The Tom Ricketts Drinking Game

Tom Ricketts and family will be introduced to Cubs fans everywhere in a press conference on Friday morning at 11am CST and probably a couple dozen TV and radio interviews. To help you get through the day, I suggest grabbing your favorite alcoholic beverage(bring a thermos if you're at work) and follow along with this drinking game I designed.

Drink when:

  • he thanks Major League Baseball, Bud Selig or the Tribune
  • it's mentioned how great Cubs fans are
  • how Cubs fans deserve a championship team 
  • mentioned that he's a Cubs fan
  • met his wife at Wrigley Field
  • had an apartment in Wrigleyville
  • how the goal is to build a championship caliber team year in and year out
  • Ameritrade is mentioned
  • asked about payroll
  • he says he has great respect for Jim Hendry
  • he says he has great respect for Lou Piniella
  • there's a question about Milton Bradley
  • he says he'll defer to the baseball people
  • everytime you're frustrated by a generic non-answer he gives to a specific question
  • there's question about Wrigley Field renovations
  • there's any mention of goats, curses or Steve Bartman

Take Two Drinks when:

  • some reporter asks about his lesbian sister 
  • they ask about the size of the media room at Wrigley
  • he avoids the Personal Seat License question

Finish your drink if:

  • he makes any allusions to following sabermetrics or any type of statistical analysis
  • he fires Jim Hendry or Lou Piniella
  • he says he ordered the Bradley suspension (Finish another drink if he refers to it as a Code Red)
  • he sets up his sister with Carrie Muskat

Finish your drink and the bottle or case it came from if:

  • he lowers ticket or concession prices


It looks like is going to show the press conference.

it starts during my ride in from work so I'm hoping XM radio has it....they usually carry that sort of thing.

My God, Rob G... I love you. Hilarious post.

Ameritrade mention should be worth -2 drinks since it is a sobering thought a)how many have been laid off, and 2)anything Wall street has zero sum game written all over it.

2nd consideration is what brand, since most brands collude with other Central division teams. I guess there's still time to hit a local micro brewery, with a stop for vinegar and lime chips to balance the bitterness.

That being said, I want to thank the Tribune for selling my team, finally, and I tip one each to Jack, Harry and the Good Kid: Wish you were here for the unshackling.

Go Cubs!

at least 3, mentioned bartman, curse and goat all at once...


I will have passed out after the 6th bullet point.

Please summarize the Press Conference for my benefit.

There's actually too many rules for a good drinking game. It would be fun to do in Parachat though, with a extra drink for every time you have to ask why you're drinking.

"I'd just like to throw out there that Jim knows better than to do that..."

... awwwkkk-ward!

And stone cold silence after that. Hello, Milton Bradley.

Laura Ricketts looks exactly like Boy George with long hair. (I posted that before I learned she is a lesbian. Not making fun of her looks, just being observant. She's actually attractive if you don't think of the Boy George thing)

They're nerds in suits. Not a bad or good thing necessarily, just an observation.

The other three are fine, but the oldest one, Pete (bald guy), I think is his name, seems like a prick. Glad he's not the main man and I hope he doesn't have a lot of pull.

Actually, if you watch the earlier NPR? tape, he kind of plays an Ed McMahon role complete with canned laughter to Tom's Johnny Carson.

Summary of what I saw until my internet finally gave up the ghost:

Named all four siblings as "directors"
We know it's an honor to own a baseball team, and we intend to respect it (to the other owners)
Drink (thank the fans)
gonna win the world series
striving to be the best franchise - invest in world class facilities - best personel, hold them to highest standards
Do everything they can to improve the Wrigley Field experience, and preserve the magic
Drink? (we love Chicago) intend to give back
Here for long term, and here to win

How will we differ from Trib?
1. One goal (no multiple agendas) to win
2. Intend to reinvest
3. Think long term, not focused on quarterly reports - our shareholders are our fans

Short Term: Improve a day at the game by next year - clear concourse, better restrooms, cleaner, better food, cleaner environment
Long Term: 12 month strategizing to save Wrigley, then 4 to 7 year scope

Long Term changes to Wrigley?
The triangle parcel - key to making wrigley how we want it

Compare to Coangelo's 8 year plan
- Saying and winning WS are two different things
No magic bullet, no one player, Short Term solutions are 'just fools gold'
Drafting, developing, coaching the right players, be consistent - Give Jim the players
Key is to get to the playoffs every year

World Class spring training facilities, about games but also about players
Going to be open minded - Naples, Mesa, best solution for the team - what helps us win - best facilities best situation for the team

Sister takes Mic:
Winning for the Cubs is also going to be something that we want for the fans as well as family pride

Payroll and Ticket Prices:
Nothing finalized - slight increases on payroll and ticket prices

