Do they make Viagra for baseball bats? Can it improve performance? If so, the Cubs had better start taking it.
Alright, so maybe that is a bit of a cheap shot. But, after all, our Cubbies have scored just two runs in their last 27 innings against the Cardinals. Now they head to San Diego, where they expect to revive their slumping bats in a ballpark that is pitcher friendly, against a team that hasn't lost since the Cubs swept them.
Good luck with that.
Actually, it's so illogical that it just might work. Anyway, it's no more illogical than the argument that the Cubs didn't win in the playoffs because they didn't have enough left-handed bats.
Since then, they went out and acquired the services of Milton Bradley, Joey Gathright, Aaron Miles, and others, while dumping the obviously useless right-handed bat of Mark DeRosa.
Well, how has that worked out thus far?
Oh, it's early, right? It's always early until it's too late. At what point does the bewitching hour actually start? Tomorrow never knows, and perhaps we won't know until it is too late to do anything about it.
Truth is, a loss in April and May still shows up in the final standings.
All I know is that the Cubs offense has been offensive lately. In fact, the entire season has been a letdown from 2008, when the Cubs boasted one of the top run-producing lineups in the game.
To think that a team could play 162 games, win 97 of them, and then play three horrible games in the playoffs and suddenly the offense is no good is to believe in the Easter Bunny, my friends.
Yet that's what Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella fell for, hook, line, and stinker.
I appreciate Little Mikey as much as the next Cubs fan, but let's face it, Fontenot is a nice utility player. A solid left-handed bat off the bench and a capable fill-in. But he's probably not an every day player.
Geo Soto may still turn it around, though the jury is out. Milton Bradley, thus far, is a no-show. Derrek Lee, save for one game against Houston, looks lost at the plate, like someone whose strength has been sapped by taking away the steroid needle.
There, I said it. Reckless? Maybe, but I'm tired of hearing the excuse about a wrist that was broken three years ago. Balderdash.
Aramis Ramirez is out until after the All-Star game, most likely. Meanwhile, Ryan Freel is certainly not the answer. In fact, with him, I don't even know what the question is.
Yes, it's a relatively small sample size, but it appears that Micah Hoffpauir can hit. Unfortunately, he should only be allowed to carry a first baseman's mitt.
And, other than inury, we all know how scared Lou is to sit D-Lee down, for fear of making him angry. Hey, at least that might breathe some life into the corpse.
Soriano is streaky. When he's hot, he can carry a club. When he's not, he might as well be on a bus to Buffalo.
Simply put, there are two main ways to win a ball game. One is to outscore the other team. The second way is to limit your opponent's scoring.
The first way isn't going to work for the Cubs on most nights, unless Hendry gets off his butt and gets us some help. And I don't mean Ryan Freel, folks.
Jake Fox? Can't play defense.
The second way requires solid pitching which, for the most part, they do have. Ah, but it also requires solid defense. The Cubs aren't terrible in that regard, but they're middle of the pack. That precludes using Hoffpauir in the outfield and Fontenot anywhere else but second base.
Look, defense is important stuff, people. An outstanding defender can save a team several wins a season. Overall, defense is generally worth about 50% of an offensive player's value, in terms of wins and losses.
In other words, a no-hit, good fielder is worth about half of the value of a solid hitter. That's something that teams are finally beginning to realize, now that the metrics are advancing in this area.
But our GM only recently learned the value of on-base percentage, so don't expect him to read the tea leaves and understand sabermetrics.
In the mean time, let's stay close and hopefully Hendry will have some money to spend at the trade deadline. That is no sure thing, since the sale of the team might not be completed until August.
If some of this seems harsh, Cubs fans, well, it should be. It's time we demanded more from our Cubs. That lovable loser stuff is a thing of the past.
Cubs fans should not accept mediocrity. Not after 97 wins last year, and not with a $140 million dollar payroll. And especially after waiting so damn long, come to think of it.