Saturday, July 25, 2009

" Is it all coming together early on for the Chicago Cubs "

For the Chicago Cubs so much concern was going on within this team before the All-star break. After their 9th game there 7 of 9 in the games played since the All-star break. After today's loss for the StLouis Cardinals to the Phillie's 14-6 the Cubs are in a real possibility to take over 1st place in the NL Central by the end of the weekend.

With Five games left on this home stand you would just hope the weather continues to help their bats find the bleacher seats in the outfield. The returning of Aramis Ramirez was like a real acquisition with his big bat in the middle of the order starting to take effect.

How Long will the Bats continue to rise to the occasion or will Pinella stimulate the lineup day to day to keep the bats finding the holes up and around Wrigley field. Cubs Fans have been waiting patiently for their team to play with consistency to a certain degree and give their injured the time needed to heal before reentering the lineup. With all but one starter going on the DL thus far this team has had Big Z, Lilly, Dempster, Harden, Hart, Wells & Marshall too contribute in keeping the Cubs close or giving them the opportunity to win each and every outing they take the mound.

Ted Lilly whom is the latest casualty will ne out for a minimum of 2 weeks and Kevin Hart with the like of Sean Marshall and or Jeff Smardgia will take the reins until Ted returns.

Pitching will continue to be the key to the Cubs success. As they showed us all year that with their consistent rotation the cubs had every chance to win although the clubs bats were anemic for weeks at a time. The change outside the pitching has been the otherwise alteration to their lineups. A simple change by moving Soriano down to the 6th hole and using Fukedome in the lead-off spot really augmented this teams chances in not only hitting but driving in runs in key situations. The Cubs have the talent on and off the bench to mix and shake to equal offense. The addition of Jake Fox and Jeff Baker has indeed put again more chances to make runs. Lou Pinella has an arsenal at his right pocket.. Let's not forget the little talented Sam Fuld whom has jumped back & forth to Iowa and back. Sam has sparked this team in the few games played... and these games were important for the psyche.

We now have a fairly large # of Bullpen relievers ready to help this team when their number is called upon. Somehow I still think we will see Sam Fuld up again to help aid in specific scenario's where his bat & glove can be used early and later in ball games.

With less than one week left before the trade deadline not much is expected in the Cubs making any type of large trade. Somehow Jim Hendry has a way of using his phones to
overcome any obstacle which refrains the Cubs from getting that one body or player whom can further add stability or depth to this team. The addition of one added left handed bat off the bench and or another short lefty reliever is something I'd expect for this week is out.

The Chicago Cubs are right where they want to be and with the rite coaching along with Sharpe management, their is NO ! reason the Chicago Cubs can't not only win this division but with the NL. Some will say the Dodgers and Phillie's are the two big boys whom will win this crown. I say let the Cubs slip under the radar and use all their resources to get the job complete. I wanted to finally say the one area of concern is the 7th hole or 2nd baseman position where we are the weakest offensively. Again Mr. Jim hendry will I hope go find a replacement to fill this void and even out the chemistry in the lineup.

For the starting pitching this is if not the most solid deepest rotation in the NL assuming our
starters like Big Z, Lilly, Dempster,Harden & Wells all get back playing together...

The Bull pen has really come together with Marshall, Guzman ,Marmoul and Gregg leading the way. Heilman and Jeff Samardzija are the two that are a concern. Whether or not BJ Ryan will help pitching from the left side, we have three relievers in Justin Berg, Jeff Stevens & Kevin Hart whom can fit the need and answer the call when Pinella calls on them. Again readers the key to this team making a serious run is how there resources are inserted and the talent is put to use in at what extreme.

Baseball has it's ways of playing it's own game without notice. I suppose all anyone one can do is try and make the moves prior to avoid bad situations. Put aside Stats for a minute and just know this team is built to scorer runs and more so stop the bats from scoring them...

just go do it is the game.

The Cubs have some concern

Monday, July 20, 2009


Coming into Monday nights series with Philadelphia most fans and critics
knew that the previous 4 game sweep against the Nationals was nothing more than practice games with one of the worst teams if not the worst team in all baseball. Talking with the majority of the Cub faithful I heard how the Phillies series would test the teams integrety and character.

Lou Pinella and Jim Hendry were both scratching their heads in the first inning of game # 1 as their was two outs and Ibanez the Phillies big bat and aquistion from the off season showed his worth by sending a pitch from Ted Lilly with a count of 2-2 over the farthest part of the ball-park in Center field. How could this happen with Ted Lilly are All-Star ?

Jim Hendry must have been once again reminded of all the in-consistent moves he made in the off -season for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have had one issue followed by another thus far and spending millions on Milton Bradely really strapped his check book in correcting those errors and putting in place those players which would fine tune the make-up of this team.
Just this weekend it was written that both Jack Wilson & Freddy Sanchez were available for the rite price. Jim Hendry can quickly improve the balance of the cubs with inserting Mr. Sanchez on to this roster allowing at a blink to increase hits and runs immediately. There would be no more weakness at the 7th hole and joggling Sanchez and Fukedome/Sam Fuld in either of these spots being the 1 hole or again 7th gives Pinella alot of flexibility.

