2009: Looking Ahead

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009: Looking Ahead

. Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why isn't it April yet?

These preview things are always tricky. As anyone who has ever bought a baseball videogame knows, things in the Major Leagues really never stop changing. Witness Angel Pagan and Mark Prior as prominent parts of the Cubs on MLB 2K7. But since Steve was kind enough to wrap up 2008, I'll go ahead and take a look at our Boys in Blue - 2009 edition.

As an aside, I'll go ahead and admit I originally titled this "2008: Looking Ahead." And I'm still writing my checks with 2008 dates. Accursed new year! I will have my revenge.

Anyhow, it's hard to look ahead at this point with any sort of offense/defense/pitching perspective. If we get Peavy, that does a hell of a lot for the rotation, but what would we be giving up on the offensive or bullpen side? If we don't get rid of the anchor that is Marquis, will Hendry choose to end his own life? If we sign Milton Bradley, will his shit fielding make us throw things at him? More so, will he continue to throw things at the ladies in his life and spend time on suspension? So, in lieu of a comprehensive preview, I'm going to look at the current roster and give ill-informed perspective. Remind me of this in a few months when I'm completely wrong. Maybe I'll buy you a beer.


Geovany Soto - We here at WAIW are sometimes caught up in our own sarcasm and fatalism, but Soto is one of the few home-grown Cubs to leave us with nothing but unrestrained optimism. His steady hand behind the plate is rivaled only by his steady hand with the Philips beard and mustache trimmer he lovingly uses each day. Damn, that's some excellent '90s facial hair.

Koyie Hill knows what you did last summer

Koyie Hill - Sure, he hits like crap's somewhat less disciplined cousin, but the man ran his hand into a bansaw and went right back to baseball. And that is not a metaphor - the motherfucker ran his hand into a motherfucking bansaw, and the doctors stitched it back together with the aim of his being able to throw a baseball. We'll drink to that.


Derrek Lee - He put up fair enough numbers in 2008, but his batting average fell 26 points and he made 65 more outs than the year before. And who can forget the D.P. Lee shenanigans that at times proved uglier than a grenade dropped into an outhouse. If his backup weren't a white guy named Micah, he might be feeling some serious heat.

Hoffpauir protests a call: "Surely, twas no strike, English!"

Micah Hoffpauir - Sure, he's named like a craftsman from Pennsylvania Amish country, but the bastard hit 5 home runs in a minor league game last year. He also managed a .342 average and a .536 slugging percentage during his 33 games with the big league squad last year. Those would be semi-erotic numbers for a young call-up, but Micah is 29 this year. We still hope he gets a chance to show what he can do this year. It can't be worse than 6-4-3 Lee.


Aaron Miles - Ex Cardinal. His entrance signaled DeRo's departure. He's on "Fuck This Guy" notice until we say otherwise. He hit .317 last year for a bad Cardinals team, but his lifetime is still around .290.It's not impossible to be taken off notice - you've all seen our increasingly friendly Jimometer.

Fontenot gives advice to his dear friend Keanu

Mike Fontenot - What does this poor bleach-blonde bastard have to do to get a fair shot with the Cubs? In 99 games last year, he hit .305, smacked 9 home runs, and drove in 40 runs. And this was mainly in a backup role to our dear departed McDreamy. He improved all his important offensive statistics, and had a fielding percentage we would have loved in game 2 of the NLDS. But no, we get Aaron Dickbag Miles (legal name) and his lifetime .329 on-base percentage. The sports radio hosts say that Fontenot is too small to be an every day player. Malibu Mike is 5'8" - 170, according to MLB.com. Miles is 5'8" - 185. Is that really the difference? 15 fucking pounds. Malibu Mike, we're sending you a subscription to the Bacon of the Month club. Now EAT A FUCKING CHEESEBURGER.


