Let me answer your first question; No, I did not fall off the face of the earth. How does one do that anyway? What I have been doing is working a lot. That, however, is no excuse for lack of blogging. I do post shorter blurbs with a bit more regularity on the Boys of Spring – Wrigleyville West facebook page.
That being said, I am going to make a real effort to blog more. Even if it is just reminiscing about that $50K Jim Hendry fleeced off the Reds in 2006, giving Cincy the Cubs Rule 5 draft selection – Josh Hamilton. Sure you can make a case for keeping a troubled five tool, left handed, power hitting outfielder, but $50 large…That cash likely kept the Tribune suits stocked with happy hour Martinis for a good six months, maybe eight. And besides, who needed Hamilton when the Cubs organization had a Felix Pie up the sleeve! It’s true, my crystal ball always functions perfectly when looking backward.
Nice win for the Cubs yesterday; great to see a Cubs starting pitcher rewarded with a win for the effort. Paul Maholm has been a pleasant surprise, as has Jeff Samardzija. Of course you really can’t throw much better than Ryan Dempster has this season, but his luck has not been good with run support and relievers. Tim Souers had a funny take on Dempster’s problems over at cubby-blue.com. Cubs fans understand Dempster’s situation, after all, it’s part of our fan DNA to expect the worst. So it’s only a matter of time until Samardzija comes back down to earth, isn’t it? Just maybe the tide is changing, perhaps incrementally, a bit here, a LaHair there.
Samardzija’s nice start to the season got me thinking back to a conversation at Fitch Park this past spring. I was hanging with a group I call, the Brain Trust. The Brain Trust consists of a half dozen or so, mostly retired guys who seem to have a love-hate relationship with the Cubs. These guys know baseball. They are also very opinionated, which I like. I don’t always agree with them, but I pick up a lot of info, and a few laughs, as they are often ruthless when analyzing the team. At any rate, the talk that day was about Jeff Samardzija wanting to compete for a spot in the rotation. One of the trust offered his view, “Samardzija is a one inning pitcher, that’s all he can do. Anything more than an inning and he falls apart.”
I found myself thinking, “hmmm, he may be right.” After all, Samardzija’s record as a relief pitcher somewhat mirrored what he was saying. Perhaps because I am younger and definitely less cynical, I hoped he wasn’t right. I knew Samardzija had been working very hard during the off-season, and deserved an opportunity to show he had what it takes to be a starter. He got his chance this spring, and we pretty much know the rest, at least thus far. The Shark has been on the attack, and has more or less ripped through everything in front of him. Like many of you, I have my fingers crossed that Shark Month continues, making it dangerous for opponents to venture into the water this summer. As for Dempster, perhaps he just needs a good nickname. Any suggestions?
We have made some changes to the BOS website, nothing major cosmetically, but hopefully improved functionality by moving to WordPress.
As you may have heard, the Cubs and Mesa have tentatively put a July 11, 2012 date for ground breaking on the Cubs new spring training complex. Looks like the Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team will be sharing the new complex. I will go into what’s happening with all that in my next blog on Monday. Yes, this coming Monday! Go Cubs!