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Projections Are Here! (And They Don't Look Good)

Extremely Early CAIRO 2011 MLB Projected Standings - Replacement Level Yankees Weblog
The West looks like Texas’s to lose, even without Cliff "The Big Train" Lee. LA of A could pick up about three wins if they sign Adrian Beltre, but that alone doesn’t seem like it’d be enough to get them up to Texas’s level.

Here's our first look at projections for next season...and it's ugly. It was shortly after this time last year when projections starting coming out predicting the Angels would be an 80-85 win team, and we all threw up our arms in disbelief and went on record saying things like, "How can the Angels be an 80-win team after they won the division last season (2009)?" and "These projections suck!". The only thing wrong with last season's projections was that they were right.

Anyway, the above link shows projections for next season, a season that's looking to shape up as another disappointing season for Angels fans. These first projections have the Angels coming in at 78 wins, scoring 665 runs while allowing 690, and finishing 12 games behind the Rangers. That's the bad news. There is some good news...the Mariners are still worse, but only because they are the only team in the league who are projected to score less runs than the Angels. Last season, the Angels scored 681 runs (40 runs below league average), and without adding any offense this off-season, the 665 runs looks to be a fair estimate, especially when you consider the loss of Matsui and another year added to the already aging Abreu/Hunter duo. The projections do take into account the improved pitching. Last season the Angels allowed 702 runs (14 runs below league average). These projections have the Angels reducing that number by 12, but still more than the projected league average (671).

Also, within this FanGraphs article about the projections, the Angels are classified as "Rebuilding". I don't know about you, but I HATE that word when describing the Angels: The Playoffs Sweet Spot - FanGraphs Baseball
Rebuilding – Baltimore, Toronto, Cleveland, Kansas City, Los Angeles of Anaheim, Seattle, New York (N), Florida, Washington, Chicago (N), Pittsburgh, Houston, San Diego, and Arizona

December 30 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on December 30.
1907 - The Mills Commission on the origins of baseball reports that the game was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839. The Commission is convinced by the testimony of Abner Graves, who claimed to be a childhood companion of Doubleday's. Grave's story is later "verified" when an old, rotting ball is found among his personal effects; the ball is now in the Hall of Fame. The Commission ignores the fact that Doubleday did not graduate from West Point until 1842. Thus leading to Bud Selig's belief.
1935 - Sandy Koufax, one of the most dominant pitchers in history, is born in Brooklyn, NY. He will go on to pitch for the hometown Dodgers, but his career really takes off when the team moves to Los Angeles. Koufax will post a 129-47 record and capture three Cy Young Awards. He will win all three when only one award is given annually for the two leagues.
Happy b-day:
1935 - Sandy Koufax, pitcher; All-Star, Hall of Famer
1945 - Tom Murphy, pitcher
1976 - A.J. Pierzynski, catcher; All-Star Douchebag