- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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Too much serious stuff around here. Let's tackle something a little more fun and lighthearted -- predictions for 2012, using Academy Award categories.
Winner: Matt Kemp
This award encompasses beauty, excitement and thrilling action. If he plays like he did in 2011, when he hit 39 home runs, stole 40 bases, played a mean center field and hit the ball a long way, it's hard to match the all-around cinema Kemp provides on a nightly basis.
Winner: Roy Halladay
This award goes to the pitcher who does stuff that doesn't seem real. Halladay gets such great movement and location on his pitches that he doesn't have to possess the high-octane velocity of a Verlander to be the best pitcher in the game.
Winner: Ozzie Guillen
Braun set an early standard with his speech on Friday, but this one is a clear winner: Ozzie in a landslide.
John Axford (Picture), Milwaukee Brewers
Jon Niese (Picture), New York Mets
Jose Reyes (Picture), Miami Marlins
Delmon Young, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera (Picture), Detroit Tigers
Brian Wilson (Picture), San Francisco Giants
Winner: The Detroit Tigers
Niese got a nose job and Reyes cut off his locks, but we honor the Tigers for their willingness to wear their fat suits for the sake of putting on a good show.
Winner: Albert Pujols
He's still wearing red, but seeing Pujols in an Angels uniform is still a dramatic visual that's hard to believe.
Larry Beinfest, Miami Marlins
Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers
Jerry Dipoto, Los Angeles Angels
Dan O'Dowd, Colorado Rockies
Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals
Winner: Mike Rizzo
Winner: Ben Zobrist
Evan Longoria and the pitching may get all the attention, but Zobrist continues to reign as one of the game's most underrated stars, a player who gets on base, hits for some power, plays fantastic decision and can play multiple position. If the Rays make the playoffs again, he'll be a key reason why.
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Winner: Jose Bautista
This category is wide open yet again so we had to have 10 nominees, but this is the season Bautista wins the MVP trophy in a controversial decision over Cabrera.
Best Original Screenplay
Cleveland Indians -- Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo are healthy, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall develop into stars, Ubaldo Jimenez wins 20 games and the Indians shockingly win one of the AL wild cards.
Milwaukee Brewers -- After losing Fielder, Braun hits dramatic game-winning home run on Opening Day and goes on to win second straight MVP Award, and lead the Brewers into the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Rays -- In a story almost too unbelievable to believe, the underdog Rays again beat out the Red Sox on the season's final day to make the playoffs.
Texas Rangers -- Darvish proves sensational and is in the Cy Young hunt, Hamilton hits 30 home runs, Kinsler goes 30-30 again, and the Rangers stomp the Angels in the AL West.
Winner: Washington Nationals
The Nationals become so popular that presidential candidates seek Harper's endorsement.
Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees
The winner: Texas Rangers
Those are the teams with the five highest over/under win totals from various betting sites. Since four of the five teams are in the AL, that should theoretically make the Phillies the World Series favorites since their NL competition is viewed as less competitive. If I had to pick one team right now, however, I'd go with the Rangers. They have a deep rotation, solid lineup, depth on the bench and on the pitching staff, and they don't have potential age problems in the lineup like the Yankees and Phillies. They seem to have the most well-rounded team right now.