Who's On Deck?

Saturday night I watched 14 innings of baseball at Principal Park, the same number it took the Iowa Cubs to sweep a doubleheader earlier in the week.The I-Cubs were down to their third-string first base coach by the time this one ended on a walk-off play at the plate with lightning crackling in the distance. Until then the highlight was my leaping grab of a hot dog burped up by the bazooka that scoots around the perimeter of the field on a golf cart between innings. I say burped because we were seated in the front row between the visiting dugout and the visiting bullpen. Maybe bunted would be a better verb.

The game broke from the box quickly before settling into a pitching duel. Sam Fuld played a first-inning single into a triple going for another highlight reel catch. Then in the bottom of the first he was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single. He plays like a kid and I enjoy watching him. The second out of that frame was a tag play at the plate after Ryne Sandberg appeared to change his mind from stop to go in the third base coaching box. Albuquerque seemed on their way to a 27- hit shutout.

During the long, scoreless middle portions of the game my mind wandered back and forth from the lackluster team in Chicago that was embarrassed [again] that afternoon to the hustling, grinding one getting dirty on the field in front of me. I gave some serious thought to the questions of whether or not Sandberg will or should be the next manager at Clark & Addison.

I threw out the fact that he doesn’t appear to have the best judgment as a traffic cop based on what I’ve witnessed firsthand. That won’t matter. What will?

Despite his chronic lack of charisma, his return to Chicago would be a PR plus. That might not have counted as much before no-shows started no-showing this year. It may be a slight factor in his favor now. His presence in Des Moines will not be able to trump bad weather and produce an attendance record here as I’d expected it would, but he is patient and accommodating with fans who line up for autographs before every home game. Even though no NL pennants flew at Wrigley Field during his playing days, his jersey number now does and will forever [will he wear it if he returns?]. He is revered there.

More critical is the direction the new ownership points the organization in after “Year One.” Payroll largesse hangs around this year’s lineups like a noose. To the extent some of that can be shed in a transition to a more homegrown, developing team of younger and hungrier players, Sandberg might make sense as a choice to continue working with players in the big leagues that played for him at different levels of the farm system.

I don’t see him as someone suited to massage the egos of temperamental prima donnas with guaranteed contracts, no trade clauses, personal coaches, etc. For all of his blandness, Sandberg offered some real insight into what makes him tick when he gave his induction speech at Cooperstown. He backed up the theme of those remarks when he signed on for another hitch in the bush leagues as a means of working his way back to the big time as a manager. I admire and share many of his feelings about respect for the game and the proper way to play it. But just because his managerial style seems to have played well in Peoria [and Tennessee and Des Moines where he has patiently guided a slow-starting team that lacks offensive muscle into first place] doesn’t mean it will in Chicago.

I remember when the Cubs hired Don Baylor and he announced some nonsense about how the players were to wear their uniforms and be on the field at attention for the National Anthem every day. At the time I cheered. Turned out that sort of stuff didn’t translate into a changing of the guard with the team pennants on the scoreboard pole.

I don’t know if Sandberg should be the Cubs’ next manager or not. I don’t even know if I want him to be. But I do think he has earned serious consideration next time the job comes open, whenever that happens to be. Just don't hire him to replace Mike Quade.

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Comments

If you agree with ARam (and I do), the manager isn't that important.

"It's up to the players," [Ramirez] said. "I don't think a manger wins games. All he does is make out the lineups and make a pitching change."

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

i generally agree, but that's an over-simplification & implies that a manager can't ever make the difference which i don't think is true...some are definitely better than others...

There are certainly managers that are better than others, but: a) it is hard to judge them, b) the differences are small, and c) that difference isn't worth spending a lot of money on (this I believe is Crunch's point).

sandberg will come cheaper than piniella...

I have always assumed that Sandberg will be the manager in 2011 and Lou and Hendry will be gone.

Hendry being gone will have the biggest impact. IMHO

I remember Sparky Anderson's analysis--somthing to the effect that a manager wasn't that important but his job was to keeep from losing games that had already been won

*makes a comment about a manager and waits for 10 people to show up to tell me we've already discussed it*

i hope we give the next one 10 million bucks and you people that think managers are something pretty damn special get your next elderly fat man hero to base your hopes and dreams upon.

peace out.

