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Welcome to Injury City. I’m the mayor.

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The other day I told Ramirez, “I know you think you’re ready to go, but we’re going to rest you for a couple more days.”

And Ramirez, like the competitor he is, tried to go out there and run on his hammy. He admitted he couldn’t accelerate like usual; that he couldn’t run well enough to merely be sufficient on the basepaths. Now he’s looking at a stint on the DL.

Ramirez is the latest of my stars to go down with an injury. First, it was the red-hot Christian Guzman and a similar leg injury. Then it was McLouth and his oblique. Then it was Soria and a mysterious shoulder injury. To add insult to injury, Delgado went down with a hurt hip a couple days ago.

Add to it a couple struggling starters, and my roster was unceremoniously depleted. It looked something like this when all was said and done:

After a hot start, Team Cuba is struggling.

As manager, it’s my responsibility to make sure I field the best team I possibly can. If I can open up a few roster spots, I can add the cream of the crop from the waiver wire and make something out of nothing.

I’m going to go ahead and drop Greene and Jacobs. They haven’t shown what they can do yet and they’ll still be on the wire in a month or so. In baseball, it’s important to remember that it’s a business; you should be able to cut players and trade ’em like playing cards. I’m going to put Guzman on the DL since he is the only one eligible. These moves leave me three open roster spots.

I’m taking an extended look at Seattle 1B Russell Branyan. After hearing tales about his prodigious power from everyone except my mother and after a 5-5 game on Tuesday against the White Sox, I’m sold on the big guy. He’s got 3B versatility too, so he looks like an ideal pickup. Versatility is clutch in times like this.

Russell "The Muscle" Branyan is a basher.

It’s also time to go ahead and sign the Indian’s Asdrubal Cabrera. Unlike other hot shortstops (the Ray’s Ben Zobrist comes to mind), Cabrera plays every day and will give you something each day he’s in the lineup. He doesn’t have much pop, but either does Guzman. He’ll be an adequate replacement.

Finding someone to replace a guy like McLouth is no easy task. You need someone who will be lightning in a bottle, someone who will give you all the pomp and circumstance of McLouth in one-tenth of the time.

I’m going to sign Jason Kubel. The Minnesota Twin’s OF and DH has taken strides in each of his MLB seasons, developing his power and plate discipline extremely well. He’s had some huge games this year and the best I can hope for is a couple homers and 10-12 RBIs while McLouth is hurting.

As the owner of Soria, I have a leg up on the competition. I know who his replacement is going to be. I don’t need to look far. Juan Cruz, you’ve got yourself a deal!

Here’s what my team looks like now (with a few other additions by subtraction):

The new faces of Team Cuba.


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