I have taken a couple of weeks to detox from the icky play that the Cubs had versus the Dbax in the playoffs. The way it all played out shows us that even though the Cubs made the playoffs, they were not a competitive playoff team - at least they were not on top of their game as they entered the series. But this should not take away anything from the great job they did in 2007. The Cubs had a huge turnaround in 2007. They went from worst to first. This is not easy to do. I guess it is easy if you spent the amount of money that the Cubs did but you still have to play the games. The big guys in 2007 were Lilly, Zambrano, Soriano, DeRosa, and Theriot. Those guys had a great year.
The Cubs looked very bad in the playoffs this year. Everyone says it is all about momentum and that is usually the case. The weird thing is that the Cubs had some momentum going into the playoffs but the momentum seemed to come to a screeching halt after the 1st pitch against Arizona. I thought the issue would be pitching but the big issue ended up being lack of offense by the Cubs big 3 bats, Lee, Aramis, and Soriano. I think the Cubs won't have to make huge changes to get further in the playoffs next year. Adding 1 more arm and maybe 1 more bat would kick them to the next level.
New owners and wrigley
We might not know who will be the new owners of the Cubs until the beginning of the 2008 season. I hope that doesn't cause any problems for Jim Hendry and whoever is in charge of creating the payroll budget. Rumor is that the Cubs payroll will be 115 million bucks. That would give Hendry some room to sign some guys including a free agent outfielder. I think the Japanese player Fukudome would be really exciting. The Cubs are right in the middle of redoing the entire drainage and playing surface of Wrigley. The project was supposed to cost $1.5 million and also lower the playing surface a few feet which could mean more seats for folks that have a crazy amount of disposable income.
Hot stove, RF
The hot stove is piping hot. This year has a solid list of top tier free agents including Arod, Torii Hunter, and Andruw Jones. I do feel good though that the Cubs don't have to make any huge moves, possibly just adding a right fielder and starting pitcher. The guys we have heard about so far have been the 2 Japanese players. Both would be huge additions. I am so sick of these guys but once again there are questions surrounding Prior and Wood. It sounds like they both might be back but I would be fine if they sign elsewhere and free up roster spots for the Cubs for healthy players.
2008 NL Central
As it stands right now, the Cubs are the team to beat in the 2008 NL Central but obviously a lot of turnover on team's rosters will happen before opening day. Houston needs arms bad, St. Louis has a new GM that has to fix a sucky ass rotation, the Brewers should be back and solid but they need to resign their closer Cordero if they can afford him, the Reds will be entertaining so say the least with Dusty, and the Pirates are the bottom feeding Pirates but have new management and coaching. It all comes down to pitching and if the Cubs add another legit #2 or #3 starter, I see them winning the division again. If the Cubs starters suffer any serious injuries in 2008 which is a very real possibility, I see it being another long Summer in Wrigleyville.