Me and Paul Sullivan Agree

Who knew that day would ever arrive? Way back when, the folks that run ESPN's SportsNation asked me to submit my choice for "The Face of the Franchise". The only stipulation being that it be a current member of the organization. This was back in May and might have gone with a different choice had Carlos Zambrano's extension been signed, but at the time being it seemed Derrek Lee was the obvious choice and my fellow TCR writers seemed to all agree. And so did Paul Sullivan. Ouch! You guys can read all about it over at and feel free to vote. Now pardon me, while I slice my wrists with a dull razor.


Geez....I didnt realize Kendal is the highest paid Cub... is that a true statement?

Here are some stats that may help you begin your thought process:
Highest paid Cub: Jason Kendall ($13.42 million/year)
Longest-tenured Cub: Kerry Wood (9th season)
Best nicknames: Ryan Theriot (The Riot), Carlos Zambrano (Big Z)

I checked a Cards blog a few days ago, and they listed the (rainout) pitching matchup as "wells" against "big crazy z". :-)

How about this gem from Omar Vizquel in the postgame last night?

"That happens when you're playing against a good team," Vizquel said. "The Cubs are probably the No. 1 or second-best team in the National League right now. When you're playing the No. 1 team, every little mistake, every little pitch counts."


Haha... go read the Reds' section, specifically the comment from The Red Reporter.

And the Pirates blogger chose... Jack Wilson?

And none of the Yankee's people chose Jeter.

The entries from the bloggers seem far more entertaining than Neyer's or the beat writers to be honest.

Loved the Reds one btw...

Jon Weisman has a gem for Russell Martin and I like this one for the Giants:
Asking what player is the face of the San Francisco Giants is like asking what Truman Capote book is most associated with Holcomb, Kan.: The answers is just a wee bit obvious -- and they both bring up a mess of uncomfortable topics -- but it's hard to overlook the legendary talents that made us care in the first place.

a few other MVN writers got the call

Lisa Gray of the Astros
Dave Rouleau of the Blue Jays
Mike Boehm of the O's

fwiw..from the sun times...

"General manager Jim Hendry shot down a report that pitching prospect Jeff Samardzija, the former Notre Dame football All-American, would be called up when rosters expand in September."

its in the article about soriano trying to be superman and wanting to return asap.

crunch... The Trib had the same report, saying that Samardzija would not be brought up with the roster expansion.

Congrats, Rob. Nice piece.

No Josh Martin on that list of MVN writers??

I figured a goat or a black cat would be the face of our franchise...

"I checked a Cards blog a few days ago, and they listed the (rainout) pitching matchup as “wells” against “big crazy z”. :-)'

If he was clever he would have typed "Cra - Z"

ManRam isn't even a choice for the "face" of the Red Sawks...WTF is that?

Rob re: #6

Since when does Omar Vizquel bring up uncomfortable topics?

for the record (and i will be repeating this):

I declare August 24th to be:

wait for it...


Everyone, grab your big foam hats and airhorns!!!!!!

*ManRam isn’t even a choice for the “face” of the Red Sawks…WTF is that?*

Do you really have to ask that question?

If the face underneath the BoSox cap isn't Irish or Italian, forget it.

Best nicknames: Ryan Theriot (The Riot), Carlos Zambrano (Big Z)

Big ANYTHING is lame.
Matt Murton says his nickname is "matt"
Ryan Theriot's actual nickname is "Rynot"
My favorite nick for a Cub player is "Lard" (Ward)
Fave for a demoted Cub ---"ohno!"man
Strange nickname for a former Cub "the creature" DuBois
Newest nickname --- Tiggy (Carmen Pignatiello)

If the face underneath the BoSox cap isn’t Irish or Italian, forget it.

There's one for the HOF of TCR comments.

yeah, little known fact...David Ortiz's real name is David McOrtiz.

Did anyone notice that Vizquel's triple last night seemed to be aided by the Strawberry Shortcake backpack in the Cubs bullpen?

Murton= mamu

I'm good with Orange Guy...

...past faces for the Sawks...No-Maa, Jim Rice...

Rob - sorry but where are your comments on the espn site? i read this blurb about 64 experts but nothing else.

click the link in the post and all the way to the left click on the Cubs logo.

ESPN's discussion...I expect great words about TCR and my choice.

Rory... go to the Cubs section - and Rob is the third "expert."

Bernie should rethink his photo there...

if you check out the Rsox comments, a lot of clamoring about Manny being absent from the list as well as Varitek.

I like the Reds blogger's choice:

"The face of the Reds franchise in 2007 is without a doubt utility infielder Juan Castro. He sucks. And the Reds have sucked for a long time. There is little redeeming about Castro as a player, just as there is little redeeming about a Reds franchise that seems adrift these days..."

