Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cubs Rumor Updates

Here's some info learned today on "Talking Baeball" with Bruce Levine and Jonathen Hood, and some other Cubs rumors.
  • Levine says that Zambrano will not pitch in the WBC.
  • Levine said that one of Jim's goals this off season has been to get Aaron Heilman.
  • Lou Piniella has be frustrated this off-season. He is talking about next years post-season, while Hendry stresses that we should focus on getting back there.
  • Bruce said that if the Cubs don't get Peavy, the Brian Roberts talks could be back on. (wasn't one winter of Roberts enough?)
  • The Cubs have not stopped trying to acquire Jake Peavy but the new owner will have to be in place, before they can move forward.
  • Jeff Samardzija wants to start and wants to avoid being sent to AAA. He is going to do everything he can this spring to earn his spot in the starting 5 according to the Tribune.
  • Again, the Hill to the O's trade has not officially been announced, but it should be made official this week. The Orioles need to make a spot on there 40-man roster for Rich.

Join me for my Cubs chat on Wednesday at 7:00 PM CT. I will start with answers at 7 but you can come in at 6:45 and it will be up to start asking questions. Remember we'll talk mostly Cubs and maybe a few Chicago Sports and other MLB questions. The Chat will pop up live right here on this blog!

I'll keep you posted.

Numbers Breakdown: Joey Gathright VS Felix Pie

Well, the Cubs have signed Joey Gathright this off season and traded Felix Pie. These to guys are similar players on defense so I decited to compare the 2 to find out who is a better hitter. I look at 2008 SB, career SB, career HR, 2008 HR, career BA, 2008 BA, career OBP, and 2008 OBP.

2008 SB:
Gathright- 21
Pie- 3
point Gathright

career SB:
Gathright- 78
Pie- 11
point Gathright

career HR:
Gathright- 1
Pie- 3
point Pie

2008 HR:
Gathright- 0
Pie- 1
Should I really give Pie a point? Alright fine, pointe Pie.

career BA:
Gathright- .263
Pie- .223
point Gathright

2008 BA:
Gathrght- .254
Pie- .223
point Gathright

career OBS:
Gathright- .328
Pie- .284
point Gathright

2008 OBP:
Gathright- .311
Pie- .312
point Pie

Final Score: Pie 3, Gathright 5
Based on the numbers, the Cubs did the right thing. It's possible that Felix would finally have a break out year at the plate in 2009, but not likely.

I'll have a numbers breakdown every weekend leading up to opening day.

Take a look at my past numbers breakdowns:
Bako VS Blanco
Big Z VS Peavy
Lead off man
Miles, Fontenot, and DeRosa
Manny Ramirez

I'll have a rumors update sometime tonight.
Live Cubs chat on Wednesday right here on this site.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cubs Chat

I will be having my second chat on my blog on Wednesday, February 4, at 7:00 PM CT. I hope you will join me for some Cubs talk and more. Feel free to ask any questions Chicago sports or baseball related. Also check out the chat on this link tomorrow at noon.

The first chat went very well, you can read it by scrolling down on my blog.
Join me Next Wednesday at 7.
The Chat will come up right here on this blog.

Baseball season is on its way!

Cubs Radio Recaps and a few Rumors

Bruce Miles was on the Mike Murphy show on Wednesday. Here's the recap:
  • Miles says that you are going to see 28-30 arms in Spring Training this year.
  • He's not surprised that Cedeno and Pie won't be in Cubs camp.
  • Ronny Cedeno has been Lou's worst enemy on and off the field the past few years, and Lou doesn't think that Felix will ever hit.
  • Murph mentioned that the Cubs have Gregg, Marmol, Gaudan, Wuertz, Hart, Guzman, Vizcaino, and Heilman all right handers in the pen.
  • Miles says that it is part of Jim Hendry's plan to have lots of inventory.
  • He said Samadzija could start the year at AAA to get stretched out to start.
  • Bruce says we will just have to be patient about Jake Peavy.
  • The remaining free agents are getting antsy; Jason Jennings, Mark Mulder, Randy Wold and Braden Looper could sign one year deal.
  • Mike thinks that the Cubs should go after one of those guys for a one year 6 million dollar signing.
  • A caller said he was confused that the Cubs traded Garrett Olson. Bruce said that a lot of people assumed that Olson would be in a trade for Peavy but that rumor was coming from other sources, not the Cubs.
  • Miles says that there is a lot of hurtles to get through to complete the sale of the team.

A few rumors from Bruce Levine:

  • Levine believes a possible Peavy deal could be revisited in March.
  • The names the Cubs are looking at as a back up infielder right now are Kevin Millar and Rich Aurillia.
  • Nomar Garciapara is looking for a full time position.
  • We'll hear more from Bruce on Talking Baseball tomorrow mourning.

Here's an interesting link on Heilman.

Here's some more info on Paul Bako:

  • Has played for the Tigers, Astros, Marlins, Braves, Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, Royals, Orioles, Red, and now Cubs again in his 10 year career.
  • career stats: .231 average, 21 HR, 186 RBI
  • Bats: Left Throws: Right
  • full stats here
  • wiki page here

David Kaplan had Aaron Heilman on Sports Central on Wednesday. Here's the recap:

  • Aaron said he was at his home in Chicago when he found out he had been traded. He was shocked when the trade happened because he didn't expect to be traded twice in one off season.
  • Aaron went to Seattle fan-fest last weekend and started to get to know who he thought would be his teammates in 2009.
  • Heilman grew up watching the Cubs on WGN and has always been a Cubs fan.
  • Aaron says that one of the things that makes this team unique is that they play a lot of day cames and that is something that he is exited to get used to.
  • Heilman went to Notre Dame.
  • Last year wasn't the year he had hoped for but he is looking forward to a new year and a chance to win a starting job with the Cubs.
  • Aaron is going into camp as a starter competing for a spot in the rotations, but he says it's up to the coaching staff to determine what his role is for the team.
  • He is ready to go out there and prove himself this spring.
  • Heilman says that the Mets/Yanks and Cubs/Sox rivalries are very similar. He thinks those games are more exiting and fun with all the fans hyped up for it.
  • "I'm going to go out there and give it everything I have," that's an encouraging quote.
  • Heiman's knee feels great and says that it took a lot longer than he thought it would to recover.

Jim Memelo said tonight on Sports Central that he thinks that the Cubs may have gotten a little worse instead of better. He says being active isn't necessarily being productive. Memelo doesn't buy the whole "we have to get more lefty" thing. He doesn't think the Cubs will be more successful just because they have more left handed bats. Just something to think about.

Check out some recent Cubs videos on interview with Cubs prospect Mitch Atkins.

I'll keep you posted.

Cubs sign Paul Bako, Caribbean World Series next week reports that Paul Bako has signed a one year deal with the Cubs. He will earn about 750,000 dollars. Bako will compete for the back up catchers job with Koyie Hill this spring. The Rich Hill trade is not yet official, so the 40-man roster is now full.

Next week, we'll have a chance to see some live baseball on the MLB Network. Four teams will compete in the Caribbean World Series. Here's the schedule (all times Central);

Mon. (2-2)- Venezuela VS Dominican Republic 4:00
Puerto Rico VS Mexico 9:00
Tues.- DR VS PR 4:00
Mex VS Ven 8:00
Wed.- Ven VS PR 4:00
Mex VS DR 8:00
Thu.- DR VS Ven 4:00
Mex VS PR 8:00
Fri.- PR VS DR 4:00
Ven Vs Mex 8:00
Sat.- PR Vs Ven 4:00
DR VS Mex 8:00
former Cub Dan Plesac will call the Wed. & Sat. 8:00 games for MLB Network.

We know 3 of the teams that will be in. The 4th will be determined by a Game 7 of a series tonight night to see who will represent Venezuela. We will see some Cubs and former Cubs in action. Here is a list of the teams we know are in and the players with Cubs connections.
No players from Cubs organization, but 20 players in big league systems.

Dominican Republic:
Carlos Marmol (Cubs pitcher)
Welington Castillo (catcher)
Jake Fox (catcher, 1B)
Billy Petrick (former Cub)
Felix Pie (former Cub, traded to Baltimore)
Craig Monroe (former Cub)
Fransis Beltran (former Cub)

Puerto Rico:
No current players in Cubs organization
Angel Pagan (former Cub, now with Mets)
Ramon Martinez (former Cub)

Game 7 Coming Up Tonight to determine Venezuelan team that will advance. Here are the teams and lists of player from Cubs organization:

Rich Hill (close to being traded to O's)
Justin Berg (minor league pitcher)
Ronny Cedeno (traded to Sea)
Sam Fuld (OF)
managed by Buddy Bailey (Cubs minor league manager)
Jose Ascanio (pitcher)
J.R Mathes (minor league pitcher)
Matt Murton (former Cub, now with A's)
Josh Kroeger (former Cub, now with White Sox)

Next week I'll have posts with scores from every game, and stats from these players. I'll update this post tonight after the Caracus/Aragua game with info on who won and stats from the listed players.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cubs trade Rich Hill, Other News

  • According to the Sun-Times, The Cubs have traded Rich Hill to the Orioles for a Player to be Named Later. The Sun-Times is the only source reporting this trade.
  • Trading Hill would free up a spot on the Cubs 40-man roster to sign Paul Bako.
  • Juan Uribe signed a minor league with the Giants today. The Cubs are still looking at Nomar and Aurillia to sign for a guy to back up the corner infield spots.
  • Bruce Levine says the Bako signing will happen in the next day or two.
  • Randy Wolf and Braden Looper remain options for the Cubs.
  • Jason Stark from reports that the Cubs will not be getting Peavy any time soon because the ownership change is still aways off. .
  • Former Cub Todd Hollandworth will replace Dan Plesac on the Cubs pre and post game shows on Comcast Sports Net this season. Plesac left CSN for a job with the MLB Network. Todd will also appear on Chicago Tribune Live once a week and fill on for Bob Brenly on CSN broadcasts every now and then.

I'll keep you posted.

Celebrating my 100th post, Cubs Minor League Update

Wow! I cannot believe that I have posted 100 of these things. In less than 2 months! Check out my first post from December 10. 100 posts in 51 days.

