My turn to revisit my poor predictions from way back in February. I will note, however, that in my original predictions piece, I led off with the following statement: "With all due respect to my colleagues who have already posted their predictions, and to those that will come after, I can confidently say that these are the dumbest predictions that you will read this year. You deserve nothing less." So you can’t say you weren’t warned.
1) Brandon Phillips will have a bounce back year.
The wrongness, it burns. The money quote: "In 2014, Phillips will stay healthy and in the lineup, putting up an OPS+ of about 105 and contributing at his usual level defensively." Yeah, none of those things happened. I guess his defense is still pretty good when he’s been in the lineup, but he missed a great deal of time with an injured thumb and probably came back too early by Bryan Price’s own admission. When he has been in the lineup, he’s produced an OPS+ of 88. So that’s a big swing and a miss for me.
This didn’t happen, although the Reds and Pirates still have another series yet to play against each other, so there’s hope! But this year, the big bullies who were always picking on the Pirates were the Milwaukee Brewers, with the bench-clearing brawl they had back in April and a bit of recent testiness in their series last week. I guess even the ever-disrespected Pirates couldn’t muster up any hurt feelings from anything a fourth place team could do to them.
3) This will be Walt Jocketty's last year as Reds general manager.
Strictly speaking, this is still possible, as Jocketty’s contract is up this year and there has not been an official announcement regarding his future with the team. But John Fay recently reported that a Reds insider has assured him that a contract extension for Jocketty should be announced next week. Even still, it was looking for a while like he might be done after this season. Actually, it was looking for a while like 2013 might have been Jocketty’s last year as Reds general manager and they forgot to hire a replacement.
4) Six members of the Reds bullpen will record multiple saves.
Not even close. Despite the fact that he started the year on the disabled list, Aroldis Chapman leads the team with 35 saves, with the dear departed Jonathan Broxton with seven, and Manny Parra with one. And that’s it. I predicted that Price would be less dependent on rigid bullpen roles and hand out save opportunities based on availability and leverage. It feels like an understatement to just say that didn’t happen, so let’s say that REALLY didn’t happen. However, eight members of the Reds bullpen have recorded at least one blown save. Does that count? I don’t think that counts.
5) The Los Angeles Dodgers will win 110 games.
And here we see the foolishness in assigning specific numbers to predictions like this. The Dodgers will not win 110 games. They will not win 100 games. They did win their division, though, and by a reasonable margin, but if I had just predicted that, that would have been super lame indeed. I also predicted that they would make a big deadline trade, which they really didn’t do. I did say that Clayton Kershaw would have another Cy Young caliber season, so good on me for that one at least. I mean, who could have possibly predicted that the best pitcher in the league would pitch like the best pitcher in the league?