Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Could Cubs Use Prospects to Get Roberts

While most experts are saying that the prospects gained in the DeRosa trade will be used to try to get Jake Peavy, some sources think that the Cubs could use them for Brian Roberts. I would say that the Cubs could trade the 3 pitchers they got from the Indians, Cedeno or Fontenot, and another prospect or 2 and get a deal done for Roberts.

Which deal would you prefer. Trade for Roberts or trade for Peavy?
Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

Everyone have a fun New Year's Eve tonight and I'll have tons of updates tomorrow about all these rumors, any breaking news, the Winter Classic, and the MLB Network.

Bring on 2009, but first a look back at '08

It's an exiting time for Cubs fans with all those moves being made, the Cubs convention in 2 weeks, the MLB Network launching tomorrow, Wrigley becoming the Frozen Confines, and as we celebrate 2009 tonight it's official time to start getting ready for next year. The first spring training game is on February 25.....can't wait!

You can check out these radio highlights of the 2008 season from Youtube. Link

Take a look at my post from yesterday that counted down the top 10 games of 2008.

But right now let's look back at how the 2008 team performed as a unit for 162 games. There were contributions from everyone on the roster. Here's a breakdown of how every one of the 25-men were a big part of that club.

Derrek Lee: Derrek is a great team leader, and is a gold glove man at first base. He’s the one Cub who had a decent postseason. Lee helps this team on and off the field. Really a great guy to have on your club.
Aramis Ramirez: Mr. RBI machine as Ron Santo calls him. He got some very big hits this year. He came through with some clutch home runs including his walk off against the Sox (boy was he hot in that series) and his grand slam that put the Cub’s up by 2 after being down by 2 a moment earlier. I very good hitter. Our clean up man. Couldn't have won 98 games without him.
Alfonso Soriano: Giving the Cub’s the leader after only one batter. That’s been his specialty in his 2 years with us. A nice guy to have in that lead off spot. Was injured some, but really bounced back nicely. A nice 5 tool player (possibly minus the glove) with all kinds of power.
Mark DeRosa: Wow what a year he had. Nobody would have expected what an impact his bat would have in this lineup. Some real key hits when we needed base runners throughout the year. And he’s Mr. Utility Man. There’s not many players who could play all over the diamond like he can. He is our second baseman. He can give Ramirez a day off at third. He can play left when Soriano gets injured. He can play right when Kosuke struggles. He can even occasionally play some first and short. What a guy to have.
Ryan Theriot: Young gun short stop. Won the starting job in the middle of the year last year. There’s some questions if he can live up to his potential this year before the season started. And he really came through. He very rarely hits it out of the park and doesn’t get extra base knocks very often. But boy can he get on base. Perfect in the number 2 spot to set the stage for the big boys. The best batting average on the Club. The only Cub batting over .300. One of the top 5 in multi-hit games in the league. A real hard worker. That truly is the kind of player I like.
Geovany Soto: The Cubs organization had all kinds of confidence in him going into this season. He was a rookie catcher who hadn’t really proved himself at this level yet and they named him the starting catcher before pitchers and catchers even reported in Mesa. I’d say he lived up to the expectations. He had the most home runs for a Cubs rookie catcher since Randy Hundly. He had a very good year at the plate. And in addition to his bat he called a great game all year long and worked superbly with this staff. Amazing for a Rookie catcher.
Carlos Zambrano: Mr. No-No. Has amazing stuff and showed it for most of the year. The ace of our staff. Brings energy and excitement that this team needs. And on a certain night he absolutely dominated Houston making baseball history and becoming the first Cub to toss a no hitter since Milt Pappas in 1972, 39 years earlier.
Ryan Dempster: Probably one of the biggest surprises on this team. Was fairly good as the Cub’s closer in 2007. Had been a started earlier in his career. The Cubs wanted to put him in the rotation. I thought he’d have a pretty good year but I don’t think anyone predicted his remarkable season. 17 wins. Unbelievably dominate at the Friendly Confines. Some real big starts. One of the guys that we really couldn’t have had the best record in the NL without. What a ballplayer.
Ted Lilly: The bulldog. Goes out there and gives you a solid start once every 5th day. The most under rated starter in the NL in my opinion.
Tied for the team lead in wins with Dempster with 17 each. 17-9 is quite a season. One of my favorite Cub’s.
Rich Harden: A very good pitcher. A very good midseason pick up. Didn’t pitch a lot of innings with us for precautionary reasons. Very solid though. Lots of K’s. Hope he stays healthy throughout the year in 2009.
Jason Marquis: If you look at the number 5 starters around baseball he's probably one of the best. We probably have the best rotation depth wise in the big leagues. Let’s be honest Marquis is off and on. He finished very strong and I like having an experienced guy instead of a young guy in the #5 spot.
Jim Edmonds: Picked up off the scrap heap by Jim Hendry. And he really came through with some big home runs and extra base knocks. And how about his glove in center? This old man proved he still did have some left in the tank.
Reed Johnson: Another one of my favorites and a huge part of our success. Another great pick up by our GM. Jim got him near the end of March after being released by the Blue Jays. I bet there’s no better feeling then going into Toronto in June with your new team and hit a big home run to show them that they shouldn’t have released you. Also a great glove. How about that catch he made against Washington earlier this year. It was one of the greatest plays this year in all of major league baseball. He did a real nice job in the center field platoon. Reed came up with some big hits including 2 walk off RBI’s this year. A real hustler.
Mike Fontenot: Little Babe Ruth. Another hard worker. And he really surprised everyone with some big home runs and extra base hits. He’s the guy that allows DeRosa to play other positions because he does a very nice job playing second when Mark in playing outfield or 3rd. Way underrated. What a break out year for this kid.
Daryle Ward: The pinch hitting specialist. The power left handed bat off the bench. Not his best year but came through none the less to help the Cubs win one crucial game against Florida. What a clutch go ahead, game changing, 3 run homer that was.
Micah Hoffpauir: Spent the year back and forth between the Cubs and AAA Iowa. Was the Cub’s minor league player of the year. Also got his feet wet in the big leagues. Had a 5 hit game with 2 homers, a double and 2 singles in won of the games when he played after the Cub’s clenched. Could emerge next year and be with the team throughout the season.
Ronny Cedeno: When I get to Cedeno I realize how deep this team really is. Ronny is honestly not one of the more important people on this club but when he did get the chance to play he had a pretty good year. A remember a game in April or May when he hit a big Grand Slam. I’ll take him any day of the week as my back up short stop.
Henry Blanco: In my opinion it was Henry’s best season at the plate ever. He hit the ball out of the ball park a few times and came up with a walk-off single in a big game against St. Louis. Has always been a very good defensive catcher. And what a job he did mentoring Soto, teaching him this staff, giving him tips, and easing him into the every day catchers job at the big league level. A perfect example of a team player.
Kosuke Fukudome: Well he was a disappointment. However, no matter what happened at the plate he didn’t take his glove into the field. He had a great season defensively in right field. Brought patience to this team at the plate especially in the first half. Draws a lot of walks, has good speed, and makes the pitcher work. Kosuke had a very good first 2 months of the year. He was getting used to a new country and and had a lot of pressure on him. Hopefully he’ll be back to his April and May form in 2009. And of course who could forget this guy’s opening day. Quite a first impression on these fans.
Sean Marshall: Was in AAA in April and May. Did a very good job there. Came up to our bullpen where he stayed for the rest of the year. A good long man if the starter leaves early or the game goes into extra innings. Did a great job in all of his spot starts throughout the year. A good team player and has great stuff.
Neal Cotts: Scotty Eyre didn’t really work out and we need another lefty in the pen. That’s where Cotts came in and had a very good year. He was a big surprise after spending most of 07 in the minors. Quietly was a big part of the club.
Jeff Samardzija: Another wonderful surprise. Wasn’t at all dominate at the AA level but got the chance to move up to Iowa and started pitching better there and got the call when Kerry Wood went on the DL. Jeff pitched so well that he remained on this team for the rest of the season.
Carlos Marmol: The surprise guy in 2007 and a very solid 8th inning guy in 2008. Really big role that he filled that 8th inning. Stuck out a lot of guys, was wild at times but mostly had pretty good command which had been his downfall in the past. Also did good when he needed to step into the closers role in place of Kerry Wood. I believe he will be our closer in the future.
Kerry Wood: Last but certainly not least. The closer. The guy who gets the toughest 3 outs in a ball game. That’s what Kerry did as good as anyone for the Cub’s. After not being able to stay healthy for most of ’04, ’05, ‘06 and half of ’07 he came back and notched 34 saves. (His jersey number is also 34.)

I'm ready for baseball! Bring on the Convention!

I'll keep you posted on all the Cubs rumors/moves today.


