Game 26 Thread / Cubs @ Pirates (3 of 3)

Game Chat Game 25 Lineup when game was suspended. Lineups:
Soriano LF Duffy CF
Howry P Wilson SS
Lee 1B Sanchez 2B
Ramirez 3B Bay LF
Barrett C Doumit RF
Jones CF Bautista 3B
DeRosa 2B LaRoche 1B
Izturis SS Paulino C
Murton RF Bayliss P
Cubs used up Cliff Floyd and Rocky Cherry and the Pirates used John Grabow. Game 26 Starters in what will hopefully be the rubber game. Jason Marquis vs. Ian Snell Game 26 Lineups:
Soriano LF Duffy CF
Theriot 2B Wilson SS
Lee 1B Sanchez 2B
Ramirez 3B Bay LF
Floyd RF LaRoche 1B
Barrett C Doumit RF
Jones CF Bautista 3B
Izturis SS Paulino C
Marquis P Snell P
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Comments

At least they don't have Rob Mackowiac anymore.

Go Cubbies!

wishful thinking or just willing the rubber game, Rob?

ROB: Shouldn't your HEADING read: GAMES 2/3 & 3/3?

yes, as I wrote... "what will hopefully be the rubber game"

as for the heading, just too jumbled to include all that for what will hopefully only be 2.5 innings of play.

JJ heating up...

Just "pulling your leg" anyway!

Was soriano's fly out as close to a homer as it looks on GameDay?

yeah, wind-blown but to the ridiculously deep part of the park, caught at the warning track.

Much credit to Jones on that 7th run. He doubled and then got tired of waiting for people like DeRosa and Izturis to move him over--they both grounded out in the wrong direction on the first pitch--so Jones just ran around third and headed home on Murton's grounder. No play at home--the first baseman was acting casual to try to get the call from the 1B umpire and didn't even look home.

I don't know whether Quade encouraged Jones to run or not.

Murton always gets to first quicker than expected. Are we sure he's slow?

VA Phil-
Deceptively Fast??

Nice game, Cubbies.

Let's do it again.

CUBS WIN!!!

Too bad the other run didn't score so they could have their first one run victory.

Very nice win....Much needed!!

Now we can win the series, and still have 6 games ahead of us at home vs lower echelon teams (PITT and WASH). Go 4-2 and we will be just under .500.

Go Cubs!!

or the team could go 6-0 since we're just predicting the future vs. teams who's combined payrolls and tallent dont match the cubs in almost any direct comparison.

Manny-

Second time this year Dempster came in the 8th.

How long will this hold up?

BTW-
Milwaukee has the best winning percentage in baseball.

BOW DOWN TO OUR MILLER OVERLORDS!!! FEAR THE CHEESE!!

Is the box score on Sportsline right? Rocky Cherry threw 2 pitches, got 2 outs, AND got the win?

Nice day at the office, if so.

any posted lineup for the scheduled game today? i assume Blanco will get the start (day after a night game) and i'd expect Pie out there too. Just wondering if anyone has it

lineup is updated in the post

off day tomorrow and a short night probably why Barrett is playing

too much Izturis although he is 3/5 against Snell
Ramirez 5/11
Derrek 3/9

Maybe this is the last gasp for Izzy. If he doesn't start getting it together, he's out... One can hope can't he???

Murton actually stole several bases in the minors. Usually it is a good indicator of future success when slow guys steal in the minors. Shows focus and good awareness.

Is that 8 straight with a double for DLee now? I don't care if he's hit -7 HRs, no one should be complaining about the way he's smoking the ball.

crunch:
"or the team could go 6-0 since we’re just predicting the future vs. teams who’s combined payrolls and tallent dont match the cubs in almost any direct comparison."

6-0 sounds good to me...

Murton really isn't slow. He's average or slightly above average, and he has pretty good baserunning instincts on top of that.

jacos:
"Manny-

Second time this year Dempster came in the 8th.

How long will this hold up?"

