Contest Updates and Winner

The final tallies aren't in for the 2007 preseason prediction but there were a few other contests we ran over the years that I never got around to calculating. So now is the time... 2006-2007 Free Agent Frenzy Full Results 1. Chifan3887 - 64 2. WPZ - 59 (Now known as Wrigley's Believe it or Not) 2. Junior - 59 Chifan3887 takes the prize by being the only one to correctly pick Greg Maddux signing with the Padres last offseason. Prizes: One of the following three choices: A $25 gift certificate to MLB.com shops, Wrigleyville Sports, or donated to a Cubs charity of your choice. Plus a front page post on TCR of your choosing preferably Cubs related but at least baseball related. Please email me with your choice and post idea. 2006 Playoff Predictions (Part 1& Part 2) Full Results: Rob G – 7 Carlos – 7 Syrith - 6 Mordecai Brown – 6 DC Tom - 5 MannyTrillo - 3 Junior – 2 Jacos – 2 Little Nate Lewis – 2 Real Neal – 2 Vegas Brian – 2 Ryno – 2 DC60124 - 0 It was a ridiculously convoluted scoring system I came up with but Carlos and I tie on the strength of picking the Cards to win the NLCS in seven games. Since I already get to write here free of charge, the floor is yours Carlos. Prizes: Your chance to be heard on the front page of TCR. Same as the free agent frenzy contest, something preferably Cubs related but at least baseball related. Please email me with your post idea. 2007 Preseason Prediction Contest Current Results: 1. TwCoffee - 55 2. DougDazcenso - 54 3. Jacos/CT Steve - 51 Only one question remains unanswered and that's the Cubs in the top 10 of MVP voting which will likely be no one. And if that is the case I believe Scott De B. can sneak in for a tie with Twcoffee and would win on the tiebreaker but I may be missing a few scenarios. Prizes: A brand new copy of Chicago Cubs Legends DVD Collection which Cubnut and I reviewed a few months back. How Far Will They Fly? Remember before the season started how we all thought this team would hit a lot of home runs? Yeah, not so much. This wasn't really a contest but some folks did predict how many total home runs the team would hit over the season. The winner who will get nothing but a hardy slap on the back is Transmission with a guess of 185 (Cubs hit 151 on the season).
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Comments

Wow, I said Prior would pitch 125 innings? What was I drinking when I typed that....

the only marginal rumor I found this morning was this at FoxSports....

Tony La Russa said Oct. 1 that if he returned for a 13th season as Cardinals manager, he would lobby aggressively against trading left fielder Chris Duncan. But Duncan almost certainly would have value to an American League team with a void at designated hitter or first base, Duncan's natural position. -- Belleville News Democrat

not to beat the Torre thing to death but I found these 2 articles interesting...
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers...

Heyman basically saying Torre's full of it with some interesting notes about how he was offered an even smaller deal earlier in the season and was receptive of it.

but then Hank Steinbrenner...
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3...

"I think the most important thing is whoever we hire, give 'em a chance because he's not getting the '96 Yankees. He's getting an even younger team or for the most part a team in transition. Give him a little while,'' Hank Steinbrenner said, "We want to win the World Series every year. We're not stupid enough to think we can do it. Of course, we'd love to win the World Series next year.''

So your new manager should be given some time but Torre needed to win now and got a one year offer? Yeah, you guys really wanted him back.

What happened to the wisdom of you (or many?) contest? I think I did pretty well in that one.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
"So your new manager should be given some time but Torre needed to win now and got a one year offer? "

What do you call seasons 2001 to 2007 if not a chance for Torre?

The Heyman article, pretty much just repeated what I said the other day.

Good thing I managed to lose the 2007 Preseason Prediction Contest by a whopping 1 point, as I already own the Cubs Legends DVD collection.

Wisdom of You was all Christian, not sure it was an actual contest though, more of a community project.

I figured you'd like the Heyman article Neal although you seem to dismiss the fact that Hank there thinks a new manager should be given a few years with a team in transistion. Torre would assumedly have the same team but would only get one year.

Obviously the Yanks didn't want him back and Torre knew it.

Torre would also know most of the players, coaches, and league as well as having seven consecutive post season failures on his track record.

The only transition the Yankees are likely to do is bring in some more pitching, and maybe look around for a full time first basemen this off-season.

