With the baseball season approaching, Chicago fans have questions about the Cubs and White Sox. Are they "burning questions"?
No. Not with these teams. Either or both could lose 100 games this year and it would be according to plan. Either or both could be sort of all right, like, third place in their respective divisions, and that would be "ahead of schedule."
Neither team will be wearing champagne goggles until at least 2015. That's why the Cubs and Sox have itching questions.
1. Are these teams really going to play ALL 162 games?
I'm thinking there should be a promotion every month where instead of watching these teams play, there's a special Forfeit Days Deal where the home team sets up a big screen in the outfield and lets fans on the field to picnic and watch "Jurassic Park."
2. If Javier Baez is called up this year, where will the cops park during games?
If I were a cop, I wouldn't park anywhere near Waveland. Game duty, shmame duty. I'm not taking the heat for a busted windshield.
3. Which team will be the most tedious to follow leading up to the trade deadline?
Both teams have already jettisoned just about everybody they can or would want to, so at least none of us will have to suffer through another summer of constant Matt Garza trade rumor updates. Of course, both teams will be so awful that we've already started to hear chatter about "what can the Cubs get for Nate Schierholtz?" Come on. He's Nate Schierholtz. I'd pay $100 to have him paint my house.
4. Now that Dewayne Wise is not longer with the Sox, which position player will pitch the eighth inning of all the blowout games?
Dewayne Wise is still a free agent. Come to think of it, is he available for spot starts?
5. Which slumping Cubs player will have the best at-bat introduction by Wrigley Field public address announcer Andrew Belleson?
It will be hard to top the total non-excitement of a Darwin Barney at-bat. "Now batting, striking fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers with a lifetime .246 batting average … DAR-winnnnnn BAR-neyyyyyyyy!" Barney might move past the best unexciting Cubs at-bat announcement of recent vintage: Wayne Messmer's inimitable "PAULLLLLL BAKO!"
6. How much will Adam Dunn get paid to strike out this year?
Setting aside defensive contributions, which in Dunn's case is an excellent idea, if you divide salary by plate appearances and multiply by strikeouts, Adam Dunn got paid $4.67 million to strike out last year. Can he top $5 million in putouts this time around? It's possible.
7. Who will win this year's Cubs bullpen essay contest?
Last year it was Shawn Camp, whose touching essay titled "Why I Really Really Really Want To Still Pitch In The Big Leagues" won him the opportunity to appear in 26 games. I'm working on one right now called "Honestly I Don't Know How Much Worse I Am Than Kyuji Fujikawa."
8. Will Stub Hub allow negative prices on crosstown series games?
I'd take in a ballgame between these two teams for negative $20. More than that is a little rich for my blood.
9. When do the Bears play?
The full NFL schedule won't be available until April, which will be right on time for both the Sox and Cubs to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
RedEye special contributor Ben Johnson is a comedian at iO Theater in Chicago.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.