Wednesday Cubs News

- Despite the claims of the Illinois speaker of the House that the bond deal was dead, Tom Ricketts is pushing forward with union leaders in hand about how the Wrigley improvement project will do magnificent things for everyone. The drawings sure are pretty.

- The same link has Hendry's annual offseason quote that the trade market looks good this offesason.

- At, Hendry says a lot without saying anything about first base. He does seem to indicate they'll take their time since there are so many options which is code for going on the cheap. He also indicates that adding pitching depth (relievers and starters) is the focus so don't expect any big names, if for some reason you were. Looks like the Cubs are gonna be dumpster diving this offseason for players, which certainly can work out...or not.

- Heyman says the Cubs and just about the entire National League isn't very interested in Adam Dunn.

- Harry Caray's in Wrigleyville is closing down, bad mojo between the resteraunt and landlord. They are seeking another Wrigleyville location.

- The BP Cup - given to the winner each year of the Cubs vs. White Sox interleague series - earned the honor of one of the lamest sport trophies...well done everyone involved.

BONUS LINK: Jayson Stark has his take on the Cubs and that take is that Mike Quade can turn water into wine.

How much difference did Quade make? Well, the Cubs went 24-16 in the 40 games he managed -- after going 24-42 over the final 66 games Lou Piniella managed. And the changes didn't just show up in the standings.

Scouts who followed the Cubs said they saw young players and the bullpen crew, in particular, relax and perform without the high-strung Piniella around. And Fukudome was also a different guy, hitting .277/.390/.482 (with more walks than strikeouts) from Aug. 20 on -- after hitting .258/.365/.425 before that.

He goes on to say that Hendry isn't all that motivated to move  Fukudome and Carlos Zambrano now because of the work of Jesus Quade, or at least the improvement seen under Jesus Quade's leadership. Stark also echoes that it's Dunn's glovework, or lack thereof, that is going to keep him out of Chicago and the Cubs would like someone that is an "above-average defender" to chase down all of Castro's bad throws.

(pounds fist on keyboards, feigns anger over Cubs rumored thought process)

- BONUS JAPAN NEWS: Micah Hoffpauir has signed a deal with the Nippon Ham Fighters. How the hell he didn't become an Oriole, I'll never know. And if you missed the news, Scott Moore is back in the Cubs organization after his tour of duty with the team that Ripken built (and MacPhail is trying to destroy).



playing to their perceived strengths it looks like the new ownership's focus this winter will be a long-term extension for their aging veteran named Wrigley...

At the end of the Stark article he quotes a scout:

On Cubs pitching prospect Chris Carpenter: "Easy power stuff. Great life. This guy has a chance to be a front-of-the-rotation starter."

so did Mark Prior!!!!

it's the new Godwin law for Cubs discussions, invoke the name of Mark Prior whenever a Cubs pitching prospect is mentioned.

Carpenter, Cashner, Archer, Jackson...couple of really good arms coming through the system, see if any can stick.

Bud Blacks beats Dusty Baker by 1 pt for manager of the year

Gardenhire takes the AL award over Ron Washington

with net neutrality disappearing and now a bill to censor websites that conduct in "copyright infringement", i.e. entertainment industry sponsored bill.

and from someone who works in the entertainment industry and really wishes people didn't pirate movies and so forth, this bill is too much of slippery slope for my tastes.

Piracy is bad, censorship is worse. Considering what just happened to Cubscast, if I understand this bill correctly, MLB could argue any blog using Cubs in it is in copyright violation and could potentially shut them down with just a court order.

There's a petition.

I look forward to enjoying your work on The Baby Bear Reporter.

Or the dyslexic buc reporter

...which is code for going on the cheap

Amen, 'bro.

Of my, He-Man plus the NHF? I'm in heaven.

If you're the GM of the Cubs, would you empty the system for a high upside guy like Justin Upton (or someone comparable)? I was reading over there at mlbtr and I was looking at the proposals people think would be necessary, would you gut the system? You'd be giving up Brett Jackson, and at least one of the two Archer/McNutt plus two other solid prospects, but then you move Colvin to first and you've solved one hole and really upgraded not only the defense in right, but add another power bat to the lineup. Upton is affordable and signed for 4 (possibly 5? Not sure) years. Obviously, I'm slightly on the side of being okay with a deal like this since Jackson would be replaced by Upton and Archer/McNutt are nearly ready and we don't have the rotation space for them currently, though we could make it. We'd have to add in another great/good prospect but would you make the trade? Now just seems like the time that the Cubs could take flyers on high-risk, high-reward players. Just looking for some discussion

all depends on what empty the system means of course, but I'm all for acquiring 23 year olds who have already put a .900 OPS season.

but that's easily 4-5 prospects all in the A/B (or 4/5 star) range all either ready for the majors or such good prospects that there's no doubt they'll be major leaguers.

..and for a guy who's got some holes in his game.

What would Dan Haren cost?

angels seem to want to keep haren, fwiw.

Rob G.--

Re: #11
Funny, I checked out Upton's stats in Baseball-Reference and it has him peaking at .899 OPS in 2009. What a nit-picker I am!

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.