Sayonara, y'all

It was hola to one old friend and sayonara to another today, as the Cubs signed minor league FA INF Scott Moore to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training 2011, and placed Micah Hoffpauir on Outright Release Waivers so that he can sign a contract with the Nippon Ham Fighters (NPB Pacific League) of Sapporo, Japan, where he will be playing on the same team as Japan's #1 pitcher, RHP Yu Darvish. 


With Hoffpauir being released, the Cubs now have 35 players on their MLB Reserve List (five slots open) as they continue to consider which players they will add to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 pre-Rule 5 Draft roster-filing deadline.   



Since Hoffpauir is not a free-agent and is still under contract to the Cubs, a cash payment (exact amount TBD, but it could be several hundred thousand dollars) will be made to the Cubs from the Ham Fighters once Hoffpauir clears waivers on Friday and can officially sign with his new club.  


I guess it's pretty obvious that Hoff will have to learn the ancient art of fighting hams, but just speaking from personal experience, I think he will find that if he approaches the ham from a 45 degree angle with a knife and fork in hand, that he will usually be able to make the cut, bite, and swallow necessary to successfully pound it down in one sitting. (At least we probably know what Hoff's family and friends should expect for Christmas this year). 


Hoff-Pauir! signed with the Cubs after being selected in the 13th round of the 2002 draft out of Lamar U. in Texas. He spent six rather uneventful seasons in the Cubs farm systyem (including four seasons at AAA Iowa), before finally having a break-out year in 2008 when he hit 362/393/752 with 25 HR and 100 RBI in just 71 games (less than half a AAA season). He got occasional opportunities for MLB playing time with the Cubs 2008-10, hitting 251/312/421 with 12 HR & 48 RBI and 23 doubles in 162 big league games (exactly equivalent to one full MLB season), including a memorable five-hit game (including two HR) in September 2008 at Shea Stadium in New York. But the 30-year old Texan was unable to hit the ground running and grab the 1B job the last two months of the 2010 season after Derrek Lee was traded to Atlanta, hitting just 173/246/231 with no HR in 57 PA (24 games). Besides hitting 133 HR in 874 pro games, Hoffpauir is a very good defensive 1st baseman, winning a Rawlings AAA Gold Glove while at Iowa in 2007.


A left-handed hitter with HR power who can play 1B-2B-3B-LF plus SS in a pinch, Scott Moore comes back to the Cubs after spending the past three-plus seasons in the Baltimore Orioles organization, where he bounced back-and-forth between AAA and MLB. In 80 MLB games (202 PA) over the course of four seasons, Moore has hit a combined 223/270/370 with seven HR. Although he has certainly not had the same degree of success at the big league level, Moore would appear to profile at least as a similar type of player as Jeff Baker.


A 1st round draft pick (8th overall) of the Detroit Tigers in 2002 out of Cypress HS in California (the same HS that produced current Cubs 3B prospect Josh Vitters), Moore was originally acquired by the Cubs from the Tigers along with RHP Roberto Novoa and OF Bo Flowers for RHP Kyle Farnsworth in February 2005, and he would spend  the next three seasons in the Cubs system, hitting 61 HR (combined) in 363 minor league games. Rated one of the Cubs "Top 10 Prospects" in 2007, Moore was sent to Baltimore along with RHPs Rocky Cherry and Jake Renshaw in a trade for veteran RHP Steve Trachsel in August of that season. While he has mostly struggled in his previous big league opportunities, keep in mind he is still only 27 years old (in fact today is his 27th birthday), and with a solid Spring Training, Moore has a chance to win a spot on the Cubs 2011 Opening Day 25-man roster. And if he doesn't make the cut, his versatility should come in handy at AAA Iowa, and his MLB experience could make him the natural replacement call-up if anything bad happens to a Cubs infielder next season. 

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Comments

Phil,

How do these type of moves come about? Not that I think the Cubs will miss Hoffpauir, but did Hendry 'actively' shop him to the Japan leagues, were they interested in him independent of Hendry, was Hoffpauir's agent orchestrating this move? Just curious how this happened in his case. Also, any insight into which pitchers may be outrighted this week based on any recent conversations you might have heard?

