Sunday, January 30, 2005



Well, barring the used car salesman ostensibly in charge of baseball making an ass of himself yet again by vetoing the trade...and barring Sammy or another player failing a physical...Sammy Sosa will not be a Chicago Cub this season.

I don't want to say this news excites me, but I had to call in sick to work today because I couldn't get a pair of pants to fit me properly.

Late last week, commenting on something Len had said last week on his blog, I said that I felt the media was painting the Cubs/Sosa situation a little more ugly than it was. It was ugly, said I, but not really as ugly as the portrait we've been seing. I felt that when we got down to the brass tacks of baseball, that Sammy would be there to play his role. Bitching about it or not. More than that, I felt like Hendry, Dusty and company had resigned themselves to getting Sammy on the same page (at best), or working around him if he decided to still be a problem.

But then I got told at work yesterday that the trade was close to coming to be. I jumped for joy. Literally.

In that conversation with Len, I also sad that if there's anybody who's happier than I am to see the big roided up goofball heading east, it's the Sloth, who reports on Cubs' GM Jim Hendry's ascension to sainthood....

Now, I'm not big on comparative analysis. I'll leave most of that to all you number crunchers who like distilling it down to the science in the stats.

From where I sit:

I think this helps the team chemistry. Chemistry's one of those important yet intangible things. It's not THE most important thing for a team. But I feel like over the course of a season, if you have two teams who are fairly equally matched in talent, the team that has a group of players who get along well and want to play together will do better than the team who merely shows up to cash their paychecks, and who doesn't get along well.

Maybe I'm a dope that way.

Sammy's bad for that chemistry. Always has been. Unwilling to adjust, slow to do so when made to do so. Always willing to announce his leadership role, but completely unwilling to do all the little things that go along with it. He was, however, always able to act like a sulking child when true leadership did emerge, and it went in a direction not the same as Sammy's.

Add to that the fact that Sammy's off the juice, declining in production and getting a little injury prone in his older age.

If nothing else, I'm glad to have that out of the clubhouse. And God Bless Peter Angelos and his willingness to take on a sulky, aging, injury-prone goofball, most probably to the chagrine and confusion of his staff and his team's fans.

But don't get me wrong. I don't know that I'm thrilled to death with what we're getting in return. The jury's out on Hairston. Sure, he's a leadoff type of guy, and that's something we've sorely needed, off and on, for years. And he can play just about anyplace on the field. But he's not had a healthy season in a couple of years. And while his ESPN bio states that he's learning patience at the plate, drawing more walks...that's the type of thinking Dusty "Walks are for Pussies" Baker can reverse in a few weeks of spring training.

Also, he hasn't had a healthy season in a couple of years. Injuries put us in the hole last year. That's a concern.

I'd like a closer. I'd like to have that guy at the end of the game who doesn't have a Joebo Arm, and whose name isn't LaTroy Hawkins. Jorge Julio would probably frustrate me, too, but if his name isn't LaTroy "I'm a setup man dammit" Hawkins, I'd sign him to close.

Let me pause to say that anytime I write Jorge Julio's name, I have to stop to make sure from another source that I have his first and last names in their correct positions. He's got a couple of first names, there

But anyway.

Do I think the trade will go through? Yeah. I think everybody will pass their physical. I think if Peter Angelos can show that he wants Sammy badly enough, Bud will do a little bit to appease the man who's pissed about having had his territory violated by the Nationals.

Don't know what else to say. We'll just hope everything goes through and that we can start a new chapter.


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