My Experts Predict The 2016 World Series

I’m on to you, Sports Illustrated. You’re picking the Houston Astros over the Chicago Cubs in the World Series just to be quirky. You’re going with hipster picks – just a little off the beaten path, but still kinda making sense. Good for you.

You went quirky last season, too, picking the Cleveland Indians when everyone else was certain it was the Washington Nationals’ year.

You didn’t pick the Royals. No one did.

You all make a living knowing baseball and you still get it wrong.

That’s why, once again, I turn to my own panel of experts – those who admit they have no real knowledge of baseball – to help me pick the 2016 World Series champion.

Sure, go with the ‘Stros if you must. Or, come with my experts.

You want quirky?

Let’s settle this.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AL East ~ Clinton picks the Red Sox

Clinton is a handyman who does lots of fix-it jobs around the building where I have my massage studio in Madison, Virginia. Last year he replaced all the aging and water-stained ceiling tiles in my studio, which may seem like a small thing to you, except when you realize that the average massage client spends a fair amount of their time looking up at the ceiling.

I’m pretty sure the entire building would fall apart without him.

Clinton was, as always, busy working when I stopped him to help me choose an AL East winner. He’s not a baseball fan, he’s all football and roots for that team from Washington.

Why the Red Sox? Clinton may not know that the Red Sox play in Boston, but he does know that his mother is a Red Sox fan, so he picked them for her. (This is especially sweet, because, if you remember last year’s experts, Andrew chose the Red Sox because they were his mother’s favorite team. Based on this anecdotal evidence, I believe that the Red Sox are the favorite team of every mom in America.)

AL Central ~ Parker picks the Detroit Tigers

I met Parker at the local grocery store where he was feeding the goats.

What? Your local grocery store doesn’t have a barnyard of goats? Well, aren’t you all fancy pants with your city-slicker Smart Water in bottles and 20 kinds of Oreos …

Stevie Drinks Smart Water

“I used to be a dog until I drank SmartWater.”

Parker is in first grade and plays first base and pitches for his local Little League team. When I asked him the name of his team he said he couldn’t remember, but I think he was just afraid I would show up at his game on Saturday if he told me.

Parker’s favorite team is the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the AA affiliate of the SF Giants.

Why the Tigers? Parker thought for a good bit before choosing the Tigers. (He almost went with the White Sox. He had his pen poised and was just about to circle them when he jumped ship and went Tigers.)  “Why’d you pick the Tigers, Parker?” “I don’t know.”

AL West ~ Carol picks the Seattle Mariners

OK, Carol is almost a ringer. She knows the game and cheers for the Nationals. I was afraid she might be too expert for my panel, so I had to make sure she fit my criteria.

“Carol, who won the World Series last year?”

[Long pause] “The Cardinals?”

“No.”

[Another long pause.] “One of those California teams?”

Whew. She’s in.

Carol picks the Mariners

Carol attended her first baseball game when she was about seven in the 1950s. Her grandfather and one of his friends took her to see the Albany, Georgia Cardinals, a Class D minor league team.

“My grandfather could have told me to jump to the moon and I would have, so an outing with him was a big deal.”

Her grandfather and his friend taught Carol to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and then filled her up with peanuts, Cracker Jack, hot dogs, ice cream, and Orange Crush.  “I have little recollection of the game and no idea who they played.  We got in big trouble with my grandmother for all of the junk food, but I didn’t get sick.”

Oh, almost forgot …

Grandpa’s friend? Baseball Hall of Famer George Sisler, one of the greatest first basemen ever to play the game.

Carol didn’t learn who Sisler was until many years later.

Embed from Getty Images

“Sisler batted .407 in 1920 and .371 a year later, and then came ’22. It was said that no other ballplayer — not Ty Cobb, not the Babe — ever had a better all-around season than Sisler had that year. He led the American League with 246 hits, 51 stolen bases, and 18 triples. He batted .420 and hit in a league-record 41 consecutive games. He dominated on defense, too, fielding his position with a range and agility unlike that of any other first baseman, before or since.” ~ Sports Illustrated, (3/14/2011)

“I’m kind of a fair-weather fan,” Carol, a local dance and tap instructor, admits. “But, my dad played fast-pitch softball for a number of years and I played slow-pitch through most of high school, so I think I know the game reasonably well. But, clearly not well enough since I couldn’t remember the 2015 World Series!”

