HARRIS: Time for new crystal ball after revisiting MLB preseason predictions

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Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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AL Central champ: I said Tigers. Sticking with Tigers.

AL West champ: I said Angels and I just smacked myself hard in the head. Switching to Rangers.

AL Wild Cards: I said Mariners, Rays. Switching to A’s, Yankees.

NL East champ: I said Nats. Now say Braves.

NL Central champ: I said Reds. Forgive me Cardinals.

NL West champ: I said Giants. I have zero clue what’s up with the teams in that division. Sticking with Giants.

NL Wild Cards: I said Braves, Dodgers. I just smacked myself again. Switching to Reds, Pirates. The Central is pretty strong.

AL pennant: I said Angels. That must be a typo. Good thing I wasn’t drug tested that day. I clearly meant to say Tigers.

NL pennant: I said Nationals. That was not a typo. I meant to say Nationals. I now say Cardinals.

World Series: We need to get these computers fixed. It says Angels again. It will be the Cardinals.

There were a half-dozen picks for individual awards, too, but I’ve made my point. I was wrong. A lot. I did have Harper as NL MVP and, who knows, given a full season of health what might have happened? He’s certainly proven his value to the Nats, when he plays and when he doesn’t. To say the offense has been floundering since he’s been out would be kind. Only 20, Harper has already established himself as the lynchpin. If he stays healthy the entire second half, maybe the Nats do have a big run in them that will enable them to make the playoffs.

But the more likely scenario is they’re spectators when the postseason gets going. Injuries, particularly to Harper, have hindered them. But they had injuries last season. Werth missed half the season with a broken wrist. Michael Morse missed the first two months with a muscle problem. Wilson Ramos was lost for the season on May 12 with a knee injury. Injuries happen. Look at this year’s Braves. Two of their best relievers were lost in the same week to Tommy John surgery. Catcher Brian McCann got a late start to his season because of an injury. They’ve somehow managed to overcome that, just as the Nats did last year.

Last year, the Nats got some tough breaks and played well around them. This year, they have not. Some things, it seems, just don’t show up in the crystal ball.

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