Astros will blow down ‘house that Sosa built’

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Would you put a mortgage on a house if you weren’t sure it would be standing in a year?

No, of course you wouldn’t, but the Cubs did.

Last month the North Siders decided it was time to take out a mortgage and risk the future for a chance at the post season.

Sammy Sosa and effective starting pitching were providing a solid foundation. Fred Mc Griff was acquired to seal cracks in the foundation and as an added bonus his services came cheaply. The Cubs only had to ship two minor minor leaguers to Tampa Bay for the Crime Dog’s services.

At the time, the proverbial house that Sosa built was looking pretty good, but management decided to take out a mortgage to buy the finishing touch. They needed someone to ease the stress on Tom Gordon’s arm and Jeff Fassero was racking up too many appearances for a guy in his first year as a full-time reliever.

So, the Cubs mortgaged their future on David Weathers. In return, the Brewers got Ruben Quevedo, and the better of the deal.

Quevedo has a 4.40 ERA and has gone 3-2 since the trade, including a win over his former team last week.

While Quevedo was sent north, the Cubs have gone south. As of Monday, they were three games behind the Houston Astros and their once strong house seems to waiting for the big bad wolf to come and knock it down.

The wolf shall come donning an Astros uniform. The Cardinals looked strong after reeling off 11 wins in a row, but Houston is in first and they play the Cubs seven times in the next month.

With Kerry Wood’s arm problems and Julian Tavarez’s mouth problems, the Cubs could use a guy like Quevedo right now.

Cubs President and acting General Manager Andy McPhail probably pondered that point as he watched the righty strike out his batters 10 times in seven innings last week.

Sure Juan Cruz in doing well right now, but mini-Pedro is only 20-years old and it’s hardly ever prudent to pin post season hopes on a player who is still too young to imbibe.

The Cubs have risked the future before. In 1998, they took out a double-mortgage when they dealt two first-round picks to acquire relievers Matt Karchner and Felix ‘the horrible’ Heredia.

When Heredia takes the mound, no lead is safe. It’s almost as if he’s out there auditioning to throw batting practice.

Karchner is no longer with the Cubs. He had talked about retiring from baseball and buying a tow truck. No word yet on whether he was going to open a business or simply use the truck to cart around his ERA.

Karchner came to the Cubs in a trade that sent Jon Garland to the White Sox. This year Garland is 6-4 with a 3.25 ERA. Although Karchner certainly helped, it took Garland a while to make the Cubs look bad.

Quevedo is a different story. He’s been traded before, the first time from the Braves to the Cubs, but now he’s finally starting to reach his potential. He was dumped