Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Post-Christmas Thoughts...

Hope everyone has had a blessed Christmas. I've certainly enjoyed the break from school.

In any event, just a few thoughts to share during the holiday break.

1) Prior for Tejada rumors. I don't like this deal. This current rotation (Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Maddux, Williams) already is questionable. If Wood or Prior loses any time to injury, Maddux then becomes the #3 starter - and at this stage in his career he isn't anything more than a serviceable #5 (on a playoff contending team). If this current staff stays healthy all season (a highly suspect proposition), you've still got Maddux and Williams starting 40% of your games - and with this offense that's a formula for trouble my friends. Therefore, losing Prior will only aggravate matters, unless a pitcher of somewhat comparable stature (e.g., Zito) is acquired.

Yes, Tejada's bat is necessary since this team will continue to struggle offensively unless something is done on this front. However, filling holes by creating new ones isn't a solution which promises real progress. If this deal is done (and no comparable replacement for Prior is found), the Cubs will still finish 2nd or 3rd in the division (if Roger Clemens comes back with the Astros, the Cubs will fight for 3rd or 4th).

2) Todd Walker. We'll have to wait and see how this ultimately turns out, but I don't understand why Todd Walker has apparently been consigned to serve as trade bait by this ball club. This man has shown a persistent ability to get on base - something this team desperately needs. He is a contact hitter who has excellent plate discipline (this may actually explain why the Cubs want to get rid of him). He batted .305 last season and posted a .355 OBP. His defense is admittedly nothing spectacular, but is it bad enough to negate the offensive contributions he makes to this team? I certainly don’t think so. I say bring Walker back and let him start at 2nd base.

3) Playoffs?! This team, as it is presently constructed, will not seriously compete for playoff contention next season unless both Wood and Prior return to 2003 form and the lack of offensive production from the OF is addressed in some substantive way (Pierre and Jones don’t qualify as addressing this problem btw).

Lastly, The Red Reporter is hosting a best major league blog award and the Peoria Northsider report has been nominated!

Just kidding. Actually, 2 Cubs blogs made the list – therefore, go vote for Al Yellon’s Bleed Cubbie Blue like I did. Yes – he is wildly unrealistic, but he’s a good guy and he puts a lot of work into his site.