Obviously there were certain people in the Yankees braintrust that didn't want Torre back, for quite obvious reasons. Either they don't offer him a contract, and get lambasted, or try to offer him a contract which incentivises him to do what he's been paid to do for the last seven years (win in the playoffs), or they just renew his last deal, 3 years, 19 million. Which of those options do you think they should have done? Which of those is a compromise between the For and Against camps?

"Plus a front page post on TCR of your choosing preferably Cubs related but at least baseball related"

silent towel should have won.

cliff floyd evidently doesnt see himself as a cub in 08...

from the palm beach post via ye olde world o' roto...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins/content/...

Yep, boring week in Cubdom. They need to get this World Series thingy over, so baseball can resume. The Red Sox I guess are going to be dumping Coco-Be-Good, I wonder what they will be looking for for him.

Floyd quote from the article above:

"I won't use the word 'ashamed,' " Floyd said. "[The Marlins] should be embarrassed about their record. They have a great bunch of talent."

Great way to endear yourself to a manager you want to play for--suggest the team underperformed!

Hey, I won! Yay, now I get to rant about my Cubs Annual (RIP)

Good find on the Floyd article, crunch. Not one mention of possibility of coming back to the Cubs, so I bet he has been informed at least informally that the option will not be picked up.

Neal, are you indicating that the Cubs should be looking at Coco Crisp? Better defensively than Jacque and younger, but not really an upgrade offensively...same salary as Jacque. But I wouldn't want to trade any of our trading chips (Marshall, Gallagher, Murton) for Coco.

I'd rather see the Cubs focus on acquiring Fukudome for right field, milk JJ as long as we can in center, and either hold onto Marshall, Gallagher and Murton, or make a trade to upgrade starting pitching.

I wouldn't mind Coco, with Ellsbury and a year and a half of slumpage under his belt, he shouldn't cost much. I'm thinking Dempster for Coco would make some sense.

Higher upside than JJ and you could probably relegate him to the bench if Pie shows he's ready.

The unfortunate fact on Pie is that we're not going to find out if he's learned to hit the inside pitch until he gets about a 150-200 ML ABs in 2008. What the Cubs need is a RF or CF who can do what Floyd or JJ was supposed to do in 2007 (.285/.330/.525 with 90 RBIs/30 HRs). It would be nice if the guy could play solid OF defense too. Now, whether that comes in a trade or FA signing is a good question.

Depending on how the offseason shakes out, I'm more than good with letting Pie figure it out at the major league level with his bat. A lot of prospects get that luxury if they can provide some worth with their glove and Pie certainly should be able to do that.

Plus he's Soriano's lucky charm....

Dempster for Coco wouldn't be too bad, but I would only want to see that if they also trade Jacque for value somewhere else. Acquiring Coco and moving Jacque to RF is not an offensive upgrade and in fact a missed opportunity.

Fukudome could be a 20-30 HR guy in RF with good on-base skills that we need, and he is supposedly a decent right fielder.

Fuld having another nice day 2/3 1 2b, 1 3B, 2 RBi's, 1 R

Berg 1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER
Avery 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K

speaking of dumpster...kinda disturbing no one's asked him about his september self-destruction. he wasnt slightly off or a bit below average...he was a walking disaster of 400-500ft. hits in sept.

ive never seen him hit with such consistency and authority.

Trade JJ for a bullpen arm, the circle is complete.

I'd love to be excited about Fukodome but I've never seen a frame of video on him. Is he really going to hit 25-30 homers? Cause Godzilla has topped 30 once in the majors in a real friendly park for a lefty slugger.

Yeah I'm also hesitant on Fukodome - you just never know if he is the outfield version of Kei Igawa...

also Fukodome is coming off of elbow surgery...I believe it was a scope for bone chips (I'm not sure of much detail). Still, any residual might affect his power stroke...so they better have good info on his recovery

think one thing is clear...given how many cubs positions are spoken for and the FA market...unless they get a FA reliever or yanks do something stupid like let abreu go chances are the cubs are gonna be boring players in the FA market.

there's so many opportunities in the trade market to explore for the cubs, imo...hope hendry "gets it right" if he chooses to play with the system.

I haven't seen anything about results of Fukudome's elbow surgery, but I don't think it was major.

This website has some video of him:

http://www.armchairgm.com/index.php?title=Kos...

Looking at this, 30 home runs would be a stretch for Fukudome. Essentially he has that flailing Ichiro contact stroke but somehow he generates power from it. More power than what Ichiro generated in Japan.

