Let us speak of who is out
I guess Milton Bradley is out, after all.
The time is coming, and soon, when we will all have nothing else better to do but to sit here and figure out what Jim Hendry needs to do before next April. I am making a promise to all here, today:
I will never again stump, rail on, beg or otherwise endorse the acquisition of a player for the Cubs.
The reasons are simple: I suck at it, because I don't "scout" the rest of the league. See, I loved playing baseball as a kid, and I loved watching it as a kid. Since then, I don't play much baseball, and I also don't watch much baseball. I only watch baseball games that involve the Cubs, so the only experience I have in seeing 'other' players is when they hit against Cubs pitching, or pitch against Cubs hitting. In most cases, this tends to reflect on opposing players more favorably than they deserve to be.
In my mind, the most valuable players in the league are Hunter Pence, Ryan Ludwick, and Jayson Werth. They just wear our ass out. Oh, and PooHoles. Can't forget him. When I go look at their stats, they're not the best players in the league, not by a long shot. Could have fooled me.
What I will do this winter is talk about who should go. It appears that Cubs management is going to go ahead and choke back the $21 million they still owe Bradley. It also appears they have no desire to bring back Rich Harden. Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster, Big Z, Randy Wells, they're all gonna take their turns. Tom Gorzellany and Jeff Samardzija will make starts before the season ends. Lou appears to be done with Harden.
Rich has been quite healthy, for him, this year, still logs lots of strikeouts, is still hard to hit, and still has an ERA of 4, which is league average. So why is Lou through with him? Could be the low number of innings pitched per average start, a Harden start automatically means a busy night for the bullpen. Could be whispers of the type of salary he expects for 2010? Or, according to several comments made by beatwriters, that Harden finishes third (a distant third, but still) in the Most Crazy category in the clubhouse behind Bad Milton and Zambrano. The writers do not elaborate on the basis behind their ranking, outside of the conclusion that he only likes to pitch when it is dark and cold, a conclusion that I always considered to lack intellectual rigor.
But, if you're going out to buy a Cubs jersey today, steer clear of the #40, unless it is on super-mega-closeout-clearence. And, even then, steer clear. Nothing dorkier than wearing jerseys of ex-Cubs, unless they are retired numbers like 10, 14, 23, 26 or 31.