I'll have a little fun at my own expense today, taking a look back at the 10 fearless predictions I made before the start of the 2011 season. I know there are a couple right off the bat that I wasn't even close on. Let's see how I did.
1) Derek Jeter will rebound enough at the plate this year for Joe to keep him as the leadoff hitter against lefties. But not enough that Joe won't scrap his plan to use Gardner against righties as Gardner will flourish in the role.
This was the case earlier in the year, but Jeter's resurgence after his DL stint kept him at the top pretty much year round. Gardner did play well when he was in the 1-spot, though, so I'm going to be generous and give myself 1/2 a point here.
2) Phil Hughes will essentially bypass A.J. as the #2 starter with a better approach and more improved secondary stuff this year, earning himself a 2nd straight ASG nod in the process.
Oh no. No, no, no. Not even close on this one.
3) Russell Martin will stay healthy and productive enough to hold down the starting catcher spot for the entire season.
BOOM!! There's one right on the nose. Point for me.
4) Jesus Montero will start heating up with the bat in late May-early June and be called up to replace Francisco Cervelli. In one week in August he will play for 4 consecutive games, both behind the plate and as the DH, and will have 6 XBH (3 of them homers) and drive in 7 over that 4-game span, serving notice to everybody that he IS the real deal.
The timing was a little off, even though the Yankees probably should have called him up in the summer, and the numbers weren't quite the same. But The Jesus certainly served notice during his Sept. 3-5 run, which he capped off by hitting 2 HR and driving in 3 against the Orioles. I'm taking 1/2 a point for this one too.
5) Joba won't quite get back to being 2007 Joba in the 'pen, but he will be better than the 2009 and 2010 versions. He and D-Rob both will earn some more high-leverage innings when Soriano starts to hiccup midseason.
The only part I really got right here was the better than previous years part. But Joba wasn't around long enough to take innings from Soriano before he was shelved with TJS.
6) 3 Yankees will win Gold Gloves this year: Cano, Teixeira, and Brett Gardner (thanks to an injury to Carl Crawford).
Haven't announced this one yet, but I feel pretty confident. If Gardner doesn't get a Gold Glove this year, the award should be scrapped forever.
7) At some point in June or July, the Yankees will hit a rough patch and we will see at least one ridiculous story saying they should trade Betances, Romine, and Mason Williams for somebody like Fausto Carmona, and another one saying they should call up Banuelos. They will do neither. And Andy Pettitte will not be coming back. Ever. He's done.
There were never any calls for crazy trades, at least as far as I know out here. I can't speak for what kind of stupid shit was being said on WFAN. And while Banuelos was always mentioned, never as a serious rotation option. Even the Andy rumors never started to percolate, probably because there was never a real bad stretch through the summer. No points earned here.
8) We will see Andrew Brackman in a Yankee uniform this season. And also Hector Noesi and David Phelps at some point. We won't see Banuelos or Betances in one, though.
Swap Betances for Phelps here and I knocked it out of the park. Instead it's just another 1/2 point. I wouldn't be surprised if we see all 5 of these guys on the hill in the Bronx at some point in 2012.
9) Both Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira will finish in the top 5 of the MVP voting, Cano coming in 2nd and Teix 5th. A-Rod, despite having a good year, will only finish 9th after making a mid-summer DL stint.
Cano might finish 2nd after a strong finish and postseason, but mentioning Teix or A-Rod in the MVP discussion for 2011 you would get laughed out of the room. 0 points.
10) The Yankees, behind their monster bullpen and CC and Phil at the top of the rotation, will win the 2011 World Series in 6 games over the Colorado Rockies, sending Jorge Posada (but not Mo) off into retirement on top.
Guh. Blew that one too, and that one hurts most of all. Just 2.5 correct predictions for me in 2011, with the chance to bump that up to at least 3. So just in case you were still under the assumption that you could come to AB4AR and count on me for 100% on point insight, let this be your final lesson. All I can do is get back in the cage and try to straighten things out for 2012.