For a Cub fan, the last 8-10 months have been an emotional roller coaster. We have a great regular season in 2003 which is capped off by a thrilling race to the finish with the Astros. Then we get even higher with a thrilling win over the Braves in the opening round of the playoffs. The Cubs then proceeded to march into the NLCS with a huge amount of confidence and it showed as they took a 3-1 series lead. This was as high as the roller coaster would go however. The rest of the season does not even need to be talked about. It has been exhausted, analyzed, and speculated to know end.

Cub fans entered the offseason more excited than they ever had been before. Everyone had a plan for how they would improve the team and put us over the top. It started slow but in the end, we added some arms, a huge, lizard like first baseman, and welcomed home an old friend. Cubs fans were pumped. Talks swirled about who had the best rotation in baseball and, God forbid, the Cubs were mentioned in those talks. It was about as good as it gets. Then the rains came again.

Mark Prior, God’s gift to the Cubs, began to have problems with his Achilles. At first people freaked out and speculated that it would mean the season was going down the toilet. The rumors were quickly addressed and it was announced that Prior was ok and would be ready to go for the start of the year. However, more and more days were being missed due to pain and people began to say that he would be missing at most, 1 start in the regular season. Now, more rain.

~ Straight from Fanball.com ~

Mark Prior is a mess. His Achilles’ tendon began bothering him last summer and resumed nagging him at the start of camp. The inflammation briefly subsided, long enough for him to begin building up arm strength. Then the Achilles’ inflammation came back, causing the team to shut him down again. Now he has back spasms. Prior woke up on Saturday in pain because of spasms in his back and then went to get a second opinion on his Achilles’ tendonitis, which is still bothering him. The right-hander has yet to pitch this spring and the Chicago Sun-Times reports it’s hard to envision him pitching for the Cubs any earlier than May. The second opinion didn’t reveal anything new. ”He said there’s some inflammation,” Prior told the paper. “There’s a couple things it could be, but he didn’t think they were. There have been cases where a little bone in there can break and you don’t know it. He doesn’t think that’s the case.”

When it rains, it pours. Get well soon Mark, we need you!!!

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail