No, the Cubs are not going young

Updated 6/3/2011 12:54 AM

It's borderline hysterical that folks now believe the Cubs are going young.

Sorry, but this isn't going young. This is playing Triple-A and fringe players because your starters are hurt.


That's not going young.

Going young is something you do in November and December, not in June.

It's something you do when you know you can't win the World Series with the team you have and your ultimate goal is only to win the World Series.

When the goal is only to win the World Series, one way to try it is to get rid of as many veterans as possible, dump payroll, buy out contracts and maximize return on players who can bring you in return several good players who may be on the verge of breaking into the majors.

That way, you get as many young players as possible in the lineup playing every day so you can get them experience, or find out if they even belong here.

It was suggested here last fall that it's what the Cubs ought to try, and that purchasing the likes of Kerry Wood and Carlos Pena would not put the Cubs in the World Series for the first time since Moses was a child.

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That made a lot of romantic Cub fans very unhappy, and brought an avalanche of angry email wondering why anyone would rain on the Kerry Wood homecoming parade.

And that's fine. Mediocrity is perfectly fine with a lot of people and they're OK with this middling approach, year after year, bringing the same middling results.

Sure, the Cubs are bad, but without the injuries they might be battling to stay near .500, and that's enough for some people.

But when your goal is to win the World Series, you think drastically, and you even consider trading gems like Carlos Marmol and Geo Soto if it means you can get back four or five players who can start for your team in a year or two.

Before you have an aneurysm, no one wants to see those guys go, but that's the definition of going young. Can you imagine the haul you'd get for those guys?


By going young you find out if guys like Tyler Colvin can play. The Cubs didn't find out last year, even with 20 homers in 358 at-bats, and they've already wasted this year for Colvin by failing to trade Kosuke Fukudome and signing Pena.

And guess what? You still don't know if Colvin can play. Yet, you've gained nothing by having Pena here.

Going young is very hard to do and it takes a highly skilled and refined organization to do it, but it's been the position here for a very, very long time that the Cubs ought to try it, and every time it's met with resistance and anger.

Yes, the Cubs ought to go young -- but what you're seeing now isn't it.

GM change?

It was baffling when Tom Ricketts took over two years ago and made no front office changes, even with so many people calling for regime change.

And every time it's come up in the last six months, it's explained that if Ricketts had thought it at all possible he might have to fire GM Jim Hendry any time this year, he wouldn't have allowed Hendry to give Mike Quade two years and trade key prospects for Matt Garza.

And in all fairness, there wasn't a lot of unhappiness with Hendry over the winter among Cub fans when Hendry brought in Garza, Pena and Wood.

I just don't think Ricketts is going to eat two years of Hendry money and then force a new GM to inherit Mike Quade.

A cosmetic change would be firing Hendry and placing Hendry's top guy -- Randy Bush -- in there for cheap, but that wouldn't be much of a change.

Sox bullpen

After a brutal start to the season, White Sox' relievers have pulled it together. The bullpen blew 6 saves in the first 12 games, and only 2 in the next 46. Closer Sergio Santos (0.98 WHIP) is 9-for-10 in save opps and Jesse Crain (1.07 WHIP) has 8 holds and a single blown save.

Good riddance

To NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell, who was replaced this week by Brendan Shanahan, about 13 years too late. Coincidentally, Campbell's had the job ... 13 years.

The quote

Joba Chamberlain, on being voted the second-most overrated player in baseball in a Sports Illustrated poll: "I guess I'm disappointed that I'm not No. 1 again."

Class act

Hoffman Estates emailer Tom Barnicle: "Hair pulling and now biting. Who plays the lead in the Alex Burrows story, Paris Hilton?"

Sigmund says

Miami Herald's Greg Cote, on a recently published book about ESPN: "The network infamous for its egos and self-promotion is now the subject of a 745-page book. Good God. It's like giving Charles Barkley a louder microphone."

Best headline "Mike Brown finally meets with Lakers head coach Kobe Bryant."

And finally ...

Comedian Alex Kaseberg: "Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement on Twitter. Technology has come a long way since Brett Favre announced his first retirement via Western Union Telegraph."

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.