Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 012216 Contents THE RIVER - JANUARY 22, 2016
Pre-Season Predictions Look Good
For Red Sox, Not So Good For Twins
by Ed Frank
Since you didn’t win last week’s $1.6 billion Powerball
lottery, and with the start of spring training just a month
away, perhaps you might want to take your chances with
the Las Vegas oddsmakers on the 2016 baseball season.
And this week, we’re going tell you what two so-called base-
ball experts are predicting.
Fangraphs, a detailed, statistical-oriented think tank, says the
Chicago Cubs will compile baseball’s best record with a 95-67
mark. That’s actually two games worse than last season when
the Cubs went 97-65, yet finished third in the National League’s
If you’re a baseball fan, you know that the Cubs have not won a World Series in
108 years, and haven’t even made it to the Fall Classic in 71 years. That’s the longest
championship drought in professional sports.
Maybe predicting the Cubs will have the best record in the upcoming season is a
weight on their backs they don’t need.
Interestingly, Fangraphs also says the Boston Red Sox will win the American
League’s Eastern Division with baseball’s second-best record, 92-70 . This would be a
big improvement over last season’s 78-84 mark which resulted in a last-place AL East
For you Red Sox fans, the following is Fangraphs projected AL East standings:
Red Sox – 92-70
Yankees – 86-76
Blue Jays – 84-78
Rays – 82-80
Orioles – 78-84
Now to our other spring training home team, the Minnesota Twins.
You might recall that last year, the experts forecast a last-place finish for the Twins
in the AL Central. Under rookie manager Paul Molitor, the Twins were one of the
biggest surprises in baseball, competing for a playoff spot into the last weekend of the
Minnesota’s 83-79 record was a sharp reversal from the four previous seasons
when they had lost 92 or more games. However, Fangraphs projects a sub-. 500
record for them this year at 78-84 and last-place in the tough AL Central.
Indians – 84-78
White Sox – 81-81
Tigers – 79 -83
Royals – 79-83
Twins – 78-84
A less sophisticated outlook for the 2016 season was released recently by ESPN
with a prediction that the Washington Nationals would be baseball’s best with a 95-67
ESPN labeled the Red Sox for a post-season wildcard slot and second place in the
AL East with an 86-76 record, two games behind the Orioles. What a difference:
Fangraphs predicts last-place for the Orioles and ESPN first-place.
As for Minnesota, ESPN forecast a dismal 68-94 record, last in the AL Central. But
like Fangraphs, they predicted a division title for Cleveland with a 90-72 record.
If prior years predictions by the experts mean anything, most are usually wrong and
worthless. You can’t predict injuries and trades before the season even starts.
And like the Powerball, the odds of picking a winner are slim at best. So best save
Everblades Roll On With League’s Second-Best Record
More than half-way though the 2015-16 hockey season, the Florida Everblades
have the ECHL’s second-best record at 28-17-0-1, having won six of their last seven
That record is the best in the Eastern Conference and second only to the Missouri
Mavericks in the Wester n Conference.
Florida has won seven of eight overtime clashes, losing only a shootout January 9
As the week began, forward Ryan Martindale had recorded at least one point in six
of the last seven games.
The Everblades are home at Germain Arena tonight, Friday, against Orlando and
next Friday and Saturday nights facing Greenville.
Special Equestrians Taste Of Love
Special Equestrians’ annual culinary extravaganza, Taste of Love will be held on
Sunday, March 6 from 5 to 9 p.m . at Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings, located
at 16240 Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers. The event theme is Relax, Reflect,
Refresh and will feature dishes from popular area restaurants and chefs, wine pair-
ings, live and silent auctions and entertainment.
Celebrity auctioneer Jay Severson and emcee Jessica Stilwell Catti will oversee the
evening’s events. More than 400 attended the event in 2015, raising $150,000 for
the therapeutic horseback riding program. Tickets are $100 per person and may be
purchased online at www.specialequestians.net or by calling 851-7070 or emailing
All proceeds from Taste of Love will benefit Special Equestrians, a nonprofit orga-
nization dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities by providing a struc-
tured therapeutic horseback riding program and equine assisted activities. The Special
Equestrians therapeutic riding program has been awarded Premier Accredited Center
status by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.
Sponsors include Florida Weekly, Palm Printing and Wayne Wiles Floorcoverings.
Additional sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available at www.special-
equestrians.net or by calling Freda Jones at 565-3792 or email@example.com or Jan Fifer at
851-7070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love Your Neighbor Chefs
And Restaurants Announced
Love Your Neighbor, an annual event featuring Norman Love Confections and
Mark Loren Designs, will be held on Tuesday, January 26 from 7 to 10 p.m.
at the riverfront Gulf Harbour home of Sonja and Stephan Burkard. Guests
will enjoy fine wine and spirits and an assortment of culinary creations from popular
local restaurants including Black Salt Catering, Blu Sushi, Chef Andy Hyde, Cru,
SS Hookers, Three Fishermen and The Timbers. Live and silent auction items will
be offered and all proceeds will benefit the School Success programs for at-risk chil-
dren in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. More than $250,000 was raised at last
A pre-event VIP party will be held at the home of Cheryl and Dave Copham. VIP
guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres from Crave Culinaire and wines from Benovia Winery.
“Love Your Neighbor guests will have the opportunity to enjoy tastings from
some of the area’s finest restaurants and chefs,” said Kathryn Kelly, president and
CEO of The Heights Foundation. “Proceeds from this event will enable The Heights
Foundation to continue to offer academic tutoring, after school and summer camp
programs, scholarship access assistance, school supplies and tuition support to the
children of Harlem Heights.”
NBC-2 anchor Kellie Burns will emcee the event. Sponsors include The Fernandez
Family Foundation, Connie and Ed Lizak, Stroemer & Company, Dinah Bloomhall,
Michael Frye REMAX Realty Group, Owen Ames Kimball, Pamela Templeton
Unlimited, Caroline and Bill Bloomhall, Cheryl and Dave Copham, Dorothy and Ron
Fitzgerald, Linda and Owen Glantz, Elaine and Fred Hawkins, Li-Su and Sam Javedan,
Kathy and Victor Mayeron, Sharyn and Gary Morgan, Vicki and Richard Pitbladdo,
Andie and Don Vogt and Maria and Wayne Wiles.
Beverage sponsors include Opici Family Distributing, Republic National Distributing
Company, Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and The Lighthouse Resort & Tiki Bar.
Tickets are on sale for $200 each and space is limited. Upgrades that include
the exclusive pre-event VIP party are also available. Purchase tickets online at www.
heightsfoundation.org/lyn or call Karen Lesza at 482-7706 .
Come explore a mixture of natural
plant communities and a beautiful
manmade filter marsh with a vol-
unteer naturalist and a Master Gardener
at Powell Creek Preserve on Saturday,
January 30 beginning at 9 a.m. Powell
Creek Preserve is located at 15601
Hart Road in North Fort Myers.
The free 90-minute walk over a 1.1 -
mile trail provides visitors with informa-
tion about filter marshes and their role in
improving water quality, as well as provid-
ing valuable habitat for wildlife. This is the
only Conservation 20/20 guided walk at
Powell Creek offered this year.
No reservations are required, and par-
ticipants should dress for the weather and
wear sturdy shoes. For more information,
Hikers at Powell Creek Preserve
Share your community news with us.
Call 415-7732, Fax: 415-7702
or email email@example.com
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