Thursday, March 3, 2011

No Silva lining for '11 Cubs

Here's an easy prediction for the 2011 Cubs. No, not the obvious one, that they'll somehow avoid winning the World Series. That's too easy. If you'd predicted that every year for the last 102 years, you'd have been right 100 percent of the time.

This one involves Carlos Silva, whose head exploded at the end of his first spring-training start because his teammates made three errors behind him. (I got a kick out of spinmeisters who said that at least it wasn't Cra-Z Zambrano going nutso again.)

Last year's first-half surprise will be an unmitigated disaster this year. The hefty right-hander either will get hurt or simply will pitch like a wounded duck until beleaguered manager Mike Quade pulls him from the rotation.

It doesn't take 20-20 vision to see the signs.

Carlos Silva has had enough trouble putting together one good year in a row, let alone two. His ERA stood at a shockingly sound 2.96 on July 6 last year. He finished at 4.22 and injuries limited him to one start in August and another in September.

He's now older, heavier and, obviously, less emotionally stable. This can't be a good thing for him or the Cubs, who are counting the days until he and his $13.5 million contract (including '12 buyout) come off the books.

On a positive note, the guy he went after Wednesday was Aramis Ramirez, whose own outrageous contract ($16.6 million remaining, including '12 buyout) is exceeded only by his sense of self-worth.

Get this: Rammie actually thinks he's a superstar. You know, the man is delusional enough to be a Cubbie fan.

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