Thomas Wayne’s 2012 American League Predictions

by JohnBowen

Good day ladies, gents and Cubs fans. After a few weeks/months hiatus from the baseball writing world I am back (thank/blame Adam White for that – where ever he may be right now). More recently I’ve had a slew of technical difficulties that have kept me from posting anything on good ole’ Dugout Central. With those troubles now far behind me (knock on wood, pinch of salt and the whole nine) I am here with my yearly predictions.

I won’t waste any more time with an opening and get right to the meat of the matter.

(Note: These predictions were originally written on April 3rd.)

AL East

  • New York Yankees 96-66
  • Tampa Bay Rays 92-70
  • Boston Red Sox 88-74
  • Toronto Blue Jays 87-75
  • Baltimore Orioles 81-81

Yes – you are reading that correctly. I am predicting every team in the AL East to finish above .500. I love the direction the Orioles and Blue Jays are headed in and really like Tampa’s pitching top to bottom (as most everybody does) – but the Yanks are the team to beat. I look for a big season out of Jeter (yes, all you haters will have to wait at least one more year for that monumental decline you’ve been predicting for the Captain over the last few seasons) with the scrutiny of approaching 3000 hits well behind him.  Add in another big year out of Granderson and a major rebound year from ARod, typical (and by typical I mean HUGE) years from Tex and Cano coupled with solid additions to the starting  staff in Pineda, Kurodi, and Pettitte and you get the makings of a front runner who might just run away from the rest of the pack.

As high as I am on the entire division (which is without at doubt the best overall division in baseball) I am down (really down) on the Red Sox. Bobby V is not the answer for this club – a major attitude adjustment is. Until the players get their collective crowns out of their arses I feel this team will continue to have problems and miss the playoffs again – which is sad when you consider that even in disarray they have enough talent to push 90 wins – 90 wins when your clubhouse walls are stained with bullshit? Imagine if they actually got their heads right. Final thought – Any odds on how many games in we will be before Valentine calls out Beckett or someone else for not working hard enough?

AL Central

  • Detroit Tigers 100-62
  • Enough said.

The AL Central has become the why-bother-division in the game. I predict every other team (White Sox, Twins, Royals, and Indians) will finish below .500 just like they did last year. Detroit is far and away the best team in the division and will push the Yanks and a pair of AL West teams as the best in the AL (and probably the best in baseball).  The young Royals will show flashes of what might be – but I believe they are at least two years away, possibly three. Everyone else is a mess of one kind or another on different levels and hardly worth discussing.

AL West

  • Texas Rangers 100-62
  • California Angels of Anaheim via Los Angeles  99-63
  • Oakland Athletics 70-92
  • Seattle Mariners 66-96

The Angels and Rangers go head to head 6 times in the last two weeks of the season including the final weekend in Arlington. Think those games won’t be meaningful? Those series could have playoff implications for as many as six teams. The Rangers are loaded and seemingly poised to take the final step – winning the World Series for the first time in franchise history if they can get past waking up at night screaming David Freese’s name. The Albert Pujols led Angels will be right on their heels with lots of offense and arguably the best starting three in the game (Weaver, Haren and C. J. Wilson).  Oakland and Seattle will have to wait until next year (again) to really look down on someone – the Astros join the AL West in 2013 to balance the schedules  and will undoubtedly be worse than both the A’s and M’s.


Manager of the Year – Buck Showalter, Baltimore

The Orioles are 103-116 under Showalter since he took over the club in late 2010- not great but not terribly bad for a young team trying to reach the next level. If they reach my prediction of playing .500 ball this year it will be a 12 win improvement from 2011 all while playing in the best division in baseball. The other candidates for manager of the year (Madden, Girardi, Washington and Scioscia) are expected to have great teams – I think this limits their awards appeal. In my mind (small as it is) this is Showalter’s award to lose.

Comeback Player of the Year – Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

Come on – is there any doubt if he stays healthy? ARod can easily hit 30-35 homers and drive in 100 or more if he plays in a just a 120-130 games. If another slew of injuries doesn’t claim him this is his award with Kendrys Morales a distant second.

