Tuesday, February 08, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES


How is it going there my fellow baseball aficionados? I decided to take the day off from work for a little R & R, and boy did I pick a great day to do it. It is seventy, count them, seventy degrees here in North Carolina. The first week of February and I am outside in shorts and a t-shirt, fishing. I am not too sure, but North Carolina just might be heaven.

Anyway, to my thoughts of the Cubs since the Burnitz signing…

I am beginning to wonder whether or not Hendry has begun taking advice from Jerry Angelo on how to run a team. Watching the Super Bowl was rather sickening to me. There I am watching the game, and watching Roosevelt Colvin get a sack - Keith Traylor starting for the Super Bowl champions, and wanting to scream in frustration. The only thing that stopped me was that I was watching the game at a church Party, and I didn't want to appear to be a crazed, sports lunatic, although inside, I was absolutely screaming: "yeah these guys aren't good enough for you Jerry, but they're good enough to win the Super Bowl!"

Hey, at least Angelo replaced these two time Super Bowl champions with the immortal Alfonso Boone, and Joe Odom. Has Jerry Angelo reinvented himself in Jim Hendry? Do they get together for coffee every week and discuss how they might join together to destroy the city of Chicago? I know, maybe they have done one of those switch jobs for the time being to get a deeper appreciation for the other person, and what he does. These seem to be the only logical explanations for this off-season in Cubbie-land. Jim Hendry is simply too good of a GM for this fiasco. You mean to tell me you agree to pay most of Sammy's salary, and yet still give him away for nothing? Then you replace him in RF with Jeromy "Coors Field" Burnitz? While you're at it - I'm sure you could trade Aramis Ramirez for Vinny Castilla even up. Maybe bring in Jay Payton or Preston Wilson. Re-name Wrigley Field to Coors Field East. I'm telling you, there is something rotten in Denmark.

The only explanation I can come up with for Hendry's moves this off-season is that the Cubs are slashing payroll in hopes of being able to pay for this highly talented pitching staff. Even this makes no sense to me now though, because Prior and Zambrano are still a few years away from the real big pay day. They can still be kept for relatively cheap through arbitration. Nomar will be a free agent at the end of the season, but the chances of re-signing him are slim if this is the image the Cubs front office portrays to him. Aramis Ramirez could be very expensive in the next year or two, assuming of course that he continues to play the way he did last season. I think given the situation, the best option would have been to keep Sammy because he gives the Cubs the best shot to win this season, unless of course someone came in with an offer you couldn't refuse. Then next year, when it’s time for A-ram, Prior, and Zambrano to get paid, then you dump Sam-me.

Take it for what it’s worth, but things are looking bleek in Cubbie-land. I have said this before, and I’ll say it again - it looks remarkably similar to the way things looked in St. Louis this time last season. I also am not ready to back off my prediction of a Cubs vs. Cardinals NLCS just yet. Honestly, the more and more the off-season seems to be going down the tubes for the Cubs, the more nervous I get. Two reasons why...1) the Cubs will have pretty much no pressure on them to win this season, everyone will probably be picking them 3rd or 4th (similar to the Cardinals last year), and 2) there is still enough talent on this team to win (like the Cards last season) and a talented team that feels disrespected - look out.

I simply do not understand what is happening in Chicago these days. All this, and the Bulls are actually starting to look like a decent team. Some more bad off-season news for ya Cub fans though...I was checking the St. Louis Cardinals web-site, and it seems that the treatment for the real NL MVP Albert Pujols, is working very well, and he and the Cardinals expect the foot to be 100% by opening day. If he posted the numbers that he did last season with a bum foot, what would he do with a healthy foot?

Now, that’s scary.