Minor League System - player development:
We believe that is the key - all the projections of budgetting increase minor league budgets yearly

How did you like the 2009 season?
August was painful on the field and in the deal.
Long, lots of ups and downs, hung together and perservered, got to the finish line
On the field was difficult, high expectations - performance did not match - turn around in 2010

We've had no discussions on PSL's

What's it like for a lifelong Cubsfan to buy the team?
It's interesting.


something about being moved by a full field and rooftops (maybe motivation to buy?)
the magical vibe that is wrigleyville

Will you be in the stands with the Fans or in the skybox?
You will see all of us around the stadium.
If you come to a lot of games, you will see us

Lou Piniealla - Talked to him- Emotionally invested?
Hasn't spent time with Lou. Hope he comes back and one of the best managers in baseball
Needs the right guys

Ready for Criticism?
Part of the job, when people say things he hopes it's not personal, but in spirit of creating a dialogue
Media is an important part of what we do. We want fans talking about the team, trades etc

We're not going to leave the stadium for any period of time

Business Plan? Are you going to hire business people?
Team is understaffed, going to round out executive team with one or two people. Existing team is "world class".


Ryne Sandberg - desire to be a MLB manager
Haven't talked to him. Too busy closing the deal, little baseball discussion.

Have you compared Cubs to other organizations - how they've done things?
Yes, in small part. Talked to Red Sox about stadium improvement.
Dramatic improvements over a series of years without closing the stadium.
We intend to talk to whoever we think may help and are willing, for best policies and strategies

Will you eat salary?
That's Jim's job to give us those kind of options. Not going to speculate on hypothetical.
If that's his recommendation, then we will look at it.

Brother - Jim knows way better than to do that.
Hendry - I do.

(Missed quetion)
Talked to six or eight owners, bankers advisors, working hard to close the deal.
Next step is planning.

Sister (We always listen to Mom's advise)

Bonafides for each sibling?
Baldy - Went to U of Chicago '82, and became immersed
Hair - Went to loyola in late 80's, here for '89 team, got sucked in. Always sat in bleachers
Sister - Moved to south side, went to more sox games. She stayed with Tom and Pete in Wrigleyville for a summer, loved the feel of it
Cubs are bigger than just the owners. Enjoys the 'emergent character', had no choice but to become a Cubs fan - was overwhelmed, late 80's

Tom - Pete used to camp out to get bleacher tickets - all of family was in bleacher when they met wife

Payroll - how much?
We're already spending a lot. Ticket prices "a few percentage points".

Brother - we want families to be able to afford to go to Wrigley field

What's the reason for 101 years of failure?
Probably not payroll. Not an issue last few years.

There is no curse. We're not going to put up with players who think they're cursed.

Why sit in the bleachers?
(Brother) We were not rich in college, moron.
Tom- that's not the whole story


thanks, buzzing through this saves me a lot of time

Interesting, Pete Ricketts ran for U.S. Senator from Nebraska as a Republican in 2006, getting endorsements from Bush and Cheney and campaigning against gay marriage, abortion, etc. He spent over $11 million of his own money, outspending his opponents by a 10-1 margin but lost in the November election by 27.9 percent.

Sister - Moved to south side, went to more sox games. She stayed with Tom and Pete in Wrigleyville for a summer, loved the feel of it
Learning now that she's a lesbian, that explains a lot.

Nerds in suits, bald prick... well at least you gave them a chance

Hey I like them, other than the bald one. I didn't like the bald bastard that owned the team up until a few days ago, either.

You must have been heartbroken when Fabio's group dropped out of the bidding.

Yeah, it sort of sucks that your high school quarterback couldn't afford to buy the team with his Applebee's assistant manager salary.

I'd give him a B for the day - he gave solid answers about dealing with the park (other than of course dodging the PSLs). I didn't know they'd already consulted the Red Sox about a large but long-term renovation. It wouldn't hurt to talk to the White Sox, either.

I thought the funniest part was when they said that Hendry knew better than to give teams cash to take on bad contracts. Hendry's ignorant doppleganger must have been sitting in for him.

they didn't play it on XM radio instead choosing to air Cal and Billy Ripken with the same drab playoff analysis you can find anywhere...

so what was this eating contracts question, jim knows better response? the 2 mentions above weren't very clear....

A hypothetical question was asked, but obviously in allusion to MB, if the Cubs wouldn't send some money to unload a contract.

USA Today quotes Ricketts:
"It's Jim's decision, it's his responsibility to put the best team on the field next year and that will be his decision on what to do with all the players," Ricketts said.

Then Todd Ricketts chimes in, "But Jim wouldn't do that," or something to that nature.

Apparently Real Neal heard Hendry say something, but I didn't hear Hendry say a word the whole time.

