Tyler Kepner Needs To Publicly Apologize For Being So Lazy When He Evaluated The NL West

It's instructive to see just how crappy baseball writers' predictions can be. Take the New York Times' staff: Teams like the Red Sox (granted, there's some outside chance they could salvage this horrible year, but still . . .), White Sox, Twins, Dodgers, Reds and Rockies are bandied about as projected winners. And the Marlins. Are they fucking kidding? Tyler Kepner has Jon Lester and Tim Lincecum winning their respective leagues' Cy Young Awards. Excusable, but David Waldstein actually has the Dodgers beating the Angels in the World Series. I mean, come on.

Tyler Kepner needs to be called out in particular. Yes, preseason predictions are fraught but the way he automatically had the Arizona Diamondbacks finishing last means that he just wasn't watching enough Arizona Diamondbacks baseball at the tail end of 2010.

You might ask yourself, "Who in God's name would want to watch late-season 2010 Diamondbacks baseball?" Fair enough. But if you're bothering making predictions in The New York Times you should at least realize that there was no way the 2011 Diamondbacks would be anywhere near as bad as the 2010 team. The 2010 Diamondbacks had one of the worst bullpens in the history of baseball. They set the major league strikeout record with about a week to go in the season. But a few things changed toward the end of the season: They fired their 30-something manager who had never played in MLB, a few starting pitchers — including 2011 Cy Young contender Ian Kennedy — started to blossom and the front office trimmed a bloated payroll. In the offseason they jettisoned strikeout record-breaking third baseman Mark Reynolds, trading him to the Orioles for a solid setup man and a promising pitcher. In short, there was no way the 2011 Diamondbacks were going to be as bad as the 2010 version.

I thought they'd be about .500. Instead they won the NL West. And they did this even after losing All-Star-caliber talent Stephen Drew to a season-ending injury, arguably their best player.

In a season with more than one ridiculously awesome moment, last night was probably the coolest so far . . . as they say at the link, "Babe Ruth and Ryan Roberts will always and forever be on the same short list":

That Kirk Gibson-esque arm pump wasn't only awesome because it was in front of the Dodgers — it was awesome because Kirk Gibson now manages the Diamondbacks. Roberts said he'd been waiting all year to do it.

Oh, and by the way (to use one of Kevin Blackistone's favorite phrases), Kirk Gibson is so clearly Manager of the Year it's ridiculous. Good for him . . .

Posted: September 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: The Thrill Of Victory And The Agony Of Defeat! | Tags: , , , , , ,

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