Disciples of Doug Dascenzo

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Some post-holiday thoughts...

After a much-needed holiday break, Disciples of Doug Dascenzo is back. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Jim Hendry’s evil twin is still running the Cubs while the real Jim Hendry hasn’t been seen since 2003, and may be locked in a tower wearing an iron mask of some sort.

While I was dreaming of sugar plums and Doug Dascenzo autographed Rated Rookies, Jimbo was trying to deal away Mark Prior for Miguel Tejada. This is one of those trades that can be very polarizing. Either people think it’s great or they hate it. Personally, I hate it. Yeah, I know it’s unfair to expect teams to trade away their superstars for our scraps (cough, Corey, cough), but it’s also ridiculous to trade away a 25-year old who was the second coming of Cy Young himself before a freak collision on the basepaths and a line drive off the funny bone.

I don't hate the trade because I think Prior is far too good to trade for Tejada. In actuality, it seems like it might even be somewhat fair - a guy with amazing potential and youth on his side for a former MVP still in his prime (if you believe his birth certificate). I mean, that's not exactly George Bell for Sammy Sosa or anything like that. But the real reason I hate this trade idea? The Cubs absolutely cannot afford to lose any starting pitching. Kerry Wood won’t be ready by Opening Day, and I’ve got jugs of milk with a longer shelf life than his shoulder. Greg Maddux is no longer a sure bet to win 15 games, and he’ll probably be lucky to get 10 this year. Glendon Rusch is only 2 years removed from a 1-12 season, and is better suited out of the pen. Who’s the 5th starter? Jerome Williams? He has some potential, but I wouldn’t count on him for more than 10 wins in anything except a Competitive Twinkie Eating League. The only guy without a question mark after his name is El Toro, who also happens to be my pick (yet again) to win the Cy Young.

The bottom line? The Cubs need their starting pitching more than they need a big bat at shortstop. As much as I love Tejada, and a Prior-Tejada trade might even be fair, it’s the wrong move for the Cubs now and in the future. The right move would have been making a run at him after the 2003 season when he was a free agent rather than choking on the $5 million owed Alex Gonzalez at the time, but I’d rather not get into that right now.

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The other item I wanted to mention today was the absolutely horrifying news that a deal with Marquis Grissom is imminent . Jimbo, you’re really playing with fire here, buddy. We all know how much Dusty loves to play veterans over the youngsters, and we also know how much he loves ex-Giants (see: Perez, Neifi). This is like sticking Bob Marley in a room full of weed and expecting him not to smoke it.* Just plain stupid.

Besides the fact that this essentially means Matt Murton’s freckles will be protected by the shade of the dugout more often than not, it also means Jim Hendry is figuratively walking around holding Dusty “T-Bag” Baker’s pocket. The last thing the Cubs need, yet the first thing Dusty wants, is more old guys who “can catch the ball” but can’t hit. Let’s look at a few numbers for the 39-year old Morgan Freeman look-a-like, shall we?

.212 (Grissom’s batting average in 2005)

.318 (Grissom’s lifetime OBP)

2.24 (His lifetime K/BB ratio)

14.7 (His age, in years, when FDR introduced the New Deal program)

Now before I get all worked up I need to remind myself that this will likely be a non-guaranteed contract and he might not even make the squad, but it’s just disturbing. Why give Dusty more ways to mess up this team? Hendry needs to sign a 19-year old with 1 leg to play left field just to ensure Dusty can’t possibly bench Murton in favor of one of “his guys.”

The one silver lining to this signing? At some point, the Cubs will have the first ever All-Faux French outfield. Something to look forward to.


*Other options for that joke included:
This is like sticking Britney Spears in a room full of trailer trash and expecting her not to get knocked up...
This is like sticking Britney Spears in a room full of Cheetos...
This is like sticking Kobe Bryant in a room full of white chicks...
This is like sticking Kirstie Alley in a room full of Ho-Hos...
This is like sticking R.Kelly in a room full of... Ok that's just too obvious.

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