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March 23, 2009 at 8:55 am ET
7 Comments
Ten Bold Predictions for 2009

The grass is cut, the air is warm, and Chalk is wasting everyone’s bandwidth.テつ It must be time for another MLB season to get underway.

Now, I don’t know about you, but around the B&C offices (okay, it’s one windowless room with a shared desk and a bare bulb, but we have flavored coffee…) we like to make some bold predictions for our favorite teams and players.

Let’s get to speculatin’…

1. C.C. and A.J. will S.U.C.K.
Okay, no they won’t…exactly.テつ But expect Sabathia to get overwhelmed in his first few months in the AL East, and (at least for a little while) never see a lineup three times through.テつ He will eventually right the ship, and possibly even flirt with greatness, but his mental makeup isn’t quite “Bronx-ready.” A.J. Burnett will get hit by a stiff Moshulu Parkway breeze, rendering him ineligible until June.テつ There will be less than 30 wins between the two.

2. Barry Lamar Bonds will be back on the field by the All-Star Break
Remember, I said these were bold predictions — not predictions anyone actually wants to see.テつ But my inner Kreskin thinks that injuries around the league will force many teams to reconsider the man.テつ He will sign an incentive-heavy deal with an NL team that lets him play the field everyday.テつ Many fans will say, “Yeah, he’s a jagoff, but at least he doesn’t kiss himself in mirrors, or fall in love with whorehouse administrators like A-Rod.”

3. Peavy is the new Manny
By the trade deadline, the only team that won’t be in on Jake will be the Chiba Lotte Marines.テつ We will hear about this topic ad nauseum until someone finally bites and throws in that late round draft pick the Pods so desperately want. And as fans, will hate the man because of it. But, unlike his media-whore predecessor, at least Peavy can field.

4. Tampa Bay will miss the playoffs
Is everyone done hugging it out from last year’s feel good story?テつ Good, because the clocks in St. Pete are reading 14 minutes, 59 seconds. The team is good, but this year, they will have to compete with a likely resurgent Yankees team, and a pitching heavy Red Sox team. Hell, even the Jays may flirt with the division longer than usual.テつ The addition of Pat Burrell isn’t exactly going to make anyone forget that the Yanks got Teixiera, or that the Sox are deeper than before. However, there will be one resurgence from this team — Jason Isringhausen will capitalize on injuries and return to top closer status, making the Cards look more foolish than the day they acquired Khalil Spicoli.

5. The Mets will barely make the wild card, then go to the World Series
Yes, yes, I know this is a homer pick, but if you get down to brass tacks on the Mets, the last two seasons were nothing more than repeated bullpen failures. They scored runs and got better than average starts, but they couldn’t seal the deal. Well, they’ve gone and replaced the whole damn lot of ‘em.テつ And the possibility remains that at some point this season, the team could field three A-1 closers in one bullpen. So, why only the wild card?テつ Because despite the ‘pen changes, these are still largely the same Mets. And it pains me to say it, but those Tastycake-lovin’ bastards in the rowhomes are still the champs until someone says otherwise.

6. The Tigers will win the AL Central, thanks to some likely (and unlikely) heroes
Miguel Cabrera is poised for a HUGE year, and could take the MVP right out from under the nose of some less deserving chump.テつ This isn’t exactly a surprise. But I also predict that the team may get some second half help from the seemingly-toasted Dontrelle Willis.テつ After rediscovering his stuff in AAA, Willis will come up after the break and get 8-10 wins thanks to a whole new release point, saving his career until the next mental lapse comes along.

7. Manny will be Manny
But because he’s in the NL West, no one will really care anymore. Expect the usual numbers, and more than a handful of ESPN bloopers along the way.

8. The Royals will contend until August
There’s only so long a franchise can be considered “up and coming” and this might be the year they finally play some meaningful late season games at Kauffman.テつ Young, talented and balanced, the Royals might just make life hard for their rivals after all. Their pitching is solid, and can be excellent at times. The acquisitions of Olivo, Jacobs and Crisp may just put them over the edge of respectability for the first time in decades.

9. The Cubs will limp into the All-Star Break, and will try to move Soriano
The Cubs have been building up to this current team for what seems like forever. A pitcher here, a batter there…they’ve never really made any earth-shaking moves after the foundation for the current squad was set a few years ago.テつ But this will be the do-or-die season for the group, and if they get off to a weak start, expect a deadline unloading process. If they succeed but don’t win it all, expect something similar in the offseason. Soriano – and his heavy contract – will be first on the hitlist.

10. Derek Jeter’s days as the Yankee shortstop will be numbered
Unless the man rediscovers his range and keeps the errors to a minimum, there will be much discussion of his inevitable move to the outfield.テつ While I’ll never understand moving a slowing infielder to a position that requires even more range, the team will do everything in their power to keep Jeter in pinstripes forever.テつ That is unless the team isn’t playing up to $300 million worth of expectations, in which case the Juniorbrenners will do what it takes to generate headlines, even if it means dangling Derek in the trade waters.テつ Either way, it might be time to start thinking about the next Yankee shortstop.

Your thoughts? Go.

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7 Responses to “Ten Bold Predictions for 2009”
  1. Dirty Water says:

    BOS, MIN, OAK. NYM, STL, LAD

    CC, AJ and Teix will prove to be what they have always been – above average performers when games don’t count, subpar performers when they do. They will fit in perfectly in NY.

    Bonds will come back to play one game before being suspended for failing a drug test.

    OAK will have the West wrapped up by July

    Arod will get caught prancing around Times Sq wearing tights and a pink tutu.

    MVP’s – Cabrera, Manny
    CY’s – Beckett, Billingsley

  2. Jeremy Hawn says:

    The Cubs won’t struggle this year at all, though they might move one superstar. But it will be Derrek Lee, not Soriano. Lee has been under-performing for 2 years now, and is being challenged for at bats by Micah Hoffpauir. Soriano is still worth the money, and contributes more to wins than anyone else on our team. In games he played in last year, we had a .670 winning percentage. Without him we were just over .500.

  3. Nick says:

    I just disagree with what Dirty Water said about Sabathia… without being a Yankee, Brewer, or even Cleveland AL Team fan, there is no way to deny what he did down the stretch last year. He pitched on 3 days rest at least 4 or 5 times in a row, and won each of those games. He was a workhorse for the Brewers, and chances are he will continue to be one with the Yankees, even if he isn’t as successful in the Big Apple.

  4. Dirty Water says:

    Yeah, he performed miracles until the post-season hit, then he became junk, just like the Yanks like em. Maybe that has to do with the Stein’s deal with the devil. Something about their success being restricted to only games that don’t count. I really don’t know because I haven’t talked to him much lately.

  5. Jeff says:

    Dirty,

    Has AJ ever even been to the playoffs? If that rotation stays healthy and Gay-Roid can stop licking himself in the mirror long enough to play some ball, the Yanks have just as good a shot as anyone. Assuming the rotation will stay healthy is a big assumption though. With AJ, Pettitte, and Joba it’s hard to see an injury free season.

  6. Dirty Water says:

    Has AJ ever even been to the playoffs?

    No, and I suspect he never will.

    zing!

  7. Jeff says:

    Even you don’t really believe that, dirt dog. The Yanks miss the PS one year and now they won’t make it back for the next 5….c’mon. They’ll be right back there this year, and with an improved rotation. You’ll see.

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