carmona plays to 2007 almost Cy-Young levels. Pavano has a nice recovery, and A legit power closer in Wood for the first time in a long time. Yes optimistic but why not, we have the talent to do it, so why not hope that we fulfill that potential.

92-70

* 91-71 (1st in Central), they get bounced in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual WS winners, the Rays.
* Sizemore wins AL-MVP after improving on his numbers from last year
* Carmona wins the Cy Young
* Choo continues his break-out from the second half of last year and establishes himself as one of the top RF in the AL
* AstroCab establishes himself as a top end MI and wins a Gold Glove
* Pronk slowly returns to a reasonable facsimile of himself over the course of the season before being hit by a pitch in mid-August and going on the DL again
* Pavano does better than most expect and ends the season (without going on the DL) as a serviceable end of rotation guy
* Ben Francisco starts out hot and Shapiro trades high for additional SP pitching depth (in a package that includes Garko) in late June. Their replacements (LaPorta & Brantley) play like streaky rookies.
* Martinez spends more time at 1B then at C
* The rest of the division is miserable: Maurer spends more time on the DL then not; the ChiSox continue to get old; the Tigers SP continues to drag down the team like an albatross; the Royals improve markedly to come in 2nd in the division.
* The Indians No Hit the Yanks in the first game in the new Yankee Stadium and there is much joy throughout the entire MLB universe

Indians are good for 90 wins and 1st place in the division. Cliff falls back to Earth a little, but Fausto and Pavano bounce back, while Reyes doesn’t embarrass himself and our #5 changes throughout the season but isn’t awful. Offense doesn’t pick up until the end of May, meaning we end up winning the division in true AL Central form, which would be not discovering you’re a good team until mid-June. After cutting Kobayashi in favor of Vinnie Chulk, who can pitch, the bullpen remains completely solid all year.

We are some optimists.

I think christopherw has the right of it. It only stands to reason.
Plus, if we follow the Carmona pattern as well, he should have a great season. Only good can come of this.

AC–
I think you might have overshot on your readership… but not nearly as much as all these optimists have overshot the Indians potential for this season. Are you people from Cleveland? Don’t you remember the pain? The suffering?

I used to be an optimist too… until I was holding my very, very first world series ticket in my hands as I watched the Indians blow their series lead against the Sox… It still hurts to think about.

I wish I had grand optimism for this season–but I am blank. I am, of course, fired up for baseball season and I love my Tribe. I just feel there are too many unanswered and unreliable situations. How will Lee perform with such heavy expectations? How will Victor, Choo, and Hafner bounce back from injury shortened seasons? Pavano? Wood? How will Asdrubal perform in his junior season? When might Eric Wedge settle on a line up? If it’s July AGAIN–I might lose it.

Of course, Grady will be Grady… and I like our bench starting off this season.

I am going with AC– 86-74. But I want whatever joeybelle is drinking!! Go Tribe!!

I got with 91-75 1st place in the AL Central. I don’t care what the experts say the indians will be in the hunt all year round and they will be in the race from the beginning of the season. I see hafner and martinez having comeback seasons and Grady to do his tipical season. Cliff wil have 14 to 15 wins and Carmona will have a comeback season in 2009. GO TRIBE.

Alright, took me awhile, but no fear AC, here I am. And I’m being realistic.

-88-74
-Tribe wins Central
-Loses in ALCS
-Hafner returns to somewhere slightly better than 2007 form
-Sizemore hits 40-40
-Peralta joins Sizemore in the All-Star game with a breakout year (I can’t believe I just typed that)
-Martinez sees more time at first but mainly because Garko is inefficient. (Giminez/LaPorta promoted)
-Asdrubal doesn’t blow people away but stays around .280/.350
-DeRosa’s numbers stay pretty close to last year with the Cubs
-Francisco is streaky and splits time with a rocketing Crowe
-Choo’s numbers drop slightly from his second half last year, but OPS comes out around .900
-Lee wins 17
-Scott Lewis demoted, Laffey promoted and serviceable until Westbrook returns
-Pavano is serviceable, Carmona and Reyes are above average
-Masa demoted by May and Chulk promoted and solid at the back-end
-Wood hits 40 saves
-Betancourt cannot regain 2007 form but stays serviceable in middle relief, we continue to watch paint dry
-Perez struggles slightly but regains form in Lefty Lefty situations opposite a solid Joe Smith
-Josh Barfield traded for a rental starter for Playoff push
-Delucci somehow hangs around until early June when he pulls his hamstring again and is shelved for the season, not released
-Columbus Clippers win their League
-The Yankees don’t make the playoffs and CC gets shelled in the Yankee Stadium opener, as Wedge knows to come out swinging against him. He is booed off the stadium and somewhere deep down in that big belly, he misses Cleveland.

