Monday, August 22, 2005

Was that the Rockies the Cubs just lost that series to?


That's the only word I can use to describe the Cubs performance over the weekend. In fact, as a result of this stellar performance, they have now fallen into fourth place in the division.

Folks, it doesn't matter if every one of the 6 teams ahead of the Cubs in the WC chase begins to suddenly lose consistently - the Cubs would still need to win consistently (something they have proven themselves unable to do over the course of the season).

It's gotten so bad that even the folks at Fantasy land have finally come to realize that the playoffs are nothing but a pipe dream for this team this year.

So what to do? Here's what needs to happen at this point.

1) Shut Wood down and schedule his surgery immediately. This team doesn't need him to start next season on the DL recovering from surgery - get it done now and let the healing begin. The sooner he's recovered, the better. Then pray that Wood returns to the form we all saw back in 2003.

2) Get the youngsters up in the bigs and give them regular playing time to see who can play over an extended period of time. Bring back Murton - call up Cedeno, Kelton, and Greenberg - stick Hill and Van Buren in the bullpen and let's see who can actually play. Stick Mitre back in the rotation and let's see if he can recover the mid season flash of brilliance he displayed back in June.

3) Hendry needs to upgrade the offense in the offseason as his number #1 priority. I don't want to hear any more nonsense about "being satisfied with the team [he's] got." This team as currently assembled has some major holes (even at full strength) - chief among them a lackluster offense. There's no other way to say this - this team was simply pathetic offensively this year - and as bad as the bullpen was and is - the area of greatest concern is the offense. Over the course of a season, you just cannot rely on only one or two players to consistently carry a team as the Cubs have tried to ride the shoulders of Lee and Ramirez this year. The entire outfield needs to be retooled - and that either needs to happen by pursuing the very few free agent options available (like Damon) or by engineering an offseason trade. The Cubs have one of the lowest offensive producing outfields in the majors and that is just unacceptable for a team that spends $100 million and hopes to compete.

What it essentially boils down to is that this organization needs to start seriously thinking now about how it can prevent a reprise of the miserable 2005 season.