The baseball season has officially begun, and now that we dwell in a place where there is cable, we can watch (in Dave's case) or vaguely be aware of while doing other stuff (in my case) the baseball postseason in all its glorious merchandisable glory. I have not paid attention to baseball at all this year, so I'm anticipating my preseason picks for both the National League and the American League will be hilarious in retrospect. Mmm, retrospect.

My preseason picks:

East: NY Mets
Central: Chicago Cubs
West: Arizona Diamondbacks
Wild card: Atlanta Braves

East: NY Yankees
Central: Minnesota Twins
West: Oakland A's
Wild card: Chicago White Sox

Actual standings at the end of the 2009 regular season:

East: Philadelphia Phillies (Mets finished 4th)
Central: St. Louis Cardinals (Cubs finished 2nd)
West: LA Dodgers (Diamondbacks finished dead last in the West)
Wild card: Colorado Rockies

East: NY Yankees (why does being right about this make me feel glum?)
Central: Minnesota Twins (good hunch on my part there)
West: LA Angels (Oakland finished dead last in the West)
Wild card: Boston Red Sox

I have learned a few things from this exercise. I will list them in a random order!

#12. I know absolutely nothing about the Western divisions in baseball. Worse than nothing. In fact, there is only one way to make use of my opinions on these divisions. Take my opinions, write down the opposite of each, then go to your local sports betting facility and place wagers for MLB games based on the things you have written down. You might end up with cab fare home for your troubles!

A(2)(192-j). Each season, I get one shockingly correct hunch. However, it is always surrounded by abysmally incorrect hunches. I could attribute this either to random chance, with which it is logically consistent, or to the time-traveling machinations of mischievous fairies.

Stupid fairies. Er, y'know--the wingy, shiny, time-traveling, wish-granting kind. Stupid them.

#771. Picking the Yankees is apparently the smart move again. Man, I liked it better when they stank on ice. Although now, if they lose in the first round, it will be to the ChiSox's arch rival, the Twins. So I suppose that's a no-win situation for a sports-bigamizing Chicagoan like me. (*looks up at TV* Wait, why are we watching this game?)

ZZ9(pl)Za. The Cubs are always good on paper. On paper is where they have home field advantage. Everywhere else, they are like the pitching staff of a team visiting Mile-High Stadium, home of the Rockies, before the humidor was installed which counteracts some of the extra sproing given to the leathery spheres by the high altitude. In other words, grimly brave but ultimately ineffectual.

#1. If I am going to have interesting things to say about baseball, it would help to actually follow it.