The Cubs are making moves left and right! Here's the latest:

  • The Cubs have signed switch hitting infielder Aaron Miles to a 2 year deal. Miles is 32 years old, batted .317 with 15 doubles, 4 HR, and 31 RBIs in 2008 for the Cardinals. Miles can play tons of positions. He appeared in 7 different ones last year: 85 games at second, 27 at shortstop, 11 games at 3rd, 4 in left, 1 in center and 1 in right. Miles played for the White Sox and Rockies before becoming a Cardinal in 2006.
  • Bad News if you like Mark DeRosa; the Cubs have traded him to the Clevland Indians for Jeff Stevens, John Gaub, and Chris Archer. All 3 are minor league pitchers.
  • Here's the stats for Stevens, Gaub, and Archer.
  • The Marquis trade to the Rockies for Vizcaino is a done deal and will be announced sometime over the next few days according to sources including Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio and David Kaplan of Comcast Sports Net.
  • Levine thinks that with the money the Cubs will save in the Marquis deal they will end up using on Milton Bradley and goes as far as calling it a "done deal".
  • I'm also hearing the the Cubs will rework the Peavy talks using the players they got in the DeRosa deal and adding other prospects.

I don't know what to think about the DeRosa deal. I really like DeRo, but if it is what the Cubs have to deal to end up with Bradley and Peavy then that's fine. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. I expect either Fontenot or Miles will be the starting second baseman in 2009.

I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE 2:25 CT- David Kaplan says that he thinks bringing in prospects for the DeRosa is the start of the getting the Jake Peavy deal set up. He also reports that the Marquis deal is not done yet because Jason is out of the country.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that since the Cubs have traded for 3 pitching prospects and traded away our 5th starter, the Peavy deal could be back on.

Kap had Paul Sullivan on the show to talk about the Cubs news.

  • Sullivan says that he thinks it's amazing how everything is happening at once.
  • Sully says it seems that Miles could move into the leadoff spot.
  • He hates to see DeRosa go.
  • Kap asked about Milton Bradley. Paul said that he talked to Frank Thomas and Frank said he was intense and smart and just needs to be left alone. If Bradley can stay healthy and out of trouble this could work out good. Paul is willing to give Bradley the benefit of the doubt.
  • Paul says he sees no need for Rich Aurillia. He thinks Pie and Cedeno will be traded and would like to see another lefty in the bullpen.

The Cubs have a conference call coming up, so I'll keep you posted.

Previewing the Winter Classic

Background: Tomorrow will be the first hockey game ever at Wrigley Field. However, that's not the first non-baseball sporting event that Wrigley Field has hosted. It was a multisport venue for the first 70 years of its existence. Three pro football teams played there; The Chicago Tigers, Cardinals, and Bears. Wrigley was also used for soccer, a ski jumping championship, rodeos, boxing matches, wrestling matches, and basketball games. The game tomorrow will be the first non-baseball sporting event at Wrigley since Sept, 3 1984, when the Chicago Sting, of the North American Soccer League, defeated Vancouver 3-1.

Match up: The Detroit Red Wings will be taking on the Chicago Blackhawks. Going into the game the Red Wings are in first in the Western Conference Central Division with a 24-7 record and 53 points. The Hawks are read hot lately and had won 9 games in a row before falling in Detriot last night. Chicago is a close second in the Central only 6 points behind the Wings with a 20-7 record.

Coverage: The Game will be televised nationally on NBC and locally on WGN Radio 720 in Chicago. The puck drops at Noon CT (1:00 ET) tomorrow. David Kaplan and Judd Sirott will broadcast live from the NHL Spectator Plaza outside Wrigley Field from about 1-4 CT on WGN Radio today to preview the game. WGN 720 will also have pregame tomorrow from 9-12.

I'll have thoughts on the game sometime tomorrow. Stay tuned today later I will have posts on the MLB Network, the latest Cubs rumors/news, and reviewing 2008 for the Cubs.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Updated; Big News: Cubs close to trading Marquis, XM Radio says deal is done, Levine Updates

According to ESPN and the Denver Post the Cubs and Rockies are close to a deal that would send Jason Marquis to the Cubs for reliever Luis Vizcaino. The post reports that the deal is done "in principle" but an announcement is not expected before next week. The Cubs will net a pay roll savings of about $5 million with the deal.
Luis has pitched for the A's, Brewers, White Sox, D'backs, Yankees, and Rockies. Last year he had a 5.28 ERA in 43 games.

Update 8:35 CT: XM Radio says the deal is now done. They are the only source to report that it's a done deal. I'll keep you posted. XM Radio also says that the Cubs will let Rich Hill and Sean Marshall compete for the fifth starter spot. We'll see...

If this deal gets done, Gordan Wittenmyer of the Sun Times says that should create enough payroll for the Cubs to sign Milton Bradley.

More Cubs updates from Bruce Levine:
  • The Cubs ownership situation should be resolved sometime in January.
  • The Cubs are planning to announce the Marquis trade in the next 3-4 days and the Cubs will save about 5 and a half million.
  • The Cubs are planning on using the money to sign Bradley.
  • Levine also says that the Cubs could trade DeRosa in about 3-5 days.
  • The prospects that the Cubs get in a DeRosa trade would be used in a deal for Peavy.
  • Hendry is moving money around so these moves can happen.
  • Vizcaino could be traded before he puts on a Cubs uniform.

I don't think all this is going to happen but we'll see. Things are finally heating up again on the hot stove! It seems that about a week after I started this blog things cooled down.

There's lots of questions to be answered. Is the deal really done? Will they add Bradley after they trade Jason? Who will be the 5th starter for the Cubs in 2009? Are the Cubs going to revisit Peavy? Will the Cubs trade DeRosa? Or is Bruce Levine just going crazy?

I'll keep you posted...

The Top 10 Games of '08

Usually I like to look ahead not stay in the past on this blog. I think to be a Cubs fan you always have to be looking ahead and not dwelling on the past. But it's the second to last day of 2008 so I decided to have one post today and one tomorrow to look back at the great Cubs team from this season. Today I count down my 10 Favorite Moments from the season. Please post a comment with your opinion of the best games and moments of 2008 for our beloved Cubbies.
Here's my top 10 Games and Moments of the 2008 season:

10. Soto’s Inside the Parker
It was the 4th inning of a game at Minute Maid Park between the Cubs and Astros. I’ll never forget the Cubs rookie catcher chugging around those bases. He was flying around first and second but by the time he scored I’d say he was a little winded. (I just had to throw that one in there)
9. Cubs Sweep Crew
I put this in the top 10 because it was a pivotal series in the Cubs season. The Cubs had been playing decent going into the series but the Brewers were red hot. The 4 game sweep not only made a 4 game difference in the standings but it was a moment charger as the Cubs got hot starting in this series and Milwaukee went cold.
8. Ramirez walk off VS Sox
Friday June 20 at Wrigley Field. Game one of the 6 game cross town showdown. Both clubs in first place going in. The city was pumped for this series. The Cubs got out in front in the bottom of the 1st but the Sox came back and tied it in the second and took the lead with 2 more in the third. In the bottom of the 7th it was a moment that almost made the list when Aramis and Dlee belted back to back jacks to tie the game. Then to lead of the bottom of the 9th Ramirez jacked one out of the park to give the Cubs the win. I remember going nuts. It was such an exciting moment against the rivaled White Sox.
7. 9 run 4th inning
Game 2 of the cross town show down. They day after the late drama with the Ramirez walk off. The Cubs trailed 4-1 going to the bottom of the 4th. Edmonds led off the inning with a solo homer. The very next batter Mike Fontenot delivered another back-to-back-jack to make it 4-3. With one out Kosuke tied it with an RBI single. Eric Patterson gave the Cubs the lead with his RBI single. Lee added a base hit of his own to bring in another and make it 6-4. Then Aramis Ramirez delivered a big 3 run blast to make it 9-4! And Jim Edmonds came up again and came through again. His second homer of the inning and the Cubs second pair of back-to-backers in the inning! A nine run frame helped the cubs take the game 11-7.
6. Ward’s Clutch homer
The Cubs were in Florida to take on the Marlins on Friday August 15. They were down by 2 with 1 out and 2 on in the top of the 9th. Daryle Ward who hadn’t really come through with a big hit in his pinch hitting role yet in the season was pinch hitting. And he turned the game around with a clutch 3 run homer. I’ll never forget that excellent game.
5. Soto’s Homer VS Crew
It was part of that memorable 2nd to last week of the regular season. Game 3 with the series tied at 2 at Wrigley. The Cubs could reduce their magic number to clinch the NL Central down to 2 with a win but they trailed by 4 in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and nobody on base. Cub fans rarely leave early but I bet the fans were heading for the exits or packing up their stuff. The Cubs came up with a walk and a hit to put runners at first and second for DeRosa. He continued the rally with a single to plate a run. Then the Cub’s Rookie catcher stepped in. I remember the radio voice of the Cubs Pat Hughes saying, “Soto could tie this game with a long ball. He’s got 22 home runs. And he drives one! Deep to left, Can you believe it? Home run. Home run Soto. Gamed tied 6-6.” Pat does and excellent job and I’ll never forget
his call on that particular moment. The Cubs would go on to win it in the 12th on a walk off single by Derek Lee. A big victory for the Cubbies.
4. Kosuke’s Opening Day
We know Kosuke Fukudome struggled for much of the season and ended up being a big disappointment. But he brought us one of the unforgettable moments of the season on opening day. I believe this is the only memory in our top 10 in which the Cub’s went on to lose the game. But when Kosuke doubled in his first at bat in a Cub uniform Wrigley went nuts. The game was scoreless going to the 9th but then it went haywire. Milwaukee scored 3 off Kerry Wood in the top of the 9th but then it set the stage for Kosuke batting with 2 on none out bottom of the 9th. And boy did he ever come through with a game tying 3 run bomb. The Cubs would lose the game 4-3 in 10, but Fukudome’s opening day heroics is something I’ll never forget.
3. The Amazing Comeback
Probably my personal favorite because I was listening to the game the whole time and decided to stick it out even when they trailed 8-0 in the middle of the 4th and 9-1 as late as the 6th inning. In the bottom of the 6th Kosuke nailed a 2 run homer and Edmonds added a solo shot to make it 9-4. In the 7th Henry Blanco delivered a 2 run dinger and I remember Pat saying “Don’t look now it’s 9 to 6!” And then I started to think that they were for sure going to come back. Later in that 7th Edmonds added to his big day with a double to make it 9-8. And then Mark DeRosa put the Cubs on top to cap off an amazing come from behind victory. What a great day that was. The Cubs would go on to win by a score of 10-9.
2. Cubs Clinch
It’s always a great celebration when the Cubs clinch something and on Saturday Sept. 20 they clinched their second straight division title for the first time in 100 years. With a full week left it was earlier than I can ever remember them clinching before. I think everyone thought there would be more celebrations to come this year….
1. Big Z’s No No
It speaks for itself. The first Cubs no hitter since Milt Pappas. It was a game against Houston being played at Miller Park. Zambrono made Cubs history. We all thought he would do it eventually but we also thought that the Cubs would win a game in the postseason. We know very well that there’s no guaranties in baseball. It was a moment of pure joy when the team bounced around Z on the mound on that Sunday Night. The teams first of 2 celebrations in one week!

