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I've postponed posting until now...

I quit doing day - to - day Cubs updates on June 14th, when Ted Lilly almost threw his no-hitter and the Cubs beat the White Sox. At that point in the season they were 28-35, with at least a glimmer of hope that they might make a comeback in the season.

Now, it's over two months later and the Cubs are 50-71 (21 games under .500 as opposed to being 7 games under in June). It has been a season of ups and downs (mostly downs). There's been no consistant hitting at all in the lineup, except for Marlon Byrd and Starlin Castro. And the bullpen has been erratic at best. I can honestly say that the starting pitching has, for the most part, been pretty good, except for Carlos Zambrano's blow-up in late June against Derrek Lee.

So much has changed and the face of the Cubs is different now. At the trade deadline, July 31st, the Cubs traded Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Los Angeles Dodgers for second baseman Blake DeWitt and two minor league right-handed pitchers, Kyle Smit (Class AA), and Brett Wallach (Class A). It was a total shock to me that the Cubs would do such a thing with an established and well-liked player such as Lilly. There is a possibility that Lilly could sign back with the Cubs after the season is over, since he will be a free agent. But I honestly don't know why he would want to.

Then, on August 11th, the Cubs traded Mike Fontenot to the San Francisco Giants for minor league outfielder (center fielder) Evan Crawford.

And finally, yesterday, the Cubs traded Derrek Lee to the Atlanta Braves for three minor league pitchers, two right handers, Robinson Lopez (Class A), Tyrelle Harris (Class AA) and left hander Jeffrey Lorick (Class A). I think this trade hurts the most because Derrek was one of the good players in the game.

It's like this team is no longer recognizable as the group that started the season back in April. I know that trades are a common occurrance in baseball these days, but I miss the old days when players stayed with their teams their entire career.

I can only hope that all these minor league players can offer some help in the future for the Cubs and become stars eventually.

The Cubs are obviously retooling for the future and it's hard to know what else is down the road for the organization and the players. I realize that baseball, above everything, is a business, but those in charge need to realize that fans identify with players and root for players more than for teams. Time will only tell if I continue to follow the Cubs in the future.

Mike Fontenot
Ted Lilly
Derrek Lee
Ryan Theriot


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