There’s an old comedy routine by Abbott and Costello called Who’s on First. If you’ve never heard it, I would first ask where you have lived the past 50 yrs, and then tell you to follow that think and at least read the transcript. In the routine, the ballclub has, no pun intended, a bunch of nobodies in their starting lineup. It’s so bad that the reporter asking the manager can’t even get the players names in the right spot on the field. Growing up a Cubs fan in the late 80′s and early 90′s, I was naive. I was content with coming into each spring training asking the question “Who’s on first?” It never seemed to bother me that we had scrubs like Steve Buchele, Ozzie Timmons, and Anthony Young on our 25 man roster. I simply waited to see what the team looked like on opening day and got to know the players from there. As I have matured, so has my knowledge and expectations of Chicago Cubs. I am no longer content with simply waiting till opening day to find out who our starters are. Instead, like other serious baseball fans, I spend my winter roaming from website to website looking for any rumor or nugget of information concerning who the team is actively pursuing for the next year. In the past, names uttered in those rumors were great names such as Jaime Navarro, Mickey Morandini, and the great Todd Hundley. We never heard names like Griffey, Clemens and McGwire, and for some reason I was fine with that.

(Enter 2003 Season)

Now as Cubs fans we’re hungry. We have felt the joy of being so close, the pain of being thrown back to a cruel reality, and we want more of the former. This past off-season, Cub fans expected a lot of activity. We’ve set the expectations high and the Tribune company heard our cries. Names like Maddux, Lee, Nomar, and Hawkins all have been uttered in Cub rumors this year. The Tribune has gotten the job done but the players have not delivered to this point. So, before it sounds as if I am giving up and looking to 2005, let me clarify. While I think we still have a shot at this year if we can put it all together, it’s always smart to look to the future as well. The Cubs have a decision to make for this coming season. Nomar came here in the final year of his contract. The Cubs have to make the choice of whether or not they want to offer him a long term deal. Let me give you my reasoning for the move I would make.

(Wrigley PA announcer on opening day 2005)- “Now playing SS for the Chicago Cubs, number 3, Edgar Renteria”

If I were at the helm, I would let Nomar walk this off season. Let him sign with a west coast team. We can’t afford to invest past this year in a player that may not play 50% of the games he is being paid for. Not with this team as close as it is. We need a guy in the prime of his career to man that post. What better that Edgar Renteria?

  • He will be 29 yrs old at opening day 200
  • He hits for average.
  • Has a little speed (34 sb in 2003 & 16 so far in 2004)
  • Plays for the Cards, so we could steal from the enemy

Those are just a few reasons. If you wanna take a look at the stats, click here
He’s my pick for 2005. What’s yours?

Radio Show Appearance Tonight

For those interested in listening to my insights live via the world wide web, go to Sports Talk Cleveland at 7:20pm est tonight and click listen now. I will be on from 7:30 – 8:00 pm talking Cubs and whatever else they ask me. If you get a chance and listen, drop me an e-mail or a comment on the site and let me know what you thought. If you can’t be online to listen, the appearance will be archived on our site.

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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