Perfection in predicting National League Central

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, awaiting baseball games on TV that won’t involve the Cincinnati Reds losing a whole bunch of games.

AS CASEY STENGEL would have said it, “You could look it up.”

One day before the 2015 baseball season began, I made my yearly predictions on the standings. For the National League Central I predicted, in order: St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati.


the standings. As Lou Piniella would say it, “Was I right or was I right?”

And I predicted Toronto would win

the American League East, the Los Angeles Dodgers would win the National League West and Kansas City would win the American League Central.

But before I break my writing arm patting myself on my back, like everybody else, I badly missed on the National League East by predicting Washington would win it. The New York Mets? Who knew?

AS I PREDICTED the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would win the American League West. Noobody, including me, predicted that the Houston Astros would be a wild card team and few thought the Cubs would be a wild card team.

OK, IT’S TIME to make my 2015 postseason predictions.

The wild cards:

NATIONAL LEAUGE — The Cubs are sending Jake Arrieta against the Pirates and Gerrit Cole, both Cy Young contenders (Arrieta will win

). But the Pirates have the home
field advantage and PNC Park will be a blackout hole. Pirates win.

AMERICAN LEAGUE — Against the New York Yankees (no longer the Evi Empire), the upstart Houston Astros are The People’s Choice. But they have difficulty winning

on the road and Yankee Stadium won’t be kind to them.

NLDS: My upset special — The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the injury-plagued St. Louis Cardinals. And it won’t be an upset when the pitch-rich (all veterans) Los Angeles Dodgers beat the pitch-rich (mostly very young) New York Mets.

NLCS: The Dodgers, with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, outpitch the Pirates. Pitching wins

in the postseason and the Dodgers have it.

ALDS: The Kansas Royals, even minus their closer, take care of the New York Yankees. The Toronto Blue Jays, who carry bludgeons to home

plate, outslug the Texas Rangers.

ALCS: Toronto takes care of the Kansas City Royals as Johnny Cueto continues to struggle and ex-Red Edwin Encarnacion leads the extremely offense Blue Jays.

WORLD SERIES: What a matchup this will be, the pitching dominated Los Angeles Dodgers against the hitting dominated Blue Jays. And what did we say earlier? Pitching dominates in the postseason (see: Madison Bumgarner). So, the Dodgers win the World Series in six games.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESST story and the headline on the Cincinnati Reds story in today’s Dayton Daily News said this year’s team lost the most games since the 1937 team.

While the 1982 team was most forgettable, I didn’t forget. I had to cover that mess, too, and that team lost 101 games. I saw all 101, so I know it happened.

The Opening Day left fielder that year was Clint Hurdle, the current manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw a runner out at home plate on Opening Day, then blew on his fingers and acted as if he was holstering a gun after the play.

It made sense. People were calling Hurdle The Marlboro Man because he resembled the cowboy on the Marlboro TV commercial.

THE CLEVELAND BROWNS? New uniforms, same old modus operandi. If there is a way to lose a football game, the Browns will dig it up. On Sunday the San Diego Chargers missed a field goal attempt at the end of a tie game. But, of course, the Browns were offside and the Chargers converted the field goal re-try to win it.

FOR THOSE FRETTING the the play of Ohio State, don’t fret. Aren’t they still unbeaten? Aren’t they still No. 1? They have too much talent not to put it all together. And there are no super teams in the country this year. Parity has hit college football.

But it would be beneficial to the Buckeyes if Cardale Jones put radar in his helmet so he might be more accurate with his passes.

MY BOOK, ‘THE REAL MCCOY,’ is still available at and bookstores everywhere. I will be part of the Books by the Banks book fair Saturday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cincinnati Duke Energy Convention Center — selling and signing.





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