Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Sure is a good thing we have Neifi

Contrary to popular perception, the look on Nomar's face here isn't because he's in pain. It's because he knows that now, Neifi will be in the lineup every day for quite a while, and like Cubs fans everywhere, he's not too happy about it.

You can go to any number of sites and read doom and gloom about the injury. I don't want to talk about it much, but only because it depresses me. Nomar's hurt, very badly. There's some speculation that he may have played his last game as a Cub. If so, what are our options?

One thing for sure, Jim Hendry won't sit on his hands for too long. Sooner or later, he'll make a move to acquire a new guy. The first thing I'd do is call up Barry Larkin. It might take him a month or so to get into playing shape, but hey, you never know, he could do an adequate job. Of course, this option is only in the event that Nomar's injury is catastrophic.

After that, I turn to Tampa. The Devil Rays are already 5-10 on the season. They're not about to win their division. Or the Wild Card. Or anything, really. And they have a group of players the Cubs would love to have.

Aubrey Huff is our heroic future outfielder. He was longed for by Cubs fans everywhere this off season, although the D-Rays refused to bite. Huff is 28, and has averaged about 32 homeruns and 105 RBI over each of the last two seasons.

Danys Baez is our closer. He's 27, has a 3.78 career ERA, and saved 30 while only blowing 3 last season.

And now, Julio Lugo is our wife-beat-er, shortstop. He's never going to be great, but he's a guy who can hit 10-15 homeruns, steal 15-20 bases, and his career batting average is .272. And he's only 29.

Ok, so we all know it won't happen. At least, not tomorrow. Maybe in June, possibly in July. But if Nomar truly is done for for the year, or even two months, Hendry needs to act.

If I was Jim, I'd do whatever it takes to get those three players. I'd send them a package including Jason Dubois, John Leicester, Billy Petrick, Sean Marshall, Renyel Pinto, Sergio Mitre, hell, I'd even throw in Felix Pie or Brian Dopirak.

Yes, that's definitely the equivilent of repeatedly slapping the Big Red Panic Button.

But hey. Like the Sloth says, this is a small window of opportunity that we have here. The Cubs are set. They have amazing starting pitching. They have very talented hitters. They could even have a good bullpen, if LaTroy wasn't the closer! If the Cubs are going to win the World Series this year, they're going to have to panic a little. Overpay for some major league talent. Part with some of the best prospects in the farm system.

Because if July 1st rolls around with Hollandsworth and Perez in the every-day lineup, we're screwed. Simple as that, we're screwed.

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