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Chicago Cubs Preview

ABOUT BASEBALL breaks down & previews the 2005 Chicago Cubs.

2004 Record: 89-73, 3rd place in NL Central
Home Ballpark: Wrigley Field
Manager: Dusty Baker

2005 Prediction: 86-76, 3rd place in NL Central

ADDITIONS: C - Henry Blanco, OF - Jeromy Burnitz, RP - Chad Fox, INF/OF - Jerry Hairston Jr., RP - Stephen Randolph, RP - Scott Williamson.

SUBTRACTIONS: OF - Moises Alou, C - Paul Bako, SP - Matt Clement, RP - Kyle Farnsworth, OF - Tom Goodwin, OF - Ben Grieve, 2B - Mark Grudzielanek, SS - Ramon Martinez, RP - Kent Mercker, OF - Sammy Sosa.

LINEUP: Corey Patterson (CF), Derrek Lee (1B), Nomar Garciaparra (SS), Aramis Ramirez (3B), Jeromy Burnitz (RF), Todd Walker (2B), Todd Hollandsworth (LF), Mike Barrett (C) ROTATION: Mark Prior (RHP), Kerry Wood (RHP), Greg Maddux (RHP), Carlos Zambrano (RHP), Glendon Rusch (LHP)

CLOSER: Joe Borowski (RHP)

OUTLOOK: Sosa's gone, but that's a good thing for the Cubs, who were falling apart in the clubhouse with the sulking Sammy around. His replacement - Burnitz - is a solid power hitter too, and could easily hit 35-40 homers playing in Wrigley.

The big issue for Chicago is the health of stud righties Wood & Prior. If those two have the seasons they're capable of, the Cubs will contend. If just one of them is healthy or if both flop, it will be a long season on the North Side. 

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