Aramis Ramirez Hurt: Chicago Cubs Go from Winter Fantasy to Grim Reality

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Aramis Ramirez Hurt: Chicago Cubs Go from Winter Fantasy to Grim Reality
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The sword of time will pierce our skins

It doesn't hurt when it begins

But as it works its way on in

The pain grows it grin, but...

Every season has its theme, and apparently 2009 is the season of M.A.S.H. Walking wounded. Dying hopes. And the occasional laugh, if only not to cry.

The Cubs put the topper on last night, when Aramis Ramirez would leave the game against the Brewers with a dislocated shoulder. The only news at this point is that he's expected to be out for four to six weeks.

Sigh. This is the third time Ramirez has suffered this injury in his career, with the two previous DL stints being about a month, so when I hear six weeks, I at least believe it. I hope more than anything that this doesn't become something more chronic, and that his recovery is 100 percent.

As for the Cubs, well, they're just a mess. More specifically though, they're really just not that good a team with the product that they're currently fielding. .500?

Probably, but when half your starters aren't healthy, the other half isn't hitting, and your bullpen is DOA, it's probably time to start thinking about how to best manage the situation enough to keep your head above water, and less about playoff plans.

The acquisition of Ryan Freel from the Orioles will help; a K-Mart version of Mark DeRosa, who can play some games at third. And Bobby Scales can probably get a refill on that cup of coffee.

But this is the type of injury that leaves you in No Man's Land. Not long enough to splurge on a big-time replacement, but longer than these fill-ins should really be playing. Maybe you kick the tires on a Frank Catalonnotto. Maybe a Ray Durham. Someone who can give you a few weeks; maybe allow Fontenot to man third regularly for a while. We'll see.

In reality though, someone on the current roster is going to have to step up, and make plays. I don't give up on a season in May. Teams don't give up on a season in May. And I certainly hope fans don't give up on a season in May.

The Cubs will need to create some runs, fix that awful bullpen—that Randy Wells start last night has me wondering if he can help—and try to keep headlights on the Cardinals. If they can do that, they should be able to get some reinforcements by the All-Star Break, be it Ramirez back, or an impact bat to add to the mix.

So, after fans screaming loudly all off-season about the incredible need for a capable bench player to man third, the Cubs finally figure out what even 17-year old, pimply-faced teenagers knew three months ago, and now spend a few million—if not more—for Ryan Freel to fix it.

I look at this team, and wonder more each day what the hell Jim Hendry was thinking last winter.

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