I was driving through town and saw a palm reader/psychic off the side of the road.
It caught my eye just as I was zooming by. I usually don’t visit seers of any sort but I felt an urging, perhaps even a premonition, to go inside. So I quickly made a U-turn and swung in and admitted I wasn’t even sure what had brought me there.
The fragile, old, yet wise looking, Madame Sartusi assured me there were other forces at work and I had arrived exactly as expected. I sat down, laid a crisp $10 bill on the table and said “First, tell me why I’m here”.
Sartusi replied “You are here to tell me what you already know and to have me confirm the truth of the visions you’ve been having. Please… speak. “
I confessed that, yes, I had been having visions. And I couldn’t explain them. At her prompting I finally let out what I had been holding inside. She assured me it would be cathartic and she could confirm whether these prognostications would come to pass or not.
“The first vision I have is of Chipper Jones. He’ll be batting third and playing third as usual but this time for the better part of the season. And I have this feeling somehow he will be the starting All-Star at third baseman for the first time in many years. And we will finally forget 2002 where he somehow attempted to play left field. I know this seems far fetched because of the admiration David Wright has acquired, but I know that if only he can stay healthy, he’ll hit for better average, have more home runs, and commit fewer errors. As long as Chipper’s feet are safe in his Japanese engineered cleats and he doesn’t hit any Pirates on the base paths in this Opening Series at home, I know he can do great things.”
“Go on…” she said. “There’s more”
“A lot more.” I gasped.
“Mark Teixeira will win the MVP this year and just when I learn to spell his name without Google, he’ll be a much richer man with another baseball team with much deeper pockets. But at least he’ll be wearing a World Series ring at that time.”
“These are bold predictions you make.”
“I know, Sartusi, but I can’t help what I see.”
“I also see Mike Hampton pitching the entire year without injury. Somehow, the curse has been lifted and he’ll win 15 games for us.”
“What about Glavine and Smoltz, and this Tim Hudson you have?”
Not realizing she was a Braves fan, I shockingly replied,
“They too will be impressive. Smoltz will make his debut on April 6th against the Mets…and win. Glavine will win 10 games at least if not more and Hudson will be our ace.”
“There is still more, my friend. Continue.”
“Thanks. Soriano will be good as closer perhaps 30+ saves, Gonzalez will come back before the end of the year, Moylan will be our top situational relief pitcher, we won’t miss Yates all that much, Ohman and Ring will both be lefties out of the pen and Resop will be included there as well. Escobar will come close to if not topping Giles’ Braves’ doubles record while hitting .375. Kelly Johnson will a sensational table setter. We will see Jordan Schaffer in CF before the end of the year after Kotsay is released. Diaz will hit .335. Julio Franco will not play for the Braves, even if he wants to. Thorman will be traded along with Bryan Pena leaving room for Corky Miller to play backup catcher and Omar Infante as the backup infielder at any position once he’s healed.”
I took a breath. She looked at me with her steel blue grey eyes probing me as though studying my face for truth. Her grey whispy hair just barely veiled her eyes as she listened intently.
“The Braves, the sleeper in the NL East, will surprise everyone with a 2008 NL East pennant win sparking yet another string of division titles. The Mets will win the Wild Card and Braves will prevail as not only NL Champions but World Series Champions once more.”
“Don’t you say that every year?”
“I didn’t say it last year, Sartusi, we had Mark Redman as a starting pitcher.”
“True, but you still thought they’d be in the playoffs”
“That will be 50 dollars, please.”
JB in ATL