Baseball is back, so let the guessing games begin …

Josh Johnston

The 2009 MLB season is underway – and so are the predictions.

Everyone, from ESPN analysts to fantasy baseball owners still living with their parents, is guessing which teams will see October and which teams will see the basement.

Everyone including us.

Using state-of-the-art computers, the most advanced statistical analysis programs and some very questionable logic, we at the Daily Kent Stater have projected the rest of the baseball season based off opening day … because who really needs to watch the other 161 games?

&bull After winning their first series, the Pirates will decide to quit while they’re ahead and call it a season. While vacationing in Florida in May, several Buccos get into a “Sandlot”-style shouting match with players from Manatee Community College, who beat the Pirates 6-4 in spring training. The name-calling results in a grudge match, with the Pirates actually winning this time.

&bull Mark Teixeira will go hitless and both C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett will fail to win in April, prompting George Steinbrenner to ask Congress for a $423.5 million bailout, or how much the Yankees shelled out for the trio. Speaking of C.C. …

&bull Based on his first outing, Sabathia will walk 200 batters this season, allow 300 earned runs and be modern baseball’s first 30-game loser. On the plus side, he’ll probably get hot down the stretch just long enough for the Yanks to make the postseason.

&bull The Cubs, in an attempt to shake the “Curse of the Billy Goat,” will hold a “Bring Your Goat to the Game” promotion for every home game. The ploy won’t work, as no one in Chicago actually owns a goat. Instead, fans will rechristen the curse as the “Curse of Chet Steadman,” blaming the 1993 movie where the Cubs won the World Series as the reason why the Cubs haven’t won a World Series.

&bull Oh yeah, the Cubs won’t win the title this year either.

&bull Mike Mussina will come out of retirement, sign a one-year contract with the Mets and finish just short of reaching the postseason. He will then officially retire again.

&bull Based off his performance in the Mariners’ opener, Ken Griffey Jr. will return to his mid-1990s form and hit a home run in every game. After the season, Griffey will release a video game for Super Nintendo.

&bull The Indians will win two of every five games because of Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona. In a desperation move, the Indians will offer LeBron James a contract after the NBA season ends. He’ll refuse and sign with the Yankees instead.

&bull Bud Selig will set up a seven-game, home-and-home series between the World Series winners and WBC champion Japan. After a split of the first six games, jet lag will set in and neither team will show up for the final.

&bull Hanley Ramirez will set a major-league record with 810 runs batted in, single-handedly outscoring nearly every National League team. Because of this, the Marlins will surge into the postseason with an 134-28 record.

Contact principal sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].