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posted: 4/3/2012 7:35 PM

Could be a long, hot summer for Chicago baseball

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Every new baseball season is accompanied by a new set of unpredictable predictions.

This one is no exception.

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For openers, Robin Ventura's first season as a manager will be successful if the White Sox bat out of order fewer than a half-dozen times.

Dale Sveum will continue to insist that the Cubs' pitching rotation is as good as any in the National League and add that the Bears' offensive line is as good as any in the NFC.

Cubs and Sox players will respond to Sports Illustrated disrespecting them by picking SI to finish the year behind ESPN: The Magazine, The Sporting News and Vine Line.

Gordon Beckham and Jeff Samardzija will struggle through their fourth seasons as career prospects.

Skeptics will respond to "The Cubs' Way" by chanting "No way!"

Recognizing the importance of the Chicago television market, baseball will provide the Cubs and Sox with hope by expanding the playoffs to 14 teams.

The Cubs will recall Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson from the minor leagues, but the youngsters will RSVP "Sorry, cannot attend."

Every time Kenny Williams chirps about the Sox it'll sound like he's calling Ozzie Guillen a twerp, and every time Guillen tweets about the Marlins it'll sound like he's calling Williams a twit.

Sox utility man Brent Lillibridge will be so confused by his various roles that he'll take his first-base glove to third base, his infielder's glove to the outfield and his outfielder's glove to the bathroom.

The Cubs will unveil the Mike Quade statue in June, complete with Theo Epstein's loafer up his backside.

Jake Peavy will wind up healthy but ineffective, and Chris Sale will wind up effective but in surgery.

Alex Rios will let his guard down and be caught on camera actually hustling after a ball in the gap.

In July, baseball will provide the Sox and Cubs with hope by expanding the playoffs to 20 teams.

Adam Dunn will win the American League's most improved player award by batting .203 with 17 home runs and 58 runs batted in.

The only place the Cubs will be able to trade Alfonso Soriano is to themselves for a Cuban defector to be named later.

Even John Danks will wonder how the Sox could give him all that money until he looks around the clubhouse and sees Dunn, Rios and Peavy.

Occupy Wrigley will demonstrate against the 1 percent occupying the Cubs' new patio section in the right-field bleachers.

Jerry Reinsdorf will calculate that if the Dodgers are worth more than $2 billion, the Sox must be worth at least a bag of balls.

In September, baseball will provide the Cubs and Sox with hope by expanding the playoffs to 24 teams.

Baseball will outlaw beer in clubhouses but allow players to stand in line at concession stands for a nip between innings.

Ryan Braun will claim that Jimmy John's was late delivering to the lab a tape of him eating a sub sandwich in the dugout.

A drug test will reveal that 49-year-old Jamie Moyer had high levels of Hair Color for Men on his scalp the day he shut out the Cubs.

After a month of dressing next to each other, Carlos Zambrano will love pit bulls and Mark Buehrle will bash Gatorade coolers.

In October, baseball will expand the playoffs to 28 teams but the Sox and Cubs still will wait 'til next year.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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