It is Sept. 1 and Baseball Prospectus has the Cubs with a 3.02989 percent chance of making the playoffs. The only team in the NL with a lower percentage that is worth mentioning is the Florida Marlins at 2.45408 percent.
Um, is it too late for Jim Hendry to revisit the waiver claims on Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman?
I'm not advocating trading Harden, even though he struggled with his control (walking six batters in five innings) in a 5-3 loss to the Houston Astros, only hours after learning he wasn't going to Minnesota. Harden must have really been looking forward to a trip to the Mall of America. I only advocated trading Harden if Hendry had no intentions of re-signing the 27-year-old starter. And if this (via Gordon Wittenmeyer) is any indication, it wouldn't surprise me if the Cubs bypassed getting two draft picks to reload a barren farm system.
As for Heilman, well, he still sucks despite throwing a pair of scoreless innings last night. The Cubs should have taken any warm body in exchange for Heilman. Having one Notre Dame suckfest on the team is bad, having two is a disaster.
Unless you didn't know, here's a newsflash for ya, Jimbo: It's Bears season. It's time for fans to put away their offensive lawn mowing apparel and don their newly purchased Jay gear. Apparently, Kenny Williams got the memo ... but failed to forward it to his North Side counterpart. Williams should probably be given AL Executive of the Year for getting two real-life baseball players in exchange for Jim Thome and Jose Contreras. Then again, acquiring Alex Rios (.170/.190/.304/.493 since joining the Sox) and Jake Peavy (0-0 0.00 ERA in 0 IP since joining the Sox) eliminates him from contention.
At least Williams' White Flag Trade Remix wipes a few million bucks off the books and will give field manager Ozzie Guillen a chance to
Hendry says things would have been different if the Cubs were 15 games back, but after going 3-3 to start a homestand against baseball's worst team and the New York Mets' Triple-A affiliate, that's all I (or any Cubs fan with a pulse and a thought) needed to see to figure out whether or not the Cubs would be contenders down the stretch.
It's Sept. 1 and the Cubs have called up Jeff Samardzija, Bobby Scales, Andres Blanco, Micah Hoffpauir, Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, David Patton and Jeff Stevens.
If Hendry and manager Lou Piniella have an ounce of baseball intelligence left in their brain, they'll see what they've got in some of these youngsters over the final month before Hendry goes out and throws millions of dollars and overpays for over-the-hill stop-gap solutions.
Of course, that's assuming Hendry will have a job after the season ends Oct. 4.