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April 2, 2012

Out of Left Field

Predictions That, God Help Us, Are Wrong

by Matthew Kory

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On Friday, three people won enough money to feed starving African children $100 bills for decades. The efficacy of that aside, had you selected the proper numbers you could be among this small group of lucky people, undoubtedly spending your newfound wealth only on others, with a little car on the side for yourself. Like this one. Or this one. Or maybe this one. The chances of winning a share of that money were 1 in 176 million. But what if an old man with a gray beard had appeared to you and told you the winning numbers last week, days before they were picked? Your chances would have increased to 100 percent*. Well, dear reader, you’re in luck. This article is that old man. The season has yet to begin (sort of) but the article you are now holding in your virtual hands has all the answers. The following predictions about the upcoming season are 100 percent guaranteed to be correct**. They are so certain to happen – to the letter – that if any one of them is wrong by even a letter we’ll [redacted by editor]. Guaranteed!

* Assuming you believe what old men with gray beards who come up to you on the street tell you. In which case winning the lottery will probably solve only some of your problems.

** Note: This statement is 100 percent guaranteed to be false.

April

1. The World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals get their rings and, in a moving ceremony, thank the rest of the National League Central for sucking so badly.

2. St. Louis then loses four of its first six games, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they should have given Albert Pujols a 10-year, $300 million contract.

3. Stephen Strasburg strikes out 31 Mets in a game. It would have been 23, but in the ninth inning Strasburg begins deliberately throwing wild pitches with two-strike counts.

4. Former Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis is cut by the Orioles, picked up by the Mariners, cut by the Mariners, picked up by the Nationals, cut by the Nationals, and picked up by the Mets.

5. Robert Andino suspiciously stops having bowel movements. He is asked why, but he won't say. He just looks off in the distance and smiles.

May

1. It is revealed that Mets owner Fred Wilpon’s investments in Acme Portable Holes have gone bust. His mysterious investment advisor, Schmose Schmanseco, disappears, never to be heard from again.

2. At a chance meeting before the Blue Jays play the Angels, Alex Anthopoulos quickly convinces Angels Special Assistant Tony Reagins to get him a cup of coffee. With sugar.  "And also get rid of this dirty diaper I've been carrying around for some reason," he adds.

3. Former Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis is cut by the Mets, picked up by the Rangers, cut by the Rangers, and picked up by the Dodgers.

4. Tired of trying to trade for Felix Hernandez every year, the Yankees just take him.

5. Jose Bautista hits his 20th home run, leading some to speculate he may be finished.

June

1. The Red Sox lose two in a row. Dan Shaughnessy writes a book.

2. A wormhole to the future opens and a man from the year 2386 falls into our time. After repeated government probing, he reveals that cancer can be cured with ice cream headaches, they’re still working on the flying cars thing, and Jamie Moyer is actually an animatronic robot from the Glaxon 8 Galaxy whose ruler Xenx Xurd has some monetary interest in disproving theories on player aging.

3. The Mets are not able to make any deals at the trade deadline because new GM Lenny Dykstra had already used up his one phone call for the week.

4. Former Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis is cut by the Dodgers, picked up by the Toronto Argonauts, cut by the Argonauts, and picked up by the Green Bay Packers.

5. Robert Andino shows up at Jonathan Papelbon's house at 3 a.m. and poops in his mailbox. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," he says.

July

1. The Oakland Athletics’ attempted move to San Jose remains in limbo. The sticking point is compensation for the Giants, and the two teams are not able to agree on which future failed prospects would exchange hands. Bud Selig hatches a two-part plan to solve the problem: 1) Convene a blue ribbon panel to investigate gin and tonic prices in the New York City area; 2) Bring in the Red Sox and Cubs to help provide expertise. The issue is expected to be resolved by roughly the time the earth crashes into the sun.  

2. With the trade deadline approaching, Hank Steinbrenner proclaims the Yankees must keep their payroll down, while seated on a flying elephant made out of gold and veteran relief pitchers.

3. Albert Pujols is injured during the third inning of the All-Star Game. Bud Selig proclaims that future All-Star games will be two innings long, pitchers must throw underhanded and bunting will be required from every batter, except A.J. Burnett LOLOLOL.  The All-Star Game will still determine home field for the World Series, and the winner of games 1, 2 and 5.

4. Former Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis is cut by the Green Bay Packers, picked up by the Los Angeles Clippers, cut by the Clippers, and picked up by President Obama’s cabinet where he is made the Secretary of Agriculture.

5. Jose Bautista hits his 40th home run, leading some to speculate he might be finished.

August

1. Wishing to be like their favorite players, children everywhere remove the ligaments from their legs and Elmer’s glue them onto their elbows. Some use extra glitter.

2. A leaked internal memo from the Astros front office defines a successful season in the following three specific criteria:

  • Win a game.
  • Members of the front office successfully avoid eye contact with players.
  • Minimal cannibalism.

3. Mariano Rivera finally succumbs to Old Age. That’s Old Age, the new board game by Parker Brothers wherein you survive longer by gathering Prune, Calcium and Vitamin D cards in attempt to avoid hip replacement surgery. In baseball news, Rivera posts a 0.00 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 11 innings for the month.

4. The Padres and Pirates are scheduled to play. Did they play? Do you think they did? Does anybody know if they played?

5. Former Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis is fired as President Secretary of Agriculture. He is subsequently picked up and dropped by the Russians and Chinese. He is currently the assistant to the Agriculture Secretary in Slovakia.

September

1. Derek Jeter’s defense degrades to the point where, when he tries to go to his left, he goes to his right.

2. After a road trip to Boston, Rays outfielder Luke Scott calls Red Sox fans “lovely” and “sweet” causing all of New England to rush to their cars that they might simultaneously drive into a ditch.

3. Kendrys Morales hits a game-winning homer. He takes 16 minutes to crawl around the bases.

4. Bud Selig announces, at a press conference to announce his retirement, that he has signed a seven-year contract to stay on as commissioner.

5. The Cubs finish with 58 wins, prompting owner Thomas S. Ricketts to lure Larry Lucchino away from Boston to become the new team president.

October

1. The Baltimore Orioles looks forward to the end of the season as they discover that, technically, they are in first place during the entire off-season because they are higher in the alphabet than any of their division rivals.

2. Scientists discover AT&T Park contains a gravitational oddity that causes people to age three times faster than normal. Also, the Giants extend Aubrey Huff.

3. The Red Sox fail to make the playoffs and Bobby Valentine announces he will return to ESPN. Rick Sutcliffe and Gary Thorne replace him in the Red Sox' dugout.

4. The Tampa Rays and Cincinnati Reds meet in the World Series. Game 7 is tied going into the bottom of the 10th when FOX cuts to an old episode of “American Dad.” Nobody complains.

5. A sportswriter predicts many things. They are all wrong.

Matthew Kory is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Matthew's other articles. You can contact Matthew by clicking here

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