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All Pinzur, All The Time

Monday, August 02, 2004

Garciaparra, A Cub?

Ah the Major League Baseball's Official Trade Deadline came and past at 4 PM EST on Saturday. (Waiver trades can still be made, but the players must clear waivers in order for that to occur, or be traded to the team that claims the player on waivers.)

There were a few minor trades, but only three real big trades at or near the deadline. The biggest trade of them all was a four-team deal that involved the Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Not surprisingly in modern era baseball, the trades involved some of the wealthiest teams taking proven players from small market ball clubs in exchange for prospects. The Twins and the Expos were almost forced in to making a move in order to get some value back for their players. The biggest names traded were easily, Boston SS, Anthony Nomar Garciaparra(Nomar is his father's name, Ramon, spelled backwards, for all you Jeopardy! and Sports Trivia nuts), Montreal SS, Orlando Cabrera, and Twins 1B, Doug Mientkiewicz.

For the Cubs, they get a player and a position player that they have not had success with since the retirement of Ernie Banks. And those of you who still love Sha-won Dunston, he never lived up to his expectations of being a very good hitter, but he was one of the original "Shaft" players in the league, with his cool mustache, plethora of gold chains, and the infamous Shawn-O-Meter (see this link and the original founder of the Shawn-o-meter, great stuff), that only rivaled Vince Coleman.

Not only does this give the Cubs an extra bat, as well as, not having one real weak slot in their lineup, but it hopefully injects a little life by the management into this team. The team has been winning pretty consistently, except against the hated Cardinals, but have been doing it in an almost catatonic state. Hopefully this move proves to the players that management wants to win and wants to win now. Players are coming off the injured list, most notably Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, at the right time, their arms being much fresher for the final month and a half, as well as the imminent arrival of Greg Maddux's 300th career win. Hope has been renewed and rekindled on the north side of Chicago. People's pre-season expectations, having wallowed in the earlier months of the season due to injuries and inconsistency, are rising again. There is that slight buzz beginning to roll around Chicago, not loud enough nor soft enough to get over-excited or continue the pessimistic way that is all to familiar with this team, but a sense that their time, our time, is now. Their leader, Dusty Baker, has a history of doing better in the latter stages of the season (from resting his players and getting his bench involved throughout the season, to almost falling in line with the Phil Jackson theory of having talented players on his team.)

Now, I am not one of those ridiculously optimistic that says that the Cubs will easily win the World Series nor am I one of those pessimistic Cubs fans that says that the Cubs are wasting their time, but what I am saying now is that they have a starting lineup that can rival almost any teams in baseball, and has a starting rotation as good as or better than anyone elses, and a bullpen that is getting real consistent and strong at the best possible time of the year. The big test for the Cubs will be coming up real soon, starting this Friday and that lasts nine games. They face the San Francisco Giants (currently one game behind the Cubs for third place for the Wild Card) in San Francisco, then come home and face current Wild Card-leader, San Diego Fathers (Padres), then against the newly revamped (and slightly dismantled) first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. If they come through this nine game set with an above .500 record, especially against the Giants and the Fathers, they could be in a real solid position to help themselves achieve their post-season expectations....and then who knows, maybe we will get to see the Cubs' version of Ben Affleck and the Red Sox, John Cusack, a little more often.

Go Cubs!

2 Comments:

  • That was borderline coherent until you got to the Ben Affleck crap at the bottom.

    By Blogger LiAps, at 6:53 PM  

  • Yeah, well, I think you are borderline coherent, LiAps...if that is your real name.

    By Blogger Little Pinz, at 9:02 AM  

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