TCR Friday Notes

There's only one other combination that would have made the World Series any less interesting for most Cubs fans. I'm really not sure how to go about rooting in this series. Sure I'd have to hear it from my White Sox friends if they won, but that might be better than watching Roy Oswalt win one or Berkman. To the notes: - Anyone else think this vacuum of silence over the last few weeks is a calculated plan by the Cubs brass and PR departments to stay low? The less noise we make over here on the north side, the less people will notice that we finished below .500 despite a substantially higher payroll then that other team in Chicago who'll be playing for a World Series this week. I see one of two things happening this off-season because of the White Sox success. Option #1) Endorsed by Jim Hendry himself is that the Cubs stay the course and do whatever they were planning to do this off-season anyway. Not sure what that course is, but I think it involves accumulating every "versatile", light-hitting middle infielder available. Option #2) That the Cubs PR department isn't about to let the White Sox steal their thunder and there are some discussions going behind closed doors that the Cubs need to make some splashy moves this off-season. I'm not saying expensive, cause when you work for the Trib you stick to the budget, rain, wind or snow. But I do think splashy, some trade or free agent signing that will bring in one of those players that people can't help but talk about. The first name that comes to mind is Manny Ramirez, but he is grossly expensive, a headcase and will make us remember just how good Jason Dubois and Moises Alou actually were in left field. But the boy can rake. All speculation on my part, but one of the advantages of being owned by a mega-conglomerate is the PR department is ready to go at a moments notice. - Current AFL Stats:
B. Sing        .320/.419/.600 5/8 BB/K in 25 AB's
E. Patterson .194/.257/.258 3/6 BB/K in 31 AB's 2/3 in Stolen Bases
B. Coats       .444/.500/.556 1/1 BB/K in 9 AB's
M. Murton    .428/.472/.667 3/4 BB/K in 33 AB's 8 Doubles
A. Guzman   6.75 ERA, 6/10 BB/K, 0 HR, 10.2 IP
J. Koronka    0.00 ERA, 1/9 BB/K, 0 HR, 7.0 IP 2 Saves
D. Aardsma  12.00 ERA, 6/7 BB/K, 1 HR, 9.0 IP
Guzman pitched two days ago, and had an uncharateristic bout of wildness, 4 walks in 3 innings and only one strikeout. He ended up with the loss giving up 2 runs in 3 innings. Koronka has been the Solar Sox's closer of late and best pitcher, picking up 2 saves so far. Cubs Director of Player Development Oneri Fleita said, "nothing should be read into Koronkaís recent appearances late in games; Koronka is only getting innings in wherever possible." I don't know about that though. Koronka's average fastball, and average changeup I'm sure would strike the fear of God into most hitters come the ninth inning. - Adam Greenberg is living it up in Venezuelan Winter League Ball and writing about it for Milb.com. I found the league's official site which they had the audacity to write in Spanish, but thanks to the beauty of Altavista's Babel Fish, we get the following translatations. Original Spanish text:
Anzo·tegui se fue arriba en la sÈptima entrada, gracias al hit de Adam Greenberg, un wild pitch de Lira , y jonrÛn por encima de la barda izquierda de Infante
Translated by Babel Fish:
Anzo·tegui went above in the seventh entrance, thanks to hit of Adam Greenberg, wild pitch of Lira, and home run over the left horse armor of Infant.
Okay, it's not a perfect technology. The infant they speak of is actually Tiger Omar Infante, he's one of the recognizable names down there along with Cubbie Henry Blanco, and ex-Cubbies Chad Meyers and Jose Nieves among the position players.. I also spotted Pat Mahomes (ex-Cub too, right?), minor leaguer Jesus Yepez, Andy Pratt, Ed Yarnall, and abuser Carlos Vasquez. Felix Pie also began playing in the Dominican Winter League and went 2 for 4 in his first game with a double and triple. I'll try and poke around the other winter league sites and see if any other Cubbies have joined teams. -Corey's working on his swing and getting back to basics. Been there, done that, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Free Agent News - The Phils offered another contract to potential free agent Billy Wagner. Wagner seems determined to test the free agent waters or wait for the Phils to hire ex-Astro GM Gerry Hunsicker. It looks like he wants 3 years and $30 million and a no-trade clause. - Furcal and the Braves are going to talk next week about a new deal. Doubtful they'll agree on anything before the free agency period begins. - Carlos Lee's option was picked up by the Brewers for next year. No shocker there. Go Astros!!! I think, maybe Go White Sox, Okay, I really don't care.
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Comments

