Opening Day is over and now you’re nursing that post-Opening Day baseball hangover. That’s what happens when you spend nine hours in a ballpark.
No worries; 2-for-1 virgin Bloody Marys today. Sure, it’s a tap room/beer joint. I’ll just serve the drinks in a fake pint glass. I won’t tell if you won’t. It is a special day here, after all.
So, WELCOME to the Grand Opening of Connolly’s Tap Room, where we’ll talk sports –primarily baseball and the Orioles — where we’ll argue sports — primarily baseball and the Orioles — and where we’ll just talk, occasionally, about random things. All about interaction here.
I’ve missed this. Hope you did, too, at least a little bit. Once we announced the new site, I received several inquiries through social media wondering whether we were going to have a bar-themed blog at BaltimoreBaseball.com
My response: “You Betcha.” (Hey, the Minnesota Twins are in town. Gotta talk the talk).
So if you’ve never done the bar thing with me before, or if you just turned a fake 21, here’s how this dive works: Come in, order a fake beverage (if you want) from me, the barkeep. Then I’ll ask a question and you answer it. We’re calling this the Daily Tap-in: (Tap Room, Tap-in, get it? They don’t just give a blog to anyone these days.)
Our first question is pretty straightforward – though I’m making it a two-parter (maybe three-parter). I want you to predict the Orioles’ record and American League East finish this year. And, as a bonus, give me your best guess at the 2016 World Series participants and who ends up as World Champions.
I have the Orioles winning 85 games and finishing third in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. I think Boston is solid everywhere and has a great farm system in case it needs to add some pieces via trade in July.
I’m not sold on Toronto’s rotation, but the Blue Jays sure can hit. The Orioles are Toronto Light, with a better bullpen and slightly shakier rotation. I’m not buying the Yankees, too old, too brittle; I have them fourth. Tampa Bay is the anti-Orioles, but I don’t like that offense or the bullpen. I’m predicting the Rays finish last, but barely under .500.
As for the World Series, I absolutely love the Houston Astros this year. And, like the Red Sox, the system is so deep the Astros can trade away a few prospects for a veteran to put them over the top in the second half.
I say the Astros win it all, beating the San Francisco Giants in five games in the World Series. Why the Giants? Great pitching, even year.
Now it’s your turn to dust off the taproom crystal ball. You’ll need to register here to comment. But you only need to do it once, it’s free and then you can comment forever. I’m expecting to have this joint open for a long time – or at least until I get a full World Series prediction correct at some point in my career.
I’ll keep this post around and we’ll revisit a couple times this year.
Tap-in question: Where will the Orioles finish in the 2016 AL East? How many wins will they have?
Bonus Tap-in: Give me your prediction for the World Series, including the winner.