Hello again, everybody. It has been awhile since I have filled your Friday with free factoids, phenomenal fun and fruitful fanaticism. Man, I love Phonics.
Now that I have gotten the alliteration out of the way, it is time to talk about the Cubs, the Winter Meetings, the huge Ruggiano pickup, and … well … ummm … all of the other … um, nothingness of the Cubs current offseason.
It was very quiet for the Northsiders down in Orlando. Then again, I think this is what we all thought would happen. However, deep down, I thought something bigger would materialize. Now that I said that, I bet the Cubs trade Samardzija between the time this is posted and the time you read it.
Speaking of time, let’s not waste any more of it, instead, let’s go Rambling …
- Junior Lake, Ryan Sweeney, Nate Schierholtz and the Italian Stallion … well, I was taught that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I should not say anything at all.
- Then again, if people followed that rule, blogs wouldn’t exist. Nor would “your mother’s basement.” Relax, it’s just a fun stereotype.
- Okay, let me put this City of Chicago/Cubs rebuilding Wrigley thing into perspective … my perspective. Chicago is basically broke. Chicago needs money. Wrigley produces the largest amusement tax in the state. So, the City of Chicago gives the Cubs a few breaks, relaxes restrictions, changes a few regulations and becomes an ally in rebuilding Wrigley … without dropping ONE … SINGLE … DIME.
- Then the Cubs say, “Well, we need to figure out what is going on with the rooftop owners before we start.”
- Then the City says, “No, I command that you spend your money when and how we tell you. I know it is not our money, but we have the right to tell you when and how to spend it.”
- And, of course, the Cubs should take financial advice from a city on the brink of financial ruin. Keep blaming the Ricketts’ please. Keep doing so. You are siding with a city that was rated the worse financial American city coming out of the recession. But the Ricketts are the idiots, right?
- Fine, I will talk about baseball now. I guess the Cubs need a right-handed utility guy for balance, and that Ruggiano, the next coming of the Italian Stallion, is the right man for the job. Was Joe Mather not available?
- A few of the regular readers might be a bit surprised with my digs at Epstein-Hoyer given my “blind loyalty” to them. I think this Front Office team is the best we could have hoped for to turn around the franchise.
- At the same time, I am a season-ticket holder and would like to see the Cubs win a few ball games here and there. I’m not asking for much.
- I remind you, not one Cubs pitcher had a win total in the double digits last season. Not ONE.
- I have been reading the love the Front Office is bestowing upon Barney. Donnie Murphy or Javier Baez will be the starting second baseman on July 1.
- I really hope Donnie Murphy has a great season. That guy just has something. I can’t wait. Yes, I know he will be 31 on Opening Day. I know he is a journeyman. I just like the guy and think he can add something.
- There is just something about not giving up, continually pursuing your dream when all else would have given in, and then finally seeing it happen. I’m pulling for the guy.
- Speaking of Starlin, is anyone else taken aback that he had 666 at-bats last year? That CANNOT be a good “sign.”
- Given my misplaced fear, Castro will hit .318 with 21 HR and 89 RBI … along with six errors.
- Yea, the six errors part made me laugh out loud as well.
- I am so very torn on Samardzija. Part of me feels this will be his year. The year he puts it all together, can last the entire six months, has built up the proper strength, can win 14+ games with a mid-3 ERA. I know, it won’t happen.
- And unless someone blows Epstein-Hoyer away with an offer, they should hold on to him until July. If they wait, and he performs well, he would command an absolute haul midseason. And if the Cubs surprise the world and are .500, maybe The Shark gets the $80 mildo he wants.
- Welington Castillo had a .350 OBP in his first full season as a starter. Let’s not forget that. It’s impressive.
- In all of this talk about prospects, and Castro’s position and Samardzija, I haven’t thought about Anthony Rizzo in a long time. In fact, I hadn’t thought about him until I wrote this sentence.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend, and for those in the Midwest, please get outside and enjoy the balmy temperatures. I hear it is supposed to get up to the mid-20s. That is practically beach weather after the past five days. Here’s to hoping Epstein-Hoyer makes at least one or two shrewd moves before the memorable and yearly lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” ring in the New Year.
And as always …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!