Preview: The Buffalo Cubs
The Buffalo Cubs
As you may have noticed, I have not posted on Buffalo Cubs for almost a week. No, it wasn't because I was being lazy, it was because I have been in the process of becoming the latest member of the most valuable network team. I am the new writer for Behind the Ivy, the link is on the side under regularly updated, you can also click http://cubs.mostvalublenetwork.com, I don't know if that linked. So make your way over to my new site.
Prior and Wood
Why couldn't this happen to the Cardinals? No less than about three weeks into camp, Prior and Wood both find themselves rehabbing. I feel like two weeks ago were the good ole days, when Prior and Wood had healthy arms, and the Nomar didn't get hit on the wrist, and Corey Patterson didn't get hit on the knee. Now the Cubs Fan Nation is in shock, not to mention the many questions we have. Will Wood be able to start opening day? Will Prior pitch game 2 of that series? Will Nomar have recurring wrist problems throughout the season? The answer to all those questions is: I have no clue. While Nomar appears to be fine, in fact he hit a home run yesterday, his nickname given to hime from college teammates was "glass." Prior is still experiancing some inflammation, but did throw today. Wood appears to be back on pace for his opening day start, he threw off a mound today, but you can never be too careful with these Cub pitchers. Why every year with those two? I am sick of their injuries. The Cubs are counting on the pitching staff and infield to produce 100 wins and the division title. Hopefully they can start opening day healthy and end in late October with the World Series title still healthy.
Random Thoughts About the Cubs and Life
Well, there isn't much good Cubs news today so I will look on the brighter side of things and give you random thoughts:
I wish I could play the bagpipes.
What ever happened to subpoenas meaning that you have to show up to a court hearing?
Will the Cubs ever come to their senses and put in Dusty's youngest son as manager of the team?
Do you think the Cubs will bring Deion Sanders out of his baseball retierment?
When will the Baseball veterans committee put Ron Santo in the HOF?
Oh please let Latroy Hawkins be the set-up man this year.
Can the Cubs win 120 games like Carlos Zambrano said, no, but they could win over 100 if they play at their peak.
Why didn't Kangaroo Jack win an Oscar?
"You know how traffic lights go, green means go, yellow means caution and red means stop? Well it is just the opposite with bananas. Green means wait, yellow means go, and red means where the f### did you get that banana." Mitch Hedberg
Well there you have it, random thoughts with Billy Bishop
KERRY WOOD'S ARM IS ABOUT TO FALL OFF
Caps lock I think really gets peoples attention. That said, Kerry Wood's arm fell off today in spring training, yet as a coincedence Johan Santana's left arm fell off today to as well so they traded arms. Kerry now has 2 left arms while Johan has two right arms. Can you imagine the wicked curve and fastball Kerry will have on opening day. While all that isn't true, it pretty much sums up what the feeling is today in Cubs camp(except for that whole trading arms bit) instead Kerry felt some tightness in his shoulder, no big deal. He might not have stretched enough, who knows it might have even been a figment of Kerry's imagination, you can never be too careful in spring training. So all you pessimists out there, be positive with this one, it is truly no big deal, I hope.
Predictions for Season
Not much Cubs News to report on today. But there is good news from Mesa, saying that Corey Patterson is OK after getting hit in the knee. We'll have to just wait and see on that one, it looked pretty bad during the game. It hurts like hell when you get hurt on the knee with such a fast velocity, last year I was playing third base when a line drive came my way. I thought I had a beat on the ball but instead when I went to catch the line drive it hooked thus hitting me in the knee. I had a Peter Griffin moment after that, AHH,......AHH,....AHH. Anyway since there is not much to report on I figured I would give my predictions for the season with abasolutely no explanation whatsoever.
Cy Young- Johan Santana
MVP- Adrian Beltre
Rolaids relief man of the Year- Keith Foulke
ROY- Jhonny Peralta(Buffalo Bison bred)
Cy Young- Mark Prior
MVP- Albert Pujols(ohh that pains me to say, but I rather it be him than Bonds)
RMotY- Eric Gagne
ROY- Your Suggestion Wanted
So for my two readers (me and me, I don't get many readers, but if you are not me, well, you would consider yourself me, does that make sence? I didn't think so, can also comment,) out there, read, anaylyze, discuss, and stuff the inbox with your opinions.
