“Everybody wants to win. But the fans know one team is going to win and one team’s going to lose even before they get to the ballpark. But to come with the spirit of having fun... of laughing, of joking, of making trickery, of booing an umpire, or cheering a star, all the emotions are there. And whoever designed the phrase ‘the agony of defeat’ and ‘the ecstasy of victory’ certainly covered it all. But, it’s a game. Enjoy it.” - Harry Caray, 4th Inning

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Solution?

Reading the Chicago Tribune this morning, I read something that seems to make so much sense, I can't believe it could actually happen:
The only way to get Pie in the lineup would be to move Matt Murton to first, a position he probably could learn quickly if his smooth ascension from Double A to the majors is any indication. That's not in the cards, however, so Pie is stuck at Iowa—at least for now.
Holy Cow! I love the idea because it allows you to add Pie and maintain the strength of the current lineup without subjecting Cub fans to daily appearances by Neifi or Jerry Hairston. Unlike most Cub fans, I have nothing against Neifi. In fact, I really like Neifi. Not only was he responsible for the Cubs '98 playoff appearance by hitting a homerun as a member of the Colorado Rockies (you had to have been there for this to make sense), but he's had some real hot hitting streaks for the Cubs and is a capable super-sub (I still wish we had Miguel Cairo, but that's another story). Hairston wants us to believe he's a better player than what we've seen and I generally feel much better with him out of the lineup. I value Neifi over Hairston because Neifi is better in his limited role than Hairston is in either role. Hairston is sub-par as an everyday player, and very sub-par as a bench player and quite honestly, has not made the most of his chances in the lineup. If there is a solution in the current roster, I think it's John Mabry. I do love his bat off the bench, but don't cut your nose off to spite your face. If we can't scratch together any offense, his bat off the bench is meaningless. I think he could ably perform as a temporary fill-in.

Back to the main point-- If you shift Murton to 1B, you can keep Walker at 2nd, and let Pie play everyday in LF. If Pie turns out to be as good as he's projected to be, everybody wins. But that's the 'x' factor: I refuse to believe the Cubs minor league hype machine anymore. Corey Patterson, Pat Cline, Kevin Orie... Remember them? Patterson is a bit of an oddity because I firmly believe that the Cubs ruined his career with impatience. They brought him up before he was ready, and despite his bull-headedness to take anyone's advice (or everyone's advice), he became the Cubs version of Kwame Brown. So that's the other question-- will the Cubs rush Pie before he's ready, or will they stifle him down in the minors well after he's ready? Maybe the only way to make sure Pie becomes a bonafide superstar is to trade him to the Marlins... seems to work with everyone else, right?

-Fletch

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