The February issue of Vineline takes a look at the Cubs minor league system. Here's some of the awards they gave out:
Best Command: (tie) Mitch Atkins, Hun-Wen Chen, and Casey Coleman.
Best Poise/Make-Up:Mitch Atkins
Best Athleticism: (tie) Hun-Wen Chen, Casey Coleman, and Jay Jackson
Best Mechanics: Coleman
Bast Durability: Atkins

Best Contact Hitter: Sam Fuld
Best Power Hitter: (tie) Jake Fox and Josh Vitters
Best Plate Discipline: Fuld
Best Clutch Hitter: (tie) Darwin Barney, Tyler Colvin, and Brandon Guyer
Best Situational Hitter: Nate Spears

Best Range:
C- Welington Castillo
1B- Micah Hoffpauir
2B- Tony Thomas
3B- Jonathan Mota
SS- Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney (tie)
OF- Sam Fuld
Best Arm Strength:
C- Castillo
1B Hoffpauir
2B- Marqin Gonzalez
3B- Josh Vitters
SS- Castro
OF- Kyler Burke
Best Throwing Accuracy:
C- Castillo
1B- Hoffpauir
2B- Josh Harrison and Nate Spears (tie)
3B- Vitters
SS- Nate Samson
OF- Burke
Best Footwork:
C- Castillo
1B- Hoffpauir
2B- Gonzalez
3B- Marquez Smith
SS- Castro and Barney (tie)
OF- Fuld

Best Raw Speed: Tony Campana
Best Base-Stealing ability: Campana
Best Home-To-First Time: Campana
Best Base running Instincts: Sam Fuld

Other Awards:
Best Heart/Work Ethic: Sam Fuld
Best Competitiveness: Darwin Barney, Fuld, and Brandon Guyer (tied)

Baseball American's Top 10 Cubs Prospects:
1. Josh Vitters
2. Jeff Samardzija
3. Andrew Cashner
4. Dae-Eun Rhee
5. Wellington Castillo
6. Kevin Hart
7. Stalin Castro
8. Ryan Flaherty
9. Jay Jackson
10. Hak-Ju Lee

Awards from Baseball America:
Best Hitter for Average - Josh Vitters
Best Power Hitter - Josh Vitters
Best Strike-Zone Discipline - Sam Fuld
Fastest Baserunner - Tony Campana
Best Athlete - Brandon Guyer
Best Fastball - Jeff Samardzija
Best Curveball - Casey Lambert
Best Slider - Andrew Cashner
Best Change-up - Dae-Eun Rhee
Best Control - Esmailin Caridad
Best Defensive Catcher - Luis Flores
Best Defensive Infielder - Darwin Barney
Best Infield Arm - Junior Lake
Best Defensive Outfielder - Sam Fuld
Best Outfield Arm - Kyler Burke Top 20 Cubs' Prospects:

1. Josh Vitter 3B
2. Jeff Samardizja P
3. Andrew Cashner P
4. Welington Castilo C
5. Jay Jackson P
6. Ryan Flaherty SS
7. Mitch Atkins P
8. Tyler Colvin OF
9. Kevin Hart P
10. Micah Hoffpauir 1B/OF
11. Esmalin Caridad P
12. Brandon Guyer OF
13. Marcos Mateo P
14. Javan Ross IF
15. James Russell P
16. Dan McDaniel P
17. Chris Carpenter P
18. Aaron Shafer P
19. Ryan Acosta P
20. Matt Cerda C

Baseball Prospectus Top 11 Prospects (amount of starts)
1. Vitters (5 starts)
2. Samardzija (4)
3. Jose Ceda (4)
4. Hak-Ju Lee (3)
5. Andrew Cashner (3)
6. Tyler Colvin (3)
7. Dae-Eun Rhee (3)
8. Ryan Flaherty (3)
9. Welington Castillo (2)
10. Donald Veal (now member of Pirates, 2)
11. Micah Hoffpauir (2)

Minor League Ball's Top 20 Cubs Prospects with letter grades.
1. Josh Vitters - Grade B+
2. Jeff Samardzija - Grade B
3. Ryan Flaherty - Grade B
4. Andrew Cashner - Grade B-
5. Hak-Ju Lee - Grade B-
6. Jay Jackson - Grade B-
7. Tyler Colvin - Grade C+
8. Welington Castillo - Grade C+
9. Dae-Eun Rhee - Grade C+
10. Aaron Shafer - Grade C+
11. Starlin Castro - Grade C+
12. Junior Lake - Grade C+
13. Dan McDaniel - Grade C+
14. Micah Hoffpauir - Grade C
15. Esmailin Caridad - Grade C
16. Donald Veal - Grade C (now w/ Pirates)
17. Josh Kroeger - Grade C
18. Tony Thomas - Grade C
19. Chris Carpenter - Grade C
20. Mitch Atkins - Grade C

So there you have it, the full 2009 Cubs Prospects Report.

"I don't care who wins, as long as it's the Cubs."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cubs Rumors

Well, the chat went very well. I'll have info on when the next chat will be sometime this weekend. The Rumors are crazy after the trade today. Here's the latest:
  • Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs will sign Bako to a one year deal.
  • The Cubs are still looking at Braden Looper and Randy Wolf.
  • Uribe still on the radar.
  • The Phillies also have Garciaparra and Rich Aurillia on their radar.
  • Jon Heyman noted that Bradley's contract would be an option for the 3rd year if he spends more than 75 days on the DL this year.
  • MLB trade reports that the Cubs aren't planning to restart the Peavy talks.
  • Aaron Heilman could compete for a spot in the rotations with Marshall, Samadzija, Gaudin, and Guzman; but I'd prefer Braden Looper.

LIVE Cubs chat from 7:00-8:00 (Central Time)

Cubs traded Cedeno and Olson for Aaron Heilman

Big News Today! The Cubs have traded Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson to Seattle for Aaron Heilman. With the trade the Cubs cleared a spot off their 40-man roster, so they could sign Paul Bako in the next few days. I'm not sure what to think about this deal. I'm shocked that they traded away Garrett Olson because we've heard that the Padres want him, and were assuming that they would trade him in a Jake Peavy deal. I like this move over all, because it adds depth to the pen, but if it means the Cubs aren't pursuing Peavy, I'm not too happy. But we'll have to wait and see.

Aaron Heilman:
  • played 2003-08 with Mets.
  • Traded to Seattle in December in a 3-team deal for J.J. Putz.
  • Right Handed.
  • 2008 Stats; 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 76 IP.
  • career stats; 22-33, 25 starts, 280 relief appearances, 4.24 ERA.
  • more stats on baseball reference, bio on wiki

This trade will be one of the many Cubs topics on tonight's chat right here on this blog at 7:00 CT. I'll be answering all Cubs questions, and I'll also have a few live polls and videos all Cub related.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Look at Trader Jim's Off Seasons

In my opinion Jim Hendry has done nothing but but good for the Chicago Cubs organizations. Here's a list of the moves he's made in each off season since becoming the Cubs GM in July of 2002.

02-03 Off Season:
  • Dec. 4, 2002- Todd Hundley and Chad Hermanson traded to Dodgers for Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros.
  • Jan. 13, 2003- Midre Cummings and Aaron Small signed.
  • Hendry also added Jose Hernandez, Kenny Lofton, Aramis Ramirez, and Randall Simon during the '03 season.

03-04 Off season:

  • November 25, 2003- Derrek Lee traded to Cubs for Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini.
  • Dec. 2, 2003- Scott McClain signed with Cubs.
  • Dec. 18, 2003- Todd Hollandworth signed with Cubs.
  • March 23, 2003- Greg Maddux signed with Cubs.

04-05 Off season:

  • Jan. 20, 2005- Cody Ransom signs with Cubs.
  • Feb. 2, 2005- Sammy Sosa was traded to Baltimore for Jerry Hairston, Mike Fontenot, and Dave Crouthers.

05-06 off season:

  • Dec. 7, 2005- Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto traded to Marlins for Juan Pierre.
  • Jan. 10, 2006- Jacque Jones signed with Cubs.

06-07 off season:

  • Oct. 17, 2006- Lou Pinella signed 3 year deal to manage the team.
  • Nov. 14, 2006- Signed Mark DeRosa.
  • Nov. 20, 2006- signed Alfonso Soriano to 8 year deal.
  • Dec. 7, 2006- Josh Hamilton drafted in Rule 5, then traded to Reds.
  • Dec. 15, 2006- Cubs signed Ted Lilly.
  • Dec. 19, 2006- Cubs sign Jason Marquis.

07-08 off season:

  • Nov. 12, 2007- Cubs trade Jacque Jones to Tigers for Omar Infante.
  • Nov. 13, 2007- Cubs trade Craig Monroe to Twins for Clay Rapada.
  • Dec. 4, 2007- Cubs trade Will Ohman and Omar Infante to braves for Jose Ascanio.
  • Dec. 6, 2007- Rays trade Tim Lahey to Cubs for cash.
  • Jan. 5, 2008- Angel Pagan traded to Mets for Ryan Meyers and Corey Coles.

I can't judge this off season yet because it all depends on if the Peavy trade happens. But out of these off seasons here's how a rank them:

1. 06-07

2. 03-04

3. 02-03

4. 07-08

5. 05-06

6. 04-05

Please comment with your thoughts!

A few Quick Notes:

Sports Central at Convention Recap

David Kapan had guests at the Cubs Convetions.

Recap of session 1 w/ guests: Lou Piniella and Larry Rothschild

  • Lou told Jim at the start of the off season that the Cubs needed more left handed hitting and speed in the off season.
  • The Cubs are going to "bogey".
  • Larry says that the team will get guys experience as much as they can during the spring.
  • Lou and Larry said that Ryan Dempster's heart was into starting and that's why he was so successful. Ryan is more relaxed as a started according to Larry.
  • Kap asked who Lou's lead off hitter was. Lou said that the Cubs won 97 baseball games with the team. He mentioned that we added Miles who could be an option.
  • Larry thinks that Carlos will pitch better in 2009 than he did a year ago.
  • Lou described working with Zambrano as "a adventure at times". He went onto says that he likes the way Big Z wants to win and compete.
  • Larry thinks that Wrigley is a difficult place to pitch at times.
  • Rothchild says that sometimes pitchers get a little to relaxed when the wind is blowing in.
  • He adds that the elements effects games at Wrigley more than at any other park.
  • Lou says stressed the importance of not walking people at Wrigley.
  • He expects the Cubs to play as good as last year during the first 162 games and a lot better in the postseason.
  • Piniella thinks that the whole 100 year thing put too much pressure on the Cubs.

