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Great Moments in Predictions: Morosi picks the Royals over the Tigers

Mar 29, 2013, 6:18 AM EDT

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Jon Paul Morosi, who has openly used this year’s season previews as fodder to troll people, last night threw out the biggest hate-bait possible: picking the Royals to win the AL Central.

His rationale: “The rotation is vastly improved, the bullpen is deep, and young stars Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are ready to flourish.” Then he drops a reference to a couple of surprise teams in the past few years and essentially says “why not the Royals?” His argument for the Tigers to fall to second: they have a closer-by-committee. As if Bruce Rondon‘s presence on the roster would have pushed them into first place otherwise.

Look, you can either take predictions seriously or you can treat them as the meaningless but sometimes fun and time-killing guesswork that they are. We at HBT prefer the latter tack so we’re not exactly in a position to hurl scorn on someone who makes what most people feel are silly predictions. I mean, this isn’t serious, all-important business like the World Baseball Classic or anything.

But Morosi’s trolling tone aside, it feels like he takes them somewhat seriously. Anyone who makes a point to remind people of previously correct predictions as he does at the outset of the column (while conveniently forgetting some of his poor predictions) is clearly not doing it solely for the yuks. And if you take your predictions seriously, you’re sort of obligated to own them later if and when they fail to be borne out by events.

So let’s all bookmark this column, shall we? Because if the Royals somehow fail to beat out the Tigers, we’ll want to remind ourselves of why Morosi is spending so much time eating crow over how things turned out. ┬áBecause he will do that, right?

  1. ugglasforearms - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    OK, I’m picking the Astros over the Angels.

    • kiwicricket - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:08 AM

      Mariners! More syllables.

  2. darthicarus - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Perhaps Morosi was accidentally mailed some of last year’s Royals propaganda and bought in to their “Our Time” theme, competition be damned!

  3. Ponsonby_Britt - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    I’m picking Calcaterra over Morosi.

  4. blazertop - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Cubs and Astros in the 2013 world series.

  5. takingbovadasmoney - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Lol…Craig Calcutta calling someone else a troll. When do you start with Stephen A and Skip?

    • cur68 - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Hi Mr. Morosi. Still at the trolling, eh?

  6. frank35sox - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    My take: if you have a unique thought, you are a troll. Never mind that someone runs a blog of three paragraph blurbs that offers out of the box (dare I say “unique?”) analysis.

    • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      I agree, to some degree. I don’t think Morosi is trolling, I just think he doesn’t possess a particularly good understanding of baseball, leading to rather inconsistent “reasoning” and silly predictions/statement.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Or, he’s pouting about the ESPN rankings.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Possible…if you haven’t noticed, I tend to ignore most data-free (or highly speculative) rankings, previews, or predictions….so I have no idea what ESPN may have done to offend Morosi’s sensibilities. I realize that most people think predictions/projections are fun, I kind of find them….well…uninteresting.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        Oh, then I will be sure to point them out to you.

        ESPN’s #1&2 players are Miggy & V. Trout is #3. Craig really should post on that so everyone can have a crazy fight.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        I agree…that might keep people out of threads I’m interested in discussing.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Oh, which ones am I to avoid?

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        Harhar.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        It’s Good Friday. I’m ornery today. It won’t be so bad this am while I’m on the Performance Enhancing Liquid, but later when I move on to Bach & vino, well…

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        In the….um…great?….state of CT, Good Friday is an official state holiday, there are still classes, but essentially no one else is in the office today (and no classes are taught in my building)….so the place is tranquilly dead quite today. It’s rather lovely…not as nice as doing some yard work on this glorious 50 F sunny day….but…for a day of work, not bad.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Really? Here in the Bible Belt it is actually not an official holiday. This is the first time I can ever remember having it off. It’ll be in the 60’s but I’m not doing yard work, thankyouverymuch. Maybe I will write my Congressman about this war on Good Friday.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        CT still has a lot of weird old “blue laws” and is historically very catholic, which has an effect. Until recently, alcohol was not sold on Sundays (except in restaurants), you still can not hunt on Sundays.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        Um, we still can’t buy alcohol on Sundays and you can’t buy anything stronger than 3.2 beer refrigerated. We still have a number of dry counties where you can’t get alcohol at all too. You can’t buy booze at the grocery store and liquor stores cannot sell accoutrements like limes and mixers. Bars have to stop selling at 2am, but they can start again at 6am. We have the lottery now though, but the Baptists are working on that.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        Yes, well…..OK is so conservative that it shocks Texans. I guess that means that you just have to plan ahead.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Yes, you have to *want* to drink and work at it. When I visit my brother in TX, it’s always a pleasant shock — and the alcohol is so much cheaper down there since there’s more competition in sales. Ahh, personal freedoms.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        I’ve lived a lot of places….everywhere (at least on this side of the globe) has its positives and negatives.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        I know. Maybe that’s why I’m stuck here.

    • Ben - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      And if by unique you mean insane, then sure.

  7. largebill - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    I’m an Indians fan and wish I could argue for them in this conversation, but alas I can not. The Tigers (like most teams) could defy the experts predictions. Many of us expect them to run away from the pack and win the division by 10 games or more. However, it would not take a miracle for them to fall back to just another team. Injuries are impossible to predict and are the great equalizer (just ask NYY). Also, their infield defense, while it surprised everyone and was okay last year, could let down the pitching this year. No pitcher enjoys having to get more than 3 outs in an inning. We’ll see how it plays out, but I wouldn’t sleep on KC. They are improved.

