It wasn’t suppose to end this way, but I’m glad this season is over, and I suppose most Cubs fans feel the same way.
All the injuries, the slumps…Milton Bradley, I won’t miss it a bit.
At least not until the first winter snow blankets Wrigley Field, at which point I’ll hunger for spring training as I do every year.
A tip of the cap to Derek Lee and a few others.
I rode Lee hard while he struggled through the first two months of the season.
He bounced back, however, and in a big way too: .306, 31 HR and a career-best 111 RBI.
Theriot played 154 games, stole 21 bags and batted .284 including an impressive seven home runs.
Aramis basically missed half the season and still managed 15 home runs and 65 RBI in just 82 games. His .315 average is tops on the club too.
On the flip side of the equation: well, there are many.
Soriano, despite his best efforts, played in just 117 games batting a paltry .241.
Fukudome again played below expectations: .259, 11 HR and 54 RBI.
Fontenot, who I suspect has spent his last day as a Cub, batted a disappointing .236.
And Big Geo takes the cake (literally) batting an incredulous .218.
Signs of hope…
Jake Fox has All Star potential.
Jeff Baker positioned himself as the possible everyday second baseman next spring.
Sam Fuld arrived as both a spark plug off the bench and in the field.
And there’s no doubt Koyie Hill returns behind the plate too.
From the bump…
Let’s call it what it is, Teddy Lilly is the unquestionable ace of the staff.
Why Cubs fans don’t recognize him as such, I don’t know.
Dempster is a close second behind Lilly, and his grit down the stretch gives him the legs to become more of a team leader next year.
Randy Wells is still a bit of an unknown, but his future is incredibly bright.
Zambrano is Zambrano: superb when he wants to be and a pain the rest of the time.
Kevin Gregg can keep Fontenot company on the bus out of town, and I hope Heilman is sitting across the aisle.
Marmol finally has his much desired closer’s role.
Lastly, let’s not pretend the season was all doom and gloom, either.
Bobby Scales’ long awaited arrival was tremendously uplifting.
Then there was Reed Johnson’s terrific catch against Prince Fielder and Sam Fuld’s diving stab against the fence in L.A., too!
The list of highlights goes on and on…but unfortunately, of course, those moments are overmatched by the season’s many low-lights, which I’ll spare us from reliving.
But with a funny feeling, a feeling that only comes from being a baseball fan, it all hurt so good.
So much so that I can’t wait ’til next year!