I found something very interesting on cubs.com today,
The Cubs may call more hit-and-run plays this year. However, Baker said some of the players had a tough time recognizing the signs last season. "It wasn't a big problem, but there were times when there were more signs missed than I would've liked," Baker said Saturday. "I don't like any missed. Baker said he stresses the signs to his players, but not all of them seem able to translate it. The Cubs also couldn't follow through on the hit-and-run because they had too many players who were prone to strikeouts."Some guys missed the signs," Baker said. "Or you put it on and you've got to take it off because they ask for it again, and now everybody in the ballpark knows what's on so you've got to take it off."
Will the Cubs do more of that this year?
"Maybe," Baker said. "It depends on my team. You play according to the personnel on the team. My first couple years in San Francisco, I hit and ran quite a bit. I had Robby Thompson, Darren Lewis, Royce Clayton. I didn't hit and run with Matt Williams, Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell too much. It depends on the team you have and the personnel you have."
The Cubs of 2004 missed signs on a regular basis according to this. This could explain the number of base running blunders by certain players, i.e. Moises Alou. How can these Major League baseball players miss signs? HOW CAN THEY MISS SIGNS???? This is still hard for me to fathom. Alas, this article also brings good news however, as the Cubs plan to hit and run more this year, which I believe wwas a key aspect to their demise last year, (along with Latroy being moved out of his element to closer) the Cubs did not hit and run last year because all their position players were liable to go deep every time they stepped to the plate, at least when Todd Walker was playing. Anthony on View From The Bleachers pointed out that the Cubs have scored 18 runs total in 3 games this spring training, yet of those there have been only 3 home runs. Most importantly those homeruns were each hit with a runner on base, which is a good sign. If you remember, most of the Cubs home runs were solo homeruns, because the hitters in front of them would strike out.
There is hope in the air, and while these games are just practice, they're still games.
I am sure everyone else in Cub Nation was just as sad as I was when I heard the news that Ron Santo was 8 votes out of going to the Hall of Fame along with Ryne Sandberg and Wade Boggs in the class of 2005. While I may be a relitively new CUbs fan, I have always been a baseball fan, and certainly a baseball history buff. So when I know that Ron Santo was the best third basemen in the National League who was a nine-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner. Not to mention his 2254 hits, 324 HR, and .277 batting average. Ron Santo however is not just a Hall of Famert based on his stats, but also, based on his sportsmanship, charity work, and courage to play all his career with diabetes, never complaining and most of all never missing time during the season. Even with his illness from 1962-1971 the lowest year games played total was 154. Ron Santo deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and elitists like Mike Schimdt are keeping him out, he wouldn't vote for anyone this year because he feels it cheapens his own membership. It is not just Ron Santo getting hurt by this, but it is players like Gil Hodges and Burt Byleven who are not be allowed to enter the hallowed halls of Cooperstown, (by the way if you have never been to Cooperstown, go, it is baseball heaven. I found that this year in September that it was much less crowded than previous times in the year such as July.) Hopefully Ron Santo can enter the Hall when he is alive, but until then, I look forward to another year with him and Pat on the radio.
MLB on XM
With the MLB on XM in full swing, I am in baseball heaven. Baseball Talk 24/7, woohoo. The best part is now during the long dark winters, instead of having to hear how the Bills blew the game(more specifically Drew Bledsoe, who's gone, I think that deserves another woohoo) on Buffalo sports talk, I can now listen to all baseball all the time. There were two things that I heard yesterday about the Cubs that caught my ear.
1. Jim Hendry has been in contact with the Tigers and A's about closer candidates Ugueth Urbina and Octavio Dotel, but Hendry is denying it.
2. Dusty Baker is very impressed with Chad Fox, and is considering adding him to the closer race.
Yes, I did just say Chad Fox. Who knows he could be a good closer, (BIG what if) yet I am looking forward to seeing Joe Borowski and Ryan Dempster pitch this spring. I would like to see the job go to the best man however, no matter who he is.