Tomorrow I'll look at how every player on the roster contributed to the 2008 Cubs team. Also tomorrow I'll have a post previewing the Winter Classic and the launch of the MLB Network.

MLB Network, January Important Dates

The MLB Network is set to launch on New Years Day (this Thursday) to over 50 million homes. The Network has put together a great lineup of shows. Here is the first 4 days schedule for the MLB Network (all times Central):

January 1- Network Launches at 5:00
5:00 Hot Stove Live
6:00 1956 World Series Game 5 Brooklyn VS NYY
8:30 Hot Stove (R)
9:30 Game 5 Repeat
schedule continues to alternate between the 2 shows all night

January 2
11:30 Baseball Heaven: The 2006 Cardinals Season
1:00 Inside the Moments: Aura of the Home Run
2:00 Inside the Moments: Icons of the Game
3:00 Inside the Moments: Unforgettable Feats
4:00 Inside the Moments: Magic on the Mound
5:00 Inside the Moments: Fall Classic Finales
6:00 Hot Stove Live
7:00 World Series Highlights: 2004 Red Sox VS Cardinals
7:30 Red Sox Memories Part 1
Hot Stove, WS Highlights, and Red Sox Memories rotate repeating all night

January 3
8:30 AM Red Sox Memories Part 2
9:00 2008 NLCS Game 5 Phi VS LAD
11:30 2008 ALCS Game 7 Red Sox VS Rays
3:00 2008 World Series Game 1
6:00 Hot Stove Live Special
7:00 '08 World Series Game 2
10:00 Hot Stove Repeat

January 4
5:30 AM '08 WS Game 1
8:30 '08 WS Game 2
11:30 '08 WS Game 3
3:00 '08 WS Game 4
6:00 Hot Stove Live Special
7:00 '08 WS Game 5
11:00 Hot Stove (Repeat)

So it's the second to last day of 2008. In my mind that means that it's time to move on and get ready for the 2009 season for the Chicago Cubs because it's right around the corner. Here's the important dates coming up this month.

Janury 1- MLB Network Launch, Winter Classic
January 12- HOF Balloting Results announced
Mid Jan.- WBC Roster will be announced
Jan. 14-15 Cubs Caravan
Jan. 14- Len and Bob Bash
Jan. 16-18 Cubs Convention 2009

We'll have full coverage of the Caravan and Convention in the weeks to come on this blog.
And Before you know it we'll be talking about the first game of Spring Training.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cubs in Winter Ball, Rumors, and More

Well, here's the latest Cubs rumors from yesterday and today.
  • Buster Olney says that the Cubs have maxed out their spending this winter.
  • Bruce Levine and others have been saying that the Bradley deal should be done around the first of the year, so we'll see what happens soon, I expect the Cubs to make at least 1 more move before the convention.
  • Interesting article I found about Jim Hendry's first round picks.
  • Jason Stark says that the Dodgers have contacted Adam Dunn. The Cubs, Nationals, Mariners, and Orioles all also have interest.
  • Stark adds that the Cubs have believed to be his top choice before the Dodgers entered the mix.
  • The Dodgers also have interest in Bobby Abreu. They seem to be interested in a lot of the same guys as the Cubs.
  • Former Cub Micheal Barrett has agreed to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training with the Blue Jays.

Some guys in the Cubs system have been playing Winter Baseball in Venezuela, the DR, and Mexico. I decided to check in on some of their stats:

Andres Blanco (VWL)- .280, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 58 Games

Ronny Cedeno (VWL)- .278, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 46 Games

Jake Fox (DWL)- .353, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 3 Games

Sam Fuld (VWL)- .333, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 55 Games

Felix Pie (DWL)- .304, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 20 Games

Jose Ascanio (traded to FLO) VWL- 3-1, 7 SV, 3.10 ERA, 29 IP

Angel Guzman (VWL) - 2-1, 5.54 ERA, 26 IP

Rich Hill (VWL)- 1-2, 6.86 ERA, 21 IP

Carlos Marmol (MWL)- pitched 2 innings allowed 0 runs

J.R. Mathes (VWL)- 2-3, 3.86 ERA, 32.2 IP

The main thing in noticed is that both Rich Hill and Felix Pie have struggled.

I got this Pat Hughes and Ron Santo CD for Christmas and would recommend it if you enjoy listening to Pat and Ron on radio. It plays lots of their funny moments and I enjoyed. Click Here for the link.

Cubs Trivia Answer from Sat.: Only 2 Cubs remain from '03; Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Latest Cubs Rumors

This week schedule for my blog:

Sunday- will be busy, might not get a chance for an update

Monday- Will return, update any new links, news, and rumors; will have a CD recommendation for Cubs Fans; and Will have Trivia answer from the question earlier today.

Tuesday/Wednesday- Get Set for the Launch of the MLB Network and the Hawks game at Wrigley.

Thursday/Friday- My thought on Winter Classic and MLB Network

So, thanks for reading, please comment and vote on our new poll!

Randy Johnson Signs with Giants

Well, Randy Johnson who has been on the Cubs radar all off season is now a member of the Giants. San Fransisco now has a great rotation on paper with Zito, Cain, Johnson, and Lowry. But, I don't think they can hit good enough to finish above 4th in the West.

So without Randy available it seem to me that the Cubs will likely just keep Jason Marquis and have a very solid rotation. Jason really isn't a bad 5th starter.

Cubs Trivia: How many Cubs are still on the team from the last time the Cubs were in the NLCS?
Answer later this weekend.

I'll update you as much as possible this weekend, but I have a very busy one celebrating X-mas with some family today and heading out to Purdue to see the game tomorrow against VU.

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Cubs Poll

Be sure to vote on our new Cubs poll on the right side bar. Thanks to everyone that voted on our last poll. Do you think Alfonso is really a lead off hitter? Remember your comments are welcome on any of my posts and it's easy to comment- you don't even have to log in or anything like that.

Also Here's the link to the Cubs 2008 in Review from

Hope You Had a Great Christmas

Well, It's the day after Christmas. I hope your Christmas was a great as mine. Let's get to a few more Christmas links.