Mr. Hendry also along with other GM's around the NL can make a run after George Shirrell of the Baltimore Orioles. The numbers of this closer whom is lefty are unremarkable and with George having a spot on this roster also gets Sean Marshall back into the starting rotation or spot starts/ long relief for Pinella's Pen.

As we know the Cubs don't have a owner as of yet and the story goes on and on. Cub's fans are frustrated day in and day out as they go from one extreme to another. With NO ! owner in place can the cubs sign anyone or fill a spot which is required to allow this team to have the resources to make a big run threw this second half and possibly get past winning the NLCS ?

Really the fans of this city deserve a team whom can provide this city with the talent to just make it happen. For some reason as much as some seeing this Cubs team play well and going to win a championship, their is just not enough chemistry on a daily basis to see this threw. Their are just to many players not playing and playing not playing and playing which just causes too much interuption on this roster on a daily basis.

Let's suppose we will have a owner sometime before the end of the year, Well where will the Cubs be then. Will Jim Hendry be around ? and further will Lou Pinella resign to the fact that his days are getting old and this franchise just may need a new younger body to put this team on another track ? Lou Pinella has made many errors while key players were down and not playing like the Jake Foxe's to replace Aramis Ramirez which would have clearly with his power and Sam Fulds spray hitting would have without no doubt assisted in winning the close games we lost by one lousy run or if at the minimum won 1/2 of them which still puts this team in 1st place and easily leading this NLC.


The Chicago Cubs don't play well in Philly Land so dont expect s series win. Hope for 1 win before coming back to Chicago to take on the Reds. By months end we will know if were buyers or sellers..

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Baseball Just About Half Way in Chicago "


Whether you’re a Cub Fan or Sox fan their has to be some feeling of hope that either one of these teams or both will play well into or past the All-Star break.For the North Siders there is 85 games left and to win at least 90 games the Cubs must win 52 of the 85 game left. The Cubs are 1 game over .500 and 2.5 games back of the Cardinals. The North siders have there belovedAramis Ramirez coming back to the lineup most likely come this Monday at home against the Atlanta Braves whom are also making things interesting in the NL East. The Cubs are 22-13 at home and clearly play better close to home. Now with Reed Johnson and Angel Guzman looking to be added to the roster come Monday Lou Pinella will finally have the roster he once had since opening day. Jim Hendry has made some minimal trades to beef up the bench. Jeff Baker the recent acquisition from the Rockies is someone whom can play the whole field just as Mark Delrosa did but doesn’t have the numbers as Mark has. Jeff has had dome injuries this year but is fine and took hit first at bat off the bench against the Brewers Friday afternoon but was unsuccessful hitting a soft grounder to second base. With the ownership quest coming to end here soon the Chicago Cubs will have the Ricketts family to overlook many of t his teams interests come early August if all goes as planned. This Cubs team doesn’t look to make many trades before the July trade deadline except for pitcher Rich Harden whom I predict will be gone being in a contract year . The Cubs will have to refer to their Triple A talent to help overcome any needs or weakness’s. We all know the cubs up to this point have been just a average team at best and are still trying to identify whom they really are. Most Cub fans are hoping we will see this club finally play with the capabilities they show on paper and the way they did in spring training. Baseball is a game of adjustments and variables. Chemistry is key in baseball and let’s see if the warms winds of Chicago summer will activate their gloves and bats.

Now let’s talk South side and the Chicago White Sox.
It wasn’t just a few weeks ago that the White Sox were struggling with pitching and inconsistent hitting.
Much was talked about how the Sox may be trading Jermayne Dye among others needed to help stabilize this team and improve it.
Funny as baseball is Pitching is the key in baseball and really when the sox sent Jose Contreras down to Triple A to find his arm and Alexi Ramirez benched as he wasn’t finding the little white ball the Sox were so close in reinventing their team. Injuries have been some of an issue with the Sox with mostly Carlos Quentin having feet trouble, however he is making his way to the roster after his minor league assignment is complete. Thankfully Scott Podsednik has been the firing stick in driving this team out of there funk. Since April 14th when coming to Chicago he has been a blessing just hitting the ball at will. Scott is hitting a strong batting a solid.317 and playing a strong outfield. The Sox for most of the spring were trying to find a go to lead-off hitter but Ozzie couldn’t get the production he expected. Now going back to May 18th the Sox were in trouble and Kansas City and Detroit were going strong 1 and 2. The Sox were 15-22 in the standings and 5.5 games back of the pack looking to just tumble. Baseball is a crazy game and with Kenny Williams using some of their young talent such in Gordon Beckham, the Sox have turned things around going 27-16 since then and now sitting by themselves in 2nd place behind the Detroit tigers only 2.5 behind. Again as mentioned what sparked this team was an implosion of good hitting and Quality Starts. The White Sox starting rotation especially Glavine Floyd has definitely gotten it done recently after starting slow and with good steady pitching from Danks, Buehrle and Contreras with come threw hitting has given this Sox team a chance to win daily..The Sox Since playing in the cross-town classic have seen to amplify there game but saying that the Sox play in the weakest division in the AL . The white sox will be tested once they play teams outside their own division where the competition goes up a whole lot !! once the sox prove they can bring their A game to all the American League and play well, then watch out for this Team as they will have a chance to make a run into post-season.

Both Chicago teams have different teams and require much more depth form specific areas of there rosters. With just about half of the season completed both teams are finding themselves closer to being good teams.