I am going to write a new article about the Cubs every month of the 2006 Cubs season.

October 2006 in Review

When Derrek Lee broke his hand early in the season, who would have known the magnitude of that play. That pretty much ended the Cubs hope to do anything. Everything seemed to start and end with Lee. The Cubs tried out Todd Walker, Mabry, traded for Nevin, and even Blanco at 1B. You really don't know what you got until it is gone because even though the subs did an admirable job, there is nothing like Lee's defense at 1B. And Lee's bat was really missed and proved that Aramis is more of a role player and less of a limelight kind of guy.

The Cubs played something crazy like 7 guys at 2B in 2006. Second has become the Cubs new 3B problem. Ever since Santo, the Cubs had trouble finding a steady 3B but Aramis stopped that problem. Now the problem is 2B. Ever since Sandberg's retirements - the Cubs have rotated anyone and everyone at 2B. That is why Soriano would look awesome in Cubbie blue. Go get him Hendry!

Cedeno is not a Major League shortstop. If we don't get Soriano maybe the can work a deal for Arod. If not, Izturis would be fine but his bat is weak. Sure he might be able to get on base but he has no power. The Cubs need to find some more power at one of the middle infield positions or in CF. Another option would be finding a way to trade for  Vernon Wells who it sounds like is on his way out of Toronto.

I believe that Aramis Ramirez is taking the option on his deal to possibly become a free agent. I hope the Cubs can work something out. As I mentioned earlier, the Cubs have not had a solid 3B since Santo. Aramis is the real deal
and he is at the age when most guys have career years. His defense has improved also.  If Aram walks, the Cubs really don't have anyone in their system to take his place and probably will end up with a junky rent-a-player guy.  I  think Pedro Feliz would be that kind of guy. He is solid but I don't like his batting average.

Jacque Jones had a nice year and he will be back. His only problem is that his arm was just awful but I guess he was nursing some arm trouble and might have even had sugery in the off season. I hope the Cubs can resign Juan  Pierre. He just gets hits. And he steals lots of bases. I think his work ethic rubs off on the young players too. Left  field probably will be Murton's job to lose unless they get Carlos Lee or someone like that. Murton's patience was just great. I think they should bat him #2.

Starting Pitching
Once again we put all our eggs in the Prior and Wood basket and our eggs cracked and broke once again. It looks  like Zambrano and Rich Hill are locks and maybe Marshall/Marmol could be a #5 but we need at least one real-deal  starter. Everyone loves Zito, Schmidt and the guy Daisuke Matsuzaka from Japan who will all cost a ton of dough. I  think they should take a long look at Suppan,Mulder , Vicente Padilla, Jason Marquis, and Mark Buehrle. I know that my list has a lot of Cardinals which I don't like but we need guys that can go out there every 5th day and not spend their off days at the doctor's office.

The new look to the bullpen this year with Eyre and Howry looked pretty good. Obviously, Dempster had a real bad  year and leaves doubt whether he can return to his 2004 form. I still am not sold on Aardsma and Novoa but I have always like Wuertz. I am sure the Cubs will add an arm or two in the pen. A lights out closer would be awesome but  another young guy that throws strikes would be fine with me.

As of now it is looking like Pinella will be signed next week. The whole time I have been pulling for Girardi but the  more I think about it, I am fine with Pinella. It will be a lot different that the Dusty years. I am interested to see who Pinella is going to bring along with him, specifically hitting and pitching coaches. I am sure next year that everything will be a lot different and if Pinella is the guy, us fans should get to read a lot of crazy quotes from him in the paper.

Front Office
McPhail is a McFailure and gone and the Cubs are now going to be run by a Marketing guy. I like his #1 goal - to win the World Series and I like his #1 Marketing idea - to win. He said that winning is the best Marketing idea out there. We shall see. Hendry is probably on a short leash and has a lot of work to so. After the coach hiring, I hope Hendry can make some moves via trade because the list of free agents is that impressive this year.