It has been a winter of suffering. A winter of bitter cold. A winter of more snow than this tender land has seen in the age of recorded snow totals, if you live with me in the greater Boston area. A winter of no baseball, the same as every winter, because every year we must go through a time of horrible void and dumb fast indoor sports on TV in order to properly rekindle our appreciation for the noblest slow game that makes a modicum of sense and therefore isn’t cricket.
But now it is March! The players we know and love are in Florida cavorting with the players we know and hate, and forgetting the names of players we might eventually come to know if they get called up at some point. Wealthy young men are parking their excessive cars near a field of play. There is probably a fragrant breeze blowing through palm fronds or something, I don’t know, I still dwell in a landscape dominated by enormous filthy piles of road snow. We are mere weeks away from the beginning of a new baseball year.
What will 2015 bring? I think we can hazard some decent guesses.
–David Price is tapped to pitch the Tigers’ opener. Justin Verlander is extremely sad, until an emissary is sent to cheer him up.
illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
–Miguel Cabrera has a slow start to the season, as he is healthy enough to be on the Opening Day roster, but is still working his way back from his injuries. Rival pitchers begin to feel overconfident and stop pitching to him as cautiously as they have in years past. Miggy takes advantage of this collective moment of weakness at the peak of his recovery and has a monster middle of the year, a middle of the year the likes of which Major League Baseball has never seen before. He leads the league in slugging percentage by a wide margin in July. He is intentionally walked a record number of times in August.
–Alex Avila suffers 12 concussions over the course of the season, declares the year a massive improvement.
–Joba Chamberlain punches a cooler in the dugout, inexplicably begins pitching better after.
–Al Alburquerque is recognized for his contributions to visual culture with a gallery exhibition of his Instagram photos.
–Victor Martinez injures both knees again, has radical new surgery in Germany, becomes first MLB player with robot legs, touching off a whole new class of debate about performance enhancement. Little Victor learns how to say ‘transhumanism’.
Part II coming soon!