Sessions 2 w/ Jim Hendry:

  • Jim Hendry says that the DeRosa trade was an effort to get more left handed.
  • Jim says he gets payed to make tough decisions.
  • Hendry said that Kerry Wood's agent told Jim that Woody was looking for a 3 year deal, and the Cubs thought that that was too lengthy of a commitment.
  • He described letting Wood go as "one of the saddest days of his career."
  • Jim thinks the Cubs got a great deal for Kevin Gregg.
  • Milton Bradley made a few mistakes, but he is good clubhouse guy and good teammate.
  • Derrek Lee is thrilled that Bradley is a member of the Cubs.
  • Jim thinks Cubs fans will love Milton.
  • When Kaplan asked about Peavy, all Hendry could say was, "It really bothers me that other teams put our players on the trading block. 19 or 20 year old kids shouldn't be reading there name in the paper."
  • He said "We will keep trying to get stronger and add pitching, whether it's that player or not."
  • Jim says that if Kosuke Fukudome would have hit better in the second half of the year, he would have won a gold glove.
  • Hendry thinks Kosuke will be "more like the Fukudome from the first half of last year."
  • Lou is as good at there is at using the whole roster.
  • Jim says that Rich Harden is "very good." He moved to Arizona to get more work this winter. He says Rich looks stronger and healthier than he did at the end of last year.
  • Hendry said that Sean Marshall was a very under-rated guy for the 2008 team. Jim says he feels that sooner or later Marshall might deserve to be in the rotation instead of being a super sixth starter.
  • Hendry won't add any big names without the new owner signing off on it.

I'll have a recap of sessions 3&4 tomorrow.

More posts to come...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Peavy News

Barry M. Bloom thinks the Peavy deal will get done! Bloom is a reported for and he talked about the Peavy deal in an interview with and in this article on
A few Notes from Barry:
  • His sources tell him that the Peavy deal is definitely in place.
  • Once ownership changes, he thinks Peavy will become a Cub.
  • Barry says the Cubs have put themselves in position all winter to make a Peavy deal.
  • He says that there is "no question" that the deal will get done.
  • Barry doesn't see a need for a 3rd team to get involve.
  • He doesn't think that the Cubs would have made the Pie/Olson trade if the Peavy deal wasn't on the horizon.

I think adding Peavy would be amazing but I'm ready for the saga to be over! I think we all have doubt in our minds because last winter we spent the whole off season thinking about Brian Roberts and he never came.

New episode of Cubscast today!

I'll keep you posted.

Counting the Days

Well, there's not a lot of rumors or news so far today. Right now Cubs fan are just counting the Days...

18 until pitchers and catchers report
30 more days until Spring Training
70 more 'til Opening Day

But the question is; Will the Cubs make any more mores before those countdowns are over?
Right now the Cubs are full on the 40-man roster so if they sign someone like Juan Uribe and Paul Bako, they will either have to release someone or sign the person to a minor league deal.

Don't forget Cubs Chat coming up right here on my blog on Wednesday at 7:00 PM CT. There will also be a Cubs Chat on Saturday on another Cubs blog. Click here for the link to that blog.

Here's an idea of what you could ask about during the chat:
Cubs info
- Anything about this blog.
- Questions about my opinions on the Cubs.
- A few MLB or Chicago Sports questions, but mostly Cubs.
- I went to the Cubs Convention, so if you want to ask anything about that.
-Or give your opinions about the Cubs.
-A few quick polls and vidoes will also be included on the Chat.

Also coming up on this blog this week:
- Comparing Jim Hendry's offseaons in his time as GM.
- A look at the Cubs prospects.
- Recap of Sports Central from the Cubs Convention, concluding our convention coverage.

I'll have an update later tonight if I come across anything.

Comment with your thoughts.

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cubs Live Chat Info

Big News: My blog will be having its first live chat! I will be having the live chat this Wednesday night at 7:00 Central Time. So mark your calendars, Wednesday January 28, 2009 at 7:00.

I will be having 1 chat every week here on this blog, and Phil Wilson will have one each week on his blog. Thanks to Phil for including me in his great idea!

Phil had the first chat on his Cubs blog today. It was great! Click here to read the chat from today. That should give you an idea on what I will be talking about.

The next chat on this other Cubs site will be on Saturday at noon.

I hope you can join us for both chats! This is perfect for all of us who are counting down the days until Spring Training. Get your questions ready, I'll answer anything; if you want info, opinions, or whatever. I would prefer Cubs questions, but if you have anything you want to ask about the rest of baseball or Chicago sports that's fine too. Also feel free to tell me your opinions on the Cubs, this off season, Peavy, the new owner, or anything else Cub related.

Shifting gears, Let's take a look today's Cubs rumors and news:
  • Bruce Levine reported yesterday that the Cubs might be looking at Juan Uribe as an infield back-up.
  • The Mariners are interested in Ronny Cedeno, and according to Levine, he could be traded for Aaron Heilman.
  • Ken Rosenthal says that Brian Roberts is looking for a 4 year extension to stay with the O's.
  • Levine thinks that the Cubs could be looking at Kevin Millar/ Rich Aurlia type players that can back up first and 3rd.
  • Bruce mentioned a Peavy package that would send Vitters, Castillo, Olson, Hart, and Stevens to San Diego.
  • XM Radio says that the Angels could be in the Peavy mix.
  • Lee Hamilton says that the Peavy talks are back on.
  • Cubs assistant GM Randy Bush was named the Executive of the Year by the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago at their 63rd annual awards dinner.

Remember: Wednesday night Cubs Chat 7:00 spread the word! Comment with your thought!

I'll keep you posted.

Numbers Breakdown: Henry Blanco VS Paul Bako

Yes, the Cubs say they want to get a guy who can hit left handed as the back up catcher. But how important is that? I'm sure they can still have 2-3 left handed bats off the bench even if they kept Blanco. Bruce Levine reported yesterday that if the Cubs sign Paul Bako it will be for the same amount or more than what Blanco signed for with the Padres (750,000). Let's compare the 2:

Clubhouse/personality/fan favorite/mentor
Blanco is a great guy in the clubhouse, he did a great job as the mentor for Soto in 2008, the fans love him, and he has a great personality. Nothing against Bako, but he isn't as great of a guy to have around as Henry.
Point Blanco.

Batting Average in 2008:
Blanco: .292
Bako: .217
point Blanco

BA for career:
Blanco: .292
Bako: .231
point Blanco

SLG % for 2008:
Blanco: .392
Bako: .328
point Blanco

SLG % for career:
Blanco: .364
Bako: .317
point Blanco

OBP for 2008:
Blanco: .325
Bako: .299
point Blanco

OBP for career:
Blanco: .289
Bako: .305
point Bako

Fielding % 2008:
Blanco: .992
Bako: .993
point Bako

Fielding % career:
Blanco: .993
Bako: .990
point Blanco

runners CS/ SB for 2008
Blanco: 10 CS, 12 SB
Bako: 22 CS, 55 SB
point Blanco (close)

Past Balls per 9 innings 2008:
Blanco: .1048
Bako: .1051
Point Blanco

The Cubs want a left handed hitter so we'll give Bako +1.
Final score: Blanco- 9, Bako- 3
I think you get my point.

Please comment with your thoughts!
Next weekend I'll compare Felix Pie and Joey Gathright.

Cubs Live Chat, New Poll Up

Hey Cubs fans, check out the live chat today at 4:00 on this site. The writer of the blog will be answering Cubs questions, as well as all baseball related questions. I'll have my numbers break down for today sometime this afternoon.

Thanks to everyone who voted on our last Cubs poll.
Question was who will you miss more?
The results: Kerry Wood 17, Mark DeRosa 12

Our new Cubs Poll is up! Be sure to vote on the right side of our main page.
The Question is: Where should Milton Bradley bat in the Cubs lineup?
A. 2nd B. 3rd C. 4th D. 5th

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!" -Bert Wilson, Cubs broadcaster 1944-45.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Numbers Breakdown: Zambrano VS Peavy

How does Jake Peavy compare to Carlos Zambrano. I broke this down into career ERA, 2008 ERA, career record, 2008 record, BB for 2008, K's for 2008, BB/K's for career, and also looked at these 2 guys at the plate.

Career ERA:
Carlos: 3.48
Peavy: 3.25
point Peavy

2008 ERA:
Big Z: 3.91
Peavy: 2.85
point Peavy

career record:
Big Z: 96-61
Peavy: 86-62
Point Zambrano

2008 record:
Carlos: 14-6
Peavy: 10-11
Point Zambrano

Walks/K's 2008:
Z: 72/130
Peavy: 59/166
point Peavy

Walks/K's for career:
Big Z: 62/172
Peavy: 407/1256
point Peavy

Hitting (2008 BA/career BA/ 2008 HR/ career HR):
Zambrano: .337/.239/4/16
Peavy: .265/.168/0/2
point Zambrano

So, the final score is Peavy 4, Zambrano 3. It think you get the point.

I'll have another numbers breakdown tomorrow (Sun.) that will compare Paul Bako and Henry Blanco.

Please comment with your thoughts! Also, please add this blog to your favorites because I will have Cubs posts everyday leading up to opening day and then everyday all season long. And if you haven't voted on the poll on the right side of the main page, please do so, only 1 day left of the poll.

By the way, I'll have numbers breakdown every Saturday and Sunday until Spring Training.

Check out my past numbers breakdowns:
Lead off man
Miles, Fontenot, and DeRosa
Manny Ramirez

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday Rumors, Talk, and more

Here's the latest:
  • The Sun-Times reports that the Cubs may go after modest veteran pitchers such as Randy Wolf and Braden Looper instead of trading for Peavy.
  • The Sun-Times also thinks that trading for Peavy would cost a large, high end, chunk of the farm system including Josh Vitters.
  • Buster Only says that there has been no recent talk between the Padres and Cubs about Peavy. Check Spelling
  • Bruce Levine reports that Juan Uribe is a possibility for the Chicago Cubs.
  • He also says the Cubs are looking at guy who can play first and 3rd like Kevin Miller and Rich Aurillia.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer breaks down Peavy, the new owner, and more.
  • talks about the sale of the Cubs, click for video.

