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Tracy Ringolsby knows who will finish in last place

Jan 19, 2010, 12:25 PM EDT

He sounds certain, but will FOX’s Tracy Ringolsby bet his hat on it?

A month before spring training, fans of all 30 major league teams are
supposed to have hope about what the coming season will bring.  Makes
for good marketing. Bottom line, however, is while there is reason for
hope with most teams, there’s no argument over which teams are the

First place in the six divisions is up for debate.  Last place, however, is a slam dunk. Mark it down now.

place still belongs to the Royals in the AL Central, Oakland in the AL
West, Toronto in the AL East, Washington in the NL East, Pittsburgh in
the NL Central and San Diego in the NL West.  These are not overnight failures. They have earned the distinction.

I take issue with Oakland in that group.  Sure, they may very will finish in last place — I’d probably pick them to finish there this year — but they’re not an “earned failure” on the order of, say, Kansas City. They have some good young pitching. They are a battered, but perfectly respectable team in ways that the others in that crowd are not. They just happen to not be as good as the other three teams in the division. No shame in that.

I take less issue with the others, but still there is room to quibble. Toronto looks like a last place team, but they did finish 11 games ahead of Baltimore, so I don’t think anyone would die of shock if the O’s “beat” them out.  Pittsburgh has to be the front runner for last place, but if you assume old players get worse and young players get better, Houston could easily fall below them this year.  The Padres actually finished five games ahead of the Diamondbacks in 2009, so I don’t know that they’re a lock for last either.

I think the only rock solid locks for last place are the Royals and Nats.  For everyone else: let’s play some games first, OK?

  1. Old Gator - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    The Feather Lice that beat out Baltimore by 11 games happened to have a pitcher by the name of Roy Halladay who alone accounted for those 11 games and then some. Se fue, as we say down here in Macondo. Some deadweight in the lineup is gone, namely Rios, but so is Scott Rolen. Toronto looks to me like a classic rebuilding project in its earliest fetal stages. When you look at that pitching staff, it regresses to barely a zygote (although, fortunately, the Feather Lice do not suffer from a curse of the zygoat). When you look more closely at the pitching staff, it isn’t even a gleam in the back door man’s eye yet.
    Toronto has, at least, the Cowboy Junkies. I suspect that that will have to keep them happy this season. Fortunately, it can.

  2. Zonebrick - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Washington and Kansas City may finish last in their respective divisions but I think they are both improved over last season.

  3. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    When did the N.Y. Mets hire a new GM and/or switch to another division?

  4. ecp - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    I tend to agree, Zonebrick, if for no other reason than a lot of people don’t realize how many injuries KC had last year. Plus Cleveland is no better than they were in 2009 – and they also finished in last.

  5. APBA Guy - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Since this looks like another bad year for the economy, except for Wall Street guys, we should have these predictions include attendance estimates as well. This year’s attendance will determine next years payroll, after all.
    I disagree with Old Gator’s assessment that the Blue Jays will finish last in the AL East. Not because of anything he says, he could be right on all points. But he fails to give proper weight to the meddling incompetence of Peter Angelos, who has successfully guided his team to last place finishes by healthy margins for lately these many years . He alone is worth more to Toronto as a last place cushion than having Halladay and Rolen.
    And for the record, my prediction on the beloved A’s attendance average in 2010: 10,500. It will once again be possible to buy A’s tickets on Stub Hub for less than box office price.

  6. Charles Gates - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Any well deserved condemnation of Angelos must also include praise for his ability to go ‘hands off’ with McPhail as to let him rebuild the O’s farm system, which using Gator’s metaphor, should birth itself a competitive team, perhaps this year, but certainly next.

  7. Evil EmpirE 2010 - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    The Yankees don’t have to worry about LAST PLACE………..

  8. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Not going to lie, I could legitimately see the Mets finishing in dead-last this year.

    The Nats had a solid offensive squad last year and the pitching has improved. The bullpen looks significantly better with the addition of Capps, Bruney and Everyday Eddie.

    It’s rumored Washington could still add another starter as well. Garland, Sheets, Bedard, etc… are all still on the market and Washington has the cash to land one of ’em…

    Don’t be surprised if the Nats leave the New York Mess in the dust this year.

  9. Old Gator - Jan 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Bet you a bucket of Chesapeake Bay garlic blue crabs (assuming we can find a dozen that aren’t infested with Pfiesteria that the Aureoles prove just a tad less chickenshit than the Feather Lice this year (which would also help keep down the Pfiesteria in the upper bay). You win, I buy us a Dungeness Crab that could have been cloned in Jurassic Park. Deal?

  10. Charles Gates - Jan 19, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Blue crabs with Old Bay. Anything else is just silly.

  11. Tony A - Jan 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Gotta agree on that score…love blue crabs, love garlic, but, not that much, together…

  12. Old Gator - Jan 19, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Old Bay has enough sodium in it to give a heart attack to a goddamned tree. Good stuff on the palate, though. Unfortunately, it won’t cover up the taste of Pfiesteria as well as garlic butter in crabs from the estuaries of Chesapeake Bay, and those also sometimes still taste of the Purdue chicken shit and nitrate runoff that causes the cute lil’ dinoflagellants to go berserk in the first place. I will happily risk the pulmonary complications with blue crab from deeper into the Bay, at any of those dives on Tangier Island that seem to be run by refugees from Innsmouth, or some other bay where Frank Purdue hasn’t sullied the waters.

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