Anyone see ESPN's "All-Time Gold Glove" team? They chose Joe fucking Morgan over Ryno at 2B.


Matt Murton = Ginger

yeah, Dave caught that one in comment #5 Joe...

You'll need to trade Alex Rios to me now as penance...

Um..uh, oops. Rios 5/44?

He went 0-4 today. You don't really want him.

...meant "3" there. Mistype

Rob. You agree with Paul Sullivan on anything again, you're out. This is your only warning.

All-Time 2b Gold Glove is Bill Mazeroski

I'd probably take Roberto Alomar second....

Sorry Ryno....

My All-Time Gold Glove Team..
C - Pudge Rodriguez
1B - Keith Hernandez
2B - Mazeroski
SS - Ozzie Smith
3B - Scott Rolen (or Brooks Robinson)
LF - Shoeless Joe
CF - Willie Mays
RF - Roberto Clemente
P - Maddux

The face of this franchise is Kerry Wood's tear-soaked visage after game 7.

"Bernie should rethink his photo there…"

What a tool. Much of his article is about how the Cubs are trying to buy a World Series. Take this quote for example:

"The Cubs are running in the big-hitter financial district now, keeping company with the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox. The Cubs are throwing around more dollars than a bachelor party on Rush Street. They’re spending more money than it costs to buy a Chicago election."

2007 Payrolls
1. Yanks $189m
2. Sawx $143m
3. Mets $115m
8. Cubs $99m
11. Cards $90m

Everyone makes such a big deal about the "spending spree" over the winter, but most of it is 8 years for Soriano.

While this St. Louis ass-clown acts like the Cubs are just another store-bought franchise like the Yankees, they're actually regularly playing a bunch of dudes from the farm making under $500k/year:

- Theriot
- Murton
- Hill
- Marshall
- Fontenot
- Marmol
etc, etc.

Again, what a tool.

On a side note, the White Sox' 2007 payroll is $108m. Wow.

Vizquel’s triple last night seemed to be aided by the Strawberry Shortcake backpack in the Cubs bullpen?

That would be Tiggy's responsibility.

The face of the franchise is a towel.

He went 0-4 today. You don’t really want him.

We'll see what NDM's monkey has to say about this?

Another interesting note from USA Today's MLB Payroll page (

Jason Giambi is the highest-paid player in baseball this year, at $23,428,571.

i would agree shoeless joe did look good in lf
in field of dreams

Another interesting note from USA Today’s MLB Payroll page

Wow... the Yankees have the top 3 highest paid players, 4 of the top 7, and 5 of the top 11.

Adding in Roger Clemens (approx. 17.4 million), you then have the top 4, 5 of the top 8, and 6 of the top 12.

That is ridiculous.

And looking at the top ten... I would say that only A-Rod, and possibly Ramirez, Jeter and Bonds, come anywhere close to "justifying" their current salary. 6 of the top ten are not anywhere close to the top ten in baseball. Here is the top ten:

1- Giambi, Jason: $ 23,428,571 -- New York Yankees
2 - Rodriguez, Alex: $ 22,708,525 -- New York Yankees
3 - Jeter, Derek: $ 21,600,000 -- New York Yankees
4 - Ramirez, Manny: $ 17,016,381 -- Boston Red Sox
5 - Helton, Todd: $ 16,600,000 -- Colorado Rockies
6 - Colon, Bartolo: $ 16,000,000 -- Los Angeles Angels
7 - Pettitte, Andy: $ 16,000,000 -- New York Yankees
8 - Schmidt, Jason: $ 15,703,946 -- Los Angeles Dodgers
9 - Bonds, Barry: $ 15,533,970 -- San Francisco Giants
10 - Sexson, Richie: $ 15,500,000 -- Seattle Mariners

dude could tell by the bat angle which way the ball was going....

"i would agree shoeless joe did look good in lf
in field of dreams"

looked so good he became a RH hitter in the movie, too.

scout a location, build a set...check...make sure all your subjects real-life aspects can properly interact with the set in a believable manner...oh snap.

All this talk of Shoeless Joe keeps reminding me of this song by Jonathan Coulton called "Kenesaw Mountain Landis."

Go here:
...and scroll down to find the title under "Smoking Monkey," the second album from the bottom. You can stream it or download it.

It's kind of an absurdist stream-of-consciousness account of the Black Sox scandal.


Crud. I still have problems with thatspacebarsometimes.

"3B - Scott Rolen (or Brooks Robinson)"

Rolen? Really? Robinson was the third base equivalent of Ozzie Smith. Schimdt and Craig Nettles should be there above Rolen. And IMO, Johnny Bench is my catcher.

