Sunday, April 09, 2006

Guarded Optimism

The Cubs win 3-2 yesterday. It was the first game that I have missed all year, mainly because I drove back to Alabama last night right behind all of kinds of storms.
When I arrived home, I found out that my parents were without power and they are still without power as I sit to write this.
I was forced to watch the game on my phone because I was running around doing things and I left my XM radio receiver back in Arkansas.
Looks like the defense was less than stellar and it led to two runs for the Cards.
The Cubs get all their offense via the home run. A 2-run shot by Michael Barrett and a solo by Derrek Lee.
The Cubs take a series from the Cardinals with one game to go. That is the good news.
Are we better than I thought? Our defense says no. Can we still compete with this group? Well, if Maddux is that sharp all year, then we just got a guy that could win 18-20 games, but you have to think he will not be that sharp each time out.
The Cubs improve to 3-1 on the season and have a chance to sweep St. Louis on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. That sounds all well and good, but the Cubs are running a guy that has not pitched about AA. Sean Marshall will toe the rubber against Accused felon Sidney Ponson.
I have a cautious optimism right now. Sure, I love winning as much as the next guy. We have to remember a couple things. First, Dusty “Double Switch” Baker is still running the team. He is a move away each game to sending us to a blue flag day.
Second, the Cubs still have major holes. Jacque Jones has not at all so far and the rotation is very, very, very suspect. Geldon Rusch and Jerome Williams are in the rotation. Then, we have a rookie that has not pitched above AA. Did I say that already? Yes, but I thought it deserved another mention.
Third, the Cubs were 10-6 against the Cardinals last year. The Cardinals were the best team in the National League last season, but somehow our band of misfits was able to take 10 from them. The problem was we could not beat the teams that we should have beaten.
Fourth, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood are another injury away from really leaving us in a big hole. If we get the DL Twins back, they need to be able to say on the roster. That means no more trips to the DL for a back spasm or Marcus Giles running over a pitcher. The Cubs can’t rush these two back and see them make two or three more trips to the rehab clinic down the street.
Fifth, Dusty Baker is still the manager right now. I know I already said this as the first point, but come on he really deserves two. Yesterday the Cubs get lucky and Neifi “Bloop single” Perez gets three hits. This will only encourage Dusty even more and might even make the Cubs deal a better play in Walker. God I hope not, but anything can happen.
That being said, enjoy this moment right now. We are 3-1 and I did not see that coming.
Spring always brings new hope and right now there is plenty to go around.