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   1. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 17, 2010 at 05:21 PM (#3462088)
It's a team that will probably be competitive for the Division. There is a significantly non-zero chance that everything will fall together and it will be a world-beater. There is a significantly non-zero chance of collapse as well.

The sources of optimism should be 1) the chances of a solid starting rotation continuing are quite good, and 2) the offense is due for a dead cat bounce.
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: February 17, 2010 at 05:51 PM (#3462124)
Last season drained me. It was my wake-up call that I take this franchise way too seriously and that's been the case for many years. My emotional investment in the team last year put a major strain on a promising long-term relationship that ended in August. There were other factors at play there, but in retrospect, I'm not sure I went more than two days without having at least one moment of being an unpleasant person to be around. And those were almost always spurred by something related to this team.

So while I'll follow and hope for the best, I'm not going to let myself get too caught up in anything. Ultimately, what happens on a baseball field affects me very little. Time to react to this team and the game that way.
   3. Sammy's Corked Whine Posted: February 17, 2010 at 06:40 PM (#3462185)
I'm right there with Andere: good rotation and a slight bounce back by the offense. Could happen.

Running down the spring training stories in no particular order: Zambrano's weight loss--just a tease, he'll be the same as ever; Soto's weight loss--this, I buy (didn't his breakout season come after some weight loss?); Lilly's return--not as early as he'd like, but we have the depth to cover him; Samardzija angling for the rotation--never happen... sooner he accepts his role in relief the better; Silva's comeback-sure... and I'm going to quit drinking; Jaramillo's influence--he'll probably get credit for Soriano having a semi-bounceback, whether he deserves it or not; Kevin Millar--probably auditioning for a coaching gig more than a roster spot... hard to imagine there's room for him; Hoffpauir--about to have his ticket punched out of town.

I leave anything out?
   4. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 17, 2010 at 07:50 PM (#3462264)
There is a significantly non-zero chance that everything will fall together and it will be a world-beater. There is a significantly non-zero chance of collapse as well.

In your opinion, which is more likely?

Last season drained me. It was my wake-up call that I take this franchise way too seriously and that's been the case for many years. My emotional investment in the team last year put a major strain on a promising long-term relationship that ended in August. There were other factors at play there, but in retrospect, I'm not sure I went more than two days without having at least one moment of being an unpleasant person to be around. And those were almost always spurred by something related to this team.

That sucks. Luckily, I haven't gotten to that point. And I'm sure once the season starts, I'll be right back where I was last year hanging on every game. I just feel detached and there's a whole were the usual preseason optimism usually is. It's not as bad as 2006 when there was absolutely no hope, but it's still not good.

I leave anything out?

Who wins the 5th starter job (and who's the temporary other guy while we're waiting for Lilly)? How good will Lee be this year - was last year another career year? How many games will Ramirez play? How will Marmol handle closing fulltime? What should we expect from Fukudome and Byrd? Who gets the most ABs at 2B? How soon do the Cubs promote Castro and start ruining him?

Longer term, is this Lou's last year? Will Hendry get the boot? Am I the only one who thinks its inevitable Ryno will be the skipper next year?
   5. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: February 17, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3462291)
That sucks. Luckily, I haven't gotten to that point. And I'm sure once the season starts, I'll be right back where I was last year hanging on every game.


It's pretty embarrassing to accept that's how it was, but I'd be lying to myself if I said it wasn't like that. Too often, I just let what the Cubs were doing spike my mood for the afternoon or evening. I had convinced myself that I was able to better control my responses to the team's on-field play in 2008. It didn't take long into last season to make me realize my responses to the 2008 team had less to do with personal growth and more to do with that team winning nearly 100 games.

It's a shame. I actually got her into the team the first week of the season. She liked watching the games, picking favorites, and of course, "Go Cubs Go." But my constant moodiness as the season progressed made it so she couldn't even tolerate to sit around while a game was on. There's a pretty big lesson in all of that.
   6. Swedish Chef Posted: February 17, 2010 at 08:28 PM (#3462296)
There's a pretty big lesson in all of that.

"Don't be ashamed to jump on the bandwagon!"
   7. Cris E Posted: February 17, 2010 at 08:39 PM (#3462308)
It's pretty embarrassing to accept that's how it was, but I'd be lying to myself if I said it wasn't like that. Too often, I just let what the Cubs were doing spike my mood for the afternoon or evening.

