This Sunday begins the best stretch of the year. Sunday is Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, which is as close as it gets to a sports religious experience. Just because we love stating the obvious around here, and because we just plain old feel like reminding you that we dedicated every Wednesday for four months to reviewing 18 different baseball movies, the Cru Jones Society loves baseball.

We particularly love the beginning of baseball season because while the weather is still working its way back to decent after shedding the winter blahs, you’re filled with nothing but hope and expectation. Your team is still very much alive, and even if you’re a miserable Pittsburgh Pirates fan, every new season comes with at least a glimmer of hope. So, it is with that hopeful mindset that we asked this question: What are your predictions for the 2010 MLB season? We answer, you answer, and at the end of the week, it’s time to play ball! So let’s step up to the plate and swing away.

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Lee S. Hart: Prediction #1: The Oakland A’s will simultaneously piss me off and break my heart, as they have been doing for the better part of the decade. It’ll start when Eric Chavez hurts himself early and sits on the DL most of the season. Then “Money Ball” will go into effect and their best player will be sent to the Yankees or Giants or some other team I hate. And the final nail will be when they lose to the God Damned Angels and miss the playoffs. Then I’ll long for the day of Rickey Henderson stealing bases and talking about Rickey Henderson.

Prediction #2: No matter how well the Cubs do, there will be no shortage of Flickerbock giving shit to Dagger about them. I swear the Cubs could lead every statistic, not just in the NL, but in the majors and win a World Series and Flickerbock would still talk a bunch of trash to Dagger about the Cubs.

Prediction #3: Win or lose, I will enjoy every moment I spend at Coors Field this season. There are very few things better than sitting in that wonderful ball park watching baseball with a brew and good friends. I can’t wait for that, and I will have plenty of opportunities to make this prediction come true.  

E Dagger: Since we’re dedicating a whole week to this subject, and we have team-by-team previews coming up over the next three days, I too will stick to three basic predictions that have little to do with the performance of specific teams, but are more related to different aspects of the game. Here we go…

Prediction #1: Bud Selig will make two important decisions this year. One of them will be brilliant; the other will be reality-warpingly stupid. This seems to be Selig’s destiny. For every Wild Card he created, he had an All-Star Game end in a tie. For every Interleague Play series that sparked interest, baseball became synonymous with steroid use on his watch. The universe cannot handle the success of this man, so it punishes the rest of us with something incomprehensibly bad to balance. Bud Selig drives me insane.

Prediction #2: Speaking of people that make me insane… To my list of players that make me want to stab myself in the eye watching them play for my favorite teams, which includes Antonio Alfonseca, Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Mesa, Darren Holmes, and 2009 Garrett Atkins, I will add Alfonso Soriano this year. I hate his injury record. I hate his insistence that he bat leadoff despite having a beyond shitty OBP. I hate his constant strikeouts. I really hate that goddamned cocky little hop he does when he catches a flyball. And I really, really hate his massive, untradeable, albatross of a contract that means he’s a Cub for, I don’t know, 35 more years. Goddamn it.

Prediction #3: The country finally comes to its senses and turns on Jon Miller & Joe Morgan collectively realizing what truly horrible announcers they are. I cannot watch games on ESPN anymore because of these two idiots. Why? Jon Miller fails to realize this is baseball, a game of leisure, and that we don’t need the incessant yammering he brings to every telecast. The guy never shuts up. And Joe Morgan might be one of the dumbest people on the planet. He screws up names, offers moronic bits of strategy, and is kind of a dick. Of course, he’s got nothing in those three categories on George Frazier, who is, without a doubt, the absolute worst announcer in any sport, anywhere, hands down. But Joe Morgan is no slouch. I don’t think the country will actually turn on these guys, but like we said, everyone is filled with hope at the beginning of the season.

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And now we look to you. We told you to make any prediction you wanted, about anything baseball related, and to make as many as you wished. And we certainly got diversity. So sit back, relax, and let’s see what you said. We’ll start with one of the longest Confessional responses we’ve ever gotten. We see that we’re not the only ones excited for baseball season to start.

