Revisiting pre-season prognostications:
I hate to tell you that I told you so, but...
I published the following post on this page December 20th of last year - just after Jacque Jones was signed to a 3 year deal:
That sound you just heard...
was the sound of the Cubs 2006 season flushing down the toilet. You see, the Cubs just inked Jacque Jones to a 3-year deal:
Why are prospects for next season swirling down the johnny as a result of this signing?
Because it signals most of all that Jim Hendry just doesn't understand the extent of the problems with this team as it is currently constructed and managed.
This is not a team on the cusp of playoff contention in need only of minor improvement (and it is arguable how much improvement [if any] Jones provides over the underwhelming Jeromy Burnitz).
This is a team that is deeply flawed - and deeply flawed on a number of levels. It is especially flawed in terms of offense (or lack thereof) - but it is also a team that has a very questionable starting rotation. That's never a good combination. It's certainly not a team that will contend.
Here's the bottom line - Jacque Jones isn't the answer to what proved to be an absolutely horrendous (from an offensive standpoint) OF last year. The offensive production was downright offensive last year, if you get what I mean. And Jones isn't going to substantially improve things.
In fact you can write this down - because it comes from a baseball realist - this team as presently constructed will struggle to finish third in the division next year (and that's assuming no injuries).
You don't like that prognosis? Go over to fantasy land and get your fix of continually deferred hope. For my part, I don't deal in fantasy - only reality - and sometimes it really does bite folks.
I suspect that Jim will tell us in the near future just how "satisfied" he is with the team as presently constructed. Just like last year in fact. He was satisfied with what he had then - in fact he was pretty sure the club could "survive" when Wood, Williamson, and Garciaparra returned in early August. And that turned out splendidly as we all know.
And to be honest, I don't know why he wouldn't be "satisfied."
After all, who isn't satisfied with fourth place in the division!
It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the team Jim Hendry assembled was destined for failure. Looking forward, what will be particularly revealing is how this team will continue to ring up losses at an alarming rate even after the return of Wood and Prior.