8-26-09: 2009 Peek at the Picks, Vol. 4

Hello again everybody...

Like most of you, I have a routine that gets me into work each day. Along the way there can be subtle variations to said routine, but for the most part it's consistent - I guess that's why they call it a routine.

Today? I don't know if you can call it "subtle" but there was certainly a variation. As I walked up the sidewalk toward the palatial estates at 625 2nd Avenue South, I noticed a group of co-workers standing outside the building. Now, this isn't in and of itself odd, since there's the standard smoking clutch out there nearly every day. But that clutch doesn't usually consist of 15-20 people. So, suspecting something was amiss, I approached one of the engineers and asked what was going on.

Turns out there was a fire alarm going off in the building. And, shortly after receiving that answer, two fire engines rolled up to confirm the diagnosis. But because I'm the dedicated employee that I am, I called up to the studio to find if anything was amiss on the 2nd floor. When told that there wasn't, I talked my way past the administrative assistant that was guarding the door as though it was a gate in the Berlin Wall, and trucked up the stairs to get to work.

That's right, you can't stop me. You can only hope to contain me.

As of the time of this writing, I don't know what caused the alarm. So I guess I'll go with the usual excuse and blame the Irish Pub/Restaurant that resides downstairs. If I get an update, I'll let you know...

(Ed.'s Note: Apparently the sidewalk construction outside of the building poured an unnatural amount of dust into the building, and our fire alarms interpreted that dust as smoke and there's your fire alarm.)

But if a little fire alarm can't keep me from my job, it certainly won't keep me from you, my dear readers!

So today, I bring you the long awaited fourth volume of my 2009 Peek at the Picks! There's just over a month left in the regular season (where DID the Summer go?), and it's time to see how my picks are faring!


"The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible."
- Jean Kerr (1922 - 2003), American author and playwright

If I can't turn to an American author and playwright to justify my "late to bed, late to rise" philosophy, who can I turn to?!

«Read More...»

I know many of you have turned the page to football season, and given the performances of most of your favorite teams, it's hard to blame you.

(Although, for those of you here in Minnesota, while you weren't looking, the Twins have won 5 in a row and pulled even with Chicago!)

But there still is a lot of baseball to be played, and plenty of division races yet to be decided.

So it's time to update you all on how my picks are doing. If you missed my original series of season preview columns, you can catch up on them here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

For an explanation of the Sports Take Kelley Formula, click here.

Excellent, now that you're caught up, here's where my picks stand as of today:

Peek at the Picks, Vol. 4

AL East:

Current Standings: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox (whom I hate) -6, Tampa Bay Rays -9, Toronto Blue Jays -20.5, Baltimore Orioles -27.5

Dan's Picks: Boston (whom I hate), Tampa Bay, New York, Baltimore, Toronto

Kelley Formula Results: 14 of a possible 20 points.

Analysis: I'm not going to say the Yankees have this division sewn up. There are too many games left. Although I think they only have one more series with Boston (whom I hate), so if the Red Sox (whom I hate) hope to overtake the Bombers, they'll have to do so beating other teams. The Rays keep flirting with getting in the race, but have been too inconsistent to really be a factor. I'm a little disappointed that the Orioles haven't progressed more than they have. I really felt like I had a bead on this division before the year began, but it hasn't quite shaken out for me.

AL Central:

Current Standings: Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins -4.5, Chicago White Sox -4.5, Cleveland Indians -12, Kansas City Royals -19

Dan's Picks: Minnesota, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit

Kelley Formula Results: 9 of a possible 20 points.

Analysis: By far, my worst division. Detroit has screwed me more than any other club. I could point out that I wasn't alone amongst pundits who thought they'd be far out of contention at this point in the season, but that'd be the cheap way out. I just flat-out missed on them, and Cleveland. Kansas City showed signs at the beginning of the season, but never found a way for their offense to click, and have fallen off the map. Minnesota and Chicago aren't good, but they're not completely horrible either. They still count as a miss, but compared to the doozies I had with Detroit and Cleveland, I don't think they're as bad.

