Friday, August 28, 2009

My Perfect World

In my perfect world, even the marketing department of a baseball team would be realists...

Too bad life isn't perfect.

Do We Want This Guy?

For those who haven't seen it yet, here is the video of Brandon Marshall's latest practice that lead to him being indefinitely suspended:

There is no question that the Broncos are going to have to move Marshall. They made the mistake earlier this offseason showing they will move disgruntled players. Should the Bears be interested? It is no secret that the Bears lack at the Wide Receiver position, but is Marshall someone you would want on the team? After seeing this video, I have to say I'm not so sure. The guy causes more problems off the field than any other player in the NFL. He has been a problem child since college and it has not gotten any better. Even if the Bears do get Marshall, they would have to pay the guy since that is the reason for his latest tantrum. I'm not so sure they will be willing to pay him knowing that they are going to have to pay Cutler next year.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Horrible Throw

This video speaks for itself.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'll Never Understand This

A Kid Asking Alex Rios For An Autograph

Ever since I was a little, tormented, and unfortunate Cubs fan I never and still don't understand why anybody goes crazy over an autograph. To me, there is nothing more pathetic than begging someone to give you their signature. What are you possibly going to do with that autograph? You're going to put it in a drawer at your house and never take it out again, hang it up on a wall somewhere in your house where your wife won't yell at you to take it down, or you will sell it on Ebay. The latter is the reason I think athletes are so reluctant to sign things.

Just so you know, the kid in this video asking Alex Rios for the autograph is known in Toronto to work for guys who send kids to get autographs for those guys to sell on the internet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In Good Company

Just thought some of you would like to see Jay Cutler's numbers compared to the QB he is compared to most (mostly by Cutler himself), John Elway. I threw in Brett Favre just because he was in the news today. Maybe you heard or not, but Favre is going to play for the Vikings. You have to be pretty impressed with the way Cutler's numbers look. Especially when seeing that Cutler has been on worse teams during his first couple years in the NFL when compared to Elway and Favre.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Was He Doing?

If anyone was as unfortunate as me last night to have watched through the Cubs game, then maybe you were wondering the same thing I was in the 8th inning. The Cubs were up by one run and Carlos Mamol was brought in. In Marmol's 2/3 inning of work he allowed 3 walks and hit one batter. One of those walks brought in the game tying run.

Ok, I know. Carlos Marmol is continuously struggling with his command. But what about Lou Piniella's struggles of being a manager. It wasn't until the bases were loaded, from 2 walks and a hit batsman with Ryan Howard coming to the plate mind you, that Piniella started to get Grabow warmed up in the bullpen. Guess what? Marmol walked Howard to tie the game and that is when Piniella finally went in there and put Grabow into the game.

What was he waiting for? Obviously Marmol did not have it. You could see that from the 3 men he put on. Why wouldn't Piniella have had someone warming up after Marmol walked two? You know Marmol has been struggling. Why not have a backup plan available?

You know what angers me the most. At one point during that inning, the camera zoomed in on Piniella in the dugout. I'm making my own assumptions here from what I saw, but it looked like someone was asking Piniella if someone should get ready in the bullpen. Piniella, looking frustrated, said something like, "just leave him out there". Like he was punishing Marmol for doing a bad job. Well Lou, not only did you punish Marmol, but you punished yourself, your team, and all the Cub fans out there for leaving Marmol out there for a batter or two too long.

Congratulations. You proved your point to Marmol. He had a bad game. Do you think he doesn't know he is struggling? That is some effective managing. Maybe you should get back to reading those "Managing for Dummies" books you were talking about in spring training.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Some Bad Opinions and Acquisition

Whatever Jim Hendry is drinking, Kenny Williams has surely found it.

Eddie Schmid of wrote today that the White Sox acquired Blue Jays for NOTHING!!! Are you sure about that Eddie?

That sure looks like something to me. I wouldn't mind this so much if all this money was going to a decent player, but have a look at Rios' numbers.

David Davidoff at Newsday likes this deal for both teams...WHY?! The only team benefiting from this is the Blue Jays who have officially gotten rid of one of their two horrible outfielder contracts. The king of all bad contracts belonging to Vernon Wells.

I'm kind of surprised Kenny Williams didn't take this guy off the Jays' hands as well.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

He Has My Vote

Did anyone hear Brenly's comment last night about Soriano after not hustling on that bloop single?