Crane Kenney joined Bruce Levine and Chet Coppock on Talking Baseball.

  • Crane doesn't know if the Cubs could have got more for the team before the economy went down.
  • The Rickets Family is not officially the owners of the Chicago Cubs yet. The Tribune has chosen the Rickets Family to try to negotiate with.
  • Kenney says the negotiations will start on Monday. There is still some work left to do.
  • The other to bidders could be back in the game if things don't move forward with the Rickets Family.
  • Crane is hopeful that we will get a new owner shortly.
  • Kenney said that Comcast Sports Net could be an all Cubs Network sometime down the road. (I think this would be great!)
  • The Cubs are hopeful to have a channel that will have non-game content that is all Cubs by Opening Day.
  • The Cubs will have an Internet Cub outlet, and a Cub Channel could not be that far off!
  • The Chicago Tribune also mentioned the possibility of getting an all Cubs channel.

Steve Stone was on the Hamp and Holmes show yesterday to talk Chicago baseball:

  • Steve likes the idea of signing guys like Mike Stanton to a minor league deal.
  • Stone has a feeling that it makes no sense for Hendry to acquire all these mediocre pitcher unless they are looking for Peavy.
  • He thinks they already permission from the owner to go after Peavy.
  • Steve says the Cubs are the one team that could match up with the Padres well, for a trade.
  • Stoney says that there are a lot of things going on that have delayed the sale of the team.
  • The Cubs have done a real good time to keep making moves to improve the club while the sale is going on.
  • Steve thinks the Cubs should find out why Peavy only started 27 games last year.
  • He thinks the Rickets Family will be wonderful as far as the team is concerned.
  • The most important thing that the owner has to do is find out how to make revenue outside the ballpark.
  • Stone was asked about why the Cubs failed to resign Henry Blanco.
  • The ERA will go up some for Peavy in Chicago.
  • Dan asked what Steve made of the priest Wrigley Field. Steve believes the priest over Crane Kenney.
  • Stone says that if things go well for Bradley he will do great, but he is a better right handed hitter than a left handed hitter.
  • The guys were surprised about Rich Harden not playing in the WBC due to a shoulder energy.
  • Steve feels that if the Cubs wait until July, the could get some good deals for players to help in the postseason.
  • Steve thinks the Cubs will win the division easily. He described the division as "bad" and the Cubs as "loaded"
  • (Cincinnati is too young, the Cardinals won't spend any money, the Brewers lost there best pitchers, the Astros are just average, and the Pirates stink. )
  • A caller pointed out that it would make no sense for the Cubs to trade half the farm for Peavy, knowing that the Padres have nothing else to do with him.

I'll keep you posted, Spring Training is on the way!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recap: Gameday Experience

Nick Digilio and Cory Provust hosted the "Game Day Experience" session at the Cubs Convention. The guests were Ted Lilly, Koyie Hill, Kevin Hart, Mike Fontenot, and Joey Gathright. Here's the recap:
  • Ted Lilly was asked about his routine on the days he starts. He said he tries to keep it the same as any day he starts. He tries not to think about it too much early in the day because then he wants the 7:05 game to start at 1:00.
  • Koyie Hill said that the game is the same in the minors, but the environment is different.
  • Fontenot said that his day is a little bit different when he's starting. He says he lifts and runs more on days he's not starting.
  • Gathright says he wakes up late and gets to the park around 2:00.
  • Kevin Hart likes to get to the park early.
  • Mike says sometimes he likes going on the road to see all the ballparks.
  • Joey has never seen as many fans in a hotel lobby as he saw at the convention.
  • Koyie says the many Cubs fans are great and make you take a lot of pride in what you are doing. He thinks that the fans on the road give you an edge.
  • Ted says that you have to be as consistent as possible.
  • Cory asked about superstitions. Joey says that he has an old teammate who will put on lady's underwear when he gets into a funk. Mike says he has to be in the dugout to be ready for Zambrano's beat into the ground everyday.
  • Nick asked who screws around the most in the clubhouse. The guys said that there are a lot of characters on the team. They mentioned Dempster and Jon Lieber as jokers.
  • Cory asked about aliases that the guys used on the road. Ted says he used Harry Rosenbag. Koyie used Turb Fergurson. Joey only has his current one.
  • Mike and Ted's favorite story was when the security guy clotheslined the fan who was about to jump Bobby Howry.
  • Joey said that it's fun to be on the plane when you're winning, but it's not when your losing.
  • Koyie said that we would laugh if we knew how much stuff gets broken on the plane when you put 25 competitive people on a plane for 4 hours over losing card games and stuff like that.
  • Kevin described AAA travel as "no fun".
  • Joey said that he doesn't train for speed. He said that his mom was really fast and his dad could jump really high so he got a combination of both.
  • Joey was asked about the YouTube video where he jumped over a car. He said it started after football practice in 10th grade. He said he can't jump over cars any more because he will get in trouble.
  • Kevin has seen Joey jump cars first person before.
  • Mike says that he will stick with jumping over chairs not cars.
  • Kevin said that some teams make rookies ride on a motorized cooler that they make the rookie ride out to the bullpen. Lilly had to carry a pink purse from the dugout to the bullpen.
  • Someone asked if any of the guys played fantasy baseball. Most of them play fantasy football in the off seaon.
  • All the guys follow football pretty closely. Fontenot likes the Saints. Gathright and Hart are both Cowboys fan. Ted said that football is his favorite sport to watch. He enjoys watching high school games. Koyie likes the Chiefs.
  • Mike says he likes to hunt and fish. Joey likes to draw and play X-box. Kevin says he plays X-Box live for about 4 hours a day. Koyie said he always wanted to be an architect. One of Hill's goals is to get better a racket ball. Ted enjoys golf.
  • Someone asked if they get distracted by the fans. Mike says he tries to ignore them. Ted said that it just show that they are interested when they cheer and boo. Joey likes to interact with the fans.
  • Cory asked if Wrigley has lived up to their expectations. Ted says that when he see all the fans you realize how special this place is. Lilly thinks the new guys will have a lot of fun this year. Joey said that when you found out he got a chance to come to Chicago, he came mainly because of the fans.
  • The panel shared their favorite Lou Pienella story. Ted told a funny story about how Fontenot had a great game, and Lou went up to the bullpen catcher and said, "Great game today." Lou has confused Mike and Corey Miller more than once.
  • Joey said he knows Lou because he played for him in Tampa.
  • Lilly was asked about plowing over Molina during a game against the Cardinals. He said that Molina is a class act, Ted said he felt bad that he got hurt no that play. Ted says that sliding would have been more dangerous for himself.
  • Someone asked about there favorite and least favorite places to play. Mike's favorite city is San Diego and least favorite is Pitsburg. Joey and Ted's least favorites are Minisota. Ted's favorite is San Fransisco and Gathright's is Boston.
  • Lilly says that when he was on the Blue Jays, Wrigley and Fenway were his favorite places to play.
  • Mike's favorite thing about Chicago besides Wrigley is the weather in the summer. Koyie enjoys how active the city is. Kevin says that he likes walking around the city and seeing millions of people with your teams logo on their hat.
  • The guys talked about the small visiting clubhouse. They love the fact knowing that the other team is miserable over there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cubs Are Sold!

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Rickets Family has won the bidding to buy the Chicago Cubs. Rickets is believed to have offered $900 million for the franchise, Wrigley Field, and 25% of Comcast Sports Net.

Dave Roeder of the Sun-Times was on Sports Central to Chat with Kap about the sale:
  • Kap confirmed that the Cubs are sold. He received a statement from Rickets confirming this.
  • Roeder says that the Tribune could still go back to someone else, but for now they have committed to going with Rickets.
  • He said that there are a lot of issues to sort out with the sale.
  • Rickets met his wife in the bleachers at Wrigley.
  • Dave thinks he could be the type of owner that MLB likes. Rickets has to get the approval of 75% of MLB owners.
  • Roeder thinks it will be interesting to see how a deal like this will be worked out with the economy like it is.
  • Tom Rickets "bleeds Cubbie blue".
  • Roeder said that Rickets and the other top bidders wanted the control of the ballpark as well as the team.
  • The deal is not yet finalized with the Tribune, and after it is Rickets will have to get approval from Major League Baseball.
  • Roeder says that the bankruptcy of the Trib shouldn't derail this process.
  • Dave thinks that the whole process will not be done by Opening Day.
  • If Sam Zell had moved quicker and sold the team before the economy crisis they could have got over a billion.

Check out Rickets profile here.

-Or here.

I'll keep you posted.

Cubs Rumors and Notes

Here's the latest:

  • The Cubs do not have interest in Oliver Perez.
  • reports that the Tribue Company has selected a favorite to buy the Cubs. It does not say whether the favorite is Hersh Klaff, the Rickets Family or Utah/Hindery.
  • Keith Law ranked the top 100 prospects from MLB. Josh Vitters is the highest Cub on the list, ranking 14th overall. Link to the full list.
  • John Heyman says the Rickets family is the favorite to buy the Cubs.
  • Ramirez has highlighted Cubs Lineup since 2003: Video from link

Coming Up on my blog:

  • Updates on rumors and News daily as always
  • This week: Finish recapping Cubs Convention segments.
  • Next week: a look at the Cubs prospects, comparing Jim Hendry's off seasons in his time as GM, a look at the Cubs outfield situation, and more.
  • Numbers Breakdown: Big Z VS Peavy

And I'll keep you posted.