Opening Day Marquee
With Opening Day fast approaching, and both Dusty Baker and Bob Melvin announcing their teams Opening Day starters, I figure I might as well go over them for you a month early.
Cubs: Kerry Wood
Intangible Stat- Kerry Wood has started the last two Opening Days for the Cubs, and won them both.
Stats from last year
Final Analysis: Dusty Baker picked the clubhouse leader for the Opening Day start, and I can see why. Dusty is trying to set a tone for the rest of the year by putting the fiery fireballer out on the BOB's hill on April 5th. Another thing I like about this move is that it allows Carlos Zambrano to make the Home Opener start against the Brew Crew on the 8th.
D'Backs: Javier Vasquez
Intangible Stat: He was horrific for the yanks down the stretch last year.
Stats from last year
Final Analysis: Very good pick as an Opening Day Starter from Bob Melvin( who showed terrific class last year with the Mariners when during the last game of the season he took out his best players during the middle of the last game in order for them to recieve a standing ovation.) Javier Vasquez will do much better this season, the New York pressure cooker got to him, but now with the spotlight off him in Arizona(and in the spotlights place will come the unforgiving desert sun) he will win 17 games in my opinion.
Final Final (no thats not a typo) Analysis; Kerry goes strong, going 7 2/3 innings to Javiers 6 innings. Kerry strikes out 10 and lets in zero, Latroy Hawkins come in the 8th and lets in 1, while Ryan Dempster closes the 3-1 win.
Baseball is Close
Oh so very very close. I went to a Braves practice on Wednesday at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex, where I went on to get Tim Hudson's(who is definitely not 6-1 as it says in the media guide, more like 5-9) and Marcus Giles(who looks a lot bulkier in person) autograph. Tim Hudson is the second best autograph I have next to Bob Feller. It was nice to see batting practice and fielding practice with big league ball players. I am ready for the season, and I'm hoping the Cubs are to. Yet, it doesn't seem that way. What seems to be the main focus this spring is not baseball, and getting back to the playoffs, but instead it is focused on Sammy Sosa. Open note to the Cubs:forget about him! He is not worth your troubles, he will do OK in Baltimore, so just forget about him. He is a grown man who doesn't need you to give him a second thought. Don't get me wrong, Sammy will continue to talk about you in Baltimore, so just forget he exists. I am sick of hearing about Sosa and his boombox, Sosa and steroids, and Sosa and leaving the last game of the season early. Instead of Sosa should be focusing on the season ahead of them. The Cubs have a shot at the World Series title this year, they just need to start acting like it.
Barrett and Prior Sitting in a Tree
Well, it seems that Prior will be caught by Barrett,
"You've got to know what he likes to do and what he wants to call, and he's got to know what I want to do in certain situations," Prior said Sunday. "It's real easy with nobody on, nobody out and you stick to your game plan. The communication and personalities come in pressure situations, first and third, one out, what do I want to throw? If I'm not comfortable with a certain pitch in that game, what do I want to go to?
"That's just a matter of knowing me," Prior added. "Those things will get ironed out here in Spring Training. The first time [Barrett] caught me was Pittsburgh [on June 6] in the first game back. He was still trying to get used to me and what my ball does."
"He'll catch me all spring and he'll catch me all year," Prior said of Barrett. "I don't see a problem."
What helped cement Prior's relationship with Bako was that the two would spend time on the bench together, talking baseball. Barrett didn't have that time last season to get to know the right-hander
You might have heard my big sigh of relief all the way from Florida. Could you imagine if 2 days out of five Dusty Baker would have put
Henry Blanco in the eight spot. I shudder just thinking about it.
I also liked hearing from Todd Walker who stated that the clubhouse will have 25 captains. Sosa and his boombox have moved on to Baltimore, and so with it the "C" on his jersey.I have advocated Greg Maddux in the past as captain, and I stand by it. But, if Dusty does not have a captain on the field, I am happy with 25 captains and vocal leaders in the clubhouse, only if they can work together. If they can't, the "snitching" that happened last year, as Dusty put it, will resurface.