Gutter: I am glad that we are making our predictions because now there will be a record of how horrible my picks are posted on the Internet. Anyway here they are:

AL West: I really could see any of the teams other than the A’s (Sorry Hart) winning the AL West. But I think I will go with the Rangers in the West with a good up and coming pitching staff and as long as Josh Hamilton and Vlad Guerrero stay healthy, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mariners taking the AL West crown either.

AL Central: Another one where I could see three teams winning the Central, Twins have been there done that so that would be the boring pick and would make Flickerbock happy. I was going to go with the Tigers but I am afraid that Miguel Cabrera will mistake the baseball for a marshmallow and try to eat it. I will go with the White Sox, they have made some good moves this winter and now have a pretty solid lineup and all of their starting pitchers could win 10 to 15 games, hmm sounds like a NL West team I like.

AL East: I couldn’t care less, Yankees suck, Red Sox suck, krypton sucks. I guess I will take the Yankees as long as one of A-Rod balls doesn’t fall off from all the ‘roids he has taken.

AL Pennant: White Sox over the Yankees, may be a long shot, but screw taking the Yankees or Red Sox.

NL East: Hard to pick against the Phillies, so I won’t, not much more detail to go into, best lineup and pitching staff in the NL East equals NL East title, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Braves give them a bit of a scare.

NL Central: Who the hell knows what the Cubs are going to do and growing up a Cubs fan it is hard to be optimistic, so I will be pleasantly surprised if they do well and take the safe pick in the Cardinals. I always think the Brewers and Reds are going to be better than they are and then they just shit the farm so I will go against them.

NL West: Hard to pick against the Rockies and it is a homer pick but who cares, similar to the White Sox, solid line up one through nine, all of their starting pitchers could win 10 to 15 games no problem. I also see the wild card, yet again, coming out of the West, something last year told me the Giants were going to be good and they damn near made the playoffs, I see them growing some more and winning the wild card this year.

NL Pennant: Rockies over the Phillies as long as Huston Street doesn’t blow his wad like he did last year against the Phillies.

World Series: Rockies over the White Sox, in 6 at Coors Field. Maybe it is a dream, but it should be a blast to watch.

Lady E: Ahh baseball season! It is time for the sun to shine, to sit back, relax, and drink a beer in the park while the Rockies dominate some team that just isn’t up to our par, aka the D-bags. It is time to yell “SPILLY!” And “TULO!” I couldn’t be happier!

My predictions for this year are that the Rockies not only make it to the playoffs, but also the World Series. They will win 87 games in the regular season and kick ass in the post season. Will they win the World Series? I am not sure. The fan in me wants to say YES! But it depends on who the AL spits out at us. The Twins? Oh wait, how’s your closer?! The Rangers? As long as your manager doesn’t vanish on another coke binge. The Yanks? Ahh shit…

All I can say… GO ROCKIES!!

Deuce: I predict that….

The Rangers will NOT have the worst pitching in the American League.
The Cubs and Dodgers will not make the playoffs.
Jimmy Rollins will miss 40+ games due to injury.
The Royals will get more wins than the Yankees have losses.
Joe Mauer will sign a huge contract to stay with the twins. (I know, but I need to feel good about something)
And…..game four of the World Series will end with a score of 6-2.

CassieB: My 2010 MLB season prediction:

This year, we got the DirecTV baseball package.  All baseball, all the time.  Therefore, I predict that I am going to spend countless hours watching my husband watch TV.  Fantastic.

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Tough break, CassieB. But your husband sounds awesome anyway. We’re certainly fixated on baseball, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be too. And instead of looking forward like we did this week, next week we take a look back.

So with that in mind, and knowing that if this site skews in any direction, it’s generational. We’re all about the same age around here (we’re guessing), so here’s your next Confessional question: What was an 80s/early 90s fad you were guilty of taking part in? Did you have the leg warmers? Did you wear a BUM Equipment sweatshirt? Rock out in Hypercolor? Day-glo? Were your bracelets applied with slap? This should be a fun one, and if you have any choice pics of yourself rocking embarrassing fashion from two decades ago, send ‘em our way along with your response.

We want to know more about all our readers. So don’t hold back. If you haven’t confessed, or it’s been awhile, or even if you did it last week, we want to hear from you. Confession is good for your soul. Don’t be shy and send us your response, along with your posting name to staff@crujonessociety.com and we’ll put them up next week.

Hart & Dagger