One of the videos also shows him throwing out a lazy baserunner at first base from right field, Andre Dawson-style. Another shows him yelling at the ump after taking a called third strike. (And if you watch the whole at bat, the ump was absolutely terrible!...see, this is what it comes to when they take freakin forever to start the World Series...watching Nippon League highlights on YouTube...)

Rob G. — October 24, 2007 @ 3:36 pm
Fuld having another nice day 2/3 1 2b, 1 3B, 2 RBi’s, 1 R

Berg 1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER
Avery 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K

=============================

ROB G: Yes, Sam Fuld had another fine day at the plate (and in the field).

The Solar Sox play Team China (managed by ex-Cubs manager Jim Lefebvre) tomorrow at HoHoKam Park.

Here is Sam Fuld's AFL activity so far (halfway point is Saturday)

He's hitting 348/435/634

He leads the league in runs scored, and is tied for 1st in hits and tied for 1st in triples. He is 3rd in slugging, and he's tied for 3rd in stolen bases. He's 4th in OPS, and he's tied for 4th in both doubles and walks. He's tied for 5th in Batting Avg, he's 6th in OBP, and he's tied for 7th in both HR and RBI (while hitting lead-off). And he's made several outstanding catches in the outfield (he's played both CF and RF).

Other than that, he hasn't done much.

Still think the guy sounds like the second coming of Pete Reiser. Now, if he can only stay healthy and stop running into walls...

having fuld and theriot on the same team gives the cubs an automatic preseason #1 ranking in scrappiness.

2 guys who can play 7 positions combined is neat, though...even if they have maybe 10 homers between the both of them combined. they got decent speed...both have an idea of what the strike zone is...

Why is Beckett still in this game

to get to the other side

Crunch --

Ha!

BTW, in the bottom of 8th inning tonight when Coco Crisp grounded out to short -- did anyone notice the cannon on Tulowitzki on his throw to first? I had a Shawon Dunston flashback watching that. Incredible.

*# 433 says:

October 24th, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Why is Beckett still in this game
*

Hi Joe Buck!

If Fukudome has a .400 OBP next year, I will eat Chad's sock. He's a lot more likely to hit like Iwamura than Matsui. Next year he'll be a left-handed hitting Murton with a better arm and less upside. Pass.

Rob G,

Re-reading the Hank S quote, I think he's talking about April and May, rather than October of '08.

Sorry if 3/44 but this is a story from yesterday about Lou. Based around Yankee topic, but mentions top offseason priorities being team speed and a big LH bat.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/61993...

Matsui career: 295/371/485

Murton career: 296/365/455

Just sayin'. Not sure that's exactly the comparison you want to make.

dear rob g-
after waiting a full year to print the results, you might have considered posting the table upside-down.

it's the only hope i have of finishing in the money in the rough-and-tumble world of t/c/r trivia trials.

like the cubs, i win something every century or so.

your pal,
dc

(insert smiley icon here)

Forgot to mention that Matsui does in fact have a better arm. Although, all reports are that Fukudome has a Howitzer. There's a video on Youtube of him throwing a guy out at first base from RF.

For whatever reason (perhaps the sun), defense matters in right field in Wrigley. So from that standpoint, finding offensive production that is equal to Murton plus better defense is an upgrade and perhaps a significant one.

As for power and production, while it is hard to translate Japanese league performance into MLB performance, it is possible to compare Japanese league performance among Iwamura, Matsui, Ichiro and Fukudome:

Iwamura: .296/.365/.512 (through age 27)
Matsui: .304/.413/.582 (through age 28)
Ichiro: .355/.418/.524 (through age 26)
Fukudome: .302/.388/.537 (through age 29)

To me, the key to bringing in a Fukudome or another RF would be whether the Cubs could then trade Murton for an upgrade elsewhere. What I'd hate to see is the team spend money on a RF and dump Murton in Spring Training in a roster-clearing move. If Murton and Marshall can net us a good player that a team may not want to afford anymore (like Oswalt or Tejada or even Javier Vazquez), then it makes sense.

One more thing, Al has pictures of the Wrigley resodding that just started.

http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/comments/2007/...

boy, was i dumb...

Wes:
"Matsui career: 295/371/485

Murton career: 296/365/455

Just sayin’. Not sure that’s exactly the comparison you want to make."

