Tribune Picks Ricketts Bid

The Sun-Times yet again scoops the Tribune on their own business affairs. Although heavily rumored for some time, there's now the infamous "person familiar with the process" going forward with Thomas Ricketts - diehard Cub fan - as being the Tribune's bid of choice. The bid is rumored to be in the $900 million range and supposedly not the top overall offer, but would provide more money up front to the struggling Tribune corporation along with a more conservative financing approach.

But there's always a twist...

Tribune is not locked in to negotiate only with one bidder. Others remain free to enrich their offers.

It's probably doubtful that anyone else will come in with a late bid at this stage of the game, and with local ties to Chicago, Ricketts would certainly appease the major league owners. But this sale has dragged on for this long, there are no guarantees that it won't drag out longer.


Are Chad and I Humpty and Dumpty?

I don't get it.

But do you think it's funny?

You seem pretty pissed off. I'm just saying. Lighten up. At this rate you'll never make it past May.

Where do I seem pissed off? Give me this string of quotes.

I think you're having some realitiy issues yourself. It's almost February, Chad.

You really need a life. Seriously. If I had the time that you did I would write some stupid 10-point rebuttal to you, but it's not that important to me. I am not the only one who has noticed that you have, for the most part, been a dick on here lately. And for some reason, you have really had it out for me. And it goes back further than September's Fukudome-Theriot debate after which you were clearly pissed because Fukudome tanked so badly, I remember you even taking time out of your day to heavily criticize many of my choices in the Cub Reporter MLB fantasy draft, a league to which you were not even a part, way back in the spring. If it continues to make you feel good, then keep doing it. Whatever.


you've always been kinda prickly but the last few months you have been downright angry.

Everything ok over the Copenhagen? Election got you down? I know it did for me.

I personally think TCR might need a timeout/cool down corner.

Occasionally I think we should have a dunce hat, too, but that's entirely unrelated to this.

It already exists and it has my name embroidered on it. Welcome to the board rook!

A couple of interesting tidbits from Buster Olney's column.

The guy who ranked fifth in the majors in OPS against left-handed pitchers remains unsigned -- Ty Wigginton, who absolutely hammered lefties in 2008, posting a .424 on-base percentage and a .631 slugging percentage.

The best hitter with a minimum of 25 plate appearances with runners in scoring position: Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs, who went 12-for-25.

In "The Yankee Years," due to be released on Feb. 3, Torre describes general manager Brian Cashman as a less than supportive ally who betrayed him on several fronts, and says that his star player, Alex Rodriguez, was often referred to by his teammates as "A-Fraud" and was obsessed with his perceived rival, shortstop Derek Jeter.

Who's going to give us the dirt on Joe? Maybe Jeter has some non-fiction ghostwritten.

87% of poll respondents think Phil Rogers is a world class bozo.

What's with the two answers you get in this poll? WBC or Rest?

Stupid false binary.

I know that having a debate about the WBC does not equal being upset about the WBC, but it's funny to me that we argue about whether the WBC is too risky.

Carlos Marmol has pitched 2 innings in the Dominican Winter League this year. Unnecessary risk? He clearly wants to play for/in his home country, or maybe he just likes baseball so much that he'll play whenever he can. Do we debate as much about whether the All-Star game is too much of a risk to play? I've heard some people argue that, but it rarely comes up.

I think I'm more upset that Marmol pitched in the All-Star game last year, and maybe also that he is playing winter ball, than I am that some of the roster might be involved in the WBC at a time when they would be playing ball anyway.

There are some differences, though:

The AS Game is one day and there's very limited playing time in the midst of a break. Overuse of a player is witnessed by everyone and generally, players are used exactly as requested by that player's team. Basically, instead of a day off, a player pitches (or hits) for an inning or three. Not ideal, but not too much of a risk.

In the WBC, especially because it's new, we don't really know how players are used. While these guys are playing, the rest of the team/coaching staff is elsewhere practicing on their own. Secondly, it's a series of games which, generally, are perceived as more important to the management/countries that are running the teams (than in the ASG), and therefore, there's a fear that winning will be placed ahead of the health of the players. Thirdly, it's true that they would be playing anyway, but they would be played under strict control of the (in this case) Cubs management. They put a lot of time into scheduling how fast/slow to ease players into season-ready shape. Some players start hot/cold/injured and they like to prepare appropriately. With the WBC, they have no control over that. I think that the argument that a lot of teams have, isn't that they're playing, but that they're not playing enough in the WBC, and aren't ready for the season when it comes.

