We’re entering the trade deadline home stretch, and things are relatively quiet on the Cubs’ front. Aramis Ramirez and Jim Hendry spoke to the media late yesterday about Ramirez’s situation, and I’ll have more on that in a little bit. But, outside of that hullabaloo, it’s quiet. Which, of course, doesn’t mean anything – Hendry himself regularly says many of his moves came out of nowhere, with no real build-up, and no whispers outside the front office. Maybe I’m just being hopeful.
- Speaking of Hendry, he’s still banging the with-a-couple-tweaks-we-can-compete-next-year drum. I know he’s not going to say “we need to blow it up and start over to be competitive in a few years” (indeed, he refuted just that), but even the smallest hint of pragmatism would be welcome at this point. Thankfully, I remain confident that one of those “tweaks” will be with respect to Hendry, himself.
- Hendry and Quade keep saying things that, although not intended, are just dripping with irony. Of the Cubs’ poor performance this year, Hendry said this: “Nobody ever picked us to be in the first three [in the National League Central] this year, but we certainly felt like, by now, we would be .500.” And why did no one pick the team you built to be in the top three, Jim? As for Quade, he offered this as a reason he believes the Cubs still have a chance this year: “You always feel like, if you have good pitching, you have a chance.”
- Speaking of good pitching and the Cubs’ chances this year, Matt Garza has resigned himself to playing the part of spoiler. At least someone’s candid.
- Good news, if you can handle it: Andrew Cashner will finally throw off a mound again today. His rehab is still expected to take at least another month, but there’s a chance he’ll see some action out of the bullpen in September. I suppose I understand that you want him to see ML batters and get back into the swing of things – otherwise he’ll go almost a full year between facing big league bats. But, on the other hand, the kid has such a high ceiling (on a team that desperately needs him next year), that it might make sense to take it obscenely easy with him.
- Tyler Colvin’s not likely to see starts at first base any time soon. I suppose that could change if Carlos Pena is moved; but for now, and until he shows he can hit a little bit, whether Colvin can play first is a mere academic debate.
- Aramis Ramirez, speaking as if simultaneously in the owner’s box and the bleachers: “This is a big market. You can’t rebuild in a big market. When you get 40,000 in the stands every day, you can’t try to rebuild. You’ve got to put a winning product on the field. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But you can’t just get rid of everybody and try to rebuild in a market like [Chicago].” Ramirez is probably right, and, if I trusted the Cubs to spend wisely, I’d be ok with it. As things stand, however, put me firmly in the corner of those who wish the Cubs could just blow the whole thing up and rebuild completely.
- Pat Gillick was on the radio, but pretty much said the same stuff he’s been saying – he’d consider a president-level job, he hasn’t spoken to Tom Ricketts, and he likes Jim Hendry.