Who knows?? Not a big fan on bring the closer in, in the 8th, especially this early in the season. But that is why Lou gets paid the big bucks.

Anyone hear why Capuano left the Cards-Brewers game after 3 scoreless innings?

Injury, yeah, but what type?

A break in our luck (sound of knocking on wood)?

The "suspended game" rule was changed this off-season, for situations such as last night (visiting takes the lead, but the bottom of the inning isn't completed). If this had happened last year, the game would have reverted back to the last full inning, and the Pirates would have won.

Thanks, Bud!

murton has above average speed, but he is white so no one thinks he is fast.

as for izzy... it makes sense having izzy in for his alleged defensive skills with marquis on the mound.

Another double for DLee -- be nice if Ram knocked him in every once in a while.....

Alfonso is getting really hot. I feel bad for upcoming starting pitchers

Anyone else feel May will be a big month for the Cubs?

I don't trust my feelings any longer when it comes to the Cubs.

Heck...I just don't trust the Cubs...

Word is a calf contusion for Cappy after getting pegged on a come-backer, and that it didn't look/sound too serious based on the announcing crew.

way to lean into one Cliffy!!!

Looks like Snell is trying to solve our OF jam.

I dunno how fast he is, but Murton looks really slow. Caucasian or otherwise.

floyd, hbp right above the right knee...limped around badly at first...limped off under his own power afterward.

ugly stuff..cue murton in RF for a while...hopefully cue a soriano move to RF...

oh yeah..pie still plays for this team...forgot.

pie subbing in CF, jones to RF currently.

I don't have tv or radio, I hope cliff is okay.

I bet Murton can't dunk. He surely needs to be fundamentally sound to be effective on the basketball court. I bet he sucks at dancing as well.

izturis' 2nd throwing error in 2 days...this one wasnt even a play that needed rushing like yesterday's. bleh. his game is just off as hell.

Another error for Izturis. he is in there for defense? he has had a horrible year.

hey - could someone please remind my why Izturis is on the field for this team?

EFFING IZTURIS!!!!

Chad-take his Gold Glove, and please place it into the appropriate bodily orifice...

Just call him "air mail" Izturis.

Izturis is awesome...

I wonder if he's been pressing on defense because he knows he needs to be perfect in order to play for this team, and thus, he's really sucking it up?

Who has the better chance?

Izturis (5th error?) getting the gold glove or the Cubs getting a winning record in one run games.

I'm thinking one run games.

Does Izturis have ANY redeeming qualities as a baseball player at this point?

His OPS is worse than today's starting pitcher.

His lifetime OPS is .629 (.045 worse than Neifi).

Leads NL SS with 5 errors.

Wild Thing - you just can't appreciate the subtlety of his value and excellence.

Ugh Izzy.

I'm not sure he will have a plane ticket back to Chicago .

Lou wouldn't want to upset the clubhouse dynamic by not starting a veteran like Izturis.

I've been checking GameCast between meetings.

Who is this team taking walks, showing patience at the plate, and capitalizing on the opposing team's missteps?

I'm scared.

A Marquis complete game would be nice.

UGH! Worse than Neifi! That really puts it into perspective. I think it's also high time for a Jim Hendry-donut eating fat joke too!

mmmm, donuts. Is there anything they can't do?

"Freddy Sanchez singles on a soft ground ball to shortstop Cesar Izturis."

I'm not watching / listening to the game; another bad play by Izturis?

No...he made a nice play on that one...Sanchez just beat it out.

No, it was a good play by izturis, but it just wasn't in time.

soriano picked off again?? at 2nd?? WTF

Ok...I count 3 times this year that Soriano has been picked off.....What in the bloody blue hell happens to players that come to the Cubs???

Do they have mandatory memory cleansiing so they forget how to run the bases?

Brewers beat the cardinals again 4-0, but Capuano left the game after 3 shutout innings with the game tied. He was pinch hit for by TGwynn Jr.

Anyone know why? Injury?

