Archive - Nov 2008

November 29th

Everthing Arizona Phil writes in the comment section is worthy of a Best of TCR article. But this Best of TCR writeup is to show that I can find a post when news is particularly thin (beyond those gimme's from our TCR guru in the desert). Thanksgiving weekend is usually a desert of baseball news unto itself. Thus to brighten our tumbleweed desolate weekend, my long time friend, The E-Man steps up with a summary of Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000 saturday morning "Talking Baseball" weekly radio show. Enjoy (except for the part where he says that my season tickets will be more expensive). Take it away E-Man:

Just heard Hendry on WMVP this AM with Bruce Levine.

Jimbo came on the show...

- no slam dunk with Marmol as closer. He is not "set to close", but it is Lou's decision. They (Marmol/Gregg) may share duties. One may close more in the beginning of the year than the other.

November 28th

MLB clubs have until Monday (December 1st) to decide whether to offer salary arbitration to their Type "A" and Type"B" free-agents. 

November 26th

In a special, Thanksgiving edition of his Stat of the Week, John Dewan chronicles the Cubs' aversion to taking walks from 2003 through '07.

Here is how the Cubs hitters ranked among NL clubs in BB:

2003 14th of 16 teams
2004 14th of 16 teams
2005 16th of 16 teams
2006 16th of 16 teams
2007 15th of 16 teams

Last year  was a different story.

I read the Sun-Times writeup on an interview with Lou Piniella in yesterday's paper and thought it was worthy of TCR discussion.

''The two things that I take from the postseason are that I didn't get a chance to pitch [Ted] Lilly, and he was such an integral part of us getting there.."

Here's my translation of Lou's comment #1:

1) The Ted Lilly Fan Club Super Computer predicted this.

2) Lou prefers Jason Marquis to Jake Peavy or Rich Harden because the latter two makes it tougher to pitch Ted Lilly in the playoffs.

3) You should have seen Z's reaction when (Lou) told him Dempster was pitching game one and Ted Lilly was pitching game two vs LA.


And Lou's comment #2: "And, two, we've just got to figure out a way to score more runs in the postseason."

...then Lou says: Raul Ibanez is the type of professional hitter "that we are alluding to".


1) I'm batting Raul 4th.

2) Defense? We don't need no stinkin' defense.

3) Is there a Raul Ibanez Fan Club Computer I can check with?

November 25th

Back in April, I put up some polls for our readers to rank the position players and number one pitchers in the division. I originally intended to get them up before the season started so any hot starts wouldn't influence the results. I failed miserably at that and the poll results showed that (Derrek Lee second?). Nonetheless, let's revisit the fun.

November 22nd

Kansas City is focused on Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot in talks with the Cubs about Mark Teahen. …

That is according to a Phil Rogers article.

That's great, I'm focused on solving world peace after I cure cancer, which will all happen after I retire at age 35 because the charming widow across the street is really the heir to the Buffett family fortune and appreciates when I roll her garbage can up her driveway on Tuesdays.

Let's just say I don't see either one happening.

November 21st

November 19th

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I know how you feel, and I respect that and I agree they were good in fundamentals and I liked his intolerance of the BB as well.

    6 hours 38 min ago
  • I think Renteria was much better than most people seem to think he was. This was a team that competed and played well every day without a very good lineup to work with. They did the fundamentals well, and managers must have some impact there because no Cubs team has for quite awhile, and it can't all be attributed to the Cubs Way, whatever that is, because it just hasn't had enough time to really bake. I liked his absolute impatience with late inning pitchers who walked guys.

    6 hours 57 min ago
    Old and Blue
  • I believe it's a dream come true for Theo as well ... again I don't believe Renteria was a good manager and he certainly wasn't very captivating in the press room either. If Theo/Jed were disappointed as I believe they were they had very little choice but to keep him onboard. Going through managers that fast (and pitching coaches) is bad publicity.

    Here they can say it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get their man, save face with apologies to captain happy, and get on with somone who excels at their job.

