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!

Recent comments

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  • In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST  
    Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex 
    4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes) 
    Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)  

  • There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?

  • Heyward getting the night off.

    Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd

  • Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.

    Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.

  • It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.

    I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.

  • I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.

    This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/making-too-much-of-...

  • Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!

  • Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.

  • Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.

    Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.

  • Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.

  • Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.

    Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.

  • He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.

    He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.

  • Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.

    Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.

  • That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible

  • I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.

  • rollercoaster loss...ugg.

    at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.

    anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.