The Washington Nationals don’t joke around when it comes to Presidential races. They don’t wait 4 years like the U.S. Government does, they’ve been holding at least 81 Presidential races a year (every home game) since 2006! These races are void of any economical or political mud-slinging… it’s just good ol fashion survival of the fittest. Here’s a taste if you’re unfamiliar…
In 2013, we will witness the addition of “Bill”, aka William Howard Taft, into the Presidential race mix that already boasts the likes of George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt. I felt a responsibly as a proud American to match one of these Presidents with each of the teams in the NL East to represent how I see the division playing out.
Division Winner –
I feel, like most of America, that the Washington Nationals are the clear-cut favorite and front-runner to win this division. So it’s only natural that the Nats get the President that is associated with the number 1 more than any other Pres. That would be none other than G-Dub – George Washington. With the incredible pitching staff Washington possesses, headlined by Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, I don’t see the Nationals stopping (or being happy) with just a division title. The Nats line-up could be even more powerful this year if Bryce Harper approaches the huge numbers that Mike Trout put up last season. Yes, people are predicting that type of season from Harper. The Nationals are a well oiled machine with steady vets in place like Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche with the youth (Ian Desmond, and Bryce Harper) providing the extra horsepower. The Washington Nationals are truly the beasts of the east.
2nd Place – Wild Card – Atlanta Braves
Atlanta had a very good season last year. And with the young talent getting better – Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman… (another year under their belt) I won’t hesitate to say that the Braves could push the Nationals for the division crown, but they will need to have a special season to do it (or massive injuries to cripple the Nats). I gave the Braves TJ- Thomas Jefferson because when the Presidential race is actually happening, it’s hard to tell G-Dub and TJ apart. The Nats and Braves have more pieces in-common (butting superstar hitters, and young ace pitchers) than one might think, so I thought it was a good parallel. The leadership lost by the retirement of Chipper Jones will play some role, but Atlanta is hoping to fill that gap with a family approach – signing free agent B.J. Upton and then trading for his brother Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks. If Atlanta’s offense starts clicking early, watch out!
3rd Place – Philadelphia Phillies
Honestly (see Abe left), the Phillies NEED some retro hitting performances from Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins. They’re getting paid to be the guys, so even though their past their primes, it still falls on their shoulders. Dominic Brown could break through and lighten the load of the core three listed above, but he has been a wait and see type project. Mostly just waiting… If the hitting doesn’t regain some of its old form, Cole Hamles, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay will have to pitch to their capability all season if there are to be any hopes of a playoff push. The bullpen will have to be better than last season period, because they were flat-out horrid in 2012. I don’t see a playoff berth in Philly this year.
4th Place – New York Mets
Well, Teddy and the Mets have both been bad. Teddy only has a handful of wins (4) to his credit since these races started in 2006. I’m predicting the Mets only grab a handful of wins in 2013. Not an earth-shattering prediction, I know, but I do think they’ll be able to fend off the hapless Marlins. Clubhouse leader and franchise 3B David Wright is still an impact player, but his surroundings aren’t so promising. It makes the Johan Santana news that much more painful to hear. At least New York still has Frank Frank (Frank Francisco) at the back-end of the bullpen “locking down” the 9th.
5th Place – Miami Marlins
2013 is the debut for William Taft in the Presidents race. Meaning his ability to win a race is very much an unknown, just like this almost entirely new Marlins team. A squad that shipped out basically all the talented players Miami had under contract – Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle to name a few, after the 2012 season ended. Outside of OF Giancarlo Stanton at the heart of the order, Miami has nothing. I’m guessing the Marlins are hoping for a miracle, but I have no idea what to think about this roster? When a team is leaning on and starting elder statesmen like Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco, it means their desperate.
My predictions for the NL Central and NL West are coming!