It is that time of year again, and I'm not just talking about Jim Nantz locking himself in a room to work on puns for potential Masters winners. (My guess? "It is now Jason's 'Day'")
No, baseball season arrives this weekend, and back by popular demand (okay, maybe not popular, but I have fun writing it), I am giving some predictions going into the year.
Unlike the last two years, I have shortened it down from the number of years since the Cubs have won the World Series to the number of my all-time favorite player, Ryne Sandberg.
Without further ado, I give you...
Stultz's 23 Bold, Fearless, and Insane MLB Predictions
1. Halfway through the season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will give up wearing the "Try Not To Suck" shirts to a wife-beater that says "Great Minds Think Alike" with arrows pointing to both his head and crotch.
2. The Reds will be forced to change their name after Donald Trump starts questioning their communist motives. The new name will be the Browns: not as a tribute to Bengals owner Mike Brown, but to celebrate all of the stains Marge Schott's dogs left on the AstroTurf at Riverfront.
3. The Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants will start an inter-city civil war when they both claim to be better friends with Warriors star Stephen Curry.
4. In his last at-bat at Fenway Park, the standing ovation for David Ortiz will last eight minutes and 28 seconds, just falling 45 seconds shy of being longer than his average HR trot around the bases.
5. Joe Morgan will invade the Sunday Night Baseball booth during a Astros-Rangers game and state how, had he been there, the Alamo would have not been taken over by the Mexicans. Morgan will be announced as Trump's running mate the next day.
6. Mariners fans will start calling themselves the "10th Man", ultimately clinching the title as the lamest city ever.
7. After hitting a monster home run, Blue Jays' Jose Bautista will flip his bat again. Tragically, it will strike the famous Marlins Man in the neck, severing his jugular, and cutting short his attempt at appearing at 30 games in 30 different stadiums in as many days.
8. The Angels will finally cave in to pressure and apologize for allowing their team to be in such a blasphemy as Angels In The Outfield. Danny Glover will silently weep somewhere, very alone.
9. The Rockies will hold their first "Hemp Day" at Coors Field. Manager Walt Weiss will get a contact high and decide "that awesome hot dog dude" should play right field in the seventh inning.
10. The Braves, in their last season at Turner Field, will happily announce to their suburban (read: Caucasian) fans that they no longer have to travel into the actual city of Atlanta.
11. The Royals bandwagon will empty by the thousands after outfielder Alex Gordon is caught saying he prefers mustard-based BBQ.
12. The Dodgers and Giants will battle all the way until the last day of the season and end up tied for the NL West title. This will result in a one-time wrestling match between 88-year-old Dodgers announcer Vin Scully and 64-year-old Giants announcer Jon Miller, winner takes all.
13. The Mets will lose all of their pitchers to food poisoning as the playoffs start after Bartolo Colon treats the entire staff to the endless (microwaved) pasta bowls at the Times Square Olive Garden.
14. To help accommodate their older fan base, the Rays will begin starting games at 4:30 pm and encourage the fans to fill out the comment cards and leave them in the boxes adjacent to the exits. The biggest complaint? It's a little drafty in there.
15. The Astros will once again have to change the name of their stadium after it is revealed Minute Maid is a major sponsor of ISIS. It will be less embarrassing than the Enron scandal.
16. Pirates fans will be confused after Penguins captain Sidney Crosby throws out the first pitch and then immediately starts bitching about the strike zone. He will then cheap shot the home plate umpire and expect the Pirates' players to fight the rest of his fight.
17. The Orioles will continue to celebrate Cal Ripken for showing up to work every day, to play a game that he got paid millions to play, with his work time being an average of three hours. What a hero!
18. Seats behind the Padres bench will become extremely easy to get after all the ladies realize that silver fox Bud Black is no longer the coach. They will then fall for new announcer Don Orsillo and his baritone voice.
19. Just to attract more attention to himself, a Tigers game at Comerica Park will be abruptly halted when Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh starts holding a practice in the outfield.
20. In a move that will certainly upset Nationals fans attending that night, the role of right fielder Bryce Harper will be played by Ben Affleck.
21. Cardinals' fans will continue to show that they are the "best fans in baseball" by looking up from their Nokia flip phones and softly applauding when of their players gets a hit, a sure sign that this guy is a "real Cardinal."
22. Bernie Brewer will fall to his untimely death after a portion of the home run slide has been ripped out. Cameras will then catch Hank, the Brewers adopted dog, manically laughing while rubbing his paws together.
23. Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg will be told "I love you" by a giddy Brian Stultz after the former second baseman pours Stultz a Bud Light. (Oh wait, this already happened. VIRTUAL FIST BUMPS ALL AROUND!!!)