I make predictions because they're easier than facing reality.
No one can be surprised by this start, by the Zito and Ortiz outings, Pedro at the bat, or the lack of team offense. We wanted to believe.
Well, here's something to believe; at least it's my drug of choice:
This will not be a very good team this year. In fact, it may -- as SI says -- finish last (I doubt it. Thank you Clint Hurdle).
But I believe that -- by the end of the year -- our bullpen will be one of the best (and perhaps still somewhat underrated) in the NL. Our starting pitching will look ghastly to outsiders, but it too will be quite formidable -- even with some of the current familiar crop gone by next season in trades.
Sabean has made a mess of things and let's not forget Peter M. and his tightwad ways a few years back, but we still have what most teams don't: pitching.
I believe Linden is headed for substantially more playing time, as the reality of THE OTHERS out there becomes apparent. Linden .282/22hrs/65rbi.
Now you're stuck with Randy and Dave, but as platooning left fielders, they'll prosper -- next to Andruw J. in CF and Todd in right. (In my scenario, the other left fielder will be gone.)
I see Mike Lowell at third (would love Cabrera, but am not delusional) and maybe Texiera at 1b. Re-sign Omar. Frandsen at 2b. Bengie still behind the plate. (There WILL be trades: Ray-Ray is valuable; Lowrey is valuable; Sadler is valuable. Morris may be valuable, etc.)
That's a pretty good team, albeit a bit slow.
But it's a beginning, and we sure as s--t need that.
How delusional am I?