Archive - Sep 2006

September 8th

With the end of the season fast approaching and the Dusty Era (hopefully) coming to a close, Cub fans far and wide have been looking toward next season. One big question on everyone's mind is, "who will the Cubs' manager be in 2007"? Fredi Gonzalez' name has bandied about quite a bit recently (and, actually, since the last time the Cubs were looking for a skipper), and he's Arizona Phil's odds-on choice. But strange things are afoot in south Florida. Last month saw a strange series of events take place between Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and manager (and Peoria native, Northwestern grad, ex-Cub) Joe Girardi, leading lots of Cubs fans to get excited about the possibility of Girardi coming to Chicago next year. In order to give us some idea what kind of manager he is for the Marlins and might be for the Cubs, we asked one of the best professional baseball writers out there, Miami Herald/ESPN columnist Dan LeBatard, to answer a few questions about Joe:

September 7th

So this Rich Hill character has looked pretty good since his most recent call-up and if they do keep him around and he does perform like this for the next 5-6 years, the Cubs get a guy through all his prime years on the uber-cheap. I'll take that. As for today's game, I updated the previews to reflect our race for worst record in baseball. It seems more fun to watch us go for something we're only 5 games back of in September. Go Cubs or go draft pick...either way! GAME ONE HUNDRED-FORTY IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PITTSBURGH PIRATES (56-84, 2nd, 4.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (56-83, 4th, 5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Sunny, 81 degrees, Wind Out to RF @ 9 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 189
Sean Marshalll, LHP 5-9, 5.05 ERA, 108.2 IP 68 K, 48 BB, 16 HR 260/345/427 againstShawn Chacon, RHP (NL Only) 1-2, 4.97 ERA, 21 IP 12 K, 21 BB, 5 HR 278/437/557 against

*Chris Duffy, CF Jack Wilson, SS Xavier Nady, RF Jason Bay, LF #Ryan Doumit, 1B Jose Bautista, 3B Jose Castillo, 2B Humberto Cota, C Shawn Chacon, P *Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF #Angel Pagan, LF *Scott Moore, 1B Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, SS *Sean Marshalll, P

Pirates vs. Marshall: No Pirates with more than 10 AB's Cubs vs. Chacon: Aramis Ramirez: 7-11, 636/667/2000, 4 HR, 3 2B
I think Ramirez has your number Chacon. Just can't stomach to give Soto a start, can you Dusty?

September 6th

I never really thought we'd catch the Pirates or the Royals for worst record in the league, but honestly a top pick in the first three slots of the draft is usually a good thing especially since the Cubs don't seem to shy away from giving out bonus money. This isn't a team that's so young that any type of moral victory such as fifth over sixth place would mean anything, so might as well go for the high draft pick. The Royals are playing well so they're definitely catchable for the overall worst record. You want to see some of the kids on the team do well, I'm particularly interested in Murton, Theriot, Hill, Guzman, Marshall and Ryu and on a lesser scale Soto, Marmol and Mateo, but anytime a vet needs a break or what not, no reason to put them out there I say. Well maybe we should put Rusch out there, he'd definitely help with the losing. Go Cubs or go draft pick...either way! GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY-NINE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PITTSBURGH PIRATES (56-83 (Div) 5th - 18.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th -16.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (55-83 (Div) 6th - 19.0 GB; (Wild Card) 13th - 17.0 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Clear, 77 degrees, Wind in from RF @ 8 mph TV: CSN, DirectTV 745 Radio: WGN, XM 189
Rich Hill, LHP 4-6, 5.24 ERA, 65.1 IP 46 K, 30 BB, 12 HR 252/333/479 againstZach Duke, LHP 8-13, 4.97 ERA, 179.1 IP 94 K, 59 BB, 14 HR 310/367/456 against

*Chris Duffy, CF Jose Bautista, 3B Freddy Sanchez, SS Jason Bay, LF #Ryan Doumit, 1B Ronny Paulino, C Joe Randa, 3B Jose Castillo, 2B *Zach Duke *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B Matt Murton, LF *Jacque Jones, RF Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, SS *Rich Hill, P

Pirates vs. Hill: No Pirates with more than 10 AB's Cubs vs. Duke: Matt Murton: 8-14, 571/600/929, 1 HR, 2 2B Ronny Cedeno: 6-13, 462/462/462 Aramis Ramirez: 3-12, 250/308/500 Juan Pierre: 1-11, 091/091/091 Derrek Lee: 2-10, 200/200/300

According to Bruce Miles in the Daily Herald, the Pirates "commandeered" Wrigley Field for some extra batting & fielding practice prior to last night's game. So Bucs manager Jim Tracy apparently had a novel idea: How about some extra practice during the season? And Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune reports that Cubs #1 prospect Felix Pie is upset that he didn't get a September recall, and that he is being sent to Fitch Park in Mesa to work one-on-one with hitting instructor Von Joshua and base-running instructor Bob Dernier instead of getting a chance to strut his stuff at Wrigley Field in September.

