The ABCs of the baseball season

With baseball season so fresh you can still smell the hot dog mustard, duty demands baseball predictions. Anybody can do that. But can they do it in alphabetical order?

A’s. As in Athletics, as in Oakland, as in the visiting team in their own ballpark, as in the team that must play the season with more fans protesting their leaving for Las Vegas than sitting in the stands.

Baltimore. Consensus favorite to win the World Series (except in Los Angeles), while I pick Atlanta, but only alphabetically.

Counsell, Craig. The unnecessary and expensive new manager of the Cubs who will need directions to the home dugout.

Detroit. The defection of White Sox play-by-play voice Jason Benetti to Detroit will go unnoticed as long as Steve Stone does not bring it up.

Exposed. Among the tell-all books still to be released will be one accusing some owners of refusing to take stretch limos, several managers of discussing independent film and more players than anyone ever imagined using napkins.

Free Agency. It will be redefined to mean the fans get to change cities and the players have to hold it against them.

Grifol, Pedro. At some point the White Sox laundry crew will ask for an explanation of why the seat of Grifol’s pants are so worn and he will explain that is what he manages by.

Hall of Fame. The folks in Cooperstown will explain why Adrian Beltre is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and Pete Rose is still selling souvenirs on the sidewalk.

Injuries. The most common injury will be home run posers blowing out an elbow patting themselves on the back.

Justin Verlander. Old enough to be two rookies, the 41-year-old Houston pitcher will be diagnosed as the cure for midlife crisis.

Kansas City. Not the worst team in baseball as long as Colorado is around but bad enough to make the White Sox cocky.

Level playing field. What everyone wants and why there is drug testing. Not counting, of course, Los Angeles Dodgers’ money, slanted foul lines, long infield grass, stealing signs and the Cubs’ guest singer of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Metaphor. Baseball is life. Baseball is hope. Baseball is wisdom. Baseball is eternal. Baseball is infinite. Baseball is faith. Baseball is slower than air drying a comforter.

Night baseball. Which, if I remember my poker hand, is red nines and threes.

Oh, no. Ozzie Guillen is about to say something.

Pete Rose. He will again petition to get back into baseball, will be told he will have to wait until there is either a new commissioner or a real commissioner, apply for the job himself, get it, read his own file and withdraw his petition.

Quality. Missing entirely from the American League Central.

Retired. Longtime managers Dusty Baker and Terry Francona, or so they would have you believe.

Shohei Ohanti. The new face of baseball never made a bet. Never met a bookie. Never noticed ballpark signage for sportsbooks and casinos. Strictly a pachinko man.

Twentieth of August. The date the Cubs realize, “Well, that didn’t work.” Again.

Umpires. Their skins will be too thin, their waistlines too wide and their presence too obvious. A.I. can call balls and strikes, call runners safe or out and sing the national anthem but until A.I. can hand fresh baseballs to the catcher … wait, yes it can. Yer out, ump!

Walk-Up Music. By acclamation it will be agreed that any White Sox player coming to bat will use “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

XXX. Rating for the new see-through baseball pants.

Yogi Berra. He said, “Nobody knows nothin’ about this game.” This has never been more true.

Zero, zilch, zip. The chances of the Cubs or Sox winning 80 games, Jerry Reinsdorf getting a new stadium and any of these predictions being wrong.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.