*flips a table*

I like how ALL managers are elderly and fat. They could be 45 years old and skinny, doesn't matter - they are elderly fat men once they become major league managers.

Yep. The last time I looked, the average age of an MLB manager was 50 years old.

Considering that good players are playing well into their 40's that's not that old, is it.....

On the other hand, Lou is ancient.

did you like how i flipped a table, too?

i flipped it good.

i flipped it real good.

I kinda thought you were being a dick in your comment until you flipped that table.

Well-played, Sir, well-played.

Have you looked at this book or any of his analysis? I think you would find it interesting.

http://www.azsnakepit.com/2010/1/22/1201672/e...

He basically agrees with you that managers are most important as managers of men, and he finds that good managers are worth a few more wins a year than bad managers, and that the right man in the right situation, interacting with his players particularly well, can be worth much more than that.

I would expect the Cubs to release Jason Dubois and promote Ty Wright from Tennessee to Iowa and Brett Jackson from Daytona to Tennessee very soon.

This is the time of the the year when there is roster pressure from below, as players selected in the June draft sign, and the AZL Cubs and Boise rosters start to fill-up.

What other moves do you see happening? I could see some other moves in the AA to AAA range with pitchers and such but before I start spewing off guesses, I'd like to hear some other ones from you.

What's with the different font? Who the hell do you think you are, Mike Wellman?

I am livid.

*high five

Unfortunately, Ryno, my anger about the font has been taken over by baseball talk. Ridiculous as that may be. I blame AZ Phil.

I agree with Mike W that Ryne Sandberg will probably be the next Cubs manager, partly because Ryno has managed most of the Cubs prospects likely to reach Chicago in the next couple of years, but also to make the team more-attractive to fans while the team transitions from spending $140M on a team featuring proven free-agents to a $100M team that is heavy with players developed in-house by the Cubs. By not signing any free-agents and letting Lilly, D-Lee, and Nady walk, the Cubs 2011 payroll could be as low as $110M.

the Cubs 2011 payroll could be as low as $110M.

And yet gullible Cubs fans still are buying into P.K. Ricketts' bullshit about "needing" garish advertising like the Toyota sign and "the noodle" so they can afford to put a better team on the field.

Submitted by navigator on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 11:01am.
the Cubs 2011 payroll could be as low as $110M.

And yet gullible Cubs fans still are buying into P.K. Ricketts' bullshit about "needing" garish advertising like the Toyota sign and "the noodle" so they can afford to put a better team on the field.

============================

NAVIGATOR: I strongly suspect Cubs fans are going to find out that Team Ricketts is far more profitability "bottom-line" $$$$ oriented than the Tribune ever was. I expect the Cubs to be run more like a mid-market team than was the case previously, and so one of the first moves to be made post-2010 will be to replace Hendry with a younger "New School" Theo Epstein-type GM. A complete organizational house-cleaning from top-to-bottom (including Hendry protege Fleita and Hendry HS buddy Wilken) would follow.

The Cubs were run like a mid-market team until 2007, then Zell, McDonough, etc mandated that they spend.

And we got Soriano for 8 years.

110-120 Million-ish payrolls would still put us in the top 1/3rd of the MLB landscape.

I don't have a problem with that as long as the organization is run in a more efficient manner.

For all the open wallet that the trib showed over the last couple of years. There were mostly lower mid tier payroll ownership 21 of the 28 years they owned the team.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 12:12pm.
110-120 Million-ish payrolls would still put us in the top 1/3rd of the MLB landscape.

I don't have a problem with that as long as the organization is run in a more efficient manner.

For all the open wallet that the trib showed over the last couple of years. There were mostly lower mid tier payroll ownership 21 of the 28 years they owned the team.

======================================

DR AARON B: Unless Ramirez opts out (which is very unlikely) or the Cubs can find a taker for Fukudome (also unlikely), the Cubs just can't get their payroll much lower than about $110M in 2011, but they could get the payroll down to around $80M in 2012 when Fukudome and Grabow come off the books and if they buy-out Ramirez and Silva.

Of course it will depend somewhat on whether the Cubs farm system can provide MLB-ready replacements when they are needed, but Team Ricketts impresses me as a short-term FA-fix type of operation, rather than the five-year $75M mega-FA type of approach we have seen over the past few years.