Reyes 0-5, somewhere, Jason Marquis guardian angel is smiling

And WHY is Lou playing The Turd at SS???

Here is CHAD'S Boy:

Can't hit

Can't Throw

Can't field

Can't run well anymore

Untradeable.

Why does LOU keep running this piece of shit out there?????

"Reyes 0-5, somewhere, Jason Marquis guardian angel is smiling"

I love it!

That was efficient. 6 pitches to take care of the 7th inning. He may go all 9 yet.

Cubs 6-7-8 Barrett, Jones, Izzy = 0 for 12 glad we haven't had to come from behind today.

I don't know who this guy wearing #21 is and what he did with the real Jason Marquis, but I hope he sticks around awhile.

maybe rothschild know a little something about pitching after all. LOL

Well I'm guessing Theriot will be playing everyday from here on out.

The Cubs sure do ground out a shit ton.

17 / 2 - GO / FO ration today.

and maybe i should learn how to type. should be knows a little something

Ah Lou, you should have let him finish.

Soriano!

12 game hit streak going. Maybe the change from CF->LF was the key after all.

Wild Thing-
I think so too. I think he has a creature of habit (what mlber isn't) and that's why he should not move out of lead off either.

Crap, who's hurt?

someone hurt?

delay of game was for marte...trainers came out after showing a sign of soreness.

izturis started yesterday because he's hit armas well, today probably because marquis' on the mound.

in theory it makes sense, but theriot keeps hitting. I'm down with Izturis getting only starts when marquis pitches, screw the offensive matchup.

Wait... why bring in Eyre? I don't get it. Confidence builder?

Just seems unnecessary when you're up 7-1 in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs.

I don't know about you guys, but my mood has done a 180 since last night.

Day off tomorrow, probably just trying to get him some work.

Cubs win!!!!!!

WWHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOHOOOOO!

Bring on the Nats!!

Ahh, good point. I didn't realize that Eyre hadn't pitched since 4/25.

Maybe that's why we've been winning.

yeah, not a lot of work for the pen lately, give eyre some work against a lefty.

Who else is sick of days off? I don't know what to do with myself when there's no Cubs game.

A good day today. I think the team is on the cusp of a tear here, mostly due to schedule but also because the team has been remarkable unlucky in wins and losses this year. The Cubs are third best team in baseball on a runs-scored/run-allowed differential basis, trailing only the Mets and Red Sox. (Oh and on that basis the Cardinals are third-worst, beating only the Nats and Devil Rays.)

Cubs are finally starting to come around it seems. If our starting pitching can keep it up, you gotta believe the bats will get and stay hot.

On another note: the Brewers seem like the real deal so far. They're an exciting team to watch.

Capuano left game because of a bruised calf. He was hit by a line drive off the bat of Aaron Miles, stayed in to pitch another inning before getting taken out by a pinch hitter.

http://tinyurl.com/2v46yg

Sounds to me like he won't miss a turn.

Yawn.

Even without the homeruns, Lee's production and consistency have been awfully good. The lack of homers may be a fluke, as it looks to me (on limited viewings, to be sure) that he can drive the ball. The wrist may still be an issue, but pointing out the lack of homers in the context of his total performance seems like a quibble to me,

Even though the Brewers have the best record in baseball, and we're 5+ games back, it brings a smile to my face to see the Astros and Cards in last place.

The Brewers will soon remember that they are the Brewers and go into the proverbial beer glass.

It's baby steps guys,

1. Cut a hole in the box...

wait wrong list

1. Get to .500
2. Get to 2nd place
3. Beat the Brew Crew heads up

Also, IMO Soriano was putting a lot of pressure on himself, new position, new team, very very very high expectations. He's starting to relax and i think we'll see a 10+ home run month out of him.

Did my post go to moderation? If not F*CK!

Looks like Barrett had a rough series in Buc-land: 0-14. Is it just "one of those things", pressing too hard, maybe some minor injury or something else? He was one of the few bright spots in April, but his May so far has been poor.