Not For Women Only Recap

Kathy and Judy had there annual "Not For Women Only" segment at the Cubs Convention. This years panel featured Reed Johnson, Aaron Miles, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and Ryan Theriot. Here's the recap:
  • The first question was what was your back-up plan if sports didn't work out. Aaron was interested in teaching. Reed said he would have been a physical therapist if he didn't make it in baseball. Sean said that he studied business at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jeff said he through all his eggs in 1 basket, he never thought about anything besides sports. Ryan said that he wasn't sure what he wanted to do. He said when he was in school he wanted to be a game warden.
  • Next question, Is there a sport you suck at?
  • Answers: Jeff: Golf, Ryan: No, Sean: Basketball, Reed- better at Theriot in everything, Aaron- Golf
  • Question: What celebrity turned you into a big dork when you met them?
  • Answers: Reed: Eddie Vetter, Sean: Vince Vaugn, Jeff: Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins, Aaron: Billy Bob Thorton (made him think of Angelina Jo Lee), Ryan: Eddie Vetter
  • Question: What's your opening line if your trapped in an elevator with Angelina Jo Lee?
  • Answers: Aaron: I'm married, Reed: What's Up!, Sean: I wanna be on you, Jeff: I'm not married, Ryan: says he'd stumped and stutter.
  • Question: Who do you have a man crush on?
  • Answers: Reed: Ryan Theriot, Sean: IDK, Jeff: "to caught up on the other side of things". Ryan: Matthew Mcconaughey
  • Question: If you could change one thing on you body what would that be?
  • Answers: Aaron: taller, Reed: better hair, Sean: taller and less crooked head (both jokes), Jeff: smaller feet and hands, Ryan: wants facial hair.
  • Question: What's your body hair situation?
  • Answers; Aaron: leaves hair as it is, Reed: keeps hair nice and trimmed up, Sean: Keeps it neat, Jeff: All my hair is on top of my head, Ryan: stays on top of body hair as much as possible.
  • Question: What is your favorite movie and line from a movie?
  • Answers; Sean: Anchor Man, Aaron: Anchor Man "Don't act like your not impressed." Ryan: I don't watch movies or TV last movie I watched was Finding Nimo, Reed: Dodgeball
  • Question: What's the coolest car you ever had?
  • Jeff: Catalac, Sean: Big Escalade, Reed: 1965 Shelby Cobra, Aaron: 1968 Camaro
  • Question: Are you closer to your mom or dad?
  • Answer; Aaron: equal Sean: Mom, Jeff: Mom, Ryan: Dad
  • Question: What is you favorite snack in the middle of the night?
  • Answers: Reed: Peanut butter, Sean: Peanut butter/banana sandwich, Jeff: ice cream, Ryan: anything junk food
  • Question: Are you a regular at church?
  • Ryan: Yes, Jeff: No, Sean: Yes, Aaron: No
  • Question: Talk about your first kiss.
  • Answer: Jeff: 5th grade at the top row of a Varsity basketball game. Sean: 3rd grade in the classroom during recces, Reed: Theriot, Aaron: Grandma
  • Question: How do you and your families handle it when you get swarmed for autographs? Ryan: embraces it, Jeff: it's humbling as long as people are respectfully it's not a problem. Sean: it's very flattering and its a cool feeling, Reed: know autographs mean a lot to kids Aaron: It's an honor
  • Question: How much cash is in your wallet?
  • Aaron: $300, Reed: $200, Sean: $13 and gift cars, Jeff: a few hundred dollar, Ryan: $300-400
  • Question: What is your cellphone?
  • Sean: Blackberry storm, Reed: Voyager, Aaron: iPhone, Jeff: iPhone, Ryan: Verizon Dare

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cubs Closer Job: Gregg VS Marmol, Harden out of WBC, Blanco signs with Padres, and Wood thanks Cubs fans reports that Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol will compete for the closers job this Spring. Here's quotes from Lou Piniella, Larry Rothschild, Marmol, Gregg, and Ryan Dempster:


  • "Let them compete."

  • "I feel comfortable with Marmol, there's no question. But we traded for the other young man, and he was a closer over there with success. Give him a chance too."


  • "That's really for Lou to decide."
  • "I think Carlos has proved what kind of job he can do in that role. I'd really be surprised if there is anybody who can do it better. We're confident in what he can do"
  • "I think he (Marmol) got a little fatigued at one point and started overthrowing and got into some bad habits."
  • "For about better than a year, he pitcher better than anybody could pitch. There was a bump in the road, and he recovered nicely from it. I don't think any of that is unexpected for a young kid."

Demspster said "Nobody can hit him, he's one of those guys who has a chance to do anything he wants because he has a pretty special arm with electric stuff."

Marmol said, "We'll see what happens."

Kevin Gregg quotes:

  • "I'm going in competing."
  • "I know what I'm capable of; I know what I've done the last couple of years."
  • "I know how to get outs in the 9th innings."
  • "I've kind of covered every role that there possibly can be- minimal starts- but in the bullpen I've covered every role out there."
  • "I'm definitely more comfortable closing the 9th with the game on the line. Hopefully that's where it takes me."
  • "Every game situation is different."
  • "I'm pretty mellow and never had a big spike in adrenaline."
  • "Going to Florida was kind of a culture shock for me."
  • "It'll be nice to go back to 40,000 fans, and fans who are intense about the game and expect to win."
  • "The one thing is we all have one thing in common, we all play baseball."
  • "We all have one goal in common, and that's getting to the World Series and winning. It makes it pretty easy because you have something in common right away, even though you don't know the guy, you have something in common and that makes the connection a little easier."
  • "It takes some time to feel things out. The great thing about the Cubs is the chemistry and atmosphere there is tremendous. that always makes it easy when you know there are good things going on, good people, good ideas. I'm excited to be around it and excited to be a part of it."

We got a few Cubs Notes:

  • Rich Harden will not pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic because of his "on and off" right shoulder. Harden is disappointed but his number 1 priority is the Chicago Cubs.
  • The CCO brought to my attention that Kerry Wood thanked the Cubs fans in the Chicago papers last weekend. He said; "It has been an honor to have been a Chicago Cub for the last 13 years and to have played in the greatest ballpark, Wrigley Field. My deepest thanks go to my teammates and the Cubs organization for taking a chance on a kid from Texas and welcoming me into the Cubs family. Thank you Cubs fans, the greatest fans in all of baseball, for believing in me and supporting me over the years. I will always be proud to have been a Chicago Cub. Although I'm a member of a new 'Tribe', I will forever be a Chicagoan."
  • Henry Blanco has signed a one year deal with the San Diego Padres worth $750,000. In my opinion, the Cubs should have resigned Henry. Rumors say that Paul Bako could sign with the Cubs for $500,000. I would much rather have Henry for only $250,000 more. Blanco was always one of my favorite non-superstars (along with Reed Johnson and Mike Fontenot). I bet the Hank White fan club is disappointed. I'd love to see Blanco come back to the Cubs as a coach down the road.

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

Recap of Meet Cubs Management

WGN Radio did the Meet Cubs Management session at the 2009 Cubs Convention featuring Jim Hendry, Crane Kenney, and Randy Bush. The session was hosted by Dave Eanet and John Williams. Here's my recap:
  • Hendry is frustrated that the Cubs have lost 6 post season games in a row.
  • Jim says that we are "very close to a championship situation."
  • He said that when you lose you all ways try to analyze it. "I don't think we lost our focus," "They want to win so much that the guys got worried and stressed after they lost the first game.
  • Crane was asked for an update about the ownership situation. Kenney think we'll have an owner by opening day.
  • The Cubs have played 2 full seasons being "for sale" but they have won the division both years.
  • Everyone wants to see the ownership situation concluded, including the club.
  • Kenney says that the economy is effecting all 30 clubs in baseball.
  • The Cubs are one of the unique clubs that has a fan base that will support them even when it is a tougher time.
  • John asked how difficult it was to let DeRosa go. Jim said that Mark was a good player and a terrific guy. Hendry's explanation was that the Cubs are trying to get more left handed.
  • The 3 places on the field the Cubs can play a left handed hitter at is right field, center field, and second base. They traded DeRosa to create that 3rd position.
  • The Cubs are going to keep doing what they can until they have a parade.
  • Randy said that the Cubs are really thrilled with their system. He said that Lou has done a nice job of getting the young guy in their when they are brought up. Mitch Atkins, Darwin Barney, and Wellington Castillo are 3 guys that could help the team in the near future.
  • Jeff Samadzija has been told to be prepared to start in Spring Training.
  • They took questions from the crowd. The first question was about Peavy. Jim said that he cannot comment on Peavy because he is a member of another club.
  • Hendry said the Cubs will continue to keep their eye out for starting pitching.
  • "Hopefully we will continue to go out and get big name players," Hendry said.
  • The Cubs are going to be in the top 5 payroll in the big leagues again this year, however the Cubs still do have a payroll.
  • Hendry says that the Cubs really got 3 good players from the Indians.
  • John asked if anyone has asked Bradley to behave a certain way. Hendry said that Bradley is allready a good teamate, and is a good guy to have in the clubhouse.
  • Jim thinks Bradley "has reached a point in his life where he has matured".
  • Hendry said he's never seen a player want to go to a certain team like Bradley wanted to come to the Cubs.
  • The Cubs anticipate that Milton is going to be the everyday right fielder. Jim would be happy with 100-135 games.
  • The Cubs got a positive response from all the players when they signed Bradley.
  • Jim says he never gets caught up in what the other Cubs have done. He mentioned that there are a lot of good players still out there that could end up in our division.
  • Hendry said that the 2004 team was the best team in the NL on paper, but 7 guys were on the DL by the end of May.
  • The Cubs are not going about their bussiness thinking that winning the division is a lot.
  • Crane says that having a priest bless dugout was one of the dumbest 3 things he's done with the Cubs. He says that if he could do it again he wouldn't have.
  • The Cubs 2 goals in the off season were 1.resign Dempster, but 2.Try to get the lineup more flexible. They think that Milton Bradley brings a lot of good things to the ball club.
  • Jim met with Bradley originally in November.
  • Hendry described Dempster as a "gamer", "the real deal", and a "10 human being". Jim says he took less money to sign early with the Cubs.
  • They guys think the team has real good balance. Jim says Lou likes versatile players, and speed game type players.
  • Jim says that the Cubs bullpen has gotten very deep.
  • He doesn't know were things are going in the next 7 weeks, but the Cubs are always open for business. He hopes that by opening day the ball club will be much better than last year.
  • Hendry describe the Rich Hill situation as "very unfortunate". Hill has lost total command of the strike zone. Hill is out of options, and Jim says that he doesn't know whether Hill will get his stuff back in time to make a difference, and mentioned a change of scenery.
  • Jim says that Jose Ceda was still a ways away from coming up to the big leagues and pitching in the 8th and 9th inning like Kevin Gregg can.
  • He described that Marlins organization as "very good baseball people."
  • Carlos Zambrano has the ability to be the postseason ace that the Cubs need. Big Z is still very young for all the experience he has.
  • Crane Kenney says that Sam Zell has been a great owner. Crane has went to Sam and asked to do a lot of things and everything has been approved. Kenney compares Sam to Lou Pinellia, he expects results.
  • Kenney and Zell had one argument.
  • The guys don't seem to think that you can build a team for the postseason.
  • Hendry said that you can't explain what happens in the postseason. He said that if you win the division every year eventually you break the door down.
  • It is a collective decision if someone goes on the DL or is just day-to-day. He says that if someone has to sit out longer than 4-5 days, sometimes it is better to put the guy on the 15 day DL, and then call someone up so that you don't have to play with less than 25 guys.
  • Jim says he's never had a relationship with a player like he has with Kerry Wood.
  • Hendry says that he felt that a 3 year deal was not in the Cubs best interest. He says that a one year deal was never discussed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cubs avoid arbitration with Wuertz, Invite 21 to Spring Training, other Cubs notes

  • The Cubs have agreed to a one year, $1.1 million dollar deal with Micheal Wuertz, avoiding arbitration.
  • Former Cub manager Dusty Baker went to Washington D.C. to watch the inauguration today. Dusty met Barack O'bama several times when he was managing the Cubs.
  • The Cubs have also signed Mike Stanton to a minor league deal today, Stanton missed the entire 2008 season, but is a former all star. For his stats click his name on this list bellow.
  • There is actually a movie coming out about die-hard Cubs fan Ronnie "Woo Woo". Click here for the trailer on Woo-Woo's webstie.

