Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No, I said a Marquis Player, not Marquis THE player.

The French triumvarate is now complete : Marquis, Jacque and Pierre. The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a deal with geriatric outfielder Marquis Grissom. (pictured right) This might sound bad at first, but this is not worth getting upset about (at least not yet). It's only a minor league contract, and a pretty low risk signing. The only real risk is, that Dusty will misuse Grissom and give him Murton's job as the everyday left fielder. But I don't see that happening.
Contrary to popular belief, Grissom never played under Dusty. He joined the Giants the year Dusty left San Fransisco. Still, he has all the makings of a Dustyguy: He is old, he is a former gold glove winner, he has (had) good speed, he strikes out a ton and doesn't walk and clog up the bases, and he's supposedly a good clubhouse guy who brings vetertan leadership He's just the type of player that Baker likes to have around. I can live with that.
The big question here for me is does Marquis really have anything left in the tank at this point in his career?
If Grissom is healthy, (a big if) this just might work out nicely for the Cubs. As a platoon partner for Jacque Jones, the grand Marquis is not a terrible option at all. Grissom has hit lefties very well over his career. If he has a comeback year, he and Jones would make a reasonably productive right field combination. Even if Grissom only starts against some lefties which is probably what will happen, it should be an improvement over 158 games of Jacque. At the very least he's a better use of a roster spot than Jose Macias.

On a semi related note, i'm curious to see what kind of impact the leagues new amphetamine policies have next year. I heard both Steve Stone and Will Carroll talking about how many players are much more dependent on amphetamines than we like to think. Many haven't played a game with out "greenies" (sorry I'm not hip to the lingo) for years. Not much has been written about this issue in the mainstream media, but it's very likely that teams are going to depend more on their bench players to step up and spell players who would otherwise have relied on popping some pills to make it thorough the season. I'm not calling out anyone in particular, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs, who play the most day games in the league, might be especially impacted by the amphetamine ban.
This might have something to do with the Cubs plan to get younger and more athletic this year.
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Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie!

The Cubs also signed Michael Restovich and former Cub fan favorite Auggie Ojeda to minor league deals...

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