I've done this. You feel stupid afterward, but at the time, you feel like you feel.
   8. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 17, 2010 at 08:41 PM (#3462311)
There's a pretty big lesson in all of that.

"Don't be ashamed to jump on the bandwagon!"


Or in this case, to jump off.
   9. Hack Wilson Posted: February 17, 2010 at 08:48 PM (#3462314)
In '69 I tried to jump under the bandwagon.
   10. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 17, 2010 at 09:45 PM (#3462366)
There is a significantly non-zero chance that everything will fall together and it will be a world-beater. There is a significantly non-zero chance of collapse as well.


In your opinion, which is more likely?

I thought you wanted optimism?
   11. Spahn Insane Posted: February 17, 2010 at 10:30 PM (#3462401)
In your opinion, which is more likely?

I thought you wanted optimism?


Heh. You gents are in midseason form already!
   12. Bunny Vincennes Posted: February 17, 2010 at 10:36 PM (#3462404)
Oh christ. You cats should be in my house. On any given day my wife and I could be crabby about the play of our respective teams. Luckily we drink a lot.

To be fair she keeps it in much, much better perspective than I do. I can be cranky for days at a time.
   13. berselius Posted: February 18, 2010 at 01:50 AM (#3462484)

To be fair she keeps it in much, much better perspective than I do. I can be cranky for days at a time.


I'm just glad that epic 2007 slide happened during the 2 weeks of my wedding/honeymoon, and I missed all of it. I turned on the TV as I was packing the last day of the honeymoon and saw that Lou had just been suspended for his umpire tirade. Then they reported on the slump and the Z-Barrett fight and my jaw just hit the floor. Glad I missed it.
   14. SteveM. Posted: February 18, 2010 at 01:56 AM (#3462486)
For some reason, I am mildly optimistic for the coming season. Of course I am still on a sports high from BCS championship. I do think the addition of Nady will prove to be a pivotal one though i do worry about the 5th spot in the rotation. I had read today the Cubs are still interested in Heath Bell to solidify the bullpen which doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. I also have hopes that Castro will seize the SS by midseason, shifting Theriot to 2nd base. Alright, I am a wildly delusional Cubs fan. Let pitchers and catchers report.
   15. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 18, 2010 at 03:14 AM (#3462523)
I'm mildly optimistic too. The pessimistic view sees the Cubs having squandered the window of opportunity provided by Hendry's ham-handed shopping spree of a few years ago, and the window having closed. Well, there might be plenty of basis for that, but they still have a pretty solid foundation, and it would not take a huge amount of good luck for them to have a really good year. It's really not an interesting exercise to consider how they might fail.
   16. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 18, 2010 at 03:32 AM (#3462527)
We didn't end up with Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras or Scott Podsednik or something. I'm in a good mood with the team.

Of course, next thing I'll look and see that we're starting Kevin Millar at first or something.
   17. SteveM. Posted: February 18, 2010 at 07:25 AM (#3462561)
Actually, I think that is a nice competition between Milar,Tracy and the Hoff for the backup 1b/ist LH pinch-hitter. None will cost all that much.
   18. realteamcoach Posted: February 18, 2010 at 02:49 PM (#3462627)
I really hope that Tracy becomes the backup, assuming he can still handle 3B somewhat. What are the chances that Aramis plays 150 games? Tracy could get a couple hundred at-bats between 3B, 1B, Ph, DH (interleague) etc.

My take is that the bullpen is scary, and I don't trust Samardzija to help out, leaving us with Marmol and Guzman, and a bunch of guys with not great stuff; and we really need Soto and Soriano to bounce back to have a top 3 offense.

As long as Pujols, Holliday, Waino and Carpenter are healthy, the Cardinals will be tough to beat...but if any of them get hurt, this division is winnable for whoever can get to 90.
   19. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 18, 2010 at 04:45 PM (#3462776)
For some reason, I am mildly optimistic for the coming season. Of course I am still on a sports high from BCS championship. I do think the addition of Nady will prove to be a pivotal one though i do worry about the 5th spot in the rotation. I had read today the Cubs are still interested in Heath Bell to solidify the bullpen which doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. I also have hopes that Castro will seize the SS by midseason, shifting Theriot to 2nd base. Alright, I am a wildly delusional Cubs fan. Let pitchers and catchers report.