The Cubs have also invited 21 non-roster players to spring training. 11 pitchers;

And postion players;

click on the players name for stats.

Plenty of Cubs Rumors on this Tuesday:

  • The Sun-Times say that the Cubs trade for Garrett Olson doesn't signal a return to focusing on Peavy.
  • Lee Hamilton said that there could be a 5 for 1 pitching heavy deal sending Peavy to the Cubs.
  • Sandy Alderson said on Friday that he expects Peavy to be with San Diego on Opening Day. However, Alderson did push back the day that he would announce that Peavy will definitely be with the Padres, from mid-January to February 1st.
  • One headline in the San Diego Union Tribune Sports section said; Cubs Are Still Likely to Go After Peavy. The other said: Padres still $5 Million Over Budget.
  • The Union-Tribune reports Josh Vitters should be in possible deals, along with Kevin Hart.
  • Lee Hamilton said he is hearing Sean Marshall, Garrett Olson, Kevin Hart, and Jeff Stevens to the Padres for Peavy.
  • Bruce Miles said that the Cubs might take a look at Jose Ascanio as a starter in Iowa if he doesn't make the team.
  • Miles also reports that Jim Hendry could be shopping for a free agent back-up infielder.
  • Tom Krasovic thinks that the Padres will have to trade Peavy or Giles or both to relieve payroll.
  • Reports say that Peavy's e-mail is overflowing and that Jake will not do any interviews about the situation. He will remain in "cone-of-silence mode" until Spring Training.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New owner coming, Signs pointing toward Peavy is reporting that the Cubs are planning on naming their new owner by the middle of this week. I hope finally the ownership situation will be over.

I've avoided talking about nothing but Peavy on this blog like some sites do, but there are a lot of signs that point toward the Cubs trading for Peavy. Here's a list:

  • DeRosa traded for 3 minor league pitchers.
  • Pie traded for Olson who interests Padres.
  • Marquis traded for Vizcaino.
  • Hendry says things like, "Don't judge my moves until opening day."

Hopefully, when the ownership thing is finally over, we'll get the news that Peavy will be wearing blue pinstripes.

A few other notes,

  • Ken Rosenthal says that if the Cubs make another big move it will be Peavy. They are not interested in Orlando Hudson.
  • Sources say that the Cubs are 1 of 8 teams interested in Andruw Jones.
  • Pitcher Kris Benson will work out for the Cubs and 3 other teams next Saturday.

I'll keep you posted.

Tons of Cubs are in WBC

Here's the list of Cubbies that are on the 45 man rosters for the WBC.

  • Ted Lilly; USA
  • Derrek Lee; USA
  • former Cub Mark DeRosa; USA
  • Rich Harden; Canada
  • Carlos Marmol; Dominican Republic
  • Alfonso Soriano; Dominican Republic
  • former Cub Moises Alou; Domincan Republic
  • Kosuke Fukudome; Japan
  • Geovany Soto; Puerto Rico
  • Jose Ascaino; Venezueala
  • Angel Guzman; Venezueala
  • Carlos Zambrano; Venezuala
  • Former Cub Henry Blanco; Venezaula

If all the guys make the 28-man roster, the Cubs could be short handed in Spring Training. That's 10 current guys on the Cubs 40-man roster playing. We'll have updates on stats for all Cubs playing in the WBC this March on this blog.

Cubs Minor Leaguers;

  • catcher Chris Robinson; Canada
  • infielder Dwayne Kemp; Netherlands
  • pitcher Hung-Wen Chen; Chinese Taipei
  • Alex Maestri; Italy
  • pitcher Ryan Searle; Australia reports that Zambrano may not participate. Soto may not make the team for the Dominican because they have many talented catchers including Ivan Rodrigez and the Molina brothers. Rich Harden and some of the other Cubs have yet to decide whether they will play or not.

I'll keep you posted.

Cubs sign 4 players to Minor League Deals

Rotoworld and Baseball America are reporting that the Cubs have signed Japanese pitcher Ken Kadokura, Matt Smith, Erick Almonte, and Joseph Colon to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training. Kadokura is a right handed pitcher, Smith is a left handed pitcher, Almonte is a third baseman, and Colon is a short stop. Here's some stats:
Matt Smith
Ken Kadokura
Erick Almonte

Couldn't find anything for Colon. Here's what my google search showed. If you find his stats please post a link in my comments.

It looks like Almonte played in the big league with the Yankees in 2001 and 2003. He's been in the minors with the Rockies and Tigers organizations since 2004. In 2008 he hit .258 with a .349 OBP at AAA.

We know about Kadokura. He's pitched with Japan his whole career. He will be added to the bullpen mix that a talked about in my post earlier. He can be a buddy for Kosuke in spring training along with So Taguchi who the Cubs signed last week.

Smith has played with the Phillies organization. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2007. He also played with the Yankees in 2006, appearing in 12 big league games.

More info to come...

Cubs avoid arb. w/ Kevin Gregg, A Look at the Bullpen Mix

The Cubs avoided arbitration with Kevin Gregg today by agreeing to a one year 4.2 million dollar contract. Gregg will be a free agent at the end of the year.

There's a lot of guys in the mix for the Cubs bullpen going into spring training:
  • Jose Ascanio
  • Mitch Atkins
  • Justin Berg
  • Neal Cotts
  • Chad Gaudin
  • Kevin Gregg
  • Angel Guzman
  • Kevin Hart
  • Rich Hill
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Sean Marshall
  • Marcos Mateo
  • Garrett Olson
  • David Patton
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Jeff Stevens
  • Luis Vizcaino
  • Randy Wells
  • Mike Wuertz
  • Chad Fox

To break it down a little here are the guys definetly in the bullpen in my opinion:

  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Neal Cotts
  • Kevin Gregg

That leaves 3 spots open. I think Marshall will be in the rotation, Olson and Hill will be on other teams. So for me it comes down to:

  • Bullpen spot 4; probably Chad Gaudin in middle relief.
  • Long Man: . Kevin Hart, Angel Guzman, Jeff Stevens, and David Patton are all in the mix.
  • A second lefty?: The Cubs could take 2 of the guys mentioned as possible long men, but they might want a second lefty in the pen. There is a possibility that southpaw will be Olson, Marshall, or Hill. It could be someone not on my list who's in the organization like the guy from the DeRosa deal or Carmen Pignatello. Or the Cubs could add a left handed pitcher to the mix.
  • Luis Vizcaino, the guy the Cubs got in the Marquis deal, could fill that 7th spot in the rotation instead of another left handed pitcher or another long man.
  • Jose Ascanio, Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, Marcos Mateo, and Randy Wells will almost certainly begin the year at AA or AAA. Chad Fox and Mike Wuertz could be headed back to the minors or could part ways with the team.

There's a lot of possibilities for the bullpen. Later in the week, I'll have a breakdown of the outfield.

Also, with the Cubs aquiring Garrett Olson the Peavy talk is heating up again. Olson is a guy that the Padres do have interest in. It is hard to say whether this deal is so the Cubs can trade for Peavy or if it is just to add an arm to the 5th starter/ bullpen mix. Some sources say Peavy is on his way out of San Diego, others say that he will be with the Padres on Opening Day. We can only wait.

The World Baseball Classic Roster Special is tonight on the MLB Network. I'll have post later with full WBC rosters.

I'll keep you posted on everything as always.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Loads of Cubs links

Plenty of good stuff to come.

Notes from Day 3, Pie traded, other Notes

Well, the 2009 Cubs Convention is in the books. Today was the last chance for autographs. We spent some time on autos today and ended up with Lee Smith and Alan Trammel. The only session worth going to today was "Down on the Farm". Oneri Fleita and Tim Wilton talked about the Cubs minor league organization with Micheal Huang from Vineline. Cubs minor leaguers Darwin Barney and Brandon Guyer were also a part of this panel. This session provided a lot of good info:
  • Oneri was asked to give 1 hitter and 1 pitcher in the minors who he thought would have a big impact on the big league team some day. He said Andrew Cashner for the pitcher and Ty Wright for the position player.
  • They revieled that only about 13 percent of guys who play in the minors make it to the bigs.
  • They also talked about how the team gets ready for the draft. Tim says that they have a board with about 900 guys and then they look at the team need. Wilkins added that if there is a very talented player, you take him no matter what position he plays.
  • Tyler Colvin is recovering from surgery and will be at Class A Daytona to start the season because of the warm weather in Daytona and because they use a DH is A ball.
  • Sam Fuld is recovering from his injuries and Oneri expects him to be on the big league radar in 2009.
  • Spring Training will be a "last chance" for Rich Hill who is out of options or else the Cubs will have to part ways with him.
  • Darwin and Brandon talked about being drafted. Darwin had baseball practice so he didn't find out that he got drafted by the Cubs until he got a phone call. Brandon was watching the draft with his dad. Guyer said he would have been better of not watching all the rounds go by until he finally got drafted.
  • Wilkins and Fleita said that Wellington Castillo should be at AAA this year. The Cubs feel confident with their depth at each position in the system.