AL West:

Current Standings: LAAAGOCRCUSPE, Texas Rangers -4, Seattle Mariners -10, Oakland Athletics -19.5

Dan's Picks: LAAAGOCRCUSPE, Texas, Seattle, Oakland

Kelley Formula Results: 16 of a possible 16 points.

Analysis: My only perfect division... so far. Okay, okay, this is the only one I even have a shot at getting 100% correct. And I'm at an advantage since it's only a 4-team division. Texas took a run at the Angels in early August, but have since fallen back. They're best shot at the playoffs is still the Wild Card. Seattle's better than last year, but still aren't going to contend any time soon (which is a shame since Ichiro is a fantastic talent who doesn't get much attention since his team blows). Oakland was a chic underdog pick in the pre-season. I was one of the few jumping up and down saying, "they're gonna suck, you watch". I don't have many other "I told you so's" in this volume, so I'll point this one out, thank you!

NL East:

Current Standings: Philadelphia Phillies, Florida Marlins -7, Atlanta Braves -7, New York Mets -16.5, Washington Nationals -28.5

Dan's Picks: Philadelphia, NY Mets, Atlanta, Florida, Washington

Kelley Formula Results: 15 of a possible 20 points.

Analysis: Close, but no cigar. The Mets have fallen apart. They won't finish in last, Washington's too bad for that. But they're definitely the most disappointing team in the division, and probably in the league. Philly's got a solid lead in the division, and should win it. But Florida's got just enough juice (of the non-PED variety) to make them sweat. Yes, Atlanta's tied with Florida, but I fear they're going in the wrong direction.

NL Central:

Current Standings: St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs -9, Milwaukee Brewers -11, Houston Astros -11, Cincinnati Reds -18.5, Pittsburgh Pirates -19

Dan's Picks: Chicago, Houston, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh

Kelley Formula Results: 19 of a possible 24 points.

Analysis: A huge comeback for me in this division. I picked up 5 points here since the publication of Volume 3. If the Brewers keep hold on 3rd place and Cincinnati can stay ahead of Pittsburgh, I'm in pretty good shape here. This is the only division that I feel has already been decided. The Cards surprised me with their ability to score runs. I knew they'd be able to pitch, but outside of Pujols, their offense has been a huge surprise to me. Granted their additions of DeRosa and Holliday have helped, but they've been scoring at a better clip than I expected even before those additions.

NL West:

Current Standings: L.A. Dodgers, Colorado Rockies -2 , San Francisco Giants -6, Arizona Diamondbacks -19, San Diego Padres -21.5.

Dan's Picks: L.A. Dodgers, Arizona, San Francisco, Colorado, San Diego.

Kelley Formula Results: 16 of a possible 20 points.

Analysis: Flip flop Arizona and Colorado and I'm right on... for now. Colorado is the Cinderella story in baseball this year. On June 3rd, they were 13 games behind the Dodgers. Today, they're two back. That's a phenomenal turn around. If Rockies' manager Jim Tracy who took over mid-season, isn't the NL Manager of the Year, something's wrong with the voting. The Dodgers had a strangle-hold on the division for most of the year, but if they're not extremely careful, Colorado could pass them by. San Francisco has been in the Wild Card race, but has slipped of late. They're not out of it, but they're not far from either. Arizona and San Diego? We'll see you next year!


Combined Kelley Formula Results: 89 of a possible 120 points (74.1%)

Volume 3's CKFR: 84 of a possible 120 points (70%)

2008 CKFR: 86 of a possible 120 points (71.7%)

Analysis: I've finally surpassed last year's mark. That doesn't mean I can't slide back over the last 5 weeks or so, but so far, so good! I've got 3 division winners right so far, and don't count out the Twins just yet! As for the Wild Cards? Well, we'll get to those another time!

Keep an eye on the NL West. That may be the best race in the league down the stretch.

80% is going to be a stretch, but it's not impossible! We'll see.

That's going to do it for today. I hope you consider yourself updated!

I'll be back on Friday to wrap up the week. College football next week already?! Craziness.

Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. Woo! College football! Gotta work with Jon on getting the Babb-Kelley computer poll working again.

  2. You get it running, I'll publish it!