And Sweet Lou was on WGN Radio with Steve Cochran and Cory Provus on Tuesday. Here's the recap:

  • Lou talks about how he is playing golf and enjoying the warm weather in Florida. (lucky him)
  • Lou came to Chicago for a few days and says he doesn't miss the cold weather.
  • Cory Provus came on and wished Lou a happy holidays.
  • Cory asked how Lou's hammock was. Lou said he hadn't been on his hammock too much because he's trying to loose some weight.
  • Piniella said he had all his shopping done for Christmas.
  • Lou says Jim's working on getting a left handed bat.
  • Lou said he's going up to Iowa for the fan fest in Mid-January and says he's going to be pretty busy for awhile.
  • He encourages people to go to the Cubs Convention at least once in their lifetime. Fans can get autographs, ask players questions, take pictures, and have fun.
  • Cory asked what his message to the players will be this year at the start of spring training. Lou says he's got to think about that and says that the first meeting in Arizona will be an important one.
  • Steve asked about Santo getting nipped for the Hall again. Lou says that going back to Ron's career he was a dominate player at 3rd base for many years and says Ron should be in the elite group.

Here's the latest Cub related rumors:

  • Mark Gubicza of XM Radio is convinced that Milton Bradley will sign with the Angels.
  • The Rays, Yankees, Cubs, and Nationals are also interested in Bradley.
  • Ken Rosenthal says that the Cubs are confident they can acquire Bradley.
  • Rosenthal also reports that the Cubs could revisit Peavy talks if they get approval from their new ownership which is expected to be settled in about a month.
  • Former Cub Corey Patterson has agreed to a minor league deal worth 800,000 on Wednesday with the Nationals.
  • Sammy Sosa is ready to come back and play in the major league. reports say that he is waiting for an offer to play in 2009. Before he was expected to announce his retirement after the WBC, but not anymore. I think the Cubs would have interest in bringing him back if he was left handed.

Well, That's it for now. I'll keep you posted on everything throughout the weekend.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cubs 2008 Naughty and Nice List

Well, tomorrow's Christmas Eve and it's time to put together our 2008 Cubs Naugty and Nice lists. Here's what I got:

Ryan Dempster- for leading the team in wins
Jim Hendry- for adding Reed Johnson, Jim Edmounds and Rich Harden
Sweet Lou- for winning manager of the year
Geo- for winning Rookie of the Year and for having a great year
Mark DeRosa- for having the only Cubs playoff HR and for dealing with the trade rumors for 2 year in a row
Mike Fontenot- for being the most underrated guy on the Cubs.
Carlos Zambrano- for tossing a no-no
Jeff Samarjiza- for having a great first few months in the Bigs
Pat Hughes- for being such a great play-by-play man
All the Cubs fans who are still loyal despite the lack of winning
Henry Blanco- for accepting his role even thought he got little playing time
Sam Fuld- for signing lots of autographs in Spring Training
Jason Marquis- for no good reason
Ted Lilly- for being the best 4th starter in the game of baseball
Carlos Marmol- for being a great set up man
Adam Dunn- for wanting to be a Cub

Jim Hendry- for letting Kerry Wood go
Derrek Lee- for grounding into so many double plays
Alfonso Soriano- for choking in October
Aramis Ramirez- for choking in October
Matt Sinatro- for getting lost when he drove to Cincinnati with Lou
Kosuke- for falling apart after the first 2 months of the year.
Joey Gathright- for jumping of cars
Felix Pie- for never proving himself
MLB Veterans Committee- for leaving Ronny out, again
-The Cubs fans that say they won't follow the team as closely any more because of the sweep to end the season.
Rich Hill- for have a "lost" season
Ronny Cedeno- for taking up Matt Murton's spot on the 2008 Cubs roster
Micah Hoffpauir- for waiting his turn
Bob Brenly- for not getting that managers job
Raul Ibanez- for signing with the Phills
Dave Otto- for being boring when ever he fills in for Ron Santo
MLB Network- for stealing Dan Plesac and his train
TBS- for giving the Cubs bad luck in the playoffs

Well what do you think? Leave a comment!

Trivia Answer: Reed Johnson did gymnastics as a child.

The Next 2 Days Comcast Sports Net will be reliving the Cubs and White Sox 2008 seasons. Here's the schedule:
Christmas Eve:
7:00 PM CT- CSN Rewind: 2008 Chicago White Sox
Christmas Day-
10:00 AM- Repeat CSN Rewind: 2008 Chicago White Sox
Noon- Sox Classic; Cle @ CWS Sept. 28, 2008
2:30 PM- Cubs Classic; Mil @ Cubs Sept. 18, 2008
7:00 PM- CSN Rewind; 2008 Chicago Cubs

Check out the holiday episode of Cubscast from yesterday.

And listen to "Harry Caray" visiting with Steve Cochran of WGN Radio on Christmas Eve 2004.

Well, I'm going to take a break the next few days to enjoy Christmas. I'll be back with an update on the Cubs on Friday.
Everyone, have a very Merry Christmas.
☺ Brandon

Monday, December 22, 2008

DeRosa in for WBC, Trivia

Mark DeRosa of the Cubs has joined team USA for the World Baseball Classic next March. The first workout for team USA will be March 2 and the Team opens up against team Canada on March 7.

Not much going on so how about a little Cubs trivia.

What Cub participated in gymnastics growing up?
Take a guess I'll have the answer tomorrow.

I'll have one last post before a take a holiday break for you tomorrow.
If we ever get any new Cubs rumors, I'll be sure to tell you.

Why Don't the Cubs Get Manny Ramirez?

It seem to me that the Cubs need someone who can hit the ball out of the ballpark more consistently. We need a guy who hits well in the postseason every year. We need someone who tears up the best pitchers in the game. Hasn't anyone noticed the guy that knocked us out of the playoffs is a free agent? The Cubs should go after Manny Ramirez!!
Let's focus on postseason numbers:
Manny- .286 BA, .399 OBP, .550 SLG
Milton Bradley- 13-42, 11 Games, 4 HR
Aramis Ramirez- .194 BA, .299 OBP, .433 SLG
Alfonso Soriano- .213 BA, .263 OBP, .299 SLG

And here's the career numbers.
Soriano- .282 BA, .344 OBP, .532 SLG
Aramis Ramirez- .284 Ba, .341 OBP, .502 SLG
Bradley- .280 BA, .370 OBP, .457 SlG
Manny- .314 BA, .411 OBP, .593 SLG

And the 2008 Numbers-
Manny- .332 BA, .430 OBP, .601 SLG, 37 HR, 121 RBI
A. Ramirez- .289 BA, .380 OBP, .518 SLG, 27 HR, 111 RBI
Soriano- .280 BA, .344 OBP, .532 SLG, 29 HR, 75 RBI
Bradley- .321 BA, .436 OBP, .563 SLG, 22 HR, 77 RBI

So the numbers don't lie. Manny Ramirez is the guy the Cubs need, but I don't think there is any chance they will spend the money on him. I'll settle for Milton Bradley, his numbers we higher than Sori and Aramis's in 2008! But I really think the Cubs should be trying to get Manny. What do you think?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cubs Caravan, Book Recommendation, and Wrigley turns to ice

The Cubs have the plans set for this years Cubs Caravan. Here is the schedule:

Tour Group 1, Jan. 14- stops at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Bouchet Academy in Chicago and a charity dinner in Valparaiso, Indiana. (I live in Northwest Indiana very close to Valpo and I have my tickets for the Charity Dinner.)
Tour Group 1, Jan. 15- Agassiz Elementary School, Jahn Elementary School, and Garvy Elementary School in Chicago; as well as Rockford Boys and Girls Club.
Tour Group 2, Jan. 14- Bateman Elemtary School in Chicago and fundraising luncheon at Harry Caray's Restaurant in Chicago. (the luncheon is sold out)
Tour Group 2, Jan. 15- Lincoln Library and Museum and take part in the Peoria Chiefs' charity fan fest.
The personnel who will take part in the winter tours will be announced at a later date. I'll update you whenever they are announced.

I just finished reading a Cubs book called Hoodoo by Grant DePorter, Elliot Harris, and Mark Vancil. DePorter is the owner of the Harry Caray's restaurant chain and he is best know for buying the Steve Bartman ball for $113,824.16 and then blowing it at Harry Caray's in Chicago. This book does a great job of "unraveling the 100-year mystery of the Cubs" and I would recommend it if you need a last minute gift for a Cubs fan for Christmas. Click Here for more info.

Well on New Years Day there will be a game at Wrigley Field. Not a baseball game, a hockey game. The Chicago Blawkhawks will be play the Detriot Red Wings in the Winter Classic. This will be the first time the Hawks have ever played outdoors and this will be the first hockey game ever played at the Friendly Confines. By the way, the Blackhawks are red hot and have won 7 games in a row. Check out the video of Wrigley turning into the Frozen Confines.