Kasper said something like, "I don't think Soriano was running out of the box and he never really turned it on."

And Brenly said, "Are you surprised?"

Brenly is officially my favorite manager to replace Lou after the "left handed lineup regime" comes to an end.

Not only does he have a ring on his finger, but he has some balls. He has to take the same plane flight with these guys and stay in the same hotel. Yet, he still has no problem saying what he wants to say. It sounds like he would have the balls to tell the pre-Madonnas on this team exactly where they can shove their egos.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Steroid Use Doesn't Pay?

For all you youngsters contemplating whether or not to take steroids I've got some information on David Ortiz for you to take a look at.

*Just click on the pictures to see them a little better.

I'm willing to give Ortiz the benefit of the doubt that he didn't start taking steroids until 2003 when he met Manny and his drug dealers. So if all you young players out there are thinking about doing steroids just look what it gets you; a Major League career, millions of dollars, All-Star selections, World Series rings, Silver Sluggers, and Hall of Fame numbers. Should you take steroids? I don't know...only if you like those sort of things.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Would Have Been Nice

Reports earlier today indicated the Cubs have about $2-3 million dollars to play with until tomorrow's deadline. They are mostly interested in the lefty reliever, John Grabow, from Pittsburgh. Acquiring him would also leave some room for an outfielder the Cubs are looking for to platoon with Bradley. The two players on the Cubs' radar are Florida's Jeremy Hermida and Kansas City's Mark Teahen. Both players could be under team control through 2011.

I think these acquisitions would definitely make us a better team, but have a look at the money we are paying people not even on the team anymore:

$3,187,432 (Luis Vizcaino) (plus $0.5M 2010 buyout)
$4,000,000 (est.) (Ryan Freel)
$2,000,000 (Chad Gaudin)

$ 875,000 (Jason Marquis)

$ 800,000 (Joey Gathright)

$ 178,279 (Paul Bako)

That's $11,040,711 that the Cubs could have played around with at the deadline. Not to mention that they are paying Aaron Miles $4.9 million. By the way, if you were wondering what happened to Aaron Miles, he is currently doing a rehab assignment in Iowa. He has over 50 ABs. Pretty long rehab stint isn't it? Teahen, Hermida, and/or Grabow would definitely make us a better team, but think of the possibilities with $11-15 million more. Would have been nice to have some of this money don't you think?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Big Z vs. Doc

Sometimes I feel like the media does not give Carlos Zambrano the credit he deserves. It seems like all they do is focus on the negative parts of Carlos' game and completely ignore his abilities. One semi-recent example of this is when Steve Stone went off on a tirade after Zambrano lost his cool in a Cubs/Sox game earlier this season. Stone said in a derogatory tone something along the lines of, "and this is why Carlos Zambrano has never won more than 16 games". At first I completely agreed with him, because I was sick of seeing the antics as well. I then just forgot about it...until recently. With all the trade talk of Roy Halladay recently I couldn't help but dream of having a "true ace" on our team like Halladay. Knowing that this will and cannot happen I decided to look at the numbers between Halladay and Zambrano and was astonished.

Besides the walks and complete games, their numbers are very close. Keep in mind Zambrano is only 28 years old and Halladay is 32. I'm by no means saying that I would rather have Zambrano over Halladay because that would make me sound like an asinine "homer". However, after looking at the stats I will definitely be a lot more defensive the next time someone takes a shot at the Cubs' true ace.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Trade Talk Is Heating Up

The Brewers have gone out and picked up one of the second baseman I have been keeping my eye on for the Cubs to grab. The Brewers gave up some minor leaguers for the Diamondbacks' Felipe Lopez. This could be a good thing for us Cub fans though. Last year, the C.C. Sabathia trade forced Jim Hendry to acquire Rich Harden as fast as he could. I'm predicting the Cubs go after Freddy Sanchez.

Sanchez gave a firm "no" to the offer the Pirates just offered him so now it looks like him and Wilson are headed to the trading block. Since Sanchez has a steep option for next year, expect the Pirates to be trading him at a very low cost. A lot might consider the $8 million option Sanchez is practically guaranteed for next year a hurdle for Jim Hendry to get by but the Pirates may be willing to send over some cash with the deal. Be prepared to hear the Giants as a team interested in Sanchez as they are also a team looking to strengthen their lineup.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I have officially seen enough. Jim Hendry has destroyed this team beyond repair. The only thing we can do now is hope that some other teams are willing to clean up some of our mistakes. There is no way this team is going to win the Central. The Cardinals showed that today. Albert Pujols is THE greatest baseball player in today's game and maybe ever, and unlike Soriano, can carry a team for an entire season. I don't even get upset when I see Pujols demolish the Cubs game after game because I know I am watching someone on a completely different level than everyone else. Enough of the of Pujols "love fest", let's talk about something depressing...the Cubs.

