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

September 2006

Young Pitchers
The easy thing to write about is all of the injured players that the Cubs have but I am not going to go there. That is too easy. All teams have injuries. The good teams have capable backups that fill in when your #1 guys are hurt. This season for the Cubs can be called the season of the young arms. The Cubs have had something like 8 different rookie starters. Some have looked decent but they all have been very inconsistent. The most inconsistent has been Rich Hill. Beween him, Marmol, and Marshall - I think those are the only guys that might be legit big league starters. The other guys are going to be relievers at best.

Young Position Players
Cedeno Murton and Pagan This has been an interesting year for the young Cubs position players. It has been a roller coaster. Murton started out great, had a rough month or so and now is tearing it up. Cedeno started out decent and has been in steady decline. Some say that these guys have never had this many at bats and they play all year round with Winter Ball. Is that an excuse? They are pro athletes in top shape. This is baseball. They should be in enough shape to play year round. Pagan has been fun to watch. The ball jumps off his bat, he can run and throw. If I had to pick my favorite of these 3 I would say that Murton has had the best year. He has a great eye. He should be our #2 hitter next year. Now go trade Jones and get a home run hitting right fielder. Does Sosa want to come back?

I love that Derrek Lee returned to the lineup this year instead of just hanging it up to recover from his wrist injury. That shows what kind of player he is. Even though the Cubs are out of the playoff picture, Lee wants to compete and help the team win some games. And he has looked solid in his return. He can flat out hit and defend first base. The Cubs need 24 more Derrek Lees. He is the model citizen and model player.

Baker and Girardi
In all likelihood, Cubs management will try and find another manager at the end of this season. I want to directly compare Dusty Baker and Joe Girardi and their styles. They are pretty much opposite personalities. Baker is a players manager which pretty much means that he lets the players do whatever they want. Girardi is more strict and he demands respect from his players. So far in Florida it seems to work. If the Marlins had the Yankees payroll, they would have 966 wins right now based on my calculations. I have been a Dusty backer pretty much since the day he was hired. I would be in the minority and say that I would be fine if they gave him an extension. I like Dusty. I would want to work for him. I would also be all for hiring Girardi. People keep failing to note that Girardi is under contract with the Marlins. But if they fire him, lets grab him and overpay him.

Wrigley Expansion
I have a strange fascination with the Wrigley expansion. To date, I think they have done a super job. The new bleachers and 3 new rows behind home plate really fit in well. The Cubs originally had a plan to erect a building in between Clark and Wrigley where the old hot dog stand and car wash are currently located. Recently they said rising costs have put this project on hold. I am really interested to see what this building is going to end up looking like. and how it fits in that spot. I realize that the Cubs are in dire need for parking and players facilities but this whole them restaurant sounds lame. I have been to the Fridays in Chase Field and walked through the one in Rogers Centre. They are boring tourist traps. Wrigleyville is loaded with unique bars and restaurants. Who would want to go to The Wrigley Bennigan's. Not me.