A Tale of Two Ballparks

On Monday, June 28 I watched the Cubs snap the Pirates’ 17 game road losing streak from the vantage point of Bob Uecker seats in the last row of section 506 at Wrigley Field. They didn’t look any less ugly from there than they would have up closer.

Five days later was my maiden voyage at sparkling new Target Field in the Twin Cities. What a contrast of premises AND tenants.

The Twins’ game against the Rays, a team still mired in a warehouse of a home ballpark, had some other factors going for it besides the venue: two teams in contention; real star power in the persons of Mauer, Morneau and Longoria; 4th of July hoopla courtesy of a team of Navy SEAL paratroopers who dropped in during pregame festivities; historic home runs by Jim Thome, who tied and passed none other than Twin immortal Harmon Killebrew on the all-time long ball list with his first two swings of the day.

But mostly, curiosity about the ballpark drew me there.

We had seats in an area called the Legends Club. They were parallel to 3rd base, about the distance from the field that Terrace Box would be in Wrigley and at a mezzanine level, with upholstered cushions and easy access to a spacious, air conditioned concession area that offered everything from Killebrew root beer and excellent ice cream cones to pricey multi-course meals.

As in the modern world generally, there was almost too much information provided by the park’s bells and whistles. Looking around the place in search of stats during a game is like fanning through a fantasy baseball magazine. And of course the obligatory Jumbotron loomed impressively over the proceedings.

The carved limestone roofs on the dugouts caught my eye and I also appreciated that we were able to see the logo sign on top of the scoreboard from the rooftop of the ramp we parked in and from which we skywalked in less than ten minutes to the plaza and the grand entrance of the joint.

I must say that I was pretty thoroughly dazzled by the time we left and it was nice not to care too much when the visitors came from behind to win in the late innings. Plus, a Twins game is cheaper in terms of both time and money for me. I think I may have found my first official designated AL favorite team. They also happen to run a perennially good organization.

The week had started at a kegger and ended at a cocktail party [yes, you can even order drinks from your seats in the Legends Club tier and have them delivered].

Wrigley’s engine still purrs. The bricks and ivy and scoreboard and neighborhood vibe are forever. But the passengers might appreciate some upgrades. I don’t know how you piecemeal an extreme home makeover on an outdoor facility that’s only idle during seasons not conducive to outdoor work. But it will behoove the Ricketts clan to keep going beyond the spit -and-polished pee troughs as fast as they can; paying top dollar to sit behind poles and beneath structural hair nets while watching an also-ran is starting to lose its charm. If I peel away what romance remains in my long running relationship with the Cubs all that’s left is neurosis.

 

 

 

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Comments

lemme apologize right away for the font; had to do in 'word' & cut/paste it here...

I haven't really taken a good look at the new stadium, but it sounds nice. Most of the new stadiums, ever since Baltimore built theirs seem to be pretty damned great places to watch baseball.

You can get Old Milwaukee delivered to just about any seat at Wrigley field!

Old Style, maybe. Don't think they sell Old Milwaukee at Wrigley.

Oh yeah. I tend to group them all together as "things best used to remove paint".

Is there a name for bad Wisconsin beers as a group? There should be.

good point re: beers; just seemed different to watch people ordering scotch & waters from cutesy waitresses w/ handheld POS gizmos & then have the item delivered a few minutes later by some poor slob from inside...actually, the old-fashioned beer system is much more efficient!

I like Wrigley field fine the way it is. I have no problem with genuine fan improvements but luxury boxes and advertising do not help.

You can keep your corporate welfare (75% of the "Twins" ballpark is actually paid for by taxpayers) parks. They often have some nice amenities but there is also a lot of negatives that go along with selling yourself.

Rode with a group to see the Cubs in the new St. Louis ballpark in 2008.
Gotta admit it was pretty nice.

The neighborhood atmosphere isn't anything like Wrigley. However the ballpark itself was really an upgrade from Wrigley.

100 Tickets got you in a blocked off section with stadium seating. Along with a hot buffet. AND all you can drink cold draft beer into the 7th inning.
All within walking distance to the downtown area.

Yeah, but you're drinking Budweiser. All they do is run a pipe from the urinals to a cooling system and pour it in a glass for $7 bucks.

Bud and Bud light.

Still the Food and beer alone was worth 100 in ballpark dollars.

Sitting around Cardinals fans probably devalued the package to an appropriate 100$

Astros-Reds tickets with all you can eat food for $20 with my office.

Can we talk about how it's a bad idea to trade the farm system for a pitcher with a violent motion like Jake Peavy who's owed $60 million again?

