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The Chicago Cubs: A clerihew about Cubness


Carlos Peña
watched ESPN with his usual practiced disdaiña
when it confirmed the Cubs would land him
as Albert Pujols's stand-in.

The Cubs' 2010 season looked like a bit of a wreck from the outside, but there are some good things in the numbers, if you're inclined to look for them. A lot of the dead weight came from players who weren't meant to pick up 200 at-bats—role players like Xavier Nady, who was awful, Koyie Hill, Ryan Theriot. Starlin Castro had an extremely exciting age-20 season, and Alfonso Soriano was at least good enough to start. 

Of course, there's a lot to worry about, too—Aramis Ramirez had his worst season since the one that caused the Pirates to trade him Chicago's way for Jose Hernandez and the Bobby Hill who doesn't love prop comedy. 230 fine innings from Ted Lilly and Carlos Silva are off the books for new acquisition Matt Garza to replace. 

The core of this team, especially fiscally—Soriano, Carlos Cambrano, Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome, Ryan Dempster—doesn't seem like it'll be a part of the next great Cubs team. 2011 strikes me as a transition year, while they wait for some of that money to come off the books so they can spend it better.