Well we got Nomar. I don't know how Jim Hendry pulled off yet another great move. I love Nomar. He is a ballplayer. He hustles on every play. He plays better D that I thought he did and he can HIT. Also from my understanding, he volunteers in the Boston community. He is just a great guy. The Boston media painted him to not be a team guy. That doesn't sound true at all. I hope the Cubs give him a long term deal. He is the shortstop we have been looking for.
The Cubs have been beat up all year. If they make the playoffs, they most likely will be the team with the most guys that have been on the DL at some point this year. Most lately we have been waiting for Hollandsworth's bat to return and Borowski's bullpen help. Also, Nomar and Aramis have lingering injuries that don't allow them to play every day. All teams have to deal with injuries, but this year the Cubs have been hit as hard as any other team. Hopefully everyone will be close to 100% if they make the playoffs.
The Cubs seam to have a temper problem this year. I think they have something like 12 suspensions or ejections. That is crazy. Between Farnsworth kicking fan and hurting his leg (which is actually a blessing) and all the whining at umps, this team looks like a bunch of cry babies. There are guys like Barrett, Nomar, and Maddux that have been calm and cool. But some players tend to slam their helmet and look at the ump funny every time they strike out. It is getting annoying.
I think the Cubs will win the wild card. I am not just saying this as an overoptimistic Cubs fan but as a realist. The Cubs have the best overall team and far superior pitching than the Giants, Padres, Astros, and Marlins. Also the Cubs play most of their remaining games against sub .500 teams. The wildcard is pretty much the Cubs only chance of making the playoffs. It is going to be a fight until the end of the year.
Looking Ahead to September
September might be as wild of a ride as last year. I think the Cubs went like 20-9 in September 2003. It looks like the Cubs will have to do that well this year since their is a 5 team fight for the Wild Card. I like the Cubs starting pitching and how their offense has shown consistent run production lately. It might boil down to the bullpen. Either Jim Hendry steps up again and pulls off a waiver deal for a closer and Latroy moves back into the setup man role, Borowski comes back and pitches his tail off, or a guy like Leicaster, Dempster, or Wellemeyer come out of nowhere and wow all of us.