Ashes to Ashes

We’ve seen Cub ownership try to squeeze every little ounce of revenue from us whenever they can, but due to a tight schedule they’ve missed the big one. Now that the Wrigley field playing surface is being reconstructed by the Sodfather, Roger Bossard, they are moving all that historic dirt out and not selling it. The Sun-Times site even has a video (if you can stand waiting through the commercials) through the knothole gate in right field, Wrigleyville resident Ken Vangeloff said it looked like the Tribune was having a demolition derby or tractor pull, but the fan’s just didn’t show up. I could see them selling Urn’s of infield dirt… with a locker room/uniform number and card you can label:

#14 -- Uncle Fester

So my poor Uncle Fester’s ashes are getting a free ride in a dump truck outta his native Cook County. The Cubs are not selling it to fans. Per Shamus Toomey’s interview of Cubs VP, Mark McGuire in the Sun-Times:
“We have been accused of selling everything all of the time,” McGuire said. “But in this project, we didn’t want to do anything to impede” the tight schedule.
So far the biggest tangible discovery is that they’ve uncovered the Chicago Bears old goalpost’s (buried for over 40 years). But what of the spirit folk? Secretly, for decades, families have sprinkled loved ones ashes onto the field…getting comfort knowing their family member is spending eternity in their favorite shrine. It now appears the Wrigley dirt is being trucked to two sites in Dupage County.
When asked about the ashes on Friday, Cubs’ Executive Vice President Mark McGuire gestured at the trucks and the open right field gate and said: “They’re leaving through that (Pearly?) gate.”
Steve Goodman has fooled them. Per his lyrics from “A Dying Fan’s Last Request”, the everlasting Cub fan is actually residing on Waveland Avenue:
Build a big fire on home plate out of your Louisville Sluggers baseball bats, And toss my coffin in Let my ashes blow in a beautiful snow From the prevailing 30 mile an hour southwest wind When my last remains go flying over the left-field wall Will bid the bleacher bums adieu And I will come to my final resting place, out on Waveland Avenue
So now when I go to visit old Uncle Fester’s ashes in Dupage County, should I wonder how long it will be before they build the new Wrigley Field around him?
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Comments

lol, the "Cub's fan" from the video has a Padres hat on.

Booooooo!

I have to admit, I expected an Indian burial ground or something.

Does that mean Dusty's Holy water was thrown out as well?

I'm going to have to change my funeral wishes...

From other thread...

WBION:
Abreu: No. 1 on my wish list, but not a surprise at all.

Amazing. I suggest a trade for Abreu earlier this year when his stats and value was down, but I was accosted for suggesting such a thing because "his power is on the decline" or some crap related to his stats.

No one scoffs at the suggestion now. Good luck getting him now, though.

Further proof of the slippery slope of stats.

It's kind of fitting that Uncle Fester's remains are there since Pugsley is the GM now.

There was a seminary at the site of Wrigley Field starting in 1891.

So for well over 100 years Clark and Addison has been the home for men who can't score.

LOL Jacos!

Wouldn't be me that said that, Ryno. Abreu's always been one of my favorite players, even back when he was joshing on Sammy and murdering Cubs pitching.

DENVER (AP) - The FBI opened an investigation after the Colorado Rockies claimed an "external, malicious attack" on computers halted the team's first attempt to sell World Series tickets.

---

well...looks like it was an attack, not improper scaling of their network architecture.

this should be interesting...

It obviously was George Mitchell.

That's the first thing I thought Carlos.

Yanks pretty much decided on a manger, may announce it by Monday.

Yanks ready to make an extension offer to Arod, Olney speculates 5 years at $30 mil per bringing total deal to 8/231

Will the Yankees have a nice manger, Rob, with live sheep and a real baby playing Jesus or just the the standard plastic statues?

It will be interesting to see if ARod takes that deal. He would likely get that and more on the open market, but it is a fair deal. It comes down to if he wants to stay in NY.

With so much drama in the World Series, it's kinda hard being Josh F-O-double-G, but somehow, someway, he keeps givin up homers and hits like every single day......

