Well well, how time has flown by!
It has come time for the Major League season to start this next week, and let me just say that I am as excited as anyone to finally have the Cubs and baseball back in my life! Before I get into anything here, I just want to say, as I have in the past, that I'm really going to try and keep up with this thing more this season than I have in the past...it's just a matter of remembering that I have this thing (my internet time is primarily consumed by the devil that is Myspace! ARGH!)
Anyways, to anyone out there that is actually reading this, I had the opportunity to FINALLY make it down to Arizona for Spring Training just a few short weeks ago and it was simply AMAZING! I went with two of my friends and had just a fabulous time. To anyone that has thought about going down there for some Cactus League action but has never done it, I strongly urge you to do it! It was nothing like seeing baseball in a major league park...I actually think it is a bit more fun. Everything is so laid back down there and the players are MUCH more accessible for autographs, pictures and flat out conversations.
Ok, so getting a little bit into this coming season...Kerry Wood
and Mark Prior
will open up the season on the DL...wow, what a surprise. Kerry Wood is coming along from the reports that I have heard, and he SHOULD be ready by mid April. Until both Prior and Wood are ready, guys like Jerome Williams
and possibly Sean Marshall
will be filling holes in the rotation.
As far as hitting and fielding go, I've got just a couple of thoughts here:Second base
-- Todd Walker
SHOULD be the starting second baseman, end of story. Now, I'm a fan of Walker yes, but I don't hate Jerry Hairston
and Neifi Perez
. Walker is a guy who is going to hit .300 of close to it, drive in a bunch of runs and hit you 15-20 homeruns. Granted his defense isn't the BEST, it isn't poor either. Hairston and Perez have a little better range than Walker, but if I were manager I would want the guy that is a much better hitter (Walker is close to a career .300 hitter) in the lineup rather than a guy in Hairston that's a career .270-something hitter.Outfield
-- I really like the way that our outfield has shaped up since last season. Juan Pierre
is a HUGE addition to that outfield. That guy can flat out play. He's usually the first one at the ballpark in the morning and the last one to leave at night. He's going to be a great addition in the leadoff spot and in the outfield as compared to a guy like Corey Patterson
, or Jerry Hairston playing out there.
I like the addition of Jacque Jones, as well. This guy has been a pretty good player in the past with Minnesota, but had an off year last season. He has worked hard this off-season to get back into his old form, and I look for him to put up the number that we're all used to seeing from this guy.
In left field, I love Matt Murton
out there. I am a huge fan of his, and I think that this has all the potential in the world to do great things in a Cubs uniform. Last season, he hit .321 with 7 homers and 21 RBIs in the 5 weeks or so that he was up in the majors. He has hit at every level he has ever played at, and hit well. As of the beginning of the week, he was leading the Cactus League in batting (I think it was batting) at something like .486 and had an OPS of over .525
Although the starting rotation is in a bit of disarray at the moment, the Cubs have a ton of talent on the team and I still look for them to have a great season. BRING ON BASEBALL!!!