Why The Mariners? “I have a high school friend who follows them and we sometimes bet on games when they play the Nats.”

NATIONAL LEAGUE

NL East ~ Phebe The One-Eyed Possum picks the Philadelphia Phillies

You know the old saying, “Even a one-eyed possum can pick a division winner.” Well, if it’s not an old saying it ought to be.

Phebe, a one-eyed possum, lives at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. To make her pick, she raised her head about as far as she could to choose the Phillies.

Phebe picks the Phillies 2016

I was already a little suspicious, seeing as she’s recovering from an illness and clearly didn’t have the energy or the neck length necessary to pick anyone except the Phillies.

To top it off, I discovered that the “phix” was in.

Come to find out Phebe was just a fan-girl of George “Possum” Whitted, who played with the Phillies as part of their pennant-winning 1915 team.

1915 Phillies Possum Whitted

Public Domain

1915 Philadelphia Phillies.  Possum Whitted is second from the right.

Possum played 11 seasons total, was a versatile infielder/outfielder, and is best known for his hustle and for his 1914 rookie season with the Boston Braves where he started at least one game at every position except pitcher or catcher.

I think Phebe was just starry-eyed over Whitted’s nickname. I really can’t say. Possums are hard to read.

In any event, the Possum Whitted conflict of interest forces me to disqualify Phebe.

Phebe Disqualified

Get well soon, Phebs!

NL East ~ Jaz the Crow picks the Miami Marlins

There’s another old saying that goes, “When the possum lets you down, turn to the crow.”

Jaz picks the Marlins 2016

Jaz, a crow who also lives at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, looked over her choices, seemed to understand what we were asking her to do, and picked the Miami Marlins. (You might argue that she was leaning Mets, but upon careful review, we’re confident she’s all-in on the Marlins.)

Jaz confirms her Marlins pick 2016

Jaz confirms — it’s the Marlins.

(Fortunately, Aaron Crow was briefly with — but never played for — the Marlins. He is currently with the Chicago Cubs. No conflict.)

Why the Miami Marlins? Crows are incredibly smart, so really, I’m thinking Jaz might be on to something here.

NL Central ~ John picks the Cincinnati Reds

John doesn’t do baseball. He does landscaping and mows grass all summer long and the mowing season started early this year in Virginia.  “With all this work to do, and grass to mow, I don’t have time for baseball.”

Why The Cincinnati Reds?  His brother-in-law is a Reds fan and that’s good enough for him.

NL West ~ Curtis picks the Colorado Rockies

I knew I’d found the perfect baseball expert when Curtis looked at the teams representing the NL West and asked, “Why are the New York Giants in the West?”

Curtis picks the Rockies

Curtis is a busy dude. Too busy for baseball. He built our barn and earned the permanent nickname “Barn Dude” from me. Today he does various carpentry jobs, is a singer-songwriter, and has a sailboat that will, I’m sure, someday sail him and his love Christina around the world. (But, not until our projects are done, right?) You can see his carpentry work here and find his music here.

good morning barn2

Our Awesome Barn by Barn Dude.

Curtis used to live in Boston and worked at a company that supplied pasta to the Red Sox’ Fenway Park. That Fenway has a very small kitchen should come as no surprise to anyone who has played there and used their very small visitors’ clubhouse.

Why the Colorado Rockies? Because Colorado makes certain things legal that are illegal just about everywhere else. Which is a reason, sure. And, the one that Curtis chose.

Wild Card Teams ~ Lindsey and Sarah pick the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves

Lindsey and Sarah were renting a movie from a Red Box kiosk in Orange when I asked them to choose my Wild Card teams.  Neither has much time for baseball.

Sarah is in third grade and would rather be doing flips in her yard, playing soccer, and swimming. Lindsey will be shuttling her kids to the pool this summer while going back to school to pick up some additional courses to further her teaching background.

