Final Cubs Playoff Roster; Game 1 Thought

PLAYOFF ROSTER SET
The roster is set. Per Bruce Miles, Felix "Playoff" Pie has beaten out the much more deserving Micah Hoffpauir for the final spot on the Cubs playoff bench. Clearly Pie's "speed" (in quotes as speed without basestealing ability ain't worth much) and ability to play CF trumped Hoffpauir's ability to hit major league pitching. Still no word on what Daryl Ward is using as blackmail against Lou Piniella to keep his worthless buns on the bench.

Hoffpauir, Koyie Hill, Michael Wuertz, and Kevin Hart will all head to Arizona to continue to work out in case they're needed in later rounds of the playoffs (God willing). (By the way...can they say hi to Rich Hill for us? Remember that guy? Where the hell is he right now?) Chad Gaudin, Angel Guzman, and Casey McGehee were all sent home-meaning they can feel free to make plans because they're season's are done-zo.

With the final decision on Pie made, here's your 2008 NLDS Cubs playoff roster, (listed by primary position, not necessarily by where I think they'll be playing):

SPs: 1. Dempster, 2. Zambrano, 3. Harden, 4. Lilly
RPs: Wood, Marmol, Samardzija, Marquis, Marshall, Cotts, & Howry
C: Soto, Blanco
1B: Lee, Ward
2B: DeRosa, Fontenot
SS: TheRiot, Cedeno
3B: Ramirez
LF: Soriano
CF: Edmonds, Johnson, Pie
RF: Fukudome

Here's to hoping keeping Ward, Howry, and Marquis won't jump up and bite us. Or, better yet, to hoping we don't need them.

GAME 1
A thought....I don't want to call Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs a "must win." But...I don't want to stray too far from that either. Call me a worrying Cub fan, but I don't want to live in a world where Dempster, who has been absolutely money at home all year long, loses Game 1 and then we are forced to rely on total nutjob Carlos Zambrano to get a W in Game 2 to avoid heading to LA down 0-2 and needing to sweep two road games to force a Game 5. I love Big Z, but dude's crazy (see his performances since his no hitter). I don't think he'll react too well with that sort of pressure on his shoulders. Yes-if this scenario does play out we're looking good in Game 3 with Rich Harden going against Kuroda and Game 4 with Ted Lilly against Maddux or, more likely, Derek Lowe again on short rest to close it out. But I really, really don't want to be in that position. Don't think my ulcer can take it.

Go Cubs.

Comments (4)

Lionel

October 1, 2008 at 11:32 AM

I hate to gloat, but despite the lobbying of some very influential people (i.e. Jumbo):

http://www.toweldrills.com/2008/09/playoff-roster.html

Not that it was overwhelmingly difficult, but I went 25 for 25 in predicting the playoff roster. In fact, the only thing I really missed on is the fact that I thought Gaudin at least had a chance, while Hart didn't. Given that the Cubs didn't send Gaudin to hang with Rich Hill in Arizona, I have to believe that he was rushed back from his injury and wasn't really ready to come back.

I have heard a lot of opinions on the series and tonight's game, and I would tend to agree with Jumbo, but to a lesser extent on the Z thing. I think part of the reason Lou put Z in the Game 2 slot is to relieve some of that pressure, but if the Cubs come out tonight and hit as poorly as they did last year, the weight of Cub Nation will be on Z's shoulders.

But let's not forget that he was the Cubs Game 1 starter last year when the pressure was on, so this isn't his first rodeo (sidenote: how great would it be to see the Bull on a Bull after his career is finished). In that game, he gave up one earnie on 4 hits and a walk over six innings last year, while striking out 8. He left the game tied before Carlos Marmol gave up 2runs in the seventh and the Cubs decided to try to win games without scoring any runs.

Anonymous

October 1, 2008 at 1:26 PM

I'm not trying to be mean, but you really don't know much about roster construction, (esp. Playoff roster construction). The final roster spot was never down to Pie vs. Hoffpauir. The final choice, (not really much of a choice), was between Daryle Ward & Micah Hoffpauir.

Pie is on the roster because of the versatility that he can offer, (he gives you speed, defense, and can play all three outfield spots). Only having 11 pitchers on the roster for the first round clinched Pie's spot. As far as Ward & Hoffpauir; Hoffpauir had one 5-5 game in the majors, and he hit the ball hard in AAA. However, Hoffpauir has no position to play and no spot on the roster. The only way he could have made the roster, would have been as strictly as a pinch hitter. The Cubs already have arguably the best pinch hitter in the game in the person of Daryle Ward. He had a poor year, number wise. Understand though, that pinch hitters are judged on how hard they hit the ball, their ability to make contact, when called on in the heat of a game. The guys in the clubhouse keep track of balls that are hit hard, (whether they be an out or if they fall in). Ward led the team in hard hit balls. Pinch hitters have a limited number of ABs in the regular season, if a handful of those hard hit balls would have fallen in, his average & other numbers would have been much better. Ward is not only a veteran, he is an experienced, proven pinch hitter- one of the hardest things to do in the game. With all this said, it's really not a choice at all between Ward & Hoffpauir- Ward wins hands down, no contest.

Lionel

October 2, 2008 at 11:52 AM

I took a long, hard look at myself before I attempted an appropriate response to "anonymous." I thought, maybe I am completely wrong? Maybe I, as well as all the Chicago beat writers, were wrong in thinking that Lou was debating whether to give the last roster spot to Pie OR Hoff? Maybe I was wrong in thinking that a guy who was demoted to AAA early in the season, didn't light the Iowa Cornfields on fire with his hitting, and wasn't added until after the Iowa post-season had finished was a lock to make the post-season?

After reflecting for about 3 seconds, I moved on. To say that I don't know much about roster construction (esp. Playoff roster construction) means that you are saying one other guy doesn't know much about roster construction (esp. Playoff roster construction): Lou Pinella. See, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, Lou said they talked long and hard about whether to keep Pie of Hoffpauir. Don't believe me? Follow this link:

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/663

(it's the second paragraph under Fukudome bats second)

So, my friend, if you are essentially calling me an idiot (but trying not to be mean) for thinking that the final roster spot was between Pie and Hoff, I guess you are also calling Lou Pinella an idiot. And since Lou said that "they" talked about it, I guess you are calling the entire Cubs coaching staff/management idiots too.

Robert

October 4, 2008 at 8:21 AM

Ward looks as though he wants to stop at 2nb on a Homer. He is lazy and so out of shape his only value is to opposing fans for a good laugh.