So, as many of you know, I have been doing this five questions thing for the past few weeks.

For the most part, I just like to see what others are thinking.  Throughout the week I keep an eye on the Cubs and questions pop into my little brain.  As this happens, I jot them down somewhere and save them for this little slice of “Hump Day” heaven.

This week, with football getting back into gear, and a bevy of other odd sports news I decided to stray a little from the Cubs (don’t worry, there is enough Cub related material to stay relevant) and hit some other topics.

Without further ado….

1) Has Aramis Ramirez ever been worth $14.6 million?

Aramis has said he will be exercising his option for 2011.  Or “leaning” towards it or “staying here” or whatever that means…..

I can’t stand the fact that he is getting this money.  He wasn’t worth it in his best season and he surely isn’t worth it now……Precisely why he would be insane not to take the option!!!!

Go ahead and pick his best season ever!  Throw some stats at me if you want.  I can’t think of one season when he was worth 14.6 million.

That money should get you a top of the line third baseman.  A slick fielding, hot-corner stud!!!

Don’t get me wrong, Aramis had some nice seasons in Cubbie blue, but a season worth $14.6 million?  I can’t think of one!

The problem is, I would reserve that type of money for complete players. Players who field and hit well.  Players who are consistent at the plate and in the field.  Aramis is anything but the above.

Here is the best part, he is actually going to get $16.6 million.  Yup, he has yet another option for 2012, a team option.  If the Cubs don’t pick it up they still owe him another $2 million for the buyout!!!!

(Just threw up in my mouth)

2) Could Darwin Barney be a full time third baseman?

Because of the above, I consider this more for the future.

A few weeks ago I didn’t think this kid was ready for the bigs at all, but lately? Last I checked he toted a .300 average and was holding his own defensively.

I am not saying he should be, as there may be better places for him up the middle, but I can bet you my Kevin Orie Rookie Card that he would be better then some of our “younger” options.

He kind of creeps up on the position a little.  I mean lets face it, Aramis will take a vaca-….I mean trip to the DL next year, likely more then one, and we will need somebody at the corner.  I would rather see youth served then pick up some over-the-hill rental for the season to the tune of $3 million or more.

For those who feel Vitters is the heir apparent, check again, something tells me he doesn’t make it out of the minors.

3) Should the proven steroid users give up their awards?

In the 75 year history of the Heisman Trophy the award has never been returned by a recipient or repossessed by the Heisman committee……until this week.

Because of the “benefits” illegally obtained by Reggie Bush during the 2005 season, USC has been taken to the woodshed by the NCAA and slapped with a myriad of penalties.

Reggie, in a move probably as much about PR as it is conscience, returned his Heisman award from that season.

While Reggie voluntarily gave back his award, I began to wonder if we should just start stripping awards from Major Leaguers who used steroids?

Make them ineligible for the Hall of Fame.  Don’t even let the writers or players vote them in! Remove them from the ballot!

While we are at it, strip them of their MVP awards, Silver Sluggers, Gold Gloves, etc……

In a final blow, strip the teams and cities they played for of their World Series trophies and League Pennants!

Okay , maybe the last one was a bit crazy, but I bet players would think a little longer in the future about enhancing themselves through a pill or substance.

4) Which team would you least like to play for if you were a major leaguer?

So a lot of players put a “no trade” clause in their contracts and some just list teams they won’t play for.

If you had this power, who would be the first team listed under your “I will not accept a trade to this team under any circumstances” list?

It can be because of the geographic location, the ownership, the current players, any of the above.

5)  Have you been to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in the last decade? How many have never been?

I want to get a good idea of those who have been and those who have not.

Some of you seem very indifferent regarding the shrine at Addison and Clark.  I am also starting to realize that the reason for such ambivalence is because many of you are from the middle of nowhere and could care less where the Cubs play because you have watched every game on TV or in another stadium (an away game).

Personally, I go to a dozen games per year or more. I love the place.

Okay, so all but two of the questions dealt with the Cubs.  I just can’t leave them alone…..addiction is a terrible thing to waste…..or something like that.

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19