Those pops you may be hearing are not the sounds of champagne corks from the ending of the Cubs' eight game losing streak nor fireworks accompanying the news of the roster moves made today.
It is the sounds of numerous heads of Cubs fans exploding with the conundrum of who is the best baseball player to ever wear a Cubs uniform: the departed Mark DeRosa, whose DNA has been used to create the ultimate performance enhancing substance, or newly arrived Jake Fox, who will need extra space in the Cubs' players parking lot for his pet, Babe the Blue Ox.
Either way, most Cub fans feel like they won the lottery as Neal Cotts has finally been removed from the roster and will head to Iowa if he clears waivers. Most people think he will, but I would not be surprised if someone claimed him. Left handed pitchers will always be held in high regard, no matter how unlikely it is that they actually ever get anyone out. One of the mysteries of baseball that I will never understand for as long as I live is the fact that a lefty pitcher with a 6.00 ERA is more valuable than a righty with a 4.00 ERA.
The Cubs also informed Aaron Miles that his shoulder hurts and that he would be spending some time on the disabled list. Hopefully Miles remembers which one is the one that is supposed to be sore.
The only sad part is the departure of Bobby Scales. I look forward to seeing him on the roster again in September if not before then.
As for the guys taking the bus in from Des Moines, the accomplishments of Jake Fox are well known. He has a batting average of .423, OBP of .503, and slugging .884. He has 17 HRs in 149 ABs. These are all numbers accomplished in the Pacific Coast League in AAA ball.
Jake has seen action with the Cubs before in 2007 when he hit .143 with no HRs and 1 RBI. Of course, this was before he was the Greatest Player in minor league history. Also, his middle name is Quirin. Seriously.
The Cubs filled two needs with the promotion of Andres Blanco. One, he can legitimately play shortstop, and two, he fills the Blanco shaped hole on the roster since the departure of the Greatest Backup Catcher in the history of the world. His middle name is Eloy, which is somehow stranger than Quirin.
Lastly, Cotts sucked so much the Cubs promoted a guy from AAA with a 5.51 ERA in the minors (without ever having to face Fox) to replace him. Jason Waddell comes into a pretty good situation for him since he will probably have to try to not be an improvement over how Cotts was pitching.
Jason, I'll give you one piece of advice. Don't walk the first guy you face. If you happen to walk the first man, please don't follow that up with a walk to the next guy. But if you do happen to walk both the first and second batters you face, whatever you do, please don't allow the next batter to smash an extra-base hit somewhere. That should at least put you in better graces with Cub fans than Cotts.
Jason's middle name is Robert. I guess they can't all be funny.
Andres Blanco doubled home a run in the 8th to drive in an insurance run. Jake Fox then piled on immediately after with a pinch-hit RBI double that almost left the yard. Cub fans everywhere peed themselves a little as a result.
Oh - and Zambrano showed the kind of measured restraint we have all grown to expect by throwing a hissy fit after a close play at the plate. He yelled, he whipped a ball into left field, he bumped the umpire, and will probably be getting suspended soon. Good job, Z. Way to show the new kids how to conduct themselves on a major league diamond.