Submitted by George Altman on Wed, 11/17/2010 - 5:18pm.
Phil,

How do these type of moves come about? Not that I think the Cubs will miss Hoffpauir, but did Hendry 'actively' shop him to the Japan leagues, were they interested in him independent of Hendry, was Hoffpauir's agent orchestrating this move? Just curious how this happened in his case. Also, any insight into which pitchers may be outrighted this week based on any recent conversations you might have heard?

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

GEORGE A: First off, the Nippon Ham Fighters would have contacted the Cubs (Hendry) and asked if they could negotiate with Hoffpauir and possibly offer him a contract. The Cubs must have said yes, and then the Ham Fighters and Hoffpauir (or his agent) talked and Hoff agreed on a contract. The deal would then be completed once the Ham Fighters and the Cubs agreed on how much the Cubs would receive in exchange for releasing Hoffpauir so that he could sign with the NHF. The Cubs receiving a cash payment for releasing Hoffpauir would be similar to the "posting fee" Japanese teams receive when a player under club control is made available to MLB clubs.

Matt Murton got a reported $500K signing bonus and a $1M guaranteed salary when the Rockies released him so that he could play in Japan, and the signing bonus probably went to the Rockies as a de facto "posting fee." Same goes for Hoffpauir. The Cubs probably get the signing bonus (probably $500K) and Hoffpauir gets just the salary (probably $1M), but he will still end up ahead financially since he would have been making somewhere around the MLB minimum ($400K) and would not have been eligible for MLB salary arbitration until post-2012 if he had remained in the U. S. (presuming he even was in the big leagues in 2011-12).

The fact that the Ham Fighters were willing to go after a player under an MLB club's control instead of a free-agent means they REALLY wanted Hoffpauir (in particular). And the fact that Hoffpauir is out of minor league options and will be 31 years old next season probably made the decision pretty easy for Hendry, too. (One thing about Hendry is that he usually does not stand in the way of a Cubs player who can better himself elsewhere).

Playing in Japan can be very lucrative for guys like Murton and Hoffpauir, because the money is guaranteed, and the $$$ will be there year-after-year as long as the player keeps producing. Being popular helps, too, and Hoffpauir is one of the friendliest pro baseball players I've ever met (and Murton is quite likable, too).

BTW, in case you are wondering what would happen if Hoffpauir were to get claimed off Release Waivers (and he won't clear until Friday), if it would kill the deal... It would not, because any player (regardless of MLB Service Time) who is claimed off Release Waivers can decline the claim and become a FA. Release Waivers are the only type of waivers where a claim is strictly a player option, even if the player does not have a NTC or the amount of MLB Service Time usually required to have the option to be a FA.

As for which pitchers might get dropped from the 40-man roster by Saturday's deadline, I suspect the Cubs will drop Brian Schlitter (who battled a sore shoulder off-and-on during the 2010 season, and ended the season on the Iowa DL). Because he accrued MLB Service Time in 2010 and finished the season on the Iowa DL, the Cubs will not be able to outright Schlitter after 11/20, and if he is still injured in Spring Training, they would have to place him on the MLB DL and pay him his MLB salary ($400K+) for as long as he is on the DL. It would be better to try and outright him now, and then take the chance that (with a bum shoulder) he won't get claimed, and then if his shoulder is still not 100% in Spring Training the Cubs can (because he is on the Iowa Reserve List) pay him just a AAA minor league salary while he's on the DL.

John Gaub is another candidate to get outrighted, but because he did not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2010 he can be outrighted to the minors anytime up until 15 days prior to 2011 MLB Opening Day, even if he is injured. So (unlike Schlitter) the Cubs can wait to outright Gaub until they know they actually need his roster slot (like maybe sometime in December, January, or February).

Neither Schlitter nor Gaub can be a free-agent if outrighted, so the Cubs would retain club control over both players if they can get them through waivers without being claimed. (Schlitter could not be a minor league FA until post-2013, and Gaub could not be a minor league FA until post-2012).

Great info....thanks, Phil!

BTW, the Nippon Ham Fighters (Hoffpauir's new team) are one of three NPB teams (the Chiba Lotte Marines and the Rakuten Golden Eagles are the other two) rumored to be seriously considering locating their Spring Training bases to Tucson, where they would replace the White Sox and D'backs at Tucson Electric Park (TEP) and the Colorado Rockies at Hi Corbett Field, and play the 15 Maricopa County-based MLB clubs in Spring Training. So Hoffpauir could continue to crush Cactus League pitching even as he plays for a Japanese team.

