By all accounts, Craig Monroe was having an off-season with the Tigers, who asked Monroe to turn in his uniform and his pass to the players' parking lot last Friday, when he was designated for assignment. Here's what Rotoworld had to say at the time of the move:
The Tigers are cutting a guy with 59 homers and 236 RBI since the start of 2005. He's even a pretty good defender in a corner outfield spot. The big negative is that he carries poor OBPs even when he's swinging well. Still, there are more than a few teams that would like to have him around and some would probably even play him regularly. Expect him to be traded before he can become a free agent.So how far off was Monroe with Detroit this year?
It was this bad: The Cubs just scored 5 runs in 3 games (plus an extra inning) against a team that had yielded 67 runs in its previous 7 games. The Cubs hit one home run in three games against a pitching staff that shared the NL lead with the Phillies in most homers yielded per game. The Cubs went 2-for-34 with men in scoring position, both of the hits coming in the 8th inning of the series finale, long after the game and the Houston sweep had ceased to be in doubt. Ironically, the Cubs have been at or near the top of NL in batting with RISP for much of the season.
The Cubs—now just a half-game behind the flailing Brewers—open a seven-game homestand Monday night with a four-game series against the Phillies, followed by a three-game set with the Mets. The Brewers will begin a six-game homestand against the same two clubs in reverse order. However, since they don’t open against the Metropolitans until Tuesday night, the Brewers will have no direct control over whether or not they go to bed Monday night in sole possession of first place in the NL Central. One of baseball’s enduring clichés is the one that says a victory at the beginning of the season is worth just as much as one in the final days of a pennant race. Is it the same with defeats?
While the Cubs were busy dumping the Cardinals Tuesday night, Kerry Wood was earning a victory for the Class ‘A’ Peoria Chiefs over the Fort Wayne Wizards.
How else to describe scoring nine runs in the first five innings on six singles and a double? (Obviously seven Giant walks to that point contributed.) Or the Cubs scoring 12 runs without Ramirez or Lee in the lineup and with Soriano only contributing a walk. Or Carlos Zambrano batting for himself in the last of the 5th, then not taking the mound in the 6th, departing with a 2-hit shutout after throwing only 80 pitches. (The long Cub fifth inning would seem to be the reason.) Or Koyie Hill collecting 5 RBI, all with two outs. (He must REALLY be ticked off about that Jason Kendall trade.)