Ryan Theriot - All the girls love Ryan the Riot - possibly because he has similar power numbers to all of them. He had a great average and solid on-base numbers last year, but his slugging percentage fell somewhere between Stephen Hawking and Jaleel White. Hooray for singles to shallow left!

Ronny Cedeno - The city council needs to pass a law that if one is forced to watch Ronny bat more than 50 times in a season, you get free beer coupons, or a free shirt or something. Every time Cedeno comes to the plate, angels cry tears of blood. And that's documented scientific fact. Good arm, though.


Aramis Ramirez - Where would we be without A-Ram's bat? Probably where we were during the 2007 and 2008 NLDS. While his average dropped last year, his home run, RBI, and OBP numbers all improved dramatically over 2007. Our favorite part? His little league baseball coach glasses. They're more rad than roller blading and Go-Gurt combined.


Alfonso Soriano - Disappeared in the playoffs. Fields like his hands are actually asses. Inexplicable injuries. And son of a bitch if he doesn't repay all the money we pay him (playoffs excluded). I keep telling people that he actually struck out 27 fewer times, but those who watched him play don't believe me.

Kosuke Fukudome - 2008's evaluation was a lot like watching a football game where your team screws up a big play "YEAHHHHHHhhhhhhSHIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTT. Fuck me, how did THAT bullshit happen?" This year, people are going to have a hard time making excuses about how it's his first year in America. But remember when he smacked a double to the wall last Opening Day, and later tied the game with a 3-run homer in the 9th? Shit, that was awesome. Hopefully the Fuku of April/May/June shows back up to duel and defeat the Fuku of July/August/Sept. That would give me another chance to break out the dusty Fukudome gear.

Reed Johnson - Still has more poor facial hair choices than Cathy Bates and Rosie O'Donnell combined, but is impossible to dislike. He dives for balls, comes up with clutch hits, and raised his 2008 OBP almost 50 points over his 2007 level. Milton Bradley's going to make him look like a saint.

Felix Pie - 5 tool prospect ... blah blah blah ... speed ... blah blah blah ... potential ... blah blah blah. Enjoy AAA, Felix.

A Bunch of Other A-holes - Is anyone expecting anything big from Sam Fuld (Jewish!), Joey Gathright (Royals!), or Brad Snyder (Zero big league games!)? At least we don't have to include Erick Patterson this year. A moment of silence for Matt Murton, please.


Carlos Zambrano - Can't wait for another year of "how is Carlos's head going to be?" stories. More fun than a sleeping bag full of centipedes!

Rich Harden - Don't break. Please, pleaaassssseee don't break. Shit, he's gonna break.

Ryan Dempster - Beloved pitcher ... until game 1 of the NLDS. I really kinda feel sorry for him about that. Then I remember the walks. If he can win 15 this year, I'll be ecstatic.

Ted Lilly - I didn't like him, until he reinvented himself as a crazy-eyes headhunter. When he knocked the estrogen out of Yadier Molina, he officially won my vote.

Sean Marshall - When does the starter of tomorrow become the disappointing middle reliever of today? I'm guessing this coming year.

Rich Hill - HAHAHAHHAHAHA. Just kidding, guys.

Chad Gaudin - He's great when he's not hurt or deciding to be crappy. More unpredictable than Colonel Kurtz after a six-day glue huffing session.

Kevin Hart - Fuck you, Kevin Hart. That is all.

Angel Guzman - He was an exciting prospect around the time I was learning to drink whiskey in the dorms. Will this finally be his year? No, it wont. But I had to ask.

Neal Cotts - See Kevin Hart.

Jeff Samardzija - If you ask any Chicagoland Irish fan, they'll predict a sub-2 ERA and a shutdown setup role. The rest of us are skeptical, as he's actually far crappier than the people with obnoxious class rings let on.

Carlos Marmol - Filthy. Even when throwing six feet off the plate, he still terrifies batters.

Kevin Gregg - Not my real dad.


World Series. This is the year! Do we ever expect anything less? No, we do not.