Today is May 2, right?

but his May so far has been poor.

umm... His May has only been two games. All players go through slumps; it is not really a big deal.

IZTURIS -- I dislike him as much as anyone on the board.

But...he may have saved the season last night.

Top of the 7th, 2 outs, nobody on, Cubs down 5-2, rain looming, Izturis up. If he makes an out, and the umps then call the game, I think the Cubs lose.
I don't think the game gets suspended in that situation (home team winning). Thus, the Cubs lose 2 in a row, and possibly spiral down.

So -- his defense has been poor, and he is a joke at the plate -- but that may have been one of the biggest hits of the year (as were those that followed).

When was the last time the Cubs won two games on the same day? I swear they didn't sweep a doubleheader in the 90's.

I think the next two weeks are very important to this team.

The six-game homestead against two of the weakest teams in baseball, the Bucs and Nats, is a very big opportunity for the Cubs to make a move solidly to .500.

The following seven-game road trip to Philly and the Mets is one of the most difficult trips of the season. No off-days for travel during that trip (not even travel to Philly or the return from NY). The Phils are like the Cubs, a team that underperformed significantly and are just now starting to put it together.

I know it's a long season and the Astros seem to prove every year that the first half never matters. But I think we will find out in the next two weeks what this team is made of. Crush the bad teams, play .500 with good teams, and you are in the playoffs.

Great performance today. The contrast between the Cubs generally superior offense and the generally shitty Izturis could not be more apparent. I anxiously await the date of his release.

Cubs have scored 29 more runs than they have given up, 2nd best in the NL behind the Amazin' Mets.

Let's not forget Jason Marquis, now 4-1. The signing of this guy by Hendry was universally dissed by Cub fans. Marquis may not get four wins for every five decisions for the entire season, but all indications at this point is that the problem he had last year has been fixed and that this guy is an absolute bargain at $7 million per year.

7 walks today. I remember the good old days (every day I can remember) when it took the cubs a week to draw 7 walks. Must not have a flight out of town until tomorrow?

It’s baby steps guys,

1. Cut a hole in the box…

wait wrong list

.......................................................................

That is comedy gold chad!

I'm anxiously awaiting the date the Twins are caught in a pennant race and realize that Jason Bartlett and Jason Tyner are not answers at SS and LF so we can trade both of those guys for, oh, say, Scott Baker.

I'm anxiously awaiting the date the Twins are caught in a pennant race and realize that Jason Bartlett and Jason Tyner are not answers at SS and LF so we can trade Cesar and Jones for oh, say, Scott Baker.

ARM — May 2, 2007 @ 3:37 pm
Let’s not forget Jason Marquis, now 4-1. The signing of this guy by Hendry was universally dissed by Cub fans. Marquis may not get four wins for every five decisions for the entire season, but all indications at this point is that the problem he had last year has been fixed and that this guy is an absolute bargain at $7 million per year.
..........................................................................

In the words of the immortal Mr. Winston Wolf. "Let's not start sucking each other's pricks just yet. We still have work to do."

Plus, we have a reliever with a win! (See #15.)

And he made it look easy!

DC Tom,

What is the question if the answer is not Jason Bartlett and is instead Cesar Izturis?

What is the question if the answer is not Jason Bartlett and is instead Cesar Izturis?

Ryan Theriot?

aaron, woo, slow down man. No need at all to be so graphic and gross. All I said was that this guy Marquis is looking like a bargain at $7 million per year. I did not say that we are gonna get to the playoffs.

sorry ARM, not intended to offend. Just dropping a Pulp Fiction reference.

Marshall threw 5 innings of shutout ball with 1 bb, 5 k’s, 7 h today vs Nashville.

"Marshall threw 5 innings of shutout ball with 1 bb, 5 k’s, 7 h today vs Nashville."

