Rambling About the Cubs Home Away From Home
Hello again, everybody. It has been one of the better weeks for the Cubs in recent memory. They won not one, but two road series in a row. TWO. ROAD. SERIES. IN. A. ROW. The Cubs turned Philly and Miami into their home away from home and finished the road trip 5-5. For a team with the second-worst record in the league, a 5-5 road trip is the equivalent of a potential wild card berth.
There is plenty to discuss this fine Friday as a lengthy homestand begins so lets get down to it and swap some seriously stimulating stats, and then some.
- The Cubs low-balled Samardzija. He said no. The Cubs offered him the money he has earned, but not the money some believe he has the potential to command.
- Again, he has never had a full season of dominance. He has never had a full season where he pitched like an ace from April through September. He has never proven he is a number 1.
- I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to rationalize spending $115 million on a guy who hasn’t proven it.
- Finally, don’t get me wrong. I love the Shark. Heck, as you all know, I went to Notre Dame. I freaking love the guy, but he has to prove he is an ace to be paid like an ace.
- Joke of the week: How do you know a guy went to Notre Dame? Don’t worry, he will tell you.
- Apparently there are other players on the Cubs outside of Samardzija. Maybe I will talk about some of them now.
- I was very happy to see Kris Bryant get called up to AAA. I have to imagine that Baez’s early-season struggles were a large part of that decision. Baez raked all season and was kept in the same place. Bryant was matching his numbers. It just makes sense to move him up.
- Welcome to the Chicago Cubs Farm System, Kyle. Nice to have you. Please stop in and say hi while flying up through the system. And there you have it … the jinx is officially in.
- Again, for the third or fourth week in a row, trade Hammel now. Every week his ERA rises and his value falls. Trade. Him. Now.
- Starlin has been on a tear, and it is something to behold. It is the Castro of yore, and I’m lovin’ it. (Yes I am attempting to combine fictional periods of history with fast food slogans. And I am succeeding … in my mind)
- Castro is on pace for approximately 24 homers, 90 RBI and a .295 average. That would be amazing.
- And then there is the ‘Riz. Dude is going to hit 30 homers with 90 RBI and calm the fears of all the doubters who already broke ground on the Andrew Cashner Wing in Cooperstown.
- Junior Lake has so much raw power and talent. Someone needs to harness it. If this guy can learn to hit .275, he will be a huge bonus. He has serious athleticism, 35-plus homer power, and the ability to steal 30-40 bases a season if coached properly.
- Ricky, please get on this … NOW.
- Don’t get me wrong, I am all about the “Core Four” and the recent draft picks, but Junior Lake is the one guy who is actually with the Big League Club now. Hitting nine homers in just over 200 at-bats shows promise.
- Again, Ced Landrum stole like 74 bases in 12 games one year as well, so I probably have no idea what I am talking about here, but it is fun to imagine.
- The Cubs are 10-7 in June. And yes, folks, I know they won five in row, but they also had a span of losing four out of five. The point being that the club is improving, and Rizzo and Castro are progressing, not regressing. Things are moving in the right direction.
- If I were asked to predict this, I would say we would see Baez and Bryant with the Big-League Club sometime between April 20– May 15of next year. But that is just a guess. If either are called up this season, I will pay everyone who reads this column $5.
- I won’t really pay you $5, but you get my point. Someone should really challenge me on this.
- Okay, last bullet point of the ramblings … any free agent next year, pitcher or position player … who do you sign? In this case, money is no option. Who do you sign? I will refrain from answering for now, but I cannot wait to read your thoughts.
Summer officially starts tomorrow, my dad celebrated a great birthday yesterday, and Chicago is very close to getting into its “Best City in the World” this time of year mood, so for those around, get down, get up, and enjoy the greatest summer city in North America. And while you are at it, enjoy some baseball and some family.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!