That said, I think the WBC is pretty cool and don't really have a problem with it, but I do think there are some valid concerns. Go Korea!

Judging from the last one, the pitchers work level were simlair to what they would be doing in ST. The postion players were used in game the same as in the regular season, but sense the bench was made up of all-star players nobody was really used on an every day basis. Honestly I think it has the same chance of a player injury as ST.

Submitted by rokfish on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 11:45pm.

so if hoffpauer does not make roster , who do the cubs have know that would be the back up first baseman, i dont think there is one on roster?


ROKFISH: Geovany Soto played quite a bit of 1B at Iowa, but if you play Soto at 1B, the back-up catcher then becomes D-Lee's indirect replacement in the lineup.

As long as Micah Hoffpauir is at Iowa, the Cubs would have insurance in case Lee goes down with an injury. Hoffpauir was voted the best defensive 1st baseman in the PCL in 2008 by rival managers, and he can definitely play that position. LF and (especially) RF are another story, however.

Personaly, I would prefer that the Cubs keep Hoff-POWER! on the 25-man roster and use him in the Daryle Ward role (late inning lefty PH with pop), plus as Derrek Lee's occasional replacement at 1B when D-Lee gets a day off. But it looks like Uncle Lou doesn't see it that way. He apparently wants two back-up infielders instead, and damn the late-inning lefty bat off the bench.

The Cubs interest in Aaron Heilman is not surprising. Jim Hendry has had a long-standing friendship with former Notre Dame head baseball coach Paul Mainieri (he moved from Notre Dame to LSU in 2006), and the Cubs have drafted and signed two other ND pitchers with high picks over the past few years (Grant Johnson in 2004 and Jeff Samardzija in 2006).

The Cubs had the #3 overall pick in 2000 and they had been closely bird-dogging Heilman all Spring, and it was presumed that he would be the Cubs #1 pick. But he developed some shoulder issues the last month of the season that caused the Cubs to reconsider their choice, and (unfortunately) they selected the nation's #1 HS shortstop prospect (Luis Montanez) instead. Heilman was selected by Minnesota with their #1 pick in 2000 (#31 overall), but he didn't sign.

The Cubs probably would have liked to have had a chance to draft Heilman in 2001, but he just wasn't quite worth a #2 overall pick (the Cubs selected Mark Prior with that pick), and once again Heilman ddn't last past the 1st round (he was selected by the Mets with the #18 overall pick in the '01 draft), so the Cubs didn't draft him.

But Aaron Heilman has always been a Hendry Favorite, and so I would not be at all surprised if he ends up with the Cubs in 2009. If it does indeed turn out to be Cedeno for Heilman, the Cubs would only be taking on an additional $800K in 2009 payroll (Heilman is making $1.625M in 2009,and Cedeno will be paid $822K).


and as an addendum on heilman.

He comes from a really nice Indiana family in my hometown. I was in his kindergarten and 1st grade class. However I don't have a scouting report going back that far.

I didn't know you were from Logansport.

Neato. I've got family all over the place up there.

So do I Wes. Heilman's parents still live there. Same house and everything last I heard. I've been gone for about 4 years though.

heiliman's got one of the best changeups around and a fastball that's not too shabby. when he hangs a changeup though...yeeesh...he don't fool anyone.

i gotta believe the guy is worth more than cedeno...and if that offer is true i can't imagine hendry not jumping on it asap.

joe torre took yanks money, knew what was up, put up with years of playing complacent house-servant to a shipbuilder who meddled in a baseball man's business...and now he wants to cry about it...

He should have just titled the book "Unprofessional: The Joe Torre Biography".

Wonder what the Dodgers players are going to think about him now.

How 'bout "It's Not Enough to Earn Millions of Dollars, Have Multiple Championship Rings, and Be a Future Hall of Famer; I Also Have to Do Something that Unathletic People Hope to Achieve, Publish a Book: The Joe Torre Biography"?

I'd suggest reading the book before relying on news media interpretations of said book.