First thing's first; fire Jim Hendry. I hear some people like Hendry because he gets the guys he wants. To these people I say, of course he gets them. He gives them contracts that no other GM in the league would give them. I wonder if he is in a secret society with sports agents. Maybe some day Dan Brown will write a book about it. Lets take a look at 3 guys we can thank him for.

Aaron Miles (.203/.240/.260): $2.2 million in 2009 and $2.7 million in 2010. I'm really glad we gave him the money instead of keeping Mark Derosa for the $.6 million extra.

Milton Bradley (.236/.365/.374): Jim Hendry was the first GM to give this guy a multi year deal. Bradley has played on 6 different teams in his career. Hendry wanted to make the team more left handed so he went out and got a right handed switch hitter who can't hit from the left side.

Alfonso Soriano (.230/.292/.414): He will go down as THE worst signing in Cubs history. The absolute definition of a non team player. He refuses to move guys over, his defense is horrible, and he is all or nothing. Try not to vomit when you read this next part. This season, he is making $16 million. From 2010 to 2014, he is making $18 million each year.

There is no way in hell that anyone is going to take any of these guys off our hands, so it is now time to get rid of people.

First one we need to let go is Derrek Lee. He is having a terrific year and is one of the few bright spots this season. We need to get rid of him if we can while his stock is high. He is getting up there in age (33) and from his track record, we can't expect him to keep this sort of production up.

Next one that needs to go is Rich Harden. He is making $7 million dollars this year and is a free agent in 2010. He is having a roller coaster of a year but still has the tag line "one of the best pitchers in the game when healthy" attached to him. Plenty of teams are going to be looking for that starter for the playoffs this year just like we were last year. Well here he is. Take him. He is your problem now.

If we could package some other guys with these two, even better.

And we thought Andy MacPhail was bad.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who's At Second?

With the trade deadline approaching I was wondering to myself what the Cubs should do. We have an abundance of outfielders, our starting rotation is great, and the bullpen has been very solid. The only place where I feel like we could use an upgrade is 2nd base. Let's face it, Fontenot has not been the "little Babe Ruth" as one announcer likes to call him.

Fontenot's line so far: .236/.314/.369 with 6 HR's 28 RBI's 27 BB's and 55 SO's.

So what are our options? The best one to me is to move Soriano to second base, live with his horrible defense at 2nd instead of in left, and allow Fox and Hoffpauir to share time in left field. This would not require any finagling on Hendry's part and we would have a much better bat in the lineup. As likely as this would probably work, it's equally likely that Lou Piniella would never even consider it.

That brings us to our next, more difficult option. Trade for a 2nd baseman. However, this brings up the problem with the Cubs expanding payroll with the ownership in Limbo. Fontenot is only making $430,000 and is only signed for this year. Aaron Miles is making $2.2 million this year and $2.7 million next year. Good luck moving that contract.

Let's just say for argument's sake that we were able to trade Aaron Miles away for some prospects and we could free up $4.9 million. Who could we go after?

Earlier in the year I read a rumor that Dan Uggla was possibly available. He has had a slightly under-performing first half and even though the Marlins are playing well, I have to believe they are thinking about getting rid of him because there is no way he is signing with them this off season. He is only making $5.35 million this year and had to scratch and claw through arbitration to get that.

We have done deals with them before and they have worked out pretty good so I can't rule out a possible trade for Freddy Sanchez with the Pirates. This would bring up a financial problem. Sanchez is making $6.1 million this year with an $8 million club option in 2010.

A more likely candidate to land in a trade would be Felipe Lopez (.305/.363/.408) from the Diamondbacks. Lopez is putting up better numbers than Fontenot and is just signed for this year making $3.5 million. Did I mention he is a switch hitter?

The only other player I can think of is...Mark Derosa? Sorry, I had to.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Tale of Two Closers

It's about halfway through the season and I thought it would be fun to compare Kevin Gregg with the closer that we could have had (again), Kerry Wood. It wouldn't be fair to either one of these guys if we didn't just compare the last two years. So here is why I am happy with having Kevin Gregg.

