Hops, Speed and Uncertainty

What does jumping over a car have to do with production on the diamond?

I don’t know, either.

We are seven days away from Christmas and this offseason smells a lot like last offseason. Thankfully, The Hendry put a stop to the madness with Jake Peavy and announced it was over. Had that not happened, this would have been the Roberts redux.

Well, there may still be a Roberts redux, but you get the point.

So far this offseason has been a whirlwind of rumors and reports and speculation. The Cubs traded a coveted minor league closer for a guy one scout said was one pitch away from disaster. They let go of their closer and signed a guy with a .263 career average over five years, but in only 408 games.

The Gathright signing has people speculating that Felix Pie’s time in Chicago is numbered. The most talked about prospect since C-Pat is most likely on his way out of town. I have an issue with this.

Felix Pie DID NOT get an opportunity. An opportunity, defined by me, is at least one-half of one season playing every day, if not an entire season. This never happened. This cannot be argued. You can argue with how I define opportunity, sure. But you cannot argue that he was given ample time to develop. This is your number one prospect. This should not happen.

And why did it happen? I do not know, but I have a sinking suspicion Lou Piniella had something to do with it. People think Pie was in Lou’s doghouse. We all know that once you enter those undesirable accommodations, your career on the North Side is nearing its end.

I love Lou just as much as the next ardent fan, but I take issue with Lou “directing” Jim Hendry on a few issues. Lou is the manager. No other word meaning “not confined by specialization or careful limitation,” comes before the word manager in Lou’s title. However, it appears Sweet Lou has acted in this “general” manner a few times throughout his tenure.

Lou will be here for a few more years and then down to Tampa to live out the rest of a very successful life in baseball. Maybe he will be in the booth or maybe he will be on the beach. But, most likely, he will not be involved with the Cubs. Therefore, having his hand involved in the fate of the most hyped prospect is wrong and bad practice, especially when the fruits of his purported talents may not come to bear until Lou is long gone.

I am not arguing that Pie is better than Gathright or that the signing was a definite mistake. I am arguing that if this is the end of Felix Pie in blue pinstripes, I don’t like it. I will argue that Felix Pie is a better option with a much larger upside so I do not understand the decision. I am not a general manager nor do I play one on TV, but this seems wrong.

Much like at the end of the awful sequel “Major League 2,” if Joey Gathright jumps over the catcher and is safe at home to win the World Series, well then, I will eat my crow with a bunch of salt.

Call me crazy, but I just don’t see it happening.

Feel free to contact me at brian@chicagocubsonline.com, and until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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