Monday, February 27, 2006

Yes, I'm insane...

This is historically the best time of year for the Cub’s fan: Before they actually start playing. Last year I attended, at great expense, a large number of games, and saw just a crapload of horrible, horrible baseball.

Even so, and while entirely broke, I took the chance to pick up a great ticket package on eBay. This guy was selling night game packages, with a starting bid below what they would cost at face value with the normal ticket fees , and I got the group I wanted: 4 tickets each for 6 Tuesday night games, May through September. For some reason none of that guy’s other packages sold, which is dumb. Hell, you could have bought a batch of night game tickets and easily resold them at twice face value at Which I might have done if I weren’t so cash poor right now.

So anyway, I’m set for the season, with pretty good seats for six night games, and bleacher seats for two other night games, one in June, the other the last game of the season, in September. It would be nice to think that last game will feature 40,000 plus people celebrating an upcoming post-season run. Hey, (slightly) weirder things have happened.

Actually, of course, I don’t except a play-off berth, but I do have solid hopes of seeing decent baseball, which I most definitely did not see last year. Here’s why:

We greatly solidified our horrible bullpen from last year by adding two good set-up men.

LaTroy Hawkins is gone, and Ryan Dempster, who was a great closer for the last part of the season last year, has the job from the beginning this year.

The worst player I’ve ever seen, Corey Patterson, is gone, baby. Gone. Enjoy your last year or two in the majors, Corey, and save your money. You’ll be surprised how little you make at Office Depot.

We have a lead-off hitter, and one who steals tons of bases. Our lead-off hit last year was Corey Patterson, who provided the single worst batting average (for someone with over 425 at bats) in team history last season. And the Cubs have been around since like 1870.

We still have Derrek Lee and Carlos Zambrano on our team.

Of course, there are still a lot of holes, and I’ll be surprised if we get mostly full years from Kerry Wood and Mark Prior (although Prior has more been the victim of freak injuries). If either is down, again, for an extended period, we’re screwed.

Still and all, that still (on paper) adds up to much better ball. We’ll see.

On the other hand, we still have Dusty Baker as our coach. Here’s a real life story from yesterday’s Baltimore Sun: ”Baker: O's should stay open to idea of Hawkins as closer”.

That’s O’s as in Orioles, who aside from Hawkins (whose career Baker basically trashed by trying over and over and over again to force him to be a closer, a role he completely sucked at), have picked up Patterson. Watch for that team to make a World Series run this year.

Anyway, can this headline be far behind: “Baker: O’s should stay open to the idea of Patterson as lead-off hitter.”

The good news, should we suck again this year, is that it will make sure Baker isn’t extended. So I must admit, I’m kind of conflicted.

Anyway…Play ball!!


At 5:33 PM, Anonymous andy80 said...

Don't be so hard on Patterson, its not his fault they started testing for steroids :p

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous jurb said...

Don't forget Aramis Ramirez, that guy can rake.

I have to admit, it's this time of year that I fully partake of the Cubbie cool-aid. Despite the fact that it seems that Kerry Wood absolutely, positively cannot be relied upon (and who knows what is going on with Mark Prior), I still remain cautiously optimistic.

Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno, so far, appear to be legit major league players. The bullpen looks to be a whole lot improved over last year. And even if they tank, it will most likely mean the end of Johnny B. Baker (and possibly James F. Hendry).

So while I want the Cubs to do well, if they don't, at least we can hope they might get it right with the next managerial regime...wishful thinking, I'm sure.


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