Wednesday Cubs News

- Despite the claims of the Illinois speaker of the House that the bond deal was dead, Tom Ricketts is pushing forward with union leaders in hand about how the Wrigley improvement project will do magnificent things for everyone. The drawings sure are pretty.

- The same link has Hendry's annual offseason quote that the trade market looks good this offesason.

- At cubs.com, Hendry says a lot without saying anything about first base. He does seem to indicate they'll take their time since there are so many options which is code for going on the cheap. He also indicates that adding pitching depth (relievers and starters) is the focus so don't expect any big names, if for some reason you were. Looks like the Cubs are gonna be dumpster diving this offseason for players, which certainly can work out...or not.

- Heyman says the Cubs and just about the entire National League isn't very interested in Adam Dunn.

- Harry Caray's in Wrigleyville is closing down, bad mojo between the resteraunt and landlord. They are seeking another Wrigleyville location.

- The BP Cup - given to the winner each year of the Cubs vs. White Sox interleague series - earned the honor of one of the lamest sport trophies...well done everyone involved.

BONUS LINK: Jayson Stark has his take on the Cubs and that take is that Mike Quade can turn water into wine.


How much difference did Quade make? Well, the Cubs went 24-16 in the 40 games he managed -- after going 24-42 over the final 66 games Lou Piniella managed. And the changes didn't just show up in the standings.

Scouts who followed the Cubs said they saw young players and the bullpen crew, in particular, relax and perform without the high-strung Piniella around. And Fukudome was also a different guy, hitting .277/.390/.482 (with more walks than strikeouts) from Aug. 20 on -- after hitting .258/.365/.425 before that.

He goes on to say that Hendry isn't all that motivated to move  Fukudome and Carlos Zambrano now because of the work of Jesus Quade, or at least the improvement seen under Jesus Quade's leadership. Stark also echoes that it's Dunn's glovework, or lack thereof, that is going to keep him out of Chicago and the Cubs would like someone that is an "above-average defender" to chase down all of Castro's bad throws.

(pounds fist on keyboards, feigns anger over Cubs rumored thought process)

- BONUS JAPAN NEWS: Micah Hoffpauir has signed a deal with the Nippon Ham Fighters. How the hell he didn't become an Oriole, I'll never know. And if you missed the news, Scott Moore is back in the Cubs organization after his tour of duty with the team that Ripken built (and MacPhail is trying to destroy).

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Comments

playing to their perceived strengths it looks like the new ownership's focus this winter will be a long-term extension for their aging veteran named Wrigley...

At the end of the Stark article he quotes a scout:

On Cubs pitching prospect Chris Carpenter: "Easy power stuff. Great life. This guy has a chance to be a front-of-the-rotation starter."

so did Mark Prior!!!!

it's the new Godwin law for Cubs discussions, invoke the name of Mark Prior whenever a Cubs pitching prospect is mentioned.

Carpenter, Cashner, Archer, Jackson...couple of really good arms coming through the system, see if any can stick.

Bud Blacks beats Dusty Baker by 1 pt for manager of the year

http://bbwaa.com/2010/11/2010-managers/

Gardenhire takes the AL award over Ron Washington

with net neutrality disappearing and now a bill to censor websites that conduct in "copyright infringement", i.e. entertainment industry sponsored bill.

and from someone who works in the entertainment industry and really wishes people didn't pirate movies and so forth, this bill is too much of slippery slope for my tastes.

Piracy is bad, censorship is worse. Considering what just happened to Cubscast, if I understand this bill correctly, MLB could argue any blog using Cubs in it is in copyright violation and could potentially shut them down with just a court order.

There's a petition.
http://demandprogress.org/mission

I look forward to enjoying your work on The Baby Bear Reporter.

Or the dyslexic buc reporter

...which is code for going on the cheap

Amen, 'bro.

Of my, He-Man plus the NHF? I'm in heaven.

If you're the GM of the Cubs, would you empty the system for a high upside guy like Justin Upton (or someone comparable)? I was reading over there at mlbtr and I was looking at the proposals people think would be necessary, would you gut the system? You'd be giving up Brett Jackson, and at least one of the two Archer/McNutt plus two other solid prospects, but then you move Colvin to first and you've solved one hole and really upgraded not only the defense in right, but add another power bat to the lineup. Upton is affordable and signed for 4 (possibly 5? Not sure) years. Obviously, I'm slightly on the side of being okay with a deal like this since Jackson would be replaced by Upton and Archer/McNutt are nearly ready and we don't have the rotation space for them currently, though we could make it. We'd have to add in another great/good prospect but would you make the trade? Now just seems like the time that the Cubs could take flyers on high-risk, high-reward players. Just looking for some discussion

all depends on what empty the system means of course, but I'm all for acquiring 23 year olds who have already put a .900 OPS season.

but that's easily 4-5 prospects all in the A/B (or 4/5 star) range all either ready for the majors or such good prospects that there's no doubt they'll be major leaguers.

..and for a guy who's got some holes in his game.

What would Dan Haren cost?

angels seem to want to keep haren, fwiw.

Rob G.--

Re: #11
Funny, I checked out Upton's stats in Baseball-Reference and it has him peaking at .899 OPS in 2009. What a nit-picker I am!

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 4 hours 43 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 5 hours 26 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 5 hours 27 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 5 hours 28 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 6 hours 27 sec ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 7 hours 4 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 8 hours 10 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 8 hours 59 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 13 hours 29 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view