Spooky injuries and ideas (if serious)...

Beware (5 days past) the ides of April!

On April 20th, 2005, Nomar Garciaparra tore his groin in a hard-fought 3-1 victory by the Cubs. Many thought the 2005 season ended early that night in St. Louis, despite the fact that the victory put us a game over .500 despite having early season injury woes.

At ~12:30 AM on April 20th, 2006, Derrek Lee injured his right wrist in a collision at 1st base and Scott Eyre hurt his knee (on the same play!) in a hard fought, come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. As of this writing, we don't know the seriousness of the injury, but if it puts Lee on the DL i'm going to vow not to watch any more Cubs games on the 4/20 anymore...

Normally i don't believe in jinxes or curses etc. etc. However, the superstitious fan in me fights to the surface when weird things like this happen.

Of course, we should be patient and see what happens when Lee gets X-Rays (and an MRI if its a sprain, i assume) tomorrow... in the meantime i'm going to mark April 20, 2007 as a day to do something other than watch a Cubs game.

The other thing i'm going to try to do is figure out the best options for the Cubs IF Lee is seriously hurt. If he's out for more than a week or two, the Cubs should consider obtaining a full-time 1st baseman. The best option going into the season would have been Craig Wilson, who could have platooned with Jacque Jones in RF after Lee's return. However, the Pirates have their own injury problems as Sean Casey is out as the result of a 1st base collision with our very own John Mabry. Another idea would be to go after one of three former prospect 1st-basemen: Erubiel Durazo, Carlos Pena, or... Hee-Seop Choi. All 3 are guys that were highly touted bats a few years ago but haven't hit as advertised in the bigs. Choi is probably the best option, but is just coming off an injury and has been rumored to be coveted for some time by Theo Epstein. Durazo is next best, and is currently playing for the Oklahoma Red Hawks (Rangers AAA club), and isn't hitting well there. As for Pena... he was cut by the Detroit Tigers in spring training and is currently with the Columbus Clippers.

It looks like the best option would be to go in-house and call up Ryan Theroit, who can be a utility IF-type, and can help play 2nd base as Walker would move to 1st. (My favorite option from a sentimental standpoint would be to make a play for Calvin Pickering, who was a rotund, jovial slugger for the Rochester Red Wings when i lived in Rochester, NY. In 2004, he hit 35 home runs in 299 AB's for Omaha, a rate of a HR every 8.5 ABs!) Also, you should look for Jae-Kuk Ryu (Shoryuken!) to get the call to take Eyre's place on the roster and in the pen. Alternatively, they could call up Rich Hill for to serve as a lefty reliever or as the #5 starter with Rusch moving to the pen to be a lefty-reliever.

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