Thursday, July 16, 2009

Random Number of Random Thoughts

1. All-Star Week Needs Steroids
Gone are the days of 600 foot homer after 600 foot homer in the derby. It just wasn't as much fun to watch this year. Sure Prince hit some bombs, but six shouldn't be the winning round in my world. The game itself was really boring too. At least it was a quick boring game instead of the trash we saw least year.

2. BJ Ryan Signs
Toronto released their struggling former closer last week, and the Cubs were able to pick him up today. He will go to Mesa for some time and then work in AAA until the Cubs think he's ready. This is a nice, low-risk move that will only cost the Cubs about 400K. If Ryan regains some of his old form he can really help the bullpen out, and if he continues to suck, then they can cut his butt loose.

3. Rich Harden the rest of the way
I was as happy as anyone to see Harden have a good start tonight at Washington, but he has to find a way to pitch like that at home. It isn't acceptable to be unable to pitch well in a place where you play half your games. 
Still one has to hope Harden can keep doing what he did tonight. First pitch strikes and efficient use of pitches. Rather than trying to miss as many bats, just make those bats make bad contact. 

4. Derrek Lee
After another homer tonight I have to say again how wrong I was about Lee being done. Hopefully he remains hot until somebody else can get going.

5. Alfonso Soriano
The division title lies in the hands of Soriano. Reading that sentence probably leads about 90% of Cubs fans right to the bottle. Don't worry though, Soriano has done it before. In 2007 he basically won the damn thing himself with a 14 homer month. 
I know I probably have a bit too much faith in Soriano, but I really do think he can turn this thing around. Like it or not he is equally important to this offense as Aramis Ramirez. Like it or not this team depends on him in order to make the playoffs, and probably holds the key to the Cubs being successful in the playoffs too.

6. Aramis' shoulder
Watching him since his return he just doesn't look healthy. I know I said not to worry when he doesn't have his power for a couple weeks, but there seems to be about 3 swings a night where he looks like he's in serious pain. Greg was suggesting he might want to shut it down and get the surgery if he's still in so much pain. If he still looks like this in 10 days, I might be more likely to agree, and even now it isn't the worst idea.

7. Phillies should be an interesting series
I feel like the Cubs never beat the Phillies. I'm pretty sure the numbers would support that, so I don't really know how successful the Cubs will be when they play them, but it will be nice to see how we stack up against them.
Rich Harden facing Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Raul Ibanez doesn't sound like much fun though.  

Not my best effort this week, but with the All Star break going on there wasn't much going on in my baseball world. Next week there will be a much better effort. 

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