My apologize to His Snoopness, and to all current and future family members of anyone who has ever visited TCR.

f that apology BIz, I liked it.

Sox up, Rox down!

[...] Dr. Joseph Hecht wrote an interesting post today on Ashes to AshesHere’s a quick excerptAshes to Ashes We’ve seen Cub ownership try to squeeze every little ounce of revenue from us whenever they can, but due to a tight schedule they’ve missed the big one. Now that the Wrigley field playing surface is being reconstructed by the Sodfather, Roger Bossard, they are moving all that historic dirt out and n… Read the full post from The Cub Reporter Tags: Off the Field, Cubs News via Blogdigger blog search for home cooking. [...]

Rick Morrissey in the Tribune has a list of what was found buried under the Wrigley Field dirt...I'm sure there's more stuff to be uncovered.

but I particularly liked this one:

• Carlos Zambrano, still rested for Game 4.

and this little snippet of a Roger Bossard interview in the Daily Herald:

Q. What's with your postseason record on fields you've worked on?

A. Yeah, I've been pretty lucky. Four of the last six years, the teams I've worked for have won the World Series. Maybe this will be the Cubs' year.

Just looking for a silver lining here...

Is there any pride in being swept by the team that was swept by the team that was swept by the World Series champions?

9 outs until the "offseason" officially begins...I'm just sayin'

Chifan... Ken Rosenthal just reported the same during the World Series.

A-Rod would look damn good in a Cubbie uniform.

Oh... and nothing like a mid-game conversation about A-Rod, with possibly 6 outs left in the World Series.

Nope... not a distraction at all...

who the hell is gonna give arod the loot?

anaheim? la? boston?

who's got the balls and/or lack of brains to make this deal?

who could, and possibly would, give A-Rod the cash?

anaheim, la, boston, cubs, white sox, and i am sure others.

i am not convinced that it would be a great decision to pay a-rod 30+ million, but I am not not convinced it would be a bad decision either.

if soriano is worth 18 million, a-rod has to be be worth significantly more. especially if teams decide he can still play ss.

and possibly toronto? baltimore? detroit? san diego? san francisco?

we know that san francisco will have the cash after they get rid of bonds contract.

So - how is it possible for the Cubs to get to the level of the Red Sox?

So - how would it be possible for the Cubs to get to the level of the Red Sox??

I give up! Go MVN!

spending 40-60m more dollars would be a start...not that i'd be a fan of the cubs becoming a competition strangler thanks to a payroll...others wouldnt mind at all.

how much did that 4fanssake group accumulate to try and buy the Cubs?

How about we take that and put it towards Arod's deal?

Giants seem like the most logical team to me still.

So - how would it be possible for the Cubs to get to the level of the Red Sox??:

Well, it would help to have hitters (besides Theriot) who really know how to play the game of baseball. You know, like advancing runners to 2B/3B like Lowell last night (SH, SB, and SF). Also, nice to see RP's like Papelbon who challenge hitters to hit the fastball up and in. Instead of dancing all around the strike zone (like Dempster).

Bottom line: about $50 million more and a minor league development staff that really understands and can teach how to play baseball.

"Well, it would help to have hitters (besides Theriot) who really know how to play the game of baseball."

Are you fucking kidding? You pick our worst hitter as a guy who knows how to play.

I'm sure if Dempster had Papelbon's stuff he'd be challenging them too.

anyone bagging on Epstein for getting Beckett and Lowell in salary dumps? Didn't think so....

Well, had he not made that trade the Red Sox may have won the world series last year. Only Lowell was a salary dump.

I would say the order of contention for A-Rod would be:

Red Sox
Angels
Dodgers
Giants
Phillies
Detroit
Cubs
White Nothings
Jays

I can see how all those teams could pay for him, and have some appeal for him. Eight years $232 million. Playing the Anahiem-Los Angeles-San Fran rivalry will probably be good $ booster for Boras.

Artie could be playing around but he already hinted he won't be getting involved. Didn't Gillick not want to sign Arod in Seattle or did he move on already?