Well, it looks as if I should be able to post while I am here in Florida. Right now in Buffalo I believe it is 30 degrees and cloudy, while here in Orlando it 80 and blue skies. Today I was able to make my way over to Disneys wide world of sports complex where the Braves have spring training. There weren't any pitchers or any players for that matter on the field, but I was able to just sit and breathe in baseball air. That was a reawakening and right then I realized I am going to have to go back in a week to gloomy Buffalo, @#$#@#$!!! Luckily before I leave I am going to see a braves full squad practice on the 23rd. There is no cubs news today as of yet, so there really isn't that much to write about in that regard. Meanwhile, keep stuffing the comment box with your picks for pitcher and catcher gold glove(no I am not delusional, I know there are not any comments, you can be a pioneer, no, a hero if you put in a comment. Hopefully that is enough motivation.)
This is a heads up, I will be leaving for Florida today. As of yet I do not know what the computer situation will be like down there, so I may or may not be posting until next Thursday. You are probably wondering, but Billy, how will we know who won the preseason gold glove award for pitcher and catcher? Well that is now up to you. Who do you think will win the award? This would be baloney if I do not get any responses because I know that 20-25 people come here everyday. There is no reason why I shouldn't get a few responses. I want to know what you think. Also make sure to comment on who you would give up for a closer such as Octavio Dotel.
Dotel In A Cubs Uniform?
Well maybe. According to Peter Gammons it is a possibility.
Beane also has taken a hittable, weak bullpen and is breaking out Huston Street, Jairo Garcia, Juan Cruz and Kiko Calero, which eventually might allow him to trade Octavio Dotel to the Cubs.
If Beane were to trade Dotel, this would make Dotel a member in a long line of closers to be traded, along with Jason Isringhausen, Billy Koch and Keith Foulke. I seem to remember something in Moneyball that said that Beane likes to buy closers cheap, or trade for minimum talent, and sell high. Which brings the question, who would the Cubs trade for Dotel, or for that matter any closer. I am all for trading Burnitz, this would make the Cubs outfield much better in my opinion(another addition by subtraction) with Hairston or Hollandsworth in right instead Burnitz. this would enable the Cubs to give Dubois a shot to start, which I think he deserves. Yet, I highly doubt that the Cubs would trade Jeromy(he's one of Hendry's players, one that he has openly coveted. In fact during the press conference for Jeromy's signing I was still hoping for Jim Hendry to say "our new Cubs rightfielder is ...Magglio Ordonez/Aubrey Huff," but then Hendry came out with that J and I knew it was over. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.) Since I am not a good fake GM, who would you trade for a closer, not just Dotel, but any other suitable closer, who would you be willing to give up?
The Left Field Preseason Gold Glove goes to ...
LF- Mike Cameron (gold glove void if he is playing RF)
Why did the Mets move Cameron in the first place. This is a born CF who will adapt well in LF for the Mets. Last year in CF he had an off year, with 8 errors and a .978 fielding percentange, but I'm thinking that this year will be better for the former heir to Junior Griffey's throne. Great speed, arm, and very athletic, the only thing holding him back from winning the Gold Glove in LF is Willie Randolph putting Cliff Floyd in LF instead of Mike.
Aramis' New Deal?
Well this is not very suprising,
"I want to keep playing with the Chicago Cubs for a long time," Ramirez told The Associated Press on Thursday. "But for that to happen they have to sign me on before training ends, for at least for years and for a fair price." Ramirez, who could be a free agent after the 2005 season, said a fair salary would be similar to what his colleagues Scott Rolen, Adrien Beltre and Troy Glaus earn. Rolen recently signed an eight-year, US$90 million contract with St. Louis, while Beltre signed a five-year, US$64 million deal with Seattle. Glaus clinched a US$45 million, four-year agreement with Arizona.
"An agreement for four years that pays between US$10 million and US$13 million per season would be adequate," Ramirez said.