Well, there's only 2 more days until X-Mas! Not much going on with Cubs Rumors lately. We can only wait...
I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cubs Rumors; Saturday

  • Ken Rosenthal says the Rockies are debating whether to sign Tim Redding or trade for Jason Marquis. The Mets are also still in the mix for Marquis.
  • Adam Dunn has told people in Arizona that he wants to play for the Cubs in the worst way.
  • Ryan Dempster will probably play in the WBC for Canada. Rich Harden is a possibility.
  • The writer of Goat Riders of the Apocalypse, another good Cubs blog, are antsy for the Cubs to make some moves. I think we all are. They say that the hope the Cubs will sign Milton Bradley, but they think it's unlikely. Me, along with many other Cubs fans, will be very upset if the Cubs fail to sign Bradley, Dunn or Abreu.
  • Wrigleyville23 is reviewing 2008 on their blog, breaking it down month by month. Click on the link for the January review.

Good thing for the holiday season to cheer everyone up because with out it this would be a depressing time for us Cubs fans with the Cubs not making in moves, a lack of rumors lately, and with the cold weather outside and those sunny days at the ballpark seeming so far away...

But the good news is X-Mas is just a few days away. Stick with the blog for the latest rumors this week. Maybe we'll get a left handed bat for Christmas.

I'll keep you posted.

Jim Hendry on Sports Central

Cubs GM Jim Hendry visited with David Kaplan to talk about the Cubs remaining offseason plans on Sports Central on WGN Radio last night. Here's my recap:
  • Jim says that the economy is taking an effect on the baseball world. He says the Cubs are fortunate the their payroll didn't go down. He says some clubs are going to take more cutbacks than others.
  • Kap suggested the Cubs getting a right handed bat that hits left handers. He says the Cubs still would prefer a left handed or switch hitter.
  • An email asked if the Cubs ever considered moving Soriano back to second base. Jim says that Sori will stay in left field.
  • Another question asked if Hendry still sees getting another starter. Jim says that you might try to make something work with an elite guy but the Cubs aren't searching for another starter but says that the new owner might have an impact on things like this.
  • Jim says the if Greg Maddox wants to work with the Cubs he can work in Chicago any time he wants, he thinks Greg will get away from the game for some time and then might get back into baseball in some way.
  • Kap asked about Ryan Sandberg. Jim said that the Cubs don't get hung up on moving up the latter with coaches in the minor leagues like players do. He says Rhino's done a terrific job in Peoria for 2 years and in the Arizona Fall League. He thinks that Sandberg can be a big league coach some day.
  • Kap asked for thought about Kerry Wood. Jim think Kerry ended up in a great place and says that he will root for Woody except when he plays the Cubs for the rest of his career.
  • Hendry said that Gathright was a real good sign that gains the Cubs speed and depth. Jim wants to add one more left handed hitting outfielder to the mix out there.
  • Jim says that he likes Adam Dunn and says that the situation is his defense. He wouldn't rule a terrific hitter off the Cubs list though.
  • Kap asked about DeRosa. Hendry said that he is just trying to make the Cubs better and sometimes you might have to consider trading someone you really like.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cubs on the Radio

Mark DeRosa was on the Mac, Jurko, and Harry show yesterday on ESPN 1000. Here's what he had to say;
  • Mark says that he's having a great off season in Atlanta working out and enjoying golf.
  • DeRosa said he was in Disney World as a Cubs event with Ramirez and Soto during the Peavy rumors that he was involved in so it took his mind off it.
  • DeRosa said that the Cubs had one of those lineups where it didn't matter where you were hitting because they were so deep.
  • Mark hasn't gotten his wife anything for Christmas yet. DeRosa doesn't know what to get a women who has everything. He says Christmas is more about their daughter in the DeRosa house.
  • DeRosa said that the pitcher is the most selfish guy on the baseball team out of any position.
  • Mark thinks he will be playing every day at second base in 2009.

On Wednesday, David Kaplan was joined by former Cub Mikey Morandini on Sports Central:

  • Mikey talked about being the head coach of Valparaiso High School and Mikey said he is having a blast with coaching.
  • Morandini said he could see himself becoming a minor league coach some day.
  • Kap and Mikey both think Rhino could be the guy to replace Lou as Cubs manager.
  • Mikey would love to be a big league coach some day.
  • Morandini said that he collects baseballs.
  • Kap says Mikey was always one of the most fun guys to deal with.
  • Morandini says that he can't help but follow the Cubs and says they're one of the elite ball clubs.
  • He is looking forward to the Cubs Caravan.
  • Mikey is going to miss Kerry Wood when the season starts, and says he can tell you every out of the 20 strikeout game.
  • The toughest pitchers he every faced: Randy Johnson and Mariano Rivera.

Cubs Rumors; Fu-Te Ni on Cubs radar?

Well I'm off for the holidays! I'll have plenty of blog updates over the next 2 weeks. Right now there's not much to talk about concerning the Cubs. Before Baseball's Winter Meetings there were tons of different Cubs Rumors going around each day mostly about Jake Peavy. Since the Meetings there hasn't been as much rumors and still no big moves by the Cubs. But here's the latest Cubs Rumors:
  • Rafael Furcal has resigned with the Dodgers. He joins Ibanez in the category of guys high on the Cubs list that signed. The Cubs better find their left handed bat soon.
  • The Cubs have stepped up their pursuit of Milton Bradley.
  • Steve Stone said that he thinks Bradley would be an awful signing for the Cubs.
  • Phil Rogers think Joey Gathright will compete for the 25th spot on the roster.
  • Milton Bradley is also on the Angels radar.
  • The Tribune says that the Cubs have interest in Fu-Te Ni. He is a left handed pitcher from Japan. The M's, Twins, Tigers, and Braves also have interest.
  • Adam Dunn is telling people that if the Cubs will have that's where he wants to go.

I think the Cubs should add Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu for right field. I'm not a big Bradley fan but if the Cubs sign anyone I'll be happy that left field is solved. I would be in favor of Dunn but Dunn in right and Soriano in left would be horrible defensively. I think the Cubs better act quickly before Bradley ends up going to LA and by that time Abreu could already be signed. Fu-Te Ni is a guy that could really help the bullpen.

What do you think? Feel free to comment. (You don't even have to log in or anything.)

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted as always.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coming Soon: MLB Network

The MLB Network will be launching in 50 million homes across the U.S. on January 1, 2009. Finally a channel will be dedicated to baseball 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It will go live at 5:00 PM CT on New Years Day. I'll have a full January schedule of the MLB Network soon, but for now here's some more info:
Off Season Shows:
  • Hot Stove- Every weeknight at 6:00 the show has the experts break down the latest trades, rumors, and signings. Hot Stove is the signature show of the off season.
  • All Time Games- Classic Games from MLB.
  • Baseballs Seasons- Wednesday's at 7:00 relive some of baseball's most memorable seasons with MLB Network.
  • Inside the Moment- I look at the moments that make baseball special such as the home run, magic on the mound, and unforgettable feats.
  • Ken Burns' Baseball- Tuesday nights at 8:00 memories from the games come alive in each episode.
  • Prime 9- Mondays at 7:00 this show will rank the top 9 of different baseball categories like center fielders, comebacks, records, and more.
  • Rising Sons- A look at the influence of Japanese ballplayers into MLB.

On Air Personalities:

  • Matt Vasgersian, studio host
  • Victor Rojas, studio host
  • Trenni Kusnierek, reporter
  • Al Leiter, analyst
  • Hazel Mae, reporter
  • Joe Magrane, analyst
  • Dan Plesac, analyst
  • Herold Reynolds, analyst

I'll have more about the MLB Network as it gets closer.


1 week until X-Mas

2 weeks until MLB Network launch

4 weeks until Cubs Convention

and Just 58 days until pitchers and catcher report

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Len Kasper on Mac, Jurko, and Harry

Cubs play-by-play man Len Kasper was on the Mac, Jurko, and Harry show on ESPN 1000 yesterday.
  • Len says that Joey Gathright rounds out the bench. He can play defense, run, and be a 4th or 5th outfielder.
  • He doesn't think that they'll be that much more turn over before spring training.
  • Kaper thinks the Cubs will go out and sign a starting right fielder.
  • He thinks Reed Johnson is a grinder but he doesn't think he's an every day guy at this point.
  • Kasper bought 2 tickets in the bleachers to the see the Blackhawks at Wrigley on New Year Day.
  • Len and Bob will be at the House of Blues January 15 for the Len and Bob Bash. Len says the guys aren't going to perform this year but they'll just let the performers do their job.
  • Len says he thought that Bob would get the job as the manager as the Brewers but he is trilled to have Bob back as his partner.

