Unwilling to accept an Atlanta team without John Smoltz on the roster, a deliriously sad Bobby Cox will force all of his bullpen pitchers to wear strap-on beards that he personally fashioned after breaking into Smoltz's home and combing the rugs for samples.
Forget 2009, all the Marlins players care about is that they will finally have their own home when the new stadium opens in 2012. Of course, now they all have to be sure not to do anything to up their trade value lest they be gone long before then. Also, they have to remember upon its arrival to enjoy it to the fullest before the Marlins inevitably trade the stadium for five smaller, but very promising parks in 2014.
New York Mets
The Mets will break the trend of September collapses they have suffered over the last two years and make the inaugural season at Citi Field truly one to remember, as they will epically collapse by late July and turn to a desperation, mid-season trade for Aaron Heilman in an attempt to right the ship.
After winning the '08 World Series, expectations of the notoriously raucous Philly fan base will be higher than ever. Legitimate panic amongst the players will set in around mid-August when a 3 game losing streak prompts the public execution of the Phillie Phanatic.
Lastings Milledge's team leading numbers in home runs and RBI's will drop significantly after the new rap single he and his often embattled teammate release entitled "Put up yo' Elijah Dukes" goes triple platinum, sweeps the Grammys, and proves to just be too much of a distraction.
A promising start to the season for the Cubbies will take an ugly turn when the newly acquired and ill-tempered right fielder Milton Bradley strikes out, snaps his bat in half and throws it toward the dugout, severing the right hand of Rich Harden and ending his career.
Young star Joey Votto's season will get off to a late start when he is held by federal authorities under suspicion of involvement in several mob related murders. He will be released in mid-April and issued a formal apology when authorities realize he is Joey Votto the Canadian-born, Reds first baseman, and not in fact, Joey "The Clown" Votto of the notorious Cincinnati crime syndicate.
Things will get a bit awkward in the locker room between ace Roy Oswalt and his teammates Miguel Tejada and Pudge Rodriguez when Oswalt walks in on the two drawing a giant caricature of him wearing a diaper and crying that reads: "Wahhhh, performance enhancers taint the integrity of the gaaaame!"
Tragedy will strike the Brewers organization when after a wild night out on the town, the bodies of first baseman Prince Fielder and beloved mascot Bernie Brewer are discovered bloated and limp in the team locker room, killed by choking on a bear claw and alcohol poisoning respectively.
Nate McLouth, who led the Pirates in every major offensive category in 2008, will continue to be the only bright spot on the roster in '09 and live like a king in Pittsburgh. And by live like a king, we obviously mean have his pick of the ladies (that is once the field is pared down by the Steelers and Penguins... and if those who are left are willing to take his word that Pittsburgh does in fact have a baseball team and that he is an All Star).
St. Louis Cardinals
After a successfully dry off-season trying to keep out of trouble with the law, long time manager Tony LaRussa will be fired after falling off the wagon in late September and insisting that Albert Pujols hit out of the 9 spot and Rick Ankiel switch back to starting pitcher where "the baseball gods meant for him to play."
Freshly recovered from his hamstring injuries of 2008, Eric Byrnes' return will be cut short when he suffers a minor brain aneurysm in an intense pre-game Frutista Freeze chugging contest with manager Bob Melvin on opening day.
Slugging first baseman Todd Helton's offensive numbers will hit devastating career lows in his 12th season thanks in part to the loss of his teammate Matt Holliday in the lineup, as well as the public revelation that his middle name is Lynn.
Los Angeles Dodgers
After rigorous off-season efforts to re-sign the hard hitting and enigmatic outfielder, the Dodgers worst fears will be realized when Manny Ramirez begins completely dogging it around June, in hopes of being released and allowed to follow the dream he has had since he was a just a little boy growing up in the Bronx... playing cricket.
San Diego Padres
Following the unceremonious release of closer Trevor Hoffman, and facing a likely departure of Jake Peavy, the Pads look like they're in for a rough season. But just when things look like they couldn't be worse, the team will be lifted when they remember at least their spirits aren't as low as the sales numbers for these sweet jerseys.
San Francisco Giants
A paranoid and delusional Randy Johnson will have a shaky year at best, thanks to a severe mental lapse that his him sure that creepy virtual Tim Lincecum from the MLB 2k9 commercial is out to take his spot in the starting rotation.