Here we are on the first day of 2015. The entire year is stretched out in front of us. Will we follow through on our resolutions? Will this year be the best year of our lives?
I have no idea. But here are 20 predictions for our beloved Detroit Tigers for 2015. Print the list, smack it on the fridge, and let me know 365 days from now how well I did.
1. David Price will win twenty games—though the last five or six might not be for the Tigers. Price will have more complete games by the end of the season—two—than the rest of the Tiger staff combined.
2. Alex Avila will be struck in the head by a bat and bit by a bat during the same game, resulting in a stint on the concussion/rabies DL.
3. Joe Nathan will shrug off at least four blown saves by Father’s Day and insist he’ll soon get his veteran mojo back.
4. By July, Alfredo Simon will be sent to the bullpen (with a chaperone) and racking up more innings than he did while in the starting rotation.
5. In a lengthy post-game interview, Brad Ausmus will quote both Friedrich Nietzsche and Yogi Berra.
6.. Dave Dombrowski will make a four-team trade just so he can reacquire Robbie Ray.
7. By August, Bruce Rondon will be closing games and Nathan will be on waivers, still insisting he’s a great closer.
8. Gordie Howe will throw out the first pitch at a game after walking to the mound under his own power—and on the way back to the dugout will throw an elbow at Mike Ilitch.
9. In a prank, Joakim Soria will steal a Q and a U from Al Alburquerque in the bullpen—and suddenly everyone will be able to spell their names correctly.
10. Victor Martinez will be hit by the pitch more times than he takes a called third strike.
11. J.D. Martinez will slump and be reduced to a platoon player. He will then disclose that last season he took performance-enhancing magic beans.
12. Anthony Gose will eat the magic beans and grow four inches but still weigh 150 pounds.
13. Nick Castellanos will acquire the “nick”name Danger.
14. Rod Allen will correctly predict the Tigers executing the hit-and-run an amazing sixty-three times in 2015—out of a total of 3,714 times speculating about a possible hit-and-run play.
15. Yoenis Cespedes will lead the league in home runs by Yoenises.
16. Desperate for a center fielder who can hit and play defense, the Tigers will resurrect Johnny Damon. He’ll play exactly one inning before leaving the game with rheumatoid arthritis.
17. Miguel Cabrera will play every game while concealing from trainers that he has a herniated disk, a fractured skull, and a case of Ebola.
18. When James McCann joins Avila on the concussion DL during August, Ausmus will make his first appearance at catcher since 2010 and will officially challenge a “safe” call on a play at the plate, claiming he had a better view than the umpire.
19. Justin Verlander will attend the Academy Awards with Kate Upton and be once again named Keith Olbermann’s “worst person in the sports world” after tweeting a complaint about the exorbitant cost of an L.A. cab ride.
20. Kate Upton will throw out the first pitch in a bikini after she and Verlander announce their engagement—resulting in a new single-game attendance record at Comerica Park by twelve-year-old boys.