Archive for January, 2005

Preview of things to come

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Just a little heads up for the readers. Tomorrow morning, I’ll be posting an interview with a former Cubs # 1 pick. Tune in to see who it is that was nice enough to answer my questions. Feel free to speculate here in the comment section.

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Opinion Section Part 2 – 1b

Sunday, January 30th, 2005

With the rumors flying this weekend about the apparent Sammy Sosa trade, I felt it would be nice to give everyone a break and discuss a different position today. Last year, the Cubs upgraded the first base position by acquiring Derrek Lee from the Marlins for Hee Seop Choi. There were tons of writers and fans who were up in arms about this trade at the time, especially due to the hot Choi start and the cold Lee start to last year. In the end, Lee had a better year, but did not quite reach the expectations many had for him as he came to Wrigley Field.

Lee had, in my opinion, a great year. He had career highs in Homeruns, RBI, Hits and Doubles, all while fielding a stellar .996. I can’t really ask for more. After all, when was the last time we had a guy play first base and hit 30 Homeruns? Can you tell me off the top of your head? The answer is 1970, when Jim Hickman did it. All this bashing of Lee last year because he started slow was uncalled for. He had a fine year and I expect even bigger numbers from him this year.

2005 Stats Prediction
BA – .284
HR – 35
RBI – 113
Runs – 102
2b – 37
SB – 10
BB – 81
OBP – .367

What do you guys think about the current 1b position the cubs have? The only way this works is if you let it be known.

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Patience is required

Saturday, January 29th, 2005

Since the Sammy Sosa story broke, everyone has been going insane with reactions and analysis of “the trade”. What bugs me is that this trade has not even been finished yet. People are giving their opinions on a trade that could end up turning out like the first Randy Johnson deal. There is, at this point, a lot of loose ends that still need to be tied. For example, what if Sosa’s back acts up and he fails the physical? What if for some ungodly reason he doesn’t waive his no trade clause? What if for some reason the Orioles cannot satisfy Sosa’s financial wishes? At this point, until I see it in the MLB transactions section as a done deal, I am still holding my breath. You guys should do the same.

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Sammy Sosa Traded?

Friday, January 28th, 2005

WGN radio in Chicago is reporting that Sammy Sosa will be traded to the Orioles within the next few days for Jerry Hairston Jr. and minor leaguers.

What happened to Julio? I am not sure if this is true or not, but we shall see soon. I would think that if WGN radio is reporting it, it’s pretty likely.

Update: – It appears that the deal is done. I will wait to comment till I see exactly what is going to play out.

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The Opinion Section

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

One of my favorite parts of a newspaper is always the opinion section. It is always a cool thing to see what the readers thing on various topics. Well, I have decided to sort of host an opinion section over the next few weeks. I will be posting my thoughts, position by position, on the current Cubs team. With the team looking more and more like it’s set for opening day as each hour passes, I figured now would be as good of a time as any. So, without further delay, we’ll begin with the Catcher position.

I’m happy to have Michael Barrett back this year. When we first signed him last year, I admit I was skeptical. I remember a particular article where he was quoted as saying something to the effect of: “My main focus will be calling a good game and working with the pitchers, not my hitting.” That article scared me half to death. I thought for sure we’d have yet another year with a non hitting catcher. Instead, Barrett seemed to be the exact opposite, hitting .287 on the year with 16 homeruns and 65 RBI. He was clutch and played the most games in a season in his entire career.

This year, I expect a let down. I do not expect a major dropoff, but some sort of dropoff is in the works. I expect an average in the high .270’s with 12 homeruns and high 50’s for RBI’s. Who knows, maybe i’m wrong. Maybe Jim Hendry saw something in this guy that no one else did, sort of like Ramirez. If that is the case, then the numbers last year could just be the beginning to a 20 HR and .300 avg season. No matter what, I like this guy’s intensity and attitude.

This is our guy. This is our big free agent signing for the offseason. I wonder if he knows that involves a lot of hype and pressure. He has the excruciating job of riding the pine and trotting out there ever five days to catch Maddux. Must be tough getting paid 750K to live that life. Blanco is a career .216 hitter who has never hit better than .234 in a season. It seems to me that we could have saved 400K and just signed a catcher to the league minimum.

Those are my thoughts on the catching situation. Now to make this work, YOU have to leave YOUR feedback and opinions on this topic in the comment section. So, what do you think? Are you happy with the catching situation? How would you have changed it this offseason? Make your opinions known.

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