As of late, there's been talk stirring about a Cubs "fire sale". Jim Hendry says there's no plans for a "fire sale." No plans? Will plans change if the Cubs have another month with a lower winning percentage than the month before: .462 in April, .407 in May, .379 in June (one loss in June moved to May and both months have a .393 winning percentage). Well I'd agree that the Cubs are playing more structured baseball than they were during the losing streak in late May and early June. But here's the thing, I don't think Jim has a benchmark set as to when he pulls the trigger on a fire sale. What I mean by 'benchmark' is: by the All-Star break, if the Cubs have failed to move up in the standings and/or improve with RISP (or something else), then the fire sale will begin with [insert Cubs candidates]. I don't know what Hendry has planned. Maybe he's just playing it by ear and going with his gut feelings. I guess for now, Hendry's moves have started with 'Dougy" getting his unconditional release.
It's much easier to keep this group of Cubs together and see what happens after the last two well fought wins they put together. That win earlier on Thursday was the feel good win of the season. Just when the Cubs had me thoroughly convinced that their ability to comeback, work as a team, and complete the win was completely diminished for 2011, they do it on Wednesday night, and Thursday. Just a fun fact on Wednesday night: it was June 29 and Aramis Ramirez got a walk-off hit, four years to the day when he got another walk-off hit... do you remember that day? Do you remember where the Cubs went in the standings after that day in 2007? I'm not saying the same is going to happen this season, but if the Cubs are going to keep winning like this, they might as well be the Cardiac Cubs.
Maybe, if the Cubs keep winning, the name calling around this site will diminish. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I learned that simple rule in elementary schooI. I don't know what it is. Maybe those who violate the BCB Guidelines find it easier to violate because a.) they have done it before and have gotten away with it, b.) they know Al personally, or c.) have no respect for rules. Well I feel like a guest on this site and when I am a guest at someone's place, I like to respect their wishes and rules.
During the losing streak earlier in June, there was something I noticed about the losing streak, and that is recurring theme words and phrases. During a Cubs losing streak we will usually hear the word 'again'. Example: Pujols hits a walk-off home run against the Cubs in extra innings... 'again'. Cubs come off a 2-8 road trip after blowing a lead in Philly when the reliable bullpen guy Sean Marshall can't get the job done... 'again'. Also, during a Cubs losing streak we will usually hear the phrase '...and it gets worse'. Example: Cubs blow the lead, lose the game, and oh yeah... 'it gets worse', the veteran bullpen guy Kerry Wood is injured.
Speaking of injuries, doesn't it drive you guys nuts when the injury happens off the field, or it's a nagging little injury that was probably self-inflicted by the player himself? I don't mind a player getting injured from a beanball to the face, that's and obvious injury. But when a guy jumps over the dugout fence in excitement and breaks his toe, or a player sneezes and lands on the DL, or someone gets mad and breaks his bat over his thigh, or a pitcher gets injured during a bullpen session... it drives me nuts. I don't know, that's just me.
Oh just one more thought I've been pondering. Why doesn't Quade put Tony Campana in the leadoff spot more often? If I were making the lineup, I would put the fastest guy on the team at leadoff, especially when the team is struggling to score runs. I know, Fukudome is hitting well at leadoff, but who's to say he can't do that in the 2-spot, or 6-spot, or 7-spot? I know, Starlin thrives at leadoff, and NOT the 3-spot. I know, Campana struggles at hitting, but he can work on that at leadoff. I mean, it's an extended spring training... right Quade?
Here's my lineup vs. RHP starters: Campana CF, Castro SS, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, Fukudome RF, Soriano LF, Barney, 2B, Soto C, pitcher. Vs. LHP starters: Castro SS (he's been stealing bases lately), Baker 1B, Byrd CF (when he comes back), Ramirez 3B, Johnson RF, Soriano LF, Barney 2B, Soto C, pitcher. DeWitt would be my pinch-hit guy... and I'd turn Koyie Hill into a bullpen catcher (laughs).
I have a good feeling about the Cubs for July. The attached poll lists the 11 Cubs wins from June. Vote for your favorite win. Believe it or not, there's some nice one's on this poll... besides the last two games. Here's to a three game winning streak and a "fantastic" (this "fantastic" was brought to you by Todd Hollandsworth) month of July from the Cubs. Happy voting!