Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by Derek Smart
Time is short, so I'll be quick:
Yes, a sweep would have been nice, but over a weekend where it was theoretically possible to lose the division lead altogether, coming away a little farther in front of the Cardinals is still a positive outcome.
Derrek Lee looked bad for nearly two months, hitting .256/.317/.408 combined through May and June. He's now hit .500/.519/.731 over his last 26 admittedly small sample size at bats, and finally looks locked in again.
I've seen a decent number of bytes spilled in Cub-blogdom regarding TLR's inflammatory remarks about Jim Edmonds, and while I'm a million miles away from reading everyone's stuff, everything I have seen took the comments very seriously and spent a goodly amount of time mentioning the various degrees of degenerate that LaRussa must be to take Edmonds statements - clearly meant as a way of asking the media to just let him play ball - so personally, and as such, to make such a tremendously large deal out of them.
Now, I'm not saying LaRussa isn't capable of being foolish and hotheaded in this manner - he's shown that he certainly is - but it seems to me that he's just as capable, and just as likely, to be laying into Edmonds through the press as a way to get into the head of a player who must already be putting a tremendous amount of pressure on himself to perform, given the situation. I have no way of knowing if that was his intent or not, but since I hadn't seen that possibility presented, I wanted to make sure it was out there. Certainly, if it wasn't part of his intent, it had that effect
The Brewers' impending trade for C.C. Sabathia is a big enough deal that I'd be shocked if the Cubs didn't follow up with a trade of their own within the next two weeks. Of what's available, the two that meet the criteria of 'significant upgrade' and 'not entirely unaffordable' are A.J. Burnett and Erik Bedard. There's a report in the Sun-Times (which I saw via MLB Trade Rumors) which has the Cubs getting after Rich Harden like nobody's business, but I can't see the pieces being there to make such a thing fly. I fear it will come down to one of two guys who, while talented, both appear to have issues in the physical and mental realms of the game. Which still puts them about 17 light-years ahead of a healthy, sane Jason Marquis.
Off day today, and around here it looks like we're just going to get pounded with rain, with reports of possible flooding downstate once again. Hope everyone stays safe, and that come Tuesday, we can continue the successful march forward into the All-Star Break.