Simply Baseball Notebook: Cover Stories

10 guarantees* for 2005

March 2005


10 Guarantees* for 2005
*not a guarantee


1. The Yankees WILL NOT win the World Series.

With the acquisitions of Randy Johnson and Tony Womack in the off season, the Yankees finally completed their quest of reuniting the 1995 All Star team.  Seriously though, this team is old: A-Rod is their youngest regular and he turns 30 in July.  Johnson is great, but he’s also 42 and has no cartilage in his left knee.  Oh yeah, and just for the sake of nostalgia, the Boss brought Tino Martinez back into the fold.  Ron Guidry and Reggie Jackson could be next.


2.  Barry Bonds WILL NOT win the NL MVP.

Yes, he’s won it every year since his record setting 2001 season and yes, he should have won it over teammate Jeff Kent in 2000 and yes, he won it 1990, 1992 and 1993 and should have won it over Atlanta’s Terry Pendelton in 1991, but not this year.  The combination of the media scrutiny, the cloud of the BALCO investigation, and father time will finally begin to slow up the allegedly chemically enhanced slugger.


3.  The Twins WILL win their 4th consecutive AL Central Division title.

At sBn, we learn from our mistakes -- last year we foolishly picked the Kansas City Royals to win the AL Central, not gonna do that again.  Look for the Twins to outlast a plucky Cleveland club and return to the postseason.


4.  Justin Morneau WILL end the Twins drought without a 30 homerun hitter.

Yes, it seems unfathomable in this juiced up era, but the Twins have not had a 30 homerun hitter since the Regan administration – 1987!  The big Canadian hit 19 bombs in just 280 at bats last season, so he should have no problem hitting 11 more with 500+ at bats this year.


5.  The Atlanta Braves WILL NOT reach the postseason.

OK, we’ve been wrong about this the past two years and the Braves steak of 13 straight division titles in impressive, but still, we are so sick of them.  This has to be the year that somebody (Florida, Philadelphia) finally knocks them off. 


6.  Sammy Sosa WILL experience a renaissance in Baltimore.

1998 he wore a halo, but by 2004 it had morphed into horns, at least according to Cubs fans.  Yes the Cubs were underachievers in 2004 and yes, Sosa’s production did dip, but the man hit 35 homeruns in less than 500 at bats.  Expect Sosa, who won’t have to roam the outfield everyday and who will benefit from homer-friendly Camden Yards, to have a big year in 2005.  Of course, the Orioles still don’t have a chance of catching Boston or New York.


7.  The Milwaukee Brewers WILL have a winning record.

The last time the Brew Crew posted a winning record George Bush was in the White House – not “W”, the one term one.  The year was 1992, Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount were still teammates and Miller Park was nothing more than a twinkle in Bud Selig’s eye.  This embarrassing run of futility has to end sometime – doesn’t it?  It looked like it might last year, but a second half collapse quickly crushed those dreams.  Ned Yost looks like an up-coming-manager while the additions of Carlos Lee and Damian Miller should solidify the lineup.  That coupled with big years from Ben Sheets and Doug Davis could finally put the Brewers on the happy side of .500.


8.  The 50 homerun plateau WILL NOT be reached.

It hasn’t happened since A-Rod hit 57 in 2002, and don’t expect anyone to reach the once-magical 50 homerun plateau this year.  Although, Adam Dunn of Cincinnati, who hit 46 in 2004, probably has the best shot.


9.  Mark Prior WILL win the NL Cy Young.

We picked him to do it last year, but injuries derailed his season.  Look for Prior to be healthy and dominant in 2005.  We predict 21-24 wins, a sub 2.50 ERA and 250+ strikeouts.


10.  The Mets WILL be a mess.

Yes, those star struck Mets have lost sight of the big picture one again.  It started last summer when they traded Scott Kazmir, one of the top pitching prospects in the game, to Tampa for the mediocre Victor Zambrano and continued into the off season when they overpaid for Kris Benson and Pedro Martinez.  While other acquisitions like Carlos Beltran and Doug Mientkiewicz make sense, there is serious doubts about how they will be able to handle the New York pressure cooker.  Other team stalwarts like Mike Piazza and Tom Glavine are on the wrong side of 35, and Piazza in particular, is injury prone.  If the Mets get off to a slow start, watch out, it could get ugly in Flushing.


10 Guarantees* for 2004

10 Guarantees* for 2003


Simply Baseball Notebook