Regarding Ramirez, I'll concede he's out of shape, is a horrific outfielder, doesn't hustle, and has a sosalike presence in the clubhouse; but come on one out of every 3 or 4 trips to the plate he hits the ball hard. And everyone knows it's hitting that wins championships, not pitching and defense.
I say let's get Manny, Adam Dunn, and maybe DuBois back and just mash or whiff.
You people are unbelievabile. You sit there and watch the Sosa era, watch the F'ing Sox, Astro & Cardinals play smart baseball well into October, and you wonder if Kingman would be willing to try a comeback.

BFT,

Dunn and Manram do more than mash or whiff they both had .380 or plus OBP. They can hit it would be a privllege to have them on the Cubs. A Dunn/Manram-some guy in CF-Murton would be an excellent of for next year.

Rob,

The trib is also about making money. The Sox going to the WS probably will give the abality to have a 90 MIL payroll if it means keeping Konerko and keeping arb guys like AJ and Garland. So they will have the same team next year. If they win and we do not how many moderate Cub fans will switch sides? The trib might increase payroll if they can make sure they can win next year. By increase I mean maybe spending 110 instead of the 105 they spent in 04.

Did I misread the line for B. Sing, or did he have 86 strikeouts in 25 at-bats? I knew he was a wild swinger, but that's one for the books.

BFT,

Cause the Atlanta Braves Pitching and Defense philosophy has netted so many championships.

I would kill five Sox fans to get ManRam on this team. Like I said, IF we could get Manny, we can let Nomar walk and keep Neifi.

ChiFan,

I can't believe you would seriously consider that option but you're welcome to it. I love OBP guys, but OBP is a great stat for evaluating table setters, not lumbering defensive liabilities who are supposed to drive them in. Dunn was 3rd in MLB in walks and hit less than .250. Ramirez was in the top 20 in MLB in walks and hit 297. That screams $20MM a year to me.
Ask yourself two questions: when DLee was up in an RBI situation, how often did you root for him to walk? And,where do they hold the parade for the OBP winners every year?

"And everyone knows it's hitting that wins championships, not pitching and defense."

Yup...Just ask the Sox and the Stros.

Manny does a lot of great things. He's a great hitter. But if the cost is 20mm + a high end prospect, I'd pass. Now if Boston really wants to dump him, and will pay some, or take a bad contract off our shoulders, I'd be interested. I can't evaluate Manny as an absolute - since it requires more details to know if he is worth the price.

Chad,
"I would kill five Sox fans to get ManRam on this team."
Now there's the first compelling reason I've heard to get Ramirez. Beyond that I can't agree.

The Braves argument is awfully weak. The 14 division championships mean nothing? They have as many world championships as we have division championships in the same timeframe.
Lord, would I love to bitch about 14 division flags and only one World Series title.

One more and I'm out of here for a while..

"And everyone knows it's hitting that wins championships, not pitching and defense." I didn't think it was necessary to explain, but I was being sarcastic. Even Tim McCarver knows the axiom is the exact opposite.

BFt,

14 division championships means NOTHING!!!!!! Then only championship that matters is the World Series. I would rather be the Marlins than the Braves ANYDAY OF THE WEEK.

If Manny Ramirez goes anywhere, I would bet it will be to Arizona for RHP Javier Vazquez (who wants to play for an east coast team) and either 3B Troy Glaus or LF Luis Gonzalez (who has a $10 mil club option for 2007 that the D'backs will NEVER exercise, and he knows it). Diamondbacks President Jeff Moorad was Manny's long-time agent and is still a close friend.

