Blind, unconditional trust in Theo Epstein must continue

Blind, unconditional trust in Theo Epstein must continue

On MLB radio today, Jim Memelo and Todd Hollandsworth noted quite correctly that if Jim Hendry was still in the Cubs' GM chair, with the underwhelming lack of activity so far, that we Cubs fans would be storming 1060 W. Addison with torches and pitchforks.  I mean, eff you, Memelo...I don't even own a pitchfork!

/yes, I do

The point is well taken, though.  So far, for all the fanfare of the arrival of Theo Epstein and his Boy-quarium of Lesser GMs, and when we look at what has happened with the roster of the 91-loss 2011 Cubs, this is what we have to show:

  • the loss of the vast majority of our power (g'bye, Aram.  Toodles, Pena)
  • the re-instatement of the Big Lawnmower, scourge of Gatorade machines everywhere
  • the retirement of the salaries of Aram, Pena, Fukudome, Silva the Hutt, and Grabow, which really took little effort on their part
  • the acquisition of a light hitting, good fielding RF and 3B
  • the non-tendering of Three Finger Hill

Ok, the last three things are good things, small things, but good things.  If this is all that is going to happen this offseason, then we run out a roster that:

  • will have trouble scoring four runs a game;
  • will stop the majority of grounders hit to the left side of our infield, but part of that is mitigated by our first baseman's (LaHair) inability to handle many of Castro's errant throws;
  • is still very dependent on the brittle psyche of its most visible player, who is relied on not only to pitch 200 innings, but also provides the emotional direction of this team, if not its functional direction
  • and, oh yes, our catcher, still living large of his three-year-old ROY title, is still here, along with the Human Hamstring Pull, the albatross contract in left, who is 36 in Dominican years, which is, Idunno, 49 in people years?
  • We have nice #3 starters as our 1 and 2, our #3 starter is the aforementioned highly flammable substance from Venezuela, and gaping chasms for the other two days.  Oh, but?  Our best 2 relievers still want to be starters, even though every time we've tried that, it was a disaster.
  • Our closer has forgotten how to throw a fastball.  We're paying him something close to $8MM this year to throw some fastballs.  Maybe the new manager's buddy, the pitching coach, can help in this regard.
  • Finally, the cupboard on the farm is still barren.  Something called Junior Lake has arisen out of the ooze to become our most promising prospect, which in this organization is certainly damning with faint praise.  Besides, this Junior fella plays the same position as our 21 year old franchise cornerstone, and yep, he's good hit, no glove.  The few holdover major leaguers we have kept this year are also, yep, middle infielders.  Once again, we don't have enough of most things, and a bit too much of the same things.

Seems like, to me, that our several new General Managers and our new IT staff ought to be identifying starting pitchers and then we ought to be trading some of our middle infield surplus for  them.  Barring that, at least we ought to expect that our 2012 Cubs will not include Zambrano's ridiculous contract AND Dempster's ridiculous contract AND Soriano's ridiculous contract.

I mean, signing a guy whose silicone wife is such a crazee Cub fan that she paints "walking bears" on her nails, and trading for Ian Stewart?  This is why we need three GMs?  Sheeeeeit, I think I could have signed David DeJesus, non-tendered Koyie Hill, and traded for Ian Stewart? 

Like Principal Cletus said to Coach Dale in "Hoosiers", I'm trying real hard to remember that you know what you're doing, Theo.  Easy does it, and all that, but I can't believe you really feel the need to spend a year with Blake DeWitt, Randy Wells, Marlon Byrd and Jeff Baker.  I'm skeptical that you see something there that I don't.  I would really love to see which computer program says all those guys are worth keeping.  Can't be THAT many lines of code in it. 

10  TOPOFLOOP

20 WRITE "JEFF BAKER IS GOOD, KEEP HIM"

30 GOTO 10

 

UPDATE: NOOOOOO!  Not the Tek!!!  Thank God it's just Phil Rogers, lobbing turds against the wall again.

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    I know, its hard to be patient. There are still two months before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. The roster won't look nearly as bad as last years. I guarantee it.

  • At least, hoppity Soriano is still with us. Or is he?

  • Sadly, St. Aquinas, we still have the Human Hamstring Pull, aka Hoppity Hop, aka the 136 Million Dollar Man, aka grandfather of 6

  • To be honest, I really don't expect that many more changes to the roster, let alone significant changes. I thoroughly expect to lose more games in the upcoming year than last season - and I'm okay with that. With an organization that's in such poor shape, sometimes you need to go back to go forward. Any big signing that occurs this year will just be money wasted on a team that's not built to compete. Get some placeholders, let some contracts expire and/or trade bad contracts if you can while trying to build the farm system. I have extremely low expectations for the big-league club this low, but I do want to see them trending in the right direction.

  • Sean Marshall being shipped to the Reds?

  • There is nothing that could be done to the Cubs roster to make them lose more ballgames this year. The Iowa Cubs would have done as well as the Chicago version last year. First, we had a lot of players to dump. And Epstein and Hoyer have been dumping. They have a whole (bad) culture to change along with the major league roster. I like every move they've made. They will be more competitive in the last half of 2012 than they were at any point of 2011. The needle is pointing up.

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