I am going to write a new article about the Cubs every month of the 2006 Cubs season. Here is issue #1.

July 2006

Everyone is calling for Baker's head. I am going to be one of the only people that says they should keep him. I like his attitude. He seems to have the players behind him. And take a look at the Sox. Guillen is out of control. He is cocky and just an ass. He has a horrible mouth. I just think if I was a player, who would I want to play for? The answer is Dusty. I have had bosses like Guillen and I hated them. Dusty is my kind of guy. Give him another chance. He is a proven winner.

Who should the Cubs keep
It seems like Cubs fans have come to the point where we are already looking at next year. Lets start with the guys the Cubs should keep. As for pitchers, I think they should build the rotation around Zambrano, Prior, and Marmol. Z is far and away the best pitcher we have. I think Prior will come around. He is young, they can't give up on him yet. And this kid Marmol seems to have some electic stuff. That is a young nucleus of starting pitching for the future. Maybe add 1 or 2 veteran starters and there is your 2007 rotation. That means they might have to overpay for Barry Zito but if Wood and Maddux are off the books, they will have plenty of money to spend.

On the offensive side I think they should keep Lee, Pierre, Cedeno, Walker, Aram and Barrett. That is right. They need to keep Pierre around. He is a legit lead off hitter and a career .300 hitter. Ever since the Cubs didn't resign Lofton after 2003 we have been looking for a lead off hitter. That guy is Pierre. I also want to keep Walker around. He is a Major League hitter. If Pie is ready he can take a corner outfield spot and lets go get a big run producer for the other OF spot. People are talking about Carlos Lee. I love his numbers I just can't stand him. He seems like such an ass.

In the bullpen, the need to hold on to Eyre and Howry. The guys are the real deal. Bullpens seem to be a mish mash of young and old guys. Eyre and Howry can be our old guys. Whoever the young guys doesn't really matter at this point. I think it can be Aardsma, Wuertz, and Novoa. Guys like that. A big question here will be who can close since I won't mention Dempster again until the trade section of this article. He hasn't shown a ton at the big league level yet but I think Aardsma might become a solid closer. That kid can wing the ball. Other teams plug in kids to become sucessful closers like Papelbon, Lidge, and Chad Cordero. Why can't the Cubs do this?

Who should they trade
As much as I hate writing about this I think the Cubs will need to move some of the following guys. The tough part of this for me is that some guys I have on my list ar my favorite Cubs. But I think for the Cubs to be a playoff team, they are going to have to find different guys to fill these spots. The guys that they should look to move are Murton, Nevin, Jones, Wood, Maddux, Marshall, and Dempster. Murton seems like a great kid. I just wonder if he is ever going to have enough power to be a bif offensive contributor. As much as I hate him I think we need someone like Carlos Lee. The same goes for Jones. He has had a great first half but I don't think he is 30 homer a year guy.

They should trade him while his value is high. More and more lately I think that we caught lightning in a bottle with Dempster. He seems like a decent pitcher and an awesome guy but I am not sure if he has closers stuff.

It will be weird, but seeing Wood in another team's uniform next year will probably happen. And that is fine because like Corey Patterson I don't think Wood's career will progress here on the Northside. The Cubs should trade him while they can. If they can get any minor league prospects for him, do it.