As near as I can remember- the question itself was very rambling.

Summarized "What do you think about eating bad contracts?" It wasn't clear to me if he meant just releasing guys or if he meant paying other teams to take their contracts. Probably the least professional questioner.
Tom - Doesn't seem like a good plan, but if Jim recommends it to us, we'll consider it.
Off camera brother - But Jim knows better than to do that.
Hendry - I do.

Best guess is that they were talking in code about just releasing Bradley, and Jim's response seems to indicate that he's sure it won't come to that.

The reason it was awkward was because the only people in the room that found the "Jim knows better than to do that" joke funny had the last name Ricketts.


I like this guy already, hope he delivers...

Ricketts: As someone who knows the sport well, you know there's no magic. There's no number you can spend. There's no one player who can make all the difference in the world. The key is you have to consistently make the playoffs. Once you're in the playoffs, anything can and will happen. If you get the hot hand in the playoffs, before you know it, you've got champagne all over you.

The way to get to the playoffs, and the way to keep on that World Series track, is to be consistent, and the way you're consistent is player development. To bring in the right players and have the scouts and the coaches on the same page when they try to turn those players into contributors at the Major League level is key.

In the (Arizona) Fall League, I think there's a good argument that we're on the right track for player development and on the right track for creating that kind of consistency. In the end, when someone says, 'How are you going to win the World Series?' there aren't two different answers. The answer is you get to the playoffs, and you get to the playoffs by having as much flexibility as you can with personnel. That comes from player development.

Yep, you can't do much in a press conference, but he said all the right things and that's all you can expect from him at this point. I thought he went out of his way to not dodge certain questions. Someone asked why they hadn't won in 102 years and he could have easily said he wasn't responsible for those 102 years, but he tried to answer that inane question.

I really liked the focus on building a legit farm system.

 What you have to do is find the person you want, and then you
support him, and then they are accountable. If you're mingling in the
player decisions, then you don't have any high ground to stand on when
it's time for whether or not that person was accountable. So from our
standpoint today, Jim [Hendry‚s] our guy. He has the opportunity to
mold the team for next season. You know, after next season, we'll take
a look and see how it went
. But he has 100 percent of our support and
we think he's the right guy. I think he's had a pretty good track
record. This year was disappointing, but in general, I think the team's
headed in the right direction.

What I took from the press conference: The Ricketts family seems to think that the way to win the world series is to build "world class" facilities starting with 1a)the triangle building 1b)Wrigley Field itself and 1c)spring training facilities. That's where their hearts are. The Wrigley experience. They have thought a lot about the venues.

However, when given the example of another new owner coming in with a detailed 8 year plan to get to and win the WS (and doing it in 4) Ricketts deflected it with a half assed joke and followed up by saying he thinks the Cubs can win it next year (without increasing payroll on the field).

Now I understand why Hendry has no plan for next year. The Ricketts have no strategy other than building a better farm system and are giving him no $$ at this point to work with in 2010.

Ricketts did say he expects the team salary (and ticket prices) to increase by a small amount for next year. However, the small amount could just as easily be the increasing back-loaded contracts Hendry loves and not actually signing any free agents.

I like the "build around a farm system" strategy, and it's the right one, but they have to have the right people running it. I've seen nothing from Tim Wilkins to make me think he's the right guy for the job.

The Ricketts have no strategy other than building a better farm system
and are giving him no $$ at this point to work with in 2010.

besides the $140Mish  that was the 2nd/3rd highest payroll in 2009.


I really have no desire to see the payroll upped

It makes it difficult to find incentive to raise the farm system from the cellar when we can overspend for proven talent, in my opinion

Probably because you never started your own successful business you didn't understand the inanity of the question. The reporter asked a guy who paid $800 million for a business if he has a business plan, then used Coangelo's 8 year plan as a reference. Every owner has a plan. His plan was to continue spending at approximately the same level in the big leagues, improve the organization and improve the player development.

Don't try to treat these people like the trailer park family who won the lottery and doesn't know how to spend it (or Cecil Fielder if you want a baseball example). What did you expect him to say "well we are going to take this $140 million payroll team coming off first, first and second place finishes and blow it up, so that we can begin our 8 year plan to get to the playoffs?" Have you considered being a Pirates fan?

"New Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and team president Crane Kenney are expected to petition Major League Baseball for the 2014 All-Star Game, a league source told reporter Bruce Levine.

The All-Star Game would be part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. By that time, the Ricketts family is expected to have spent between $200 million and $300 million in renovations on Wrigley.