Kevin Gregg's numbers over the past two years:
2008 7 8 3.41 72 29 68.2 51 30 26 3 37 58 0.203 1.282
2009 3 2 3.62 38 14 37.1 32 15 15 6 16 37 0.222 1.286

Kerry Wood's numbers over the past two years:
2008 5 4 3.26 65 34 66.1 54 24 24 3 18 84 0.219 1.085
2009 2 3 5.27 31 9 27.1 25 16 16 5 16 30 0.248 1.500

Except for a few things, these guys are almost completely identical. You can say Kerry Wood had better number in 2008 (barely) because he was on a better team and you could say the same for Kevin Gregg this year.

Ok, not much room for argument right? Wrong. Let's take a look at the contracts.

Kevin Gregg got a contract for 1 year with the Cubs worth 4.2 million.

Kerry Wood got a contract for 2 years with the Indians worth 20.5 million with a guaranteed option worth 11 million if Wood has 55 GF in 2009 (26 up to this point).

Now you tell me, who got the raw deal?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Complete Joke

Soriano's line for the season so far: .230/.296/.423 with 26 BB and 77 SO in 305 AB's

Beltran's line for the season so far: .336/.425/.527 with 37 BB and 34 SO in 241 AB's

Now I know that the integrity of the All-Star game was lost a long time ago, but the Cubs' organization is not helping things. In last night's game Len Kasper made the argument, while Bob Brenly just held his tongue, that no matter what, you have to vote for the players on your team whether they deserve it or not. Please, someone tell me that the organization made Len say that and it wasn't just him actually trying to justify this atrocity.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gear Grinder of the Week

After reading some articles on the internet today I came to the realization that almost every message board or forum has someone defending Soriano by saying that when he is hot he can carry a team for 2-3 weeks. I think what some of those people are failing to realize is the fact that 2-3 weeks is only 13% of the season at most. Pardon the alliteration, but I would rather have a player constantly contribute than someone who gets hot for 2-3 weeks per season.

I am by no means a Soriano "hater", nor am I an advocate. I believe that he got the contract he did because the year the Cubs' brass finally decided spending some of their revenue was unfortunately the year when he was the best free agent available. However, with all the acquisitions we made that off season, he was by far the worst, and it is impossible to contribute the culture turnaround on the Northside two years ago to him.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm Back

I know its been quite a while but I'm back. I'm going to start writing a lot more.

Being back for the first time in a long time I thought I would talk about the current situation of my beloved Chicago Cubs. They are in a bad spot, but I don't think it's as bad as everyone is thinking. First, lets state the obvious. The offense looks plain bad. I don't think anyone needs me to go into the reasons why. I think they are all quite obvious. Especially when a GM goes and dismantles a team after posting a 97 win season.

I'm going to try something harder and find the silver lining in the blue.

First off, almost everyone on this team is underachieving. Soriano is definitely not playing like the player that he is and has been. He has never had a season like this and I believe that the law of averages is going to play out.

Theriot, as usual, is having a very good year. This guy has been the most consistent offensive player for this team for the past couple years.

Lee started out poorly, but has really turned it on for that 20-some game hitting streak and has stayed hot.

Milton Bradley is another story. I really don't want to get into the whole thing about how I wanted Dunn when the offseason started and I knew this guy was going to be a problem so I won't. However, I don't think Bradley is this bad. He has hit his entire career and I don't think this year will be any different.

Jake Fox I would say is the best thing that has happened to this team this year. They guy can plain hit and should be in the lineup everyday. When Ramirez comes back, my suggestion is to stick Soriano at 2nd and put Fox in left. Don't tell me Soriano can't play 2nd base, because he has and he is just as bad in left.

Ever since Soto came clean about the marijuana he has started to hit better. Normally I don't buy the whole thing where something from personal lives plagues these athletes' professional lives, but after reading all the comments on this, I have to say I think this was definitely the case for Soto.

The starting rotation has been absolutely stellar and the bullpen has been really solid. The Cubs just aren't hitting with men in scoring position. The Cubs are not hitting period. I would be worried about this if everyone was hitting for their career averages but this is not the case.

The most obvious silver lining: they are only 3 games back. When Ramirez comes back, and believe me he will make a huge difference, it will only be a matter of time until this team wins this division by at least 5 games.