Never mind what I said about my worst predictions being in the AL Central. Here is the link to the horrible prediction in form of entry.
Predicted Record: 65-70 wins
Actual Record: 91-71
So… at best I was 21 games off with this prediction. I still don’t know how the Rays did this. I don’t know if I mentioned this in the entry of my 100th ball game at Tropicana Field, but they have a “pump-up” segment before each game that is a highlight reel for the Rays that begins with the showing of the quote “Luck is the residue of opportunity and design.”- Branch Rickey. Well, they certainly explicated the quote throughout the year. I didn’t closely follow the Rays during the season, but one example of the Rays winning games through smart moves was the acquisition of Casey Kotchman. That said, it doesn’t make sense that they won the number of games that they did.
My main point in the entry was that they lost most of their relief pitching and I honestly don’t know how they made up for the pitchers they lost. I have seen the roster, but they lost some quality pitchers out of that bullpen. I think I compared the Rays of 2011 to the Rays of 2007, or whenever the year they were in last place was. This was mostly out of comparing the bullpens and offenses. The thing I didn’t account for was the new Rays ownership, who has really made a difference. On a side note, I am and have been reading The Extra 2% for a while (just because I have been really busy and have like 10 baseball books in front of it), but from what I can tell, it is going to be a really good book and shows why the Rays have been winning, because of the attention to detail.
I apologize to the Rays for grossly under-estimating them.