In my alter ego of Terry O’Brien, I write for a local newspaper in which I regale dozens of readers per week with my witticisms on love, cinema, and karaoke. But every so often I’m allowed to do what I REALLY want to do, and bang out a sports column. Below is a reprint of a portion of my column from the April 16th issue of Exit Zero Magazine.
Forgive the datedness of some of the entries, but I DID write it 2 months ago. And who knew THEN that Raul Ibanez was going to be Batman? You’ve been warned. Enjoy!
LATE EDIT: I’m still figuring out the posting and editing process here, so I apologize if this gets mangled or reposted 72 times.
Terry O’Brien’s FEARLESS PREDICTIONS for the 2009 Baseball Season (from the guy who thought the Phils should trade then-prospects Chase Utley and Ryan Howard 5 years ago).
1. Alex Rodriguez will strike out 3 times in a mid-July game and go on a rampage, destroying New Yankee Stadium, all of the Bronx, and parts of Lower Manhattan. Curiously, several high-dollar brothels will be spared.
2. The Phillies will return to the World Series for a 2nd straight year, leading MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann to label them “fascists.”
3. The New York Mets vaunted, rebuilt bullpen will blow a save in May, prompting GM Omar Minaya to trade for every closer in the American League and sign Sparky Lyle, Willie Hernandez and Al Holland. Mets will still lose important games late in September, prompting Bill Buckner to say, “Man, these guys are chokers.”
4. Phillies First Baseman Ryan Howard will have a year for the ages, with 63 home runs, 164 runs batted in, all while playing Gold Glove-level defense at first base… and come in 2nd in MVP voting to teammate Chase Utley.
5. 65,362 more Cubs fans will die without ever seeing their team in a World Series.
6. Tampa Rays DH Pat Burrell WILL hit a home run, Phillies LF Raul Ibanez WILL make an error, several thousand Phillies fans WILL say, “Worst signing ever!”
7. The Mets suck.
8. If they play baseball in Pittsburgh and Kansas City and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? (Actually, KC is my extra-dark horse pick to, well, to at least not be totally horrendous this year.)
9. Phillies starting pitcher Brett Myers will give up 100 home runs, leading Mrs. Brett Myers to 100 nervous breakdowns.
10. The Mets suck.
11. When I get rich and famous and remake Field of Dreams, the voice that whispers, “If you build, it he will come” will be Harry Kalas’. This will be immediately followed by the sound of Rich Ashburn lighting his pipe and exhaling deeply through his nose into the microphone. God I miss them.
12. The Yankees and Red Sox will play 19 absolutely Earth-shaking, decade-defining, franchise-altering games in 2009. At least, that’s what the marketing team at ESPN would like you to think. Other than God vs. Satan, has there ever been a rivalry hyped more or for longer?
13. The Mets suck.
14. The Yankees will win the World Series 4-2 over the Phillies, presuming they can stop giving up 24 runs a game. (Author’s Note: this is not my actual belief, but a mandate from EZ Editor Jack Wright… though it’s not beyond the realm of possibility, I suppose.)
15. Make that 65,363 Cubs fans.
16. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes will hit a home run vs. the Phillies this year then get ejected when his celebratory dance delays the game 17 minutes and injures 6 of his teammates.
17. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes will miss 6 games with a broken head, suffered during his next at-bat vs. the Phillies.
18. The Mets will sign WR Terrell Owens. Owens locker will be next to Mets OF Garry Sheffield in hopes that some of Sheffield’s likeability will rub off.
19. The Mets suck.