Archive - Jan 2007

Prior VERBOTTEN, Hendry’s Downfall or Glenallen and the Spiders from Mars

TCR's guest correspondent Joseph Hecht, M.D. is back with a look at the wild and wacky side of baseball injuries. ---- Now that Mark Prior may be the only player in the arbitration process to receive a slight pay cut, he should be embarrassed but definitely motivated to make more money from here on out. No more excuses as to some wacky injury this year, correct? After all, he’s covered every possible thing that can go wrong, right? (Image courtesty of Jeff Roberson/AP) To paraphrase Johnny Carson’s line to Ed McMahon, “Wrong, oh traumatized Cub one”. Take a look at a few of the baseball injuries he’s yet to suffer. Our pitching prodigy is explicitly forbidden to see this stuff (just in case his ailments are psychosomatic). I “stumbled” onto the True Baseball Injuries website that has some beauties. Lets start by preventing him from talking to ‘70’s Cub outfielder Jose Cardenal at the next Cub convention. As a kid, Jose Cardenal must have had some great excuses to get out of school. He wouldn’t dare come up with a lame excuse like, my dog at my homework. He missed a game in 1972 because he was kept up all night by chirping crickets outside his hotel room. Two years later he missed a game because he couldn’t blink, reporting that his eyes were stuck, “open”.

Next I “bumped” into a website called The Baseball Injury Hall of Fame. Their list includes over 30 of the weirdest injuries that have happened to baseball players and of course our Cubs and their maladies have been able-bodied in their representation.

Some of these injury reports are the party line as to what happened. If the truth came out, some of these players just might have violated something in their contract or even worse been the laughing stock of the clubhouse and the whole baseball world. I’m sure they were the latter from those in the know.

Here are few of my favorites, but I’d love to see more from our readers:

Cubs, Prior Avoid Arbitration

Mark Prior and the Cubs have agreed on a one year deal, terms have yet to be disclosed. I imagine they'll just agree in the middle and Prior will get the same that he did last year which was $3.65 million. The Cubs should demand from Prior a public apology for even thinking he deserved a raise, but the MLBPA would probably shoot it down.

January 30th

2007 Draft

Beyond my normal day job, I'm working on a bunch of other stuff for the site from articles to some permanent features to new contributors and so forth, so you'll have to bear with a few slow days until spring training starts. In the meantime, released the Top 100 prospects for the 2007 MLB draft and with us picking third (and 31st I believe), I'd imagine that would interest us all. Any of the first four picks sure sound interesting :

January 29th

The Over/Under

No, this isn't a betting column although I've never been able to figure out what the gambling lines on a baseball game mean. I had this wonderful post all ready to go running down the various prospect lists that have been circulated over the last few months. We're talking pictures, animated charts, flash demos, in-depth interviews, a whole streaming webcast with Tim Wilkens and Oneri Fleita set-up so they could answer your questions live and then Baseball America moved back the release date of their top 10 Cubs prospects for a week.

January 26th

CSI - Chicago

The Arizona Republic is reporting that late yesterday or early today, someone broke in to Bob Brenly's home to steal the emmy he won for his work with Len last year. This demands a serious investigation. First of all, how did Bob Brenly win an Emmy? Ok, maybe it would be better to start with an easier problem: Who stole Bob's Emmy?

TCR Friday Notes

I actually wasn't going to do one today, but after spending all morning working on something for the site, I felt the need to unveil it upon you all. But first... - Dayn Perry HATES the Cubs. The article ranges from the absurd to the obvious. My favorite gem:
(Derrek) Lee must stay healthy. While it's not likely he'll ever again be as dominant as he was in 2005, he is capable of returning to his typical "very good but not great" self. Provided he avoids injury.
While certainly there's truth behind the statement, who's really worried about him getting injured? A bad luck broken bone last year and we're walking on eggshells with him all of sudden? Didn't Sammy Sosa get hit by a pitch in 1996 that prematurely ended his season? Was everyone freaking out that he'll never be able to play a full season again?

January 25th

January 24th

The Ankle Bone is Connected to the…

TCR is happy to announce the addition of Joseph Hecht, M.D. as a guest contributor to the site. You may recall his detailed insights in the comments as "Cubster" on the various medical woes that our team has suffered throughout the years. He's a board certified orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience, currently running a private practice just outside of Chicago, in Munster, Indiana. He'll be providing us with insight on the various ailments that will undoubtedly befall the boys in blue as the season progresses. --- Cliff Floyd, the most recent Cub addition will immediately fit in with the Cub tradition as he’s been a walking wounded athlete much of his career. His current malady for which he had surgery last October is Achilles Tendonitis. Recent Cubs surviving this Epic Malady include the “Marks” Grudzielanek and Prior, although neither of those athletes needed surgery for the condition. From Greek Mythology and Homer’s Iliad come the origin of the concept that the Achilles tendon is the weak spot of many a legendary hero. Thetis (Achilles Mother) held the young Achilles by the heel and dipped him in the river Styx; everything the sacred waters touched became invulnerable, but the heel remained dry and therefore vulnerable. I don’t believe Cliff Floyd’s mom’s first name is Thetis although she might have listened to a song or two from the band Styx. But seriously folks, this stuff hurts…

Welcome Back to Chicago, Cliff Floyd

UPDATE: Here are the contract details, Floyd gets one year, guaranteed at $3 million. He has a vesting option that kicks in at either 425 plate appearances or 100 games started for 2008, and if it does vest, it becomes a player option and Floyd can opt-out and become a free agent once again. If it does not vest, the Cubs hold the 2008 option. He can make up to $7.5 million this year by reaching all of his games-played, plate-appearance and roster incentive levels. If he has 550 PA's in each of the next two season, he can make up to $17.5 million. If he gets to only 500 PA's in each of the next two years, he'll make up to $15.5 million. And now we know why this deal took so long to complete. ----- As AZ Phil pointed out, the Floyd deal is finally done. As I've mentioned in previous comments, I'm not completing against this deal despite it likely taking at-bats away from Matt Murton. Floyd can most definitely hit the righties (281/368/496 career) and that's likely all he'll be asked to do. It's certainly better than trotting out Todd Hollandsworth off your bench or as a starter, that's for sure. There is no doubt though that he's in a slow and steady decline though. Here are his charts (courtesy of for his ISO and RC/27:


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