Aramis deserves every penny of the contract that he is asking for. He is a great player on the rise, who is the best Cubs third basemen since Ron Santo (the veterans commitee should elect Santo in march for the hall of fame) deserves 10 million a year for four years. Plus he is only 27,(he'll be 28 on June 25th). This would be a great deal for the Cubs to make before the season starts as to avoide any friction between Aramis and the Cubs. I believe the Cubs should also sign Carlos Zambrano to a multi-year deal before the season starts. He earned a 5 million per year contract in my opinion last year when he carried the Cubs pitching staff through the injury plagued 2004 season. The only thing that worries me about signing Zambrano to a multi-year deal is his weight(255 lbs.) But I am hoping that he has addresed that this off-season.
Okay boys and girls, it is time to give the preseason gold glove for Centerfield to....
CF- Corey patterson
In my opinion he should have won the award last year. With a .997 fielding percentange and only 1 error. He also had to make up for the decreased outfield fielding capabilities of aging stars Moises Alou and Sammy Sosa. With new outfielders on each side,( while I admit that Burnitz is not that much better than Sosa, he still can cover more ground in RF) Corey can now play CF, not CF, Right Center, and Left Center. This is the year that Andruw Jones is dethroned as CF gold glove king.
With Spring training now just 3 days and 18 hours away, it's time for some predictions. First lineups and stats.
1. Corey Patterson CF- .291 AVG, 30 HR, 94 RBIS
2. Nomar Garciaparra SS- .321 AVG, 32 HR, 103 RBIS
3. Aramis Ramirez 3B- .335 AVG, 47 HR, 130 RBIS
4. Derek Lee 1B- .295 AVG, 35 HR, 110 RBIS
5. Todd Walker 2B- .288 AVG, 25 HR, 88 RBIS
6. Jeromy Burnitz RF- .265 AVG, 27 HR, 90 RBIS
7. Michael Barret C- .278 AVG, 24 HR, 81 RBIS
8. Jason Dubois/ Todd Hollandsworth LF(Combined)- .254, 23 HR, 65 RBIS
1.Carlos Zambrano- 19-7, 3.01 ERA
2.Mark Prior- 21-4, 2.98 ERA
3.Kerry Wood- 17-8, 3.67 ERA
4.Greg Maddux- 15-8, 4.06 ERA
5. Glendon Rusch- 12-9, 4.59 ERA
Ryan Dempster- 38 Saves, 4 Blown Saves, 1.78 ERA
Cubs Final Record
95-67 1st in NL Central
Now for something completely different
Preseason Gold Glove
RF- Bobby Abreau
With a .982 fielding percentage last year, and a good arm/speed, there is nothing holding him back from winning the gold glove this year except a healthy J.D. Drew.
Shortstop Gold Glove
With Spring training fast approaching, (5 days)there has been Cubs news flowing in like molasses. So while there really is not much Cubs news to report today, although it was funny that Bo Flowers was featured on the cover of At the Yard along with fellow (now former) Tigers prospect with the headline being "With Chicago Behind Them". Anyhow, I guess there were no nicknames yesterday that I didn't put down for Kyle Farnsworth although I did seee some "Dr. Tightpants" references in regards to the Farns on other blogs. From the same vain, I am holding a contest for Cubs nicknames, whoever comes up with good nicknames, I will not give a prize to (where would I get the money from), but will use occasisonally on my blog. So leave your nicknames in the comment box. Now to give out my preseason gold glove award for shortstop.
With a years experiance now in the big leagues, Khalil greene should in my opinion win the gold glove. While last year he had 20 errors and a .965 fielding percentage, I think that this year he will cut the error total in half. He had some of the best plays last year at shortstop, almost appearing nightly on web gems, and should continue with his stellar fielding and possibly become the next Omar Visquel.
The Farns is Traded
Well Kyle Farnsworth's tenure as Cubs hurler is over. Good riddance. A 100 mph head case is now Detroit's problem. In return for the Farns and a PTBNL The Cubs will recieve big league pitcher Roberto Novoa(picture to the right) and infielder Scott Moore and Clarence"Bo" Flowers. While we have to just wait and see if this trade pans out for the Cubs. Yet, with the departure of Farnsie ( I'm trying to go through all his nicknames, if I'm missing any be sure to point them out) there are no "clubhouse cancers" left on the Cubs. Sammy and Farnsworth are gone, so now the Cubs can have that team unity that Dusty has been hoping for. No excuses left for the Cubs to not perform well and win the penant/division.
