The Uncertain Market and Mike Montgomery, a HOF Vote for Kerry Wood, and Other Bullets

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The Uncertain Market and Mike Montgomery, a HOF Vote for Kerry Wood, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Having the trio of kiddos all home with no child care assistance, a gimpy dad and a flu-ridden mom … whew, yesterday was rough. I’m going to guess (and hope) that it was from all the extra moving around I had to do, but my foot was absolutely throbbing through the night. We do have child care today, and school is back open, so hopefully today will be quite a bit smoother.

  • Every Cubs player is affected in one way or another by the hold-up in the free agent market, but none moreso than Mike Montgomery. Depending on what happens in the coming week(s?), Montgomery could be the Cubs’ projected fifth starter or he could be the team’s key swingman, figuring again to make 10-15 starts like he did last year, but otherwise spending his time in the bullpen. Given that he’s been very vocal about his desire to be a starting pitcher at this point in his career, he’s got a whole lot riding on what the Cubs elect to do. Unfortunately for Montgomery’s preferences, the Cubs are clearly still in the market for a starting pitcher, and Montgomery’s ability to move between the bullpen and the rotation makes him the logical candidate to be used in that role after another starter is added. The Cubs, quite simply, need that kind of flexible, quality, starting depth.
  • Against that backdrop, it’s easy to see something like this and get all prickly:

  • … HOWEVA, if you read what Montgomery says, you’ll see that he’s actually very thoughtfully pointing out what players have been saying all offseason. Namely, that when you have this caliber of a free agent group still unsigned, something is wrong (that actually works against his own interests, by the way). The large group of teams not spending is the primary problem to which Montgomery and the Players Association, in general, is pointing.
  • Montgomery has never been trying to complain about his role – he wants the best team around him as possible, but he also simply wants to be a starting pitcher. There’s nothing wrong with that opinion, so long as you are also willing to do what’s necessary when the bell rings.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
  • I still buy Montgomery as a quality big league starter, by the way. And if the Cubs could magically solve their lack of depth issue with a very good arm or two that can be stashed at AAA or in the bullpen (good luck finding someone as good as Montgomery in that way), I’d actually be pretty on board with Montgomery being a starting pitcher on this team. I genuinely think he could be that good. It’s just, well, that magic depth solution – thanks to roster rules – is simply not something you can just find out there very easily.
  • Happy 64th birthday to Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon:

  • A very young Ernie Banks, long before he was Mr. Cub:

  • I love this story. The explanation for the vote, and the way the voter was thinking about it in relation to the others on the ballot, is all completely reasonable and fair:

  • I did a not nice:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.