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Offday League Inspection

Monday, May 10, 2004

Cubs have the day off today, so time for a little reflection. Looking at the standings, the Angels have the best record in baseball at 22-10 (.688), while the Dodger's have a 20-10 (.667) record, which is best in the NL. (We are going to LA beginning Tuesday.) The Expos have started to play a little better, and have allowed the Devil Rays to become the worst team in baseball with a 9-21 (.300) record. I still think that the Expos aren't as good as the Devil Rays. You have to remember that the Devil Rays are playing in a division with the Yankees, Red Sox, and resurgent Orioles, while the Expos are playing in a fairly weak division.

The Cubs are two games behind the Astros, who have won eight of ten, and Andy Pettite is back from the DL. The Astros are completely healthy (they have a reliever named Chad Harville on the DL, but thats it.) On the otherhand, the Cubs are missing Prior, Grudzielanek, Gonzalez, and Remlinger. Furthermore, I am reading in the paper that Todd Hollandsworth sprained his wrist on Saturday and is day to day. (I was screaming at the TV yesterday when Baker pinch-hit Tom Goodwin instead of Hollandsworth, and now I know why.)

Some other teams of note are the Braves, Phillies, and Royals. The Braves are two games below .500 and and 3.5 games back of the Marlins, I don't think they are gonna pull it off this year.

Yesterday, the Phillies raised their record above .500 for the first time this year and now trail the Marlins by two games. Following their 1-6 start, the Phillies have gone 14-8. The Marlins meanwhile have cooled off and are 10-12 in their previous 22 games. It looks to me like the Phillies may be the only team over .500 in the NL East by the end of the season.

The Royals currently have one of the worst records in baseball at 9-20 (.310) and this is a bad thing. Cubs fans should want the Royals to contend all season so that Carlos Beltran stays in Kansas City for the remainder of this season.

My grand plan is for the Cubs to use the $9.5 million a year they are paying Moises Alou, add a few million more and sign Beltran (who currently makes $9 million) as a free-agent this winter. (This would mean moving C-Pat or Beltran to left, but would be worth it in the long haul.) However, with the Royals struggling, Kansas City will more than likely trade him to a team which will surely sign him to a long term deal. I don't think there is any way the Cubs would make that trade this year, unless Alou, Sosa, or Patterson got injured and even then, I doubt there is room in the budget for another ten million dollar player, without first clearing Alex Gonzalez ($5.75 million) and/or Moises Alou's contracts. (In my opinion these Cubs are the two most overpaid players on our roster. Alou's contract isn't bad either, its just that there should be no way he returns next year for over $5 million, he's getting old.)

If the season ended today: Angels, Red Sox, Twins or White Sox, and Rangers (Wild Card) make the playoffs from the American League. In the NL, the Dodgers, Astros, Marlins, and Padres (Wild Card) would make the NLDS. The Cubs are half a game back in the Wild Card Race, and two games back in the Central.

Posted by Byron at May 10, 2004 12:00 AM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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