If the Red Sox would agree to pick-up Gonzo's $10 mil option for 2007, I would think he would waive his 10/5 rights and agree to the trade. If the Red Sox don't want to mess with Luis Gonzalez and his cranky elbow, then Troy Glaus might be another option. The D'backs want to move Chad Tracy back to 3B, and Manny would replace Tracy in RF for one season (until Gonzalez leaves), at which time Manny would move back to LF and hot D'backs prospect Carlos Quentin would take-over RF.

Vazquez gets $24 mil througth 2007, Gonzo gets $21.5 mil through 2007 (if his club option for 2007 is exercised), Glaus gets $32 mil through 2008, and Manny gets $58 mil (with $12 mil deferred) plus bonuses for various awards through 2008, so the salaries are basically a "wash" whether the second D'backs player is Gonzalez or Glaus. The only difference would be if the Red Sox take Vazquez and Gonzalez (owed a combined $45.5 mil through 2007), then they would almost certainly have to pay the $12 mil in Ramirez deferred salary, whereas if the Red Sox agree to take Vazquez and Glaus ($56 mil in combined salaries through 2008), then the D'backs would probably have to pay the $12 mil in deferred ManRam salary through 2008 ($58 mil in total salary including deferred payments through 2008).

The Red Sox would have a spot in their lineup for either Gonzo or Troy Glaus (Gonzo replacing Ramirez in LF, or Glaus replacing FA Bill Mueller at 3B), although Glaus might be a better fit because he is a right-handed fly-ball HR hitter, and Fenway would seem to be a good place for him to play. And the BoSox cetainly could use a starting pitcher "horse" like Vazquez.

Manny may not be happy to know that the D'backs will NEVER exercise the club option to retain Manny at $20 mil per season for 2009-10, but then neither will the Red Sox if Manny isn't traded.

8 k's for sing, fixed. thanks for the catch.

"14 division championships means NOTHING!!!!!! Then only championship that matters is the World Series. I would rather be the Marlins than the Braves ANYDAY OF THE WEEK"

I'd rather be the Braves than the Cubs anyday of the week.

"Ask yourself two questions: when DLee was up in an RBI situation, how often did you root for him to walk? And,where do they hold the parade for the OBP winners every year?"

Ask how many walks the Red Sox and the Angels got off of the White Sox? Walks are nice - but you have to hit the ball to win in the post season.

Um, if anyone hasn't noticed yet, the model for actually winning the World Series changes just about every year. So whoever wins this year and for whatever reason, was different than why the Red Sox won last year and why the Marlins won the year before and why the Angeles won in 2002 and etc, etc, etc...

Your never going to pigeonhole a world championship team by either good pitching, good defense, good average, good obp, good sluggers, etc. So stop it. :)

And the Braves a few years back had the best offense in the league, I think it was 2003, and rather poor pitching and didn't win that year either. The reasons change every year why a team wins or loses.

First off--I'd kill 5 Sox fans for less than just getting Manny. Be that as it may, I'll take Ramirez. I'm not concerned about 120Ks. He would provide that fear in the lineup that we always had. Does anyone remember the 2003 playoffs? Remember when they would say "Pudge is on deck"? We'd all shutter.

That's what Ramirez provides every day. The problem with the Cubs the past few years is we have too many of these guys. I really felt we cleaned up last year on the Ks issue. If you dump Burnitz and Patterson, but add Murton and Ramirez, you've just saved about 100Ks. That sounds good to me.

How about this....Manny for Wood, but Red Sox pay the equivalent of Manny's salary and we pay the equivalent of Wood's...meaning, they pay $8M or so of Manny's contract for Wood. This would become an especially good deal for them if he blows his arm and becomes one of the elite relief pitchers in the game. If they don't think Foulke will be back in old form, could be a possibility. Although I prefer we keep Wood if he can be a starter.

I sort of get the feeling that Wood will be a Cub for life... who knows, I could be proven wrong during the hot stove season.

cubs got a "congrats whitesox" message blazing up the marquee board outside wrigley right now (or did...i dont live there, dunno the current status)...

i imagine the biggest sweat they got going on is the dance between garciappara vs. furcal...a run toward furcal would probally close the door on a possible cheap year from garciappara, but a run at furcal would ensure whoever snags them a SS for years to come.