Wrigley Field hosted the All-Star Game in 1946, 1962 and 1990."
a little old, but this made me dislike Crane Kenney a little more...
Don't let Crane Kenney be Crane Kenney.
You want to keep Kenney as team chairman during the ownership transition, and maybe beyond? Fine. He wouldn't be my first choice. Or second. Or third.
But if he's going to stay, he has to quit with the jock-sniffing. I've seen him on the road, in the visiting clubhouse, sitting on a couch with players as they watched a movie. He's the chairman, not the clubbie. Someone needs to tell him he's not a player and that this isn't fantasy camp. How would Kenney like it if Bradley stopped by his office, slouched on a chair and acted like he belonged?
Kenney is the guy who green lighted the Greek Orthodox priest's going into the Cubs' dugout and blessing it with holy water. Not only did the decision insult Cubs players, but it didn't work.

That is a truly bad article. I stopped counting logical flaws around 8.

already has the major league night life down...

I would say the girls bother me less then the gang signing that he's doing? Who in his situation wouldn't be doing the same thing? However it would probably be a good idea if someone separated him from a Plaxico Burress like social life.

Whenever I hear a reference to Crane Kenney, for some reason a photo of Rasputin flashes across my brain...

"Don't try to treat these people like the trailer park family who won the lottery and doesn't know how to spend it (or Cecil Fielder if you want a baseball example)."


It is unreasonable to expect that in 5 months, "All will be beautiful."

This is all (as I am hearing WSCR talk about this exact thing) a "one-year tryout" for all. Kenney should be shown the door as is position is really redundant. Hendry will be given this year to improve or go.

The Ricketts will be bringing in their own people, and I would suspect that an "overseer" of sometype with baseball experience from a model org. will be added to the fold.

meh...hire the GM, appropriate money to the coaching on majors and minors, set a payroll...step back and let baseball men run the baseball game.

enjoy your premium box and access to premium seats to gift out...maybe you'll get a shiny new trophy one day.

"hire the GM, appropriate money to the coaching on majors and minors, set a payroll...step back and let baseball men run the baseball game."

From his mouth, your above comment is heavily inferred.

IMO - this is the gist -

1. One-year "trial" for current key mgmt.
2. Ticket prices are going up
3. Payroll will go up slightly
4. The Ricketts family will NOT interfere in baseball decisions. Instead, they will follow accepted org. practices of chain of command and work within your "zone".
5. A baseball "campus" will be underway.
6. A lot of big stuff will be happening in 2014 in and around Wrigley.
7. Failure will not be tolerated.
8. Naming rights will for sure be sold.
9. First facility fixes will be bathrooms and food.
10. Milton Bradley is still on the Cubs as of right now.


For those interested, Tom Ricketts will be joining WSCR pompous hosts at 3:30 CST.

Also, for you NPR fans, Weekend Edition's (and former Chicagoan/Cub Fan) Scott Simon will be interviewing T.R. at 9:00 AM tomorrow.

see comment #5 for the NPR preview...full interview will be aired tomorrow though.

Sorry. I should know better than to slip by any 3/44 stuff here lol.

You would catch it on KCRW out there, I would 7AM?

Nothing like waking up at 7am on a Saturday to listen to NPR and sip latte, if you ask me.

I kid, but yea, I'm an NPR junkie.

NPR...because if we don't save indigenous Peruvian banjo music whales in Norway may be unjustly killed to make lube for oil refineries in China.

up next: an interview with a Senator that last served in the mid-80s to talk about economic reform in rural Alaska as it pertains to the foam rubber industy in India and it's effect on migrating Whooptiedoo birds...followed by a bunch of weird urban people who think they're Irish playing music and singing galic-language tunes in a false accent.

Since I fall asleep while driving when NPR is on, I'm taking your side. They may actually be saying that. I honestly have no idea.

HAHA! Great.

"NPR...because if we don't save indigenous Peruvian banjo music whales in Norway may be unjustly killed to make lube for oil refineries in China."

No doubt you have seen the famous Alec Baldwin skit re NPR on SNL as "Richard Schweady"?

Since I have done some production work for our local Chi affiliate, they aren't too bad. But I am a big KCRW fan. More music and at least a dedicated music channel, which we USED to have, but no longer as it is all boring talk.

oh yeah...seen that.

i don't have anything against NPR...i just have an ingrained hatred of 'human interest stories' for some reason i've never figured out. they do good news and if human interest stories are good stuff, then NPR has an interesting mix of that good stuff.

Forget listening to NPR. Just ask Crunch for his daily summary of what you missed.

Post #52 made my head explode.

2 yr deal, no dollar amount yet, but I guess his option didn't vest like expected.

they sure do like wasting money.

freddy sanchez was done before he was even he's done with 2 more years of job security.

"Done" is a bit strong for a guy who hit .284 with a bad wing, but it's disappointing in that the Giants are spending some of their Milton Bradley money.

yeah, it's harsh...i just don't think much of his future vs. his health and abilities even before injuries.

