Dan's Dugout: Peerless Predictions for 2017 Baseball Season • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Peerless Predictions for 2017 Baseball Season


Baseball writers are always making predictions.

Who’s going to be the MVP? Who’s going to win the World Series? Who’s going to be traded?

By the end of this month, magazines full of predictions will hit the nation’s newsstands. In fact, a hefty paperback called The Bill James Baseball Handbook 2017 has been out for months with its forecast of future Hall of Famers, potential 300-game winners, and even a detailed outlook for every batter and pitcher in the big leagues.

Will boo-birds follow Barry Bonds to Cooperstown?

Will boo-birds follow Barry Bonds to Cooperstown?

Since Latino Sports doesn’t want to be left out, here are some baseball predictions readers can take to the bank:

January – Voting baseball writers give Hall of Fame nods to Ivan Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and – are you sitting down? – long-shunned steroids suspects Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. That would mean a group of nine for the Cooperstown Class of 2017 and would put Bonds and Clemens, the poster boys for performance enhancing drugs, on stage next to PED enabler Bud Selig on July 30. That could be the highlight of a season likely to be full of ironies

Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez is a sure bet for Cooperstown

Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez is a sure bet for Cooperstown.

February – Scott Boras, long known as the toughest agent in the business, finally finds a taker for Matt Wieters but at a cost considerably lower than the offers the catcher received in December. Atlanta outbids Washington to sign the switch-hitting slugger.

March – After rushing to prepare properly, two prominent All-Stars suffer serious injuries in the World Baseball Classic that prompt calls for playing the event entirely in November.

April – After a winter of working out, ancient Atlanta righthander Bartolo Colon blanks the Mets, his former team, on Opening Day at CitiField while games in Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit are snowed out.

Big bat of Miguel Cabrera would be boon in the Bronx

Big bat of Miguel Cabrera would be boon in the Bronx

May – Two days after Tigers trade Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander to Yankees for six prospects, Cabrera hits four home runs in a game at Fenway Park.

June – Andy Green of the San Diego Padres is first manager fired but Jack McKeon doesn’t replace him. Walt Weiss is named new San Diego field boss.

July – Now that the All-Star Game winner no longer gets home-field advantage in the World Series, the National League seizes home-field advantage in Miami to win in last of the ninth on pinch-homer by Matt Kemp. Two weeks later, Bonds, Clemens, and Selig are booed by huge crowds at Hall of Fame Inductions in Cooperstown. Eleventh-hour deadline deal sends Zack Grienke back to Los Angeles Dodgers from Arizona Diamondbacks.

August – After watching Toronto Blue Jays draw 100,000 for two-game exhibition series in March for the third straight spring, owners approve postseason sale of Tampa Bay Rays to new Montreal ownership group with funding for new ballpark. Montreal Alouettes join Toronto Blue Jays in 2018 AL East, giving Canada teams in both of its largest cities for the second time.

September – Without the late Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins sink to last place in National League East. Manager Don Mattingly jumps to New York Yankees after Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman are fired following dispute with Steinbrenner family.

Don Mattingly may don pinstripes again

Don Mattingly may don pinstripes again

October – After beating the Washington Nationals in a grueling NL East title chase, the New York Mets bank on strong starting pitching to eliminate the defending World Champion Chicago Cubs in the Championship Series. But Boston Red Sox win 2017 World Series in seven games when newly-acquired southpaw Chris Sale wins three times.

November – Players and owners agree to eliminate the designated hitter in exchange for expanding roster size to 28 players in April and September and 26 the rest of the season. They also agree to limit interleague play and set a target date for eventual elimination.

December – With no labor agreement to muck up the works, Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando are the busiest in a decade, with more than a dozen major trades and twice as many free-agent signings. Atlanta Braves conclude agreement to build new spring training ballpark in Lake Worth, thus becoming the sixth team to train in South Florida (effective 2019).

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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