Three way too early predictions for this season. Actually, two way too early predictions and one absolute lock. I’ll let you decide which is which.
1. Brian Matusz will win the AL Rookie of the Year. I told someone this today and they told me a lefty hadn’t won the AL Rookie of the Year (or any ROY?) since 1981. As far as I’m concerned, that means he’s due.
2. Matt Wieters is going to break out like no other this year. Look at the splits last year, go ahead. I’ll wait. Despite a dreadful start, Wieters turned it around for his last 200+ at bats. He finished the season hitting over 300 from the left side. His power steadily increased, as did his run production. Wieters knows how to adjust and I am betting on a very quick learning curve this season.
3. I’ll be annoyed with Gary Thorne before the Orioles get back to Baltimore for Opening Day. Thorne’s a great guy by all accounts and decent at play-by-play. He’s also about as professional as they come. But at times, he takes it too far. Last season, Thorne invented his own new way of running the stats… he’d read the Runs-Hits-Errors tally for each time at random times throughout the game. And without any context.
“So here comes Nick Markakis to the plate… Orioles 3-6-1, Rays 5-8-0… the first pitch is a strike.”
The line became typical in Thorne’s repertoire, but even by October last year my first reaction was “Since when are there ties in baseball?”
Stick to the standards, Gary.