Rookie of the Year – Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics

Some will go with Matt Moore, others will jump on Yu (not me) Darvish. I like the Cuban expatriate as my first year player to watch. I’m not sure if his overall power will transfer to the states (especially playing in the National Park that is Oakland Alameda County Coliseum or whatever they call it today) – but even if it doesn’t this guy has the talent to hit 25 homers, drive in 85 (which will be a special deal considering how inept the rest of Oakland’s offense stands to be) score 75 and steal 15 bases while keeping his average, OBP and slugging at respectable levels.

Cy Young Award – Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

I stand by my call last year that Verlander DID NOT deserve the MVP award, but he sure as hell deserved the Cy and I think that will carry over again this year.  Try these outlandish numbers on for size – 27 wins, 4 losses and an ERA of 2.40 to go with 285 K’s with a WHIP smaller than my…ummm…never mind. I don’t even believe he will be challenged by anyone. Another unanimous Cy for the best arm in the game.

MVP – Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

He finally wins an MVP. This will shock no one. I look for Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Prince Fielder, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Albert Pujols, Miguel Batista, Paul Konerko and Adam Jones among others to all garner votes but finish behind the big man in Detroit.

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33 Responses to “Thomas Wayne’s 2012 American League Predictions”

  1. JohnBowen Says:

    “but finish behind the big man in Detroit.”

    Prince Fielder just blushed a little bit in between racks of ribs.

    ” Oakland and Seattle will have to wait until next year (again) to really look down on someone – the Astros join the AL West in 2013 to balance the schedules and will undoubtedly be worse than both the A’s and M’s.”

    With those three teams providing easy wins, I could see the Rangers challenging for the MLB record in wins between 2013-2015, with the Angels having an easy leg-up on everyone else for the AL Wildcard. Similar to 2001, when the Mariners won 116, and the A’s settled for the WC at 102.

  2. ThomasWayne Says:

    Thanks again, John. If I have to keep sending things to you to get posted I’ll owe ya a steak if I ever hit your neck of the woods.

  3. Jim Says:

    Let’s see those 6 Ranger – Angels games. Will the “story that we are watching line” be, Can the Angels stay out of last place or Will Albert hit his first home run.

    Took Bobby V roughly 2 weeks to call out a player and nonsensically it was Youk. Granted Youk is a jerk and is probably toast, but to say he doesn’t care or work hard???

  4. Jim Says:

    Well, Will Middlebrooks is doing his part to make Youk, Wally Pipp for the 21st century. Grand slam that ties the game. Over wall and across the street and onto the roof of the parking garage.

  5. JohnBowen Says:

    Pujols FINALLY homered.

  6. Chuck Says:

    Catch of the year

  7. Chuck Says:

  8. Bob Says:

    The Sudbary, Mass home where Babe Ruth lived is for sale for $1.65 million. More than he made in his entire career.

  9. Bob Says:

    1. Cole Hamels got suspended for 5 games.
    2. Cole Hamels is a dumbshit.
    3. I wish he had gotten more.

  10. Chuck Says:

    If I ever walk into a bar and Hamels is there, drinks are on me.

  11. Bob Says:

    Bet you Hamels never walks into a DC bar.

  12. John Says:

    Yeah, plunking someone for playing hard is really classy.

    I love that Harper stole home on Hamels’s punk ass.

  13. Brautigan Says:

    From where I sit, the only mistake Hamels made was acknowledging he hit Harper on purpose to the public.

    John, the reason Harper got plunked was plain and simple: 1) welcome to the bigs, and 2) let’s see how the rookie handles it.

    Props to Harper for his response (or lack of one). Guess what, pitchers are not going to be throwing at Harper anymore because Harper didn’t lose his cool, Harper took it like a professional and I believe this episode is behind us unless Harper continues to crowd the plate.

    “(Frank) Robinson practiced a gutsy batting style, crowding the plate perhaps more than any other player of his time. For this reason, he racked up high HBP (hit-by-pitch) totals, and experienced many knockdowns. Asked by an announcer what his solution to the problem was, he answered simply, “Just stand up and lambast the next pitch”, which he often did.”

