So, the lineup that needs NO introduction, because, even if I introduced it, nobody would care....your 2012 Chicago Cubs!
DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, Byrd CF, Soto C, Dempster P.
A 22 year old third hitter, a Quadruple A poster boy, a miserable, godforesaken contract, a rookie-of-the-year who has pissed his career away with ganja and Doritos; basically, I heard this lineup referred to on the radio today as "instant cement". Just filler until the real ballplayers show up.
Now, if you work your way back from ARam to DLee to Sosa to Ryno, it has been 30 years since the Cubs ran out a starting lineup with this level of....what? Lack of Power? Lack of Star Power? What is the opposite of hype? Unhype? Boredom? Dullness?
Yes, you may recall late last year, after watching opposing drives fall safely all over our outfield, I advocated ditching power entirely in favor of speed and agility. This was way before I even IMAGINED that we could get Theo Epstein and His Merry Band of Lesser GMs to take us over. My point was that cold weather and wind can negate power, but it could not negate speed. Plus, speed allowed fielders to get to batted balls to be caught.
It appears I was partially right. The new management has not spent any money on power this offseason. However, they sure as hell haven't spent any money on speed, either. The biggest expenditure was in avoid arbitration with Matt Garza, one of the worst fielders we have seen on our mound since Julian Tavarez. Sorry, Cap'n Tightpants. You are bad, but not Garza bad. You too, LaTroy Hawkins. You are just a pussy who can't pitch ninth innings. Nope. Garza sets a new standard in fielding spaz, and he was our big ticket purchase this winter.
Next was David DeJesus, who is, what? He isn't even a 'poor-man's' somebody. Calling him a homeless-man's Andre Eithier is being really insulting to the homeless. Then the next biggest money went to a Cuban refugee, who wasn't named Cespedes or Soler.
I'll stop bitching, now, because you know what? This team will win more games than last year's team. They will field better and pitch better. You will not get angry at the manager for making stupid decisions in the dugout, coddling veterans while picking on kids, or using stupid hockey-esque nicknames for everyone. There may even be a few guys, like Castro, Samardzija and Dolis, who will actually be on this team a few years from now. If you like smart decisions and simple competency, you may love the 2012 Cubs.
But with no power, no speed, and not much skill, this is not going to be an exciting team. I will still follow them, because I am DNA programmed to follow whoever it is that is wearing our laundry. The only thing that is going to be exciting for me this year, I'm afraid, will be the trades Theo will make to give our holdovers a better situation to finish their careers in, and at the same time return the young talent that will someday make our hearts race with excitement again.
I hope Theo, Jed, and Kevin have their phones charged and have paid their cellular plan bills.
Filed under: Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Bryan LaHair, Cubs, Darwin Barney, David DeJesus, Defense, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, Jed Hoyer, Jeff Samardzija, Marlon Byrd, Matt Garza, Mike Quade, Roster Talk, ryan dempster, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa, Season Previews, Starlin Castro, Theo Epstein
Tags: Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, baseball, Chicago, chicago cubs, cubs, Cubs pitching, Darwin Barney, geovany soto, Jeff Samardzija, Marlon Byrd, Matt Garza, Mike Quade, Pitchers, roster, Ryan Dempster, Season Previews, starlin castro, Theo Epstein