Can You Smell It

In my younger years, I was a fan of pro wrestling, okay, so maybe I still watch every now and again. One of the most popular wrestlers of the past 20 years was “The Rock”, and he would come out and yell, “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking!” Well that line always got me going, and in the spirit of the Rock, I am here to ask you this, “Can you smell what The Hendry is cooking!” Can you smell it, I hope so, it is the smell of excitement.

Yes folks, the most awful season in recent memory is almost over, just three more games. I heard during the broadcast last night that Dusty Baker has made more pitching changes this year than any other team EVER in the HISTORY of baseball. Wow, I knew it was bad, but there is not an adjective to describe this season, in fact there are not five adjectives in a row that could describe this season. Go ahead and try, let me know if you figure something out. However, as I said, there are only three more games and then it is time to turn on that dial in the kitchen and get the ‘Hot Stove’ cooking. This is the excitement I am referring to, what is Hendry going to get cooking on his Hot Stove this off-season? Well….I do not know either, but I am excited.

The off-season means the previous season is mercifully over, it means that it is time for a fresh start, it means that ‘Next Year’ is just that much closer. For months baseball pundits have discussed the Cubs needs and the fans have discussed the Cubs wants. This is the issue, where is Hendry going to land. Last off-season he addressed two glaring deficiencies in the bullpen and the leadoff spot and he paid a good deal to achieve the goal. If Hendry is as successful fixing the starting rotation as he was with the bullpen, he will make me happy. With only two viable Major League starters coming back (Zambrano and Hill) and possibly two former pitchers (Miller and Prior), Hendry has to sign at least one, if not two quality Major League starters.

As for the offense, we need a bat, and we may need a centerfielder, in fact, we may also need a third baseman. If he secures the hot corner, he has done something, but he gave up Ricky Nolasco to get JP. If JP walks away, Mr. GM looks awful, so count on “The Hendry” to sign Pierre for a few more years. After all of that the Cubs are still the same offensive ball club. Soriano, C. Lee, Marcus Giles, these are just a few names continually posted on this site. The Hendry has so many options, who knows what will happen and that is why it is cool. We don’t know what will happen, because for the past four and a half months, we knew what was going to happen, the Cubs were going to lose. Now, we can read the baseball blogs and listen to the sports shows and hope and dream of the next big Free Agent signing or a blockbuster deal. Anyone else smell a ‘sign and trade’ involving A-Ram for A-Rod?

Now that a putrid, nauseating, vomit-covered, despicable and pathetic season comes to a long awaited end, it is time to move upward and onward. There are only four and a half months left before pitchers and catchers report and by my watch that means we have 135 days of rumors and reports to anticipate. Heck, the convention is less than four months away and you know Hendry has to have something done by then, if not, count on a mysterious absence. I take that back, don’t count on it because it will not happen. Though he has failed, Hendry has never made excuses. He stepped up, said he did not do nearly enough, and moved forward. He avoided an awful scene this summer by not firing Baker, and he unloaded Walker, Maddux and Nevin at the deadline. In one of those deals he got a man who could start at SS for the next 10 years. Even though I am standing up for him, this is his last chance, which is why I am so excited to see what happens. This winter, while you are sitting around on a Tuesday night, if you catch a whiff of that sweet smell emanating from the kitchen, hop on your computer, pull up the CCO and see how the Cubs just got better. It may not happen this Tuesday or next, but there are plenty of Tuesdays to go until Spring!

Thanks for reading, feel free to drop me a line at brian@chicagocubsonline.com, and until next time….

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!!

Quote of the Day

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
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