Posted by: Mike Rodbard
May 7, 2009
It seems that the Cubs have just bolstered their lineup considerably.
Manny Ramirez has been suspended.
That's right. The star slugger of the Los Angeles Dodgers has tested positive for a banned substance and is out for nearly 2 months.
He says his doctor prescribed it to him without knowing that it was a banned substance.
You would think with the health plan pro ballplayers get, the doctors would be competent enough to know what is allowed and what is not.
But, he's a Dodger, so I don't care. It's nothing but good news for the rest of the National League, and the Cubs in particular.
Which of course means that the Cubs can now focus on their soon to be assumed front runner status for the wild-card spot (does Playboy predict this too? I haven't read the article.) Sure, they're on a bit of a mini-tear right now, having won 4 of their last 5 contests, but this team is showing it's weaknesses more and more these days.
Let's start with ace hurler Carlos Zambrano. He's on the shelf. DL. Pulled hammy (or bruised ego or whatever the ailment may be.) Currently he's in Chicago, while the team is in Houston, getting the treatment.
Wish I could get the treatment. (Only in America, but that's a different rant altogether.)
First baseman, Derrek Lee is iffy as well. That darn bulging disc just won't stop, well, bulging. Manager Lou Piniella has hinted at possible DL time for D-Lee (DL for DL. I crack myself up.) Although the player calls time off of the roster "impossible", we all know that with our beloved Chicago Cubs, anything is possible.
While I'm on a roll, I might as well say something about pitcher Jeff Samardzija, $10 million bonus baby. We're not exactly getting our money's worth out of him, eh? Sure, he's a starter at AAA Iowa, and being called up to sit in the bullpen is a tough mental strain (it's so hard to sit on $10 mil, I'm sure.) And...
Oh, wait, he was optioned back already? To make room for that journeyman wunderkind, Chad Fox? A sure bet, I'm sure. Wow, that was fast.
The division leading Cardinals are the team to beat, it seems, these days. Manager Tony La Russa's boys are firing on all cylinders with slugger Albert Pujols at or near the top of all of the power stats and closer Ryan Franklin is lights out: 0.00 ERA, 10 strikeouts compared to 2 walks, and 8 saves in as many chances.
Cubs closer Kevin Gregg, in comparison has only 5 saves, has a 4.61 ERA, and has given up 14 hits in not as many innings (13.2 to be exact at the time of this diatribe.)
The Dodgers smoked us in the playoffs last year. Three and out. Again. But losing the Man-Ram will likely hurt manager Joe Torre's squad, leaving them in the possible position of battling for a wild-card spot, rather than a division crown. So maybe, just maybe, this is the roster move that the Cubs needed to have made (for them.)
You know, addition by subtraction.
Only a Cubs fan came come up with that kind of logic.
Read other various rants and raves on Mike's blog, So it Goes...