Screengrab nabbed by Carriage Clock Rock
The above is presented with minimal comment.
Lead Item: Pitchers and Catchers have reported and it’s supposed to be about 68 degrees on Friday. It feels like spring, my friends. With that, it’s only appropriate that both necessary and unnecessary prognostication gets going. In terms of the latter, we get to say things like, “The Werth signing was really for 2012, expect a similar or slightly improved team in 2011 over the 69-win team from last year.” When it comes to the former, the most important resource for teams may be uber-smart Baseball Prospectus simulators. Well, yesterday there were some leaked preliminary statistics that may or may not be accurate, so we at least have something about which to talk.
Rob Neyer at SB Nation caught it (and then did correct that the projections had been erroneously posted), and while the headline for these faux-projections was about the Yankees simulated to miss the playoffs, I did get a chance to peek before they were removed. Your Washington Nationals…only a five game improvement to an average projection of about 75 wins. The math makes some since; after all, the National League has few elite teams, but, unfortunately, the Phillies and Braves combine to fill out about a solid quarter of the Nats’ schedule. It’s tough competition, but with the fading Marlins and Mets, shouldn’t the Nats pick up a few more games to get closer to .500?
The WLDC Sports Team will have its own projections as we get closer to Opening Day on March 31, but for now, it’s just fun to talk baseball. More sports news from around the District after the jump.
The Ticker: For the second football season in a row, the DMV will be hosting college football on Labor Day. This year, though, instead of a marquee match-up of top ten teams, the Terps will host the Miami Hurricanes in College Park. Maryland’s full 2011 schedule includes visits from West Virginia, Boston College and UVA, not to mention a FedEx date with Notre Dame (a school this author refers to with minimal affection as “Indiana Catholic University”)…As discussed over the past few weeks, Charlie Davies tryout with United has been going well, and this morning the team announced they will keep one of the brightest young stars from the USMNT on for the full season…the Wizards won on the road, the Wizards won on the road!…We are passing the post into the last third of the NHL season, and with 25 games to go, a three game losing streak has dropped the Caps to sixth in the Eastern Conference. To get into the top three, the Caps will need to find six points to catch the ‘Ning – with only one more head-to-head game coming in mid-March in Tampa Bay.
Closing Number: 6’11”, the particulars for Wizards forward Andray Blatche, who will attempt to use all of that length to try and pull an upset win in Saturday’s Dunk Contest in Los Angeles.
Love me the gang at Baseball Prospectus, but didn’t they also release the Nats projections prematurely last year too?
75 wins sounds about right. Zimmerman, Werth and LaRoche make for a good fielding heart of the order, and the relief pitching is supposed to be good, but beyond that, there’s a lot of hoping.
We will hear this a lot this season – 2011 is a stepping stone to 2012 when Strasburg is back, Harper makes the team, and a few more good players will want to play here.
See you in line at Ben’s….
Javale McGee, not Andray Blatche.
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