By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Apr 02, 2013 at 5:33 AM Photography: David Bernacchi

The baseball season is underway and, as they say, hope springs eternal (or is in internal?).

Six months of drama, excitement, fear and loathing. It’s a time to think, to make wishes and to predict. Yes, it’s time to set your dreams aside and face the cold reality of what you think will happen. Not what you want, but what you think will happen.

Predictions. Some serious. Some not.

  1. Ryan Braun will be suspended by Major League Baseball. I don’t know if he took performing-enhancing drugs or not, but he violated one of the most sacred rules in life. It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature. Mother Nature in this case is baseball and when Braun beat his last suspension on a technicality, baseball got mad. Now they have this Biogenesis investigation and they are going to use that to slap Braun down. If I’m Doug Melvin, I’m already looking at alternative action to take once this hits. Braun out of the lineup for 50 days or whatever will have a pretty severe impact on this team. He’s the best player they’ve got.
  2. The first player to be traded by the Brewers this season will be backup catcher Martin Maldonado. He has all the earmarks of someone who is going to be a good big-league catcher and those don’t grow on trees. With Jonathan Lucroy's death grip on the position, the Brewers will be able to dangle Maldonado as bait for a significant upgrade for pitching or a position player.
  3. The Brewers are going to have three pitchers win 16 games or more. Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse will be two of them. Then either Willy Peralta, Marco Estrada or Mike Fiers will have a breakout year.
  4. Even if Braun is out of the lineup for a period of time the Brewers seem like a team that can score runs.
  5. With no official help from the team, an organic fan club will spring up for Yuniesky Betancourt. He may not have been the player everyone hated when he was in Milwaukee before, but he was at least in the top few villains. He was a favorite whipping boy for sports talk radio but this year he is going to emerge as a people’s hero. Much like Nyjer Morgan was the last couple of years.
  6. The American Heart Association is going to rate ballpark food and hand out awards for heart-healthy dining. With it’s ever-increasing emphasis on smoked meats Miller Park is going to come in last place in the major leagues. The association will take out an ad that plays on the big screen. Brewer fans will respond with the chant, "We don’t care! We don’t care!"
  7. Bob Uecker will, after many years, slip up and will tell a dirty joke on the air. The Federal Communications Commission will levy a fine. Uecker will refuse to pay. Brewers fans will respond with the chant "We don’t care! We don’t care!"
  8. The Brewers will set a Major League record for sacrifice bunts. They will have more than twice as many as any other team in baseball. When asked about it, Ron Roenicke will use the word "fundamentals" five times in one sentence.
  9. The Brewers will stage a whole bunch of promotions. One of them will be an attempt to set a Guinness record for the most people logging onto Facebook with smartphones while standing for the seventh inning stretch.
  10. Ridiculous things will happen at Miller Park:
  • An errant parachutist will land on the roof during a game and his legs will get stuck before he falls to the ground.
  • The Milwaukee Symphony will plan a flash mob event but security will confiscate all instruments, including a half-million-dollar violin owned by Frank Almond.
  • And the most ridiculous of all: Scott Walker will demand to throw out the first pitch in September so he can announce he is running for President.
Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.