In other words, I don't think we will be seeing any Soriano/Zambrano/Ramirez/Fukudome/Dempster/D-Lee type of contracts again anytime soon. Ricketts will just let guys walk if they want too much money, and try and sell the fans the Wrigley Field Bread & Circus if the team falls short on the field.

I can certainly respect that point of view. I just feel its too early to make such a blanket statement about the Ricketts ownership regime just yet.

I just have serious doubts that Ricketts spent 25-35% of his family's net worth to be Carl Pohlad.

The Boston RedSox are operating in the 110 million payroll range and I would trade places with them in a second.

One of my biggest gripes with Jim Hendry over the years is that he is such a weak negotiator. It seems like every contract he signs is 15-20% over market value (usually with NTC's and player options to boot). A better GM should have been able to sign this current roster for 110 million anyway.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 12:37pm.
One of my biggest gripes with Jim Hendry over the years is that he is such a weak negotiator. It seems like every contract he signs is 15-20% over market value (usually with NTC's and player options to boot). A better GM should have been able to sign this current roster for 110 million anyway.

====================================================

DR AARON B: Agreed. That's why Hendry is a goner.

Which brings me back to Ricketts as an owner.

If he gets a competent GM (That he trusts) in place. I want to believe that he will follow that GM's advice and pay the cost of doing business.

Hendry operates on a "Burning a hole in my pocket" type of manner. Where a Theo Epstein for instance seems to be more willing to hold money back to extract maximum value.

So my hope (Maybe completely baseless?) is that Ricketts is just pulling the reigns in on Hendry to keep us from being further buried in contractual abyss.

The Red Sox payroll is $160 million.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/salaries/_/name/b...

My fault. I was looking at their 2009 payroll $121,745,999

I just have serious doubts that Ricketts spent 25-35% of his family's net worth to be Carl Pohlad.

How do you figure they spent anything? If you loan someone money do you turn around and say you spent it? No, you put it at risk in return for interest. You didn't spend it.

The Cubs were acquired through debt not cash. $675 million is other people's money. The $175 million or so the Ricketts put in is similar to a loan to the Cubs. The Cubs pay the Ricketts interest and interest on subordinated debt is usually quite high (although I'm sure the Ricketts tried to keep it as low as they could get away with)--- often above 10% even these days because it's unsecured.

Point is, they are well aware of the cost of doing business before they got into this thing.

This isn't a Carl Pohlad or Eli Jacobs that bought a team and watched the player contracts explode around them.

I seriously doubt that Tom Ricketts bought his boyhood fantasy team so that he could penny pinch it and be the most hated man in Chicago.

Call me crazy

i am stuck w/ the cubs for life, but i will not keep buying the 'bread & circus,' partly because i can't afford to & partly because, like peter finch in 'network,' i'm 'mad as hell & not gonna take it any more!' next week we are mega-busing to town & sitting in the last row of the upper deck...after that it's strictly however much of pat&ron&len&bob i can stand...

Please reconsider this trip. I'd hate to read that Mike Wellman jumped from the upper deck.

don't worry - if that happens i won't write about it...

When Reggie Jackson played for the Angels, he was crushed by a woman falling from the upper deck.

I remember that game .
Enrico Pallazo umped home plate.

Speaking of circuses, you missed one at Principal Park today: Albuquerque 16, Iowa 12. Turning point seemed to be Schlitter trying to clean up after Gaub in the 8th, giving up a grand slam. Atkins pitched four innings the Cubs won't soon forget, yielding 9 runs on 3 HRs. Big game for Snyder with 9th HR, 12th SB in 13 attempts. Snyder has 37 RBI. LaHair has 36, Castillo 35 (not bad). LaHair has gradually superseded Hoffpauir.

The Cubs have a lot of outfielders just now. The most expendable seem to be Fuld and Adduci, although they seem to like Adduci, having protected him last December.

So Jackson is looking at Campana, Guyer and Wright at Tennessee, who are looking at Snyder, Fuld and Adduci at Iowa, who are looking at Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome, Colvin and Nady at Chicago.

