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What to expect from the Cubs this season...
So here comes another great season of Chicago Cubs baseball and following that are the expectations of a Word Series in Chicago. Is it realistic? Well, former Cub Broadcaster Steve Stone believes so. On the Score radio station in Chicago, Stone said he believes that the Cubs will walk away with the National League title this year. He says that the subtraction of Alou and Sosa are going to pay dividends when it comes to scoring more runs.
What do I think? Well Sosa has always been one of my favorite players but he has shown little or no interest to become a team player. Alou was also a fan favorite. I, personally, have never seen him smile before which cant be good in the clubhouse. Maybe it was all the chewing tobacco he had in his mouth. Another thing I like is that these two would play the worst defense out of any outfield combination that I have seen in recent memory. I am not sure but I think the total was like 12 errors from them combined. Alou was terrible on the base path, which is not characteristic for a 10-12 year veteran.
The bar has been set too high on Corey Patterson. He is a strike out machine that can’t realize he has to use his speed much more than hitting a homerun. If he decides to cut down on that hard swing his average and stolen bases should go up and the strikeouts and homeruns will decrease. That’s what they need with the lead off guy. Hairston may or may not play in left. If they try to put him in at 2nd I would not be happy if I was Todd Walker. He needs to have the security of knowing he will be in the lineup everyday.
Hollandsworth may have a great start but he probably will get hurt. I say they should make an offer for Aubrey Huff. He only struck out 74 times last season which means he should be a great RBI guy as shown by his 104 RBI last season. He also played in 157 games at multiple positions, which could prove great value. They need a prominent lefty on top of Walker and Burnitz. He fits the bill.
In addition to the offense, Pitching should be a plus. The Cubs only got 43 combined starts from Wood and Prior. That should increase to about 64, which would give the Cubs about 32 wins at least between the two. Wood has always been a .500 pitcher but Prior has the ability to win over 20. Maddux had another 16 win season along with Zambrano, but Maddux also had his worst ERA since his rookie season.
The bullpen is another question mark. Joe Borowski has said that he regained his velocity of a couple years ago. I'll believe it when he is getting people out. I am actually looking forward to Ryan Dempster as the closer. He reminds me of a Joe Nathan type that will not get rattled like LaTroy Hawkins visibly did last year. Then Hawkins will return to the Set-Up role which he is great at. They still might make a move for Urbina or someone else. Urbina is the more likely choice given the amount of arms in that Detroit bullpen. So will they win? Probably not. Something will happen to continue the worst case of losing in professional sports. Boston did end their drought last year...ahh, nevermind with the cliche's. John