So Cliff Lee signed……with the Phillies!

I have to say, I didn’t see that coming, which is shocking because I thought I had all of the social/news media outlets covered.  I mean, between the internet and it’s vast array of  blogs and sports websites, twitter, and television stations like ESPN, FOX, MLB Network……you know where I am going with this.

It’s amazing that anything has the ability to happen anymore without a picture/video/twitter montage of it taking place.  I am thanking my lucky stars they didn’t have all this technology readily available when I was in college.  The house I lived in throughout my days in Kalamazoo,MI  had a rule; if you got skunked or shut out in any sort of competition (i.e. Darts, Video Games, Foosball, Pool, Euchre, the list goes on) you ran naked to the neighbors mailbox and back.  Let’s just say my Favre dangled in the wind more then I would like to say!

So, that being said, I shared the Cliff Lee signing shock with everybody else.  Then of course, was subjected to eighty different baseball writers breaking down his contract like it is the national deficit or something.  Here is what you need to know; he took less money to go to the Phillies.  End of Story….oh and he got paid a lot.

With that being said lets compare the Phillies and Cubs projected rotations……


Cliff Lee

Roy Halladay

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton or whoever else they really want to throw in if he gets traded…….


Carlos Zamrano

Ryan Dempster

The Bee Gees

Eat Me

I don’t care……..

Yah, we sort of have an issue.  Past Dempster we are amazingly bland, unproven, and up in the air.

The more I think of this, the more I am bothered.  Find me one big market team that has a starting rotation with so many holes.  The scary thing, the REAL scary thing is that we don’t know what to expect on a year to year basis from Z and Dempster……and they are the only guys I can think of with a guaranteed spot in the rotation!

Here is where my frustration starts……I have been watching Philly, New York, DC, Boston, Texas, and LA at least attempt to make some big moves and succeed in many areas, yet nothing from us.  Sure, we overpaid for a guy with a “big stick” to play first base for one year but after further diagnosis what did we get? A guy whose overall 9 year career has seen two good years and they are in the rear-view mirror by a couple of miles!

Here is my point, I know the whole big market/small market gripe is old.  I know spending isn’t everything.  Player chemistry and timing probably means  more in the grand scheme of things, but when you have the glaring holes that the Cubs have, how can you stand by and basically say 2011 will be better then 2010?  How can you hope to keep your loyal and large fan base happy by raising ticket prices year over year and saying you need to curtail spending……all the while your counterparts are out throwing money at good players to become even better then they were?

Unfortunately, as Cubs fans, I feel we have nothing to look forward to in 2011.  My initial intent was to write about the five things I was looking forward to in 2011 as a Cub fan…….I couldn’t get past the introductory sentence so I cried in my beer and wrote this.

Something good is bound to happen to this team in the future, I just hope I get to witness it.  In the meantime maybe twitter hasn’t uncovered all the gems, maybe there is one left for us Cub fans.

Speaking of gems, last night I was looking through some old photo’s and memorabilia from my youth and came across something cool.  An Ernie Banks autograph on loose leaf paper that my grandmother acquired for me in person at the Duke Childrens Classic in 1984.  It reads….

To Chet

Ernie Banks



Hope……. there’s that damn word again.

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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