This is what I want to hear. I had forgotten about Nady. I'm cautious about Castro, just because I don't trust the Cubs (not because I think he's being overhyped).

I'm mildly optimistic too. The pessimistic view sees the Cubs having squandered the window of opportunity provided by Hendry's ham-handed shopping spree of a few years ago, and the window having closed. Well, there might be plenty of basis for that, but they still have a pretty solid foundation, and it would not take a huge amount of good luck for them to have a really good year. It's really not an interesting exercise to consider how they might fail.

It's not interesting because it seems inevitable and we saw it start last year. And if it doesn't fail this year, it most certainly will next year.

We didn't end up with Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras or Scott Podsednik or something. I'm in a good mood with the team.

Best point of the thread so far.

I really hope that Tracy becomes the backup, assuming he can still handle 3B somewhat. What are the chances that Aramis plays 150 games? Tracy could get a couple hundred at-bats between 3B, 1B, Ph, DH (interleague) etc.

Tracy has torched the Cubs in his career, other than that he seems to completely suck. I think Baker could handle 3rd for a couple weeks if need be, so I don't think I really want to see Tracy make it just for that.
   20. Meatwad Posted: February 18, 2010 at 05:46 PM (#3462847)
guzman is recovering from knee surgery right now, should be out a week or so more i think. im cautiously optimistic. last year was frustrating as all hell, and like you guys was frequently in a shitty mood cause of the losses, but its a new year, and soriano will not be batting leadoff!!
   21. berselius Posted: February 18, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3463003)
Soriano won't be batting leadoff, but we'll see Theriot making outs in the leadoff spot and on the bases instead.
   22. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: February 18, 2010 at 08:05 PM (#3463014)
Oh christ. You cats should be in my house. On any given day my wife and I could be crabby about the play of our respective teams. Luckily we drink a lot.

To be fair she keeps it in much, much better perspective than I do. I can be cranky for days at a time.


Being able to watch every game last season probably didn't help matters for me. :D
   23. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 19, 2010 at 03:56 PM (#3463537)
Anybody else doing the VWR this year?
   24. Meatwad Posted: February 20, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3464326)
theriot lost his arb case.
   25. berselius Posted: February 21, 2010 at 06:10 PM (#3464556)
theriot lost his arb case.

Probably means Chan Ho Park--------->Cubs pretty soon. Would probably rather have Calero. Why not both?
   26. Shilzzz Posted: February 23, 2010 at 02:15 AM (#3465654)
my only hope for this year is that it ends with Hendry getting fired.
   27. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 23, 2010 at 02:58 AM (#3465672)
Being a long-time Cubs fan before Milwaukee landed a team I have a feeling that the team will look to rebound early and then have a train wreck of a second half leading to Hendry being sacked, Lou calling it quits and Carlos being traded.

Not wishful thinking nor applying a curse. Just a sense of dread.......
   28. berselius Posted: February 23, 2010 at 02:20 PM (#3465835)
I'll be pretty sad when the Chicago media runs Z out of town, just like they did with Sosa so many years ago. He's my favorite player on the team and he's being set up to be the scapegoat.
   29. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 23, 2010 at 06:10 PM (#3466071)
My favorite players never seem to stay on the team more than a year after they become my favorite. Hill, Edmonds, Harden. Who do you guys most want off the team in 2011?
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 23, 2010 at 06:24 PM (#3466085)
We didn't end up with Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras or Scott Podsednik or something. I'm in a good mood with the team.

Of course, next thing I'll look and see that we're starting Kevin Millar at first or something.

Silva

That goes for (29) as well.
   31. berselius Posted: February 23, 2010 at 10:59 PM (#3466468)
My favorite players never seem to stay on the team more than a year after they become my favorite. Hill, Edmonds, Harden. Who do you guys most want off the team in 2011?

My cynical self says Ryan Theriot, but Silva and Soriano are the best answers. Soriano still has a shred of upside (until he injures one of his legs again), and who knows, maybe Silva could be a decent reliever. Just so long as they don't start him.
   32. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 23, 2010 at 11:25 PM (#3466493)
Being a long-time Cubs fan before Milwaukee landed a team I have a feeling that the team will look to rebound early and then have a train wreck of a second half leading to Hendry being sacked, Lou calling it quits and Carlos being traded.

Not wishful thinking nor applying a curse. Just a sense of dread.......


