The week started off with a flurry of moves to clear money and space off the roster and it looks like Hendry is wasting no time wasting that space and money.
The Chicago Cubs are pressing hard to sign the free-agent second baseman. One source close to the negotiations said he wouldn't be surprised if Matsui is offered a contract similar to the three-year, $14.4 million deal the Mets gave Torrealba.
Dave Kaplan on WGN radio pretty much said the same thing. I have nothing good to say about this.
- The Wrigley resodding project should be done by this weekend, two weeks ahead of schedule. Some other noteworthy details that have been touched upon in the comments:
The warning track has been extended 3 ft to help the outfielders better gauge when they'll crash into the unforgiving brick.
The infield "crown" was removed, lowering that portion of the field 14 inches. Groundskeeping guru Roger Brossard, who was in charge of the project, says it should help runners with their footing as they were essentially running downhill when rounding third base.
Brossard and Wrigley head groundskeeper, Roger Baird placed a small canister with their names on it somewhere below the playing surface. Anyone care to guess the contents in the canister?
Researchers who studied the impact of initials found that baseballs players whose first or last name starts with the letter K, which signifies a strikeout, tended to strike out more often than other players.
I love it, next time Hendry is unsure on bringing in new players might as well use this, probably work just as well as his current method:
Kerry Wood - Good
Kaz Matsui - Stay Away
Kosuke Fukudome - Stay Away
Jason Kendall - Stay Away
Korey Patterson - Stay Away
- The front of cubs.com has a short piece with interviews highlighting Ernie Banks's 500th homer with some nice historical footage of the Cub great.
YouTube Find of the Week
The Cubs have had 12 official no-hitters in their history and I found Don Cardwell's gem from 1960. The backend of a double-header versus the Cardinals, Cardwell walked the 2nd batter of the game and then retired 26 straight including two nice defensive plays by his outfielders to save the no-no.
"No one should confuse Manny with Midas -- Cubs minor-league hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce, Double A hitting coach Desi Wilson and Triple A hitting coach Brian Harper all played significant roles in the young hitters’ developments. Still, Ramirez’s impact was undeniable."
Whenever you fire someone, it's not pretty. But in Sveum's case, there was a dangerous situation in baseball terms in that Castro and Rizzo were not just having bad adjustment sophomore years, but seemed to be regressing rather badly. Rizzo maybe not so much regressing as not moving forward in a way that satisfied the men who had just handed him a hefty contract. Look at this way. If you fire Sveum and those two still have suck years the next year, then you know the problem is quite a bit deeper than you thought.
disagreement on the way to handle things and that a better manager was needed for the next step. The number of meaningless wins is an irrelevant point. They hired someone and it wasn't quite what they were expecting or what they think they need going forward.