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Here on election day, I'm voting for none other than Arizona Phil. Anyone armed with so much information can't lead our country wrong. I can't wait for Chris Berman to get his post-election interview with Phil.

Strong commentary by Az Phil from the "Cubs make the First Trade of the Offseason" post. 

On newly acquired Ryan Buchter:

Ryan Buchter was drafted by the Nationals in the 33rd round of the 2005 draft, but he didn't sign, and instead went to a JC in New Jersey.

The Nats signed Buchter as a "Draft & Follow" in May 2006 (prior to the new CBA, clubs retained rights to their Rule 4 Draft picks until one week before the next year's draft), an indication that his draft stock had gone up after his year playing JC ball.

What probably happened is, the Cubs area scout in New Jersey "turned in" Buchter off his performance in JC in '06 ("turned in" being the term used by scouts when they recommend a player), but the Cubs never got a chance to draft him in 2006 because the Nats had already signed him as a DNF in May, although the Cubs probably kept his name on file for future reference should a trade be made with the Nationals at some future date.

Here at TCR we're always trying to add value to our readers. One of the ideas discussed recently was that many fantastic posts in the comment section get overlooked when time is limited. Also some of our readers get their dose of TCR via RSS feeds and never see the comments section. In an attempt to feature "the best of TCR",  I'll dig up some of the comments that aren't to be missed and make this a semi-regular feature. It will be a regular feature once Rob G. hires us a full time executive secretary (so everyone please click on all those advertisement links).

The maiden voyage of this feature starts with the spotlight on the amazing Arizona Phil. We all know him as the guru of all things Cubs, including roster machinations, their farm system, mlb/milb rules and regs and of course Cubs history A to Z, George Altman to Carlos Zambrano... or is it H to H, John Holland to Jim Hendry?

(Also this demonstrates how well I can cut and paste, just like being in the operating room ala Dr. Nick!)

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Post #31: Cubs Decline Blanco's Option, TCR 10/31/08.

Submitted by Charlie on Sat, 11/01/2008 - 10:55am.

"The Cubs lucked-out with Type 'B' FA Juan Pierre that way a couple of years ago" Happened with Kendall last year, too, no?
I don't see any time signing Howry until after the Arb. deadline, given that they could lose a first round draft pick. But those top 15 draft picks are protected, right? So if a team in that first 15 were to sign him they wouldn't actually lose any draft picks, the Cubs would just gain a 1st round pick and a sandwich pick?

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CHARLIE: Yes, Jason Kendall also signed with a new club before 12/1, so the Cubs got a supplemental (sandwich) 1st round pick (who turned out to be Ryan Flaherty, one of the Cubs Top 10 prospects IMO) without having to offer arbitration to Kendall. A club is more likely to sign a Type "B" FA than a Type "A" FA prior to 12/1, though,because while the player's former club does get a compensation draft pick for losing a Type "B," it's just one draft pick, and it's a supplemental pick between the 1st and 2nd round and doesn't cost the player's new club a draft pick. Signing a Type "A" FA prior to 12/1 would cost the new club one of it'own draft picks (either 1st or 2nd round). Of course, that didn't stop the Cubs from signing free-agents like Alfonso Soriano, Jacque Jones, Scott Eyre, and Bob Howry (and losing draft picks as a result) prior to 12/1! 

On this morning's WSCR-AM, The Score sports talk show, hosts Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley asked for input on what the Cub players were handing out for Halloween as trick and treaters knocked on their door. Some of the obvious treats were:

Derrick Lee's house was handing out double plays

Carlos Zambrano was handing out Gatorade

Ted Lilly was giving out tickets to NLDS game #4

Jim Hendry was shoveling out donuts

The Cub infielders were passing out Butterfingers...

I know our readers can apple polish this bit up; I just ask to please hold the razor blades.

 

Fukudome at bat after the 10th inning ARam HR. Click on the link to enlarge the fan behind the home plate ump.

While Bud Selig was busily hiding his head in the sand regarding Hurricane Ike and catering to Drayton McLane's need to collect cotton candy revenue from this weekends games in Houston, the MLB powers that be had the annual coin flip for playoff tiebreaker games.