It's a bad idea to trade the farm system for a pitcher with a violent motion like Jake Peavy who's owed $60 million.

But he's Jake Peavy! He's a true ace and that's what this team needs!

Luckily, we don't need to worry about these things this year.

Yeah, I was disappointed when the Cub's passed on Peavy. Turned out to be smart.

can we talk about how it's a bad idea to owe any player $60m+?

There are several players I would pay lots of money for...

no, because it isn't true.

is so...

still not a good idea; exceptions that prove the rule...too many of the big bucks get paid for past performance that didn't benefit the team who pays them...

Long term contracts to pitchers seldom turn out well. There was the Maddux deal with Atlanta and Randy Johnson's contract with the D-Bags... I am sure there is one or two others, but those are the only 5+ contracts I can think of that worked out for the team.

Of course the Dodgers were smart in signing Schmidt to a shorter deal - lot of good it did them.

Yes, but on paper they had one of the strongest DL's in all of baseball for several years.

Some details about 5th round pick Matt Szczur's football related signing bonus.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/?p=...

Seems like if you're a baseball player, you should try to go to college where you can play some other sport so you can get a bigger signing bonus when you decide to go pro.

Still sounds like a great kid. Hopefully he can play.

Submitted by QuietMan on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 12:50pm.
Some details about 5th round pick Matt Szczur's football related signing bonus.

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

QUIET MAN: And after playing just one game (as DH) for the AZL Cubs, Matt Szczur has been promoted to Boise. Also, LHP Brent Ebinger, RHP Eduardo Figueroa, and RHP Matt Loosen have been moved up to Boise from the AZL Cubs, and SS Elliot Soto has been moved down to Boise from Peoria (he was sent up to Peoria as a temporarary injury replacement).

Also at Boise, RHP Yao-Lin Wang and RHP Joe Zeller have been sent down to the AZL Cubs, RHP Tarlandus Mitchell and INF Brandon May have been placed on the 7-day DL, and 2009 12th round pick OF Runey Davis (Howard JC) has been released.

cubs have actually gotten decent return on their investment in lilly [especially as compared to zambozo, for instance]...

Zambozo or Cra Z?

either way he's paul sulivan's new twitter whipping boy lately.

if he sneezes...or someone sneezes that sounds like him...there's a post.

Isn't it nice how with each bad influence that Paul removes from the Cubs clubhouse we fall further down the standings?

The reply button is your friend.

Cubs are in LA?

Thanks for being so uninteresting Cubbies that I didn't even notice.

Anyone going to be on parachat tonite?
Still love seeing Chavez Ravine.

i was until i found out you're there.

that sucks.

well now I know your going be there

more or less, yeah.

via muskat...

#cubs lineup for thursday is 2b riot, cf byrd, 1b lee, 3b ramy, c soto, lf sori, rf nady, ss castro, p wells

I am sure that is a mistake, Soto is hitting 7th or 8th.

soriano just bought a 1-way ticket to hitting 7th or 8th tomorrow

Maybe leadoff if it's a righty.

I really hope that the Miami Heat suck.

cubs baserunning...awesome stuff.

Nice to see the Fans put the NL's best hitter into the ASG. They should just let the fans vote for all the players.

Too bad they didn't do the same in the AL with Youk (though he may not be the best hitter in the AL).

I was thinking... if you really want your team to win, wouldn't it make sense to vote for your guy (Votto etc) and then vote for the worst guy on the other team?

that's what i did when I was kid. Vote smart on NL, put all the Sox on the AL.

Wish lou had the balls to keep this line up with the change of Colvin batting third and lee batting 7th or 8th.

nice williamsport hr

Well the Cavs owner just made this night a little crazier

http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/gilbert_let...

my god...that's so...whiny.

that does take a special kind of narcissism to put together an hour show to announce you're leaving your hometown team.

if you thought the regular season of basketball was pointless before...

Submitted by jacos on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 10:09pm.
Well the Cavs owner just made this night a little crazier

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

JACOS: Dan Gilbert's open letter to Cav fans sounds suspiciously like the one Rob G sent to us TCR writers when John Hill left.

Let's see it!

you should see the letter I wrote when we decided to leave MVN.

Gilbert also was whining about LeBron quitting on the team during the playoffs and said that James never once spoke to the Cavs since the end of the season. Makes you wonder why they wanted him back so bad.

LeBron's hour-long announcement was over the top, but I think Gilbert's actions following the announcement really go beyond the pale. If free agents were avoiding Cleveland before Gilbert's comments, just imagine how they will avoid the team now. Gilbert sounds more like a spurned lover than a team owner.