You are not implying that Murton is close to the offensive player Matsui is, are you?

Well of course Matsui hits for more power. Duh. His natural swing plane will always let him hit for more power.

Playing in that stadium probably helps out a lefty pull hitter, too.

Are the Cubs going to lower the field as well or is this simply going to be just a resod and better drainage. For some reason I recall an article about their plans this winter to include lowering the filed and adding some more seats.

The "filed" will be lowered. There is also an internal discussion (according to Mark McGuire, V.P., Opps.) of adding another row or two of seats as a part of this.

Re-reading the Hank S quote, I think he’s talking about April and May, rather than October of ‘08.

Whatever lets you sleep better at night....

We'll stop talking about Dusty when he stops talking about us-

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/deluca/619699,...

Some Gems-
Chicago his worst baseball experience
Would have played Theriot more "but had to see if Bynum could play too?"

Make sure you have bucket near by when you read.

Would have played Theriot more “but had to see if Bynum could play too?”

a real eye for talent there Dusty...

also pimps how he played Cedeno, might not want to advertise that one Dusty.

Astros hired some dude named Bobby Heck from the Brewers scouting department to fix their minor league system. I guess he was responsible or partially responsible for Braun, Fielder, Gwynn Jr, Hart and Weeks.

and Justin Jones was added to the Nats 40-man roster.

Had a 3.72 ERA in 121 innings in their minors, most of it in Hi-A.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3...

Seligh might suspend anyone who took HGH if they violated U.S. law.

rumor mill is boring....

Dodgers may go after Torre
Nathan's option will be picked up
Braves looking for starting pitching, a center fielder and bench pieces.

JJ/SP (Marshall, Marquis,???) for Renteria?

"I’m thinking Dempster for Coco would make some sense."

I did a BR search on JJ and Crisp after Ellsbury was inserted into the lineup during Game 6 of the ALCS and numbers wise there brothers. Only real differance is in Crisp SB numbers.

JJ (Lefty)
Age: 32
BB/PA: .062
BB/SO: .33
Stealing %: 65.1%
IsoP: .174 (and dwindling)

Crisp (Switch-hitter)
Age: 27
BB/PA: .070 (and rising)
BB/SO: .53
Stealing %: 72.7%
IsoP: .130 (and dwindling)

I don't expect Crisp to recapture his Cleveland days but I'd take him over JJ for the youth, D, speed and upside. Plus I think he'd be better suited for a bench role if he can't beat out Pie for a starting job.

Rob G,

"Whatever lets you sleep better at night…."

Right back atcha! The thing about wanting to win the World Series in 2008, just totally disregard that, so that the World can fit in your square peg perspective.
==============================
DC Tom,

Is a defensive upgrade (as well as a slight upgrade to our lineup handedness) in right field worth $12 million a year? I would have to say, that's a resounding 'no'. If we're going to shitcan Murton, let's at least get an All-Star, not Murton with a fancier arm.

Rob G. pretty accurately sums up my opinion on a Coco-b-good aquisition, and we shouldn't trade anything good for him. Maybe Smardsdahdasza, if the Sox would be dumb enough to assume that albatross of a contract.
================================
I saw 'The Cold War Kids' when I was home last month, and they're playing here next week. I desprately wanted them to be good enough to go see, but they're embarrasingly derivative. Honestly there should be a large Grape Ape with a big club who goes around and smashes the fingers of bands like this so badly that they can never hope to grab a musical instrument again. Was the name 'El Blanco Stripes' taken, so that they couldn't have it? Honestly, what do people like that think 'Man, this sounds really cool, let's make songs that sound exactly like this, but with different titles' ?'

I also saw Wilco. The way they get talked up in Parachat and the actual music performance... Wilco is to The Cub Reporter groupies as Neifi Perez is to Dusty Baker.

Dusty Baker:

"From Mo [Moises Alou] to Sammy, I lost 70 home runs in one year.''

Well, not actually Dusty. Burnitz hit 24 HR's in 2005 and Murton, Hollandsworthless and Dubous hit 19, so you lost 41 HR's. However. Murton and Dubios hit approximately 1 HR/20 AB's and Hollandwothless hit 1 HR/50 AB's... Cubs Fans, take a guess which one did Dusty give the most at bats to?

"But I am who I am and I am how I am." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Cincinatti Reds Manager for the 2007 - 2008 seasons, Popeye.

Typo, 31 HR's not 41.

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