Yahoo! Sports is underway examining the offseason of every MLB team. Its award-winner writer, Tim Brown, chronicles the Cubs.
Here are some highlights from Brown’s article:
2010 record: 75-87
Finish: Fifth place, NL Central
2010 final payroll: $142.4 million
Estimated 2011 opening day payroll: $131 million
–Take a below average pitching staff, supported by a below average offense, backed by a well below average defense, prop it up with the game’s fourth-highest payroll, and what the House of Ricketts received in return was another lost baseball season on the North Side.
–If nothing else, the fifth-place finish allowed general manager Jim Hendry the opportunity to start on 2011 last summer.
–Over just two years, the Cubs were caught and overrun by the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and, just this offseason, the Milwaukee Brewers. Yet on the occasion of Ernie Banks’ 80th birthday, they certainly aren’t without talent or a chance.
–Hendry, then, is asking a lot of players to live up to their contracts, to return to their means, and to come to their senses. Basically, to wake up and play.