A little extra this week to get you through the three day weekend...
UPDATE: Cubs signed
infielder Tomas Perez
to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.
- If I had a vote for the Hall of Fame, it would have went to Cal Ripken Jr.
, Tony Gwynn
, Mark McGwire
, Andre Dawson
, Goose Gossage
, Bert Blyleven
and Alan Trammell
. I still can't forgive Lee Smith
for Game 4 of the NLCS, so screw him on my imaginary ballot that doesn't count for anything.
- Here's one
that Cubs.com seemed to miss or just didn't care about. It seems pitcher Adam Harben
(the bounty in the Phil Nevin
trade) whom we just invited to spring camp had Tommy John surgery in October after a few games in the AFL. If you recall, he was removed from the 40-man roster during the offseason and part of the condition of him resigning with us on a minor league deal was that he'd get a spring training invite even though all he'll be doing is rehabbing at that point. That's an odd little series of events. Harben who was up there on some of the Twins prospects lists a year or two ago has been suffering from some loss of velocity on the fastball. We'll see if the surgery helps him regain some of that along with his prospect status.
- A hat tip to "Buried Treasure"
for this blurb from former Yank and author of the excellent "Ball Four"
, Jim Bouton
Q: Do you really think we need a panel of people, including Bill James, to figure out statistics and steroids? In Ball Four, you talked about players in the 1960's taking pep pills called greenies. And if you have a panel that is going to evaluate statistics based on cheating, are you going to alter Gaylord Perry's numbers? (David Block- Brooklyn, NY)
A: Greenies were performance enablers (usually to overcome the effects of hangovers), not enhancers. Gaylord Perry's spitters were in plain view, and the unwritten rule was that if you could master it and get away with it, more power to you. In any case, batters could factor spitball pitchers it into their play. Steroids, on the other hand, are a secret weapon that force non-users to take health risks in order to compete. Historical analogies - advantages or disadvantages due to shorter seasons, no night games, travel, racial barriers, etc. - aren't relevant because, in each case, players of a particular era played under the same conditions. What distorts statistics is unfair (and hidden) competition within the same era.
- As we all patiently wait for the gremlins to be removed from the servers, you can find a new blogroll by clicking on the "Friends"
link underneath the mysterious "Authors" box to the right. The layout kind of sucks and the category headings are ginormous but I think you'll find some interesting stuff.
- As I was poking around the web, there were a few members of the Cubs blog army that I found something worth reading, so I thought they deserved a shout out. So go check out Cubs Cafe
, A Hundred Next Years
and the (mostly) satirical Fire Lou Piniella!
and say hi.
- More Cubs blog news, former TCR writer Derek Smart has added Phil Bencomo
to the writing staff of Cub Town
, formerly of Cubbiepalooza
. From Mr. Smart himself though, I found this bit of self-reflection
good for a laugh-out loud moment:
One of the tendencies of the blogging community, something we do with regularity and lustful aplomb, is take comments by players/management/MSM writers that are, in our humble opinion, intellectually substandard, and with our combination of rapier wit, flawless logic, and overwhelmingly massive capacity for holding onto petty grudges, craft a response that leaves the originator bleeding and trembling jelly-like on the point of our word-swords (a construct we know is imaginary, since it requires the target to have read the salvo, and as all of us who read blogs know, nobody reads blogs).
- I've been meaning to mention this for months and I'm losing karma points each time I forget, but the good fellas at GROTA have put together
a fund that they plan to present to Derrek Lee
at the Cubs Convention to help with his Project 3000. If you have the means, help a fella and his family out.
- If I get a moment before Sunday morning to look at some chat programs, I'll throw something up on Sunday for those who want to talk during the Bears game. Otherwise reader Chad has his own Bears chat site
we can all congregate to as well.
- Not to get all "The Bears Reporter" on you, but these articles on
Rex Grossman from "Kissing Suzie Kolber"
are some of the funniest reads I had all week. (NSFW most likely).
- And your standard issue, Youtube clip of the week, this time Wrigley Field circa 1929.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/U63LW6wV3no" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
I found that along with some old Bears footage over here
along with a link
to a converter program that allows you to download YouTube videos onto your own computer.
Go Bears and we've got some new articles in the pipeline for the next two weeks starting on Tuesday, so be sure to check in if you can, you know, actually access the site.