What?!? The box score says Mathis. And don't get too excited for him either. He did it giving up 10H and 1BB. How do you get through 5 innings with 11 baserunners and not give up a run?! Lots o' luck!

aaronb:

In the words of the immortal Mr. Winston Wolf. “Let’s not start sucking each other’s pricks just yet. We still have work to do.”

Greatest... movie... ever.

Any word on Floyd?

double-header today, marshall threw the first game.

and my bad, not shutout ball, one unearned run

in-game report on Marshall is even better...

http://mvn.com/milb-cubs/2007/05/02/a-good-as...

Orlando Cepeda busted with weed, syringe and substance suspected to be coke or meth.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Av44zCA...

"Cepeda works for the Giants as a community liaison and speaks to at-risk children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said neither the team nor Cepeda would have an immediate comment about his arrest."

Organizational... culture...

"How do you get through 5 innings with 11 baserunners and not give up a run?!"

- Make sure you are pitching against the Cubs

We could be looking at a rotation of Ted Lilly and Marshall all we need is a Robin and a Barney.

"How I Met Your Mother" anyone?

I was at the Brewers-Cardinals game this afternoon, and Skip Schumaker of the Cards made the final out of the game by attempting The Golden Neifi....bunting with 2 outs in the 9th and the Cards down by 4. Ive been watching baseball for close to 25 years, and Ive now seen that "strategy" attempted twice.

ah, why ruin the joke chad? gotta give people a chance to figure it out.

Mike Lowell just took out Piazza, that looked bad, dislocated shoulder possibly.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/mlb_cred...

haha, MLB sets the home run record straight.

I didn't see this posted anywhere...

Floyd left the game in favor of pinch-runner Felix Pie, but that was merely precautionary, Piniella said, and Floyd should be ready for the team's next game Friday.

Click here for the full story.

ZHL — May 2, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

Orlando Cepeda busted with weed, syringe and substance suspected to be coke or meth.

From the story:
After his playing career ended, Cepeda was convicted in 1976 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, of smuggling marijuana and sentenced to five years in prison.

That conviction was probably one reason he was not elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Cepeda eventually was elected by the Veterans Committee in 1999.

It might be a fair question to ask what my point was.

I had Ron Santo in mind, but before anybody else says it, it's apples and oranges, 1B/3B, etc. etc.

Cepeda's lawyer says the drugs have nothing to do with his client, btw. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

bily bucks.

that was spot on about izturis. it's early, but i have a feeling that that inning is going to propel the team into the right direction. and who would've thunk that it would be izturis to be the spark?

Ryan Harvey with his second homer in two nights for Daytona.

DL has been quiet this year... good for us.

I got to looking at the Braves DL, and dammmmm...
Redman, Wickman, Cormier, Hampton, Willy Aybar, among others...

"Top of the 7th, 2 outs, nobody on, Cubs down 5-2, rain looming, Izturis up. If he makes an out, and the umps then call the game, I think the Cubs lose."

Pfffttttt. Yeah, right. You can have any Itz-TURD-is mispaced fantasy you want.

HE SUCKS ASS AND IS A WASTE OF A ROSTER SPOT! UGH!!

E-Man -- just because Izzy made a key play doesn't mean he doesn't still suck! He did make a key contribution, but yes, he does suck.

I agree there is something large about that 7th inning rally. I'd drop more credit on Floyd, but several guys played their part.

This team has won 5 of 6 games heading into a 3 game home series against arguably the worst team in MLB. Life is good.

and of couse if we had a good shorstop in innings 1-6 we may not have needed to rally in the 7th.

Not for nothing but my big IF came in and we won both games and are 1/2 game out of second place.

Almost time to put our junk in that box. What?

well I'm not sure he's a waste of roster space as long as Lou's not in love with giving him crucial at-bats late in games.

A question for one of you stat-heads: How does the Cubs BB/K ratio this year compare with last year? My impression is that it's greatly improved; but I'd like to know for sure. Thanks much in advance ...

