We have not been able to find it within ourselves to write a playoff preview post, for several reasons. Firstly, there are too many unanswerable questions (Ten pitchers, yet Kevin Cash and Doug Mirabelli are on the roster? Can someone explain this with small words and visual aids? The comments section is waiting for you!), and secondly, we are pretty sure anything we say or do would cause an irrevocable jinx. Also, we still haven't fully recovered from Jonathan Papelbon's hangover.
So instead, at this last hour of the last day before the drama begins, let's skip ahead a few pages in the calendar....
2008 Baseball Predictions
- The Cubs start off strong in defense of their division title, but tank when Lou Piniella takes up Transcendental Meditation and starts greeting umpires with garlands of flowers.*
- Tom Glavine returns to the Braves for his swan song; unfortunately, he spends most of the year playing poker with John Smoltz, and ends his season early by falling off Smoltzie's roof. To add insult to injury, Smoltz still makes him finish the gutters.
- Mike Timlin retires, but still hangs out in the Red Sox bullpen. During the first Sox game in New York, he kills all of Yankee Stadium's squirrels and roasts them on a spit.
- Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his 600th home run and is mercifully removed for a pinch runner.
- Johan Santana will be traded to the Mets for a payroll-shaking salary. Come opening day, his pitching hand will fall off and walk away like Thing in the Addams Family.
- Noting that the Colorado Rockies' improbable success followed after the team dedicated itself to Christian morality, the Washington Nationals convert, as a group, to the Rastafarian faith. Wily Mo Pena bats .500 and is named the league MVP.**
- Curt Schilling shocks the world by dropping his bid for a new contract in order to run for President of the United States. (He's working on a 20-point lead in the polls in October, but blows it by shaking off Jason Varitek.)
- Torii Hunter to the Yankees, Melky Cabrera to the Twins, Johnny Damon to a shopping cart in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium.
- The Kansas City Royals win 145 games, dominating all challengers in unprecedented fashion. Unfortunately, no one is paying enough attention to remember which division they're in, and the playoffs go on without them.
- Not to be outdone by C.C. Sabathia's tattoo (his own name, on his back, uniform style), Josh Beckett has Nolan Ryan's name tattooed on his back. He also lodges a complaint with Major League Baseball when he discovers he's not allowed to pitch topless.***
*Lou Piniella is the Walrus. Terry Francona is the Eggman. Goo goo g'joob.
**His AL counterpart is the Triple Crown winning Kevin Millar.
***Which is nothing compared to Papelbon's protest about the oppression of the pantsless in American public life. Seriously, theses will be written.