Cubs Looking Good in '08; Will It Stay This Way?
It is early in the season, but like all Cubs fans, you always have to be optimistic.
Especially this year, and I think you may know why. If you need help, go rewind a century.
This year is looking like a different Cubs team than in the past. They look like a team that won't fizzle out at the end of May (It happens a lot).
Part of the reason I believe this is that their first road series ended with them getting a sweep. Not only did it end in a sweep, but they won two extra inning games in a row.
These were not 10 inning games either; the first one was 12 innings, and the second was 15 innings. That shows that this team absolutely wants to win, and it feels great.
I knew that the Cubs would probably be a team that would be in the race for the National League Central this year and win it. But (and I am knocking on wood, really hard) I don't even think they'll make it a "race" if you will. They'll win the division by a lot of games.
First, I was a little critical on the move to bring Ryan Dempster to a starting spot, but after his first and only start of the season so far, he really showed a lot. I was very surprised. I will not lie—I didn't like him as a closer. I always wondered when the Cubs would work on their bullpen, and it looks like they did.
Kerry Wood did blow a save, but it happens. He is human. I can see Wood doing very well this year (provided he doesn't get injured...again) and possibly being one of the top closers in the league.
Now Geovany Soto, I always liked this guy. But he's a good catcher and hitter with a .333 batting average and a .410 on-base-percentage. He's a guy that helped the Cubs in a lot of ways last year, and it looks like he hasn't stopped.
The Cubs acquisition of Kosoke Fukudome has so far proven to be a monster off-season move. I think 92 percent of people can actually pronounce his name correctly now, so he must be doing something right. I really liked that move right away, but now I'm in love with that move.
The Cubs really do have a great line-up. According to an article on MLB.com, Lou Piniella doesn't know who leads the Cubs in walks. GM Jim Hendry says he's trying to get better with on-base-percentage.
Well then why doesn't Lou Piniella know who leads the Cubs in walks? If you were really trying to get better in this area, then force Piniella to look at this stat. Maybe he would realize that Fukudome should bat second rather than fifth in the lineup.
Other than that, I'm happy with these wins so far, because they've been good wins, then again any win is a good one. Hopefully by October I'll still be feeling the same way, in the words of Jack Brickhouse, "Hey, Hey!!"
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