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Pitchers and Catchers Report! Hope Springs Eternal! YEEEEHAAAW!
Its pretty much a beautiful day in my locale, only its cold out. I imagine the weather in Mesa, Arizona is just like it is in Bloomington, Indiana... only 70 degrees instead of 40. The sky is blue, the grass is sort of green, and the sun is out with only a few puffy clouds. Oh, I can't wait for baseball.
Anyhow, on this site I try to avoid the cliche. There are lots of other blogs and many of them cover the news of the day, and they do it well. So I try to be different. However, its time for me to weigh in on Jim Hendry's purging of the 2004 Cubs. It is not terribly original, but it is significant.
I remember a few articles sprinkled over the last two years that went to this tune: "The Cubs used to be lovable losers. Well, to get rid of the loser, they got rid of the lovable. Its not lovable when your team beats the other team, and so now when teams come to Chicago they have to worry about beating the Cubs, not where they are going to eat dinner... etc."
Despite the rhetoric, the 2003 Cubs were pretty lovable. The 2004 season on the other hand was difficult to watch. Our team trotted guys out there everyday whom I didn't like. I didn't like Moises Alou last year because he was mailing it in. I didn't like Alex Gonzalez because he cost me a World Series. I didn't like Damian 'TABLE SCRAPS!' Jackson because he was a greedy ---. I didn't like Rey Ordonez, or Jose Macias... cause they sucked. I didn't like Kent Mercker, I didn't like Mike Remlinger, I didn't like Joe Borowski, I didn't like LaTroy Hawkins, you get the drift?
The 2004 Cubs performed so far below their ability, I was almost relieved at the end of the season when they choked and missed the playoffs. Put aside for a moment that the team wore Cubs uniforms. Did you want last year's team to win a World Series? Heck no. Of course, if you put them back into Cubs uniforms, I am cheering there right next to you. But uniformless, that team may as well have been a Cardinals or Astros team.
So, during this offseason, Jim Hendry who is some form of a deity overhauled the organization.
He got rid of guys I didn't like, and only one or two that I did... I liked Matt Clement, and now wished we had kept him since we failed to sign a big free agent... sorry Henry Blanco.
OK, I'm rambling. I'll cut this short. I am glad that I can wholeheartedly root for this team. I want to see guys hustling, playing fundamentals, and trying to win games without relying on the long-ball.
I just don't think this team has the talent. We have a chunck of cash we can spend, and I expect a prominent mid-season acquisition, but I don't think we have the talent to make the post season just now. What do we need? We need to overachieve. We need to be lovable winners, or just winners. I just don't know.
I guess that is why pitchers & catchers report. You've got to play out the string, because all the statistics on paper only amount to half of a dead rainforest. Its spring, its cold up north and warm down south. Lets get out the bats, balls, and gloves and get to work.
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