I hope you like ponusses because the season is upon us. I am here to make fearless predictions, just like every pundit out there who thinks he/she knows what he/she is talking about. The only difference is that my predictions will in fact be entirely correct. Seriously, they will.
Game threads will consistently become derailed by sub-threads that begin with someone expressing concern over the A's, followed by complaints from others that the game threads are getting too negative and that it is "worse this year than it has been in past years." This will lead to back and forth arguments about whether or not it is appropriate to vent in the game threads or whether such venting drives readers away from wanting to participate. This will dominate the thread for a full inning.
According to the game threads, Bob Melvin will be the rare manager whose tactical decision making is actually worth +/- 57 games and unfortunately, Melvin will have a bad year costing the A's 57 games they would have won had he not blundered. Melvin's impact will be seen by the number of games in which a commenter decries, "This one is on Melvin" following a move or non-move that results in a bad outcome for Oakland.
In the game threads, commenters will consistently urge Melvin to yank his starting pitchers in the 3rd or 4th inning if they are struggling. A hindsight analysis of the game threads will show that if Melvin listened to fans, his starting pitchers would average 4⅔ IP, bolstered only by Sonny Gray's 8 IP average, and that the bullpen would be led by 127 IP each from whichever two relievers are having the best season.
Trainman's disgust over "gascan" pitchers will be most fervently directed at John Axford, causing at least half of Axford's outings to induce game thread sparring matches between Trainman and commenters whose strong reactions belie the fact that they, and everyone who has ever read AN, knew it was coming. A look at AN during Axford's innings will often show little commentary on the game and much debate about whether Trainman's negativity and repetitive critiques of the same players should be ignored, called out, enjoyed, or flagged. These arguments will prove to be about as useful as tits on a bull.
Oh you wanted predictions for the A's performance on the field? Got it. I feel confident that the A's will win 60 games and that they will lose 60 games. As for what happens in the other 42 games, honestly that's really hard to say.
Enjoy the season. Win or lose, it's baseball and baseball is really quite fun!