GROTA End of the Year Roundtable: Part 3
Sorry for the delay of Part 3 of our epic Roundtable. Today's focus is on the lackluster 2010 Cubs. Sit back and enjoy. Part 4 will be up tomorrow.
3. What was your biggest disappointment in 2010, other than wins and losses?
A.J.: It was sad to see the team fail to innovate in the first two months, as Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez continued to struggle. And in Aramis’ case, it was worse than a struggle — the man just looked lost. I wonder how Byrd, Soriano and Soto would have responded if they were asked to hit, say, 3-4-5 while Aramis took his two weeks on the DL.
Sayers40: I was mildly upset about our first round draft pick. I realize that this isn’t something we really know about yet, but Hayden Simpson just seemed like such a leap and my feeling is that the future of this team is tied up in the ability to develop young talent coupled with going after free agents. I am very skeptical about the future of Simpson with the Cubs. I’m rooting for him, but as #1 draft picks go, I’d rather have had Anthony Ranaudo but that’s just me.
Rob: I had assumed Randy Wells was the kind of mentally tough pitcher that would hone his craft and take a step forward in his third season. I had also assumed that Carlos Zambrano had finally regulated his online computer usage, his consumption of water, and now that his oldest daughter was watching the games and starting to feel embarrassed about her father's antics, that he would finally function as an adult and perform accordingly.
The biggest disappointment, though, in my expectations for the Cubs continues to be Alfonso Soriano. Many people forget that in 2006 he put up one of the all-time great statistical seasons, which is why he was given so much money for so long a period. Each year since then, he has dealt with leg issues, and my hope is always that he is going to show up one of these years healthy and hungry and put up one more historical season. I am now 100% convinced that it will never happen.
Mike: Geo Soto's continued inability to stay healthy. Love the bat, but he's got to be able to get more than 340 AB.
Kurt: I was frankly crushed by the resurgence of Carlos Zambrano. I really thought the guy was about two weeks away from ripping the foul poles apart with his bare teeth, and he had to disappoint us all by rebounding and giving us the most promising 1/4 of a season he's perhaps EVER had. Where's the drama? The hijinx and hilarity? The bamboozles and tom-foolery? I just don't get Carlos anymore!
Peter: The Carlos Zambrano Debacle. Big Z traditionally just gets lit on opening day. Like clockwork, he gets lit up and the team hits the panic button and throws him in the pen soonafter. I just hated how all of it was handled from the get-go. That being said, maybe it did some good with how he ended the season.
Yarbage: Jim Hendry's inability to get value from some of the guys when they are playing well. Hendry could have dealt Kosuke Fukudome when he was red-hot in May, but held onto him. Maybe, I'm naive in thinking he could have dealt him, but I think a lot of teams would have given him a chance if Hendry would have eaten most of the money for 2010. It's kind of like already spent money, so why not move him and open up a spot for Colvin. Other than that, it's the fact that Jim Hendry is getting a third chance at a rebuild. I think the Cubs are years off from actually contending for a title.