Andy Kirkaldy: This big league expert was no Nostradamus

Back in March I predicted in print the American League pennant races. It turns out the smartest thing I wrote was this:
“Well, to start with, the standard disclaimer: Who knows?”
This, not so smart: “2014? Well, the Sox look good.”
I expected Boston to compete with the Yankees for a Wild Card playoff berth. To be fair, the Yankees remain in the Wild Card race despite losing four-fifths of their projected starting rotation.
Of the Sox, it could be fairly said they might make history: Worst in the AL East in 2012 to best in 2013 to worst in 2014. Even Brockstar Holt has come back to earth. General Manager Ben Cherington will have to hit a couple home runs this winter if the Sox are to return to contention.
Speaking of teams that lost most of their starting rotations, I predicted both the Sox and Yankees “will probably end up chasing the Tampa Bay Rays.”
Well, they caught them, and as of Tuesday morning had the fourth-place Rays surrounded: The Yankees had them pinned from above in third, and the Sox had cut off their escape route from below in fifth and last.
Who’s in first in the AL East? A team I somehow neglected to mention, the Orioles.
My predictions were slightly better in the AL Central. Until recently, that is, when my pick to win the World Series, Detroit, saw two of its top starting pitchers get hurt and fall behind another team I overlooked entirely in March, the perennial doormats themselves, the Kansas City Royals.
How powerful was the negativity of my predictions? The Royals have not made the playoffs since 1985, when they won the World Series. My friend Paul Norton will tell you I predicted during spring training that year KC would win the Series, however. Insert the stopped-clock joke here.
OK, I did have one thing right in the AL Central. In 2013, the Cleveland Indians were 92-70. Right now they are 59-59. My call was, “Cleveland over-performed a year ago and is likely to drop back.”
In the AL West, actually I can say two out of three ain’t bad. My prediction was, “Oakland and Texas will battle again in the AL West, with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Greater Eastern Los Angeles County or whatever they’re called possibly challenging.”
Texas, swamped by an almost insane number of injuries to its pitching staff and everyday players, including major offseason pickup Prince Fielder, is the worst team in baseball. But Oakland (72-45) and the Angels (68-49) enjoyed the two best records in the league as of Tuesday.
I could predict that Oakland looks like the World Series winner, especially after prying what logic says is a proven postseason ace in John Lester from the Sox.
But the only prognostications I feel qualified to make at this point are shorter days, redder leaves and Tiger football fans calling for the team to throw the ball more.

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