Rain streaks down a glass divider during a rain delay before the game between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
It's the day after New Year's Day and that's the time of year when writers like to make lists of predictions of what they think will happen in the coming year, like this one from SI.com's Joe Sheehan.
I thought about this and realized that virtually everyone does the same sort of thing, and winds up being wrong about half of the time. So this list is different. Top 10 lists are popular, but since it's 2012, here are 12 things that absolutely, positively will happen in the baseball world this year. Guaranteed. (Listed in no particular order. Well, except for the last one; it seemed best to leave that one for last.)
And yet, here at Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee took care of that last October.
2) MLB will continue to prevent its customers -- baseball fans -- from buying its product by enforcing 40-year-old territorial blackout rules.
Which means if you live in certain parts of Iowa and are a Cubs fan, you can't watch many of their games, because MLB thinks you should drive five hours to Wrigley Field. Or if you're in Las Vegas, you're in the territory of the San Diego Padres, also five hours by car. This territorial map is colorful (and so is this one), but otherwise, it's way past time for these to be consigned to the baseball history trashbin.
3) A game or games will be rained out and a team will complain about the rescheduling.
4) Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen will say (or tweet) something outrageous that will offend a lot of people.
... and still keep his job.
5) A player or manager will bump an umpire and be ejected and suspended.
This will happen regardless of whether MLB goes ahead and institutes expanded replay, which is still uncertain. If expanded replay is instituted, the ump bump will come in an argument about one of the plays that is not included in replay (safe/out calls are not expected to be included). If not, the suspension will likely come from a "bump" which is nothing more than a brief touch of cap bills.
6) A team will come out of nowhere and contend briefly for a postseason spot.
Just about the time the national media notices, this team will go on a long losing streak and fall out of the race. (No, I don't know which team this will be. Remember? This isn't a predictions piece.)
7) A player will get off to a bad start and blame...
... the weather. It'll either be too cold. Or too hot. Or too wet (for Orioles players). Or too many road games. Or too many home games (if you're this guy).
8) Baseball writers will award at least one postseason honor to a player who most fans feel is undeserving, resulting in calls for the vote to be taken away from the BBWAA.
No further explanation required for this one.
9) A schedule will be announced for 2013 when the Astros move to the AL and 15 teams will be in each league.
Complaints will be made by teams that feel there is either too much or not enough divisional play. (The Blue Jays will get screwed either way.)
11) The Red Sox and Cubs will agree on compensation for the Cubs' hire of Theo Epstein.
Or they won't. (This item might reappear on the "13 for '13" list a year from now.)
12) The Cubs will not win the World Series.