  8. sandpiperair - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Did you guys pick all the #1 seeds for the final four in your brackets, too? The Royals do have a lot of good, young talent, and strange things happen in baseball (like just last season).

    • Kevin S. - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Yes because talent wins out in a one-and-done just like it does over a 162-game grind.

    • kopy - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      No, but I probably should have.

  9. Darkoestrada - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Hosmer and moustakas may break out but Detroit kind of has some guys named prince fielder and Miguel Cabrera at those some positions. They also happen to have a better rotation and don’t have Jeff francoeur. But you never know, maybe Greg holland is worth about 15 wins more than detroits closer by committee. Never mind the fact that you have to be winning through 8 innings for the closer to even be relevant and often times the highest leverage situations don’t happen in the 9th

  10. sportsdrenched - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Joe Posanaksi used pick the Royals to finish first every year and you’re not making fun of him?

    Anyway, Not even the most optimistic Royals fan thinks they’re getting over on the Tigers so I don’t know why national beat writers would. Besides, even if I thought the Royals would finish in first…I prefer my teams to sneak up on people. As far as I’m concerned I don’t anyone to pick the Royals to win anything…ever.

  11. Detroit Michael - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Most baseball writers who do predictions aren’t really trying to write about the most likely outcome. They write about plausible outcomes that attract readers and make for more interesting copy than the most likely outcomes. I don’t perceive Morosi as different from the rest of the pack in this regard.

    Which is fine. Unless someone making predictions is going to “show their work,” then the reader knows the annual predictions column is just brain candy anyway.

  12. 2dmo4 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Whilst working in the Detroit area for years, this guy was a blowhard that would make outlandish claims for trade rumors, cuts, free agent signings, etc..etc..etc.

    Now that he is on the “main stage” as they say, he is trying to the same to bring attention to himself.

    All in all the guy is a tool.

  13. trevorb06 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    You know, it’s really not all that farfetched to think that the Royals do have a shot. If baseball has taught us anything it’s that anything can happen. Look at the A’s to prove it.

    Think about it. If Moustakas and Hosmer take big steps forward in their development. If Butler keeps progressing and turning those doubles into HRs like he has been. If Alex Gordon keeps playing at his level. If that starting rotation really has improved as much as we’re told to believe. If that amazing bullpen stays healthy. Yes, this is asking that a lot of cards fall into the right place but dang’it Bobby it could be an interesting thing to watch if it happens. I actually think the Royals will finish 2nd in the division and the last three will be a crap shoot between the Twins, Indians and Pale Hoes. The Twins have an interesting team with Parmelee and Hicks potentially able to make waves and Morneau looking healthier than he has in past seasons. If Morneau even returns to 80% of his original form that’s still pretty dangerous. If Willingham can even do 80% of what he did last season, still dangerous. Mauer is Mauer and will be an on base machine ahead of those two. Biggest concern with the Twins is that starting rotation though and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them finish last again BUT even they have a shot in that weak division to finish 3rd.

    • Ben - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      I have literally no idea what just happened in this post.

  14. historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Bahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahaahah*breath*hahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

  15. asimonetti88 - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I don’t agree with it at all, but at the same time, baseball has to be one of the hardest sports to predict. It is such a team game that it is incredibly hard to anticipate all the factors that can lead to success. Last year everyone thought the Nationals were a year away from contention, the Orioles would be one of the worst teams in baseball, and the Angels would be much better than the A’s. The Royals do have some talent, and if circumstances go right they could be a playoff team. I just wouldn’t bet the farm on that though. Especially not on them making the playoffs by winning the division. The Tigers are too strong.

  16. rbj1 - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I’m picking the San Diego Chargers to win the World Series. Morosi’s problem is that he’s not making his wacky predictions wacky enough. Jon, you need to think outside the box.

  17. Pete - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    I think the royals have a legit shot at winning the central. Sure the tigers are the favorites, but I do see the royals taking a step forward this year and I don’t mind a columnist sticking their neck out to make a pick. The HBT staff picks all seemed pretty conservative. What were the craziest picks, Craig putting the Padres third? Matthew dropping the Angels to 3rd? Noone put the nationals in anything but first, noone put the A’s first, or the M’s higher than 4th….take a chance people! The a’s were supposed to finish behind seattle last year, and baltimore… You never know. I see the AL West as a 3 or 4 team dogfight this year. It comes down to the fact that riskier picks are a little more fun, and a heck of a lot more fulfilling when they actually occur. I once came within a photo-finish (literally), a horse whisker (they have whiskers, right?) of hitting on a trifecta pick at Santa Anita that included a long shot that would have paid something like $182 from my $1 bet. And as you can see I’m still captivated by it.

    The tigers are pretty top heavy with 3 amazing talents – what if one of them goes down for the year? This is not terribly unlikely. They were supposed to run away with it last year and didn’t. BP playoff odds report says detroit has a 66% chance of winning the central, and has KC 4th with a 6% chance. So you’re sayin there’s a chance!! That would be a 1 in 16 or so chance, which isn’t exactly like predicting an astros division win (which is not the sort of out-of-your-head predictions I’m suggesting. Just a BIT more off of “the road more traveled by” if you please.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/odds/index.php?standings_sort=ppct&dispgroup=div&submit=Go

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