Monday, December 5


No news on the Transactions front, but significant developments in Hendry's bathroom.

Welcome to post #180 on Lingering Bursitis. It's been that long, folks, and throughout it all, many things have changed. Some contributors have graduated, others build houses, one lives in Alabama. And while none of us involved, readership included, can say that we are not different now compared to 180 LB posts ago, there has been one shining constant amongst the maelstrom and evolution of our lives: The Cubs do not care.

This is a harsh way to begin a post, I concede, and who knows, maybe towards the end it will get sunnier. But right now, given a couple of comments I've seen in the last couple of days, the crushing burden of pessimism (wow, that was some flowery language. Look out Verlaine, beware Joyce, for the next airy-fairy wordsmith is fast approaching) is becoming too much. Dramatic, yes. Knee-jerk, you betcha. But realistic?

The Cubs organization has enjoyed a rather uneventful offseason to date. Cedeno is 'balling to his heart's content in South America, Corey is wasting away pondering the root causes of his misery and unease at the plate, while our stalwarts like Lee and Ramirez drink and consider just what sort of squad will await them in Spring Training. Will it be a winning unit committed to the cause, or will it be the same perky troop that loses focus and slowly wanes in the heat of increasingly difficult Wild Card chases? Will we see the team that sticks it to St. Louis, or keeps losing those roadtrips to Arizona and Colorado?

We have spent Burnitz' 2006 salary on a couple of middle relievers who have shown some spark in their 30s, and we've added (or at least I think we have - last I heard was that the trade was pending a physical at the end of last week, and nothing since then) a reliable, sturdy bench player in IF/OF John Mabry. Neifi has been resigned to a modest deal, we retained the services of Rusch and held the options to Walker and Williamson while sending AAA relievers Leicester and Van Buren (why, G-d, why?) to fresh pastures.

Amongst all of these matters, we designated hapless Adam "One At-Bat" Greenberg for assignment, and did little else.

I know it's early in the offseason, but to me, time is already running extremely thin, not to mention my patience. While other NL "Nearly-Theres" have been stocking their pantry with the best of a streaky FA class, the Cubs have sat idly by. I'm not too great at this "predictions" business (read: any prediction I've ever made on this site and you'll see why), but with many teams seemingly adopting a Buyer's stance going into the Winter Meetings, just how will we fill our most important needs?

Like a kid struggling in an exam, we've filled out the easy answers and are spending the remaining minutes chewing on our pencil. Furcal has gone to the Dodgers for a lower price than expected (3 years, $39 million), and despite what many think/say, he wouldn't have been a bad signing at all. With the amount of runs he scores per year, as well as his steals and defensive range, our leadoff woes would have evaporated the minute his ink dried on the contract.

There are still options, but with the bulk of the FAs effectively gone (and please, don't say Nomar in this discussion), it's gonna take more than money now. It's going to take *gasp* prospects, and I am skeptical as to how much our old lady organization will loosen her grip on the purse strings.

Regarding the Winter Meetings, there are tons of questions still to be answered, but I'm not sure how many of them would involve Cubbie Blue:

- When will Cincinnati figure out which OFs to trade?

- Is Pierre the next victim in South Florida?

- Could the Cubs actually find a trade partner for Corey Patterson? (well that one does)

- Manny Ramirez?

Any Thoughts?


At 4:44 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Forget Manny Ramirez. If the Cubs were going to throw that kind of money around, they would have signed Nomar. And Manny wouldn't come to Chicago if his life depended on it. He'll be in Boston again next year.

The Cubs will get Juan P to play center and leadoff, and he'll be a disappointment. But we'll all get a kick out of the way he wears his hat.

Corey P may or may not move to right field. He and Juan P will have a collision that occurs so quickly that no one but the two of them will know that it even happened.

Hey, JT, where can I get some of that TP? That looks like it can really do the job.

By the way, I've never heard anyone describe James Joyce as a "flowery writer." Linguistic fireworks? Sure. A creator of characters that no one but the author could ever love? Definitely. But "flowery"? I don't think so.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger JT said...

Jim - thank you! Of course Manny won't come, but hey, it's something to be bandied about between rich bitches during the meetings. Juan P should come here. Let's be honest - the Yankees may have the cash but the Cubs have the minor league soldiers that are ready to graduate and shed that "prospect" tag. When does that happen, anyway? When does someone stop being a "prospect"? Is it like a butterfly, do they come out of a cocoon?

I hope Corey P honestly keeps on moving past right field into Waveland Avenue and beyond. But who knows.

That TP will be available shortly in the LB store, along with t-shirts, mugs, disposable razors and ball-point pens.

Yeah, you caught me on the Joyce. D'oh. My mind went blank and I couldn't think of anyone else.

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Juan Pierre should stay away from Wrigley. He doesn't have the arm nor does he have the OBP to solve our problems. Our major complaint about lead off was that we never had a guy who was on base enough. Juan Pierre's OBP is too low to remedy this ill.

Nomar's agent says he's open to the idea of playing any position but catching and pitching. SIGN HIM. (Jim brought it up first!)

I agree that neither Neifi nor Hairston should start next year. Nor should either of them bat leadoff when they do play. They're both great bench guys. With Hairston, Perez, Mabry, and Blanco we could have the best bench in baseball. What do you mean what about Macias? Well, he can play a lot of positions, so as long as he's not starting or getting too many PH at bats I'm okay with it.

At this point if we don't get Nomar then we need an awesome right fielder and another starting pitcher. Sign Nomar and all you need is a good right fielder. We'll see what happens. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, just like everyone else.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger JT said...

Yeah, I guess a career .355 OBP is really low, compared to the embarrassing riches we've had from the likes of CP (.293 OBP Career), JHJr. (.334), and Nomar (.367, bear in mind he's much more of a "slugger" than J. Pierre).

Why is everyone so opposed to this?

I have some more trade-y rumours to entertain. I'll hit those up tomorrow.


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