At least the Tribune’s Phil Rogers agrees with me in his column, “Cubs should keep top kids.”
The brutal truth:
More than likely the Cubs will be making sucker bets if they trade away the legitimate prospects other teams desire — pitchers Juan Cruz, Francis Beltran, Todd Wellemeyer, Andy Sisco and Jae-Kuk Ryu — for short-term help, especially if such help does not answer to the name of Mike Lowell or Carlos Beltran.
Their lineup isn’t going to be good enough to win without a major overhaul. Not only do they have voids at third and now in center, they also must cope with Sammy Sosa’s downturn in production and a first-base platoon that is on track to deliver a Mark Grace-like 80 RBIs.
Factor in a disappointing bench and the strikeout propensity of Alex Gonzalez, Damian Miller, Hee Seop Choi and newcomer Jose Hernandez, and you have a team that isn’t going to score enough runs to win no matter how strong a pitching staff it might have.
Exactly. Try to do the best you can with what you’ve got now and retool in the off-season.
By the way, the real outrage about Dusty Baker is not his dubious views about blacks and Hispanics’ superior ability to play in hot weather, but his insistence on batting Eric Karros against righthanders (instead of Choi) and his irrational love of Lenny F. Harris and his .170-area batting average.