Cleveland attendance before LeBron 471,374
Cleveland attendance last season 820,439

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-lebr...

nice article on the whole debacle.

From Fred Mitchell and Dave Kaplan. So...

"Several baseball sources have confirmed to us that the Cubs are ramping up their efforts in the trade market to start clearing the books of cumbersome salaries.

In addition, it is expected that the team's ownership will address the media soon to assess the club's direction, especially if the team continues to struggle before the trading deadline.

"It has been very difficult for the family and the team the first half of the season," Tom Ricketts told season ticket holders Thursday at Wrigley Field. "This is not where the family wanted to be in the first half of the season."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Don't ever go against the family.

Jim Hendry wakes up to find a baby bear head in his bedroom tonight.

Automatic +1's for any godfather reference.

And btw... PR-speak like this really annoys the shit out of me.

Heard Peter Gammons on WSCR this morning. When asked if the Red Sox were interested in Theriot, Gammons said he heard the Cubs were much more interested in moving Fontenot.

You broke my heart. Fredo.

Fontenot will not excite too many teams. Maybe Baltimore.

Yeah, Ryno. I am pretty sure that Fontenot appears toward the bottom of the circa 2005 Cubs Top Prospects list that McPhail has tacked up on his wall as his to-do list... We should be able to pilfer that team, as long as we don't want any of our old prospects back (and why would we?)

Well, he was their #1 pick in 2001.

It's obvious that you should move Fountainout, because he's a LH hitter that can actually hit, and Lou likes to stack the lineup with RH hitters who cannot.

And Theriot costs more, too

Lilly not quite available yet.

http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/181287...

Apparently the Mets can't take on much payroll because of their debt/equity or something. We'll take that Martinez kid and a couple of arms for Lilly and $4 million.

I think Kaplans "sources" are MLB trade rumors and the NY Post.

Then again, today he kept repeating the Yankees deal for Cliff Lee was about to go through, hours after everyone was reporting it was dead and the Rangers were about to get Lee.

Theriot and Marlon probably ran us out of that game last night, but I can't complain too much about losing to Kershaw with our #5 starter on the road, especially if he isn't going to walk anyone.

Win these next three games an I am OK with keep the team intact until July 30th.

Interview with Don Zimmer - nothing Cubs related but some interesting tidbits about the olden days.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Cliff Lee to Yanks is apparently really close.

http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/1812251...

Yanks want to know before the game today because they don't want him pitching against them tonight.

http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/1812469...

Can't believe they're offering Montero.

Hey, they just signed Chad Tracy. So they know what they're doing.

allegedly Montero, David Adams and Zach McAllister is the package

Giants "not ready" to deal for Corey Hart yet according to Rosenthal.

And this is the team that didn't want to trade for Hughes for Santana? Seems the need for Montero is a lot greater than for another lefty ace.

and allegedly now the deal is about to fall apart over David Adams.

http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/1814358...

and Heyman concurs...

http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/181436...

From Baseball America:

•Josh Vitters, 3b, Cubs: Vitters continued his rough transition to Double-A Tennessee with a 2-for-16 week from the plate. Both hits were just singles and, through 51 games in the Southern League this season, Vitters is slugging just .331. The Cubs are probably hoping he can start to flash more power, as would be expected for a corner infielder selected with the No. 3 overall pick. His K/BB ratio is also 3:1, which is slightly worse than it had been at the lower levels.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

Brett Jackson makes Mid-Season Top 50 List - somewhere in the 26-50 group

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

I assume Jackson is a lot closer to 26 than 50 on that list. Not too hard to argue a case for him around #20, at this point. There's too much swing and miss in his game, that doesn't usually bother BA though.

Brent (Appleton): Which players listed 26-50 just missed making the Top 25?

John Manuel: The aforementioned Lamb and Myers; Cosart and Vizcaino, whose recent shutdowns with elbow pain kept them off; Jonathan Singleton, who is one of the minors' more exciting hitters; Brett Jackson, who got some Curtis Granderson comps.

mlbpark (Korea): What do you think about hak ju lee? Is he near the midseason ranking 50?

John Manuel: I'm excited to see him at the Futures Game, but I didn't see him as a Top 50 guy right now, would like to see more out of the bat. Too much projection, not enough production to rank him that high yet.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

The Cubs are probably hoping he can start to flash more power, as would be expected for a corner infielder selected with the No. 3 overall pick.

Yeah, but Tim Wilken saved Hendry $3 million dollars of signing bonus by not drafting Wieters.

You keep harping on this as if Weiters is Pujols.

.243 .314 .356 .670

Am I missing something here?

Weiters wouldn't play in front of Koyie Hill.

