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Prescient Cub fan of the Year

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Cubs lost a big game today. We entered the day with the opportunity to put the Astros 2.5 games in back of us, and instead the Astros are only half a game back, while the Cubs find themselves 1.5 games behind the Reds. Roy Oswalt shut down the Cubs offense by throwing a three-hitter, and Carlos Zambrano had a rough outing, allowing 4 runs in 5 innings. The offense is struggling pretty badly, but there isn't much that can be done short of a trade. The Cubs bench players, who have decided they will be known as "the lemons" are starting to show a bit of everyday play fatigue.

Derrek Lee's swing looked very good today. Although Lee went 0-3, he seems to have evened out his swing, and reduced the uppercut. The balls that he has been popping up were simply fly-balls today. I think D-Lee is about to start crushing some baseballs. Also wondering, why Derrek Lee is hitting behind Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez is supposedly a breaking ball hitter, and Lee a fastball hitter. It would stand to reason then that Ramirez should hit behind Lee so that Lee would see more fastballs. Well, I'll ask Paul Sullivan.

I was thinking the other day about the Cubs pitching depth. The Tribune ran an article second guessing Jim Hendry's trade of Juan Cruz to the Braves for Andy Pratt and a minor league outfielder, Richard Lewis. Although I agree that the trade doesn't look so wonderful right now, I am not losing any sleep over it. However, it got me thinking about the Cubs pitching depth and marveling at Jim Hendry's foresight once again.

I had/have been saying since last July that the single biggest free agent the Cubs could sign during the 2003 off-season was Ivan Rodriguez. When Hendry signed Maddux, with the money I wanted him to spend on Pudge, I was disappointed and felt that the Maddux signing wasn't the best use of the spare budget room. (Think about a lineup with Ivan Rodriguez instead of Damian Miller... think about Pudge's defense). However, with the recent spate of injuries I now see Hendry's genius again. While Pudge has turned around the Tigers, and would have looked fantastic in the middle of the Cubs order, a rotation of Zambrano, Clement, Mitre, Rusch, and Juan Cruz would look significantly worse than our injury riddled rotation.

Speaking of the Cubs rotation, I saw some Cubs memorabilia on-line today that disappointed me. The plaque read "four of a kind" and included pictures of Wood, Prior, Maddux, and Clement. I want to know why Carlos Zambrano can't get any respect? Zambrano has been the staff ace so far this year, and didn't exactly have a bad campaign last year. Oh man, I can't wait til the Cubs get healthy and can start our big five right in a row. Prior, Wood, Zambrano, Clement, Maddux... sure would be nice. Best possible date for that to occur would be about June 5th, but not until about June 15th.

I think I am going through the five stages of mourning, and have now reached acceptance.

I filled out an All-Star ballot Today... and was suprised at some of the guys I voted for, but I picked those I thought were having the best season to date, (Barry got the nod over Pat Burrell, because he is Barry.)

CI. Rodriguez, DET. J. Estrada, ATL
1BT. Martinez, TBA. Pujols, STL
2BA. Soriano, TEX M. Loretta, SD
3BA. Rodriguez, NYY S. Rolen, STL
SSM. Young, TEX J. Wilson, PIT
OFV. Guerrero, ANA J. Pierre, FLA
OFC. Beltran, KCL. Berkman, HOU
OFM. Ramirez, BOSB. Bonds, SF

I won my first baseball award last week, although it isn't much to write home about (but the website's another thing.)

Ask Paul Sullivan
May 19, 2004
How is Sammy's achilles feeling? I noticed he's not getting much air on his home run hop this year... and that's a shame. Is he about to join Grudzielanek (and he who must not be named, you know, Voldemort) on the DL? --Byron Clarke, Bloomington, Ind.

Byron, you win the award for prescient Cub fan of the year, sending this e-mail last week before Sammy even thought about sneezing. Sammy is now on the DL, though his Achilles' heel is his back, not his Achilles.

Posted by Byron at May 25, 2004 12:00 AM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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