Springing to action

I’ve long held the belief that November is the best month of the year in sports: College hoops begins, NFL playoff picture begins to emerge, the NBA gets underway and the NCAA bowl situation is taking shape.

But April isn’t far behind. After all, there’s the Masters (if you’re into golf), the start of baseball, the Final Four and the NFL draft. With a historic March Madness — underdogs ruled and Cinderella partied like rock stars — 95 percent over, I’m here to offer you some MLB predictions that are certain to come true:

» Someone (my guess is a Met) will top Russell Branyan’s two embarrassing injuries last year: Closing the curtains in his hotel room (toe) and sitting in a plastic chair in a pizza parlor (tailbone).

» At least one horrible, game-altering blunder by umpires will result in a need-for-instant-replay discussion. It’s a travesty the sport won’t do it.

» A minor leaguer you’ve never heard of will get popped 50 games for steroids. No major leaguers will get busted because they’re all using undetectable HGH.

» A team with a paltry payroll (Oakland? Arizona?) will play terrific baseball and make a run at a postseason spot. Everyone will scream, “See, we don’t need a salary cap!” Then this team will fade down the stretch, but nobody will mention the salary cap, just how much “fun” it was.

Stolen goods?

In early March, Phillies reliever J.C. Romero had his Porsche stolen at spring training. Over the weekend, Tampa’s Evan Longoria had his spring training home broken into and thieves made off with about $56,000 worth of items (TV, Xboxes, iPads, — oh yeah, and an AK-47).

Besides the obvious, why would Longoria bring an assault rifle to spring training? Anyone else think criminals are perhaps targeting the wealthy athletes who descend upon cities in Florida for six weeks every year? The way sports teams are covered these days, you can find out just about every detail of their schedule.

–Jason Raj McIntyre covers athletes off the field and runs the popular blog, The Big Lead.

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