Monday, July 31, 2006

posted by James - 3:41 PM

Howdy, strangers!

Since the mecca of Cubs blogs isn't operational right now and I don't have a poker tournament to go take down at the moment, I feel compelled to come out of hiding and comment on a trade deadline hot tip concerning our Blue and Red Beloveds.

Now, this is definitely on the QT and very hush hush... but I have from a very reliable source received information the Cubs have traded four-time Cy Young Award winner and future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux to the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles for INF Cesar Izturis.

If this turns out to be wrong, I'll flog my source later, because neither parties have announced its officiality at the present time (1:30 PM Pacific), but I don't think he is.

With the Cubs trading INF Todd Walker to the Padres for a 19-year-old pitcher earlier today and the Dodgers acquiring (stealing?) INF Wilson Betemit from Atlanta a couple days ago, Izturis is extemely expendable to the Dodgers and a commodity to the Cubs.

At this moment, I'm on the fence about this trade. I have taken an admittedly irrational stance concerning Greg Maddux finishing his career in a Cubs uniform. He never, ever should have left in the first place. I'm not blaming him for leaving for greener pastures in Atlanta after winning his first of four conesecutive NL Cy Young Awards. The Cubs didn't do what it took to keep him then, and he went on to win a World Series. He obviously wasn't going to get that here.

I'm not convinced Izturis is worth the negative publicity of giving up Maddux a second time, this time actually getting something for him, and seeing him succeed or fail somewhere else. The Dodgers aren't going to care that he's Greg Maddux. If he doesn't pitch more to the form he had during the first month of the season, they'll get someone else and maybe send him to the bullpen.

Whether he had a 3.00 ERA or a 5.00 ERA, he was going to get to choose his own road with the Cubs, a team going nowhere fast. He could take the ball out to the mound anytime he wanted, or take the ball and go home too. He's Greg Freakin' Maddux... and that's the way I wanted it.

I wanted him walking off a mound at Wrigley Field, sometime this year or maybe next year with all 40,000 or so in attendance crying their eyes out, knowing this is the last time they'll see Greg Maddux in a Cubs uniform.

If he retires after this year and never makes it back to Wrigley Field, I'll feel cheated out of this whether Izturis goes on to win Gold Gloves and man shortstop for the next five years.

I know this is irrational, but I don't give a damn. It's not like they're going to win anytime soon... so we might as well squeeze all the positive emotions out of this team we can.

Maybe I'll get into the possible impact of Izturis on incumbent shortstop Ronny Cedeno and the infield for 2006 and 2007 after I get comfirmation of this deal later... but I've got about 500 fantasy baseball teams to try to pull out of last place.

Catch ya all later, Cubs fans.