MLB Approves Cubs Sale
The major league baseball owners have unanimously approved the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family. According to the Sporting News article, there are still a few hoops to jump through before the Ricketts officially take over day-to-day control of the team, which should hopefully happen before the end of the month.
The franchise still has to go through a 24-hour "pre-packaged
bankruptcy," which the Tribune reports will take place next Monday or
Tuesday. When that step is finalized, the banks financing the deal will
have a "10 day cooling off period" before they have to fund the deal.
When they do take over, Ricketts and Hendry will get to have this conversation (the following brilliance is from Andy Dolan at Desipio):
Jim Hendry: Mr. Ricketts, I need to talk to you about what we’re going to do with Milton Bradley.
Tom Ricketts: Sure, I knew this was coming.
JH: We owe him $21 million the next two years, but
we have to move him. We can’t possibly try to put him back in that
clubhouse with those players. They hate him.
TR: Fine. What are we looking at in return?
JH: Honestly, not much. There are only a few teams
that have any interest at all, and they don’t want to pay much of his
salary, and they don’t want to give up any real prospects. The best we
could do would be to trade for a player with a bigger contract, like
Aaron Rowand or Chris Young, and even then we’ll have to eat some of
TR: So we’re in a position where we’re going to pay a guy to not play for us?
JH: I think we have to. It’s better to pay him to not play here, than have him here poisoning the team and not producing.
TR: So it’s your opinion, that the best solution to
this is to not try to make something that’s not working, work, but
instead to cut the cord and eat the money and bring in somebody better
equipped to do the job?
JH: Exactly. Sometimes it’s the best thing.
TR: For example, you have three years and $9 million left on your deal, right?
TR: So how about this? How about I eat that nine
million bucks, and pay you to not screw up our roster and our payroll
anymore, and bring in somebody else to do the job, instead of having
you try…again…to find somebody to bat lefthanded and not poison the
clubhouse and underperform? Because, as you read in the papers for
months, I need to decide what to do with Kenney. He thinks he’s going
to stay on to handle the Wrigley Field renovations and be your boss.
But I could bring in a baseball guy like John Schuerholz or Sandy
Alderson to be the president, and instead of having them be your boss,
they could just do your job.
JH: Uh…I guess.
TR: Great. Now why don’t you and Crane leak that
to your little toadies, Levine and Kaplan? I’ve got a completely
fucked up payroll to worry about.
Speaking of the payroll, Arizona Phil has updated the right sidebar with the latest estimates. The Cubs are on the hook for $118M in guaranteed contracts and an estimated $18 million if they auto-renew and sign all their arbitration eligible players (which they probably won't). That puts the grand total at around $136M before any dealmaking gets under way.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
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.