The Ice Is Getting Thinner, My Friend!

I refuse to explode in panic. August 26th. August 26th. Repeat it with me. August 26th.
Okay, I feel a little better, but not that much.
I don’t like how we’re playing. Yesterday’s game was good, but Myers, who has been very good, just couldn’t do his job and Mantei is fustratingly nothing more than an average middle reliever.
A lot of people are waiting for Curt Schilling to return. Sorry, not gonna cut it. Having another arm will be great, but the Curt Schilling as we know it will be gone, and even he says that. Who’s to say he will be an ace? Perhaps he’ll just regress to the current talent of Matt Clement. That’s a big step back from the 2004 Curt n’ Petey. Curt n’ Matty? Not quite the same ring.
We’re good, but I’m not seeing the spark. Since we were 15-5 last April, and 22-22 with Nomar, and then after that 49-17, I refuse to pull the plug, and I refuse to do it until the plug is pulled, but not by me. I’m going to stay optimistic, I really am, but the ice is getting thinner. I do not want to plunge into the frigid lake. It won’t happen. We’re just not playing with fire, with the momentum. We’re just playing games, and our talent is winning games, but the lack of fire is palatable. The Cubs are just simply not a good team. They beat a lackadaisal, average team twice in a row and will likely sweep, but that doesn’t make them good. Their closer is highly unimpressive. I don’t like their bullpen. Zambrano now is an injury concern, what with his blister before and turf toe.
Take Derrek Lee and Neifi Perez out of the equation, and they’re lousy. Perez and Lee, repeating last year, and this club is below .500. They’re not a good club, period.
But … they have momentum, they have the spark. They’re playing with clarity, with that extra spring in their step, and that’s carrying them higher than they should be, it’s making them into a good team. God help the fans if the team loses that extra spring, because they’ll tilt back into mediocrity (any team with Jose Macias, Jerry Hairston, Enrique Wilson and Henry Blanco on it is automatically not good).
We’re an above average team without that spring, so once we get it, we’re amazing. And I’m still holding out hope that we can get that extra spring, but a few things need to happen to get that spring.
1) Manny Ramirez needs to turn into someone at least halfway deserving of that contract of his. His latest R/L splits:

    G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS  
 vs. Left   28 55 5 7 2 0 1 4 9 14 1 0 .127 .254 .218 .472  
 vs. Right   56 154 27 45 9 1 10 39 18 33 0 0 .292 .375 .558 .933  

Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE! At least he’s been pretty good against righties, but …
What he’s done in June so far, cumulative:

Player Games GS AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB HBP K SB CS SH SF GDP CI BA OBA SPct
David Ortiz 9 9 35 6 12 1 0 4 11 4 0 0 9 0 0 0 1 1 0 .343 .400 .714
Edgar Renteria 8 8 35 2 5 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 5 0 .143 .167 .229
Manny Ramirez 8 8 31 4 7 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 .226 .273 .290

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO!!!!
Ortiz is his normal self, and Edgar Renteria needs to become someone deserving of just a BIG LEAGUE contract. Not someone who sucks in AAA, as well. His Wins Above Replacement Player total this season is a cool 0.6. (Comparison: 8.6 in his excellent 2003 season and 3.1 last year). We’re paying $10 million dollars for someone who has 0.9 WARP points on Ramon Vazquez (-0.3 WARP)!?
We could be playing Ramon Vazquez for $300,000 at near the same production that we’re paying $10,000,000 more.
I’d rant more. Mostly about the pitching overall and some other people, but right now I’m disgusted with what I’ve shown so far, and I just don’t want to talk about it anymore.
Tim Wakefield v. Glendon Rusch.
Another great example of Boston and Chicago so far. Rusch is having a horribly fluke year, with an insane, Cy-Young ERA while Wakefield is either way on, or way off and has been way off for a long time now.
I’ll watch the game as always, but I won’t be expecting much.
(The title above comes from a line in OOTP when you’re trying to do contract extensions.)

(Obviously, I lost the bet. Get used to seeing this every day until Saturday.)