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My Cubbies are doing pretty awful this season. Currently they are sporting a record of 43-64, and they are sitting 22 Games Back of 1st Place.  Yet, for all of the bad this season, there have been some exciting developments.  The Cubs have debuted a lot of young talent this year.  Chief among these is our future-star First Baseman – Anthony Rizzo.

Cubs First Baseman Anthony Rizzo

“Since making his debut June 26, Rizzo was second among NL rookies with a .314 average behind the Rockies’ Jordan Pacheco (.327), but led in home runs (eight) and RBIs (20)” (source).  Rizzo has been a blast to watch.  I haven’t been this excited about the promotion of one of the Cubs’ prospects since this kid named Starlin Castro got called up.

Starlin Castro 2x All Star

Starlin has been to the All Star Game twice already.  I predict Anthony Rizzo will join him there next year.  While they are no Tinker, Evers, and Chance, I expect great things from Castro, Barney, and Rizzo.

All of us (Cubs fans) knew this season was not going to be great.  It was pretty obvious it was going to be a rebuilding year.  This was confirmed by our abysmal first half of the season, and left no room for doubt at the trade deadline.  Thus far this season, we have traded away Marlon Byrd, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto, Jeff Baker, and Ryan Dempster for a heap of minor league players.  It was hard to see most of those guys go (even though Marlon Byrd has subsequently fallen from my graces for testing positive for PEDs).  I was a huge fan of Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Dempster.  All three of those guys were super classy.  I am thankful that the Cubs traded them to the Braves and Rangers respectively.  The Braves are my second-favorite National League team, and the Rangers may be my favorite American League team (close contest with the Red Sox).  I’ll admit…it’s a little difficult to see a bunch of quality players traded for players you’ve never heard of.  But then, I remind myself that players like Ryne Sandberg and Fergie Jenkins came to the Cubs via trades.  Maybe one of these anonymous minor leaguers could be the next Cub legend.

As a result of all of this trading (and an unfortunate injury to Ian Stewart – a very classy player in his own right), the Cubs made a big move on Sunday.  They called up two of their prospects that Cubs fans have been begging to see in the MLB for years: Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters.

Josh Vitters (3B) and Brett Jackson (CF)

I am excited about these guys.  I am especially excited that they get to play 50+ games this season without any pressure of a playoff run.  I personally don’t think they’re ready to shine at the MLB level yet, which was evidenced by Jackson’s 4 strikeouts yesterday.  People are worried about Jackson’s strikeouts and Vitters’s defensive play.  I think calling them up now is great.  Let them work on those things at the MLB level, and then they can produce like crazy next season.

Overall, in spite of the fact that the Cubs are terrible this year (and will only get worse since we traded our best pitchers and Matt Garza is hurt), I am enjoying the developments of this season.  An infield of Vitters, Castro, Barney (who just broke Sandberg’s single-season errorless game streak), and Rizzo is very exciting to me.  The influx of young talent (14 rookies debuted this season) on this Cubs team has me hopeful for the future.  It makes me feel like we are getting back to our winning roots, because the Cubs earned their name for having so many young players back in the day when they dominated the National League.  Here’s hoping

 

Until later friends…

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I wrote yesterday about Opening Day and how stinkin’ excited about it I am.  I am even more excited today, because it is the Cubs’ Opening Day.  My beloved Cubbies are taking on the cellar-dwelling Pittsburgh Pirates today.  Ryan Dempster will be taking the hill instead of the volatile erratic spirited Carlos Zambrano.  Dempster is a class act, and I’m glad he is getting the start.

This photo is some professional photographer's photo, I claim no rights on it. You can find it on google.

This weekend also will play host to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final FourVCU vs. Butler and Kentucky vs. UConn.  Those games are sure to be exciting.  I am pulling for Butler, because I am morally opposed to John Calipari/UK and the Big East (i.e., UConn).

This photo is some professional photographer's photo, I claim no rights on it. You can find it on google.(Here is an advance photo of John Calipari begging for forgiveness after he has his third Final Four appearance stripped for an entire lack of scruples)

And if the sports world wasn’t exciting enough, Monday April 4th marks the beginning of the Masters week.  I am not a huge golf fan, but any self-respecting sports fan loves the Masters.  My dad has gone several times and it is one of his favorite things to do, and I like my dad, so I like the Masters.  And, the Masters green jacket is one of the coolest prizes in the sports world.

I claim no rights to this photo. It is for educational purposes (to show the awesomeness of the green jacket).

So, the poll for this Friday is…

Until later friends…

Yesterday I wrote about the new Fantasy Baseball League I joined.  I promised to provide my draft results with you, and we would see how I fared with all the physicists and their advanced mathematics.  So, here’s the roster as it stands today:

Pitchers

Roy Halladay

Cliff Lee

Brandon Morrow

Carlos Marmol

Matt Garza

Ryan Dempster

Colby Lewis

Jose Valverde

Infielders

Buster Posey – C

Ryan Howard – 1B

Pedro Alvarez – 3B

Alexi Ramirez – SS

Carlos Pena – 1B

Starlin Castro – SS

Ian Stewart – 3B

Outfielders

Delmon Young – LF

Vernon Wells – CF

Bobby Abreu – RF

Grady Sizemore – CF

 

I’m pretty satisfied with this team.  My pitchers are great.  There are no two better pitchers in the league than Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.  I’m also pretty satisfied with the infielders especially Buster Posey and Ryan Howard (who I consider as top three players in their positions).  I will probably be doing some wheeling and dealing here in the next couple of days to balance my roster out.  As much as I love the Chicago Cubs, I know that it is not a good idea to have five players from the same team (Carlos Pena, Carlos Marmol, Matt Garza, Starlin Castro, and Ryan Dempster) on your fantasy team, so I will have to trade or cut someone.

So, in conclusion:

For Aslan vs Physicists = For Aslan Pitcher Victory and Physicists Batters Victory

 

Since it is Friday, be on the lookout for another For Aslan post with a poll.  Until later friends…

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