Without further ado, it is time to give out my preseason gold glove for third base.
3rd base- Scott Rolen
While he won the award last year he could have easily lost it to Adrian Beltre. This season Beltre is getting out the umbrela in Seatle, so Scott should definately win. With a canon for an arm, the range of shortstop, a .977 fielding, 10 errors, and 325 assists at third I see no reson why he should not win the gold glove this year.
Odds on Favorites
Before I get to the Cubs and odds for this season, It's time to give out my preseason gold glove for 2nd base.
2nd Base- Luis Castillo
Possibly the best fielding second basemen in the MLB. Last year he had only 6 errors at 2nd base. He also has major range and is part of probably the best double play combo in the bigs along wih the SS for the Marlins, Alex Gonzalez, last year he was part of 97 double plays. This year appears he may have more chances to turn Dp's with the full season return of Burnett and Josh Beckett, barring injury.
The Chicago Cubs are the favorites to win the national league pennant this season. While some of that is driven up by the amount of Cubs fans betting on the Cubs, Vegas wouldn't have made a bad team the favorites just because a lot of their fans bet on them. here are some reasons why the Cubs are favorites for the pennant.
1. Pitching wins championships.
- The Cubs could have arguably the best 5 man rotation in the MLB. If the staff could stay healthy for the whole season, the Cubs could have four 15 game winners, if not three 20 game winners.
- The Cubs infield is an extraodinary one. If they can all stay healthy, Nomar, Aramis, Derek, and Walker are all capable of 300+ averages, and Nomar, Aramis and Lee can all hit over 30 home runs. They are also pretty good fielders, and possibly one gold glover.
3. The emergence of Corey Patterson
- This guy is a major talent who is capable of 30+ home runs and a 300 average. My guess is that free swinging Corey is a thing of the past, (hopefully) and that he will decrease his strikeout total and increase his walk total. He should of in my opinion won the gold glove last year, he certainly was qualified, 1 error and 324 put outs. This year he will not have to field almost 3/4 of the outfield like he did last year, with better fielders at each side.
Can the Cubs win the pennant? Yes they can. They have the talents, now it is just a matter of putting it all together.
Im sorry for the countdown again, but it's just that much closer to April 4th. With that in mind, I'd like to predict the gold glove winners for the national league, everyday I will pick a winner for a base, today it's first base.
Forgive me for being a homer, but I think that this is the year that Derek Lee overtakes Todd Helton. Last year Derek had a .996 fielding percentage and 6 errors. Todd Helton on the other hand had a .997 percentage and 4 errors. While Helton had fewer errors, you have to take in mind that Derek Lee had to deal with the errant throws of Aramis Ramirez, and even then he took Aramis' errors from 33 in 2003 to 10 in 2004. While those errors weren't all throwing errors, most of them were. Derek lee is not only a tremendous 1st basemen, he is also a great leader and a big target. Tomorrow, second base.
Oh This isn't Going to be Good
Jose Canseco claims in his new book that he injected Mark McGwire with steroids. That isn't it however for the former member of the Bash brothers. He also claims to have introduced steroids into baseball in general. Other high profile names that Canseco claimed to have introduced steroids to Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Juan Gonzalez in 1992. The thing that pisses me off the most however is that he claims all baseball players should use steroids. Now look at that again. Did he just say that? Yep he did. Canseco must not care about the after affects of sterid use such as growing breasts and other affects to gross to discuss. What the hell is Canseco thinking. Not only has he ratted out former teammates. He has encouraged a whole new generation to steroid usage. What an idiot.
Aramis and Zambrano Sign Deals
According to reports from ESPN.com, the Cubs have agreed to terms with Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano to one year deals. Aramis will make 8.95 million, and Carlos Zambrano will make 3.76 million. In my opinion they are both worth every penny they are getting paid. Aramis hit .318, 36 homeruns, and 103 RBIS. While Zambrano went 16-8 with a 2.75 ERA. These are great deals for the Cubs and hopefully the Cubs will sign Aramis and Zambrano to multi-year deals. This is a bargain for the Cubs. Many thought that Aramis would make 10 million, and Zambrano asked for 4 million. and got 3.75.