That’s it, see ya in 2010. (Just kidding, please win Tribe.. please)

Anthony, you’re a very entertaining writer, keep it up.

92 and 70

World Series in 6 against the Mets.

Watch my film

http://www.thedoorpost.com/freedom/film/?film=426b22a3f76df871fa8c2256a2eb22a8

Tribe wins Central with 88 wins. Carmona wins twenty+. Wood is awesome, Pronk a shadow of former self. We have Sizemore, Victor, Wood and Carmona as All-Stars. In playoffs we match up with Yanks…after that the Magic 8ball is cloudy.

Indians win the Central, but have a worse record than both Boston and New York. Somewhere around 87-92 wins for Cleveland.

Tampa Bay finishes 3rd in the AL East and turns into the Indians of 2008 – had a great run the previous year, but can’t live up to the same expectations.

Angels win the AL West again, though A’s compete.

Marlins either win the NL East or Wild Card and knock either the Phillies or the Mets out of a possible playoff spot in the process.

Dodgers in the West, Cubs in the Central.

Alright, Alright.

Cleveland, 90-72, AL Central Champions.

Joins Boston, Tampa Bay (WC) and Los Angeles in the AL Playoffs.

NY Mets, Philadephia (WC), Chicago & Los Angeles in NL Playoffs.

AL MVP-Grady Sizemore, CLE NL MVP-Albert Pujols, STL
AL Cy Young-James Shields, TB NL Cy Young- Cole Hamels, PHI

ALCS
Tampa Bay over Boston

NLCS
Chicago over New York

WS
Tampa Bay over Chicago

I’ll say 81-81 I want to be optimistic and maybe I am I just don’t see this pitching staff getting it done.

162-0. You heard it here first.

1. Wood’s arm/shoulder/back allows him to save a huge 20 games this year and the rebuilt bullpen implodes.
2. Haff is done and it takes Wedge the entire year to figure it out even though just about every fan sees it now.
3. As a side note, why does Wedge believe every position is interchangeable and moveable except DH? He preaches flexability but cannot bat Haff lower in the order until he regains his roids days strength?
4. Delluc is healthy enough to play 150 games. I count that as a bad thing by the way, not that he can only play 150 but that he can play more than once a week.
5. Lee, while I am a fan of the guy, falls back to earth and is a .500 pitcher.
6. Choo’s elbow acts up in mid season and we get a half season look at Crowe in a corner.
7. The Indians still play in Cleveland and that over takes any interchangeable parts
8. Carmona strugles early, regains his tip top form only to injure his hip
9. Everyone likes DeRosa so much they ask Casey who?
10. Tribe finishes tied for second with KC, 12 games behind the Twins. 77-85.

Unfortunately, I’m guessing in the neighborhood of 78-84, second in the Central. I was trying to feel optimistic, but then John Kruk picked us to win the pennant, and John Kruk is never right :-(

I will concur with Melissa, cantonguy, and mjmarble: 91-71. However, I will say that those predicting in the mid 80s range are not completely off base because our division is so much more competitive and that definitely includes Kansas City, who will surprise the entire American League.

91 wins….Central Division Champs by 5 games over the Twins. We so need to get off to a good start though.

http:theplayer2bnamedlater.com

Final AL Central Standings:
Cleveland with 90 Wins
Twins with 80 Wins
Kansas City with 70 Wins
Chicago with 60 Wins
Detroit with 50 Wins

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