The baseball player I've maybe hated more than any other in my lifetime is going to be on my beloved Chicago Cubs, and in the lineup tomorrow against the team that just released him. Oh my. Unlike most of Cubdom though, I am not considering suicide over it.
The Cubs signed the 37-year-old(and turns 38 in June) Edmonds, the former All-Star of the St. Louis Cardinals(the Cubs' biggest rival), to the prorated league minimum contract of $284,000. They also sent 23-year-old center fielder Felix Pie down to Triple-A Iowa to make some adjustments at the plate which he certainly needs to do, and get playing time everyday.
The way I see it, is the worst that happens is Edmonds stinks up the joint as he did with the San Diego Padres for his short stay there this season, and the Cubs cut him in a couple weeks. They are not foolish and will definitely let him go if he does not produce. Felix Pie is struggling at the plate, but showed some improvements over the last few weeks, and is outstanding defensively.
If Edmonds does well, it's helping the team win which is the only thing that should matter, right? I will take anybody on the Cubs if it means helping their chances of winning a World Series after a 100-year drought.
Osama Bin Laden can help the pitching rotation? Sign him. The ghost of Adolf Hitler can give us an OPS of 1.000? Get his uniform ready and pencil him in the lineup tomorrow.
The addition of Edmonds also allows the Cubs to move Rookie Of The Year candidate Kosuke Fukudome and his .419 on-base percentage to the #2 spot in the lineup which he is best suited for.
The odds are certainly against Edmonds to make any significant contributions or even approach his numbers of a few years ago. He was hitting just .178, with 1 homer, and an OPS of .498 in 90 at bats for the Padres. Additionally, he has not hit over .260 since 2005. Making matters worse, people around baseball seem to think the eight-time Gold Glove winner has lost a step or two in center field.
However, I think he could hit 10-15 home runs at Wrigley Field still. He's a flyball hitter, and with the wind blowing out like it normally does in the summer at Wrigley Field, the ball has a good chance of leaving the yard on any decently struck flyball. I also think leaving the gigantic outfield dimensions at Petco Park for a much less spacious Wrigley Field could make his defense look much better. It also does not hurt to add a veteran guy who won a championship not too long ago, and was an All-Star not too long ago. Rumor is that he also wants to stick it to Tony LaRussa and the Cardinals, which is really the only music to the ears of most Cubs fans right now.
I really do not see any big risk in this at all. It is a cheap contract, if he does not perform well the Cubs will just release him, and if he does do well, he will add another quality bat to an already tremendous Cubs offense.
However, I will probably throw up tomorrow when I see him trotting up to the plate in Cubs pinstripes.
By the way, our good friend Ace of "The Cubs Brickyard" did an absolutely hilarious piece on the signing of Edmonds and his crotch-grabbing antics. Make sure to check it out.