I've long written off our chances for 2007, but Ankiel-mania has gotten to me and I'm starting to feel mild symptoms of pennant fever.
Kennedy is out. Brendan Ryan is in. We've replaced JuanEnc with Roy Hobbs. Edmonds is hitting. The rotation is showing signs of stability (knock on wood). The Cubs and Brewers are stuck in neutral.
Mind you up to this point 2007 is eerily similar to 1997 (always clinging to faint postseason hopes despite never being above .500, lots of ill-fated contract extensions for declining players following the previous year's miraculous postseason run, devastating injuries to the rotation, the emergence of a new young ace, the August arrival of a rockstar power hitter who revives hopes of a late season charge - and we all remember how 1997 ended - but unlike 1997, there's no powerhouse team in the NL Central - and just like 2006, the playoff birth is there for the taking.
If we can keep this up in these upcoming series in Milwaukee and Chicago, this race will get very interesting. This team has got nothing to lose - they've experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows - all they can do is go out there and leave it on the field. I'm by no means optimistic, but I like our chances a lot better now with Ankiel and Ryan in there instead of bums Kennedy and Encarnacion.