Tuesday, September 07, 2004  
4 days off can be a big help

For the past few days, I decided to take a break from baseball, and writing. It seemed like the perfect time, considering the Cubs were on a temporary hiatus from the game. However, I have to admit, I literally almost went insane from the lack of Cubs on TV. I am addicted and I will not deny it. Come Monday, I was so ready for the game, that it was all I was thinking about all day. I probably would have pulled my hair out waiting for it had I not been reformatting my computer in the office. That kept me busy until right up to the start of the game.

As I said before, having 4 days off can in fact be a big help. With the Cubs being idle, I was forced to get other things done. I reorganized my office desk, formatted the hard drive, and was able to get some things done for school. I had a fairly profitable week. However, I would assume that most, if not all who read this site do not really care about what I did. They care about the Cubs. Well for the Cubs, in my opinion, those 4 days off can also be a big help to them or a big problem. I'd like to make a case for both sides.

Why the rest may help

  • Sometimes it helps to just take a step back and evaluate the situation. This extra time off allowed the Cubs that opportunity. They were able to step back, see where they stand, and decide where they want to go. "Do I want to help this team make the Wild Card?", "Do I want to win the World Series?", and "What do I need to improve?" These are all questions that needed to be addressed individually when given the opportunity. Having some days away from baseball gave the Cubs just that opportunity. Whether or not they took advantage of it, we'll just have to wait and see.
  • Having days off at this time in the season allows players to rest ailing bones, and nagging injuries. This has been a year full of them, so a little extra R & R goes a long way toward promoting a healthy team down the stretch. Days off allow Nomar and Ramirez the chance to sit and rest, while not missing any games in the process. Hopefully this extra rest will go a long way toward getting these guys healthy. If Ramirez's two HR game yesterday is any indication, the rest seems to have worked.
Why the rest may hurt
  • Because of the series with the Marlins being wiped out, it forces the Cubs to play doubleheaders down the stretch. While the makeup dates to this point have not been officially announced, there is a good chance the Cubs will have a grand total of 1 off day until the playoffs. I really hope that this does not come back to bite us, but around baseball, the consensus feeling is that it will. Hopefully the Cubs will come out swinging and get to the point that at least one of the games are not necessary. If not, pitching on short rest could be in store for our already beleaguered starting staff.
  • Because of the short rest for our pitchers down the stretch, we may have to endure a start by the disaster that is Sergio Mitre. God help us if we do. Keep your fingers crossed that his arm falls off magically and we are all sparred from the torture of watching him pitch.
So, will the days off from baseball be helpful or hurtful? We'll just have to see. If nothing else, they were helpful to me.

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