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Predictions For 2007


January 5 - Dave Littlefield will get all excited, then look up the phone number of Todd Hollandsworth's agent. Littlefield will take twenty minutes to make the call because he'll keep pressing two, then three, then five of the digits, then losing his nerve and hanging up. His voice will crack while he asks Hollandsworth's agent if maybe y'know like maybe Todd would like to come to Pittsburgh or whatever if he's like free. An awkward silence will ensue. Rebuffed, Littlefield will lock himself in his office for a week, refusing to answer his phone even when the Braves call and offer Adam LaRoche on a silver platter.

January 22 - The Pirates will agree to a three-year, $40 million contract with Doug Mientkiewicz. Littlefield and his staff will party the night away. Major League Baseball will refuse to approve the paperwork, however, when Littlefield writes, "WITH WEAR WERE AT, ITS MINKYVICH!!!!" instead of Mientkiewicz's name. Foiled for a second time, Littlefield will yet again lock himself in his office for a week.

February - Jack Wilson will arrive at Spring Training fifty pounds lighter than his 2006 playing weight. He will say he lost the weight in order to improve his defense and to "be able to sit comfortably next to Ronny Paulino on the team plane." (Hey, don't act all offended. Those are Jack's future words, not mine.) Wilson will find, however, that his defense will actually get worse because he won't be able to find a glove that fits, and that Jim Tracy will have changed the assigned seats on the plane.

February 29 - The Bucs will be shut out by Manatee Community College.

March 1 - Desperate to acquire a "Lefty McThump," Littlefield will contact the Phillies about a trade for Randall Simon. After Pat Gillick reacts with confusion, Littlefield will ask the rest of the Pirates' baseball staff if it's still possible to acquire Simon in the Rule 5 draft. No one in the organization will be able to remember if the Rule 5 draft happened yet or not.

March 27 - Jim Tracy will announce that B.P. Chacon has won the fifth starter's job. Terrified, Chacon will lock himself in his apartment for a week.

March 28 - Tracy will announce that Einar Diaz will make the team. Terrified, Pirates fans will lock themselves out of their blogger accounts for a week.

April 2 - Tracy will blame Ryan Doumit for Diaz's failure to run out a ground ball.

April 20 - The Pirates will lose 15-0 to the Dodgers to begin the year with an 0-17 record.

April 21-26 - The Bucs will win three out of five games despite being badly outscored overall. Tracy will trumpet this as proof that the season is going well and that the Pirates "really have something to build on."

April 27 - May 6 - The Bucs will go on another ten-game losing streak.

May 7 - Desperate to deflect blame yet again for the Pirates' horrible play, Tracy will burst from his office wearing only duct tape on his face and boxer shorts. He will claim that a mysterious assailant had drugged and kidnapped him and stowed him somewhere in the bowels of PNC Park. He will add that the assailant avoided notice by placing a crude cardboard cutout of Tracy in the dugout. Given Tracy's perplexing lack of emotion during the Pirates' 3-23 April, some fans will find Tracy's story to be plausible.

May 20 - Sean Burnett, Bryan Bullington and John Van Benschoten will all wind up back on the DL after a tragic series of events at "Tear Your Labrum Night" at Stables Nightclub in Indianapolis.

June - After spending weeks stuffing All-Star ballots for Jason Bay, Pirates scouts will realize they forgot to do any work in preparation for the draft. The results of the draft won't turn out to be any worse than usual, however.

June 20 - Sportswriters all over the nation will begin to publish stories about the Pirates' offense, which will reach almost historic levels of non-production. Tracy will perplex these writers by answering specific questions about the Pirates' offensive ineptitude with bursts of self-aggrandizing nonsense, bizarre claims about how great the Bucs' young pitching is, and intimations that he's thinking about starting a new religion based around himself.

July 25 - The Twins will show interest in trading for John Grabow. Littlefield will ask for Joe Mauer, Matt Garza and Justin Morneau in return.

July 31, 3:59 PM - Littlefield will trade Grabow and Salomon Torres to the Orioles for Chris Gomez, explaining, "With where we're at, what we really need is middle infield depth."

August 16 - After making his 112th appearance on the season, Matt Capps's arm will literally turn to mush. Tracy will bring an EZ-bake oven and a cookie cutter shaped like a peace sign out to the mound when he calls Capps out the following day.

August 21 - The seasons of Zach Duke, Tom Gorzelanny and Ian Snell will all end due to injury.

September 26 - The Pirates will finally admit that those players' seasons have ended.

September 27 - After a home series against Arizona, Chris Duffy will go missing. Airport officials in Phoenix will report finding an "extremely large" package in the cargo space of the Diamondbacks' team plane.

Early October - The Pirates will end their season with yet another 67-95 record. The Bucs' ownership will make more money than ever before, and they'll congratulate Littlefield and Tracy on a job well done.