I would say that Fukudome, Fuld and Adduci are vulnerable. Too bad Soriano is safe in his penthouse, still owed $80 million.

font was not deliberate - just another manifestation of techno-illiteracy; bet rob can fix it...flattered to find az p on same page w/ me...if he's right about 'doobie' it looks like joe hicks' i-cub career hr record is safe until/unless hoffpauir mounts a run @ it...

i keep forgetting the hoff exists.

what a cruddy year he's having in AAA for a 30 year old.

Despite having been outrighted previously in their respective careers and therefore giving the impression that they are just run-of-the-mill "4-A" guys, I-Cubs RHP Thomas Diamond and RF Brad Snyder are on my mid-season Cubs Top 15 prospects list.

Phil--any new shows in AZ. The Cubs haven't really made much in the way of announcements about what draftees have signed.

Submitted by chuck on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 11:12am.
Phil--any new shows in AZ. The Cubs haven't really made much in the way of announcements about what draftees have signed

===========================================

CHUCK: Nobody that hasn't been announced.

BTW, the AZL Cubs begin league play tomorrow night with (at present) a 31-man roster, with six other players not yet assigned to a reserve list. Most of the Cubs draft picks will be playing for the AZL Cubs until they're deemed ready to move-up to Boise or Peoria.

Because the AZL Cubs and Boise have just eight open slots (combined) on their rosters, several players in the organization will be getting released in the next few days as more players are signed and more roster slots are needed as players get moved up to Boise from Mesa.

AZL CUBS (31)

* bats or throws left
# bats both

Note: RECENTLY SIGNED PLAYERS IN CAPS

PITCHERS (18):
* HUNTER ACKERMAN (4th round)
* BRENT EBINGER (32nd round)
Eduardo Figueroa
DUSTIN FITZGERALD (19th round)
Jesse Ginley
* CAM GREATHOUSE (8th round)
Gian Guzman
* Cody Hams
Alvido Jimenez
AARON KURCZ (10th round)
Luis Liria
MATT LOOSEN (23rd round)
Hector Mayora
Jadel Mendez
COLIN RICHARDSON (14th round)
Jose Rosario
* Drew Rundle (ex-OF)
Tzu-An Wang

CATCHERS (2):
* Sergio Burruel
Carlos Romero

INFIELDERS (7):
# Vismeldy Bieneme
* Ping-Chieh Chen
* RYAN CUNEO (20th round)
# Rafael Disla
DUSTIN HARRINGTON (34th round)
Albert Hernandez
* Bobby Wagner

OUTFIELDERS (4):
Xavier Batista
Melvin Camarena
ANTHONY GIANSANTI (NDFA)
Blair Springfield

NOT YET ASSIGNED TO A RESERVE LIST (6):
# MICAH GIBBS, C (3rd round)
RYAN HARTMAN, P (16th round)
* ERIC JOKISCH, P (11th round)
AUSTIN REED, P (12th round)
ERIC RICE, P (25th round)
HAYDEN SIMPSON, P (1st round)
NOTE: Player must be assigned to a minor league reserve list within 15 days after signing a contract.

Thanks for the good info.

Dimond sparkled [couldn't resist] again Saturday night vs. a team that had a team BA over .300...

Just so long as he stays down there and we don't have to miss any Bob Howry pitching.

saturday when howry was mopping up the 12-0 debacle in the 9th rothschild actually came out to speak w/ him! i'd love to have heard that little confab...

Clemson LHP (and Cubs 29th round draft pick) Casey Harman shut-down #1 ranked juggernaut Arizona State through six innings before running out of gas in the bottom of the 7th at the College World Series. Despite being selected in the 29th round, the Cubs might have to give Harman 3rd or 4th round money (around $300K) if they want to sign him.

Clemson's #1 starter, Harman was rated a 6th-10th round pick pre-draft, but he probably dropped to Round 29 because he let it be known to scouts prior to the draft that he wanted something like 3rd round money to give up his senior year at Clemson, and he just didn't appear to be worth that. But in his last two starts he has pitched very well against both Alabama (in the Super Regional) and Arizona State (at the College World Series).