07 - 78/161 = .48
06 - 395/928 = .42

I would also call out sample size here, as I think that average will get better. However, as of now, only slightly.

cubs WOO! win WOO! pitching WOO! pythagorean WOO!

sorry, just real pumped about two wins in a day.....

it's gonna be a hard habit to break to root for the cards in those innumerable brewcrew-cards games this summer....

And that was for the hitters. The pitchers:

07: 82/186 = .44
06: 687/1250 = .55

That's a nice improvement.

See Manny that is why you worry about locking up the first win with Demspter today and not care how many pitches it takes. (Crying like a little girl about it, with Ughhs and crap)

1 game at a time, 1 win at a time. Solve the problems when they come up. 7-1 game, his services weren't needed anyways.

As for the Brewers, don't expect them to fold anytime soon. They have a deep rotation, they have a talented offense from top to bottom and their bullpen can shut down anyone. They are for real and only getting better.

Barry Foote — May 2, 2007 @ 3:29 pm
When was the last time the Cubs won two games on the same day? I swear they didn’t sweep a doubleheader in the 90’s.

Well, I distinctly remember attending the doubleheader sweep of the Pirates in '03 to clinch the division. That of course was sweet.

"As for the Brewers, don’t expect them to fold anytime soon. They have a deep rotation, they have a talented offense from top to bottom and their bullpen can shut down anyone. They are for real and only getting better. "

I'll bet you that they still finish under .500.

Every pitcher they have is playing way above their heads. Suppan will come back to earth. Sheets will get hurt and miss too many starts. Capuano will be Capuano and finish the season at .500 with an ERA of 4. And Derrick Turnbow will act more like 06 than 07. Mark it down.

I would mark that down but I can remember thinking this same thing over the las few years:

Every pitcher they have is playing way above their heads. Suppan will come back to earth. Carpenter will get hurt and miss too many starts. Marquis will be Capuano and finish the season at .500 with an ERA of 4. And Julian Tavarez will act more like 03 than 04.

The team that stays healthiest is most likely to win the division. Mark that down.

I wouldn't be so sure, Chad. The Brews have a good team and will contend for the division, but I still see them as a 2nd place team. As the season grinds on, the lack of experience on the roster will end up hurting them.

Uhh, mark it down, I suppose.

Well...let's compare:
Brewers vs. Cubs
C Estrada vs. Barrett: Even
1B Fielder vs. DLee: Advantage Cubs..slightly
2BWeeks vs DeRosa: Advantage Cubs..for now
SS: JJ Hardy vs. Izzy./Theriot: Advantage Brewers
3B Graffanino vs ARAM: Advantage Cubs
LF:Mench/Jenkins vs. Soriano: Advantage Cubs
CF Hall vs. Pie Advantage Brewers
RF Hart vs Jacque Jones : Advantage Cubs

Rotation
Sheets vs. Zambrano
Capuano vs. Lilly
Suppan vs. Marquis
Vargas vs. Hill
Bush vs. Miller

Tough Call...Sheets is injury prone, Big Z is schizophrenic. I'd have to give the edge to the Brewers right now.

Cordero vs. Dempster? Um..(cough, cough)
Advantage Brewers.

It's not like this is a team like the D-Rays (who may be a year or 2 away from doing this) putting together a hot streak...they are a young team that is finally putting it all together...or they'll fall apart...lol.

Go Cubs!!

Geoff Jenkins will hit over .350 for the rest of the season?

MIkeC:
"See Manny that is why you worry about locking up the first win with Demspter today and not care how many pitches it takes. (Crying like a little girl about it, with Ughhs and crap)"

Yes sir, Mr. Bully. Whatever YOU say.

MikeC:
"They are for real and only getting better."

How are they only going to get better than they are right now? They are on pace for 108 wins. Do you think they are going to win 110+ games? I will take the under.

RE: #61 from yesterday - I count four pickoffs now for Soriano, but if he stays hot there's a good chance that his HR total will eventually exceed the # of PO's.

