Friday, June 10, 2005



With Boston finally defeating their curse and now arriving in Wrigley for the first time since yadda yadda yadda, it brings to mind the thought: is this the Cubs year?

Obviously there are those that think it could be.

There is no real point in trying to answer this question (I am less than clairvoyant) , but I decided to use it as a lead in to a Boston preview anyway. It's maybe not the best lead in, but you get what you pay for. I never promised quality.

Boston Preview

I'm a little surprised that Boston is not better than they are. Not that they should be better, just that I thought they were better. I have to admit, I don't pay a lot of attention to the American League. But, as it turns out, Boston is a mere 5 games above .500, which is exactly one more than the Cubs. Maybe the Cubs actually have a chance to pull out a few wins? Maybe. Let's take a closer look.

The Hitting

Boston has a couple of big hitters (Jason Varitek and David Ortiz) and plenty of solid/good hitters (Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, and Trot Nixon). But this is not quite the amazing lineup that it once was, in part due to the decline of Manny Ramirez. I don't really know why Ramirez has suffered at the plate this year, but it worries me as Wrigley is pretty good at awakening slumbering giants.

A couple interesting players on Boston are players who could have been on the Cubs. Mark Bellhorn had a tremendous year for the Cubs in 2002, but struggled early in '03 and was pushed out the door. I was sad to see him go; he is a player that I really liked because he was willing to take a walk had solid power. This year the power has deserted Bellhorn but he is still getting on base at a solid clip. Actually, this year he has been Jerry Hairston without the speed. Not without value, but less than I think he could be.

The other player that interests me is Edgar Renteria. He has been much worse than Neifi! this year and is making 8 million a year. I was really interested in signing Renteria back before Nomar reupped with the Cubs, and I have to admit that I was wrong. Many people noted that Renteria was going to be overpaid for average production, and they were right. I think Cub fans should be very relieved that they aren't going to have to worry about hauling around Renteria's decaying corpse for 4 more years. So far Renteria has managed a .314 on base percentage with no power...not good.

Boston still scores many runs because they get on base. a lot. It is almost like a high on base percentage leads to runs. Strange.

I'll get to the pitching half of this later.

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