Sandberg Promoted to AA, other Minor League coaching changes, and Cubs Rumors

The Cubs announced their minor league coaching changes for next season today. Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, who has been the manager of the Peoria Chiefs of low A ball the past 2 seasons will be managing for the AA Tennessee Smokies is 2009. Quotes from Sanberg
  • "If you'd asked me in the middle of my career, I would've said, 'No chance.'"
  • "I guess you never know in this game. Once I was out of the game, I felt baseball was all I knew. Now, being back in it in this capacity, it's the next best thing to playing it."
  • "First things first is to learn along the way."
  • "That's how I've taken this thing. I want to be good at it. Like the players, I hope to one day be at the Major League level. That's all of our goals. I'm not any different than the players. I look at this as one more opportunity to learn."
  • " It (coaching in the Arizona Fall League) was totally different, and different in a good way. It was a very good experience because these players were anywhere from going into AA to going into AAA, and I think some of these guys could actually get into the Major League next year."
  • "All they needed was some little thing or help with the mental side of the game. If was a very good 7 weeks. I think that will help me going into this year and AA.

Dennis Lewallyn joins Sandberg's staff as pitching coach and Dennis Lewallyn is his hitting coach. Bobby Dickerson will be the new manager for AAA Iowa replacing Pat Listach who is now the Washington Nationals' 3rd base coach. Dickerson managed at Tennessee for 4 seasons and was the infield coordinator for Iowa the past 3 seasons. Mike Mason will return as the Iowa Cubs' pitching coach. Von Joshua returns for his 4th year as the hitting coach. Former Cub Jody Davis will be the minor league catching coordinator. Buddy Bailey will take over for Davis as the manager of the Daytona Cubs. The Daytona pitching coach is Tom Pratt and Richie Zisk will be in his 4th season as the Cubs hitting coach. Marty Pevey will replace Sandberg as the manager of the Peoria Chiefs. Rich Bobard will return as the Chiefs hitting coach and Barbaro Garbey will be the pitching coach. Casey Kopitzke will manage the Class A Short Season Boise Hawks next year. He spent 8 years in the Cubs organization as a player. David Rosario will be the pitching coach and Desi Wilson will be the hitting coach. Juan Cabreja begins his first season as manager of the Mesa Cubs.

And now here's the latest Cubs Rumors:

  • Derek Lowe will likely go to the highest bidder. The Cubs are part of the long list of teams who are interested in Lowe.
  • Felis Pie's days as a Cub are more that numbered according to the Sun Times.
  • Jim Hendry said he's been approached from clubs about trades since returning form the winter meetings late last week. The Cubs have had talks about at least the framework of a potential deal. (for Milton Bradley)
  • According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins still have hope that they can acquire Mark DeRosa.
  • Gordan Wittnmyer also expects Felix Pie to be traded because for the Gathright signing.
  • The Pirates, Orioles, and Marlins could be good fits for Felix Pie.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cubs sign Joey Gathright

The Cubs have agreed to a 1 year 800,000 deal with Joey Gathright who was non-tendered by the Royals last Friday. Gathright adds speed off the bench and can play all 3 outfield positions. It seems that Felix Pie is out of luck because he is out of options which means that he can not be sent back to AAA and Gathright is a similar player to him except Joey is a better hitter. Gathright is a left handed bat, but the Cubs will continue to pursue a middle of the order, left handed bat for right field.
Quotes from Jim Hendry:

  • "We set out to find a real speed guy for the club and a left handed hitter and he makes a lot of sense."
  • "He's a world class speed guy who can do a lot of things for us."
  • "If he's not starting, he's a tremendous piece off the bench every day."
  • "We're a long way from opening day, a lot of things can happen."
  • "I feel confident that we'll end up with a good left handed hitter, there's still a lot of things to do."

In my opinion, the Gathright move does add some speed and depth, but this isn't going what we were hoping for. I would expect that the Cubs still acquire 1-2 more left handed hitters that are everyday players, not just bench guy. I don't think the Cubs really needed another backup outfielder because we already have Reed Johnson (or Kosuke if Reed starts) and DeRosa or Hoffpauir can back up the corner outfield spots to give Soriano and our new right fielder days off.

More Gathright Info:

  • 27 years old
  • Bats: Left, Throws: Right
  • Played for Tampa Bay 2004-06, KC 2006-08
  • .263 Career average
  • 1 Career HR, 78 SB
  • Drafted by Rays in the 32nd round of the 2001 Draft
  • 22 RBI & 21 SB in 2008.

Other Cubs Rumors:

  • According to Ken Rosenthal, Fucal is headed back to the Braves.
  • Bobby Abreu is seeking a 3 year, $48 million dollar deal.
  • Kevin Towers said he will listen to all offers on Peavy, but is no longer actively trying to trade him.

What do you think of the Gathright signing?

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cubs to Play Sox at Cashman Field, Cubs '09 Spring Training Schedule

The Cubs and the White Sox have added 2 games to their spring training schedule.

The 2 teams will meet in Las Vegas on March 4th and 5th. Both teams will be playing split-squads during these 2 days. The March 4 game will be at 8:05 PM CT. The game on the 5th will be at 2:05 CT. The Cubs and Sox will now play 5 times during the spring.

Here is the Cubs full 2009 Spring Training Schedule:

Feb. 25 VS LAD, Mesa, 2:05 CT

Feb. 26 VS MIL, Mesa, 2:05 CT

Feb. 27 VS TEX, Surprise, 2:05 CT

Feb. 28 VS CWS, Mesa, 2:05 CT

Mar. 1 VS SD, Peoria, 2:05 CT

Mar. 2 VS ARI, Mesa, 2:05 CT

Mar. 3 VS OAK, Mesa, 2:05 CT

Mar. 4(ss) VS CLE, Goodyear, 2:05 CT

VS CWS, Las Vegas, 8:05 CT

Mar. 5 VS CWS, Las Vegas, 2:05 CT

Mar. 6 VS LAD, Mesa, 2:05 CT

Mar. 7 VS MIL, Maryvale, 2:05 CT

Mar. 8 VS TEX, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 9 VS KC, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 10 VS SEA, Peoria, 3:05 CT

Mar. 11 OFF

Mar. 12 WBC

Mar. 13(ss) VS Sea, Mesa, 3:05 CT

VS LAA, Tempe, 3:05 CT

Mar. 14 VS LAA, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 15 VS ARI, Tuscan, 3:05 CT

Mar. 16 VS MIL, Maryvale, 3:05 CT

Mar. 17 VS LAD, Glendale, 3:05 CT

Mar. 18 VS SF, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 19 VS SEA, Peoria, 3:05 CT

Mar. 20 VS SD, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 21 VS CWS, Glendale, 3:05 CT

Mar. 22 VS SEA, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 23 VS OAK, Phoenix, 3:05 CT

Mar. 24 VS COL, Mesa

Mar. 25 OFF

Mar. 26 VS SF, Scottsdale, 3:05 CT

Mar. 27 VS CWS, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 28 VS COL, Tuscan, 3:05 CT

Mar. 29 VS CLE, Mesa, 3:05 CT

Mar. 30 VS KC, Surprise, 3:05 CT

April 1 VS OAK, Phoenix, 3:05 CT

April 2 VS CLE, Mesa, 2:05 CT

April 3 VS NYY, New Yankee Stadium, 6:05 CT

April 4 VS NYY, New Yankee Stadium, 12:05 CT

The Cubs will host a luncheon with some of the Cubs players during the Cubs caravan. It will be held on Jan. 14 from 11 AM to 1 PM CT at Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse. Tickets are $100. The money will benefit Cubs Care. Space is limited to 120 guests. Jim Hendry will speak about the upcoming season and one Cubs representative will be seated at each table. Tickets go on Sale Wednesday at 10 AM CT by calling 773-404-CUBS.

Also, the Cubs, NHL, and the Chicago Blackhawks will an open skate at Wrigley Field's temporary ice rink on January 4 from 9 AM to 4 PM CT. However, the event for neighborhood residents is already sold out. Find more information at

And finally, several sources say that the Cubs are expected to sign Joey Gathright to add to the Cubs bench for next year. Gathright was non-tendered by the Royals last week.

I'll keep you posted.

My Cubs Roster 2009

Here's what I would like to see as the Cubs opening day batting order next year.
CF C. Figgins
1B D. Lee
3B A. Ramirez
RF A. Dunn
LF A. Soriano
C G. Soto
2B M. DeRosa
SS R. Theriot

Here's my Starting 5:
Big Z
Randy Johnson

And the Bench:
Paul Bako
Micah Hoffpauir
Mike Fontenot
Reed Johnson
Ronny Cedeno (or other back up infielder)

The Pen:
Jeff Samardija
Kevin Gregg
Carlos Marmol
Angel Guzman or Kevin Hart
Neal Cotts
Sean Marshall
Chad Gaudin

What do you think? Tell me what batting order you would like to see out there on Opening Day 2009 by writing a comment. It's easy to comment, you don't even have to log in. ☺

This is what I would like to see happen, however I think it is unlikely that Lou will shift Lee and Soriano spots in the order and that Jim will add both Figgins and Dunn. Right now it seem the Cubs will add Milton Bradley. Other possible lead off men for the Cubs in 2009 would besides Alfonso and Figgins are Orlando Hudson, Brian Roberts, and Rafael Furcal. (The Cubs have some degree of interest in all 3.)
I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Update: Milton Bradley, WBC

Bradley Rumors:

  • It looks Milton Bradley is headed for either Tampa or the Cubs.
  • Ken Rosenthal thinks that Joe Maddon's club would be a better fit than the Chicago media circus and Lou Pineilla.
  • Bradley would like to DH in Tampa, but the Rays could add Giambi, Abreu, Anderson, or Burrell instead.

