Am I a genius?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Of course the answer is no. But I am starting to receive a number of compliments for some of my recent prognostication skills. I have been given some praise for many of my predictions on the final scores of the Penn State games this season, although I have picked he Nittany Lions to win every game so far and look how that has turned out.

But within the last 24 hours I was asked this question on Facebook by Shaimus guitarist Evan Brown...

So I thought why not take a look back at my official prediction post for the 2009 Phillies, originally posted on April 5, 2009.

I feel that this year's team has potential to be better than the 2008 squad. Replacing 16 starts from Adam Eaton with a full year of Joe Blanton, possibly having a refocused Myers for an entire year and getting a full season out of Chan Ho Park as opposed to Kyle Kendrick only seems to give the Phillies a much better starting rotation with a steady Jamie Moyer and the ace in Cole Hamels.

Well, that did not quite go as I thought it would. Cole Hamels entered the season unprepared after not focusing on work outs in the off-season, which is understandable and typical for a World Series MVP. Hamels finished the regular season with a losing record and had a frustrating post season.

I still stand by my notion that not having Adam Eaton for a full season was a benefit as Joe Blanon was one of the most dependable pitchers on the team for the entire season, despite a tough start. Chan Ho Park? Well, again I was off on that as well. Park never grasped the fifth starter's job like I thought he would and moved to the bullpen in exchange for JA Happ, which turned out to be a solid decision. Happ went on to have a great season and won the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year for his performance.

Refocused [Brett] Myers? Steady Jamie Moyer? Thank goodness for Cliff Lee and to a lesser extent, Pedro Martinez.

I expect Jimmy Rollins to have a season that falls between his 2007 MVP season and last year (which seemed worse than it was because of his spectacular 2007 season). Ryan Howard will push for 50 home runs and Chase Utley will play at an MVP level.

Truth be told this was a cop-out type of prediction as all three players universally had the same kind of expectations. Aside from a down turn in walks and a slight rise in strike outs, Rollins' numbers did go up from 2008 in most offensive categories. His batting average took a drop but considering how poor his first half of the season was, it would be hard to be too upset with what Rollins did offer at the plate for the entire season.

Ryan Howard finished the season with 45 home runs. Chase Utley played well all year but his numbers went down across the board except for walks and stolen bases. Best second baseman in the National League, but not an MVP type player.

I'll go on record and predict a 94 win season from the Phillies, culminating with a third straight NL East division title. But repeating is tough so I'll play the odds and say they lose to the Yankees in the World Series. Call me a sucker, but I buy into the hype that the Yankees may have just bought their way back to the Fall Classic.

The Phillies finished the regular season with 93 wins, one shy of my bench mark prediction. Still 93 wins was more than good enough to capture a third consecutive NL East division crown, and even though they stumbled a bit late, the Phillies clinched the division this year before the final weekend series.

As for the World Series prediction, I was pretty dead on with that one...unfortunately.

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