And the San Diego Padres have announced that they will be moving their AAA PCL club from Portland to Tucson next season, although whether they will play at Hi Corbett Field (downtown Tucson) or at TEP (halfway to Benson) is still to be determined.

I could dig up a link, but from a friend in Tucson and (I believe) a local newspaper or TV station, I thought it was pretty set that the (former?) Beavers would be at TEP...?

given the sorry state of hi-corbett's facilities beyond the field (which has a wonderful view, btw) it probably is the TEP.

well, they're not in a sorry state, but it's more of a semi-pro/college/etc. type setup.

I wish Micah the best. He should have the opportunity to make some good money there, as I can see his bat playing fairly well abroad.

Moore's a nice pickup who should be able to slide in the I-Cubs squad real well. I guess he could take Baker's spot ... but I feel much more comfortable with Baker off the bench. Moore could rotate in at 1st for Spencer, 3rd for Smith, could dabble some at 2nd for likely Tony Thomas, and might be able to dabble some in the corner OF spots. Ideally, Moore is that upper level veteran signed to fill out the minors and offer a stopgap option if the need arises.

Bruce Levine checks in...

Hendry has had numerous meetings with representatives for free agents and has talked to other teams about trade possibilities. The Cubs and Texas Rangers were scheduled to get together to talk about possible matchups. Texas has a need for catching and the Cubs have two solid young catchers in Welington Castillo and Robinson Chirinos. Texas has an abundance of good hitting in their organization and they have excess at first base, a position where the Cubs have a need.

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

imagine the haul you'd get for a guy anyone could of have had last year in the Rule 5?

Castilo might get you a B-/C+ arm at least...

I don't know about that - I would bet that after this last season the Beanes and the Epsteins of the world are at least intrigued by Chirinos, unfortunately he's likely to be undervalued by the Cubs management.

Nice tip uv the hat to Manny Trillo there!

Speaking of Manny Trillo, I haven't seen our Manny on here in ages.

I've been enjoying that. Don't jinx it

FREE MANNY TRILLO

Nope, that's too much.

If Koyie Hill is set to return, as much of the speculation suggests, I wouldn't mind flipping Castillo for say, Chris Davis, in some sort of package. That would leave Chirinos or Hill battling it out for the backup backstop job (I don't really want Hill ... but a lot of the speculation suggests that he'll be back), with the loser in AAA with Chris Robinson and maybe Clevenger if he makes it through Rule 5, with Michael Brenly in AA (and Jon Mota?).

Chris Davis is reportedly an excellent defensive first baseman, which the Cubs have indicated is a priority for their infield.

A Davis trade would reunite him with Jaramillo, with whom Davis reportedly did not work well in Texas (which Davis subsequently denied, stating that he enjoyed working with Rudy).

Davis would be a logical move, as he is a cheap, lefty-hitting 1B with power and good D skills. He is not arb-eligible until 2012, and has even played some 3B.

His swing obviously needs a lot of refinement, and Jaramillo's endorsement of his coachability and ability to reduce the K's would likely make or break such a deal.

Could this be Hendry actually making a decent move as a GM?

The things I've been reading about Davis make him sound pretty decent, I believe he was their guy prior to Moreland emerging...?

Anything's better than overpaying Adam-freaking-Dunn... (*ducks)

you should duck, Chris Davis worth nothing but a minor league free agent deal and hope that he turns a couple lucky Jack Cust seasons in for you.

LOL thanks Rob, knew I could count on you ;)

We just let Chris Davis's equivalent sign with some Japanese league team.

Pretty much, although Davis is younger, yes?

Joe Ricketts talks about why he bought the Chicago Cubs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac6h2wczxGA&fe...

Joe Ricketts says he only considered buying the Cubs because Tom told him that "...they sell every ticket, every game, win or lose."

Does that put pressure on them to make sure that they continue to "sell every ticket, every game, win or lose"? Something to think about and keep in mind as we go forward.

The Cubs and Rangers match up well on several levels.

I could see the Rangers wanting Dempster, especially if they don't sign Cliff Lee.