/ f u lou

AHAHAAAHAHAA!

Damn right!

Heh. Zing.

trade season is definitely "on" now...

mad scramble by so many teams and actual offers are "allegedly" pouring in by the hour.

allegedly Rangers now making major push for Lee.

Smoak not in lineup tonight, seems to be Reds and Rangers in contention at the moment for Lee.

If that's the case, you'd have to expect the Cubs are paying all of his salary.

Even then, can't see that happening. It's totally outside of their MO, they don't need Lee to win the division, and he's not going to help them beat the Eastern teams in the playoffs.

The Cubs are going to pay all of Cliff Lee's salary? Why the hell would they do that?

Wow, Jim Hendry really is easy to deal with.

Someone beat me to the punch.

rangers get c.lee (6 player deal, waiting to be confirmed)

So how many of the six players do the Cubs get for paying Lee's salary?

cliff lee + mark lowe to TEX

smoak + 3 others (not known yet).

confirmed, ken rosenthall.

From Rotoworld:

Along with Justin Smoak, the Mariners will reportedly acquire RHP Blake Beavan, RHP Josh Lueke and 2B Matt Lawson from the Rangers for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe.

That's not so bad for Texas. Smoak is a big loss, but they'll hold on to the rest of their top prospects in the deal. Beaven has a chance to be a part of a major league rotation, but Lueke is just a relief prospect and Lawson is a long shot to enjoy a career as a major league infielder. The trade is set to be announced at 6 p.m. EDT. It's believed that the Mariners are paying $2.5 million of the $4 million that Lee is owed.

glad I traded Smoak, sucks that I have Lee and he's now gonna pitch in Texas although at least he'll get some run support.

fwiw...tom grieve (TX announcer) is doing an interview right now basically anointing chris davis the best thing since jason heyward and steven strausberg got together to have a super-baby. he was gushing over his bat in the minors, his D, how important of a prospect he is, comparisons to tiexiera (yes, seriously), and basically offering to blow to dude under the bleachers.

seems like chris davis might be their "answer" at 1st going forward...

this wasn't mentioned in the interview, but they do have a spare harden now...he might be able to snag them a bench/backup 1st type.

"chris davis is on his way and we're going to play him" - ron washington (paraphrased).

Derrek Lee for a steer and some good BBQ.

Better have them throw in a couple of cases of Lone Star.

lol!

Yep. Smoked brisket will do.

interesting...

before chipper jones was scratched for tonight's game (back) he was scheduled to play RF...according to the ATL announcers.

via muskat...

#cubs lineup fri is rf fuke, 2b riot, 1b lee, 3b ramy, cf byrd, lf colvin, ss font, c hill, p lilly

Rangers supposedly have strong interest in Nady...

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Most of the article is about Lilly, but the last paragraph talks about the Rangers' interest in Nady.

The Cubs are in a listening mode for other veterans, including outfielder/first baseman Xavier Nady. The Rangers have strong interest in Nady after trading their first baseman for Lee.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Found this run down of teams trade chips:

http://www.mlbdepthcharts.com/2010/07/potenti...

Ken Rosenthal on the Cubs future:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/cubs-futur...

"A lot of switch hitters will hit lefty vs. a right handed knuckleball pitcher." - Gary Cohen (NYM announcer) explaining why a braves switch hitter was batting lefty vs. ra dicky

wow.

evidently ted lilly is 12 years old and learning how to play the game.

how he didnt just pick up the ball rather than that glove shovel thing was awesome.

Lilly is doing a great job increasing his trade value.

byrd with diving catch #129 on the season...

i don't know why i'm even still watching this crap.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step in the recovery process.

ha!

also, the cubs batters have 25Ks in the last 2 games...that's almost a whole game of nothing but Ks.

awesome.

baltimore ties in the top 9th off a grand slam...

C. Patterson homered to deep right, J. Fox, C. Tatum and S. Moore scored

lol.

btw, jake fox was hitting for felix pie...and will ohman + c.izturis also played in the game so far.

it's hard to imagine why they're in last place.

it's also hard to imagine how the cubs are in 3rd place.

ha! you made me laugh so hard I farted.

not that I actually need a reason to

ha! you made me laugh so hard I farted.
-----
And I farted so hard it made me laugh...guess it works both ways.

"Major league sources tell ESPNChicago.com that the Angels, Rangers and Padres all have inquired about the availability of outfielder/first baseman Xavier Nady. Other teams have also inquired about Derrek Lee, although Lee has a full no-trade clause in his contract.

Upwards of six contenders will be sending scouts to watch Lilly’s next couple of starts, even after two below-average outings.