RF situation should be a hell of a weird dance. right now it looks like burn is overpriced on his option and giles' agent is posturing toward SD or STL.

things should be very interesting this december.

I think Manny is a gamble. The Cubs need to concentrate on getting a proven Lead-off hitter (Furcal) to set the table for DLee and ARam. I wouldn't trade Wood this year, let's see how he does when he comes back first...

What is the number of chances Wood gets?
He's becoming Steve Howe without the blow.

Jacos, you comment means nothing. Sure, winning baseball and games in October are nice. But ask yourself why anybody can walk up to the ticket window on game day of a Braves division series playoff game and get a ticket. Because the novelty of the playoffs wears off real fast. And further more, if the Cubs had a winning record every year, IT WOULD SUCK! We would be just another ordinary team. Let's face it, the reason why the Cubs are special is that they don't win. I could give a crap about consistent winning. I would be happy with one freaking World Series title in my lifetime. After that, I don't care.

So Chad are you saying it has sucked every year since 1908?

Cause if I can't enjoy a winning season - even though they end in failure - then I don't want to be a fan. We do this for FUN remember?

I'm exaggerating a bit Eric but what I'm getting at, is that if the Cub start to be like the Braves, they won't be the Cubs anymore. We won't be a special team. There are few special teams in sports and we are one of them. We are the Lovable Losers. And just like in any Hollywood movie, we love it when the Losers finally win. But once the losers stop losing, well.......

The reason the Cubs play are to win. I can't believe I had to type that.

They are not an roller coaster ride at Six Flaggs which gives you a thrill here and there and stops.

I hope you were being sarcastic. You can take the lovable loser crap and stick it.

The money that was sitting in Balt tied up in Sosa like Crunch said (I am being nice) can be used on things for this coming year. That money could easily be used on Manny Ramirez. If the Cubs wanted to, I don't think they will, but they could easily afford Ramirez and Furcal and still stay comfortably under the $100 million mark.

However, it looks like Manny likes the Angels and the Indians.

In other news, the captain obvious question of whether the Brewers would pick up the option on Carlos Lee was answered. They did for $8.5 million.

Go root for the Brewers or the Cards what difference does it make to you anyway? Why do you even call yourself a Cubfan? Part of being a fan is identifying their characteristics and who they are. Why do you root for the Cubs? Cause your Dad cursed you to do so (that's my story)? If the Cubs went out and won ten World Series in a row, they wouldn't be the Cubs.

MIKE C: Manny has apparently floated the Angels and the Tribe as two clubs acceptable to him, but I can't see the Indians busting up their up & coming team by trading Hafner, Crisp, and Lee (or Westbrook) to get Manny back, and I don't think the Angels have the starting pitcher that the Red Sox would want back in any ManRam deal.

Listening to Sports Talk Radio in Phoenix today. a deal for Manny Ramirez that would involve Javier Vazquez (who may have or may have not demanded a trade, but if he did or plans to do so, the D'backs have until March 15th to make a deal), Gonzo (and he WILL waive his 10/5 if somebody guarantees 2007), and Glaus (the D'backs want to move Chad Tracy back to 3B to make room for Carlos Quentin in RF) for Manny Ramirez, Keith Foulke, and Kelly Shoppach (a virtual financial "wash" for both clubs) is getting a lot of discussion among the Phoenix sportswriters and columnists.

I suppose most of the Manny discussion and supposition stems from the fact that Diamondbacks President Jeffrey Moorad is Manny's former agent (he negotiated Manny's current deal) and remains a close friend. I just think if Manny gets traded (and he might not), it will be to Arizona, not to the Angels or to the Indians.

Stay tuned. We'll see...

AZ Phil,

I think you hit on the head about the D-backs being Manram's destination. Though I think the deal will be Manram,Wells, and Cash for Glaus and Vazquez. I think the deal will be done ASAP so BOS can make a run at a OF in trade or FA. Also could have Sing been added to the 40-man and they have not for whatever reason annouced it yet?

http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/ramirma02...

