Series Preview: Cubs vs. Padres
Unless you're the Yankees or Red Sox, years like this one are bound to happen. Especially if your team is managed by a doof who can't draft, and who throws piles of money -- and no-trade clauses -- at every swinging dick in the major leagues.
Actually, if this year teaches us anything, it should be that the Cubs need to renovate the holy hell out of Wrigley Field. (Purists, this is your opportunity to leave the blog.) Fans love Wrigley, but players hate it. The training facilities are a joke. The clubhouse is as cramped as a Cold War submarine. Consequently, the best players in baseball aren't inclined to play at Wrigley Field.
I have always felt that compromises can be made. The Cubs can, theoretically, gut Wrigley Field but leave it aesthetically pleasing. This is something that perhaps needs to happen soon, or else we'll continue to have these down years where the teams' expensive, untradeable, excessively OLD veterans drag the team down like an anchor.
Monday, August 16th -- Tom Gorzelanny (6-6, 3.65 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (9-7, 4.86 ERA)
If the Cubs don't get swept, it's because Tom Gorzelanny pitches respectably, while Kevin Correia relies on the success of the team which surrounds him. Gorzo -- who, by no means am I advocating for in 2011 -- has pretty much done everything the Cubs have asked of him these last two years. Correia's really nothing special.
Tuesday, August 17th -- Randy Wells (5-10, 4.60 ERA) vs. Jon Garland (11-8, 3.41 ERA)
Probably two months ago, I posted a comment about Wells being, potentially, a one-year wonder. Sayers responded with a responding disagreement.
Well, it's too early to say. Just ask Geovany Soto, who went from being a Godsend to a one-year-wonder to a resoundingly effective catcher, one of the best in the league. But, so far, Wells has severely disappointed us. He's been inconsistent at best.
Jon Garland, meanwhile, could've been a Cub this whole time. Just saying.
Wednesday, August 18th -- Casey Coleman (0-0, 8.64 ERA) vs. Clayton Richards (10-5, 3.80 ERA)
Regarding Casey Coleman: who?
A guy goes on a road trip for two weeks, and when he gets back Geo Soto is on the DL and Casey Coleman is starting for the Cubs? WTF? Considering how effective Clay Richards has been, I wouldn't exactly count on the Cubs to win this one...
Thursday, August 19th -- Carlos Zambrano (4-6, 5.27 ERA) vs. Mat Latos (12-5, 2.32 ERA)
This game should be an excellent learning opportunity for Latos. If he wants to see how the pros throw fits and violently lose their tempers, then Carlos is the mentor for Mat.
Confession time: sometimes I look at the young talent around the league and I feel real envy. I realize that Starlin Castro is doing great (although his crunchy numbers are lacking), and that Tyler Colvin is on pace to hit 25 homers (altho' he's barely batting Geovany Soto's weight), and that Wellington Castillo has finally been given the call. But, still, the Cubs seem lacking in the young, exciting players like Latos. Maybe I'm just being grouchy.
Either way -- can the Cubs possibly win this series? I sorta hope not. It'll take a minor miracle, but my fingers are crossed for a really, really good draft pick...