September 5th

A break in the action here at work gives me some time to pop this up. Tonight's loser gets to be queen for a day, possibly longer. Go Cubs or go draft pick...either way! GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY-EIGHT IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PITTSBURGH PIRATES (55-83 (Div) 6th - 19.0 GB; (Wild Card) 13th -16.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (55-82 (Div) 5th - 18.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 16.0 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Clear, 72 degrees, Wind in from RF @ 4 mph TV: WCIU, DirectTV 744 Radio: WGN, XM 189
Juan Mateo, RHP 1-2, 4.15 ERA, 26 IP 14 K, 11BB, 2 HR 208/313/356 againstVictor Santos, RHP 5-9, 5.54 ERA, 112 IP 79 K, 41 BB, 16 HR 314/387/419 against

*Chris Duffy, CF Jose Bautista, 3B Freddy Sanchez, SS Jason Bay, LF Xavier Nady, 1B *Jeromy Burnitz, RF Ronny Paulino, C Jose Castillo, 2B Victor Santos, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, SS Juan Mateo, P

Pirates vs. Mateo: No Pirates with more than 10 AB's Cubs vs. Santos: Aramis Ramirez: 9-24, 375/400/750, 1 HR Derrek Lee: 4-20, 200/292/500, 2 HR Jacque Jones: 5-14, 357 /400/429 John Mabry: 3-13, 231/231/462, 1 HR Juan Pierre: 2-12, 167/167/417, 1 HR

The Cubs acquired AA pitcher Adam Harben from the Minnesota Twins to complete the Phil Nevin deal from last week. They also called up pitcher Jae-kuk Ryu and catcher Jose Reyes. To make room on the 40-man roster for Harben, the Cubs also put Jerome Williams on waivers and he was claimed by the Oakland Athletics. Sayonara Sir Williams! Harben was a 15th round pick of the Twins back in 2002 out of community college in Arkansas. Scout.com had him at #11 in their pre-season Twins prospect ranking but dropped him down to #38 when they revisited the list mid-season. Harben recently turned 23 and finished his AA season going 4-9 with a 3.96 ERA with 74K/67 BB/5 HR in 122.2 IP. I believe he's been shuttled between the pen and the rotation. Judging from his splits this year, he's pretty decent at getting righties out (.197 BA against) and keeps the ball on the ground (2.03 GO/FO ratio). Harben once threw in the high 90's, but his velocity starting taking a dip in 2005 and he throws in the low to mid 90's. He also features a slider and a change, both of which he seems to have trouble commanding. Sounds like he's about what you'd expect for an aging, one-month rental. A kid with some upside and tools, but all kinds of trouble putting them together. He was expected to go to the AFL for the Twins, so we'll see if the Cubs do some switching around. This will probably have to suffice for today's preview. Stupid job getting in the way. It's Juan Mateo versus Victor Santos. A loss and the Cubs take over last place in the division. Yeah 2006!

September 4th

Before the servers crash again, some notes and preview.... - Barrett likely out for season, details too gruesome for 50% of the population to repeat out loud - Carlos Marmol activated, Scott Moore called up - Jacque Jones left early yesterday with an infection to his tear duct. Insert crying jokes here. - Z goes for his 15th win today, would tie him for NL league with Brad Penny Go Cubs or go draft pick...either way! GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PITTSBURGH PIRATES (54-83 (Div) 6th - 20.0 GB; (Wild Card) 13th -16.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (55-81 (Div) 5th - 18.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 15.0 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Overcast, 67 degrees, Wind in from LF @ 1 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 189
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 14-5, 3.33 ERA, 191.2 IP 187 K, 100 BB, 19 HR 208/313/356 againstPaul Maholm, LHP 6-10, 4.84 ERA, 158 IP 70 K, 48 BB, 16 HR 261/327/428 against

*Chris Duffy, CF Joe Randa, 3B Freddy Sanchez, SS Jason Bay, LF Xavier Nady, RF #Ryan Doumit, 1B Ronny Paulino, C Jose Castillo, 2B *Paul Maholm, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B Matt Murton, LF #Angel Pagan, RF Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, SS #Carlos Zambrano, P

Pirates vs. Zambrano: Jack Wilson: 8-31, 258/324/290 Jason Bay: 8-26, 308/419/769 Jose Castillo: 5-20, 250/286/400 Xavier Nady: 5-12, 417/417/750 Freddy Sanchez: 2-12, 167/231/167 Cubs vs. Maholm: No Cubs with more than 10 AB's

