|The Nationals' rapid development into a contender this season has been a pleasant surprise. (Getty Images)|
Just one week left. I can't believe it. One week from Wednesday is the final day of the MLB regular season. I'll avoid the stupid "it seems like only yesterday" cliché here, because it doesn't really seem like yesterday that I did my first set of rankings for the 2012 season.
Still, it doesn't seem that long ago, but we've learned so much since then. I looked back at my preseason rankings and found many teams in a similar position to where they are now, but obviously several misses as well.
In the interest of entertainment and personal accountability, let's take a look back on some of my preseason rankings.
The Yankees and Rangers were in my top three, I had the Mets and Cubs pretty well nailed and the Astros were No. 30 (but that was a gimme, so I hesitate even bringing it up).
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I did say the Nationals were primed for a breakout and I thought about putting them in the top 10, but instead relented and said the breakout comes in '13. So partial credit there.
I also noted that Mat Latos wasn't reliant on Petco Park and he would work out fine for the Reds.
I drastically underestimated the Giants. That's the one I'm most kicking myself about. They were only one year removed from a championship and I should have seen the obvious bounce-back coming. That one is on me. The Reds are in a similar boat.
Also, the Nationals were too low, as were the White Sox, though I did say this about the Sox: "IF Jake Peavy stays healthy and returns to Cy Young form, IF Adam Dunn returns to 40-homer form, IF Gordon Beckham develops into an All-Star, IF Alex Rios returns to All-Star form, IF Chris Sale becomes a frontline starter immediately and IF Matt Thornton becomes a dominant closer, the White Sox MIGHT be able to challenge the Tigers. Anyone want any of that action?"
Not too far off, really.
I bought into the Marlins as playoff contenders and ranked them 10th. Ugh.
The Athletics were my 28th-ranked team heading into the season. The Orioles were 29th. This is where you pretend like you knew these two teams would break out (of course you did) and call me an idiot. I'll maintain that few saw either team being competitive this season and just about anyone with baseball knowledge would have said both making the playoffs is insane. And that's what makes these two teams such a big story and baseball great, no? I'll gladly accept being wrong with the trade-off of the added excitement these two teams have brought this season.
Overall I'm most displeased with buying into the Marlins, being too scared to puff my chest out about the Nationals a little more and not giving the Giants or Reds near enough credit. Aside from that, either something unforeseen happened or I was in the ballpark.
Rankings, comments and stats are through Tue., Sept. 25. Please feel free to contact me via email with comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.