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Bruce, we gave you tha keys, and THIS is what you brought home?

¿Dónde está mi dinero, las rameras?

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Wednesday, July 20

It would be a real shame to waste all this

I have been accused several times of wanting the Cubs to do badly, supposedly because if they did well, I'd have nothing to bitch about. Well, hey, I could always find plenty to bitch about, even if they were 13 games in FRONT of St. Looie right now, rather than 13 games behind. Especially if this were a Dusty Baker managed team, which it is.

I just think it would be a real shame if 2005 went by the books without rewarding the efforts of the following:

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez: which goes without saying.

Mark Prior: he may be as fragile as Hilary Duff's supposed virginity, and they may treat him like a veal calf, but when he's been able to pitch, he has battled his ass off, and done very well. Unlike Kerry Wood, he hits the ground running. There's no need to endure 2-3 "adjustment" games where he can't find the plate, and he barely makes it to the fifth inning. One of these years, management will decide to start letting him pitch through a few of these injuries, and once he gets a consistent 36 starts a year, he'll start stacking Cy Youngs up like pancakes.

Neifi: he's never going to get the '!' back on his name, because he's never gonna hit .350 with a .600 SLG for a month for us again. He has regressed to the mean somewhat, but not all the way...I personally am happy, now that he is hitting seventh, to get his current level of production: a .260 average, some key hits to keep innings going, with his solid defense. I'm in no real hurry to see Nomar get back, and Nomar isn't what is going to tip this in, anyway.

Walker: once again, now that he is hitting second, where he should have been all along, notice the difference?

This should have been the lineup all along:

1) A Real Leadoff Hitter, 2) Walker, 3) Lee, 4) Ramirez/Burnitz, 5) see #4, 6) A Real Left Fielder, 7) Neifi, 8) Catcher, 9) Pitcher

You bat Ramirez fourth against lefties, and fifth against righties. Otherwise, you leave the lineup static. How many thousands of times must I tell you all: Players Love Routine. They need to "know their role". You and I can sit here and say that we wouldn't give a possumfuck if we batted second or seventh, we would just hit the ball as hard as we could, because we'd give our firstborn and our left scrotal sac for the chance yada yada yada. Once you "get there", once you feel that you belong, it seems to become very important to "know your role" and prepare for it.

I dunno, and I guess very few of us could know.

Finally: Dempster: yeah, me and some others were stumping for him to have the chance from day one, but I have to admit it had less to do with his own abilities than it did with the abilities of Hawkins, Borowski, Farnsworth, and everyone else they considered for the role. I honestly had no clue whether he could ACTUALLY close.

So there's five guys for you who are having the years of their lives, plus the excellence of Mark Prior. Throw in the consistent efforts of Burnitz, Barrett, Maddux and Rusch, as well as the Three-Ring Circus that is Carlos Zambrano, and this OUGHT to be enough.

We may even be able to create a three-headed monster in left, tossing Gerut into the mix with Hollandsworth and Murton, and live with that.

Or we can use some of that currency, along with Patterson, Hairston, and/or several of our so-called prospects for The Key, Version 05, at left.

Mr. Hendry, Jim, Jimmy? Dazzle 'em, overwhelm 'em...OVERPAY!!!