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Cubs Thu Jun 10 2010

Talkin' Cubs Baseball

Tomorrow begins the annual Crosstown Classic. While many of you have had your attention focused on Chi-town's newest Champions and rightfully so the Cubs and Sox have been playing less than stellar ball up to this point, however, that doesn't mean the hype won't be there.

For those of you who don't know where my loyalties I will tell you. I am a Cubs fan. Always have been, always will be. That doesn't mean I hate the White Sox. If there is any hatred for any given baseball team its the St. Louis Cardinals. I have nothing against the White Sox as a team,however,I do have a problem with some of their fans. I will be the first to admit that there are Cub fans that can be just as ignorant as Sox fans. Both teams have ignorant fans. Unfortunately this series tends to bring out the worst in the fans.

That is what happens when pride and alcohol mix. It is not the greatest combo in the world. I can only imagine what it is like between Yankees and Red Sox fans. I'm sure it is 10 times worse considering they play more then six times a year. As always this series is never dull and even though neither team is having a good year it is guaranteed to provide some drama this weekend at Wrigley.

A more pressing issue is how badly the Cubs have played this season. They did the right thing by getting rid of Milton Bradley and quite frankly it is paying dividends, but this team has struggled since Opening Day in Atlanta. They've tried a few things here and there to get that spark that'll get them going, but it hasn't worked. I don't know what it is going to take for them to turn it around this season. Perhaps they could've put their best RBI man on the disabled list a few weeks earlier.

It become evident just how valuable Aramis Ramirez is to this team after he missed half the season with a shoulder injury last year. Now you would think they would do all they can to make sure he is ready to go next year and do everything with in their power to keep him on the field this season. They didn't, he continued to struggle through his injury doing more harm then good.

Fans have been suggesting a managerial change as this season has gone on. I'm not sure who would be a suitable replacement. Former Cubs All-Star second baseman Ryne Sandberg's name has been discussed as Piniella's replacement. Sure it would make for a great headline, but would he be ready to be on the hot seat. There is one glaring issue with Sandberg, he has never managed at the big league level.

Other names that have been thrown out there are Joe Girardi and Cubs TV colorman Bob Brenly. Both have won World Series titles, but would they be the right fit ? Maybe a managerial shake up would be a good thing for this team. Only time will tell if that would be the right option.

Despite all the struggles there have been a few bright spots this seasons. The biggest one being Carlos Silva. Since coming to the Cubs during the offseason Silva has been nothing short of spectacular. In 10 games he is 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA a WHIP of 1.06. Many fans were hoping Silva would just be able to hold down the fifth spot in the rotation. He has done that and more.

He is currently tied with five others for the second most wins in the National League. Some of that company includes the Phillies Roy Halladay and the Cardinals Adam Wainwright. Both of which are former Cy Young Award winners. Over his career he has pitched nowhere close to Cy Young, but you wouldn't know it this season. His performance should earn him a spot on the N.L. All-Star team.

Another bright spot is Marlon Byrd. Byrd who came in from Texas to replace Bradley has also done well for the Cubs. He is currently leading the National League in batting average with .329. His numbers have been solid. So far he has hit nine homers with 34 RBI and is slugging .542. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he will last longer in a Cubs uniform then Bradley, just a hunch. Byrd should also be considered for the All-Star team too. Maybe not for his numbers, but the way he hustles on a daily basis. Some of the other guys on this team should take notice.

Silva and Byrd are the only two names that stick out for the Cubs. This team is way too talented to be playing as bad as they are. I honestly wish I had answers as to why they are this bad, but I don't. I can only sit back and scratch my head and wonder if it can get any worse then this. Only time will tell for the 2010 Cubs, until next time keep the faith and Go Cubs!

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