Here is the list of Cubs expected to play in the World Baseball Classic next March:

  • Geovany Soto, Puerto Rico
  • Kosuke Fukudome, Japan
  • Ryan Dempster, Canada
  • Derrek Lee, USA

Zambrano (Venezuela) and Ramirez (Dominican Republic) have not yet decided.

Also, former Cub Sammy Sosa is expected to play for the Dominican.

The final rosters for the WBC will be announced on January 19.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Recap of Talking Baseball

First of all, thanks to Byron from for adding my blog to his site.
Secondly, the Cubs have agreed to terms with Reed Johnson on a 1 year deal with a $3 million base salary and incentives. The Cubs have now avoided arbitration with Johnson, Cotts, and Gaudin but still need to agree to terms with Kevin Gregg, Ronny Cedeno, and Michael Wuertz. Also Kerry Wood has passed his physical and will be in an Indians uniform next year.

Every Saturday morning on ESPN Radio is a show with Bruce Levine and Carmen DeFalco starting at 10 AM CT. They talk Cubs and Sox the whole show all year around. Here's the link to the web page. It's a great show but in case you don't have time to listen to it or don't what to sit through all the commercials and Sox talk, then I'll have a full recap of the Cubs talk on many Saturdays.
  • Bruce says that the Peavy situation is not over.
  • Crane Kenney had to answer questions on Wednesday to talk about the Cubs involvement with Governor Rod Blagojevich.
  • Levine still believes that unless Peavy is traded or the Cubs start making other deals then this deal could still be made.
  • Towers has to move this guy and has to do it soon.
  • A caller asked if not being able to move Marquis effected the Cubs Peavy deal. Levine says that the main road block was that the Cubs would lose 7 or 8 players that a role that would need filled for 1 guy.
  • Levine thinks Milton Bradley will be in a Cub uniform by the new year.
  • Carmen says that the Peavy deal is not dead forever.
  • Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel joined Bruce and Carmen to talk baseball;
  • Carmen asked about the Phills bring in Raul Ibanez. Charlie says that he should do well in their ballpark and says he look forward to having Raul on the club.
  • Manuel says the Mets did a great job inproving their bullpen and says that the Mets could create a lot of problems next year for the Phillies.
  • He says the Atlanta's real close to being good and suffered lots of injuries last year and he thinks the Braves are going to be pretty good next year.
  • Charlie says the off season is a lot more relaxing being the World Champion manager.
  • Manuel said Gavin Floyd of the White Sox can be a real good pitcher someday. (Floyd came up with the Phillies and then was traded for Freddy Garcia)
  • Charlie said Scott Eyre was good pick up and by the end of the year their bullpen was very strong.
  • Carmen says it doesn't make any sense that nobody else is made any offers to CC Sabathia besides the Yankees.
  • Bruce said he met with Jim Hendry in his nice suite each day throughout the week in Los Vegas at the Winter Meetings.
  • Bruce says that 2008 was an even better year for the White Sox than it was for the Cubs because the Sox rebuilt, got younger, and won on the fly.
  • A caller asked about Adam Dunn and wondered why the Cubs would be more interested in Milton Bradley than Adam Dunn (I was wondering the same thing). The guys said Bradley had the best OBP in the league last year, and is a switch hitter. Carmen says that having Dunn and Soriano would be "brutal" as your corner outfielders defensively.
  • Bruce says Dunn would have no chance in right field and says he can't run the bases. Bruce just isn't a big Adam Dunn fan.
  • The Cubs are going after 2 left handed bats and Levine says that Bradley is already going to be one of them.

I'd like to thank everyone who has read the blog so far. Please leave your comments and scroll down to the bottom of the page to vote on our poll. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gordan Wittnemyer talks with Memelo

Gordan Wittnemyer of the Chicago Sun Times joined Jim Memelo on Sports Central tonight to talk about the latest baseball news. Here's the recap:
  • Gordan says that he has no problem with what Hendry said about Peavy not being a priority. The Cubs have depth with Marshall and Samarzija that could come into the rotation if there is an injury.
  • Wittnemyer said the unbalanced lineup should be the priority.
  • Jim asked if Marquis would be traded. Gordan says that he doesn't expect Marquis to be in camp next year, but he wouldn't be shocked. He says the Cubs could make a run at Randy Johnson.
  • He said that Milton Bradley is the Cubs clear number 1 option for right field. Gordan says that with Ibanez off the table he would be surprised if a Bradley deal doesn't happen soon.
  • Gordan says Bradley will give him something to write about with his running mouth. He says it'd be nice to see another guy like Z out there who wears his emotions on his sleeve.
  • He said he'd be interest to know how DeRosa feels about being involved in the Peavy deal this year, after the Brian Roberts talk that would have took his position last season.
  • Gordan and Jim both seem to think that Hendry made the right call on not trading for Peavy because the Cubs would have lost too many important pieces.

A few good Cubs links

check out these links:
WGN Radio Sports Central audio archive includes coverage from past conventions, interviews, and a lot of other good Cubs audio if you scroll through the pages;
Cubs and Sox videos clips:
A great podcast the covers the Cubs all year around is made by 2 Cubs fans.
Ron Santo reacts to Brant Brown dropping a fly ball in 1998.

Raul Ibanez signs with Phillies

Today Raul Ibanez signed a 3 year deal with the Phillies. Milton Bradley is now clearly at the top of the Cubs list for left field, even with his bad temper. Also, today the Cubs resigned pitchers Neal Cotts and Chad Gaudin to one year contracts avoiding salary arbitration. The team also announced that it would tender the contracts of a group of players including Ronny Cedeno, Reed Johnson, Michael Wuertz and Kevin Greg.

Len Kasper and Bob Brenly will hold the 3rd annual Len and Bob Bash on January 15 at the House of Blues. They will raise money for charity.

Here's the Cubs rumors for today:

  • The Cubs join the Rays, Dodgers, and Angels as the 4 teams interested in Abreu.

  • Paul Sullivan says that Lou was upset at the thought of losing Mark DeRosa.

  • Chris De Luca says that Kevin Towers kept putting Sean Marshall on the table, but the Cubs never agreed to it. He says that the 2010 Cubs payroll was the real sticking point.

That's it for Peavy, so the Cubs the Cubs will focus on acquiring a left handed bat. Feel free to vote at the bottom of the blog page on who you would like to see the Cubs aquire for right field. Let's hope they end up with a bat that can balance out the line up a little and has some power. Sources say the Cubs are still trying to trade Jason Marquis. I'd say if they do they'll end up with Randy Johnson. Who would you prefer Johnson or Marquis. I'd say the former. Anyway that's it for now, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Other Cubs Rumors

Here's the non-Peavy Cubs Rumors from today:
  • The Cubs are moving on from Peavy and are mainly focused on a left handed hitter.
  • According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs and Mets are talking about a possible trade involving Jason Marquis.
  • Most sources believe that Milton Bradley is at the top of the Cubs list.
  • Paul Sullivan says Bradly along with Raul Ibanez and Bobby Abreu are still on the radar for left field.
  • The Cubs and Angels have talked about Chrone Figgins.
  • There's still interest in Randy Johnson from the Cubs.

I'll keep you posted.

Kap talks with Barry Axelrod

Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod joined David Kaplan on Sports Central to talk Peavy
  • He says he believes that the talks are tabled right know but says he doesn't think things are completely over.
  • Barry says he's not in a position to comment on anything about the Jason Marquis salary being a problem in the deal.
  • Axelrod said Jake is disappointed tonight, but not devastated.
  • Barry said that things seemed to be moving along 24 hours ago and then all the sudden it was off.
  • He said that Peavy loves to take the ball, compete, and is fun to watch. Peavy loves playing the game. Axelrod has a western mentality and is very personable and charitable off the field.
  • Barry said Rick Suttclife's health is excellent. (Barry represents Rick)

Rule 5 Draft Recap

The MLB Rule 5 draft is complete and there were 2 things involving the Cubs.
1. Cubs LHP Donald Veal was selected by Pittsburg with the 4th pick. The Cubs could get him back if the Pirates don't keep him on their 25 man roster for all of 2009 but he would have to clear waviers.
2. The Cubs aquired David Patton who was the Reds in exchange for cash considerations. Patton is a right handed pitcher who spent the 2008 season in the Rockies organization. Here's a link to hist numbers.
The Cubs also lost 2 players in the Minor League portion; catcher Yusuf Carter and pitcher Mark Holliman.
Here's some notable past Rule 5 Draftees that went on to become all stars:
George Bell
Paul Blair
Bobby Bonilla
Jody Davis
Darrell Evans
Kelly Gruber
Josh Hamilton
Willie Hernandez
Dave Hollins
John Hudek (minor league portion.)
Dave May
Mike Morgan
Scott Podsednik (minor league portion.)
Bip Roberts
Johan Santana
Joakim Soria
Manny Trillo (minor league portion.)
Derrick Turnbow
Dan Uggla
and Roberto Clemente went on to become a Hall of Famer.

