Dear Jim Hendry and Co.,
Congratulations on your stellar season thus far. You're at, or nearing, the halfway point of the season and your Cubbies stand alone in first place in the NL Central Division. At one point, your team even had the best record in all of Major League Baseball.
Much to my surprise, your powerful lineup has done well minus star outfielder (or slugger, I should say) Alfonso Soriano.
What worries me, Jim, is your rotation. Before lashing back, hear me out on this.
Your starting rotation has done very well, up to this point. Carlos Zambrano is 8-3, definite Big Z numbers, Ryan Dempster has been a pleasant surprise, and the young arms have delivered, for the most part, when called upon. Heck, even Kerry Wood is pulling through in the clutch and we all know it has been awhile since that was the case.
What worries me is this: One injury to the starting rotation and your whole season could go down the Wrigleyville drains. The Cubs have been struggling a bit lately, dropping six of their last ten before getting swept by the South Siders.
I don't think its coincidence that the slide began when Big Z placed himself on the DL with a right shoulder strain. Yes, he is only one man and accounts for one of every five starts, but he also happens to be your ace and the face of this franchise alongside Derek Lee and Soriano.
Being the power pitcher that Zambrano is, a right shoulder strain is nothing to mess with. I understand he threw a bullpen session and will pitch against the Cardinals Friday, who just so happen to be only two games back in the division now.
I'm a die hard Red Sox fan, Jim, but in the past few years I've loved pulling for the North Siders. They're the lovable losers, but that wasn't my attraction to the Cubbies.
There is something about Cubdom that gets me: Wrigley Field, Chicago, and perhaps living in Indiana for the past four years. It would be an awful year to come out and say I'm a "Cubs Fan", because that would certainly sound bandwagon. But Red Sox Nation is really making me sick—where were all these fans before 2004? So for now, I'm enjoying the Cubs ride.
My advice is this: Go after Mariners left-hander Erik Bedard. The Mariners are in no position to make a run in the AL West and would love to deal him for some young talent (Felix Pie?).
So far, C.C. Sabathia has been the hot ticket of trade rumor talks as far as starting pitching goes. Forget Sabathia, Bedard is a competitor and adding a talented lefty to the rotation, most likely for a reasonable price, could end the drought at 100 years and not a century plus one.
Good luck the rest of the way, Mr. Hendry. I'll be looking for you in October.
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