On February 23rd of the new year, Sports Illustrated's Ted Keith published an article entitled Five bold predictions for 2009. If you are unfamiliar with the article, here is a link to it for you to see the original online http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/ted_keith/02/23/bold.predictions/1.html
Here I will examine each of Keith's predictions, not necessarily criticizing them, but examining them piece of by piece and then giving him an overall grade on his "bold predictions."
1. The Chicago Cubs will win the pennant- Well, no, not quite. In fact, they did not actually make the playoffs this year after doing so two years in a row. The Cubs finished 7.5 games out of first behind the Cardinals, and they were even further behind Colorado for the wild-card. They underachieved in every category, as there rotation was weaker than it had been the past years, its lineup did nothing, and its up-and-coming bullpen was unreliable and under performing. With this prediction, Keith was very very far off.
2. Another big steroids name will be revealed- After the entire Alex Rodriguez steroid scandal, everything seemed to die down for a little bit until Manny was named for using illegal substances. I would say Keith did a pretty good job on this prediction, though, at the rate the big names had been being revealed, I would not go as far as he did to call it a "bold prediction." Seemed more than likely.
3. Manny Ramirez will win the MVP award- This is another one that just could not be further off. Not only did Manny not come close to winning the MVP (or even hitting 30 home runs). In fact, all Manny accomplished this year that is of much importance was receiving a 50 game suspension for using human chorionic gonadotropin, a women's fertility drug. So, on this prediction, Keith could probably not have been further from the actual.
4. Jake Peavy will not be traded- Contrary to Keith's prediction, Peavy was dealt to the White Sox and only pitched 3 games for them (doing extremely well in 2 of them). In total, he threw only just over 100 innings on the entire season, one that was cut awfully short by nagging injuries. Keith's prediction on this could have only gone two ways, either Peavy would have been traded or not been, and unfortunately for Keith, it was not as he expected.
5. The AL East will be the best division race ever- I am not sure what Keith meant by "ever," and what or what was not the best division race of the year is mostly a subjective topic so it is hard to say. But, the AL East had a 19 game differential between the first and third place team. This seven games more than the second largest differential (AL West 12 game differential). The Yankees ran away with the division and the Rays were not even close to Boston for second place, so I would be think it is an easy thing to say that the AL East was not the best race, maybe the worst.
Overall, looking back at Ted Keith's precitions about 8 months later, they really do not look like the panned out as he would have liked them to. In fact, overall I would say that Keith was pretty much dead wrong on most of his "bold predictions." But, that is all they are, pre-season predictions, and the willingness of someone to make predictions like he did with the strong possibility of facing criticism from fans like myself and other analysts shows a lot about him as a sports writer, and why possibly controversial articles can turn out to be the most popular ones in the end.