The Cubs also signed a bench player Dave Hansen to a minor league deal, and he will be invited to spring training as a non-roster player. Last year he hit .267 with Seattle and San Diego. I hope that the Hansen deal wasn't the last deal the Cubs make this offseason.
Yep, it's that close. Only 59 days until the Cubs square off against the D-backs on April 4th at 5ct. With that in mind I realize that Cubs games will be without the great t.v.duo of Steve Stone and Chip Caray (with the invention of mlb.tv I can watch all Cubs games in Buffalo, all we have is Yankee broadcasts on YES, UGH). Yet Cubs fans still have radio (another great invention, Gameday Audio, which I just found out came with my subscription to mlb.tv, I'm hoping that MLB creates an MLB network on television like the NFL network, but that is just a pipedream) and the radio commentators Pat Hughes and Ron Santo. While Ron may not be the greatest color commentator, he lives and dies with the team just like most Cubs fans. Pat Hughes on the other hand is a very good play by play man and is also very patient in dealing with Santo. These two are great to listen to, and have good chemistry. So while that stupid groundhog saw his shadow, spring training is just around the corner and before you know it, it will be April 4th.
Losing Faith in Hendry
Well, I am starting to lose faith in the almighty Hendry. He has made the most boneheaded move that I can think of. The Cubs have agreed to terms with Jeromy Burnitz on a 1 year deal worth 5 million, and a 2nd year option worth around 6.5 million. I would feel much better right now if the Cubs hadn't of signed anyone. I would rather have Hairston in right than Burnitz. Hairston could be the leadoff hitter that the Cubs despertely needed last year, along with very good speed. Instead the Cubs have signed a 36 year old who will maybe hit 25 homeruns, but will strikeout well over 100 times.
Don't get me wrong, I hope Jeromy has a great season with the Cubs this season, yet I have my doubts.
Another thing, what was Jim Hendry thinking when he signed Burnitz to a 5 million dollar contract , or for that matter spending any money on the aging slugger. Hendy has done some great things in the past, i.e. Nomar, Aramis, Derek Lee, Kenny Lofton, but I'm starting to think he's losing it.
By the way, thanks to baseballblogs.org and Byron Clarke of cubsblogarmy.com and thecubdom.com for adding me to their links page.
Oh Dear God, NOT HIM!!!
With Sammy gone, there leaves with him a hole in the order and the field that the Cubs will need to fill. While I have mentioned Magglio Ordonez or Aubrey Huff has possibly replacements for El Corko, I haven't mentioned Jeromy Burnitz yet, another name that was metioned as a possible replacement in the outfield. I have three words, PLEASE NOT HIM! Don't let his home stats fool you, or for that matter, his overall stats for the year. His stats were inflated by the thin air of the silo that is called Coors Field. His away stats went something along these lines
These numbers show that he should not be looked at seriously by the Cubs. Plus he is asking for 1 year at +5 mil, that's ludicrous. He is an average player who should not be signed for 5 mil, let alone 3 mil. The Cubs have to get Huff or Magglio to play in place of Hairston in right. This is my idea of what the Cubs lineup should look like for this season.
C: Michael Barrett
1B: Derek Lee
2B: Todd Walker
SS: Nomar Garciaparra
LF: Jason Dubois
CF: Corey patterson
RF: Magglio Ordonez/Aubrey Huff
I am expecting there to be some sort of movement by the Cubs after the Sosa deal is finalized. This is the true tell tell week for the Cubs, if they get Magglio or Huff they, in my opinion will be hoisting a division champion 2005 flag over Wrigley this season, if not, then it looks like 2nd place for the northsiders. Oh, and by the way, if you check out my site, make sure to leave comments, tell me what you think, that's the whole purpose of this blog. I want to write about the Cubs and hear what other Cubs fans think of any comments I make or to just add a point about the Cubs that I might have missed.