It looks like Gordon might miss some time.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Derrek Lee will hit over .400 for the rest of the season?

Dusty-

He will hit a crap load better then Geoff Jenkins.

Gee Jacos..you are right. DLee will hit better than Geoff Jenkins.
Please note that I didn't say that he wouldn't.
They most likely will regress to their mean is my point.

If the Brewers keep the Mench/Jenkins semi- platoon intact, Jenkins will have a very good season, as he is much better vs. RHP.

Still not as good as DLee, but good.

mark it down!

I see DLee hitting about .436 this year. That could drop as low as .415 if he breaks his arm.

BWWWWAAAHAAAAAA-HAAAAAAAAA..
That is Gold!!

Who's in for soup at Mendy's?

And when Dlee pulls into second base for his 186 th double of the season(around mid August) then you will bow down.....

TO OUR MILLER OVERLORDS!!!!!!!!!!


The E-Man — December 30, 2006 @ 8:57 pm RYNO: - So in June - if you are wrong - are you going to stand up and take it like a man and admit it? OR - is this supposed to be completely a tounge-in-cheek post? If it was supposed to be funny…oh. 1. By June we’ll all be wondering how DeRosa is an upgrade to Todd Walker. 2. Rich Hill will come back down to earth. 3. By the end of the year we’ll be wondering what the Cub’s will do with the other year in Blanco’s contract. 4. Wood & Prior will combine for approximately 50-60 IP. 5. Pie will suck at the major league level… big time.

E-Man... It's only May, but I'll concede these predictions early. Generally (and fortunately) way wrong on these.

Still not enamored by that ridiculous swing of Felix Pie, but I suppose so far he's put together decent enough ABs, making the pitcher at least throw some pitches. Now some results and numbers would be nice, but as long as he puts together decent ABs, the numbers will come. Don't fool yourself about Pie, though, he's just the next up-and-comer free-swinger. You start a long swing like that and the pitcher gives you a big-league slider, it will be hard to stop the bat. That's just a fact.

Wednesday came and went, but there was still no contract extension for Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, whose threatened drop-dead deadline for a deal was exactly one month earlier. By now, most of us figured his nearly $85 million package through the 2011 season would be old news. Instead, the 25-year-old right-hander remains the most attractive pitcher facing potential free agency next offseason. Chalk it up as another remarkably short-sighted decision by the top-tier tenants of Tribune Tower. Failing to sign a proven No. 1 starter for a relative bargain in today's market is the kind of business blunder that sunk Tribune Co. into its morass. Letting Zambrano walk -- in a shocking rerun of the Greg Maddux fiasco 15 years ago -- might be the lasting legacy of Tribune's tumultuous time owning the Cubs.
Click here for the full story.

I don't get it from a business perspective. You'd think signing an ace pitcher at a well below market price would only serve to improve the value of the franchise -- so why put it off?

Tinfoil hat theory:

Hendry & Co. saw something in Z during spring training and the start of the season that has them afraid Z's on the edge of an arm blowout. They've got a handshake deal in place and are just using the Trib sale as a smokescreen while they wait to see if he stays healthy.

my tinfoil hat theory:

Z costs a lotta f'n money and will get a lotta f'n years for an ace who's always had an * besides his name because of his spotty control.

his health, durability, stuff, and ability to keep the ball in the park after putting guy on base are his strong points. his control and deep pitch counts are his weak points. everyone's gonna mix those +/- up differently.

he's an ace no matter how you mix it up, but you're looking at a 5-7 year and 15+m commitment to get this guy. its not exactly a slam dunk no-brainer even if he's the top of the crop going into next season.

there's also the whole "does Z/agent want this ownership crap to settle out before he commits the better part of his career to the cubs when years/money will NOT be an issue this offseason to clubs looking a guy like him"

no one's exactly dropping the ball, there's some real concern on the table. houston is gambling on oswalt's going...LA is happy 3 years is all they're on the hook for on schmidt and they've had him 1 month.

..on oswalt's groin...that is.

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