Bobby, we hardly knew ye.
LIttle did we know how much of a train wreck 2012 would turn out to be for those four media darling teams.
None of them made the postseason. Only one of the four had a winning record. And, from the newsroom of Highly Hyped Headquarters, 2013 isn't exactly looking any easier.
Let's compare the April predictions to the final standings.
In April, we predicted a 79-83 finish for the Red Sox, to the howls of some Fenway faithful.
Boy were we wrong.
The Sox followed up their September 2011 implosion with an even more astounding slow motion train wreck in 2012.
By now, everyone knows how bad it was in Beantown.
The Sox, with MLB's third richest payroll, won only 16 of their final 58 games to finish dead last in the AL East at an appalling 69-93. This was their worst record in nearly 50 years, resulting in Manager Bobby Valentine's ouster.
With the resurgence of the Orioles (did I just write that?), the AL East is becoming the NFC East of baseball.
Whoever their new manager is, the Sox will need to pitch much better and be free of injury and controversy in 2013 just to be competitive. The World Series years of 2004 and 2007 seem ancient history.
In April, we predicted an 80-82 season for the Phils, who boasted the second biggest payroll in baseball.
Not a bad forecast as the Phils ended up 81-81; 17 games behind the division winning Nationals.
Thanks to Bud Selig's second wild card, Philadelphia actually played meaningful games in September, despite languishing out of contention for much of the summer.
Like the Red Sox, the formerly formidable Phillies now find themselves in a suddenly stacked and youthful division with the Nats and Braves.
With some veterans already gone (Victorino, Pence) and others at career crossroads (Halladay, Lee, Howard, Utley), 2013 is not shaping up as any easier for Philly.
In April, we predicted an 80-82 finish for the Angels. How were we to know that Mike Trout would get called up and play like a Hall of Famer in his rookie season?
Trout's emergence overshadowed the arrival of Albert Pujols, but even the historic season by the rookie CF could not overcome an inconsistent pitching staff or the amazing Oakland A's, whose spectacular second half surge propelled them past LAA and the Rangers for the AL West title.
All of that leaves the fourth largest payroll in MLB idle during the postseason.
But things bode fairly well for the Angels for 2013.
The re-emergence of the A's makes the AL West a tough division, but Trout is a one-man rally and the pitching can't possibly be as bad next year. Right?
In April, we predicted a 78-84 season for the super hyped Marlins.
Miami equaled the futility of the Red Sox, going 69-93 and finishing last in the NL East. By season's end, the Marlins' glistening new ballpark was a mausoleum—a sad sight indeed.
In 2013, Marlins Park may be even emptier. Sure, Heath Bell might find his old form, and Giancarlo Stanton and Emilio Bonifacio might avoid injury. But with aging, highly paid stars such as Zambrano and Carlos Lee seemingly on the downside, the overall talent level doesn't match up well against the likes of Washington and Atlanta.
Whoever takes over the manager's role from the embattled Ozzie Guillen will have his work cut out for him.