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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Monday 9/5

There are two important articles in today's Sun-Times discussing the direction the Cubs will take in 2006 and beyond:

  • Dusty Baker and Jim Hendry are both likely to be signed to contract extensions through 2008, during the off-season;
  • Nomar Garciaparra may not be re-signed no matter how well he hits in September.
On the first point, I am in agreement. I know many of you are ready to hang Dusty, and yes, I agree that he has to adapt his in-game managerial skills.

But I hate the fact that the Cubs have been "starting over" every three or four years, for the last thirty. It's time for some consistency. I believe with the right combination of players, Baker can be a winner here. That's Hendry's job, and I still have faith in him. Both of them had a bad year. That doesn't mean they can't turn it around.

About Nomar, the way he's played shows that he CAN be an on-field leader. The same article strongly hints that Hendry and Baker want Ronny Cedeno to be the starting SS in 2006, something with which I also agree. So why not sign Nomar to play LF? If he can regain his 2002-2003 form, that fills the offensive black hole that LF was in 2005.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Mark Prior
M. Prior
vs. Jeff Suppan
J. Suppan
10-5 W-L 13-10
3.72 ERA 3.90
154 SO 88
45 BB 52
21 HR 23

Prior is, at last, starting to show off the form we all hoped he'd have all year. He's gone at least six innings in nine of his last ten starts. He's 3-3 in 8 career starts vs. St. Louis with a 3.35 ERA.

Speaking of Garciaparra, Suppan was the starting pitcher in the game last April 20 when Nomar suffered the gruesome groin injury, a game the Cubs won anyway, 3-1; Suppan coming away with a no-decision.

Discuss amongst yourselves.