Unbelievable feats of staggering ineptitude
Forgive me the steady recent use of hyperbole, but what the fuck. Seriously. What on earth can be done to save or redeem this useless club, this wan outfit, this dead donkey, this heartless crew of ballplayers? Does anyone in the clubhouse care to fix things, besides idle quotes of disgust and false urgency? Is anyone actively trying to right the Cubs organization, aside from press releases and interviews where they claim to be "trying"? What is there to show for it?
Naturally, being the knee-jerk supporter I am, I fear that several options are available, with the scant minority of them being either reasonable, logical or legal in the continental United States.
One. Cut that Meat.
My first desire would involve firing, DFAing, or trading several prominent players and building from scratch. At this point, it seems like the only thing that our front office staff could execute with even the faintest amount of capability. Get market value for the few big names we have, and offer to pay some of their salaries to ease the burden of their contracts, and be sure to receive quality prospects in return. [I should quickly point out that I'm not looking at any salary or contract restrictions while writing this, because I leave research like that to the better Cubs blogs out there, like the Cub Reporter and Bleed Cubbie Blue. Plus, it would really kill my angry buzz.]
Guys like Derrek Lee, Ramirez, Dempster [well, maybe not him], Pierre, Jacque Jones should hit the trade market because right now, they have some sort of value. There are many teams desperate for a "name" outfielder, and who wouldn't want a corner infielder who can hit for power and has a reasonable decade of major league service ahead of them?
In return, get AAA or major-league ready prospects who we can plug immediately into the lineup. This season is essentially finished, I would argue, and there's tons of time left for experimentation and taking a motherfucking risk. It has always bothered me how the Cubs front office treats prospects with insane kid gloves, seemingly afraid to trade and seemingly nervous to put them into the MLB lineup card. That's another rant right there.
Two. The Nucleus.
We have several rookies and young-ish guys who could become franchise names if they continue to see regular playing time and proper coaching [both are things I fear they will never get while in Cubbie blue].
Cedeno, Marmol, Marshall, Novoa, Aardsma, Pie, Murton, Zambrano, Pagan. Keep El Toro [he'd be the grandpappy of the team, much like Willis is down in Florida] around to anchor the side, let the young pitching develop as Marmol and Marshall have shown they can do, work on guys like Guzman and Hill who have struggled with the Cubs thus far, and let these other guys who have begun to age in the major leagues keep growing as a unit. Bring up some AA guys to start building those middle-infield combinations and that team unity, and work on the speed element of our game.
These guys, along with any and all prospects we can receive in trading away our big names [we'd be looking for SPs, IFs and corner outfield positions mainly], would then have time to grow as a unit and get that timing right. Not to mention the money we'd save!
Three. It's Time to Let Go.
Letting go of loved ones is hard to do, but if you can do it with some dignity, always take that high road. Mark Prior and Kerry Wood should be given a fair swansong [because we mustn't forget, they were good once] before being set free like Free Willy, or a wet fart at the family gathering.
Whether it's free agency, the old DFA route [not advisable, no matter how hungry for blood the Cubs faithful gets], or an under-the-radar trade, let them go. Acknowledge that it's time for them to try and ply their trade elsewhere, much like we did in shoving Korey to the curb last off-season.
Pick apart my insanely flawed logic all you want. Call me crazy, seriously, but I think we need to go one of two ways, someway, somehow: The Oakland A's road, or the Florida Marlins' road.
My money's on the Marlins' plan as being the smartest way to salvage this team.
PS. I did see the Cubs won somehow today. Obviously it was out of spite, and they read my bile this morning. More on that at some point tomorrow. Hopefully.