Well, had he not made that trade the Red Sox may have won the world series last year. Only Lowell was a salary dump.

Like to see the logic train on that one.

And Beckett was a "salary dump" as much as Derrek Lee or Aramis Ramirez were. I think it's a silly notion myself but Hendry's been accused numerous times of making those deals only because teams wanted to get rid of the guys cause they were going to get expensive and the situations are pretty much the same.

Bruce Miles, not much news but he discusses the upcoming week for the Cubs management

http://tinyurl.com/3yfr2p

Firstly, congrats to the Boston Red Sox and their fans. Two WS titles in 4 years. I can't say I am not envious, especially the way Epstein went about it. Big props to him. I hope Hendry was taking notes while chowing down on his doughnuts seeing how a team should be built. That Beckett/Lowell trade is looking pretty good for BOST right now, along with the productive youngsters he has cultivated. Good FA signings. Great job by him!!!

Offseason is here, let's start improving our team now!!!

There is no way, no how, Boras would have ARod opt out this early unless he knew he had $30 million a year in the bag from some other teams. Just like many were questioning why JD Drew opted out, but he got more money. ARod is going to get his $30+ million a year, the only question is by who and how many years. Right now I think it will be LAA at 8 years/$250 million. But one thing is for sure, it will be fun to see Boras play this out.

While I think the Cubs would be a perfect fit for ARod with Piniella and SS open, I just don't see it happening with no new ownership in place. I can't see the Trib signing on for that large of a deal after all the money spent in the past 12 months, without new ownership in place approving it.

Yeah, Chad......Theriot. I'm not just looking at AVG/OBA/OPS. Focus, Chad. Focus on how winning baseball is played. Batter gets on base with no outs, somehow/someway the next hitter moves that runner(s) to second and/or third. Now with one out, a ground ball to 2B, medium fly ball scores the runner. I'm not holding up Theriot as the poster child for Cubs offense, but he sure got on base A LOT after the 6th inning of games. He is a smart base-runner and does all the little things managers sure do like. When Soriano, Ramirez, and whatever stiff they get to play RF start doing some of those things instead of trying to jack everything they see out onto Waveland, the Cubs might be playing baseball in late October.

And no Rob, Dempster doesn't have Papelbon's fastball but it's still a mid-90s heater. He's just the poster child for Cubs relievers dancing around the strike zone -- Marmol, Wuertz, Wood are in that group as well. Howry's the only one who consistently challenges hitters.

he sure got on base A LOT after the 6th inning of games.

Well... this value is minimized if he doesn't get on base early in the game. Getting on base late in the game is no more valuable than getting on early.

Theriot's inning splits:
1-3: .267/.333/.333
4-6: .241/.288/.325
7-9: .291/.357/.388

So while you are right about him getting on base late in games, it is negated by his inability to get on based in the middle of games.

Well, it would help to have hitters (besides Theriot) who really know how to play the game of baseball. You know, like advancing runners to 2B/3B like Lowell last night. ... Focus on how winning baseball is played.

As for productive outs... I am sure Boston wishes they were better than last in productive outs.

Marmol, Wuertz, Wood are in that group as well. Howry’s the only one who consistently challenges hitters.

Marmol and Wood don't challenge hitters?

Theriot’s inning splits:
1-3: .267/.333/.333
4-6: .241/.288/.325
7-9: .291/.357/.388

Does that mean he's a "clutch" hitter? Just askin'.

I read a study once, where someone went back and changed every out a team made during a season into "a productive out", and looked at the results. The conclusion was that it made an insignificant difference to the number of runs scored, as I recall maybe 10-15 runs in a season.

Not saying you're wrong, George Altman. The idea seems logical, but the impact may be overstated.

And Theriot... close and late:

.233/.298/.337

Not so "clutch."

While I like Ryan Theriot, I definitely don't think we need more of him.

Danville Joe:
"Does that mean he’s a “clutch” hitter? Just askin’."

Not really...