News has just broke that Felix Pie traded. Ken Rosenthal and the Sun-Times are reporting that the Cubs and Orioles have agreed to a deal that would send Pie to the O's in exchange for pitchers Garrett Olson and Henry Williamson. The Padres were rumored to be interested in acquiring Olson in a Peavy deal. Williamson pitched at Single-A in 2008. Here are the stats for Olson and for Williamson. is reporting that the deal is official.

A few other Cubs Notes:

  • Carlos Zambrano is going to have LASIK surgery on his eyes.
  • Most Cubs fans have good first impression of Milton Bradley because he signed tons of autographs all weekend long at the Convention. On the other hand, Big Z wouldn't sign at all after his sessions.
  • Lou was MIA all weekend because he has the stomach flue.
  • Santo wasn't seen after the opening ceremony because he wasn't feeling well.
  • The Iowa Cubs will play a game at Wrigley on Aug. 9 like the Peoria Chiefs did last year.
  • Sweet Lou reveled that he plans to read some books on sports physiology and winning.

The Convention was amazing. Lots of great places to buy stuff, very organized, lots of people but very spread out, most players are nice and sign autographs, and lots of good sessions with good inside info. I highly recommend going if you can.

I'll have more links and recaps from convention segments throughout the week. And of coarse, I'll keep you posted on all rumors and news.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cubs Convention Day 2

Another amazing day at the Cubs Convention. You should have seen the lines for autographs today! I didn't bother with waiting in lines, but instead spent most of the day watching Cubs sessions.

The first session I saw today was Cubs Jeopardy. The 1984 Cubs battle with the 2009 Cubs answering Cubs trivia questions. The host was Pat Hughes. Pat is a very funny guy. Today he retold the story about the time Ron Santo's hairpiece caught on fire at Shea Stadium. The 1984 team was made up of Keith Moreland, Rick Reuschel, Tim Stoddard, and Steve Trout. The '09 team was mad up of Kevin Gregg, Koyie Hill, Milton Bradley, and Neal Cotts. The 2009 team came out on top. Hill was the only guy who knew a lot about the Cubs. Gregg only buzzed in once and got it wrong. Bradley got a few right, and Cottsy only buzzed in once, but at least got his question right. The '84 team had to take the mic and bell away from Trout because he kept buzzing in with wrong answers. Several "official protests" were made by the '84 team and judge Dave Otto (former Cubs pitcher) had to make a call. After the session, the guys signed autographs and I was lucky enough to get Milton Bradley, as well as Gregg and Hill. The categories included; Cubs MVPs, Gold Gloves, 2008 Cubs, and 7th inning stretch singers. The Cubs jepordy was awesome, one of my favorite sessions of the day.

The next session I went to was called "Game Day Experience" hosted by Cory Provus and Nick Digilio with guests Ted Lilly, Mike Fontenot, Kevin Hart, Koyie Hill, and Joey Gathright. Joey shared that he has tried to jump over a car before and failed. Hill and Fontenot shared a story about a strange superstition they had in AAA. I'll have more details on my full recaps of the WGN Radio shows later this coming week.

From 1-2 was the "Welcome to Wrigley" session. The voice of the Cubs Pat Hughes hosted this session where Cub fans welcomed Milton Bradley, Aaron Miles, Kevin Gregg, and Joey Gathright. All 3 of these guys are exited to be in this great city, with these great fans. Gregg mentioned that they don't get near as many fans in Florida and they do at Wrigley. Miles talked about how much bigger Cubs Convention is than the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up. Gathright seems to enjoy all the attention from the faithfull.

After lunch, we headed to "The Magic of '84" segment". Host Wayne Messmer chatted about that magical season with Ryan Sandberg, Jody Davis, Bob Dernier, Lee Smith, Scott Sanderson,
Steve Trout, and Tim Stoddard. Ryno also talked about the possibility of being the next Cubs manager. The "Ryan Sandberg Game" was also a hot topic.

"Making History" was a phenomenal sessions. Cub fans got the opportunity ask Carlos Zambrano all about his No-No at Miller Park on Sept. 14, 2008. Big Z said that he was hoping that Lilly would get his no hitter the next day. When asked, he said that the Cubs fans had a impact on his remarkable night. Larry Rothchild was also on this panel to talk about that night. Larry said that he was the only guy who would talk to Carlos in the dugout when he hadn't given up a hit later in the game. Len Kasper, the host of the session, argued with a lady about whether or not Len should annoucne that Carlos had a no-hitter on the broadcast. The lady said it was bad luck. Len argued that he was paid to inform viewers who were just tuning in. Z said he's not superstitious. Carlos also talked about the thing he does in the dugout where he hits Fontenot on the head like he's the hammer, and Little Babe Ruth acts like the nail. Geovany Soto was scheduled to be there, but he could not make it to the convention. The "Making History" session was a great one. Carlos refused to sign any autographs afterwords.

No good Cubs sessions after 5:00 however, the only thing going on is the "Rock 'n Roll Revue from 8-midnight. Things wrap up tomorrow at about noon, I'll have the recap of Day 3 when I get back home. Really the only session tomorrow is the "Down On the Farm".

BTW: Milton Bradley gave Cubs fans a good first impression by signing tons of autos today.
I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cubs Convention Day 1

Wow! The Cubs convention is amazing! Everywhere you looks there's Cubs fans! Things got started at 5:00 with the opening ceremonies. Pat Hughes introduced the former Cubs first. Next they bought out the 2009 Chicago Cubs. The loudest cheers of the night were for Milton Bradley and, of course, Ron Santo. After the intro, they showed video highlights of the 2008 Chicago Cubs. Each of the former and current Cubs had a hat with them and they tossed them into the crowd.

Next up was the "autograph treasure hunt". They give you a map and you have to search the hotel for these spots where former Cubs are signing. I ended up getting Randy Hundley's autograph.

Next we went to the Sports Central show. I missed the first half, but did see David Kaplan talk to Reed Johnson, Ryan Dempster, Aaron Miles, and Ted Lilly. The guys told some good stories including the story about how Miles was being held hostage in Spring Training with Houston one year. Pat Hughes, Len Kasper, and Bob Brenly came on for the last half hour. Much to every one's disappointment, Ron Santo wasn't feeling well so he was resting in his room. I'll have a full recap of the Sports Central show sometime next week.

There are Cubs fans waiting all over the hotel hoping to get autographs. Just walking around we've seen Matt Sinatro, Mike Quade, Lester Strode, Jim Hendry, Fergie Jenkins, Bob Brenly, and Randy Wells.

I'll have a recap of a Day 2 tomorrow night.

I'm Headed for the Convention

Well, at the last minute I landed weekend passes for the Cubs Convention. Over the weekend I'll be blogging to tell you about it. I can't wait!

I'll have an update tonight when I get back to my hotel room.

Cubs Sign So Taguchi

The Cubs have reportedly signed outfielder So Taguchi to a minor league deal. reports that the team will announce its non-roster invitees to spring training next week. The Cubs have also agreed to a deal to avoid arbitration with Ronny Cedeno. Taguchi will make $900,000 if he makes the team, and Cedeno will make 822,500 in 2009.

So Taguchi Notes:
  • Played with St. Louis from 2002-07 and with the Phillies in 2008.
  • Career Numbers: .279 BA, .332 OBP, .385 SLG
  • 08 Numbers: .220 BA, .283 OBP, .297 SLG, 0 HR, 9 RBI
  • Played 38 games in left, 11 in right, and 1 in center in 2008.
  • Also played 3 career games at 2B.
  • 39 years old
  • bats and throws right
  • Japanese

So now the outfield mix includes Milton Bradley, Joey Gathright, Alfonso Soriano, Reed Johnson, Kosuke Fukudome, Felix Pie, So Taguchi, and Micah Hoffpauir.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Notes from Cubs Luncheon

Q&A with Jim Hendry at the Cubs Caravan Luncheon notes;

  • Jim Hendry was asked what trade he regrets most that he has made recently. He said he regrets giving up 3 young pitchers for Juan Pierre.
  • Hendry was also asked about Micah Hoffpauir, he said that Micah would have to earn a spot on the Cubs, and Hendry thinks Hoffpauir earn a spot. He could be a left handed bat off the bench similar to the role Ward had last year.
  • Hendry was asked about Felix Pie. It seems like Pie will have to have an awesome spring to remain in the Cubs organization. When the Cubs signed Gathright, I think it was clear to everyone that Pie will probably get traded.
  • Jim called Rich Hill's situation "sad".
  • Hendry of coarse was asked about trading DeRosa. He explained that they decided that trading DeRosa was necessary to help get more left handed.
  • When asked about clubhouse chemistry he said "there's not a bad guy in that clubhouse."
  • The Cubs want to sign a left handed bat to compete with Hill as back up catcher.
  • Jim confirmed that Henry Blanco will not be back next year.
  • The Cubs are not done and will continue to look for starting pitching, however they are very confortable with what they have.
  • Hendry mentioned Gaudin, Samadzija, and Marshall as guys that could possibly move into the rotation.
  • Hendry expects that the team will have a new owner by opening day.
  • The Cubs feel they have added more speed and defense. They will continue to try to get better by opening day.
  • Mike Fontenot should receive more ABs in 2008.
  • Jim says that the lineup is up to Lou and the staff. The Cubs like their outfield situation. They're optimistic about Kosuke having a strong second year.
  • The Cubs feel they have 2 closers right now with Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol.
  • Hendry says he would be "very confortable" with Cotts and Marshall as the lefty's in the pen.
  • Jim says that if we went to camp tommorrow the Cubs would have 28-30 pitchers in camp.
  • Theriot, Miles, Fontenot, Gathright, Johnson, Fukudome, and Soriano could all hit lead off.
  • Angel Guzman had a great winter. If he's healthy, Jim thinks that he could make this team.
  • Jim says who leads off is "totally up to the manager".

It should be a fun weekend.