He still plays a sharp defensive game.

yeah, im just handicapping his defensive injuries. he played through pain for a huge chunk of 07/08 (while putting up decent numbers) and it all seemed to catch up to him in 09.

i don't think he'll miss 30+ games or anything...or im not assuming that, but he just seems to be a guy who's body is on the downside.

At two years $12 million, there's not a heckuva lot of upside, but if he's healthy he probably won't go totally belly up. Even watching him last year, when I think he was supposed to be fighting through injury, I thought he still had pretty good bat speed.

it wouldn't shock me...i'm just expecting something else.

not like it's open/shut he's gonna be slowed by his injuries/age.

wade miller...i mean, noah lowry removed from the giants 40-man and they're going to let him become a FA.

btw...when is chad fox expected to sign with the cubs? there's no need to wait on that. har...

Since the Ricketts family isn't keen on eating Milton Bradley's contract, or any substantial part of it, the talk has all turned to giving MB another shot. Granted he probably will eff it up again, but $21 million is $21 million dollars.

So, for what it's worth, RYAN DEMPSTER says the Cubs players will give MB another chance.

Might as well.

That sort of jives with what Lee said at the time of the suspension (and earlier when he said they would win in 2010 with the same team). It may be that Dempster is just trying to help make retardo's job easier by smoothing over a little the 'clubhouse cancer' thing - or maybe he's looking at the team's chances and see that they're going to be a lot better with a happy and productive Bradley than with the overpaid 5th starter we're likely to get in return for him.

It should, at least, make for a more interesting off-season, considering we won't be bringing in free agents like we did in 2006.

if the cubs are willing to suck up 1/2 his pay he'd be pretty damn attactive locked in at 5-6m a year for 2 years to a lot of teams, i'd imagine.

it's not like it's an impossible task to get something...the guy is a hell of an ob% machine, RF and CF capable, switch hitter, and has some pop in the bat.

there's teams that could/should use a guy like that (at that price) that won't get into the trade talks because they don't want to risk the attitude, but MB's not some torn-rotator-cuff 5.00 ERA pitcher.

what the hell is going on with Crane Kenney in that photo? looks like he either thinks the back of Ricketts head is the sexiest thing he's ever seen or he's contemplating how to kill him because he's jealous that he's talking to Dempster...

From Rotoworld and Toronto Sun...

The Toronto Sun reports that the Chicago Cubs are eyeing Vernon Wells in a Milton Bradley trade.
"It's early on, but we think this one has some legs," said one Cubs official. "But they aren't the only team we are talking with." The Cubs' idea is to split the difference on Wells' $107 million over six years and Bradley's $21 million the next two years, with each team absorbing $43 million. It would take a lot of work to make a deal happen, but it may be the only way Toronto can wiggle out of the Wells contract.

This is unacceptable if true, but at least it's coming from Toronto and not here which means it's hopefully just wishful thinking on Toronto's part. Wells is a righthanded Kosuke, hitting .260 last year with 15 hr and 66 rbi in almost 700 at bats. He has drastically declined after he got off the steroids (unfounded accusation), which he used to sign that monster contract. And why would you trade for a declining, below average production player with 5 MORE years left on his contract? That's not unloading Bradley's contract, that's adding another albatross of a contract. Hendry should be fired before he can make this trade.

But Wells is a swell guy (also an unfounded accusation)....

there is a Wilkins connection there, maybe he knows what's wrong with him or has a better supplier :)

he's milton bradley with less walks, less Ks, and less mental health advisors. meh...

he might be able to swipe 10+ more bags a year than him, too.


he wouldn't be horrible to have around, it's just that he's on contract until 2014. he turns 31 in a bit over a month, fwiw. i dunno if he has the arm for RF, though fuku would probably play RF, but it is a bit above average and at least accurate.

Probably get blasted for saying so, but if I'm Toronto I probably wouldn't accept MB for Wells.

Ryno -- I disagree. If the Cubs are willing to make the deal, I've got to believe that Toronto will jump at the chance. In fact, i think Toronto would let Wells go to anyone who would take him (and his contract). makes no sense with the $$ stated.

Six years at $64 million for Wells or two years $21 million for Bradley? The Cubs ML scouts have been pretty good about getting guys they can fix, but that's still a pretty big risk.

PWSullivan tweets:
Cubs deny Toronto Sun report of interest in Vernon Wells for Milton Bradley swap.
Cubs not interested in Bradley-for-Wells swap with Jays

The first in an expected avalanche of Milton Bradley rumors spread across the Internet on Saturday after a Toronto Sun report of a possible Bradley-for-Vernon Wells deal.
The report by Sun reporter Bob Elliott quoted an unnamed Cubs official as saying "we think this one has some legs," though the story downplayed the Jays' interest in Bradley.
But Wells has $107 million and six years left on his contract, as opposed to $21 million and two years left on Bradley's, meaning the Cubs would be taking on even more money and assuring themselves of six years of a defensively-challenged outfield of Alfonso Soriano in left and Wells in center.
A Cubs source quickly responded to the report by saying the rumor has "no legs at all," adding the team has not discussed the possibility of bringing Wells to the North Side.

unnamed Cubs official was Michael Barrett.