Manny Ramirez top 5 Most Similar Batters - Age 33.
Juan Gonzalez (907)
Ken Griffey (856)
Jim Thome (855)
Albert Belle (851)
Willie Mays (847) *

Year 34 Stats: HR RBI's
Juan Gonzalez 5 17
Ken Griffey 20 60
Jim Thome 7 30
Albert Belle 0 0
Willie Mays 52 112

Mays's HR's for the next 4 years: 37,22,23,13

There's a reason Epstien wants to trade Ramirez.

Hendry..stay the course (translated "We have no clue what we are doing....haven't had a clue what we are doing...we are just like Vegas Baby...taking our chances with what we got")

And Chad,

The Cubs are special because they are losers? Is that what I'm reading? And winning consistently would make them less likeable??

Well I will say this...the Cubs winning the World series for a year or two would be the ultimate "test" to how well the organization can perform. Will Wrigley still fill to capacity once the lovable losers become real threats...and win it all a couple years or 3 or 4 in a row...and then lose it? My bet is the full capacity crowds at Wrigley become distant memories in that scenario.

I feel that blowing $20 million a year for Manny is not worth it. The Cubs need to invest in Furcal!!! Maybe even trade for Giles(Braves)! Take the Sox's example: they traded Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik. The Cubs cant afford to blow a huge amount of money on manny when they have such a dismal Bullpen. The Cubs need to get men on for the big bats!

Here's my favourite 2006 Line-up:

Furcal-SS
Walker-2B
Lee-1B
Ramirez-3B
Garciaparra-LF/RF?(with many adjustments)
Barrett-C
Murton-LF/RF?
Pie-CF (Screw Patterson!)

Chad
I was going to comment on your first post until I read your second post. I'll move on to more rational posts.
Rob G, the model to win the WS doesn't change, (pitching, defense, timely hitting) the execution does. Does a pitcher make a great pitch in the most critical spot, or does a hitter fail to hit that pitch? Or maybe he missed a hanging curve the pitch before?
As for Manny gather all your stats top them off with his vital contributions to the Red Sox Championship last year, and ask why the hell are they so anxious to dump him? And no, it's not money. He's a DH at best and they obviously think they already have a better DH on their roster.

#28 of 30: By chifan3887 (October 21, 2005 05:46 PM)
AZ Phil,

Could have Sing been added to the 40-man and they have not for whatever reason annouced it yet?

-

CHIFAN3887: Yes, it's possible, but it's unlikely, because in order to add Sing to the 40-man roster, the Cubs would have also needed to drop somebody else from the 40-man roster, and the likelihood that the both transactions "dropped through the cracks" is remote. But it IS possible.

Sometimes announcements regarding seemingly "insignifant" player transactions--especially if they are made in the middle of Spring Training or during the post-season playoffs--can get misplaced, lost, or buried, especially if the person normally responsible for releasing the info to the media is on vacation or otherwise engaged in other duties.

However, the fact that Brandon Sing is playing for Mesa in the AFL as a "Cubs" player means one of two things.

Either:

1. He was added to the Cubs 40-man roster, but no announcement has been made,

or

2. He signed a 2006 AAA (Iowa) contract (probably with an invitation to Spring Training as a non-roster player), but no announcement was made.

If Sing did in fact sign a AAA contract, but then is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by November 19th, he is a good candidate to be selected by another club in the Rule 5 Draft in December, especially if he does well in the AFL. The AFL games are crawling with scouts, coaches, managers, and club execs.

Oh, I have a theory about the 'Vacuum of Silence' surrounding the Cubs since the end of the season. Two major elements. 1. The baseball writers in Chicago who would normally be spending 60% of their time digging up Cubs stories and speculating on their offseason plans are covering the White Nothings (as my Mom refers to them). The other element is probably a bit of professional respect accorded the Sox in thier time of glory.

I don't think that is the case Real Neal. If the Cubs are as silent as death in the off-season it is for a reason. They don't have any plans to do anything. That is what the last off-season was like. And the one before that, and ohhh wait we got Derrek Lee a few years ago in the off-season.

The Cubs are pretty secretive about anything they do. They act like a team who has won 25 world series and have their hand in on every major deal in baseball. Instead it seems like they are asleep at the switch most of the time.