The Tigers and Cubs have also had conversations that included talk about the availability of second baseman Ryan Theriot."

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

If we can get one major league regular out of these deals, they are worth it. Lee and Lilly have both done well by the Cubs, but their best years are likely behind them. And if we can even get a prospect that becomes a decent middle reliever for Nady, we should jump at it.

Very well said on all fronts, couldn't agree more.

Nady was a $3m lottery ticket with the 'returning from 2nd TJ' and so on. He's a good piece on a contender, he's useless to the Cubs for the rest of this year.

Also, am I the only one who thinks

a) The Cubs could actually be throwing games

and

b) The Central sucks so bad they're actually not out of it yet??

I think the emergence of Tyler Colvin has made Theriot expendable.

With Colvin in the lineup most days, the Cubs now have a relatively camera friendly white boy who can be portrayed as keeping his head down and nose to the grindstone. This makes Theriot expendable. Some of you may be thinking that Fontenot could also fill that role, but let's face it, he's a little too short. Fans can't identify with him.

Theriot's presence allowed the Cubs to trade DeRosa and his stubble. Colvin's presence will allow the Cubs to trade Theriot and his scrap.

Freaking hilarious, and also probably true.

Another thing from the weird but true department, have you noticed Theriot isn't really the spokesman anymore since he's not at SS? I understand the whole 'SS is the captain of the infield' thing, but it's as though by moving him to 2B the entire dynamic fell apart. Do the writers not care now that he plays 2B or does he think less of himself now that he's not running the show? Is he pouting? Is that why his hitting is (even) less than normal?

Just interesting...

*edit*

I've often been one of The Riot's defenders on here, believing whole-heartedly in him as 'a good piece', 'good teammate', scrappy player, etc., but everything I just typed flies right in the face of that.

Maybe he has just been a selfish prick this whole time

I have nothing against Theriot (at least when he's hitting). But I think he's reaching the point where his paycheck is negating some of the bargain-bin value that made him attractive early on.

at least when he's hitting

When has that been?

2008.

He had just 208 total bases in 2008. OPS+ of 92. He also got thrown out stealing more than a third of the time.

Well, he is not a power hitter, so he will not have a lot of total bases nor will his OPS+ be that high because his slugging isn't high. This isn't rocket science. He got on base at nearly a .390 clip in 2008. That was were his strength was, not in total bases.

His WAR the past three years has been 1.7, 1.8, and 1.0 and for about $400,000 each season, this was a good deal.

For example, Brian Roberts had a WAR of 2.1 last year, but cost $8 million. Or you could get someone like Furcal for $13 million and get a WAR of 2-3.

So Theriot was a great value. But now he is getting paid 5 times as much ($2.5 million) and his performance (and thus value) is decreasing. Not only was the 1.0 last year down from the two years prior, but so far this year he is at -0.8. Either Jeff Baker or Fontenot could step in and duplicate this, so at this point he is expendable.

I've been a huge Theriot supporter on here for years, and he is my favorite current Cub, but you just simply can't pay $2.5 million for a .270 hitting second basemen with no power.

he was leading the NL in hits before he was moved from SS to make way for castro...lulz.

...and yes, i realize this don't mean a whole lot. at the end of the day he's the same singles hitting little shit he's always been. i do think people give him a little too much hell for his D, though.

"Detroit had talks with the Cubs centering around second baseman Ryan Theriot. Those conversations have cooled down. Major League sources tell ESPNChicago.com that the Colorado Rockies now have apparent interest in Theriot."

Hendry met with Dodger GM Ned Colletti for about 15 minutes Friday night.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

And actually, as much if not more, Byrd is a pretty black man who 'tries' hard enough that (at least I don't think) he gets racist hate mail...

HA!

"In addition, Fathead.com, an online retailer owned by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert dropped the price of its LeBron Fathead wall decals from $99.99 to $17.41, which happens to be the same year Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold was born."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5...

soto's working hard to put himself in the 9 slot rather than the 8 slot. shame.

on the bright side, we have one hell of a 5-8 hitting crew compared to a lot of baseball. woo!

Yeah, we've got like half of a respectable lineup. All we need is a better leadoff, 3 and 4 hitters, an ace, a number 2 pitcher, and a couple of relievers, and a do-over on the first half of the season.

Or sweet, sweet death.

aram is showing signs of life 3 months too late...sigh.

Reds/Phillies, as I write, T Wood is hurling a perfect game locked up in a scoreless duel with Halladay. Bottom of the 8th.

