Skip to main content

The Cubs just got better, but at a price. And it's worth it.

I cringe at the loss of mega-prospect Eloy Jiminez and possible future ace Dylan Cease, and I wonder whether Jose Quintana is going to be enough to put my Cubs over the top in their quest to repeat as world champions. I think they're going to need one more starting pitcher, which means one more trade, and right now third baseman Jeimer Candelario is the only top-five prospect they have at any position. I question what he would bring in a trade.

Of course, Jiminez had no future with the Cubs, who apparently are committed to Schwarber in left field despite his huge defensive downside. And it's hard to see Candelario displacing Kris Bryant. We'll see what Jedstein has in store but at the very least the Quintana trade puts us in good shape looking to 2018. That's especially the case since Quintana's contract- a big enough consideration that one writer said that it was nearly the equivalent of the Cubs getting another player- keeps him locked in at a reasonable price through the start of the next decade. The Cubs will be in the hunt for an ace in the free agent market and given Quintana's contract and what they'll save in letting Jake Arrieta walk they'll be in a position to spend the bucks. So the chief comfort of our sub par year in 2017 thus far remains: we'll certainly be back in 2018, perhaps with even a stronger squad than last year's team.

Of course, the Astros and Dodgers and D'backs and Nats will, too.

This year, I think we're still in the hunt. Starting next week we have a string of games which may be crucial: Cardinals, Cardinals, Cardinals, Sox, Sox, Sox, Sox, Brewers, Brewers, Brewers.   And July 31 will bring the trade deadline and an almost definitive end to the window for getting better personnel-wise. So by August 1, we may well know what our prospects are for coming back.

Right now, I'm cautiously optimistic. The bats are coming around, Hendricks will be back, and Quintana will be a definite improvement in the rotation over Montgomery, Anderson, or Butler. And I think when the chips are down this team will find a way to be motivated. The clubhouse psychology seems to be off this year; at least that's the most common explanation for the mediocre first half for this ridiculously talented ballclub. So if we don't repeat, winning two years out of three is still a pretty good prospect.

The Sox, meanwhile, probably have the best farm system in baseball after this trade. That team is going to be a beast in the 2020's and Sox fans, who are mostly insufferable even when their team is bad, are going to be impossible to live with. Hopefully, Theo will stick around and build on the winning culture he's established on the North Side. We still have our defeat at the hands of the Pale Hose in the 1906 World Series to avenge, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we get the chance not too long from now.


Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

A third party President in 2020?

I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Searsby, the campaign manager for Evan McMullin last year, at an event for Evan here in Des Moines during the campaign. Here's an interview with Joel by Jon Ward of Yahoo News on the ways in which centrist French President Emmanuel Marcon's out-of-nowhere landslide election last year may serve as an example for the inevitable bid to elect a rational, moderate third party candidate in 2020.

I have a feeling that it will be Evan McMullin again. But names like John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham also keep popping up. Word is that Kasich may challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination, an endeavor in which I'd wish him well but hold out very, very little hope for his success. I sadly expect that my conviction that the Republicans are dead as a vehicle for rationality and the reuniting of our fractured and divided country to be confirmed by the easy renomination of the most unfit and unqualified preside…