September 2nd

Promising lefty Sean Marshall returns to the mound today from his oblique injury. And your welcome back gift? Barry Bonds. Marshall faced the Giants earlier this season in what I believe was our first massive losing streak (So many, too hard to count anymore) and got shelled for nine runs over three and two-thirds innings pitched. Let's hope this one goes better. A fun little note on Marshall for those worrying that the Cubs burn through young arms like their tires at an Indy Car race. Marshall hasn't gone over 105 pitches all season and has topped 90 pitches in 10 of his 19 starts. Another mild interesting note is that the #1 and #2 hitters are hitting .320 and .417 respectively off Marshall, but no one else is hitting above .270. He seems to have more trouble with the table-setters than the power guys for whatever reason. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY-FIVE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (66-69 (Div) 3rd - 6.5 GB; (Wild Card) 5th - 2.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (55-79 (Div) 5th - 17.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 13.0 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees, Wind In From CF @ 12mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 734 Radio: WGN, XM 189
Sean Marshall, LHP 5-8, 4.98 ERA, 103 IP 67 K, 46 BB, 13 HR 262/348/415 againstMatt Cain, RHP 10-9, 4.32 ERA, 150 IP 70 K, 48 BB, 16 HR 261/327/428 against

*Randy Winn, CF #Omar Vizquel, SS Shea Hillenbrand, 1B Barry Bonds, LF #Ray Durham, 2B Moises Alou, RF Pedro Feliz, 3B Eliezer Alfonzo, C Matt Cain, P *Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B Michael Barrett, C *Jacque Jones, RF #Angel Pagan, LF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Sean Marshalll, P

Giants vs. Marshall: No Giants with more than 10 AB's Cubs vs. Cain: No Cubs with more than 10 AB's

September 1st

It's hard to believe that only two months ago I reacted to a Dempsterian meltdown by taking the time to figure out what to look forward to for the rest of the year. And that was after actually watching the game! I experienced this week's back-to-back 11th-inning disasters only via the coments here and ESPNews at the gym, and it was still enough for me to write a sentence that I really never thought I'd write: I'm done with this team for this season. Seriously, what is to be gained by watching this team over the next month? Jerry Seinfeld has a well-known riff about how rooting for a specific team is just rooting for laundry, and I gotta tell ya, this laundry sucks. I'm gonna torture this metaphor for a little while: the ownership needs to sort through the laundry, throw out a bunch of it, and get some new clothes, preferably a nice pair of flat-front slacks that can hit 30 home runs and plays a passable outfield defense. Maybe a snappy blazer that can play second base, too. Oh, and a new manager. Until that happens, I can't follow this team. All of my favorite players are either hurt or traded, with the exception of Derrek Lee, and Lee isn't enough to keep me paying attention. There's just too much negativity, too much suckitude, too much "clog-the-bases" anger-making bullshit for me to deal with on a daily basis. It isn't healthy. I'm working on tabulating the results of the "Wisdom Of Us" contest (remember that?), and I'll be unveiling the results throughout October. Hopefully that month will also bring us a few decent free agent signings and a new manager. For those of you who aren't as completely burned out on this team as I am, there's a little bit of actual content after the jump:

Hill is 3-2, with a 4.09 ERA since his most recent callup and if you take out that first start versus the Cards his ERA is down to 3.38 in his last 6 starts. I think we'll all take that, let's hope he can keep it up. The Cubs are in (another) death spiral losing six in a row, 10 of their last 11 and 11 of their last 13. The Giants meanwhile are below .500 but very much in the wild card race trailing the frontrunner by a mere 2.5 games. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY-FOUR IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (66-68 (Div) 3rd - 5.5 GB; (Wild Card) 4th - 2.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (54-79 (Div) 5th - 17.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 15.0 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Cloudy, 70 degrees, Wind In From CF @ 13mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 189
Rich Hill, LHP 3-6, 5.81 ERA, 57.1 IP 40 K, 29 BB, 12 HR 263/350//507 againstNoah Lowry, LHP 7-7, 3.75 ERA, 136.2 IP 70 K, 48 BB, 16 HR 261/327/428 against

*Randy Winn, CF #Omar Vizquel, SS Shea Hillenbrand, 1B Moises Alou, RF #Ray Durham, 2B #Todd Linden, LF Pedro Feliz, 3B Todd Greene, C Noah Lowry, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B Michael Barrett, C *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Rich Hill, P

Giants vs. Hill: No Giants with more than 10 AB's Cubs vs. Lowry: No active Cubs with more than 10 AB's
Barry "The Creep" Bonds is out of the lineup and it looks like it's a good day to pitch with a brisk 13 mph wind in from CF.

Just before today's deadline for setting playoff rosters passed, the Cubs dealt Phil Nevin to the Minnesota Twins for the very popular PTBNL. The dude sure gets around. It's certainly a step up from the ITBNL (Intern to be Named Later) that was rumored to be coming our way from the Dodgers for John Mabry. Very unfortunately it seems that deal fell through. Over the last month, Nevin hit 346/393/519 in 52 AB's while Mabry hit 194/231/222 with 62 AB's. Since the All-Star break Nevin had 86 AB's for a line of 314/362/547 while Mabry has had 85 AB's for a line of 224/292/400. Go Dusty! Nevin was actually about our third best hitter in his time here if you go by OPS and I'd be all for bringing him back next year if he's interested in a bench role. He also seems to really irritate the Cubs beat writers which I find entertaining. I guess we'll have to see who the PTBNL is, maybe we'll get Justin Jones back.

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