The Curse of Doug Mirabelli is alive and well and living in Fort Myers.
Just when we were starting to like Bard-o, too. Still, we're not gonna lie, we're excited that the PawSox Two are apparently getting an actual shot to win the gig. In fact, we're going to just throw this out there: we want a Kottaras-Brown backup catching tandem, people! Three catchers means we could, you know, pinch hit and double switch and all those National League tricks Bill James disapproves of so heartily. Make them uber-super-duper utility guys! Teach 'em to cover shortstop! Or throw a knuckleball! Heck, Dusty Brown was an outfielder once upon a time; we're sure all those innings crouched behind the plate haven't affected his ability to play right field when JD "Mr. Glass" Drew needs a day off.
So that's our cunning plan. Well, that or kidnapping Taylor Teagarden and telling everyone that he's Mark Wagner after extensive plastic surgery.
Anyway, it's time for some more 2009 predictions. We know you're all excited.
1. Jonathan Papelbon will hit a game-winning grand slam during interleague play.*
2. Julio Lugo will come back from his injury, and he will continue to play (almost**) as well as he did in spring training. Jed Lowrie will also continue to kick ass. This will be a great problem to have, no matter what you think about either player, and it will only make the team better.
3. We will never, ever, utter the words, "Man, I wish we'd signed Pudge Rodriguez." No disrespect to the future Hall of Famer, but there are plenty of other catchers we'll wish were on the Red Sox ahead of him. You can even strike Mauer and Martin from the list and end up with a strong Pudge-free top five.
4. Futures at Fenway will, once again, kick ass and take names. (What? We love FoF, okay, and we needed an excuse to point out that tickets go on sale this Saturday. Be there or be somewhere else. But somewhere else won't have baby baseball players taking each other's picture in front of the Green Monster while the Frisbee dogs run free.)
5. Every single team whose personnel have openly stated that they think they can be "the Rays of 2009" (We're looking at you, Reds, Pirates, and Orioles) will be bitterly disappointed. You know why Cinderella teams are interesting? Because they're really rare, like glass slippers. However, the national baseball media (now we're done looking at the Orioles, let's all turn our pointed gaze to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver) will keep this meme alive and anoint one of our lucky contenders "the Rays of 2009" around the all-star break--whoever it is, they will be instantly jinxed, and discover that they're the Rays of 1998-2008 instead.***
Tune in next week when we try to predict setlists for the bullpen band.
*Please ignore our footnote on this very issue from last week.
**Because no one actually hits .500, and we do not actually believe he will ever play error-free defense. This is not an insult, it is just reality.
***Or, dare we say it, the Devil Rays.