Among things I don't understand...why the F was maddux ever a gold glover? Sure he did a nice job fielding sacrifice bunts and choppers, but in my estimation, one of the more important and tangible things a pitcher does defensively is hold runners on base. And he sucked.

[i]"What a tool. Much of his article is about how the Cubs are trying to buy a World Series."[/i]

Would anyone here complain if the Cubs win the world series with a $200 Million payroll? In the long run, it doesn't make it any more meaningful to me knowing the Cubs won despite being in the middle payroll or because they had a high I don't care if someone accuses the Cubs of trying to "buy" a championship.

I'll take Rolen, but you can't go wrong with Robinson. But Robinson/Nettles get such a boost just from making some great plays in the World Series.

Maddux only sucked at holding runners on by choice. He understood it was more important to get the hitter.

"Would anyone here complain if the Cubs win the world series with a $200 Million payroll?"

unless its 2020+...i would.

im part of that camp of people that wanna see the cubs win, but they dont wanna sit through 162 games of a curb stomping.

you cant buy a world series, but you cant ignore the impact of adding top players with every 10-15m you toss into the club.

Maddux only sucked at holding runners on by choice. He understood it was more important to get the hitter.

True. But it's a strawman.

Maybe so, but the same could be said for arguing that holding runners on has anything to do with winning a gold glove.

Clearly it doesn't, or hasn't. I just think it ought to, and I can't understand why it doesn't.

Scott Rolen for Gold glove 3B All Time?

Must just be when he plays against the Cubs that he lets 3 balls in a 3 game series go betwixt his legs.

How about Mike Schmidt?

Okay....So Mike Schmidt came to me through the pipe smoke.

Sorry...I'll spank myself on Snake Spanking Day.

That's Snake Whacking Day, Joey.

Clearly it doesn’t, or hasn’t. I just think it ought to, and I can’t understand why it doesn’t.

Because pitchers holding runners on has to do with pitching, not defense.

I can see how it's kinda related, BUT...

As long as the basestealer doesn't touch home, isn't that the ultimate act of defense? And since Maddux was so good at keeping that from happening, shouldn't that count?

anywhoo, I see where you going there djchi but at least me personally, I think of pitcher defense as stopping balls up the middle, handling bunts, covering first base. I think Maddux and well the entire Padres pitching staff this year has justified how little importance holding runners on has in the game of modern baseball.

Wild Thing, did you honestly expect ESPN to choose Ryno over "Sunday Night Baseball" commentator, full time Cub hater, Joe Morgan? Dudeman, please. Why does that man hate Ryno so much?
Did anyone hear The Riot's interview on Jim Rome's radio show today? Was it any good? I was kinda excited someone outside of Chicago cared.

Chad: snake whacking day sounds suspiciously like Weird Al's latest "Weasel Stomping Day" which all should watch at least once on YouTube, Google Video, or Al's own web site.

As far as HOF TCR comments, I would simply nominate the remarkably short phrase:


which is now synonymous with hyperbolic shit.

As long as the basestealer doesn’t touch home, isn’t that the ultimate act of defense? And since Maddux was so good at keeping that from happening, shouldn’t that count?

Well... by that logic, errors should only count if the runner scores, right?

I understand djchi is coming from. I just see holding runners on as a "pitching" aspect rather than a "defense" aspect of what a pitcher does.

btw, that All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove thing, wasn't it a fan vote?

They just did 3 OF spots, Griffey won over Edmonds. I'd take Andruw Jones over both of them if we're not differentiating between OF spots.

“Would anyone here complain if the Cubs win the world series with a $200 Million payroll?”

Crunch, my point was more to the idea that if out of nowhere, we spent in the range of the Red Sox, and won a championship....everyone would still be going apeshit in Chicago in the same way they would if the Cubs spent half as much. I'm sure some would bitch about it in the short term...but in the history books, it's all the same.

However, not winning the world series with Red Sox type salary would become even more difficult to swallow then it is now, and all of us would be whining even more than we do now.

Brewers get Webb tonight...

Rangers up 24-3 over the O's...

...or 26-3

or 27-3. One out only, corners. Dear God. They have to play another game tonight???

go not brewers!

its august and people are concerned about the brewers...what kind of messed up world am i living in?

lineups out early, game thread up

30-3. Okay, I'll stop now. But holy shit.

That my friends, is a new record, at least for modern baseball.

The Chicago Colts scored 36 in 1897.

Otherwise 29 was done twice by the Rsox in 1950 and 1955.

Jeter hasant been picked for the Yankees which i find funny

Santana hasant been picked for the twins (why would the best pitcher in the game be the face of the team)

Jeter is shunned from the fans for giving the Herps to Jessica Alba. How on earth can you turn that into damaged goods?

Recent comments

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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.