I expect Hendry to pull some out of no where deal from his ass. And if he doesn't, well I certainly hope he gets fired. He has had plenty of free agents to pick from and chances to build on the 2003 team and failed at every step.

Mike C,

Has it ever occured to you that the 2003 season was the abberration? You say that Hendry has failed to build on the 2003 season, but that is patantly false- they won more regular season games in '04 than they did in '03 despite the injury problems with Wood and Prior. If you don't call winning more games 'building' I'm not sure what you mean.

Now it's popular for people to come on here and post 'Hendry should have known that Prior and Wood would have injury problems and gotten more starting pitching for '05', but did anyone say that after the offseason on '03 when the Prior was coming off a Cy Young caliber season and Wood led the league in K's and dominated for most of the playoffs?

If anyone's got some 'Trade Wood Now!' Posts from November of '03 I sure would like to see them.

The only move I griped about when Hendry made it was the D-Lee trade, because I thought that Choi had more All-Star potential than Lee who had seemed to have platued.

Isn't Hendry the first GM to have back-to-back winning season for the Cubs in over 30 years?

who isnt silent right now? aside from some rumbling about furcal in ATL and other "what now" statements from recently post-season-ended crews...not much is being said. its early.

hell, stl has a new park to move into and a lotta FA decisions to make. theyre not making too much noise yet.

seems david wells wants to be traded to a west coast team, via his request.

what the hell is going on in boston anyway? top competitor with players seeking exodus.

When Hendry has had $$$ to spend he has spent it aggresively. I expect this off season to be no differnt. I fully expect in the MI Cedeno will be paired with one of the Braves starting MI. He will pursue an OF bat (Dunn, Giles, Kearns, Manram, Matsui, Sanders, maybe Soriano)and he will make a run at the 3 SP who are FA's that are improvements over Williams (Burnett, Millwood, Weaver) some Set-up help (Dotel, Howry, Seanez, Witasick) I expect him to be the most active GM in the market and if not this time next year Stoney will be sitting in his chair.

OMG! Brainwave!

Corey cant unlearn the ingrained bad habits which stem from the "natural athlete" ability he believes he has.

Woody cant unlearn the ingrained bad habits which stem from the "natural athlete" ability he obviously had with 20 K's in start #5.

Both are good natural athletes, but both need to use new areas of their brain. Both are Cubs to stay.

Woody = new LF, pretty decent arm to the plate. Work on an inside-out swing for SF distance?
Corey = ok Mr Natural. ROOGY & drag bunt specialist?

God I hate thinking about next year, and all the same-old, same-old which is probably going to happen. Just like the kid who is nearing the end of his patience with a toy which is becoming boring and unsatisfying, ready to either burn it to the ground or smash it into proton dust.

Rooting for the Sox in the WS is like taking your sister to the prom. Do it just for show or to be nice, but if you're really hoping to end up getting some real satisfaction out of it, well that's just sick.

I agree with CHIFAN, Hendry has made some outstanding deal with the Cubs: Aramis Ramirez, Randall Simon, Kenny Lofton, DLee, and Nomar.

I can see the Cubs getting at least two big Free-Agents. I think that Furcal is likely to play SS for the Cubs next year and it is a possiblilty that we might have Millwood in the rotation. As for the outfield, I think Matsui is the Cubs best bet (if Steinbrenner is stupid enough to let him go). The problem is, that Furcal is going to want an expensive, multi-year deal; Matsui is going to command a huge salary as well. In my opinion we should concentrate soley on SS, SP, and Set-Up man.

Weaver is really no better than Williams.

What I mean by building on the 2003 team was fixing the blatant holes this roster had from 2003. The 2003 team couldn't hit it's way out of a paper bag and that hasn't changed all the way up to the 2005 season. I have been ranting about the Cubs needing offense for 3 years. I did that because there was plenty of offense to be had in free agency. And again for the 4th straight year I will say, "Hey, we need some offense." Having 2 pretty good hitters (Ramirez, and Lee) and surrounding them with guys who probably couldn't even hit for a decent average against the AA Cubs farm team is not exactly what I call building a major league roster.