I caught the last few innings, that Wood is impressive. He didn't cave in after giving up the first hit. He also busted his ass to run to the dugout chasing a pop up to end the 9th.

last night ricketts was in des moines; tonight sandberg was not - was told he left town for triple a all-star coaching assignment [game is wednesday] but barney is on the all-star team and he played ss for the i-cubs tonight...just sayin'

Futures Game coaching assignment.

Baylor's U.S. coaching staff will be comprised of five Minor League managers -- Mike Sarbaugh of the Columbus Clippers (Indians), Steve Decker of the Fresno Grizzlies (Giants), Tony Franklin of the Trenton Thunder (Yankees), Bill Dancy of the Tennessee Smokes (Cubs) and Brian Poldberg of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals) -- and one pitching coach -- Rod Nichols of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies).

Rojas' World team staff, meanwhile, has the highest-profile name, in that of Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who serves as manager of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Sandberg will be joined by Durham Bulls skipper Charlie Montoyo (Rays), New Hampshire Fisher Cats manager Luis Rivera (Blue Jays), Chattanooga Lookouts manager Carlos Subero (Dodgers), Frisco RoughRiders manager Steve Buechele (Rangers) and Sacramento RiverCats pitching coach Rick Rodriguez (A's).

Theroit could be heard alot more in press last year also this year you do not see much of him. He is the same player this year but at a much different
salary personally i think a fontenot - baker platoon would do just as well
and a lot cheaper.
I would hope he would be added to a trade which involves a Cub starter.

If Theriot is sent packing, Darwin Barney should be playing a lot of 2B here and even some SS when Castro needs a day off.

Submitted by Cubster on Sun, 07/11/2010 - 9:12am.
If Theriot is sent packing, Darwin Barney should be playing a lot of 2B here and even some SS when Castro needs a day off.

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

CUBSTER: Darwin Barney will replace either Theriot, Fontenot, or Baker in the near-future, and Matt Camp (who plays 2B-3B-LF-CF) might come up with Barney if the Cubs trade Fontenot and either trade Theriot or drop Baker. You might even get two months of Bobby Scales if all three are moved.

Because all three are arbitration-eligible and there are cheaper options available at AAA, I would be very surprised if Theriot, Fontenot, and Baker are with the Cubs in 2011, especially Theriot and Baker.

Nice to be thinking about next season already...

Assuming that Theriot and Baker are gone, how do you see next season's roster shaping up based on current Cubs in the organization? Something like the below?
I don't expect a lot of money to be spent as there is already $100 million plus payroll committed for 2011.
Do you think that they will keep Hill as the backup Catcher next year or bring up a minor leaguer?

Outfield: Soriano, Jackson, Byrd, Fukudome, LF/RF
Infield: Colvin, Fontenot, Castro, Ramirez, 1B/3B, Barney
Catcher: Soto, Hill

As for the pitching staff, the questions are, does Zambrano get moved? Who takes the fifth starter job? Does Cashner stay in the setup role? What is up with Caridad?

Rotation: Dempster, Zambrano, Gorzellany, Wells, Jackson/Cashner/Marshall
Bullpen: Marmol, Cashner, Marshall, Grabow, Caridad?, Wideout?, FA??

God this is fucking depressing. It's going to be a rough couple years waiting to clear out payroll and rebuild the ML roster.

matt camp and darwin barney...

wow, something that makes me hope fontenot sticks around for 2011. hehe...

i know camp/barney are just bench types, but phew...man...

don't look now, Phils just held the Reds scoreless for 21 consecutive innings and swept a 4 game series with a 1-0 win today.

Look out below next thursday as the Cubs get the Fightin Phils next at Wrigley. The Cubs might consider playing with their pants off. Either that or the Baseball Gods just got tired of watching Dusty win.

Re: Theriot

He's real good except his speed on base is hurt by his lack of base-stealing ability. Also, he doesn't hit for power and is a mediocre defender. So basically he's mediocre in every facet of the game. Welcome to the Cubs.

Yes, he is and always has been pretty mediocre. In 2008 and for parts of 2007, though, he did a decent job of getting on base. So getting on base, plus mediocre/adequate elsewhere, plus super cheap, that all made him relatively valuable. Now that he is getting expensive and has remained mediocre at most facets of the game while getting on base less, he's lost a lot of value. If another team is convinced he's still worth something, it's a great time to trade and figure you got his best years in terms of overall value.

via c.m...

#Cubs lineup Sun nite is rf fuke, 2b riot, cf byrd, 3b ramy, 1b nady, lf sori, ss castro, c soto, p silva

Either Silva talked them into letting him start or they're trying to bushwack the Dodgers. Every report I've heard for the last 3 days was that Silva won't start because of his hamstring. He wanted to pitch but the Cubs wanted to push him back, supposedly.

lou was just on tv saying they talked about it 3 times before the game and silva "wanted to try" so they gave it a go.

he put .50 points on his ERA tonight...yow.