Why the Baltimore Orioles? Lindsey was quick to pick the O’s (with no encouragement from me, I promise), because the O’s are her husband’s and son’s favorite team. They also went to a game at Camden Yards last season and they had a great time.

Why the Atlanta Braves? Sarah looked over her choices carefully. “I just like their name.”

I taped each division and wild card winner chosen by my experts to playing cards, so that my next experts could choose the pennant winners.

American League Pennant ~ Larry Picks The Orioles

I know, I know, you think the fix is in, but I promise you, I had never met Larry before finding him drying clothes at the local Laundromat on Friday afternoon.

Not only does he not follow baseball, he actively dislikes it.  “It’s a boring game,” he insists. He would much rather watch tennis and will tell you that Bjorn Borg is the greatest player of all time.

But, he was still a good sport to help pick the American League division champion.

Why the Orioles? “They’re usually in contention.” Take that, every other expert in America, who nearly all pick the Orioles to finish with one of the worst records this season. Larry is sending them to the World Series, and I’m hanging with Larry.

National League Pennant ~ Conway picks the Rockies

Conway and her father own the neighborhood hardware store. Faulconer’s Hardware has been around since the 1930s and it has everything you need to fix things in your home, build stuff, and grow things in your garden.  If they don’t have it, you probably don’t need it.

Conway is a Yankees fan because her father is. She hates the Braves. She’ll probably be working all summer, but if you gave her three hours off she wouldn’t waste it on baseball. She’d take a nice long bike ride instead.

Why the Rockies? She picked a card at random, so there you go.

The World Series is set: Orioles vs. Rockies

(I’m reasonably certain that no other panel of experts has come up with this World Series, which will only make it sweeter when we end up being right.)

To pick the World Series Champion, I turned to Mookie, a feral cat who moved in with us last year along with his brother Tom-Tom and sister Zuzu. Mookie was named for Mookie Wilson and Mookie Betts, so I guess you could say he’s as close to a baseball expert as I’ve got around here.

Mookie

He also is an expert when it comes to shredding toilet paper. He’s destroyed probably a dozen rolls and now we must hide the rolls in faraway spots, lock them in cabinets, and zip them into camping containers, which makes trips to the bathroom slightly more complicated. (I can’t tell you where they are hidden on the off-chance he learns to read and finds this post.)

Bad Mookie

We tucked the pennant-winner cards into two rolls of toilet paper.

And, we waited.

Tom-Tom, Zuzu, & Mookie knocking things over & checking them out. It won’t be long now … 

Mookie Studies1

Mookie Studies2

the rockies will win the world series

No, Mookie, No! You were supposed to pick the Orioles!

There you have it. Congratulations, Colorado Rockies, on your unexpected and miraculous win in the 2016 World Series. What a year you had … errr, will have.

A special “thank you” to my experts for being good sports. An extra special thanks to Phebe and Jaz at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, and to their “people,” Lacy and Chapin, who took this task very seriously (and had no idea that Phebe was cheating). If you’re a Phillies or Marlins fan, or just like a place that helps wild animals in need, visit www.wildlifecenter.org and make a donation in honor of Phebe and Jaz. I did.

29 thoughts on “My Experts Predict The 2016 World Series

  1. Well… What can I say, other than, this is probably as accurate as anybody else’s picks, two days before Opening. I am a little surprised that you didn’t involve at least one chicken, since they are well known prognosticators- but I got that you were going for something a little more off-beat. I’m a little upset, too, that none of your Experts picked the Giants, but maybe that was too obvious, even for those who knew that they no longer played in New York.
    Personally, I gotta say, I would have disqualified the couple of people who did not appear to actually like baseball. It’s not that they, necessarily, knew less than the others, it’s just that people who don’t like baseball are, generally, not worth listening to on any subject. This is an entirely objective observation, not a judgement of any kind.
    Thanks, and…just about 48 hours until the first pitch, as I write. Play Ball!

      • Maybe, but there are some people who just don’t get it, and seem happy to live in ignorance. I saw a t-shirt on Facebook, recently, that said, “It’s alright if you find Baseball boring”. Then, underneath, in smaller letters, it said, “It’s actually more for smart people”. A trifle cruel, perhaps, but accurate.