Damn you, Harveys. Because now I can see that very easily happening. Well, the damn you part only applies to Z being traded. The rest I either am expecting (not good overall) or would like to see happen (Hendry sacked).

My favorite players never seem to stay on the team more than a year after they become my favorite. Hill, Edmonds, Harden. Who do you guys most want off the team in 2011?

Soriano is the obvious answer here.
   33. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 24, 2010 at 05:11 AM (#3466737)
Moses:

That article the other day portraying Zambrano's competitive nature as now an impediment and a negative just smacks of someone planting a seed as a potentially growing theme should the season go poorly.
   34. Spahn Insane Posted: February 24, 2010 at 05:52 AM (#3466765)
That article the other day portraying Zambrano's competitive nature as now an impediment and a negative just smacks of someone planting a seed as a potentially growing theme should the season go poorly.

Well, Bradley's gone. Guy's gotta plant the seeds of self-fulfilling prophecy someplace.
   35. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 24, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3467098)
That article the other day portraying Zambrano's competitive nature as now an impediment and a negative just smacks of someone planting a seed as a potentially growing theme should the season go poorly.

Hell, if Bradley hadn't volunteered last season, I bet Z would have been the '09 scapegoat. I heard "only 9 wins" mentioned way too many times already. There are some writers/sportstalkers who have wanted him gone for some time, so it's not really a stretch.

It's the fact that I now consider this an inevitability that suddenly concerns me.
   36. Hack Wilson Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:25 PM (#3467961)
Carlos Silva has reported to camp in the worst shape of his life.

Link
   37. Stevens Posted: February 26, 2010 at 07:36 PM (#3468949)
Expected improvement or decline by position:

SP: No change to slight decline.
Harden didn't have a great 09, but I don't see the Cubs improving on his performance with in-house talent. I'm hopeful Dempster does a little better this year, but I expect Wells to do a little worse. The big factor is that Lilly won't put up his performance from last year. Unless Gorzo or Samninja are special (and that seems much to ask), I don't see this as a better group.

RP: No change to slight improvement.
I can see Marmol/Guzman/Grabow bettering Gregg/Marmol/Heilman

C: Improvement
I'm a believer in Geoskinny Soto

1B: Slight Decline
Lee won't do better than last year, but I don't think it's going to be a drop-off like we saw after 05. His cast of back-ups doesn't impress me.

2B: Slight Improvement
I'm expecting Fontenot to improve, Baker to regress, leaving us with a slightly better performance over last year overall.

3B: Improvement
More Aramis means more love. Chad Tracy back-up is appealing too

SS: No change.
Just a higher dollar per scrap ratio(t). I don't expect Castro(t) to be anything remarkable for this season.

LF: Moderate Improvement
I'm not expecting great, or even particularly good things from Soriano. But even decent play will be quite a bit better than last year, won't it? Nady seems like a solid back-up if healthy.

CF: No change to slight improvement.
I like Byrd in a small center field doing better with total defensive and offensive contribution than Fukudome last year. Concerns about back-ups though.

RF: Slight improvement.
Fukudome/Nady platoon sounds solid, but it requires both Nady to be healthy and Soriano to be healthy so Nady isn't covering him in Left.

Bench: Slight improvement.
No Jake Fox or Micah Hoffpauir pop, but I like Trady and Nady if healthy. And keeping Bobby Scales off the team has to count for something.


Overall, I'm seeing the world through cubbie blue lenses, but I'm seeing a lot of chances for improvement. Optimism, I tells ya.
   38. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: March 05, 2010 at 09:53 PM (#3473618)
Disappointing, but not surprising:

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs reliever Angel Guzman has experienced shoulder discomfort again and will not be ready to start the season, manager Lou Piniella said Friday.

An MRI will be performed on Guzman's right shoulder Friday afternoon by team physician Stephen Gryzlo. The Cubs fear it could be a significant injury that results in the loss of Guzman for an extended period of time.
   39. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: March 06, 2010 at 01:55 AM (#3473718)
I saw the word "cooked" in reference to Guzman's shoulder. Doesn't sound like the team should count on him this year.
   40. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: March 06, 2010 at 08:32 PM (#3474036)
Silva's doing everything you could hope on the mound today! He looks bad even if you discount Carlos Quentin's performance.
   41. The Ghost of Sam Fuld Posted: April 24, 2010 at 04:39 AM (#3512802)
Face it, you guys are doomed without me...

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