Intrigue in Illinois
The Chicago Cubs returned to winning ways last night in a 5-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. I didn't see the game nor any of the boxscore, but they won -- Lee hit a HR I believe, as did Ramirez, and Corey P took note of his LB battering in registering a 2-5 night with the bat. Well done Corey. I do have some interesting possible explanations for his shoddy and unenergetic form with the bat of late: my girlfriend's mother was recently talking to a friend of hers, a well-to-do woman who just moved to Chicago, and apparently is a bit of an attractive socialite. She moved into the same building as Corey Patterson, and has supposedly enjoyed spending some time with him, on a purely social level of course, even being invited to some soirees with Patterson and friends. Could he be enjoying the night life a little too much? I doubt it, but it's a funny story nonetheless.
The one highlight I did see this morning was a ESPN top play involving a diving Neifi backhanding a ball to Walker from the turf who then turned a remarkable double play. Nice work, Neifi and Hot Rod with that one.
Trade rumours have been heating up. I've been following an MLB Trade Rumour Aggregator on Pro Sports Daily (link here) that collects all the whisperings from various daily newspapers, and more and more of today's clippings concern our Cubs. Talk is escalating about The Cubs-Austin Kearns connection, a man who was batting .225 with 50 strikeouts in 52 games (although Dunn still thinks very highly of him), although the more curious link concerns a recently-departed Cubbie, Moises Alou.
Alou is apparently being dangled by the Giants as a man to trade, and the fact that he was highly regarded in the Cubs dugout means that he might well bounce back to us. This story was broken by Steve Stone and subsequently by all the other Chicago dailies, although it seems a little far-fetched.
Initial talks with Rockies OF Preston Wilson are currently faltering a little, as the Cubs are reluctant to part with the IF prospect Ronny Cedeno (someone that they covet, but keep in the minors while awful veteran IFs like Macias and Wilson clog up roster space) as part of the deal.
Other solid LF/OF players should come available, the most likely being Mets CF Mike Cameron, Athletics OF Mark Kotsay and the Devil Rays LF Aubrey Huff -- Hendry has mentioned time and again that the LF position is by far their top priority, and with every passing day, the Cubs seem more and more likely to trade for a powerful and versatile LF/OF who can fill that spot.
So what does that mean for Dubois and Hollandsworth? It's tough to say, as it's really hard to get a gauge of what these teams would want in return for one of those reasonably solid OFs. One would think pitching, and not a straight LF-for-LF swap -- I have no clue who we would offer up. I think it's safe to say that Joe Borowski is definitely on the block, although with his failing pitch repertoire, it seems unlikely that Joe-Bo would be satisfactory in return. Rich Hill? Mitre? Koronka? Patterson? Dubois? Macias?
It is all quite confusing, but that website definitely makes for interesting reading in these trade-talks times.
CHC: RHP Jerome Williams • 0-2, 6.48 ERA in 2005 • 0-1, 10.80 ERA vs. MIL in 2005
MIL: RHP Victor Santos • 2-6, 2.87 ERA in 2005 • 0-0, 2.31 ERA vs. CHC in 2005
Jerome "Grill n' Thrill" Williams takes the hungry Wisconsin mound tonight, and we get to hear what he's made of (except for you lucky devils with WGN and the like).
Santos was good in his first start against the Cubs in 2005, throwing 6 2/3 innings and giving up 1 earned run on 6 hits while striking out 6 and walking 3. Let's see how he fares tonight against "Mr. Grill" Williams.