Eye of the Storm

by Gabe Gilson

Midway through September, I feel like I normally do towards baseball at this point in the year. The Cubs are out of it, who cares.

It’s bad enough that the team I have grown up with my whole life traded away two of their most recognizable players, but now with Lou Pinella leaving as manager and with a 62-81 record, it is nearly impossible for optimism in the following year. However, since I am a Cubs fan, I will try.

From a pitching standpoint Ryan Dempster has had an above average year posting 13 wins and 185 strikeouts. Maybe next year a couple more pitchers along with Dempster could do this and they would have a good starting rotation.

Starlin Castro has done a very nice job this year at shortstop and is hitting over .300 as a rookie. Sure, he has made mistakes, but just think of how good he will be for years to come at Wrigley Field.

Marlon Byrd has been the most consistent player for the Cubs starting nearly every game in center field. As a veteran player, he should provide a lot of leadership for the younger players on the diamond next year.

Aramis Ramirez is finally healthy and has been hitting the ball very well. If he can stay healthy next year for the entire season, he should become the all-star player he once was.

The Triple-A affiliate Iowa Cubs are having a heck of a year right now as well since they are tied for the lead in the division. There has to be somebody on the team that is good enough to do something in the big leagues next year, right?

The Cubs are terrible, yes, but they are far from the worst team in its division. The Pittsburgh Pirates may very well be the worst team in baseball and aren’t getting better anytime soon. The Cubs will play the Pirates many times next year also, and that will surely equal many wins for the Cubs.

The Cincinnati Reds are a heck of a team and will be strong again next year since they are currently leading the division. Joey Votto is a stud player on the team no doubt, but he is only making $525,000 this year and will surely be in for a new deal after the numbers he has put up this season. The same goes to Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, and Jonny Gomes who have all outplayed their contracts. With all these players deserving more money the Reds certainly can’t afford to pay them all.

The Cardinals are not going to make the playoffs either. This makes me as well as every other Cub fan happy. Sure they will be good again next year and Albert Pujols probably isn’t going anywhere, but as long as they stay out of the playoffs for now, all is well.

As I sit here in mid-September dreaming about how a World Series title is surely to come to the north-side of Chicago next fall, I finally I wake up.

Millions and millions of Cubs fans have died never seeing their favorite players in blue hold up a huge trophy and have a dog-pile in the infield. This team is not going to be good any time soon. Any team that has no manager and is in a century long slump is doomed.

Rebuilding sucks almost as bad as the current roster of the Cubs does, but one better believe that by April 1, 2011 it will be our year.