I can’t tell you how sick I feel right now because these jerks had me believing in them yet again only to be let down yet again. They gave up on this game in the first inning and that is just absolutely disgusting. They gave up on this series on Wednesday. Yes, there’s a few of the guys who never quit, Rich Harden for one pitched a great game and was just victimized by some more bad defensive play and bad breaks. Geo had a great year as well and unfortunately didn’t have a great post-season like he did last year. Maybe it’s because he was used too much and spent, maybe because it was a rookie trying to do too much to pick up his team. He had a great year though and of course will be back behind home next year.
This team needs to be broken up a bit, it’s not going to happen as it is currently constructed. Derrek Lee is the first guy that needs a ticket out of town. He probably has some value that you can get for him. He was so distracted this series it was disgusting and this is not the same guy who pummeled us in 2003. I found it interesting that Harden got charged for a throwing error on a play that Lee makes with no problem in any regular season game. His hitting has be virtually non-existent and he turned into Mark Grace without getting the hits, Lee needs to go. Unfortunately the free agent market is a little weak with Mark Teixeira being the only big free agent 1B out there. Maybe offer a deal to Arizona with Lee for Connor Jackson and some other players, they might bite at that.
DeRosa needs a place to play, you can’t keep doing this to this guy. Put him at second and leave him there, no more of this crap where the guy doesn’t even know where he’s playing. He’s a great player being neutralized by trying to be Mr. Utility and it’s just not fair. Kudos for never giving up as well, one of the few Cubs to have a decent series offensively and was actually up there to work a count.
I’m sorry, the Theriot thing isn’t working for me at shortstop. He’s serviceable but we’re not going to win any championships with him there I don’t think. He’s a great guy, has a great heart, but the talent just isn’t there, I’m sorry. Furcal is going to be available and maybe even Cabrera would work on a serious Cubs team instead of those screwballs on the South Side. I don’t think anyone can argue that Furcal or Cabrera are better than Theriot, he’s a spunky player but he’s a backup, nothing more.
I’m going back and forth on Aramis Ramirez because for yet another post-season he failed to show up for the most part. I’m going to give him a pass, he tried to make some things happen, probably tried to press too much when so much was going wrong in front of him, I will let him slide. Keep Rammy at third.
Do we need to say anything about the guy we have in left field? Soriano has never showed up for post-season play so he wasn’t bound to start now. I’ve been giving him a pass since we picked him up but I’m done with him now. He was god awful on all accounts and staring at that last pitch that was close enough for him to be swinging at (instead of checking and especially when he swung at everything else all series) when your team is about to get the rest of the post-season off is the perfect capper. The Cubs won’t be able to unload him without eating a lot of his salary but they should try. He is an amazing freak of nature hitting talent but he’s just too inconsistent to be any good for us. Here’s something to chew on — imagine we don’t have that kind of money tied up in left field — think Jim Hendry outbids the Dodgers for Manny Ramirez? I think he does too. Yes, huge clubhouse cancer he is, he has absolutely destroyed the Dodgers. Just goes to show you how full of crap a lot of sports writers are. Word is the Mariners clubhouse is tiring of Ichiro, so another option could be to pick him up and put him in left and give Fukudome someone to bond and get comfortable with. The Mariners need to figure out a GM first though but maybe a new Mariners GM looking to make his mark moves Ichiro.
Center field — thanks Jim Edmonds for giving your all you were a great pickup but I think we all know like Gary Gaetti you can’t be counted on next year (not like your batting average this year was that great but you were Mr. Clutch a lot, I give you that). The Cubs either need to give Pie the shot in center or unload him, plain and simple. The Cubs are weak up the middle with a fair shortstop and a cast of characters at second and center. You’re not going to win that way so the Cubs either need to give Pie his shot next year or go after Nate McClouth.
Fukudome deserves another shot in right next year (like there’s any choice with the money spent). You had to know he wasn’t going to be able to maintain the torrid pace of his first MLB season. My only beef with Lou is he sat Fukudome when he should have been starting him — against Kuroda. I’m pretty sure they have faced each other before but at the very least Fukudome understands how Japanese pitchers pitch and his slap swing is the perfect counter to the junk Kuroda was throwing (and before you go off about his velocity it was still cut fastball, cut slider junk). Oh and don’t get me started on the Cubs hacking away at the first pitch all night on Kuroda. They made him work some at the beginning of the game and then it was like they gave up on doing that just like they gave up on everything else. If you get Ichiro here I think he helps Fukudome complete his transition to MLB.
Pitching-wise I’m good, the Cubs have a great pitching staff and it was too bad to see it destroyed by the biggest choke I have seen in my lifetime defensively. Maybe if Cuban can buy the club in the off-season they make a run at Sabathia to bolster the rotation.
The defense was absolutely atrocious and without end in this series, it’s the most disgusting thing I’ve witnessed and I was on the border of being physically ill at watching it. That is not Lou Piniella’s fault, except maybe resting guys too much at the end. They took their eye off the ball, screwed up the first game and never recovered. They had the look of a deer in the headlights on virtually every play and they gave up on themselves long before we, the fans did.
I don’t know if I can ever believe in a Cub team again, this team put together one of the best records in my lifetime and despite the deficiencies I have noted here they have a solid foundation in many places. This one hurts, it hurts a lot. This season is a failure and no one can deny that now, it’s funny how there was all this talk about just getting to the World Series, we can’t even get out of the NLDS. We tried with the bulk of this team as it is currently constructed twice and failed, it needs to be shaken up and hard. I hope you’re listening Jim Hendry, you’ve done a great job but you can’t get attached to some of these guys, they need to go.
Plain and simple, money should be no object with this Cubs team. The first Cubs team to win a World Series in more than a hundred years is going to be worth its weight in gold, it doesn’t matter what the payroll is. So here’s hoping Mark Cuban buys the Cubs and tells Jim Hendry to ignore the balance sheet, he wants to win Yankee style.