Plenty of Cubs Rumors

Here's the Latest Cubs rumors and news;
  • The Cubs may offer Rich Aurillia a 1 year deal according to Paul Sullivan.
  • Randy Wolf is still a possibility for the Cubs.
  • reports that Felix Pie and Rich Hill are out of time to impress. They are both out of options along with Guzman and Cedeno. These guy all could be on other ballclubs by opening day.
  • also reports that Sean Marshall could be too valuable in the bullpen to be moved into the rotation.
  • 2009 Cubs slogan from Ernie Banks; "The Cubs will be Divine, in 2009!"
  • Sweet Lou was not on the Cubs caravan yesterday because he has a viral infection. He is expected to be at the convention this weekend.
  • The Cubs are not planning on bringing Henry Blanco back. Koy Hill will be the back up catcher if the Cubs don't sign another catcher.
  • Bruce Miles says the Cubs will sign Paul Bako to compete for the job.
  • Jim Hendry mentioned that Milton Bradley could hit 4th in the Cubs lineup in 2009.
  • Jim Hendry will meet with the new owner of the Cubs as soon as the sale is complete to discuss Peavy.
  • Fred Mitchell says that Jeff Samardzija wants to be the Cubs 5th starter.

I'll keep you posted.

Valpo High Cubs Caravan Event

Last night I was at Valpo High School in Indiana at an event for the Cubs caravan. The roads weren't the best, but I made it. The member of the Cubs organization in attendance were:
Neal Cotts
Jeff Samardzija
Sean Marshall
Ivan DeJesus
Matt Sinatro
Darwin Barney
Oneri Fleita
Len Kasper
Lester Strode

After the singing of the National Anthem was the autograph session. When you came in, everyone was given a random card with one of the 9 people listed name on it (I got Cotts).
The autographs were very well organized.

Next up was the Q&A. People from the crowd (mostly kids) asked questions to the players/coaches. Len Kasper hosted this session. A lot of funny question were asked by the kids. Most of the questions were for Samardzija because he grew up and went to high school in Valpo. Some of the funny questions:
Neal Cotts was asked, "Will the Cubs get any new uniforms this year?"
Matt Sinatro was asked, "Where will Gathright bat in the Cubs lineup?"
Jeff Samardzija was asked "What kind of shampoo do you use?"
Oneri Fleita was asked, "Why'd you take away Mark DeRosa?"

I really enjoyed the Q&A. Afterwords, the mayor of the city lead the crowd in "Go Cubs Go" and the seventh inning stretch. Next up was a live auction, followed by a raffle.

If an event like this comes back to the area, I'll be there.

More posts to come tonite...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow let it snow

Even though it's freezing and snowy outside in the Chicago land area, Cubs Fans attending the Cubs Convention or a Cubs Caravan event will get a taste of summer.

Even if you aren't going to an event, we'll have full Cubs Coverage from the Convention and caravan on this blog.

Here are a few Cubs related notes:
  • Mark Prior has signed a minor league deal with the Padres.
  • The Giants could trade Noah Lowry. The Cubs could be an option.
  • Derrek Lowe has signed with the Braves.
  • Former Cubs manager Preston Gomez died yesterday at the age of 85. He was to Cubs manager in 1980.
  • Joel Sherman reports that the Cubs could trade Alfonso Soriaono to the Rangers for Micheal Young.
  • The Star Telegram says that the Rangers could seek Rich Hill and Josh Vitters for Young.

Also Cory Provus is blogging about the Cubs caravan on

More to come...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's time for some Answers

Well, we have the questions. Now all we need is the answers. Lou and Jimmy will be pounded with questions all week long on the Cubs caravan (Wed.-Thurs) and at the Cubs Convention (Fri.-Sun.). Most of the questions are about Lou's lineup. Here's 10 questions to be answered over the next 5 days.

1. Where will Milton Bradley fit in the Cubs batting order?
2. Who will be the 5th starter for the Cubs?
3. Who will play more at second base; Fontenot or Miles?
4. Why did the Cubs trade Mark DeRosa?
5. Is the Peavy deal really dead?
6. What will happen to Rich Hill, Felix Pie, and Ronny Cedeno?
7. Where does Joey Gathright fit in to this club?
8. Will Micah Hoffpauir be on the 25 man roster?
9. Is Kosuke going to be with the big league club all year no matter what?
10. Will Jeff Samadzija start the year in the bullpen, rotation, or at AAA.

The questions will be asked, but most will not be answered until Spring Training.

Bring on the Convention!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Len Kasper and Ameet Sachbev on Sports Central

Big news: David Kaplan reports that the Cubs sale should be done by the end of the week.

Len Kasper talked with David Kaplan on Sports Central:
  • Len says that Milton Bradley gets on base a lot. Len likes that he is a switch hitter who can split up Lee and Ramirez in the lineup.
  • Kasper is hopeful that the Cubs offense could be even better than last year.
  • Kap thinks that chemistry in the locker room is a bit over-rated at times.
  • Len pointed out that nobody wanted to see Wood and DeRosa go, but pointed out that DeRosa is a free agent at the end of next year and Woody would have cost a lot of money.
  • They pointed out that the core of this team has not changed.
  • Len sees Hoffpauir filling Ward's role.
  • Kasper really likes platoons and says Lou will use a platoon at second base and in center.
  • He thinks that Lou will have more options off the bench in 2009.
  • Kaplan thinks Andy Pettitte makes a lot of sense. Len agrees and says that Andy would be a 1 year deal and not cost you any players in a trade.
  • Len points out that lots of guys don't have contracts yet for 2009.
  • Dave and Len both watched the Cubs-Pirates game that was played on the MLB Network last night.
  • The Len and Bob Bash is on Thursday night. The guys will have several good bands this year and says tickets are still available but going fast at

David Kaplan is hearing that the Clap Group and the Rickets Group are out in front. He says that the Tom Rickets is most likely to get approval by baseball. The Rickets family is #1 in the running right now. Tom Rickets has been a big Cubs fan for a long time.

Kap had Ameet Sachbev of the Chicago Tribune on the show to talk about the sale of the team.

  • Sachbev says there is more urgency to sell the teams since the holidays are over.
  • He says that there is a push to get final bids in by Friday.
  • Ameet thinks that the winner in the auction could be determined by the end of the week.
  • He says the Trib. will be very careful before selling the team.
  • Kap says that MLB could reject any owner that they don't want no matter who bids what.
  • Sachbev says he thinks it would be very difficult for baseball to reject any of the 3 finalist who are bidding on the Chicago Cubs.
  • Ameet doesn't want to give his opinion and favor any of the 3 candidates.
  • He thinks that going back to last summer, the Rickets family is a very appealing bidder because they will keep family control of the Cubs and they want this to be a lasting generational investment for their family.
  • Tom Rickets met his wife a Wrigley Field, Hersh Clapp also is a Chicago sports guy who has kept a low profile but he has a love of sports and the Cubs.
  • Sachbev thinks Cub fans should be happy to get an owner who are fans of the team.
  • The use the term "coming down to the wire".

Plenty coming up throughout the week.

I'll keep you posted.

Dawson, Lee, and Grace fall short of Hall

Andre Dawson came up short again. This was his 8th year on the ballot. He received 67% of the vote, 75% is needed. Dawson should be a Hall of Famer. I find it unbelievable that Dawson and Ron Santo are not Hall of Famers.

Rickey Henderson (94.8%) and Jim Rice (76.4%) are the 2 players that will go into the Hall in July. Dawson was 3rd in the voting. Lee Smith was 5th in the voting with 44.5%. Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell received 17.4%, Mark Grace only got 4.1%, and Dan Plesac got 0 votes.

Will The Hawk and/or Ronny ever be Hall of Famers? It's hard to say.

Cubs Rumors:
  • and Partrick Newman of NPB Tracker are reporting that the Cubs are close to signing left handed pitcher Ken Takahashi. This make sense because the Cubs can add a lefty to help Cotts out in the pen, get a guy who could spot start, and help Kosuke feel more comfortable by signing a Japanese player. However Takahahi is 40 years old, and his stats are not amazing.
  • Cubs officials deny the reports that say they are close to a deal with Takahashi.
  • John Moores will likely be the majority owner for the Padres, and he will have to cut the payroll from 73 million to 40 million before opening day. This could increase the chances that Peavy will be traded to the Cubs.
  • People in San Diego think that Peavy is on his way out.
  • Bruce Levine doesn't seem as confident that he was a week ago that the Cubs will get Peavy.
Lots of good stuff coming up this week. More posts later...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hall of Fame?

Well tomorrow is the day that we find out who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this July. 3 notable Cubs are up for the Hall; Andre Dawson, Lee Smith, and Mark Grace. Here's my thoughts;

Dawson- The Hawks is a Hall of Famer. He should already be in and I am very confident that he is going to get in. He had a HOF carreer in the outfield.

Smith- He also should be in. However, I'm not as confident that he will be inducted this year as I am that Dawson will. Nothing would surprise me anymore with these voters.

Grace- I think that Gracey could be in the Hall someday down the road. However, there's not a very could chance that he'll be put in as a first ballot Hall of Famer. articles about Grace, Dawson, and Smith seeking the Hall of Fame.

Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell and former Cub Dan Plesac are also on the ballot.
The MLB Network and will have live coverage of the announcement tomorrow afternoon.

The Cubs have announced the list of past and present Cubs that will attend the convention next weekend. Here it is:
Ernie Banks
Darwin Barney
Glen Beckert
Milton Bradley
Bob Brenly
Bill Buckner
Randy Bush
Jose Cardenal
Neal Cotts
Doug Dascenzo
Jody Davis
Ryan Dempster
Bobby Denier
Leon Durham
Oneri Fleita
Mike Fontenot
Joey Gathright
Doug Glanville
Kevin Gregg
Brandon Guyer
Rich Harden
Kevin Hart
Jim Hendry
Koyie Hill
Micah Hoffpauir
Pat Hughes
Randy Hundley
Fergie Jenkins
Reed Johnson
Len Kasper
Crane Kenney
Ted Lilly
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Aaron Miles
Keith Moreland
Dave Otto
Gerald Perry
Lou Piniella
Mike Quade
Rick Reuschel
Larry Rothchild
Jeff Samardzija
Ryne Sandberg
Scott Sanderson
Ron Santo
Matt Sinatro
Lee Smith
Alfonso Soriano
Geovany Soto
Tim Stoddard
Lester Strode
Ryan Theriot
Alan Trammell
Steve Trout
Randy Wells
Billy Williams
Carlso Zambrano

It should be a fun week.
I'll keep you posted.