Saturday, June 27, 2009

The First Ever TCB Contest and A Mini-State of the Cubs

So I'm about to disappear for a couple of weeks while I go enjoy Maui. Before I leave though I want to start a TCB contest, this one called "When Will Hawk Use One of the Seven Words?" For those who don't know the seven words you can't say on TV, here is an explanation. The thing is, Hawk has started yelling "Hell yes" when the Sox do something good, combine that with a general increase of Hawk being Hawk this year, I'm convinced he is using one of the words on the air this season. 

Leave your guess in the comment section and I'll setup a sidebar with all the guesses. Winner gets nothing, but you do get to hear Hawk swear on air. My guess- August 30.

On to the Cubs who lost today 8-7, and now sit tied for third with the Reds 3.5 games out of first. Aramis took BP the last two days and should go out on a minor league rehab assignment this week. That means he could be back very soon, the moment we have all been waiting for. Of course he will get one or two hits the first week back so don't get too excited.

The starting pitching is sagging a bit recently, and the bullpen is horsecrap, and the hitting hasn't gotten better. The good news is the rest of the NL Central isn't good either. The Cubs should be able to make a good run at winning the division and making the playoffs for the third season in a row. 

If Carlos Marmol can find himself, Angel Guzman can get back healthy, and Kevin Gregg can not blow so many saves the bullpen should be okay. Just keep Heilman and Patton out of the game. Ascaino and Kevin Hart will probably shift with a cast of others from AAA all season. 

The starters should be fine. Z will be Z, Ted will be Ted, and Dempster will be Dempster. You know what you will get out of them in the long run. Randy Wells seems to be legit as a starter, but I don't know for sure yet. Rich Harden is a crapfest of suck that has to be injury related. That or we need Pedro here to split starts with Harden.

On offense Derrek Lee seems to have his stuff figured out at first, the Fontenot/Blanco combo will hold second down. Same with Theriot at short and Aramis at third. I would expect a major drop in Aramis' power this season, but hopefully he can drive runners in. Jake Fox seems like he can play a respectable third, and fill in left and right which means he should be here to stay. Same with Micah Hoffpauir, he can play the corner outfield spots and first base. Plus he hits left handed which means Lou will never let him go.

The outfield is a disaster right now. I'll probably never freak out about Soriano, but he needs to pick it up. Fukudome isn't good, and he shouldn't play after May 31. Milton is going to start hitting more, though his left handed hitting seems hopeless. Reed Johnson will have the centerfield job more and more after he comes back from the DL

The pieces are there, and I can hope Jim Hendry gets whatever guy he thinks he needs to get. When I get back to Chicago on July 9 I'm thinking that the Cubs will be in a solid position.

As I finish writing this the Cardinals traded for Mark DeRosa, which honestly doesn't bother me. Jim Hendry's big mistake now right under his nose. If that is the only move St. Louis makes, then the Cubs are still by far the best team. 

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