..and then I will title my autobiography: The Real Neal, a Memoir of Encouraging Unethical Behavior.

true could just be a couple sentences out of a 400 page book they're blowing up...or a few dozen pages. they didn't go into too much detail about it.

still, writing a locker room tell-all while still being a manager is a weird one.

the timing is weird even releasing a book like this.

Even Canseco had more sense than that.

i am personnally getting tired of watching espn and watching the
crawl at the bottom and seeing how the cardinals have the second
longest streak without a title in the 4 major sports the more i
see this the more i like the steelers to win.

Wait...are you saying Real Neal is an Internet stalker?


Recent comments

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  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 13 min 3 sec ago view
  • Agree -- I think you want to keep him on a regular schedule.

    billybucks 32 min 25 sec ago view
  • Ramos torn ACL

    jacos 1 hour 20 sec ago view
  • Sure, its not about his record.

    jacos 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • Do you start him Sunday or not?

    @jonmorosi Pitchers w/ sub-2.00 ERA in year of 185+ IP this century: Pedro ’00, Clemens ’05, Kershaw ’13/’14, Arrieta ’15, Greinke ’15, Hendricks ’16.

    Rob G. 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • Yeah -- that would be rough for him. But, Monty is getting people out, he's a lefty and he has experience working out of the bullpen. Hammel? None of the above.

    billybucks 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • even if he's not starting, abandoning hammel would be a bit of a 'screw you.' i think it might be -monty +hammel, but it's speculation.

    either way, someone's gonna be disappointed.

    crunch 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • Joe said he is leaning towards 11 pitchers and 14 position players.

    - 4 starters, Chapman, Rondon, Strop, CJ, Wood, Grimm, Monty. No dice for Cahill or Smith.
    - 3 catchers, Rizz, Zo, Addy, KB, Javy, Heyward, Fowler, Soler, Coghlan, TLS and then Sczcur over Almora?

    billybucks 4 hours 30 min ago view
  • Cubs 3B Jason Vosler made two really bad throws on consecutive AB in the 8th. Fortunately the game was no longer in doubt at the time  

    The first one was a one-hop lob that allowed the batter to reach base on an infield single, and the second was air-mailed so far over the first-baseman's head that it went over the fence and landed in Field #4.

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 5 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Despite the HR, Donnie Dewees is really more of a slash hitter (the HR was an opposite-field line-drive) who can accumulate lots of doubles & triples. He's also a good bunter and can get on base that way, too. Although he was thrown out trying to steal in the game, he's actually a good base-stealer and baserunner.

    Defensively he has plus-range and tracks fly balls OK, so he can play CF, but he has a rag arm that requires the middle infielders to go out further into CF to make relays.

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 6 min ago view
  • I don't know how many of you remember Bobby Knoop, who played 2B for the Angels, White Sox, and Royals back in the day, but he is a coach-emeritus for the Angels, and works with the infielders at Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs. He's pretty spry for a 77-year old, and he really knows his shit.

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 34 min ago view
  • With a big lead, Chapman was throwing sliders and changeups, something he's reluctant to do in a save situation. (Len and Jim covered this.)

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 42 min ago view
  • Maybe they have a bad owner, I don't know, but they still have players and fans and a franchise, all devastated by this loss of life. Plus, everybody who follows baseball is a fan of a guy like this. It's why I used the word tragedy, which other people throw around but I try to be careful with.

    I'm at an age where I remember old incidents better than recent ones, but I have to go back to Herb Score for something as disturbing.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 58 min ago view
  • That was Dee Gordon's only HR this year. Wow.

    billybucks 6 hours 33 sec ago view
  • Thank you PHIL.

    Glad you avoided temps in the 100s.

    I remember you mentioning Dewees needng plenty of work in th IF. How are his OF instincts?

    Also, did see much of Satchel McElroy? Only Satchel I have heard about other than the "orignal" and one of Woody Allen's kids.

    The E-Man 8 hours 46 min ago view
  • Hate to give the Mets credit, but they did everything right tonight in what had to be a very tough game for them to play. As Hollandsworth said on the Cubs post-game -- if you watched the game, you saw Mets players consoling Marlins players who were in tears during the game. Between that and the way Molina handled the Ross farewell -- maybe the Mets and Cardinal players aren't pure evil. Just the fans.

    billybucks 16 hours 17 min ago view