Which of your preseason predictions are you kicking yourself for making?
Schoenfield: I didn’t expect the Orioles to be a .500 team, but their abysmal start and tough division means they could be headed for 100 losses. This is a bad, bad team, which we should have realized when they still had Chris Tillman in the rotation. Free Manny Machado.
Doolittle: It’s not like I thought the Reds would contend, but I am shocked they are ’62 Mets-level awful. Eugenio Suarez is tied for the team lead in WAR and he hasn’t played since April 8. The closer, Raisel Iglesias, is dynamic, and as Cincinnati tries to sort through this mess, hopefully he can be moved to a team that can leverage his talents. Then again, you have to wonder at this point just how likely it would be for the Reds to successfully develop the prospects he’d bring back. A strong rookie run by Nick Senzel is about the best thing you can hope for at this point if you’re a Reds fan.
There would be no yelling, no need for brute force this time around. Shortly after taking the job, he gathered everyone connected to the program — hundreds of personnel, including coaches, graduate assistants, academic counselors, trainers and more — and went line by line through a nearly 80-page binder, detailing the expectations of everyone in the organization. It was an eye-opening experience to those who sometimes felt adrift under the previous leadership of Jim McElwain and Will Muschamp before him. The meeting was long, clocking in at roughly two hours, but it had a clear sense of purpose.
This was memorable for the inevitability of it all. The Capitals entered the game 4-10 in in franchise history in Game 7s, and the Penguins made it 4-11 with a 2-0 shutout by Marc-Andre Fleury in Washington. It didn’t matter that the Capitals had rallied from a 3-1 series hole. Once it reached Game 7, it was just a matter of how it was going to go down this time, considering that Washington had also never defeated Pittsburgh in a Game 7. As Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said after the game, you could just feel the tension and sense of doom in the arena.
There was perhaps no greater example of the Penguins occupying the Capitals’ headspace than when owner Ted Leonsis commissioned a computer program for the 2009 semifinals that prevented fans from Penguins-centric area codes to purchase tickets online.