You people really hate Parachat. Fuckers.

Parachat has never worked for me since I switched to a Mac. Every browser I try, no luck. I gave up a long time ago.

it's been slow/low attendance for a while...i was there at game time and no one was there...my client timed out sometime into it.

when i checked again in the 5th no one was in there.

i think a lot of people are just not watching this trainwreck.

I've been watching most of the games on TV since the Blackhawks season ended.

I think next season could go either way, either they are competitive or they stink. Let's say they don't resign DLee or Lilly, which I expect is the case. They find someone to replace DLee, whether that's Colvin (which I kind of don't want to see because that means Fukudome probably gets a lot more playing time), or they find another Nady type to fill in for a year while they find someone more long term.

With the expected 4 starters (and I have to say that if Z isn't traded he has to return to the rotation, that $18 mil per year in the pen is just idiotic to think of), Marmol, Marshall, maybe a more consistent Cashner, and perhaps some other reliever steps up, it could be an OK year as long as people (especially the hitters) don't get off to slow starts again. But the thing that concerns me is that the slow starts are probably more likely to happen with an older roster and a cold weather city.

But maybe we can hang around for another year or two as we hopefully work in a few more kids here and there, and before you know it, most of these high priced contracts have ended.

I just hope that Hendry doesn't decide to trade Soto. I'm getting really pissed watching Soto have a good game and then sit out for a couple games while our generic back up catcher starts. Soto's not a superstar, or even a star, but he's looking like a very solid hitter at a traditionally weak position. Lou just needs to disappear and we can find out what happens when Soto and Colvin truly play regularly.

I honestly think they can be a 84-88 win team if they sign Adam Dunn to play 1st and sit in the middle of the lineup.

Assuming Aramis comes back to career norms, and the roster stays relatively healthy.

Maybe Rob can beat me to the links, but I begged and pleaded (literally) for Hendry to sign Dunn two years ago. I think he was EXACTLY the guy to break up DLee and Aram.

I haven't been following tho, I don't know what kind of season he's been having this year, and how old is he now?

Dunn will turn 31 this November, and he is having a great year so far this year. He is currently at: .288/.372/.588 compared to his career line of: .252/.383/.524. His OPS+ is 154 right now, which if he maintained it would be a new career high. He leads the league in home runs (22) and total bases (188). He has to be one of the most consistent players in the game. His home run totals the past 6 years have been 46-40-40-40-40-38, RBI totals have been 102-101-92-106-100-105. He has played first base exclusively this year and seems to servicable there - at least not atrocious like he is in the outfield.

Admittedly lazy, I could have looked that up, but thank you!

Okay, I didn't think he was still putting up numbers like that (and now with batting avg.--oh my!) but he sounds like he wouldn't be a bad pickup, maybe 3/30 + an option? Didn't the Nats pick him up for cheap? (okay, that's rhetorical WG, I'll look myself =)

Get Dunn for 1B, flip Fuk and keep TColvin in RF? Methinks I'd be okay with that. Which, by the way, do we know exactly what Fuk's NTC is? I've read full, and I've read 15 team.

*edit

Cot's has Dunn on a 2/20 right now, getting 12 this year. Probably makes 3/39 a good opening salvo. Thoughts? The 1B market is a little full this year and maybe next, so the Cubs could do alright. AdGonz is a badass too, but he'll draw more attention and look to make more I think...

I was thinking 4/48 in my head.

3/39 with some sort of mutual option would probably work.

Ugh. I do not want 4 years of Dunn.

I'd rather see what we have at 1B next year. Maybe that's the only place Colvin can play, or maybe they actually do move an aging slugger there. Or maybe they move Soto there, save money and see what Castillo has behind the plate. Or maybe they keep Nady and play him there. He has a second year on his contract, doesn't he?

The thing is that if we morphed colvin/soto/nady/hoffpauir/ml free agent into some magical cloned player, it still isn't going to be as good as Dunn.

We've NEVER had a 950 ops guy in this lineup.

Usually the cubs go for scrap, stubble, athletics, look good in a uni, over actual on field production.

Dunn would signify a move from the old inept way of doing business.

"We've NEVER had a 950 ops guy in this lineup."

Lee was .972 last year, 1.080 in 2005. Aramis reached .950 once, same as Dunn.

You want to sign a guy who can't run and can't play a position to a long contract. Didn't we do that in 2006? At least we thought Soriano could run.

