sports blog by andy shenk

An Early Morning Surprise…PLUS Baseball Predictions!

In Carleton, Cincinnati Reds, San Antonio Spurs on March 28, 2012 at 11:47 PM

This morning I crawled out of bed to a 7:10 AM alarm, after ignoring the first three alarms my wife and I had set. I dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, then went out to pull my bike from the garage so that I could hop on and go to work immediately after finishing breakfast. I was back inside, fiddling with the radio, when I heard a knock at the door. Assuming it to be my landlord, who lives upstairs, I opened the door. To my surprise, Guy Kalland, the head coach of the Carleton College men’s basketball team, stood outside on the back deck, neatly dressed in a blue Carleton jacket and slacks. He first confirmed that I was Andy, then introduced himself and shook my hand.

I was in shock but luckily didn’t have to say much as he quickly explained that he had come by to personally thank me and my wife, Nikki, for the wonderful letter we had written to his team at the end of their season in late February. In our letter we had thanked the team for all of the memories they had provided us, and described many of our fondest moments from the season in detail. Coach Kalland, to whom we had mailed the letter, went on to tell me that he had enjoyed the letter so much that he had read it aloud at the team’s awards banquet. The coaches, players, and parents gathered had loved our reflections on the season. In appreciation for our dedicated attendance and thoughtful letter, Mr. Kalland then presented me with a hand-written thank-you, a copy of the 2011-2012 highlight video, and coupons for 3 free pizzas from Domino’s.

We chatted for a few minutes longer, then Mr. Kalland shook my hand again, wished me and my wife good luck, and headed back to his car parked out front. Though I already knew Mr. Kalland to be a highly-respected and successful coach, this encounter made an enormous impression on me. I very proud that my alma mater, Carleton College, has employed such a thoughtful, genuine man as their basketball coach for the last 26 years.

Now, for a little fun prognosticating! 

Full disclosure: I have not looked at the score of the Athletics-Mariners game, which took place in Japan early this morning. My predictions, which I have done for many, many years, are completely unscientific and steeped in ignorance. I am simply a baseball fan. I know next to nothing of team rosters, spring training injuries, or scouting reports.

MLB Predicted Order of Finish in Each Division and Final Records for Each Team

American League East:

Tampa Bay Rays (95-67), New York Yankees (93-69), Toronto Blue Jays (88-74), Boston Red Sox (82-80), Baltimore Orioles (65-97)

American League Central:

Detroit Tigers (92-70), Minnesota Twins (85-77), Cleveland Indians (81-81), Kansas City Royals (76-86), Chicago White Sox (70-92)

American League West:

Texas Rangers (97-65), Los Angeles Angels (90-72), Seattle Mariners (75-87), Oakland Athletics (73-89)

National League East:

Atlanta Braves (91-71), Philadelphia Phillies (90-72), Washington Nationals (85-77), Miami Marlins (82-80), New York Mets (68-94)

National League Central:

Cincinnati Reds (90-72), St. Louis Cardinals (87-75), Milwaukee Brewers (83-79), Pittsburgh Pirates (81-81), Chicago Cubs (77-85), Houston Astros (65-97)

National League West:

Arizona Diamondbacks (88-74), Colorado Rockies (84-78), San Francisco Giants (80-82), Los Angeles Dodgers (72-90), San Diego Padres (70-92)

MLB Postseason

American League Wild-Card Round:

Los Angeles Angels over New York Yankees

National League Wild-Card Round:

Philadelphia Phillies over St. Louis Cardinals

American League Division Series:

Texas Rangers over Los Angeles Angels in 4

Tampa Bay Rays over Detroit Tigers in 5

National League Division Series:

Philadelphia Phillies over Atlanta Braves in 5

Cincinnati Reds over Arizona Diamondbacks in 3

American League Championship Series:

Texas Rangers over Tampa Bay Rays in 6

National League Championship Series:

Philadelphia Phillies over Cincinnati Reds in 5

World Series:

Texas Rangers over Philadelphia Phillies in 7

World Champions:

Texas Rangers…third time’s the charm!

Finally, an update from last night’s game:

The Spurs defeated the Suns 107-100 in front of 16,573 fans at the US Airways Center. Tim Duncan turned the clock back with a vintage performance, providing 26 points on 11-16 shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in only 32 minutes of play. 11 Spurs played in the game, with Tiago Splitter still recovering from back spasms and Stephen Jackson enjoying a night of rest. Looking ahead, once Splitter returns, the Spurs will have 13 quality guys to throw at the opposition on any given night.

As a fan, I am looking forward to observing how Coach Popovich will juggle his players’ minutes over the final month of the season. Ideally, the team will be well-rested and primed for a deep playoff run by the end of the April. This may seem ludicrous for a veteran team in the stretch run of a compressed season, but, then again, since when does an NBA team go 13 deep? This is the kind of roster magic Spurs fans enjoy and anticipate each year, though this year’s roster may be the deepest yet for a franchise already renowned for such shenanigans.

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