Hey rock brains is available, and they are looking for a possible 'upgrade' to Koyie, so why not bring back Barrett to piss off Z? Oh, forgot, Barrett is the worst defensive catcher we had in decades. And dumb as a rock with little baseball sense.

What's Hector Villanueva up to these days?

Wells defense was a 90 and 82 by BP and -14.3 and =17.6 by UZR the last 2 years....

his OPS+ the last 3 years, 85, 121, 87...

he has remarkably low K numbers for a power guy actually which is neat and although his HR's went from 32 in 2006 down to 16, 20, 15, he only played 108 games in 2008.

It'll be his age 31 season next year...

adding 3 years to your problem doesn't seem too wise to me....

Olney also talks about some bad contracts the Cubs could acquire in exchange for Milton Bradley, adding that this morning's Vernon Wells rumor "would be a stunner" if it happened. Some of the players he mentions as possible fits include Carlos Silva, Derek Lowe, Gary Matthews Jr. (who said he wants out of Anaheim), Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand, Oliver Perez, and Dontrelle Willis, among others. Any other ideas?

knock out the Angels and Mets unless it's some sort of 3-way deal, neither one of them is gonna want to deal with Milton. Silva, Lowe (wow, that would be great), Zito (stay away), Rowand and Willis (don't think Tigers really are interested in Bradley) might have some legs...

sickening if that list comes to be a real assessment of the cubs trade pool...

hey, anyone want a .370-.400 ob% guy who can hit 15-20+ homers, 30+ doubles, play CF/RF? we'll pay most of it or just take on a talent that couldn't begin to match the output of the guy we're giving away. he throws tantrums and our manager can hear bradley all the way down the hall from his office while he's trying to relax. his music sucks, too. :(

I'd love a guy in CF-RF who did that Crunch.. who are you talking about?
It can't be Milton Bradley, because he has hit 15-20 HR's 2 times, and hit 30 doubles or more 2 times in 9 seasons.

His 162 game average is .277/.371/.450, with 32 doubles, 20 HR, and 76 RBI. Of course, he will never, ever play 162 if he plays his usual 120 games or so...if they're lucky 120 games,you get 24 doubles, and 15 HR, with 57 RBI and 65 runs. Great?

it is milton, live with it.

Lol..yeah...but don't tell me he is a perennial threat to hit 15-20 Hr, hit 30 doubles, etc, when he doesn't stay healthy enough, or stay in the lineup enough to do it. 2 times out of 9 seasons? Wow.

I call bullshit.

6 shutout innings for Ninja last night...

"We're so fucked."


Kenney . o O ( Those are some nice suits... wish mine were that nice. )

Hendry . o O ( Damn, she's a lesbo? What a shame )

Demp . o O ( Doesn't Jim ever shower? He smells worse than big Z after a 4-run implosion )

Nicely done.

Phil Rodgers - "The Voice of Reason and Accuracy"

He does have some rationale that he applies. He gives credit to the Cards for drafting Pujols... don't give them too much credit though, they think Brett Spooner and Josh Teekel are better picks than Pujols.

Trade out Pujols for the first basemen on any of the other good teams over the decade, with the exception of probably the Astros, and their rankings change significantly. Let's see what the Cards can do when he's getting paid $25 million.

I would probably call the Twins the best run franchise and the Red Sox the team of the decade, but that's more subjective than that Rodgers' thing.

seemed like a convulted way for Rogers to say the Cubs spent a lot money the last 3 years without any playoff victories...

nonetheless, definitely a good decade, 6 division titles, 1 wild card and 2 World Series appearances and 1 WS title...

RSox 1 division title, 5 Wild Card spots, 2 World Series appearances and 2 wins

Yanks, 8 division titles, 1 Wild Card spot, 4 World Series appearances, 1 win, 1 undecided

His method for determining the team of the decade is to take the total number of playoff wins in the decade divided by number of dollars spent on payroll in the decade, if I understand his half-baked logic. Whoever spend the least number of dollars per playoff win gets the crown?

I could spend time ranting about the flaws in his rating system but I just don't have the energy or motivation to waste on Phoolish Phil.

bartman is a camera operator for Fox sports these days.

Yeah, he didn't catch this one, either.