I could see us wanting David Murphy, Derek Holland, Pedro Borbon and Chris Davis. This is not who I think we'd get in return for Dempster, but a list of young, cheap talent they have.

As for Texas, Castillo makes sense, and perhaps Marlon Byrd.

Holland is interesting. He could be used in the pen, freeing up a rotation spot for Cashner or Marshall, or be given a chance to start.

Borbon at his best, could be a leadoff center fielder, or at worst a 4th outfielder.

Davis is a project but fits the profile of what we need-a left handed, cheap first baseman that can hit for power.

Perhaps a deal of Dempster and Castillo for Holland, Borbon and Davis?

Absolutely I'd do that if I were the Cubs. I'd even throw in a Sean Marshall for Texas' trouble.

It would signify that we were in a full on rebuilding mode though. So you have to figure that any vet would be open game from then on out this season.

Can't be 1/2 pregnant. Although I think the term they like is "re-tool".

The Cubs are in the same boat as the Tigers were last year. Lot's of fat contracts but most will be off the books in 2012.

Get a good, well constructed team with lots of options and moveable parts and make it work. Make good use of the trading deadline and use your studs-Archer, Vitters, Jackson as mid season call-ups. Mix and stir, add some bitters and enjoy!

Due to the free agent market being turd the last two years, a lot of teams have a lot of contracts off the books by 2012. Don't plan on buying a contender based upon that.

Agree, but I think that's the beauty of retool/rebuild/whatever this year; the better Hendry does at assembling this year, and the better the pieces perform and fit, the less buying they have to do in the offseason next year

I don't think you should worry too much about the free agent market when making decisions... I just want to point out that those four players listed are four guys who are likely to not get offered arbitration at some point in their careers. It's better to get one or two star level players than four "well, he deserves to be on a major league roster" types in trade.

I'm a big fan of Holland myself, mostly dealt with injuries so far in his early career, not that those may not continue.

But great minor league numbers with flashes of major league brilliance.

Personally think a lot of teams would be all over trying to get him if he became available.

There's an interesting trade discussion on mlb here:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101...

It made me think of the DeRosa deal with Cleveland. This is mostly for Neal #34, but I too like Holland, and David Murphy is starting to look like a legit piece. Kinda like what the writer says in the article above, I like the idea of a couple of solid pieces instead of "one or two star level players", although you don't want the "deserves to be on a major league roster" guys either; the answer is somewhere in between.

Case in point--the Cubs were going to trade Lilly this past year, right or wrong, and Theodore probably wanted to get to a winning team.

That said, I don't think there was any huge organizational need to trade The Riot as a player; they traded him because he had priced himself out of being worth his weight through arbitration. The victory was replacing him with a somewhat-similar player (DeWitt) who doesn't hit arbitration until next year, or free agency til like 2015, and the cost was the last few months of Ted Lilly on a team that wasn't going anywhere.

Sorry, rambling...

My point is that you don't want to fill out 20% of your roster with DeWitt's and Theriots. The goal isn't to become the most cost efficient team, it's to become the winningest team.

On Holland, his minor league #'s do look pretty good. Watching him pitch though I wonder if it as much a product of his fast promotion as it is of his talent.

Agreed, but since the manager is the biggest part of winning, you do need a certain amount of scrappiness on your team...

(runs away laughing hysterically....)

Ted Lilly was, and is, an excellent left handed starting pitcher. They should have gotten much more than DeWitt and a couple of third tier prospects. It was one of the few bad trades that Hendry has made.

I don't think that there are many people who would consider Ted Lilly "excellent." He is solid, and even good.

But Hendry got a decent return for a 2-month rental of an aging pitcher.

I really like Marshall. Just sayin'.

And there's a quote from Hendry here: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...
(it's the Hoff article on mlb.com), "If there are people who fit the areas we need to address, for the most part, we'll try to keep a lot of the possibilities alive. You always hear 'so and so' might not get traded. You never know."

While that might be him implying 'I'd rather get my 1B from a trade', I kind of initially took it as 'Yes, Aram and Z are absolutely available for the right price', which made me think the rebuild is on, and personally I was completely fine with that thought.

Point Dr. Aaron, I think any vet is already open game this season.....

Derrek Holland should be a starter. And I don't think the Rangers want to trade him.

