Archive - 2008

A Cub Fans Guide to Blackhawks Hockey

A funny thing happened on the way to the NHL Winter Classic:

The Blackhawks got good. Very good.

As a result, the spectacle that John McDonough begged his league to bring to Wrigley to help him reanimate a recently dead franchise has turned into something else:

A signficant matchup between the Detroit Red Wings, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and the Blackhawks, the Wings' closest divisional pursuers, one of the league's youngest, highest scoring, and most dynamic clubs.

In case you have been too busy following the Cubs' off-season exploits to pay attention to the Blackhawks--or, more likely, if you have never paid attention to the Hawks--here is a Cubs baseball/Blackhawks hockey translator just for you.

Hendry on XM Radio

Jim Hendry was on XM radio with Rob Dibble and his co-host...Stern something or other. The completely uninteresting highlights:

  • trading DeRosa was the toughest trade he ever made 
  • too right-handed
  • Fontenot and Miles at second base
  • No talks at all with Baltimore for "the player" (Brian Roberts)
  • couple of deals expected over the next few weeks, in 7-10 days they expect to add a left-handed hitting outfielder
  • seems content with the bullpen, Lou and Rothschild will figure out the closer between Gregg and Marmol in spring training
  • not going to the hockey game, currently visitng his brother in Louisiana
  • Soriano's just streaky, not worried about his playoff performance or wilting under the pressure
  • Sale completed within next month he hears
  • Payroll is set until new owner is named, had to move money to add money
  • humorous bit about not caring what the Yankees spend and he's spent plenty on his part and if he didn't, he probably would have been fired by now.

No mention of the Jason Marquis trade, but you have to assume it's one of those deals expected over the next few weeks.

On another note, this Stern fella sounds like a bigger idiot than Rob Dibble, which I didn't think was possible. He keeps harping about Brian Roberts and just called Mike Fontenot a "punch and judy" hitter.

Dr. Hecht's simulcast after the jump...

Cubs Trade Mark DeRosa

Bruce Levine of ESPN1000 is reporting that the Cubs have traded Mark DeRosa and the $5.5M on his contract for 2009 to the Cleveland Indians for three minor-leaguers, RHP Jeff Stevens, LHP John Gaub and RHP Chris Archer.

You have to think a trade, let's say for a certain pitcher from San Diego whom I dare not speak his name, is possibly forthcoming.

I'll try and get some info on the prospects in a bit.

UPDATE #1: Link from, although I think they have a typo on John "Caub".

UPDATE #2: I poked around a bit and none of the three prospects showed up on Baseball America's recent top 10 Indians' prospect list or John Sickels Top 20. In other words, this deal only makes sense if they're all headed to another city, let's call it San Diego, to give them the quantity of pitchers and players that they wanted in that trade for that certain pitcher, whom we'll refer to as J.P.

Scouting reports and biographies that I could piece together on the prospects after the jump....

December 30th

Gone to the Eternal Confines: 2008 Cub Obits

Update: Loyal TCR reader Jacos points out my glaring omission of Bobby Murcer from the obit list. I think I scooted right past his name on the list of 2008 baseball deaths because I will always think of him as a New York Yankee despite his time with the Cubs and Giants, just like I will always think of Billy Williams as a Cub, despite his time with the Athletics. For the record, Murcer was acquired in trade from San Francisco for Bill Madlock in 1977 then traded back to the Yankees in June of 1979. In his two and a half years with the Cubs, Murcer had a couple of okay seasons--including 27 HR and 89 RBI in '77.


In the year just past, eight more men with various ties to our beloved Cubs left this world without seeing a World Series championship find its way to the North Side.

R.I.P. to you all, gentlemen...


John Buzhardt
(Died 6/15/08 at age 71 in Prosperity, South Carolina)

A right-hander signed by the Cubs as an amateur in 1954, Buzhardt pitched for the team in September of 1958 and all of 1959. In his two seasons in Cubbie blue, Buzhardt went 7-5, bouncing between starting and relief roles. The highlight of his Cub career was in June of '59, when Buzhardt threw a complete game, one-hit shutout at the Phillies. In addition to pitching for the Cubs, Buzhardt played for the Phillies, White Sox, Orioles, and Astros, ending his career in 1968 with a record of 71-96.


Don Cardwell (Died 1/14/08 at age 72 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

Two days after being traded to the Cubs by the Phillies in 1960, Cardwell no-hit the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. If you haven't seen the grainy black & white footage from the WGN broadcast that day, you should.

December 29th

Cubs Christmas Gifts

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah and so forth. The Angel Fan Wife was kind enough to get me a Ryne Sandberg jersey, plus some wonderful Marquette gear, so I guess I ended up on the nice list. I would love to hear what Cubs goodies some of you received.

As for the current Cubbies, here's what a few of them unwrapped.


December 26th

Big Unit Signs With Giants, Remains Free to Continue Abusing Cubs

Despite a past association with current Cubs manager Lou Piniella and rumors that the Cubs had him in their sights, Walnut Creek, California native Randy Johnson has signed a one-year deal with the Giants for a reported $8 million plus bonuses,.

December 25th


Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?