2009 could be quite a year for baseball in Missouri. The Royals are the fashionable dark horse pick to win the AL Central, as some people seem to think that the Rays' magical 2008 season somehow portends the Royals not sucking. Across the state in Missouri, Chris Carpenter appeared to be back to his old form yesterday, giving up one run in seven innings in the Cardinals' 2-1 win over the mighty Pirates of Pittsburgh. Yes, the season is less than a week old, but if mainstream sportswriters can make dumb World Series predictions every year, then so can I - Royals over the Cards in 7. Just you wait.