  2. LOL I had to read it twice and clean my glasses! Your panel of experts is wonderful! Rockies take it, who would have known! and beat your Orioles?! i especially loved the WCV panel of experts and who knew Phoebe was such a cheater? Extra cookies for Conway and Mookie – thank you for having faith in our Rockies! I will speak to the team about making sure they impress rather than flail! Too all teams – PLAY BALL!
    Loved this one – for obvious reasons! ;)

    • Yes, I told everyone that I met that if their team actually wins the World Series, they need to get in touch with me, because there WILL be cookies! I just wish Mookie had picked the other toilet roll! :)

      And, the Phebe and Jaz picks were real … I gave Lacy the NL East and she and Chapin did the rest with the animals. It was only after Phebe picked the Phillies that I did some sleuthing and discovered Possum Whitted. How about that!

      • Should this come to pass we will have to have a cookie bet in October! It was refreshing to be first when everyone of those professional experts have us dead last – yet this group went with their instincts??!! Our first game is tomorrow = so will have to settle for those other teams today! Enjoy opening day!

  3. I loved this. Absolutely loved it. We all know preseason predictions mean next to nothing anyway; there’s all those games they have to play. So your “method” and “experts” can’t be any worse than all those pundits and publications, I figure. Plus,they had the O’s in the Series. From your experts to the baseball gods…

  4. Terrific! I’ll put as much credence in these folks’ selections as those of the “experts!” And who can argue with the cunning and guile of cats? I’m phoning my bookie out in Vegas as soon as I post this! Thanks for the “inside stuff.” Yea, baseball!!!

    • Last year, our cat Stevie picked the Red Sox over the Braves. Which is why she was fired from predicting and we brought in Mookie this year. I figure, with a name like Mookie — which covers both the National League (Wilson) and the American League (Betts), we should have a pretty good shot at being right.

    • We counted 20 varieties at the local store, we really did. Once you add up the thins, minis, regulars, double stuffs, mega stuffs, “triple doubles” … and then mix them up with all the flavors … the vanillas, peanut butters, mints, birthday cakes, goldens (which, I guess is a flavor), lemons, red velvets, and chocolates … it may be an infinite number of variations. (True confession: We got the thin mint Oreos. burp.)

  5. My money is on Mookie’s choice. In the past one of our cats consistently chose stock.market winners. The current kitty has a troubling interest in computer keyboards !

    • Last year, Stevie picked the Braves. This is Mookie’s first year as a baseball-predicting house cat, so it was probably just a guess on his part … the allure of the toilet paper probably outweighed the responsibility of the prediction.

  6. Most entertaining sports piece I’ve read in an age! Your experts’ credentials are solid, and the scientific data analysis is sure to rival the best sports book in Vegas. (PS-LOVE Phebe’s “disqualification” picture–I laughed out loud!). What I love most I think, is a few of your experts’ loyalty to their loved ones in making their picks. So sweet. For me? It’s go, Brewers. Sure, they’re a bunch of no-names (now), rebuilding this year, as they say, but I’m at least as qualified as Jaz to put my prediction out there. Opening day is but a day away–play ball!

    • Thanks, Wendy! I agree … even when people don’t watch baseball themselves, there is this loving notion of choosing the team for someone else … recognizing someone else’s love of the game and wanting to honor them. (If only my loved one, Mookie the betraying cat, could have done the same for me — and picked the O’s to win the World Series. Oh well … cats … )

  7. Thanks for getting me back into the baseball spirit. Predicting winners is a crapshoot as your not so expert prognosticators demonstrated in your blog.

    • I’m still a little disappointed in Mookie choosing the Rockies. After all, I brought that poor cat in from the rain and cold. I feed him all his favorite treats and I didn’t complain when he tore a hole at the base of our bed so he can crawl up into the boxsprings and nap in his “hammock.” And, this is the thanks I get? Rockies? Sigh.

      Happy New Year, Mary … go O’s! :)

  8. Pingback: Happy New Year (2016) | Koi Scribblings

  9. Pingback: My Experts Are Way Better Than Your Experts | The Baseball Bloggess

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