I am going to write a new article about the Cubs every month of the 2004 Cubs season. Here is issue #4.

Cubs and the Wild Card
July 2004

Trading Deadline

So the end of July brings about the same kind of crazy trade rumors every year. This year the big rumor for the Cubs is that they might trade for Nomar Garciaparra. I think that would be pretty cool. As long as they don't give up any of their starting pitching this would be huge. This is the shortstop that they need and want. Other than that across baseball the only other interesting rumor is the Big Unit. I hope he does get traded to the team the Cubs meet in the playoffs. And I hope the Cubs spank him and I hope the prospects that the Diamondbacks get for Johnson end up being All Stars. Let the trades begin.

NL Central

This has been a pretty tough division this year. Every team has been playing decent baseball. The last place team is only 3 games under .500. I am pretty upset about the Cardinals so I am not going to talk about them. Beyond them I think there is a very good chance that the Wild Card will come from the Central. And the team from the Central to take the Wild Card is ... the Cubs.

Wild Card

Am I alluded to before, I have stopped wasting energy on the Cardinals and I spend my time now looking at the teams in the Wild Card race, including my Cubs. I love the wild card. I think this is the best thing that Bud Selig has implemented since he took over as the Commissioner. It keeps things interesting for teams that otherwise might have not had a chance at the playoffs. Like the Cubs - Their season would have looked very bleak and done if it wasn't for the wildcard. As of about a week ago, they were 10 games out of 1st. To me, that is too much ground to catch up, especially since they don't play the Cardinals any more this year. But with the wild card - they are just 2 games behind San Diego. I love it.

Cubs Offense

The Cubs offense relies way too much on home runs. I think they are much improved since last year but for some reason it seems like they either score 0, 1, or 2 runs one game, and then 10 runs another game. I would love more offensive consistency. I hope they address this before the trade deadline. Another problem with the offense could be attributed to the Cubs not having a true lead off hitter like Juan Pierre or I hate to say it - Tony Womack - a fast player that takes pitchers deep into counts and does anything possible to get on base.

Next 2 Months

So these are the dog days of Summer. All these games are important. Let's win 10 in a row. What the Cubs might need is some weird team thing like they should all shave their heads or grow beards. Something is missing in the attitude and swagger of this team. I think this all can change if we pick up a spark-plug player, a gamer, a player whose initials are NG and who plays SS for B-O-S-T-O-N. Our starting pitching rotation is all healthy and our bats have shown sparks of brilliance. So lets play solid defense and have some good baserunning and win some games and get a lead in the Wild Card race. Go Cubs.