Sure injuries happen but it is up to Hendry to recognize half his roster is rehab and injury prone players. This is the main reasoning behind adding more offense. If one of your key guys (example Nomar) goes down with an injury you wont lose as much offensively because you added the other impact bat in the off-season. And if all of them are healthy, count yourself lucky and enjoy the runs being knocked in.

I would love for stone to be the GM and grace the manager. Hell bring in Sandberg as a bench coach. And dawson as the hitting instructor.

And Marla Collins as trainer. If you were a popular ex-Cub you are best qualified to run an organization because....well you were a Cub once,
and I liked you.
On this post alone we've got one guy saying it would suck if we had a winning record because we'd just be a ordinary team, and NC just wanting ex-Cubs in managerial positions.
WTF. No wonder we're all lumped in the catagory of
babe watching, cell phoning, boneheads that don't know the game.

I stand by my point. Why did anyone here become a Cubfan? We love misery. We love the mystique. We love the ability to never really get our hearts broken (save 69, 84 and 03). We know we can go out to the park on a perfect afternoon, drink beer and take the El home (well not me as I need to take the El to OHare but you get my point). We are the ones that invented, "Wait Til Next Year!". We are the Deadheads of sports. And the bad news is, it will never change. Unless we win. And win a lot. Then we will become any other fan of any other team. So we all snarl and fight and talk about winning but deep down inside, if rooting for a winning team is what matters, you would have quit the Cubs years ago.

My name is Chad and I am a Cubfan.

I became a Cubs fan because I had no choice; I was part of a Cubs family. Never expect to win, 95/98/01 are nice, etc, etc. However, a couple years back I started seriously thinking about the game, and in the course of reading Moneyball and reading the web sites, I discovered the huge pieces of the game I was missing out on and of which I'd been more-or-less ignorant.

Up until the late 2004-2005 period, everything worked out pretty well. But lately, the general performance and attitude of the entire organization, from management to fan base, is really discouraging. By mid-2005, I didn't really care whether the Cubs won or lost, and was actively rooting against players I didn't like.

The result of all this is that I'm now more-or-less a baseball fan who enjoys intelligently-organized teams and good players. I just happen to be a Cubs ticketholder because I love watching baseball at Wrigley Field and the scalping is lucrative. Losing is not lovable. Losing absolutely sucks. A team doesn't have to win the World Series for me to respect their accomplishments--however, the Cubs have made the playoffs once and won 90 games zero times in seven years, and although it's early it's looking like you might as well make that eight. They have not accomplished a thing recently, unless you count blowing a slam-dunk chance at a World Series.

I resent the (likely) fact that I'm going to attend my first World Series game at Comiskey Park, rooting fervently against the Sox. I deserve a winner, and if the Cubs can't assemble a consistent winner--EVER--for a big-market payroll, then yeah, I'll look elsewhere. My name is(n't really) Ron, and I don't like teams that lose.

Didn't pick up on my sarcasm? Just being an x cub isn't enough to make it work. I do think Stone would be solid though if he could keep his mouth shut.

I became a Cub fan because
1. WGN in 1986
2. Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliff, Andre Dawson, Mark Grace, Harry Carey, Steve Stone

I will always be a Cub fan and will always enjoy watching. If we win 3 consecutive World Series I WILL LOVE THEM EVEN MORE!!!!!

Chad, I believe that the only "fans" that would not like the Cubs as much if we won every year are a. bandwagon fans and b. Underdog fans. True Cub blue Cub fans will always be such.....

Oh and MY name (on-line anyway) is NCFAN and I am and always will be a C-U-B-F-A-N.

Cubs in 06!

In Hendry's defense the reason they aren't making any noise is the same reason no one else is making any noise--until the World Series concludes no deals will be made....

I do tend to agree with REAL NEAL that 2003 may have been a fluke. They over-accomplished in 2003 and when they slightly under-accomplished in 2004 the gap between the two seemed larger.