A lot of times a player will drop into a lower round (25 or below) because he tells scouts he wants more money than he is considered to be worth pre-draft, but then he might change some minds by performing well in the College World Series or in a Collegiate Summer League or HS Showcase.

no more 3 year deals for coaches & middle relievers...no more $4M mismanagers...no more 5 year deals for wide receivers...no more 8 year deals for anybody/anything!btw, glad to see zorro has reset his goals for the year: hitting the bud bldg. & winning the series mvp are both very doable...

Well, Teflon Tim drafted him. What was Hendry supposed to do?

Submitted by navigator on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 1:11pm.
Well, Teflon Tim drafted him. What was Hendry supposed to do?

===========================================

NAVIGATOR: Don't renegotiate his contract and give him a seven-year major league deal with a full "no trade" and guaranteed money through the first five years of the deal six months after you sign him.

Maybe I'm crazy, and I don't have a link handy, but the quotes from Samninja always seemed like even he was a little confused and embarrassed at Hendry fondling his nethers..........

AZ Phil,

I watched Harman pitch a couple of innings and I wasn't blown away, but he is a LHP from a power school with decent numbers. He looked kind of stiff ,though, with a very upright release position and no big breaking ball. But, he's a lefty. We only have five or six lefty starters in our system so we might want to add on.

In regards to your first comment here I agree someone needs to go up to make room for Jackson to go to TN. Dubois needs to be a manager for us down there. It should be a rule that if you sign more than two minor league contracts with a team that you automatically get a coaching position as well (I'm assuming that Dubois has had to sign at three contracts with us).

I don't think we can jump the gun on Ricketts, yet. We need to give him at least four years to get rid of all the contracts given out to drive up the value of the club for the sale. Once he gets rid of that money, we'll see what kind of businessman he is. The Cubs need to study the Cardinals, Angels, Twins, and Red Sox organizations to see how they compete every year the way they do. All four of those clubs have different budgets, but they all make solid and accurate baseball decisions. The Cubs are always hit, miss, hit, miss, etc. Those clubs are at least hit, hit, miss, hit, hit, miss, etc. That extra hit move makes a huge difference in the long run, which the Cubs are never looking at because we have to get the 101 year gorilla off our back.

Submitted by Childersb3 on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 1:17pm.
AZ Phil,

I watched Harman pitch a couple of innings and I wasn't blown away, but he is a LHP from a power school with decent numbers. He looked kind of stiff ,though, with a very upright release position and no big breaking ball. But, he's a lefty. We only have five or six lefty starters in our system so we might want to add on.

In regards to your first comment here I agree someone needs to go up to make room for Jackson to go to TN. Dubois needs to be a manager for us down there. It should be a rule that if you sign more than two minor league contracts with a team that you automatically get a coaching position as well (I'm assuming that Dubois has had to sign at three contracts with us).

I don't think we can jump the gun on Ricketts, yet. We need to give him at least four years to get rid of all the contracts given out to drive up the value of the club for the sale. Once he gets rid of that money, we'll see what kind of businessman he is. The Cubs need to study the Cardinals, Angels, Twins, and Red Sox organizations to see how they compete every year the way they do. All four of those clubs have different budgets, but they all make solid and accurate baseball decisions. The Cubs are always hit, miss, hit, miss, etc. Those clubs are at least hit, hit, miss, hit, hit, miss, etc. That extra hit move makes a huge difference in the long run, which the Cubs are never looking at because we have to get the 101 year gorilla off our back.

=====================================

CHILDERS: To me, Casey Harman reminds me a lot of Chris Rusin, the Cubs 2009 4th round pick out of the U. of Kentucky. Similar stuff (move the ball around, show 'em your breaking ball and change-up, but make the opposition hit your sinker), and throw strikes.

As for Ricketts, I think he would probably like the Cubs (on the field and in the minors) to be run like the Twins, but with the off-field image of the Red Sox. This absolutely requires accurate (good word) scouting and then a fully-functioning player development system that produces MLB-ready players on a regular basis. And when there are holes or gaps that require a free-agent signing, go short-term and cheap, even if it means settling for a lesser player.

I doubt that the Cubs will be making any more Nolasco, Pinto, and Mitre for Juan Pierre deals under Ricketts, although trading a strength to address a weakness is OK (like if the Cubs were to develop two young 3B at the same time, trade one and keep the other).

