Friday, January 15, 2010

Freaks and Jenks

The Cubs Convention starts today. As far as I'm concerned, this event is only for the truest-blue, most die hard Cub fan freaks out there, the ones who really have turned their lives over to the Church of the Baby Bear. It's for those who are desperate enough that they need a fix on all things Cubby between the end of the season and the beginning of spring training. Also, it's for those who only can feel vindicated by the chance to speak out in front of other fans and ask a supposedly tough question that Cubs management will merely dance around rather than answer directly.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are still looking for another outfield bat and another bullpen arm. Lefties are preferred for both positions, but only right-handers are being mentioned at the moment. The latest outfield target is rumored to be none other than White Sox 2005 World Series hero (of course, they were all heroes) Jermaine Dye. Just like the Cubs to latch on to Dye after he has apparently started breaking down (he turns 36 later this month). JeDye delivered consistently for the Sox over the years right through the first half of last season (hitting .302 as of July 18), but then began a downward spiral that ended only with the end of the season (finished hitting .250, with only 4 homeruns in the final two months of the season) and the end of his career on the Southside.

The bullpen rumors also revolve around righties--Heath Bell and Kiko Calero.

The latest on the White Sox front is a story in the Tribune that appears to be more or less a retread of the report from the end of last season that had Sox manager Ozzie Guillen criticizing Bobby Jenks for being out of shape. This came after Jenks gave up a career-high nine homeruns last season and generally looked bad as the year went on. Ozzie actually defended Jenks' poor outings early in the year, but lost patience and faith in him later.

Anyway, the J.J. Putz deal may apply pressure for Jenks to lose a few more pounds. Though, am I the only one who remembers that it was Ozzie who lended Bobby's big boy dimensions iconic status with the hand gestures he used to call in Jenks from the bullpen? I wonder if Ozzie will stop that act now. Apparently, it was OK for Jenks to be fat as long as he was pitching well.

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