Theriot with 2 outs, RISP - .190/.288/.207/.495
Theriot Late & Close* - .233/.298/.337/.635

* Late & Close is 7th inning or later being tied or within 1 run wither way.

FWIW, Theriot hit best for average on got on base best when the margin in score was greater than 4 runs.

As for productive outs… I am sure Boston wishes they were better than last in productive outs.

Ha! Sure looked to me like it wasn't their OUTS that were productive, it was their LACK of outs.

What strikes me about the Red Sox is that it seems like every one of their hitters goes up there with a plan--they're looking for a specific pitch in a specific spot, and they're not afraid to go deep in the count.

Contrast that with most Cubs hitters. Especially our $18 million leadoff guy.

And speaking of which: how reasonable is it to think of penciling Fuld in as leadoff guy next year, assuming Soriano can be moved down? Seems to me that would fix a couple of problems at once, leaving Pie as trade bait (perhaps for Renteria?)

I agree with Manny Trillo that the Cubs are unlikely for A-Rod given the uncertain ownership situation. Timing just won't work in our favor. However, I'm not convinved that he has a better offer than the Yankees. First, it is against baseball rules for any other team to talk with him or his agent, for whatever that is worth. Also, Boras could be bluffing to get more $ out of the Yankees, like he bluffed the Rangers a few years ago.

Has Boras ever screwed one of his clients over and gotten less money than expected? There's a first for everything, but come hell or high water ARod will get his $30 mil a year.

Lots of speculation that he'll go to the west coast, and I can't say I disagree. But, I think the Cubs could sign him and then trade Aramis for a good young arm or an outfield bat. Hell, the Yanks are going to need a good 3B. Maybe they have something the Cubs need (Abreu?).

I dont think you can turn down a 5 year extension worth 27-30 million a year if you do not know for sure that there is a better deal out there. It may be against the rules, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Do you really think that Boras and JD Drew did now know for sure that there was more money available if he optioned out of his contract last year?

Now, with ARod, there of course is the possibility that he doesn't know more is out there, but he was simply done playing in NY. Which is not out of the realm of possibilities.

Maybe they have something the Cubs need (Abreu?).

You would trade A-Ram for Abreu?

So what time is the game today, fellers? Ugh...

This is my least favorite day of the year. Every year.

ARam has a full no-trade through 2010. If we were going to bring ARod in, play him at SS and leave ARam at 3rd.

This is my least favorite day of the year. Every year.

agreed wes. as much as i love football, there is nothing like being able to watch baseball every (or almost every) day.

can't wait for spring training! :)

"...especially the way Epstein went about it. Big props to him."

You may want to give a little credit to the guy who has the actual purse strings, and that's John Henry and his group of investors.

another reason to hate the Yanks, from Hank Steinbrenner

"If we’re going to make you rich and we’re going to give you the privilege of being a Yankee," he said, "you’ve got to show us you want to be here."

Shut up!!

More Joe Torre to Dodgers rumors, talking about buying out Little. Possibly preparing to try and bring in Arod and Mariano? or just Arod.

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

Girardi weighing Yankees offer.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Tejad...

The name heard most is lefty Erik Bedard. The feeling is the Orioles have enough starting pitching and need everyday players. Bedard could bring two or three major league-ready players.

Really the O's think they have enough starting pitching?

In other words... Girardi trying to figure out if he wants to manage a Yankees team without Rivera and ARod, but with aging stars and NY pressure.

And of course, getting paid less over a three year contract than what Torre had been getting paid per year.

Really the O’s think they have enough starting pitching?

You know... being 29th of 30 teams (13 of 14 in the AL) in ERA has to make you feel pretty confident.

I guess they were 21st out of 30 teams (10 of 14 in the AL) in starters' ERA. That helps. I guess.

define a productive out. Obviously an out that drives in a run or moves a runner over, but there are some grey areas here. Would a double play that drives in a run be a productive out, or a non productive out since 2 outs were made on the same play? Which is better a strike out or a GIDP, but aren't strike outs always bad?

