I am going to write a new article about the Cubs every month of the 2005 Cubs season. Here is issue #4.

Things are looking better
June 2005

Wood and Prior
It seems like every season we are waiting for Wood and Prior to come back from injury and carry the team into the playoffs. This year looks the same with those guys coming back this week and pitching gems to bring the Cubs their 4th year in a row. It is only good that they are back. I do want to thank Mitre and Rusch for doing a great job in the rotation until these guys are back. It is also looking like Jerome Robertson will be our 5th starter which is fine in my opinion. I still have not seen him pitch but his numbers with San Fran last year looked pretty good. Maybe he can be the Cubs version of Livan Hernandez - a large man that throws strikes and gets people out and wins.

Big Trade
The question really is - what trade will Hendry pull off. He seems to consistently make a July move to help his team every year he has been the GM. He got us Aramis, Lofton, and Nomar. What will he do this year. I am still all over unloading Patterson. I am sure he will be a great big leaguer but I can't wait any longer. I hate watching him strike out. And even his homers are non-climatic, un-clutch, one-run shots. His speed does nothing for the team when he strikes out and walks back to the bench. I would be fine if we could get Kotsay, Preston Wilson, Winn, or even Jay Payton. It seems like the Cubs have been looking for a traditional lead-off hitter for years and why they haven't re-signed Lofton and Womack I will never know. Or lets even just let Jerry Hairston lead off for a long stretch and see what he can do.

Derrek Lee is the man. He is letting us quickly forget about Sosa. Lee is such a likable guy and who doesn't like his numbers? I don't think Lee will hit .400 the whole year but he is a legitimate candidate for the Triple Crown. As long as he keeps the home run pace up I think he will do it. I also hope that Lee gets the start at 1B over Pujols in the All-Star game - pretty much because I love seeing the Cubs top the Cardinals in anything.

Rest of League
This is a pretty cool season. I love seeing the Nationals and Padres in 1st and up until recently - Baltimore. I hope that Boston wins the AL East and I hope the Yankees end up losing the wild card to maybe Minnesota. I know it is only the end of June but it is the dog days of Summer. I think the teams that are in 1st in the all-star break have show a legitimate chance to win it all. And 3 out of the last 4 champs have been wild cards.

Wild Card and Cardinals
Unless St. Louis has some crazy injury problems I think the Cubs are going to have to set their sites on the Wild Card and that is always an exciting, close race. The Wild Card truly has changed the game. I heard they are even considering moving the trade deadline to August 31 since so many more teams are in the playoff hunt now with the Wild Card. I hate the Cardinals - it would be great if the Cubs can catch them. We will see ...