1999 Chicago Cubs Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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the year with 66 homers, 4 behind McGwire (Chicago Cubs Web site). Sosa also won the National Leagues Most Valuable Player Award, and was selected to the All-Star Game. Even though he has gotten off to an extremely slow start, you can expect Sosa to heat up with the weather. This Cub outfield is loaded with power, combining to hit more home runs than any in the majors last year. If they can stay healthy and duplicate last season’s numbers, 1999 should be an exciting year. Last, we’ll examen a few of the pitchers and catchers on the Cub’s roster. First, will start with Kevin Tapani. Tapani is considered the ace of the Cub’s staff now that Wood is gone for the year. Kevin was the Cubs’ winningest pitcher in six seasons, finishing the campaign 19-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 35

games (34 starts). He was also the first Cub to surpass the 16 wins mark since Greg Maddux won 20 games in 1992 (Chicago Cubs Web Site). With Kerry out, the Cubs will differently need another big year out of Taps. Another pitcher crucial to the Cub’s success this season is new-comer Jon Lieber. Jon saw action in 29 games (28 starts) in his final campaign with Pittsburgh and went 8-14 with 2 complete games and a 4.11 ERA (Chicago Cubs Web Site). The Cubs are counting on Jon to be a major contributor, seeing how they gave up a good young player in Brant Brown for him. The closer for this year’s squad is once again Rod Beck. Rod had one of the top save seasons in major league history, converting 51 saves to go along with a 3-4 record and a 3.02 ERA in a National League-high 81

games. Beck was just the fifth reliever in big league annals to reach the 50-saves mark (Chicago Cubs Web Page). Starting behind the plate this season will be another rare new-comer Benito Santiago. Benito saw action in only 15 games for Toronto after being involved in a major automobile accident January 4. He suffered assorted injuries in the accident, but was unable to play baseball due to strained ligaments in his right knee (Chicago Cubs Web Site). In the Spring, Benito returned to his old form by slugging four home runs and playing solid behind the plate. Honestly, the Cub’s pitchers and catchers are their weak link. Lack of starting pitching, a very suspect bullpen, and production at the plate by the catchers could hold them back this year. For anyone that follows

baseball it’s obvious that all these parts have to work together to have a successful team. Very seldom does a team with good hitting but poor pitching, or visa versa, when a World Series Title. If you look at all the top teams in the league, like the Yankees, Braves, and Dodgers, they all have an assortment of good ball players. Not one of those teams is weak in one category. Does this spell doom for the Cubs? As David Falkner says in his book, “It’s close to impossible to judge a team based solely on their spring training performance.” (Falkner) Hopefully this will hold true for the Cubs, and they will go on to prove me wrong. Unfortunately though, as determined by looking at their pitchers and catchers, it’s painfully true that they have a large void. And as the old

saying goes, a chains only as strong as it’s weakest link.