So, the draft is over and most of the draft picks have signed. The only name anyone remembers hasn't signed yet but everyone has said that it's just a formality and he will be at Arizona, or Boise, or maybe even Daytona in just a matter of days. So now everyone's attention will turn to their second favorite pat of the season, maybe even first, trading season. Things will go even quieter in my little section of Cubs Den as the section spearheaded by the picture of Loxas whispering into Arguello's ear will be a beehive of activity. I'll chime in from time to time but won't be nearly as active as most of the posters on this board. But don't take my inactivity for lack of enthusiasm. Because I love trading season. Especially this years.
There are several reasons. One- trading season is directly responsible for me getting the writing gig here at Cubs Den. And the writing I do on the Cubs is a wonderful gateway from the writing I do for a living ( advertising) to the aspiring writing ( Fiction, screenplays) I do in my spare time. Plus, God knows this current team has me juiced for new faces and a whole bunch of new nicknames, song and movie references, and new levels of expectations to have. But the best reason I have is that trading season means we get to watch our best players play. And that's Jed and Theo.
Epstoyer are 1 and 1a reasons why I still have faith in this rebuild. It sure as all get out isn't Sveum, and if it was Rizzo and Castro, well, my faith level would be somewhere around .240. And while I'm in the minority of being disappointed in how this season is going, and that the disappointment is actually a BAD thing. ( This higher draft pick, more draft money argument is just total nonsense. The Cardinals picked 19th last year and still wound up getting the best pitcher in the draft.....), I think we've all agreed that this "Big plan" has enough room for adjustments that they can have a second big sell off and still hit the completion dates of being a winning franchise.
While Epstoyer didn't have the greatest of off seasons last year, it has brought several "hits" Nate Schierholtz is one of them. FELDMAN is another. Carlos Villavueva has been a nice pickup. And Ryan Sweeney has me more jazzed than I ever thought I'd be. And if the hits don't have you excited about the upcoming moves, think about the "misses"- Annibal Sanchez was a target that the Cubs just missed. he's currently one of the better pitcher's in baseball with a .276 ERA, a .1151 WHIP and 101 K's in 81 innings. The Cubs tried to sign Jason Grilli in the offseason- currently the best closer in baseball with 26 saves an ERA of 1.07. You'll also remember the Alfonso Soriano to the Phillies rumors that went nowhere. Remember the player they wanted? Dominic Brown. Guy only has an OPS of .874 with 19HR and 50 RBI. And there were others- the Dodger pitcher Ryu comes to mind.
Now thinking about a Cubs team with Anibal Sanchez, Jason Grilli, and Dominic Brown on it might make you angrier or more frustrated but the truth is this- these guys can really evaluate talent. They're really really good at it. And that they get to play this month is very very cool.
I don't propose a lot of trades. The ones I do are more in the "hypothetical" or "example" trade. Javier Baez for Jameson Tallion is my pet trade for now. There are reasons why it can't happen- within division, both players probably "untouchable" etc. etc. But I still like the idea of taking a stud hitting prospect and dealing it for a very high pitching prospect. a reverse Rizzo-forCashner deal if you will. And I will still throw out the blasphemous trade proposal to see what people are thinking. (Everyone wants to trade Garza for a haul of prospects. But what if Garza doesn't get you the haul and Travis Wood will? You wouldn't trade Travis Wood? Because I would....). But for the most part I will continue to write my wraps and stay silent. I comment over at a hockey blog where all they do is talk trades and free agents. I'm not kidding, the hawks are one win away from winning the Stanley Cup and these goofballs are talking about next year's #2 center and who gets launched to fit under the salary cap. Plus I don't really know the minor leagues other than to know that just because a prospect is hot this year it don't mean jack for next year. Everyone that drooled over Mike Olt and Jacob Turner are silently nodding their heads, aint they?
But don't confuse my silence for lack of enthusiasm. I'm totally geeked for this next phase of the rebuild. After all, the Cubs best players are playing.
ODDS AND SODS
Totally bummed to miss out on Hot Stove Cool music. All reports were it was an amazingly good time. Nice that Loxas did the camera work. If Scotchy Arguello was in charge of holding the camera, probably wouldn't have been as cool a view...
For all these people that give Dale Sveum a pass because the team is no good.... He is responsible for some part of this rebuild isn't he? It's not all Jed and Theo, Sveum has some part in it right? What is it? And do you think he's doing it? I like Dale and want him to succeed. But I'm seeing a lot of Ned Yost in him. And that's not a good thing.
Friend of the Blog and Jivewire CEO Michael Canter pointed out last night that "Exile in Guyville" is 20 years old today. I can't tell you how old that makes me feel. But that album still holds up. I think it always will. So today I'm standing 6'1" and spinning Liz Phair's debut album. Especially since each album got progressively worse......like.......M. Night Shyamalan worse.
But I have Rubber Soul ready in the pen because Sundays require some Beatles.
Speaking of bullpen, I'm dreaming of a Trey McNutt-Zach Rosscup September.
While I haven't been the biggest proponent of trading Darwin Barney, the Cubs are stockpiling infield prospects. And Arguello heart throb Asmirandy Alcantara has to be put on the 40. And Lake, Villanueva, Valbuena, and Bryant can't all play third base...
The Hawks are one win away from the Stanley Cup!!!!!!! Can't write that enough.
By the way, if you're a fan of Doc Emerick, the guy calling the Stanley Cup finals and one of the best announcers in sports ( for my money). Check this out. It's all of Doc Emerick's passing synonyms mashed up with Daft Punk. Pretty cool.
And because I'm an old softee, here's Doc calling a 12 year old girls hockey game
Speaking of hockey, congrats to my brother Sam, whose Committedindian.com was voted ( yet again.) as the best sports blog by the Chicago reader. This time without the SB Nation backing and half the season washed away to lockout. Pretty impressive.
I spend a lot of time drinking with and ridiculing the bald schmuck that I don't tell him how proud I am nearly enough. The kid rocks.
Next year it's Cubs Den's turn. If that slacker Jordan Bernfield will pick up the pace.