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The Tally Ho

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Baseball

My favorite teams to watch while having a drink are the Cubs and Red Sox. Yesterday Nomar Garciaparra switched from the BoSox to the Cubs. The Cubs instantly are better offensively. My guess is that Nomar will hit second, after what should be Todd Walker. Now, if the Cubs pitchers stay healthy - I think the Cubs will win the wildcard slot. Also, if they can convince Nomar to stay in Chi-town before the end of the season, my hope is that they will evaluate some of their player situations. Lee, Nomar, Ramirez, and Walker are in the prime of their respective careers. Patterson and Barrett are fairly young, but some of their regulars are aging. Grudzielanek is 34, Alou is 38, Goodwin is 36, and Sosa 35. I am not saying that they do not have good years left, but the Cubs line-up is going to continue to age. Keeping an infield of Nomar, Walker, Ramirez, and Lee intact should be a priority, especially considering they are all in their prime or entering it.

I am not sure that this trade works out as well for the Red Sox. What looked like a World Series team last Winter now looks a bit different. They started the season with Nixon and Nomar on the DL. Nixon is back on the DL, Nomar is now in game shape and has been shipped to Chicago. While David Oritz and Manny Ramirez have been excellent all year, they lost Walker's offense due to free agency, Millar started very slow, and Mueller has been injured. As I see it, Boston lost offense but gained much needed defense in Mientkiewicz and Cabrera. This could be a positive for the BoSox because it will open up free agent money next yeat - but it could be for this year if Mueller, Millar, and Mientkiewicz hit closer to their career averages and if Cabrera regains his form from last year, offensively. But what is just as or more important are the starting pitchers lowering their ERAs. Still, Ortiz and Ramirez are the anchors of this team and if they are out for any extended periods of time - it will hurt as they will have a shortage of power in the middle of their lineup. A healthy Nixon would help a lot.

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