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Tuesday, October 5

Postmortem, part deux

Don't worry, Francheezie...when they make me the King, I'll get you the help you need!

Today's installment deals with my ideal situation, as if I were in charge. Tomorrow will deal with the real world, such as it is.

I see that Dusty is trying to worm himself back into my good graces, by breaking bad on the Samala. There seems to be a corporate-wide effort to portray Sam-Me as the Bad Guy, so there won't be as much flack when he is traded, at a considerable cost.

The very first order of business, when I send Andy McSweatervest for a year-long cruise around the world, is call Jim Hendry into my office, congratulate him on his efforts up until now, and give him a big raise and the most comfortable phone headset in the planet.

The next order of business is to trade Sammy Sosa. If it were me, I would not expect anything more than a PTBNL. I would expect to pay a third of his $36M that he is due over the next two years. I would give them Farnsworth. I would also expect to give them their pick of my pitching prospects. I would hope that this would be a sufficient number of name players to include. I would NOT also give them Corey Patterson, because I believe that he has more value than a throw-in.

Not that I am beholden to KEEP Corey, mind you.

Then, I would go after Edgar Renteria full out, not only because of his own value, but because of the damage it would do to the Cardinals. I don't even care if Nomar ended up in St. Louis. I would be comfortable making that trade.

I would sign Ramirez, and cross my fingers that he will continue to play hard. I would keep Walker, Grieve, Hollandsworth, and Neifi Perez. I would say goodbye to Martinez, Goodwin, and Grud, as well as Kent Mercker, the tool.

I gotta keep Bako for one more year, because now Prior likes to throw to him, too. He actually improved somewhat in the last month or two. I can't believe I am actually saying this.

I honestly do not believe that Beltran would come to Chicago, even if the AssTrolls can't scratch up enough to sign him. I somehow think that the 'Trolls will get it done. So, that having been said, I would allow Moises Alou to go out and negotiate his best deal, and if he cares to, he can come back to see what we can offer afterwards. I would not care to give him anything more than $7M for one year with a club option for 2006, what with his whining and his shitty attitude. He can take it or leave it. If he takes it, he automatically gets the Sammy suite, where he is shunted off by himself, where he can do no harm.

Why? He DID hit 40 jacks and drove in 100, for God's sake. Played every day. Some think HE is the bad karma in the room. I don't think so, myself.

Otherwise, I would like to see Jason Dubois compete for the LF job.

Right now, I have holes in RF, as well as in the pen. I have decisions to make on Matt Clement, Glendon Rusch, and Ryan Dempster.

Dempster's option is $2M, pocket change, so I pick it up, and hope for the best.

I am going to gamble a little, and ask Rusch if he would be comfortable serving in the exact same role in 2005 as he had this year. If so, I would bring him back. Otherwise, I would wish him luck, for his free agent value will NEVER be higher than it is right now.

The key to the offseason is coming up, in a minute, so stay tuned.

I believe Clement is a .500 pitcher, an inning-eater. You have seen his upside. That being said, I may end up offering him a contract, depending on whether I can use Kerry Wood to troll for a RF.

The key to 2005 is a Wood trade. He has Prior's talent, Zambrano's red ass, and he is starting to learn some of Maddux's patience and pitch economy. He is a vocal force in the Clubhouse, and some would say, at 7 years of service, that he is the Face of the Cubs, especially with Sosa gone (see above).

And that's just it. Since Baker is unable or unwilling to take control of his mental midgets, someone from the rank-n-file needs to do so. Baker is obviously used to Leadership From Within, and there is a lot to say about that. I personally believe in it, too. On this club, it had to come from Wood. Even when he was on the DL, he had to be the man.

What did Wood do in 2004? He went 8-9, and sure, a few of his best efforts were wasted. He also lead the league (again) in hit batsmen. He got himself suspended. He stood by idly, while his teammates lashed out in an indiscriminate paranoia against the print media, against their own announcers, and ESPECIALLY against umpires and opponents. All the while, he would come on the radio and announce to one and all that "everything was under control" in the clubhouse, a ridiculous lie if ever there was one.

There will be someone, like Texas, who will be panting for his flame-throwing potential. I would be willing to take ANY of their young hitters (Blalock, Texiera, Soriano, Young), regardless of position, stick him in RF, and bat him fourth, behind Ramirez, and ahead of my LF and Corey.

Do I still have enough to sign a closer? Maybe Philly would take Angel Guzman and Sergio Meat Tray, for Billy Wagner? Since this is my dream world, let's say they do. I hate to lose Guzman, but I don't care about Meat Tray. He's had his chances. I don't put as much stock in his LA upbringing as Dusty does.

Let's look at my tentative roster:

C: Bako, Barrett
IF: Ramirez, Renteria, Walker, Lee, Perez, Macias
OF: Soriano, Patterson, DuBois, Hollandsworth, Grieve, possibly Alou
P: Prior, Clement, Zambrano, Rusch, Dempster, Maddux, Remlinger, Hawkins, Wagner, Borowski, Leicester, Wellmeyer

We'd have more team speed, less reliance on the home run, and most of all, many of the bad actors on this 2004 team would be gone.