We started hearing rumors last night that today was Opening Day in Major League Baseball and these rumors were confirmed this morning. That means it's time for GTOG's Official 2012 Major League Baseball Preview.
The Pirates are looking to improve on their 72-90 finish last season and they showed that they're serious about turning this thing around with two big offseason acquisitions. First, they brought in 36-year old catcher Rod Barajas. You simply can't put a price tag on the impact an aging catcher who hit .230 last season can have on a franchise. (Oh, it's $4 million?).
|Rod Barajas, commanding his Men.|
|The pride of Altoona, Gorkys Hernandez!|
So YES, what I am telling you is that the Pirates now have McLouth AND all the guys he was traded for!
With these moves, Vegas is bullish on the Pirates, setting their over under for wins at 73. This would just surpass the 1996 Chicago Bulls for best single-season record of all time.
Seven things you didn't know about the Pirates, and our predictions, after the jump...
- Here are 7 things you didn't know about the Pirates:
- There are no Laroches on the roster this season.
- Pedro Alvarez struck out just as you started reading this.
- I have a vague recollection of someone drafting Erik Bedard in a fantasy baseball league 4 years ago.
- Despite causing mass confusion, Clint Barmes will not be changing the spelling of his last name to Barnes. "I play for the Pirates for God's sake," Barmes said. "Who gives a shit?"
- The letter J is 3.86% of the alphabet, but 32% of the Pirates have names that start with J.
- The average weight of the Pirates' outfield is 191 pounds. That seems low.
- Pedro Alvarez just struck out again.
|And again :(|
- What does Artistry think of the Buccos this year?
Everyone on Pittsburgh radio is predicting 70-80 wins for the Bucs this year. Ron Cook, daring to be different, predicts 90-95 losses. You can just feel the electricity in the air. At about noon today, I'll walk over the Clemente Bridge to PNC Park. I will think about how long it's been since I watched an entire Pirates game. I will think about how last year at this time, I was so certain Andrew McCutchen would never sign an extension here. I'll think about Erik Bedard and A.J. Burnett and how I considered drafting them in fantasy baseball like 6 years ago. And I'll think about Clint Hurdle, and how he seems like a nice fellow. Then I'll get to the stadium and meet up with some guys who are genuinely excited about all of these things. I'll listen to them, and I'll watch them cheer. I may clap. I'll have a beer. Then I'll hope, for everyone's sake, that Pedro Alvarez at least makes contact.
Predictions: If Pedro makes contact: 78-84. If Pedro whiffs: 72-90.- What does the Pirate Prediction Formula say?
Last year we debuted the GTOG Pirate Prediction Formula and it was only 12 games off the Pirates actual win-total of 72. (Hint: we took the under). I've made some adjustments to the formula this season. As usual, we start by plugging in the Pirates' goal of 81 wins. Then, we let math take over.
- The Charlie Morton-effect: Subtract 6.
- Possibility that McCutchen, Tabata, and Walker are decent this year: Add 5.
- Legitimate possibility that Alvarez will strike out 300 times: Subtract 4.
- Clint Hurdle being a nice guy: Add 4.
- Charlie Morton-effect part 2: Subtract 4.
- Nate McLouth 2.0: Subtract 5
- Bob Walk explaining Barajas signing, saying "he calls a great game:" Subtract 1
- Confidence gained from being .500 in July last year: Add 7
- Confidence lost from finishing 18 games under .500: Subtract 7
- Wait? Charlie Morton's ERA was under 4 last year?: Add 4
- Opening the season with 3 games against the Phillies: Subtract 3TOTAL: 71-91
|Don't worry, you can believe this year! #JerryMealsSaysItsSafe|