Cubs Pull Out of Peavy Deal

Well after all that talk about San Diego right handed pitcher Jake Peavy, the Cubs have decided to pull out of the sweepstakes today. Here's quotes from Cubs GM Jim Hendry on the Peavy deal:
  • "We knew going in we could line up tomorrow with a very good pitching staff"
  • "It was one of those rare occasions that we thought it was worth going in to kick the tires and see if it was possible. As the week progressed, the volume of the depth of what we'd have to give up became the sticking point for me"
  • "As the week went along, I could tell Kevin wasn't going to lower his stance on the talent which is his right. If he has the intention of keeping Jake then he has the right to get the best deal he can, or he has the option of keeping him."
  • "I think the world of the pitcher and he would've made us better, but we were dealing from stength all along."
  • "As much as adding Peavy would've been a great acquisition, for the good of the organization, I didn't think, today moving foward, it was the right thing to do."
  • "He's a great pitcher, I would never close the door on trying to acquire him. He's one of the marquee guys in the game."
  • "I never got comfortable with the volume of players it would take."
  • "Besides the contract your taking on, you're also in a position where you're going to have to spend more money to replace some of the pieces you have, whether it's this year or the next. As the general manager of the club, you don't look at trying to make it work under the wire for '09."
  • We just didn't get off the plane from Chicago and say, 'This is Jake Peavy week.'"

Padres GM Kevin Towers said "He said he's got other things going on, I respect his position.

So the Peavy saga comes to an end. Personally, I'm wish we would have got Peavy to build the Mega Rotation but I'm glad it wasn't streched out any longer. It was starting to get like the Brian Roberts thing last year. I trust that Hendry will do everything he can to make the team better for 2009.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Update: Peavy Talk

A quick update on Peavy-'s Corey Brock says that Padres GM Kevin Towers told him that we should know one way or the other on the Peavy trade by the end of the meetings. Towers thinks a deal will take a 4th team. DeRosa and Marquis could be hand ups, especially Jason's contract. Kevin Hart, Josh Vitters, and Felix Pie are some of the names Corey Brock mentioned.

Accourding to a possible 3 team deal has been proposed that would send the following players to the following teams.
Phillies Get: DeRosa
Padres Get: Marquis, Jason Donald, and either J.A. Happ or Carlos Carrasco, Pie, and Vitters
Cubs Get: Peavy

Also the Cubs could loose Donald Veal in the Rule 5 Draft Tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Radio Airwaves Monday- Wednesday

I'll also be recapping interviews that concern the Cubs once in awhile. Here are some interviews from so far this week.

Former Cubs broadcaster and current San Diego Padres broadcaster Andy Masur chatted with WGN Radio's David Kaplan on Sports Central on Monday:
  • Andy said that he thinks Peavy will fit into the Cubs clubhouse perfectly.
  • He talked about what he did for a Padre team that seemed like a AAA team.
  • Andy says that he agrees that the ballpark in San Diego is harder to hit the ball out of, but he believes Jake is the kind of guy that can pitch anywhere.
  • Andy says Khalie Greene is not that much of an impact guy but is one heck of a short stop.
  • He would not be surprised if Peavy stayed in San Diego and starts opening day at Petco next year.

Ron Santo joined Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000 on Tuesday to talk about not being selected for the Hall of Fame.

  • Ron said he was fine today but thought this was going to be his year because he was only 5 votes away 2 years ago.
  • He wonders why they have a veteran’s committee if they never induct anyone.
  • Ron says he doesn’t like the players voting because the players don’t look at stats.
  • Ron thinks they should go back to a committee of 12 guys including hall of fame broadcaster, players, and media.
  • He says that for him personally that he feels he deserves the hall and is proud that he put up Hall of Fame numbers with diabetes.
  • They asked if he considered taking his name off the ballot. Ron says he has thought this was his best shot and next time he won’t even think about the election and if he makes it he makes it.
  • Ronny added that he is over the 2008 Cubs season and the main reason the Cubs didn’t win is because they didn’t hit.

Bob Brenly was on Waddle and Silvy's show today:

  • Bob says that if you throw Peavy into the one of the strongest rotations in the NL, you put yourself in the mix as a preseason pick to go to the world series.
  • Brenly says that if the Cubs trade DeRosa, his place in the clubhouse could be picked up by someone else, but his versatility is hard to replace. He says that trading DeRosa would be worth getting Peavy.
  • Brenly thinks that Fontenot can play second base every day.
  • Bob says that he didn’t feel the Brewers and him as a manager were a good match.
  • He says the Brewers are going in the wrong direction moving forward.
  • Bob thought that Ron Santo would be in this year and described it as a disgrace for to the game of baseball that Ron’s not in the Hall of Fame.
  • He doesn’t know if any one person (like Joe Morgan) has that much influence on who gets in.

My next Cubs update tomorrow will recap the Rule 5 Draft which takes place tomorrow and I'll get you up to date on all the latest Cubs Rumors. Will the Peavy deal ever get done? Will the Cubs make any moves on the final day of the winter meetings? We can only wait....

Names rumored to be on the Cubs radar

Well for my first rumors post I will list all the names that have been rumored to be on the Cubs radar this off season. I'll have an update coming up about what's going on with Jake Peavy and at the Winter Meetings in Vegas.

  • Bobby Abreu
  • Milton Bradley
  • Adam Dunn
  • Rafael Furcal
  • Brian Giles
  • Jeremy Hermida
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Randy Johnson
  • Jake Peavy
  • Brian Roberts
  • Ben Sheets
  • Mark Teahen
  • and more

So Here's whats been going on with rumors and Cubs notes in Vegas this week at Baseball's Winter Meetings:

  • Ron Santo was not elected to the Nation Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee on Monday. He received only 60.1 percent of the vote falling shy of the 75 percent needed to make it. I won't share many personal opinions on this blog but it's obvious that Ronny belongs in Cooperstown.

Most of the Cubs talk this week has been related to Padres pitcher Jake Peavy. Different sources have been reporting totally different things. I'll try to sort things out:

  • Sources have said that the Cubs and Padres have discussed a 3 or 4 team deal involving the Baltimore Orioles and/or the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • The Phills have interest in Cubs utility man Mark DeRosa. Rumors have said that DeRosa could go to the Phillies in a 3 team deal that brings Peavy to the Cubs.
  • John Perrotto from said yesterday that the Cubs might shop Carlos Zambrano after acquiring Peavy. This was a crazy rumor and the Cubs shot it down today.
  • Today Jim Salisbury from said that Kyle Kendrick could be included in a deal for Peavy.
  • The Twins were discussed as a possible 3rd team today.
  • Carrie Muskat of say that the Cubs will not trade DeRosa
  • Corey Brock of said that the Phillies might want Scott Hairston from San Diego.
  • Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod has left the meetings, but Buster Olney of says he still thinks the Cubs will get the deal done.
  • Other guys that could be leaving the Cubs in the Peavy deal include: Jason Marquis, Ronny Cedeno, Felix Pie, Josh Vitters, Sean Marshall, Rich Hill, Angel Guzman, Jose Ceda, Mike Fontenot, and Wellington Castillo.
  • Some sources say that the Peavy talks are being slowed down because of 3 factors: 1. The sale of the Cubs. 2. The Cubs want to dump Marquis salary before adding Peavy's big contract. 3. Some say that the Cubs would like to get a left handed bat that plays right field before adding Peavy.

Speaking of the Cubs looking for a right fielder....

  • Jim Hendry met with Seth Levinson, who represents free agent outfielders Milton Bradley and Raul Ibanez today according to Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000.
  • Bruce says that Lou Piniella told him the Cubs will add a left handed bat within the next couple of days.
  • The Cubs seem to be closest to signing Milton Bradley.

Also former Cub Kerry Wood is close to signing with Clevlend. It will be hard to see Kerry in a different uniform and I think that was a big mistake by Jim Hendry. However, I do think Carlos Marmol will pitch well in the closers role next season.

Thanks For Reading and feel free to post comments.