I like the way Theriot plays the game. He runs out every ball and looks to hit to right field. He doesn't strike out a lot and had a lot of big hits for this team all year long. Numbers don't lie, but you can make numbers say anything you want them to say.

I love the idea of having A-Rod on the Cubs, but am very fuzzy on how that would come to be. I don't believe he would be a very good Shortstop at this point. That means you have to do something with Aramis, who has a no-trade clause. So, you are stuck with teams who need a 3B where A-ram would want to go. What teams are those? Anyone care to guess? Obviously, the Yankees will need a 3B, but I don't know how A-ram would feel about playing there.

Wish list:
Kuroda
Fukudome
Hunter

Can someone explain how Torii Hunter is a better option than Jacque Jones.

Career numbers:
Hunter: .271/.324/.469 OPS+: 104
Jones: .280/.329/.455 OPS+: 100

Now... to be fair to Hunter, he has been a bit better over the last 3-4 years, and especially better than Jones this past season ('07).

While I know that Hunter brings better defense, is it really worth the significant cost increase to bring Hunter in to replace Jones?

re 41:

Give it up already. Theriot is worthless. WORTHLESS. He was the weakest part of our team and shortstop is one of the highest priorities to fill this offseason. You can have all the guys who know how to play the game bullshit you want. Gimme guys that hit the fucking ball. We didn't sign Soriano or Ramirez to get the guy over. We signed them to hit home runs. You think Manny and big Papi try to get guys over? NO.

Get over your man crush!

"I don’t believe he would be a very good Shortstop at this point."

Based on what?

too funny...

Chad pimps Izturis for his glove and says if he plays great defense we don't have to worry about what he hits. Theriot ends up playing great defense and hitting about what the best you could expect from Izturis and he's the weakest part of the team.

Go Chad!

I thought I heard somewhere that Hunter had the Cubs on his list of teams he refused to be traded to (I know he's a FA now, but it would still stand to reason that he doesn't want to play here).

I can't see too many web gems for him in the Wrigley outfield, but I do see a lot of broken bones from crashing into a brick wall padded only with leaves.

Hunter not a fan of the brick wall and I'm sure talking to his pal JJ will sour him on the Wrigley experience.

Hunter's a waste of time for the Cubs imo...

I thought I heard somewhere that Hunter had the Cubs on his list of teams he refused to be traded to ...

I believe this is true. I also heard him on talk radio earlier this year and say that he would not be interested in playing for the Cubs, mainly because of the way Jacque Jones has been treated.

Rob,

that is total bullshit. I was calling out George Altman for saying that Theriot knows how to play the game and its guys like him that make teams win. I would never had said that about Izturis. Will Theriot do at short? Sure why not. But I would take Renteria over him 10 out of 10 times.

re 69:

I don't know if the Cubs had been put back on the no play for list but I do remember Hunter taking the Cubs off that list.

"Maybe they have something the Cubs need (Abreu?).

You would trade A-Ram for Abreu?"

Not straight up, but maybe for Abreu and a solid minor league prospect. If you could have one of these lineups, wouldn't you take the second one? That has World Series written all over it.

Soriano
Theriot
Lee
Ramirez
DeRosa
Jones
Soto
Murton
P

or...

Soriano
Abreu
Lee
ARod
Jones
DeRosa
Soto
Theriot
P
(Ideally, I'd lead off with Theriot and bat Soriano 5, behind ARod. Holy shit that would be a scary lineup)

Now, ok, there are no trade clause implications, but I'd replace Ramirez with ARod and an really good right fielder in a heartbeat.

yeah that's where you started and then you said this...

Give it up already. Theriot is worthless. WORTHLESS. He was the weakest part of our team and shortstop is one of the highest priorities to fill this offseason. You can have all the guys who know how to play the game bullshit you want. Gimme guys that hit the fucking ball.

Now if Izturis had Theriot's season you wouldn't be saying that would you?

and I don't care fwiw, I do think a SS upgrade would be nice but it's obvious you're just ranting because it wasn't the boy you were backing at the beginning of the year.

