Guest Writer George Murphy was online earlier today and read CBS Sports/SI writer Jon Heyman’s predictions for this season, he didn’t like them. This is (mostly) his personal letter to Jon Heyman:

To Jon Heyman of CBS Sports –

Normally we at the SportsZone are fans of your work, in particular I know Mike hears you on WFAN all the time, and has the utmost respect for you. However, Mike has allowed me some Rant time here because, after viewing your predictions on a link he shared on the This Is SportsZone Facebook page, I must say, I am not only unimpressed, I’m flat out baffled. I’m going to do a quick share of them now:

AL East NL East
1. Baltimore 1. Washington
2. Boston 2. Atlanta
3. Tampa Bay 3. Florida
4. New York 4. Philadelphia
5. Toronto 5. New York

AL Central NL Central
1. Kansas City 1. St. Louis
2. Cleveland 2. Pittsburgh
3. Detroit 3. Cincinatti
4. Chicago 4. Milwaukee
5. Minnesota 5. Chicago

AL West NL West
1. Oakland 1. Los Angeles
2. Los Angeles 2. San Francisco
3. Texas 3. Colorado
4. Seattle 4. Arizona
5. Houston 5. San Diego

You repeatedly throughout your article – “if healthy”, “if they step up”, “can player X do ___”. Take the what if’s out of it and tell us what you think. To be quite frank – Not only are some of your predictions quite laughable, but your reasoning behind the majority of your picks leaves a lot to be desired – as I don’t see a lot of “Baseball Insider” attached into this. There’s no quotes from General Managers, Front Office Executives, heck not even a Regional Scout.

I’d like to ask you a couple of questions as to why you asked questions or your “what if’s” that are thrown out there:

First and foremost – Ubaldo Jimenez makes Baltimore into a solid rotation? Jimenez’ second half of last season was against bottom feeders like Minnesota, Houston and Seattle. We cannot parlay one half of baseball into what the pitcher may do in the future, and we’ve done that once before with Jimenez. Jimenez is slotting in as the number two behind prospect reclamation Chris Tillman. The rest of rotation includes Mike Gonzalez, Bud Norris and Wei-Yin Chen. This is hardly the rotation of solid pitching, let alone greatness. Last year was his first season with an ERA under 4.00 since 2010. His ERA+ of 112 is barely above average.

Next up – “Can Xander Boegarts handle short stop?” He played short stop exclusively while in the minors and didn’t commit an error in twenty games at the Show last year. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that his defensive ability shouldn’t be in question (Let’s not forget the Sox took the risk and didn’t resign Stephen Drew, whose main positive quality is his glove) . Also with Boston you inquired if Koji Uehara replicate his magic? Uehara’s last three seasons of ERA+ have been 183, 252 and 376! Of course you can expect him to go back from the 372 ERA+, but even at 183, puts him in an elite bunch of arms. Even if he does, that doesn’t make Baltimore’s pitching better.

3. You have the Rays in third in the AL East – yet call them a major threat? When did they stop being a threat?

4. The Yankees in fourth – but only questioning their infield defense? How about their suspect rotation and bullpen questions with David Robertson no longer in the 8th inning? Or are those too mainstream for you?

5. I agree with your sentiments on the Blue Jays – but need to question one of the only quotes you have where you state “teams that are all power, but don’t win” – I’d like to bring up the 1927 Yankees, the 1939 Yankees, 1961 Yankees, the 1932 Yankees, 1995 Cleveland Indians, 2006 Chicago White Sox, amongst a host of others. Power always helps.

6. You start off your AL Central with IF Mike Moutstakas and IF Yordano Ventura – yes these are IF’s, but instead of IF, why not tell us you FEEL/THINK this way DUE TO…

7. The only item about Cleveland – is that Justin Masterson has been a league average starter year over year. Going into his age 29 season – breaking out as a starter doesn’t seem likely.
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8. I agree about Detroit’s infield defense, it looks bad. But Miggy wasn’t a terrible defensive first baseman his first time there. My issue really comes from talking about Bruce Rondon, he couldn’t get the job done last season and spent the majority in the minors, and the team brought back, albeit briefly, Jose Valverde to close. Until he contributes – can we stay away from the “miss” word?

The rest of the AL – from what you put out there – seems to be right on track.

While my lone gripe is that you put so much emphasize on the Braves pitching woes– when the Braves have proven to be adept at makeshift rotations in the past– while leaving out BJ Upton and Dan Uggla playing like they should be in the Independent League, Mike is upset with you:

“How the hell do you pick the Mets for last? You said the same thing about the Marlins you could say about the Mets, even though our Jose Fernandez is out, the Mets have a deeper rotation and system in terms of talent you don’t have to rush, and substitute Giancarlo Stanton for David Wright and Curtis Granderson. And the Phillies are the same collection of aging vets they had last year except now they overpaid for Marlon Byrd and AJ Burnett. Bad job Heyman, bad job.”

And we’re back:

-You mention bullpen woes for Cincinatti but follow up with the fact that super speed prospect Billy Hamilton might be the key? Until he can pitch – I don’t see how he corrects the issues the Reds have.

-In Milwaukee, you state, Ryan Braun, MAY be back. I’m confused? Isn’t he on the field – what’s changed during his time away? Unless he magically forgot how to hit (which I don’t see at all) – I think that’s a horrible line to throw in.

-Outside of the Giants and Dodgers – you’ve essentially listed everything as health issues for the other three teams – while that may be true – couldn’t we have found other items as to why you’ve predicted them into the slots you’ve pegged? Didn’t realize Pat Corbin counted for the Diamondbacks offense either (4th place?)

In closing, your article seems wishy-washy and thrown together for a reporter as respected as you.. No real reasons behind almost half of your picks that doesn’t boil down to “health” and “what if”, like you were bored one day and decided to throw some darts. You’re capable of better than this, and I hope you remember that next time. As for now, if you want quality predictions, check out Mike Aglialoro and Brian Zamorsky’s work, which you can access on this site and the Facebook page.

Thanks Mike (Welcome “George”)

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1 Comment

  1. Jon says:

    Touché! This is the core essence of This Is Sportzone! To quote a WFAN jock ” If ifs and buts were candy and nuts then every day would be Christmas”. Great article.

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