The Brewers won the flip for any NL Central tiebreaker between the Cubs and Brewers as it will be played in Miller Park. Of course, it's the Cubs home away from home and after the week of July 27th (not to mention the Brewers recent homestand performance against the Mets, Padres and Reds), I guess it's not a bad place for the Men in Blue to play. The regular season ends for the Cubs in Milwaukee on Sept. 28th so why not just do a day night doubleheader? I mean if they are considering rescheduling one or two of this weekends washouts on Monday Sept. 29th. Might as well make a travesty out of the whole season wrapup.

The Phillies got control of the lucky penny as they won all the home field advantages you can gather including wildcard tiebreakers vs Milwaukee, St. Louis and Houston. They even won the tiebreaker homefield if they have to play game #163 vs the Mets.

In the AL, tiebreaker games could be in Boston for both wild card or AL East,  vs Tampa Rays, for the AL East or vs. The Twins for the wild card playoff game.  US Commiscular will be causing havoc on the Dan Ryan, if the WSox tie the Twins after 162 regular season games.The AL didn't need to flip as much this year thanks to the franchise called the LA Angels of Anaheim from the OC near Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm.

Most of the time this stuff is a waste of good coin flippage, but go tell that to the 2007 Padres.

Happy 65th Birthday Lou Piniella!

I put together some historical perspecitve on how solid or fragile things can be now that the 2008 Cubs are 83-50 (+33) and have the best record in baseball.

I started a thread regarding the Sun-Times article this morning stating that many of the Cubs September call-ups may be delayed as the Iowa Cubs clinched the playoffs. The I-Cubs will host the Oklahoma RedHawks (Texas Rangers AAA affiliate) starting Sept 3rd in a best of 5 game series. The debate over what value the AAA playoffs bring vs getting a September reward as a call-up for a contending team doesn't get my debating shoes polished but it's interesting to see how the Cubs brass is going to handle this issue.

From the Gordon Wittenmyer notes:

The Class AAA Iowa Cubs are back in the playoffs for the first time in four years, and one small ramification at the big-league level is that a few anticipated September roster additions might stay with Iowa through its playoff series.

The exceptions: Pitchers Jon Lieber (foot) and Angel Guzman (elbow) are expected to be activated from the DL when rosters expand, and lefty hitter Micah Hoffpauir, who's having a monster season, is expected to join the big club right away.

I suppose getting Lieber is an upgrade on last year where Hendry dropped AAA talent on the Orioles for a near worthless Steve Traschel. Angel Guzman just might be another solid compliment in our bullpen. Micah Hoffpauir, well there is a big fan club out there rooting for some September Hoff-Power.

The biggest addition might not get up here until after the AAA playoffs. This is when Koyie Hill gets the call-up to add 5 mph to the pitching staff's fastballs. That's "Serious" music to my ears.

 

This might be a random collection of events, but taking the mound against the Cubs has had it's risks. It dawned on me that we've seen some season ending injuries happen to our opponents pitchers. Coincidence? Or Death Cab for Cutie?

Follow the link to the pitchers who've risked entering the valley of shadows:

Game 106 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (1 of 4)...how's that for a good bluff, Rob?

From Stripes:

John Winger (Bill Murray): C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis): Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once.

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After a glorious 6-4 win in the opening game of this key Milwaukee series, I wanted to take a minor detour and reflect on my recent travails, aka, life following the Cubs in central Europe including the Czech Republic.

THIS JUST IN...

Orioles owner Peter Angelos has finally decided to let GM Andy MacPhail trade Brian Roberts to the Chicago Cubs.  In a privately held conversation, Angelos was said to give MacPhail permission to trade Roberts (who, as we darn well know, is Angelos' really, really, really all-time favorite baseball player) for  Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, and another undisclosed prospect plus the HOF Yosh Kawano hat. MacPhail plans to call Cubs GM Jim Hendry tomorrow morning to tell him the good news--that their organizaton was FINALLY able to come to this MOMENTUS DECISION. MacPhail doesn't expect any other obstacles to affect this long anticipated transaction.

D'oh!

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