Earlier today, I went looking for a photo I used in an old post and realized I'm pretty smart.
Last August, I laid out a plan that I thought the Cubs would follow in order to pull the wool over our eyes in the effort to sell us the concept of hope. How accurate was I?
We will hear lots of talk about a revitalized minor league system that is starting to bear fruit. There will be an insistence that Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro are just the beginning. They will leave out that pretty much anyone who has a realistic chance of helping out in 2011 is already here. We also won't hear much about Justin Berg.
Done. They also threw in Andrew Cashner to complete the triumvirate. We don't hear much about Justin Berg.
We will hear about the new attitude being brought in by whoever the new manager will be. It doesn't much matter who it is. The talking points will be the same. Just fill in the blanks with the appropriate names and imply that Lou was at fault all along:
"We are very pleased to have ____________ join us with the Chicago Cubs. He is the right man for the job as can readily be seen with his success with _____________ and ____________. We were looking for someone who can handle the major media market of Chicago, the egos of a veteran ballclub such as ours, and can interweave the burgeoning young talent from the farm system into the existing team. No disrespect to Lou Piniella, but we believe that _________ is the right man for the job right now and we are looking forward to celebrating a World Series title with him in the near future. Let's all welcome ____________!"
Done. Except they never actually mention Lou's name, but the implication that Quade is a ray of sunshine to clear up the curmudgeonly clouds of the Piniella Era has been crystal clear.
Aramis Ramirez will uncharacteristically show up at the Cubs Convention and talk about how painful his thumb injury was, but that it was no excuse and he will be ready to return to his former self in 2011. No one will mention that a thumb injury doesn't usually make one swing at pitches over one's head or that Ramirez hasn't really been the model of good health when he was younger than his 2011 age of 33 years old.
Done. I didn't see any bits where Aramis actually spoke, so I don't know if he mentioned the thumb, but the fact that he showed up at all is amazing and was at least a 10 to 1 shot when I called it in August. He has since talked at length about how he will be back this season.
Carlos Zambrano will be shipped out of town and there will be lots of talk about how disruptive having a situation like that dragging out over the course of the year can be. The consensus among players will be that the locker room will be much more relaxed in 2011 and they will be able to concentrate on the job at hand. They will leave out the fact that the Cubs will be paying about 90% of Zambrano's salary to play for someone else and that they used that script last year when Milton Bradley was sent on his way.
I missed on this one. I didn't figure they would instead ship away a handful of pretty decently rated prospects for a decent pitcher in the off-season. In my favor, they are talking about how relaxed everything is in the clubhouse this year, so maybe I get partial credit?
Either way, I'm batting at least .750 which should be good enough for a healthy signing bonus and a no trade clause.