Cast my vote for Glendon Rusch as the Cubs’ Most Valuable Player for the first half of the 2004 season.
Consider that the Cubs are sitting only three games behind the Cardinals at the halfway point despite playing without stars Sammy Sosa, Mark Prior, Mark Grudzielanek, and Kerry Wood for long stretches, and losing closer Joe Borowski to what appears to be a season-ending shoulder injury.
In steps Rusch, a journeyman left-hander who wasn’t considered worth a contract offer by the Milwaukee Brewers, the team he pitched for last season. As of tonight, he’s 4-1 (and would be 5-1 but for Latroy Hawkins giving up a 9th inning home run) with a 3.84 ERA, and the Cubs have won six of his ten starts. So far, Glendon Rusch looks like the most important addition to the Cubs in 2004.