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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

This is So Strange 

Friday night, I had a dream that the Cubs got Nomar (which really isn't that strange, considering how much time I've spent thinking about the Cubs getting Nomar), and I woke up totally heartbroken. It was never really going to happen. Epstein couldn't be that desperate to dump him, and Hendry just wasn't going to trade away anyone worthy of one of the five best shortstops ever.

I was right about the second part.

I was at the game on Saturday. It was a typical Cubs loss--the pitching did it's job, and the defense and offense didn't, and we sputtered to another unnecessary 4-3 defeat. I, and probably everybody else at Wrigley, spent most of the game telling myself that I needed to stop thinking about Nomar--that we really shouldn't need him anyway, with the game's best pitching and one of the most power-packed lineups in the NL. My buddy was checking the MLB headlines on his blackberry every ten minutes, and every time it was, "Anything?" "No, nothing." Not even Cabrera.

The deadline passed, the Cubs lost, and I started thinking about who might make it through wavers--which didn't improve my mood.

I, like so many Cubs fans, was enjoying an oat soda at a neaby bar when the news started to spread. At first, I refused to believe it. Then, as the rumors intensified, I found myself arguing with the incompetant boob flipping though the channels behind the bar (ESPN Classic... VHI... ESPN Classic... Fishing... VHI... ESPN Classic...

When we finally saw it (Cubs acquire SS Nomar Garciaparra--bar explodes into cheers...For SS Alex Gonzalez and prospects--bar explodes again), I felt like I was having one of those dreams you'd have in Junior High, where you're all of a sudden dating the most popular girl in school for no particular reason. It was that kind of happiness. It hasn't gone away. I don't know what else to say about it.

As the details emerged, it kept getting less believable. At first, the rumor was that Angel Guzman was going to the Expos--nobody cared. Too bad for him, but nobody really cared. We've got other guys waiting for Greg Maddux to retire. Then it comes out that it's Beltran and Harris. Beltran and Harris? And they're paying Gonzo? And we get cash??? What the fuck is going on here? But it was all true. I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about it.

Now, being a bit more objective, I think both prospects will be good major leaguers. I liked both of them, and I sort of hoped Harris would be the Cubs second baseman next year (They have to save money somewhere, right?). But Beltran is looking more like a solid middle-reliever than the future closer the Cubs hoped he'd be, and Harris has never really excelled at any aspect of the game.

I felt genuinely sad for Gonzo. What a shitty day that must have been for him... I'm sure it doesn't make him feel any better that he (not the notorious Bartman) totally blew it for us last year. Oh well! See you in Cooperstown, Alex! Oh, wait, I'm thinking of the new guy...bye.

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about the trade is that it stands as proof that the ownership is really serious this time. They've got faith in Hendry, and they haven't misplaced that faith.

Go Cubs go.

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