By one ranking system, Marquez Smith had a really nice defensive year:

Bruce Levine chat/Q&A from his blog...touches on alot of topics, including Ricketts, Hendry, Jaramillo, DeRosa, Bradley, VWells, Sean Marshall, Cashner, Castro (a few wsux questions but it's about 3:1 Cubs)

here's a sample:

Bruce, I understand Orlando Hudson will be available again, and I said last year the Cubs should go after him esp now with the way Fontenot played, but Baker stepped in nicely, however I don't see him much more than a singles hitter...Hudson brings more to the table...the Cubs should go after him this year at least!

Bruce Levine (1:42 PM)

Hudson will be a free agent again, but lost his job at the end of the season to Ronnie Belliard after he was picked up from Washington. Hudson has had some problems staying on the field, but a one-year gamble on a high-enery guy like Hudson may not be a bad idea.

Bruce Levine also posted that the Cubs denied Bradley-Wells discussions:
Cubs sources on Saturday vehemently denied that there is any type of a trade for Milton Bradley for Vernon Wells being discussed.

...More realistic opportunities to trade Bradley still exist in Tampa, ...or possible scenarios with the Texas Rangers or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

To Tampa, the most reasonable trade would be Iwamura for Bradley where Cubs pay some part of Bradley's salary, but probably not all of it.

He would give some legit depth to 3B, imo, and is a lefty if memory serves. Not the ideal acquisition, but not a terrible trade for Bradley. For the Rays, it gives them an outfielder that can get on base, something they chronically lack. Sure they have Crawford, but the rest of their outfield is usually pretty brutal.

Edit: Interesting the Cubs are denying this report. I figured it would have gone the other way. My bad.

If the current hypothetical options are Bradley for either Wells, Burrel, or Iwamura, I definitely favor Iwamura. He could play a role on a Chicago Cubs team and wouldn't completely demolish the payroll for years to come. My understanding is that he's a solid 3B, acceptable 2B and was even considered an option in the outfield. DeRosa much? I mean, versatile much? Still doesn't help us rid ourselves of Miles, though... Who plays RF then, though? Hoffpauir? Fox?

never heard anything about Iwamura being an option other than my own wishful thinking...

the report from the Rays at the time being is they don't want Bradley unless they don't have to pay much of his salary in case they have to cut him at any poin....

i still don't know why iwamura is considered a postive.

deck chairs on the Titanic....

he's got good patience and from what I read is very good defensively at 2b/3b, which is one more position than fontenot...

certainly not someone the Cubs need to pursue aggressively, but if somehow, someway it makes a deal happen to move Bradley...then the Cubs could do Pat Burrell for example.

He's better than our other 2B options. If it means ridding ourselves of some of Bradley's contract, then it's a positive to me. Fontenotenot to the bench...Iwamura to 3rd, Baker to 2B when Ramirez gets hurt. Personally, I wouldn't mind Burell too much. I say fuck it and put Soriano in RF.

[edit] That all made sense in my mind.

As a starter, I agree with you crunch, but if he were to play a bench role and add depth to 3B, I consider him a positive.

"Baker to 2B when Ramirez gets hurt."

And he DOES get hurt every year (remember, Jim Hendry, if you are reading this?!)

By the by, who won the TCR prediction contest? Was that already posted?

The contest includes post-season award votes.

TCR Keeper champion, eh? Still 6 guys every year with the same rosters, and 4 different guys with crappy rosters who realized they're screwed and drop the league yearly?

Ah I forgot there were post season awards.

I look forward to your criticism of the league every year. We wait for your critiques, then we change the league rules accordingly. We do you think about a roster-move limit?

The truth hurts, eh?

That's a fair interpretation of my post.

Do you supposed Brian Cashman has "Better record than the Royals" on his resume?

Disregarding the interesting grammar, I have no idea what you're talking about.

That's not surprising. But your league is a league of the haves and have nots. Your signature is akin to Cashman bragging that he can win more games than the Pirates.

Ok, now I see where you were going with that. So let me see:

1) I didn't brag about beating the least of the league, I bragged about winning the league. I'm pretty sure Cashman does/will do likewise upon willing a World Series. So no, my signature is not akin to what you say.

2) You're invalidating the fairness of our league by comparing it to the MLB. Do you not see the irony in that?

3) Are you really this dumb, are you you just bored and looking for a fight? I seriously don't know what this has to do with you.

1. Winning a world series is beating 29 other teams, made up of people, who for the most part try to make their organizations better. Winning the world series as a Yankees GM is sort of like getting a good paying job after graduating Harvard Law. It's not really a surprise. With a stacked deck, you beat maybe 4 other people who were in legitimate contention.

2. At least you're acknowledging that your league doesn't have any sort of competitive balance - yet you still brag about winning it? How can you not see the lameness in that?

