Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Looking to the Second 46.3%

There are plenty of reasons to be positive or negative on the Cubs' chances over the final 75 games of the season. The biggest reason that success will be unlikely is also the biggest reason to be bullish on the future: The coming sale of the Chicago Cubs.

The revisionist history being spilled out by John McDonough and his lackeys is disgusting. The Jacque Jones trade was nixed by Jim Hendry is the spin now. That means that the stories that the Commissioner's Office kiboshed it were wrong as were the stories that Owner Pro Tempore Sam Zell stopped the deal.

Well, the first story tends to have the most truth to it and what follows is all spin.

So, Sam Zell told the Trib that you are not spending next year's money this year. Not money that he won't be responsible for and will only reduce the profit from the sale.

What this means is that players who can be added to the 2007 Chicago Cub roster have to be either very cheap or in the walk year of their contract.

The pool of players who could be traded that fit that description is very limited.

While Milwaukee and St. Louis (who the Cubs are closer to in the standings than they are to the Brewers) will have the capability of adding nearly anyone, the Cubs will get looks at the Bobby Abreus and the Yorvit Torrealbas.

How much confidence does that inspire.

So, while 2007 remains a remote possibility, there is a larger fear. And that fear is that the sale drags out.

There are a lot of players who will be available this winter that a new owner could sign to make a splash. How does Alex Rodriguez or Miguel Tejada at short sound? How about Andruw Jones or Torii Hunter for center? Ken Griffey for right? These guys could all have new addresses next year. By December.

The sale better close by November 1 or 2008 could be lost as well. The final insult to the fans of Chicago from the Tribune would be a protracted sale. Get this thing done and let everyone move on. 2007 is already held hostage to the sale. Free 2008!

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