"like if the Cubs were to develop two young 3B at the same time, trade one and keep the other"

as an example? Or do the Cubs have someone besides Vitters worth knowing about?

if carlos montero could field worth a damn he might be one...

Submitted by QuietMan on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 2:57pm.
"like if the Cubs were to develop two young 3B at the same time, trade one and keep the other"

as an example? Or do the Cubs have someone besides Vitters worth knowing about?

============================================

QUIET MAN: I was just using 3B as an example, the idea being sometimes a player development system produces two MLB-ready players who emerge at the same position at about the same time, and if that happens, you either move one of them to another position, or else you can trade one of them to fill a hole elsewhere. Unfortunately, the Cubs haven't been in that position too much lately...

I thought you might have high hopes for Dustin Harrington or Ryan Flaherty or someone.

Edwin Encarnacion was DFA'd by Toronto today. This would be an excellent buy low opportunity for the Cubs. Especially if DLee is leaving after the season.

Cheap Aram or DLee replacement for 2011. Still has 2 more years of club control.

Would a Jeff Baker plus Justin Berg level pitching prospect be enough to make the deal?

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 3:04pm.
Edwin Encarnacion was DFA'd by Toronto today. This would be an excellent buy low opportunity for the Cubs. Especially if DLee is leaving after the season.

Cheap Aram or DLee replacement for 2011. Still has 2 more years of club control.

Would a Jeff Baker plus Justin Berg level pitching prospect be enough to make the deal?

========================================

DR AARON B: It appears that the Blue Jays DFA'd Encarnacion only because he has to clear Optional Assignment Waivers (which are revocable, so nobody ever gets claimed off Optional Waivers) before he can be optioned to the minors, and it takes two days (47 hours) to clear waivers. (Encarnacion made his debut on a 25-man roster more than three years ago, so Optional Assignment Waivers must be secured before he can be optioned to the minors). Once he clears waivers, he should officially be optioned to AAA, although I would think Toronto would probably entertain offers for him, even though they don't have to trade him.

Sometimes it is erroneously reported that a player who gets Designated for Assignment has to be either traded, outrighted, or released within ten days, but the player can also be optioned to the minors, as long as he has options left, and as long as his spot on the 40-man roster is not taken be another player while he is a Designated Player.

He's making $5.175M, his OBP is .298 and he's a butcher in the field who doesn't hustle, according to internet commentators.

In other words, he's a young Aramis! Let's get him!

He's also only 27. Put up 3 consecutive good seasons from 2006-2008. Has 25 HR power. And wouldn't be blocking anyone of note on this roster.

Worst case is that he becomes Xavier Nady on the 2011 club. Only with the ability to play 3rd base.

What harm could it be?

He makes a decent point about trying to trade Lilly while his perceived value is allegedly higher than his performance (as if pro scouting departments aren't picking up on this), but with the SP talent likely to be available with Cliff Lee and Oswalt plus other Lilly-caliber guys, what can the Cubs expect to get? At best, salary relief.

yeah, i think they'll be looking at lilly's MPH before they look at his BSNZKWO%.

that's a showstopper in itself...or at least a reason to devalue.

Lilly won't be that hard to move whenever the Cubs decide to move him. Well depends on if Cubs are paying any of the salary that is? Suggestion is that no one wants to pick up anything this season and if they do, I'm sure they'd rather pick up Cliff Lee who is owed less than Lilly.

Lilly's worth offering arbitration imo, so I guess I wouldn't care if they traded him or not or even comes back next year.

Of course it wouldn't be past the Cubs to not trade him and not offer him arbitration.

"like if the Cubs were to develop two young 3B at the same time, trade one and keep the other"
------
I think the best Cub example was when Jim Frey traded Palmeiro and kept Grace (Raphael pre-steroid, was a sweet swinging singles hitter)

I found a great deal on Cubs tickets for anyone who needs 2.

http://www.stubhub.com/chicago-cubs-tickets/c...

ooo...if only they had a 3rd seat. too bad.

nice find.

So Az. Phil what do you think the roster move will be to activate Rameriz
from theD.l. unfortunately it wont be trading Theriot.

Submitted by rokfish on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 10:52pm.
So Az. Phil what do you think the roster move will be to activate Rameriz
from theD.l. unfortunately it wont be trading Theriot.

