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One more time....

The Cubs make their lone trip of the season to Dodger Stadium next week and I was wondering who might be up for a little venture to Chavez Ravine for the Monday night game, April 17th; 7:10pm PST? The tentative pitching matchup is Greg Maddux versus Brett Tomko. Enjoy a little baseball, beverage and world famous "Dodger Dogs", (apparently world famous for their sucktitude). Email me if you're interested, we'll figure out the ticket situation once we know how many people are going. Those who think it's a good idea to leave before the 9th inning need not apply....

GAME 8 REVIEW
REDS 8 CUBS 3
Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart | Photos
W: Eric Milton (2-0) L: Carlos Zambrano (0-1)

The first piece of good news is we don't face the Reds again until the end of May. The second piece of good news is we're off to play the Pirates next and they've struggled mightily out of the gate. The third piece of good news is Matt Murton broke out of his mini-slump with 2 RBI's, 2 Hits and a Home Run. The final piece of good news is I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.

What I really took from this game was the importance of on-field leadership. Without Henry Blanco catching and Neifi manning the hot corner, we could really see the calming influence they both had on Carlos Zambrano as he really settled down after gettting into some tough jams early. Oh wait, no he didn't, he tried to pick off Eric Milton from first for no apparent good reason and then he tried to pick off Eric Milton later in the game from third base for no apparent good reason. And I believe at one point I actually saw steam coming from his ears. At least Barrett's all well and rested. Hopefully his bat won't cool off with the rest.

What's there to say? The Cubs stunk up the joint today, Baker should of forgotten about getting the scrubs some starts today and put some better bats in the lineup, waiting until we were a bit closer to full strength (or at least until Aramis came back). Walker hits lefties just fine and Milton just fine as well, same goes for Barrett. Off for a nine game road trip from Pittsburgh to LA to St. Louis. Let's get them tomorrow Sean Marshall!!!

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I was being raked over the coals at work earlier this week, so I was never able to give my 2 cents on the Corey Patterson trade and I know you've all been waiting breathlessly for my take. To echo Ruz's statements, ìVaya con Dios, Coreylitoî. You wrote your Cubs tombstone the day you decided that you didnít want to play winter ball. Just another data point to verify the history of your arrogance. I do wish him luck with the O's and if he becomes the 30/30 guy we were all hoping for one day, don't worry, it would have never happened while he was in a Cubs uniform. I did find this quote from Korey regarding all the advice given to him highly amusing.
"Everyone has good intentions, but you have to know yourself and what parts to take in and leave out. I was listening to so many people. I wasn't being myself."
Here's some handy clip and save advice for you Korey, cut it out, put it into your wallet and refer to it the next time your on an 0 for 30 streak with 25 Kís:
Don't Swing at fastballs over my head.
As for the prospects we got in return, Carlos Perez will be lucky to have a career as good as the other Carlos Perez, and that's not saying much. Spears has tons of potential, just like the guy we traded him for once did, just in lesser amounts. He does have the upside of only being 20 and not being an arrogant idiot. There's a lot of comparisons to David Eckstein because of his frame and scrappiness. We can only hope he turns out that well. He played last year for the O's Advanced-A team, so he'll either get the bump up to AA or hang back in Daytona.
The Cubs apparently acquired OF Matt Ciaramella from the Boston Red Sox to complete the Jermain Van Buren deal from a few weeks back. He was a 13th round pick in 2004 who went to the University of Utah, 23 years old, throws lefty, hits from both sides of the plate, can play both corner outfield positions. Put up a line of .302/.360/.422 in A ball last year in 222 at-bats. A scouting report that was posted over at nortshsidebaseball.com says:
Hits for both average and power. Good Speed. Very Intelligent with great baseball instincts. Athletic and strong.

Here's some more links if you care to read up on the kid. Sounds like a quality guy: Interview in Sept, 2004 with his alma mater His old Sox Prospect page A bit on him from Sons of Sam Horn

Thanks to ShawndGoldman for the scoop...

I'll make this brief and please continute to use the "Blue Christmas?" thread for the Prior/Tejada trade talks.
With a PTBNL sent to the Cubs in return. The brief announcement can be found here. Leicester, 26, has not yet figured out how to get out left-handed hitters, as his career line of .391/.513/.641/1.153 indicates. But I think the real ground for his relocation is that in 2005 he couldn't get out right-handed hitters, either. 2004: .200/.221/.314/.536 2005: .238/.393/.429/.821 Leicester already had lost his spot in the bullpen in favor of Weurtz and Novoa, among others, so this move does not really change anything when projecting the composition of next year's pen. Rob G.: Nothing more than a move to clear some 40 man roster space. I wouldn't be surprised if a few more were made in the next few days in preparation of the Rule V draft. Speaking of PTBNL, where's our guy from the Orioles? We're due one when Dave Crouthers retired earlier this year. Christian: I have no feelings about Jon Leicester one way or the other. But since getting rid of him for a PTBNL opens up a spot on the 40-man, that should help ensure no Andy Sisco scenarios this year. And that is a good thing.
As expected, Lee got jobbed out of the MVP and ended up third behind Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones. I can live with losing to Pujols, it was a tossup between the two and team records were going to give Pujols the push. But worst of all, Lee only received one first place vote and only one second place vote. Absurdity, in my opinion. Actually the whole vote was an absurdity. Morgan Ensberg finished 4th ahead of Miguel Cabrea. Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins finished 7th and 10th respectively, but Bobby Abreu was nowhere to be mentioned. It appers that Jason Bay didn't receive any votes and if you're going to give some votes to Jimmy Rollins, how do Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal not get some votes? The Internet Baseball Awards hold more meaning then this bunch of phooey. UPDATE: Here's the link to the final vote tally. I had only seen the top 10 when I originally posted. Jason Bay finished 12th, Bobby Abreu 15th, Marcus Giles received one 8th place vote and Jose Reyes received more votes (one 10th place vote) than Rafael Furcal. Meaningless? Sure. Ridiculous? No doubt. Lee didn't go home completely empty-handed though. He did win the prestigious MVN NLA (Nap Lajoie Award) as the NL's most dominant hitter. The press conference is tomorrow. Anyway, they asked me to write up a blurb on why I thought he deserved the award and you can read it by following the link.
Buried in a Sun-Sentinel article, this gem:
"The Braves and Cubs are among the teams that have contacted Marlins free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez."
Yes, by all means let's have the Cubs' fallback position be one of the few shortstops Neifi looks good against. Gonzalez, career: 896 G, 245/291/391 Neifi, career: 1,262 G, 270/301/380
No surprise, but Jim Hendry has let Nomar's agent know that he should try to "find a better fit" for Nomar elsewhere. There's the usual "door is still open" stuff, but this is a pretty clear indication that Garciaparra won't be back with the Cubs. It closes the door on a chapter in Nomar's career, and the Cubs' history, that could have been so, so much better. Final stats for Garciaparra in a Cubs uniform: 105 G, 395 AB, 56 R, 114 H, 26 2B, 0 3B, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 28 BB, 38 K, 289/350/453 Now he's off to Los Angeles, or Baltimore, or Minneapolis, or somewhere else, most likely to play third base.
Well at least I haven't woken up to the headlines of "Jose Macias signed to lifetime contract by Cubs" yet. Give it time. Don't forget to check out the Free Agent Frenzy contest we're piggy-backing off of MLB.com. It's the post right below this one. A fun little game to see where you think some of this year's free-agent class will land.

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