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A Bit Of Cub News

I haven't written much about the Cubs lately, for the simple reason that there hasn't been much to write about.

There have been rumors flying that the Cubs were going to return to the pre-1990s tradition of having no names on their home uniforms.

This was confirmed today in Fred Mitchell's Tribune column. This immediately puts out of date, thousands of replica jerseys that have been sold to fans, including my own white pinstripe Kerry Wood #34 jersey.

The Cubs will join the Yankees, Giants, Red Sox and Dodgers (who are also changing for the 2005 season) as the only teams without names on the back of home uniforms. Names will continue on the back of road jerseys.

Jim Hendry was also quoted as saying that the Cubs may indeed stand pat and open the season with the current outfield, which would be Sammy Sosa, Corey Patterson and a LF platoon of Jason Dubois and Todd Hollandsworth. Most telling is this Hendry quote:

Dubois is a guy that people are forgetting about because he is not a big-name free agent. But he is a guy that we are asked about weekly in any trade, and a year and a half ago no one heard of [Pittsburgh's] Jason Bay or [San Diego's] Khalil Greene, young guys that really made their mark last season. Rookies break in every year and people say, 'Where did they come from?' Dubois can be that kind of guy.

We won't know this, of course, until he plays. But Hendry has a point. At one point or another, guys like Carlos Beltran and Magglio Ordonez were unproven rookies. The only way they showed they are superstars, is by playing and producing.

Dubois has put up good numbers in the minors. If he's ever going to make it, now is the time. This also says another thing -- that Hendry is establishing that he is in authority over Dusty Baker. Baker's usual MO is not to play young players. By pretty much forcing him to play Dubois, Hendry is telling Baker, "We're doing it my way this year."

Only time will tell whether this will work or not. But it is certainly worth a try.