[ | | | 5 interested person(s) ]

At 22 and 33 and 2nd to last in the NL Central the question is: What do my Chicago Cubs do at this juncture of the season?

First off thank god for the perenially miserable Pirates to keep the Cubbies out of last place in the central. Its like that KC type safety net that no matter how much you suck you can always assure yourself you won't be worse than the Royals.

I was listening to the arguement that the Cubs should throw in the towel and blow the team up and rebuild and get some playing time for younger players. Also bring in some young prospects by trading away Pierre (who is in the last year of his contract) along with the struggling Ramirez. I am not so willing to bail on the Cubs season quite yet.

My argument? First it can't get any worse for the Cubs than it did in May. Second, I think Ramirez will start hitting along with Pierre which will allow for a bunch more run production. Wood is back (even though his latest start has been pushed back) is another plus. The final thing is that Pujols is out indefinately and I think given that since St. Louis is already missing Carpenter and now Pujols the Cubs might be able to gain some ground in the Central (won 2 out of 3 in the latest series).

The addition of a struggling Nevin from Texas might help up the Cubs run production which has been keeping the team out of alot of games this season. The Cubs still have a solid bullpen and when and if Prior comes back, the starting rotation should be solid. I'm just not ready to call it quits on the Cubbies quite yet. Maybe others are.

5 interested person(s)

Kevin said... @ 6/04/2006 08:31:00 PM

I'm not ready for a trading binge just yet. I can't believe people are calling to trade Ramirez. Do they realize how long it's been since we've had a good third baseman? Yeah, since Ron Santo. Hang onto the guy.

Pierre has been unimpressive, but you have to figure that won't last. Lee will be back soon, too.

As for pitching, Zambrano is lights out, Maddux is OK, and Wood/Prior two-headed monster *might* be healthy. Bullpen isn't bad, if Dempster keeps it together.

It's still early. And though, realistically, I don't think they'll catch the Cardinals. It would be a sure sign that management has given up if they start bailing now. Two out of three from Cards is a good start.

JT said... @ 6/04/2006 08:36:00 PM

Ok, as someone who follows this as much as you and writes about it, I have a few points of contention here, or perhaps a few comments to make to add to what yr saying here.

I think we have a similar viewpoint, although I am concerned about the future of our team.

1. Trading Ramirez might be difficult because of his contract and his current form.

2. Definitely in favour of getting rid of Juan Pierre, although we would be smart to wait until the demand for him gets a lot higher and teams get desperate.

3. Kerry Wood was pulled from his start today, and says he'll go on tuesday, although his shoulder soreness has flared up AGAIN! There's no end to this shit with him. He's a guy I would chop out and cut our losses. He ain't gonna be the guy we wanted him to be, so he needs a fresh start.

4. As for Prior, I feel the same way.

5. Nevin is terrible, and it's the kind of move we could have made 5 weeks ago, or at least a lot sooner than we did. Lee is now not too far away [maybe another month?], and to try and struggle through May with this awful lineup, going some 5-22 for the month as a result, was a huge mistake. Nevin was what... 2-for-38 when we traded for him, having lost his spot in the lineup to a rookie who hits right-handed pitching better than Nevin can [bearing in mind 75 percent of the league is damn RHPs], so we'll see what happens. When Lee comes back, he can sit next to the crap John Mabry.

6. I am happy about the Womack deal. His veteran attitude seems to have helped our clubhouse, and he seems to make things happen. Stolen bases, forcing all those errors against the Cards this weekend.... he was a smart pickup.

7. Definitely agree about the Pujols deal. Even though we lost today, their lineup looked weaker than ours did during May. Timo Perez an everyday LF? Larry Bigbie?? Hector Luna?? Jim Edmonds on 1st?? The only bad thing about his injury is that it will help a lot of other teams before it helps us, like the blood-hungry *spit* Reds *spit* and Astros with Clemens back. The Brewers, ehh, I'm not sure they've got the goods quite yet. They've looked terrible lately.

8. Our rotation is rough, even with a half-strength Wood and Prior mashing through starts every 5 days. Rusch has no place in that rotation, Zambrano needs to pitch like 2005 Zambrano, Maddux needs some run support, and the Hill/Marshall duo will need a lot of time. Rich Hill is definitely not a major-league SP yet, and won't be for a while. Our bullpen is pretty good, with Aardsma picking up his game to complement Howry and Eyre. Novoa could still use some control, and we just lost Williamson to the DL. As for Dempster, his recent blown saves make me a little nervous.

*Deep breath to exhale*

Bottom Line -- I'm agreeing with you on this one. Despite several reasons to be pessimistic, they could still have an impact [read: 2005 Astros who started 15-30].

Sorry for rambling!

Eric said... @ 6/04/2006 09:34:00 PM

The problem with the Cubs is an orginizational problem that permeates every aspect of the team.

1. Blow up the team. It's time to start over. If you are a true Cubs fan you know they aren't going anywhere and the carrot they dangle in front of us as false optimism is just that, false.

2. Agree with JT, Rusch has no place in the big leagues.

3. If the Cubs are making money hand over fist and selling out Wrigley on a daily basis by putting a sub-par team on the field, why would they do more?

4. Here is the clincher. When prospects in the Cubs system are coming up (be it C-Pat, Choi, Hill, Pie, etc...) they are always told that they aren't ready for the big leagues until, poof!, one day they are ready. A real confidence booster. The Cubs orginization screws up every player that comes through the system until they go elsewhere. Who was the last Cubs rookie to make a big impact for the team and remain that way?

K. said... @ 6/04/2006 10:10:00 PM


I like your 3rd point and think its a very very interesting one. I never really thought about it. They have a stadium which I would assume has low overhead but the team payroll is more than it should be (7th in the league I believe).

I would like them to hang onto Ramirez because I do believe he is a great player. I even like Pierre even though he has struggled earlier he is a fantastic lead off man. Its crazy to think that the Cubs have the 7th highest payroll and the Indians have 24th.

I think a healthy Lee and a Pierre and Ramirez that play up to the level that they are capable solves alot of problems.

JT said... @ 6/05/2006 07:36:00 AM


I think this says it all, really.

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