3. If someone who just comes by occasionally to read TCR reads your signature, they may think that it's actually something worthy to brag about, you know, like there's really some sort of tournament or something, and you were the best at it. Dude you beat maybe five people, simmer down.

Could you enlighten all of us on the league rules again?

1. There is not payroll in our fantasy league, so that's, well, irrelevant. You've changed the argument. You said that I was bragging about beating the Royals of our league. I wasn't. I was bragging about winning the league. Whether or not it is a legitimate league, is, apparently, up to you to decide.

2. "You're invalidating the fairness of our league by comparing it to the MLB." = "[our] league doesn't have any sort of competitive balance"-?? Elucidate, please. I'd love for you to elaborate on the balance of the league as well as rules.

3. 14 others, but don't let a complete lack of knowledge about our league get in your way. And, is there any fantasy league really worth bragging about? It's a simple signature so I can feel awesome about myself and make Rob weep. I'm waiting for the casual reader to read the signature and get completely bamboozled because it's not a real fantasy league, it's only a...fantasy league. The poor sucker.

I cry everytime I read it Joe.

Mission accomplished! Apparently, it upsets Neal as well...and confuses newcomers. Now I'm going to bed.

Wait, you mean this isn't that big a deal?

Damn. Now I have to take down my shrine to "The Joe." Can I still pray to you, though? It's comforting and feels more like a conversation when I say, Dear Joe (I leave out the "The") than when I say, Dear God.

Joe Dammit!


Here is a question that Real Neal will probably you know anything about our league? And why the fuck are you so butt hurt about something that is played for fun and bragging rights?

We do you think about a roster-move limit?

Not in your league, but I'm in the "Other" renegade TCR keeper league. I must say, as the league leader in roster moves, this kind of rule would tick me off. I play lots of matchups. It's just part of the game. Just my opinion.

if I didn't screw up, only 3 folks got 4 answers correct and Tito was closest to total wins. this is assuming Derrek Lee is the highest in MVP voting...

"Rudiger" was the closest in win totals fwiw...

55. I just heard Ozzie Guillen talking in the WS pregame (without watching) and, seriously, I thought it was a retarded guy.

Great, more for the multitudes of douchebag Yankee fans to bitch about.

$50 virtual to whoever can explain to McCarver what an audible in football is, and a $25 bonus if you get him to use the correct quarterback (Manning) for his reference.

Here's some more info on the possibility of the Cubs moving their Spring Training home to Naples...

What they should do is get some of those guys who helped get the Sox down to St Petersburg to help them on their bid.

Really interesting interview of Sam Fuld.

DL: How important is on-base percentage within the organization?

SF: It’s certainly important. Like I said, you can’t help but have an increased awareness of the importance of on-base percentage. Over the last 10 years or so, it has certainly gotten a whole lot more attention. I certainly think it’s important. I don’t know exactly how much they weigh it in comparison to RBIs or some other statistics like that, but they’re definitely aware of it.

Quote from Sam Fuld in the article:

DL: Is batting average on balls in play [BABIP] a meaningful statistic to you?

SF: Sure. As long as you're working with a sample size big enough, it's a useful tool to discover a batter or pitchers luck, or lack thereof. I think it's much more meaningful when you break it down into ground ball, fly ball and line drive percentages in order to help account for a player's change in BABIP.

Wow. You're not likely to get that kind of answer from your average baseball player. Intelligence gap, anyone? I hope it doesn't become bulletin board material and subject Sam to too much hazing from the veterans.

You think none of them know that stuff, or that they just don't say it to the press? All the same info is available to them as is to us, plus some. I can't believe that athletes are just naturally predisposed to be dumber than bloggers.

Maybe I've been listening to too many former players such as John Kruk, Joe Morgan and Boomer Wells. Lenny Dykstra, anyone? Doug Glanville is clearly an exception but, if I recall, he was given a hard time coming up through the Cubs' system because of his intelligence and his education.

To clarify, I don't think that athletes are just naturally predisposed to be dumber than bloggers. I do think that major league baseball players on average probably fall short of the average intelligence of the subset of bloggers who are interested in a sabermetric approach to analyzing the game.

Johnny Damon sure played it tough when the chips were down. Excellent AB in the ninth & heads-up baserunning.

I'm guessing Brad Lidge's confidence has disappeared again until who knows when. I'd bet he has an even worse year next season.

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  • Theo inks five year extension

    PC tonite at PNC

    jacos 9 min 16 sec ago view
  • Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.

    billybucks 56 min 45 sec ago view
  • Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)

    Rob G. 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • jacos 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.

    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.

    crunch 3 hours 14 min ago view
  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 5 hours 38 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 42 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 5 hours 47 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 5 hours 50 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 4 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 13 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 9 hours 57 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 9 hours 59 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 16 hours 54 min ago view