================================================

ROKFISH: Unless somebody unexpectedly goes on the DL, I suspect the roster move will involve Chad Tracy again, but I think it will more-likely be a DFA followed by a trade or outright release rather than another optional assignment. I think the Cubs will just cut their losses with Tracy, and then if Aramis Ramirez goes on the DL again later in the season, they'll just call-up Bobby Scales.

Ther Cubs can save some $$$ (about $200K in base salary plus not having to pay any of the $450K in potential performance bonuses) if they cut Tracy now and he signs with another club. Scales would play for the MLB minimum (pro-rated) if he were to get brought up at some point later in the season.

Independent of what happens when they activate Ramirez from the DL, I think the Cubs probably would like to trade Theriot ASAP and replace him with Darwin Barney. If the Cubs can trade Theriot by the ASB, they'd save $1M+ in salary.

FREE BOBBY SCALES!

If i were to look at a destanation for Ted Lilly i would say
Atlanta or Minnesota

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=389225

should Hendry stay or go?

Miles suggest Wilken, Maddux and some others are pretty loyal to Hendry and COULD leave if he does.

wasn't Wilken considered GM material at one point? I know it's been suggested that's where Maddux would prefer to end up rather than in the dugout.

I've never had a problem with Hendry's ability to spend money. His problem is getting good value for the money. It's probably time to move on.

The idea of Maddux is interesting. You would sure think Maddux knows how a winning team is put together, but do baseball guys have a good record as GM? The job seems kind of "businessy" for someone like Maddux.

Yeah, I would want Maddux to have at least a two to three year apprenticeship with a GM before handing him the reigns of a big league club. He obviously has a ton of baseball knowledge, but he doesn't (I believe) have a college degree or a lot of understanding about the financial side of things. A GM should also be a leader, and it's not proven that Greg can do that.

maddux as pitching coach makes some sense
maddux as GM makes none...

Agreed,

Maddux as a scout would be OK as well. We need a business guy who can surround himself with the correct people. One who is a stern negotiator.

now that the simpson kid is in the fold they should just send him to summer camp @ maddux's...

GM Jr. signs with the Reds, penciled in as leadoff man!!!

(half of that is true, half remains to be seen)

And yet gullible Cubs fans still are buying into P.K. Ricketts' bullshit about "needing" garish advertising like the Toyota sign and "the noodle" so they can afford to put a better team on the field.

Money does not always equal a good team. I have no problem with a high payroll as long as it's spent wisely.

cub fans = disgruntled taxpayers

A lot of good posts here. Fun stuff, guys. But my favorite is probably Navigator, who said, "The Cubs were acquired through debt not cash. $675 million is other people's money."

That is so fucking true.

I feel Zelled again, don't you,, Nav?

What? I don't understand. That can't be right. I couldn't get in to buy tickets until 3:00 pm the day tickets went on sale. I stared at the waiting room all day. =) As far as I'm concerned the Cubs and their lackluster ticket sales can kiss my ass until they make it easier to get tickets.

And a postscript...

This is going to be confusing with Ryne Sandberg inching ever closer to Chicago. One of us is just going to have to change our nickname to clear up the confusion on TCR, and it damn sure isn't going to be me.

I'm going to go register

www.fireryno.com

in anticipation of our disillusionment in the year 2018.

After a year on the job, I'm sure most people will call Sandberg "idiot" or just make references about the availability of his wife.

Greg Maddux could be Director of a Player Personnel, with somebody else running the business side of it (negotiating contracts, administering the budget, et al).

There have been examples over the years of managers being their own Player Personnel guy (Whitey Herzog was one officially when he managed the Cardinals, and Leo Durocher was one unofficially when he was the Cubs manager), so it wouldn't be a stretch for Maddux to be a DPP. Of course, that does require the Bean Counter to not meddle into the baseball evaluation side of the job (like trades and draft picks), and friction can occur if the Player Personnel Director and BC don't get along.

It's a bit unorthodox, but it sounds like something Ricketts might do, particularly if the Bean Counter can say no to Mad Dog without pissing him off, and especially if Maddux is committed to building from within, rather than doling out eight-year $136M contracts to free-agents coming off one 40-40-40 year.

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