This has been one of the snowiest and coldest early Decembers on record in Chicago history. Right now it is barely above freezing here, drizzling (in other words, typical Opening Day weather), and it seems far from baseball season.
Which is my point. Opening Day is, in fact, 109 days away.
So why the angst over the White Sox' acquisition of Javier Vazquez today?
I was never that high on Vazquez to begin with, and the White Sox gave up a guy who was their hottest starter in last year's second half, a reliever who had a fine year for them, and one of their top outfield prospects.
The Cubs couldn't have matched that offer anyway. I realize -- and I got a call from my friend Brian today, lamenting this deal because "the Cubs haven't done (expletive deleted)."
The two things aren't related. The Cubs haven't exactly done "nothing" -- they have signed two good middle relievers, something that was sorely missing on last year's team, and a center fielder who is also a good leadoff man, something the ballclub absolutely couldn't go into 2006 without.
Is the offseason over? No, it's not. Are several of the players who could help the Cubs still on their original teams, or still free agents? Yes, they are. Is Opening Day tomorrow? No, it's not.
There is a perception, I suppose, that the Cubs are "inactive", because other teams have been very active. If Opening Day -- or even the opening of spring training -- were tomorrow, then I'd join the chorus. Till then, I'm willing to wait to see if Jim Hendry makes the moves we'd like to see, or even surprises us the way Kenny Williams likely surprised a lot of White Sox fans today.
There is time. I'll say it again, patience, please. And no, you can't counter that with "we've been patient while the Cubs have made the wrong moves for the last two years", because this isn't then, it's now. We cannot change the past, but the future is still out there, and if you think Hendry's sitting around with John Mabry and Jerry Hairston as his RF platoon in 2006, I submit that you're just plain wrong.
Finally, my sources tell me that what I wrote yesterday about the "knothole" that's being considered for the RF corner at Wrigley Field, is indeed a source of concern for the city. Discussions are ongoing. If I get any further information, I'll pass it along.