I like Dunn a lot better than Soriano but he would be about as much of a difference-maker as he has been with Cincy and Washington.

I meant a consistent 950 OPS force. Though he did it twice in his career, DLee is far from that kind of player now. And he is about 100 points shy of that level for his career.

Don't understand how adding a 400 OBP/40 Homer/100+RBI guy to the middle of our lineup wouldn't make a difference?

Has the good ol Cubbies no-hit through 4+. Fuck, seriously?

Make it 5 full.

I do want to note, however, that James Russell is the first professional ballplayer who can't figure out how to wear his fucking hat straight that I actually like.

Bases juiced, nobody out, only lets one in (and on a dp grounder) = not too shabby

excuse my lack of self-censorship, but uh...fuck this.

*flips a table*

140m for this?

Agreed (and kudos on the table).

Just read the Ricketts' "Still having fun" "not assigning blame" article. This may sound stupid, but a couple thoughts.

--Ricketts bought this $140 turd, didn't build it nor let it happen on his (their?) watch

--Can't come right out and start firing people, although I definitely think they're paying attention (sounded like Hendry's our guy TODAY... doesn't sound real promising for tomorrow)

--And while I'm on Hendry (wait, that didn't sound right...) I'm as pissed at him as the next fan, but overall he's still got a pretty winning track record, and we could certainly do worse. If nothing else, I don't like the idea of Wilken leaving with him, and IF the farm produces like people (okay, robothal) are saying in a few years, the new guy may get the credit but it'll have been the guys in power now that got us there.

Then again, fuck the fat bastard, we're Cubs fans and we've been pissed since well before '03. Don't let the door hit you on the way out....

And actually, let's say for instance we fire Lou or he's at least gone at the end of the year. There's concern about Hendry picking the next manager, but I'm pretty fucking sure Ricketts is going to have a hand in that little transaction for one, and for two, there isn't anybody who can spell MLB that doesn't think the next guy's last name is going to be Sandberg, right or wrong. So does it matter at that point if it's Hendry next to Ryno at the press conference? Not really.

All Ricketts has to do is watch and make sure Hendry doesn't do dumb shit, which shouldn't be that hard. Put a cap on him per contract and per year and let him try to fix it. We get Wilken drafting again next year, anyway. And I'm betting as such a "fan" as Ricketts is, Ryno and Maddux (if he's back) are gonna have damn near as much say about baseball as JH does. If they put Ryno in charge on the field, they're not going to want any fucking excuses if the team has another 'sub-par' year next year.

And I know we're all sick of hearing it, but it is only the break. 10-game miracle turnarounds have happened in a lot less time

*ducks*

Do you (the cubs) really want to keep a GM around that you can't trust not to do "dumb shit"?

For any success Hendry has had, he is still a .500 GM who has been running the highest payroll in the division since he got here in 2002.

I'd rather we get some new blood in there just to see us move into the modern baseball world. Someone who will do more than listen to scouts or listen to his manager.

A real franchise builder.

I definitely agree in principle, but those folks don't grow on trees. I think if picking the next (Epstein, whoever) was that easy, every team would do it.

Logan White
Josh Byrnes
Larry Beinfest
Neal Huntington
Jon Daniels

Would be the short list of guys I would look at first, if I were Ricketts.

Each will likely be available, and should jump at the chance to run a team with a huge payroll.

In two plate appearances Brett Jackson struck out once and walked once, but then was promptly picked off of first.

Hak-Ju Lee was one for two with a single, but also had a fielding error.

Cubbery!

They'll fit nicely on the big club...

I read through the comments at Minor League ball and it sounded like Lee made a few nice plays to go along with the error.

Also, many commenters agreed that Brett Jackson is a top 25-50 prospect. Nothing else cub-related.

PS
Fuck this team for making all of us lose interest. I'm a junkie to this site and there's nothing to read. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to keep track of this team, it's just sad to lose the daily collection of arguments and hilarious commentary.

I haven't lost interest at all. Unfortunately the bloggers here have. This is a classic Cub train wreck of a year. Unfortunately I've seen far too many, but this is one for the ages. It deserves more analysis.

It's not even just the losing--it's more about how utterly uninteresting this team is. If Hendry would just give up already we could spend our time talking about what the day-to-day minutiae means about the franchise's future.

"Starlin Castro hasn't shaved in a few days. I can almost see facial hair."

"Facial hair! Must be on the 'roids. Dude's gonna be huge for us in 2012!"

"Did you see that play by Colvin at the wall?!"

"The guy just keeps getting skinnier and whiter. He's awesome."

"I miss Sam Fuld. Remember that catch? *Sigh*"

Etc.

ha

Nice.

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