The teams in the playoffs this year have just as much "hype" or BS going on as any other year...(The White Sox haven't been there for forever....the Astros have never been there etc)....but when the Cubs are there the hype gets incredibly unrealistic with talks of Goats and curses and supernatural fantasy reasons the Cubs haven't made it in forever and you see that emotional toll on the players faces when they do get to the playoffs. You see players fully capable and expected of winning CHOKE like no other type team will ever do. The Cubs, and it doesn't matter which particular brand of Cubs it is, will find a way to blow it...the media will cover the Cubs post-season over killer hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and national tragedies...talk about a burden to live up to!

Now as far as next season I don't really expect anything. I know Hendry is capable of making moves and I know he is capable of not making moves. I know Hendry is capable of pulling off a really good deal and I know he is capable of being rather lame.

My suspicion is Hendry will get a multi-year extension and then give Baker one as well. The Cubs will struggle in 3rd place for most of the year--finishing well below the wild card team. And if Florida is the wild card team OR the Eastern division winner...well we will be commited to mediocre baseball until Baker is finally not resigned. I suspect Baker will be used until his value is even more negative than it is now....like an aging old player who refuses to retire and the Cubs refusing to let him play in another teams uniform and stadium....the Cubs old ways will prevent any kind of October success....and what guarantees this crap is the fans will return to Wrigley the next year in record numbers...filling up the never ending increasing little additions they make to Wrigley Field....we fans guarantee that their is a market for bull shit.

You know the thing that probably drives me most crazy about Baker is that when he was brought in everyone said 'He's used to handling super-egos and players want to play for him'. He totally screwed up the super-ego player he had, and only one player has come to Chicago on a below-market deal. I've defended Hendry but if Baker shows no growth as a manager (lineup construction- giving young players a chance, bullpen usage, ad nauseum) in 2006, and Hendry doesn't let the axe fall- then Hendry deserves to go to. Really Baker is just a boob. Maybe some of the older posters will be able to comment on what people were saying about him at the end of his career... like they said about Grace, Bowa, Garner, Girardi and Oquendo...that they should be managers someday.

One thing that is apparant year after year in the post season--the teams and especially those who make the WS are made up of very smart baseball players. Not all of them are the best at their positions--but they are incredibly smart baseball players.

You don't see players forgeting how many outs there are....how to run the bases...how to hit the cutoff man...etc...

The Cubs are loaded with an incredible number of idiots who forget what they first were probably taught in Little League and if not, then certainly by high school.

And you know the two players who are sticking out in my mind who have no clue what they are doing is Aramis Ramirez and Corey Patterson. I'm all for trading up the "intelligent" factor this off-season....trade for guys who know how to think on their feet in the field...that would be a huge upgrade.

I was just reading BCB and Al has been hearing these rumors:

* FLA has OFFERED us Pierre for Cpat and Hill, but Hendry will not do it because he does not want to give up Hill.

I don't like Pierre but if they only reason he does not want to make this trade is not giving up Hill his reason better be he is trying to use him in a Dunn or Manram deal.

* Hendry wants to make a run at Giles and Ryan in FA.

Great idea Jim.

I just went to BCB too. That trade sounds interesting, but the Cubs would get alot more out of Furcal without trading prospects or giving up Patterson (Trade Bate). Giles and Furcal: thats what the Cubs need.

Here are some Player Comparisons
Brian Giles HR 15; RBI 83; BB 119!; .301/.423/.483

Marcus Giles HR 15; RBI 63; 2B 45; .291/.365/.461

Rafael Furcal R 100; H 175; SB 46; .284/.348/.429

Juan Pierre R 96; H 181; SB 57!; BB 41?; .276/.326/.354

"Not all of them are the best at their positions--but they are incredibly smart baseball players."

I'd add "well-coached" to that. I don't think most of these guys are brain surgeons, but both Garner and Guillen are "do it my way" type guys. They don't coddle players who are not playing the game right, and they are not going to make excuses when their guys play poorly. None the less, their players seem to like them, and want to play for them. Baker, sold to us as the "player's manager" has yet to show me any real value to being as soft on bad play as he has publicly been.

Lurking, then coming in late with this. Sorry, but the import of it just hit me today:

From post #46: "We are the Deadheads of sports."

I thought it was up to Sox fans to think up the cruelest thing to call me, but there it is right there. Ouch.

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