Then Rob, I will retract this part:

"Theriot is worthless. WORTHLESS."

The rest stands, though. Cause I was happy with Izturis, but I would have gladly traded him for Renteria or many others.

okay from a 180 you've gone to about a 120 degree turn in your opinion. Weren't you the fella jumping on everyone who wanted some offense at SS saying you don't need offense at that position?

Rob,

You are missing the point. I was satisfied with what we had a short, yes. I was OK with Izturis being the weakest part of our team. I said many times that I wanted a better shortstop. BETTER. Not Ryan Theriot or Ronnie Cedeno. I never said that we shouldn't improve. I said that I didn't see any way of improving. That all available players were not upgrades and that we should turn our attention to areas that were needed more.

The point of my anti-Theriot rant was about this idea that 'he plays the game the right way' 'he's gritty' 'he hustles' and that is what it takes to win games. He (GA) advocated that players like Soriano and Ramirez should learn to play like Theriot more. That is what I was calling out.

There is a fine line between being satisfied with what we had a shortstop (and I was 100% wrong BTW, Izturis didn't do what I thought he would. I had I known, I wouldn't have backed him - big difference there, btw) and pointing to a rather replaceable player and using him as the poster boy for winning baseball games.

Rob G., you ARE missing his point.

Whenever someone alludes to the fact that it's a good thing for a player to actually run after he hits the ball, because the team may benefit from it, Chad goes berserk.

Of course he misses the point that no one is suggesting "grit" and "hustle" are acceptable substitutes for important things like ability and talent. But when an otherwise good or great player like Aramis or Manny fails to do it, it should be considered a demerit on his playing resume, and something on which they CAN improve.

So let the F-bombs fly. It seems to be a substitute for real thought.

never in my life have i seen so much love for a guy from a group of people who cursed guys in the cubs past who performed almost exactly (or better) as theriot did.

theriot has some weird weird weird mystique over cubs fans. for a few months he actually sold the most merch. than any other cubs...dlee, aram, Z...beat them all.

singles hitting gap hitter with decent D up the middle...wow...who cares.

the real sad thing about theriot is his dismal numbers were propped up by 2 months and about 170 plate appearances. the other 4 months were "average" to dismal at best for light hitting middle IF peers.

the guy crutches on RF to put the ball in play and for as decent of an eye he has, when he does use his eye to put the bat on a ball he deems he can hit...its usually not very spectacular in outcome.

the arguement of "would you rather have cedeno or izzy?" is a different argument. most people would choose theriot, but still...its like picking between dubois and hollandsworth as far as which flavor of 'suck' least offends you.

theriot is a good piece to have...multiple IF possitions and could probably patrol OF if asked. speed...decent eye can make a pitcher work his load up in count even if theriot's not gonna make the pitcher "pay" eventually...

still...the love for theriot vs. the hate for guys like harriston is a weird comparison given the outpouring of love vs. the outpouring of hate...just for one instance of comparison. only edge theriot has is his excellent SB/CS edge...and its not like theriot stole 60+ bases. hairston gets the power edge...

Crunch,

I'll say it....

It's cause he's white.

that could have something to do with it, but his popularity extends beyond that level.

we live in the era (for decades) where power hitters and power pitchers get the press. you get occasional "caretakers of defense" like how no one can talk about vizquel without talking about his D. theriot's got none of this.

theriot's just got the heat of being a cubs position player who might actually stick because he's seeing everyday work, though.

still, his everyday work was pretty f'n boring and not really something you know is gonna be everyday player type of work.

i dont get it. i know part of it is just looking at his partial season last year, some minor league #s, and his most-of-year numbers. still, even at his best he's a light hitting middle IF which does a few things well, but nothing spectacular.

Chad,
You might very well be right . I think that had something to do with the Baker bashing and Lou getting a pass many times doing the same stuff. Also, the fans fell in love with Murton with him doing nothing special and he is white. Who knows, but it is a worthy explanation.

It is weird how some Cubs fans love Murton and Theriot, even though they are really nothing that special.

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