    7 hours 16 min ago
  • Reading the various internet reports last night I can't help but think this is Maddon's job now. For him, it's the opportunity of a lifetime, the ultimate career challenge, and possibly ultimate career accomplishment. Being the manager that helps break the 100+ year cycle. I think he'll risk some mumbling for that.

    I will kind of feel for Capt Happy, but them's the breaks.

    9 hours 12 min ago
    Old and Blue
  • The "Culture"

    That's a huge part of this job. It's what turned NY cocksure Lou, into mumbling going to the beach Lou.
    Going to need a strong character for when this team kicks in and starts challenging.
    That's when the real pressure hits. And when it happens this time, it's going to make Lou's situation look like what Herman Franks dealt with in '77-78.

    Maybe that's why Cpt Happy is good for the job. He might be oblivious to it all.

    9 hours 20 min ago
  • 4-23-2008 at Colorado: Cubs trailing 5-4 going into top of the 9th... Manny Corpas is the pitcher (he was the Rockies closer at the time)... one-out single by Derrek Lee... Felix Pie pinch-runs for D-Lee.... A-Ram two-run HR puts the Cubs ahead 6-5... Kerry Wood blows the save in the bottom of the 9th, but the Cubs win 7-6 in 10.

    14 hours 27 min ago
    Arizona Phil
  • Maddon was the ideal fit, open to ideas from the analytics-minded front office and popular with players for cultivating a loose clubhouse atmosphere while thriving on competing with the payroll behemoths in the American League East.

    16 hours 50 min ago
    Rob G.
  • Well that's a perfect description of Bob Brenly if I ever heard one.

    Cubs had two great years under Lou, he was just too old to care to babysit when they stopped winning.

    18 hours 14 min ago
    Rob G.
  • My favorite Lou moment -- Cubs down a run in the 9th, get a man on first, ARam coming to the plate. The other team has a lefty on the mound. Lou pinch runs Felix Pie. Bob Brenley says this is a great move, since Pie can steal a base and put the tying run in scoring position. Pie never tries to steal 2nd. Brenley is flabbergasted as to why they would pinch-run Pie if he wasn't going to steal. The reason -- the scouting report said the lefty used a slide step with a fast runner on first, and when he went to the slide step, his slider flattened out.

    18 hours 34 min ago
  • Twins paying 5/25 for Madden would make his salary about 50% of their 25 man roster

    19 hours 35 min ago
  • finally, someone is making sense of all this managerial shakeup stuff.

    19 hours 37 min ago
  • ...a challenger appears

    "LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins plan to contact Joe Maddon regarding their managerial vacancy."

    21 hours 8 min ago
  • Thanks Rob - all managers make head scratcher moves so I'm not worried about that angle. My overall feeling is that if everybody loves the guy then they ought to go for it. The march against Cubbery needs every angle it can get to overcome the stench we've had to endure.

    21 hours 45 min ago
    Old and Blue
  • it's a manager, no one has yet to devise a great way to really evaluate one vs the next in any tangible way. But we know he can succeed with young talent, we know players love playing for him, sure does love defensive shifts, is a really sharp guy.

    Not saying Renteria isn't any of those things, and that Maddon wouldn't make some head scratcher moves here and there, but the track record and reputation are certainly there.

    21 hours 55 min ago
    Rob G.
  • Why the hell are the players announcing their nationality, like it's a friggin football game?

    21 hours 58 min ago
    The Joe
  • Is Maddon really that much better than Renteria? I honestly don't know that much about Maddon since I hardly pay any attention to the AL. Renteria had this team playing pretty sound, fundamental baseball. I haven't seen that in about ten years. I'd be bummed if they hired a star manager and then started missing cutoff men again or played wacky in their many other ways.

    On the other hand, Olt.

    It's these huge questions that I rely on you guys to answer, since I really have no clue what is best.

    22 hours 20 min ago
    Old and Blue


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