A League of Her Own

Cubs Predictions Guaranteed to Go Wrong

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More optimistic than psychic, all hope and no sense, these predictions are guaranteed never to come true. But if even one does, I will brag about it for the rest of my life. Tribune photo by Zbigniew Bzdak


This is the last worthless weekend that we'll have to spend. All introductory east-coast-biased Sunday Night Baseball aside (that's right, Yankees and Red Sox, we don't care what happens between the two of you, no matter how much Joe Morgan insists that we must), Monday marks the dawn of the 2010 baseball season. So we're running out of time to make bold  educated  sabermetrically generated half-baked predictions for what the Cubs will be able to accomplish this year.

If the LOHO NCAA Pick 'Em Challenge has taught us anything, it's that my annual tradition of picking Kansas to win it all is guaranteed to go dreadfully wrong every year (except in the occasional instance when I break from tradition and allow them to succeed . . . sorry, Jayhawks). And if it has taught us two things, it's that I suck at predicting things. So here is a list of things I'm utterly confident will not happen, which is precisely why I am prognosticating that they will:

Alfonso Soriano will hit 40 homers. Do you remember last April? Soriano started the season hotter than a Gatorade-machine-bashing tantrum. And then he decided to test his knee reflex on the left-field wall. I'm hoping it was the injury that caused the precipitous production decline and not a failure to renew some Faustian deal with the devil. If I'm wrong (and I usually am) we'll be seeing more of Tyler Colvin in left than anyone is really hoping to get. (Tyler Colvin's mom excluded, of course.) If I'm right, Wrigley could be hosting its fair share of October baseball.


Ryan Theriot will collect 200 hits and 30 stolen bases. I'm not just saying this because he's my starting shortstop in the SABR-jerk fantasy league (in which I don't belong, but every basement needs a dweller). Well, actually, I am pretty much saying this because he's my starting shortstop. But it could happen. I'm not expecting Rudy Jaramillo to work miracles up and down the Cubs batting order, but I do think he can help detect and correct problems a bit sooner. Don't expect a power surge from the Riot, but you might see some better consistency from him and the rest of the Cubs bats. And the TOOTBLAN reduction will just be a freak aberration. I'm predicting big things from Theriot, and I'm predicting that most of them will come while he's playing second base. Because . . .

Starlin Castro will be the Cubs starting shortstop by June 13. Why June 13? Don't ask me to explain these things, I don't know. But everyone in the Cubs organization thinks this kid is the real deal. And by June 13, most people in the Cubs organization will have their doubts about the Fontebaker project. Castro is going to shine at AAA, I can feel it. Or maybe that's indigestion. Either way, I'm pretty sure Castro is coming, and he's coming for good.

Carlos Zambrano: Cy Young Award winner, 2010. Big Z is good at baseball. Big Z is emotional. Big Z is occasionally a risk to himself and others. But more than anything, Carlos Zambrano is fun to watch. I'm not one of those who think his emotional outbursts have anything to do with the actual baseball results. If anything, I believe his excitability is more responsible for his success than his meltdowns. I think he's been unlucky of late, and I expect that to turn around this year in a big way. But I expect a lot of things.

Carlos Marmol will earn 50 saves in 2010. He'll probably also issue 100 walks, but this will be the year Marmol figures it out. Again. Without the World Baseball Classic and Groggles to torture us this year, the wild one will stay relatively consistent all season long. That means he'll consistently work his way in and out of jams while no one ever seems to actually hit any of his pitches. Except with their elbows.

Carlos Silva and Milton Bradley will not only prove to be welcome additions to their new clubs, they'll actually earn their contracts. No, wait, don't leave! I swear, I'm going somewhere with this. Milton Bradley is a good baseball player. 2009 was not a good year for him, but the guy can hit a baseball (or watch a bad pitch go by). Seattle is the perfect place for him to shine, or at least where he can blend in with all the other rain clouds. And Carlos Silva has a chance to be a rock-solid fifth starter. Okay, maybe a moderately fluffy fifth starter, but Seattle paid us to take him, and he'll earn that money. Wait, what does that even mean? Um . . . 

Geovanny Soto will return to the All-Star Game. I don't know what the stats will say when it's all said and done, but Geo is going to have a hot start to 2010. He's trimmed everything from his waistline to his eyebrows, and the net effect is going to be brilliant. At least as long as his mask covers up the eyebrow thing.

The biggest scandal to come out of the Cubs clubhouse will center around Mike Fontenot. Little Babe Ruth and another little person who frequents the place are going to have words, and it won't be pretty. Which one gets run out of town is anybody's guess, but I'm predicting the Cajun Connection stays in tact. (Help Wanted: Beat Reporter with penchant for drama)

Tom Ricketts will pour beer on a St. Louis Cardinal. It will be an accident, but it will happen.

They Toyota sign will shoot fireworks after every homer, and neither the city of Chicago nor the Wrigleyville neighborhood will have the slightest problem with it. White Sox fans will be equal parts furious and smug about the North Siders stealing their tradition while Cub fans will use the occasion to vaguely remember that the White Sox fanbase does, in fact, exist.

The Cubs will win the World Series. Of course they will. This is the year. Also, world peace will finally be achieved and the season finale of Lost will make total and complete sense.

Okay, that's all I got. Gimme your predictions, and make sure they're no less likely to occur than mine. I don't want to be upstaged in my wrongness.

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16 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hilarious, Adam. I love the way you right.

AndCounting said:

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Thanks! And this is the third time I've posted a thank you, so if they all show up . . . well, it will just prove how unreliable anything I say really is. ;)

--MGb said:

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There's irony in there somewhere...

DavidWyatt said:

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I feel content going into the season now.... all the way, it's the only way.

Dmband said:

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This is awesome.

On one serious note, what is the cutoff for Castro (or any rookies that matter) to come up to the big league club so it does NOT count as a year in regards to arbitration.

Because Castro will be here that day. Im convinced thats the ONLY reason he's not starting this season.

Dmband said:

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found it..this would mean sometime in July

A: A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a "Super Two" and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 17 percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

AndCounting said:

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I wasn't sure if the 86 days of service is what constitutes a year or if it was specifically a stipulation regarding a super-two classification. It's weird.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't deny that Milton is a good hitter, but I think he's become increasingly unable to block out all of the perceived slights against him. I guess we'll find out in a city where almost no one cares about baseball.

AndCounting said:

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I don't think he's ever going to stop being a bit of a sideshow (um, yeah, I think I just figured who his Simpsons character is), but I don't think he'll be so suffocated over there. He's a bit of a coinflip in a lot of areas.

JulieDiCaro said:

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BTW, if I ever see that "It's Gonna Happen" guy, I'm going to do what Randy Meyers should have done and pop him one right in the kisser.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey guys, I'm heading out for the first impromptu block party of the season. I don't think I'll be back before game time.

We can use this for a game thread, or someone is more than welcome to put one up!

baturkey said:

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I'll put one up.

MillsChC said:

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What is that photo from?.... they look so hilariously sad.

And btw, I have absolute confidence that the Lost finale will make perfect sense.

AndCounting said:

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I'm pretty sure it's from the rally at Daley Plaza for the Chicago Olympic bid announcement. It ended faster than almost any Chicago sporting event ever has.

Edelweiss said:

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I'm surprised that Fontenot has never taken a swing at David Kaplan, but he would never argue with Paul Sullivan. Both Fontenot and Theriot can put a person down without his being aware of it. Cajuns are like that, always polite, with sneaky sarcasm.

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