Well, it’s been a few days since I have written anything Cubs related. I’m not really even sure why that is. So, with that being said, I’d like to address a couple of topics one at a time to get some feedback.
One of things I have been charting this year is the importance of the Cubs getting on the board first. Now let me explain that a little. Each day I chart which team posts a run first. Which means the visitors have a slight advantage there because they bat first. I have been charting the Cubs record when they score first and when they do not score first. I cannot express enough how important it is for this team to get on the board first. This year, they are 20-10 when they post a run before their opponent. That translates to a 108 win season if they Cubs were to score first every game and follow the trend. DIsturbing is how putrid the team is when the opponent scores first. Coming in to todays game, they are 14-19 when not scoring first. That translates to 68 wins, give or take a win. The Cubs have got to make it a priority to get on the board first. It gives an obvious edge.
There have been some faulty trade rumors provided to the Cubs Blog Army readers by the usual false rumor master from the Army who will remain nameless. Needless to say, I grow tired of rumors. Nothing is more annoying that reading them everywhere. Now I know that some people think that is what makes the June and July months exciting, but for me, baseball alone makes the June and July months as well as the rest of the year exciting. I do not need to hear melodious fairy tails of the many big names the Cubs are pursuing. What’s the point when they never come to fruition? All I know though is according the a source who knows a source that dated a source, the Sheffield talks are legit. Yep, i’m sure they are. Anything for hits to the site I guess. Whatever works.
Can we just stop listening to all the moronic rumors, 90% of which are pure speculation, and just start watching the game for what it is? Personally, I’m not willing to give up on the outfielders we have. Burnitz is a hard nosed player who knows how to play the game the right way. He plays hard everyday, has a good glove in RF, and has been doing fine with the bat.
Corey Patterson, while frustrating way to often is only 25 years old. Some players have not even made it to the big leagues by that age. Give this kid a chance. Do whatever it takes to work it out with him. Maybe it means sitting down with him and asking how the team can help? Maybe he needs a personal hitting coach to devote 100% of his time to Corey. Who knows, but you cannot just be so quick to give up on guys you have groomed through the system. Pie, who some people believe is the answer, is NOT ready yet. He’s not ready to go from AA to the ML. In addition, there is NO WAY he is ready for the Chicago media. Right now, he plays in AA where there are no reporters to ask you nagging questions before and after the game. He has no pressure on him down there. When he comes to the big leagues, he will be thrust into a totally different situation. You heard the interview I did with him. He can barely speak english. That’s in no way a bad thing, but what you didn’t see what how shy he was and embarrassed he was by the thought of not knowing how to reply to my questions. I loved talking to Felix, and he’s going to be outstanding in the big leagues soon, but he’s not ready to take over for Corey Patterson this year.
Jason Dubois, while also frustrating at the plate, is a rookie. How could you be willing to give up on a guy that has enormous power potential at the plate. Give him the AB’s he needs in the majors to really judge what kind of player this kid could be before you just give up on him. I’m tired of seeing guys like Jon Garland and Dontrelle Willis mowing down guys because they were better players than the Cubs thought. I know you have to be willing to give up talent to get talent in return, but I have a feeling this Dubois kid will end up being a 40 HR guy we could have had in the OF if we had just a little more patience.
What in the world is up with Sergio Mitre? This guy has been a mad man the last two games and has helped the club out in a BIG way. Anytime you can go out and beat a guy like Roy Halladay you can put a feather in your cap. However, when you come out as the 4th or 5th starter for a team, as Mitre is, and beat not only one teams ACE, but two teams aces in consecutive start, you deserve to have a soda named after you. Don’t you think? Oh wait, he already does.
With Prior and Wood on the happy trail to recovery, the team is looking promising in the SP department once again. If we can keep the big 3 healthy the rest of the year, the Cubs have no excuse to not compete. The offense has been coming alive the last few weeks and with the addition of two nice SP’s to the rotation, the Cubs should be in every game they play. It’s nice to know that if that isn’t the case, Mitre seems to be putting it together as insurance. God knows he can’t be worse than Koronka. I do not know why Dusty cannot see this. He’s essentially a one pitch pitcher, because of the quality of his other 2 pitches. His fastball is slow and doesn’t move. Every game i’ve watched, he comes in around 90. His 3rd pitch is a breaking ball of some sort, but it is almost non exsistant. The only pitch he has that is any good is his changeup. When you get to the majors, you better have at least 2 good pitches or you’re going to get shelled. Hopefully the Cubs will see this and give Jerome Williams a shot for the next Koronka turn in the order.
Last but certainly not least, I would like to introduce you to a future fan of the Chicago Cubs. My wife and I are expecting our first child in January and the picture is very cool. Gone are the days of the black pictures with white globs. I present to you my Son or daughter. Not sure which yet.