    My guess is you guys who think Hamels is wrong never played baseball. Well, maybe softball.

  14. Bob Says:

    So Hamels is the pitching police?

  15. Chuck Says:

    That’s not why he got hit, John.

  16. Chuck Says:

    Somebody had to be, Bob, Hamels just decided it should be him.

    I’m not surprised Harper got hit, I’m surprised it took so long.

  17. Brautigan Says:

    If Harper loses his cool and charges the mound, every pitcher is going to give him chin music. He HAD to know that, and since Davy Johnson was Frank Robinson’s teamate, my guess he had a long talk with Harper about what to expect in his first at bats in the bigs. In other words, stay loose in there and keep your composure unless you want this to be a regular occurance.

    It is 1977 and the Philadelphia 76ers are making mincemeat out of the Portland TrailBlazers in the championship series. Darryl Dawkins throws Bobby Gross around like a rag doll and Gross takes exception to this and stands up to Dawkins. Dawkins throws a sucker punch, landing on teamate Doug Collin’s face and Maurice Lucas slams Dawkins in the back of the head with a punch.

    Portland rallies behind this act and proceeds to win the next four games and wins the title. Why? Because Dawkins lost his composure and gave Portland motivation and renewed focus on the task at hand. How does this relate to Hamels-Harper? For the obvious reason that Hamels was testing the rookie. You guys don’t think this stuff happens ALL THE TIME? Seriously?

  18. Cameron Says:

    I think Frank still works in the Washington organization, too. But yeah, if a guy’s getting too big a head out there, you knock him down to let the hot air out. Every jackass gets hit. The only way to stop getting hit is to stop being a jackass.

    …Or be a bigger jackass and wear body armor, but I doubt we’ll ever see Bonds-quality douchebaggery again for a long time.

  19. Bob Says:

    Being talented does not quate with being a jackass. Question for this group. At 19, what were you more likely to carry in your wallet: A condom and a fake ID, or a CPR, first aid and lifesaving cards?

  20. Cameron Says:

    Uh… The second one. I didn’t delude myself about ever getting laid in college.

  21. Chuck Says:

    “A condom and a fake ID”

    I grew up in the ’70’s..condoms were for filling with water and dropping off buildings, and drinking age was 18.

  22. Bob Says:

    @ 20. So that means you are certified in CPR, first aid and lifesaving? You said the second one.

    @ 21. Touche

  23. John Says:

    I love Harper’s style of play, personally. What he did against Hamels is just even more awesome.

  24. Bob Says:

    So do I.

    See you guys tomorrow.

  25. Cameron Says:

    Not necessarily, Bob. The question is “what is more likely”. It’d be more likely for me to get those certifications than get laid. Sad to say.

  26. Brautigan Says:

    @23. Harper manned up. Best thing he could have done. He made them pay, which truly, is the final arbitration.

    @21: You beat me to the punch. I had fake ID, and CPR and/or AMR lifesaving training, not to mention, trainer myself at age 19. No one I knew had a condom, and no one I knew became an unwed father. Funny how that works out.

  27. Brautigan Says:

    …..and for those of you that missed out: The sexual revolution was pure, unadulterated fun. Too bad for you that sex became russian roulette.

  28. Mike Felber Says:

    Harper reacted well. But there is no sportsmanship in throwing at someone. Always was a foolish traditions. But sometimes these things self police. People should be allowed to crowd the plate & no pitcher should try to hit them. But if you crowd the plate, it is reasonable to expect that some things will miss inside & you will get hit.

    Sorry I missed the sexual revolution. Though even that was not great for all. Many woman got played or ill treated by men, & other times they ha fun too.

  29. Chuck Says:

    Picking up a girl late at night and heading home for a couple of hours of no holds barred, no committment sex?


    Seeing her the next day and not remembering her name?


  30. Bob Says:

    LOL at 29.

    For the record, I did not have a fake ID. Had the others. Drinking age in Canada was 19. I was less than 30 minutes from Windsor Ontario.

  31. Bob Says:

    No comments on the 4-homer game?

  32. Chuck Says:

    John started a separate thread for that..

  33. Bob Says:


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