Chris Davis has struck out almost 32% of the time in the majors. Is there a reason anyone would want Hee Seop Choi back in their lives?

and to be fair to Choi, he was far less overmatched than Davis.

baseball reference oddity...

Chris Davis is 6 ft 3 inches in the majors and 6 ft 4 inches in the minors.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/d...
http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

If it's a straight Davis for one of the catchers, I'd be okay with that. Sounds better than over paying LaRoche or Berkman. Choi reference and all.

I don't see how that's better unless they fully commit to Colvin as the back-up plan. Because you'll need one...

Maybe sign LaRoche AND flip a C for Davis as the backup plan, ie Davis is taking Hoff's spot in the organization??

if Davis has minor league options left, sure, doesn't seem like a guy you want sitting on the bench much.

Point.

Submitted by Rob G. on Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:59pm.
if Davis has minor league options left, sure, doesn't seem like a guy you want sitting on the bench much.

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

ROB G: Chris Davis has one minor league option left, and is two seasons away from being eligible for salary arbitration.

Dammit Rob, why do you have to inject reality into my Hendry-induced hallucinations, especially when I really didn't know any better??

Don't you realize, that prevents me from having ammo later to fling at Hendry et al when my unrealistic expectations (Davis hits more HR next year at Wrigley than Dunn hits at the Smell) aren't met?!?!!?

New TCR rule: Az Phil is no longer allowed to put any form of 'goodbye' or anything even insinuating that he's leaving in a headline...

My heart can't take it!

same Levine link as above

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

Hendry met with agent Barry Praver to discuss Z and Marmol. Praver says nothing about trades came up with Z and I assume they started talking about a multi-year deal for Marmol to cover some arbitration and hopefully FA years.

Muskat tweets that NRI to spring training were given to Angel Guzman, Bobby (Free at-last) Scales, James Adduci, Scott Moore and LHP Scott Rice

(should Bobby Scales just change his name to Scott Free?)

Rice is an interesting NRI choice, as he is an extreme groundball lefty reliever who could compete with Maine and Russell for a final spot in the pen.

As for Davis, if Hendry only has $5 million or so to spend (barring some cash that gets freed up by a trade of Fuk or Silva), then acquiring a cheap 1B like Davis via trade now would seem to make it a lot easier to find a SP and setup guy as the winter progresses.

I think that's his motivation, and if Davis is at least serviceable, I like it.

I'm just not ready to give Hendry that much credit yet, I'm pretty sure he's going to find a way to dick it up

Felix wins Cy Young handily.

Sabermetrics rejoices again, Murray Chass punches a wall.

bbwaa lists where writers first place votes went, kudos to them on some progress

http://bbwaa.com/

They had to expand ballots from 3 to 5 because someone left out Whineright and Carpenter last year; now it's 5, and someone still managed to leave off David Price. Next year, this one goes to 11.

Wrongway still going the wrongway.

Seriously, how does Cliff Lee get a top three vote, though?

well if you ignore he was injured in April, had a bad back in August, along with logic and reason, it makes perfect sense.

surprisingly he had the best FIP and WAR values in the AL and somehow managed 212 IP's in just 28 starts, fwiw.

I just about nerd raged on their WAR for pitchers the other day.

Do you realize that they use DIPS to calculate their war, but totally ignore batted LD,GB,FO rates?

So FIP x IP and WAR are essentially the same thing.

he deserved it, but wow, what a sea change in voters.

F. Paulino to Rox for Cliff Barmes.

From MLBTR:

"The Astros acquired Clint Barmes from the Rockies for Felipe Paulino, according to the team. GM Ed Wade says he pursued Barmes for his defensive versatility and gap power. The Rockies, who were not necessarily going to offer Barmes arbitration, get something in return for the 31-year-old.

Barmes was a non-tender candidate heading into his final season of arbitration eligibility. After hitting 23 homers in 2009, he hit just 8 homers this year and his batting line fell to .235/.305/.351. Barmes earned $3.33MM in 2010 and figures to pocket $4MM or so in 2011.

Paulino, 27, posted a 5.11 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings for the Astros this year. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason (as a Super Two). In each of the past three seasons, his average fastball velocity has surpassed 95 mph. Paulino struggles against lefties, but is considerably more effective against right-handed hitters."

So, ultimately, the Stros tossed the Rox a pitcher under control with at least a chance of some upside for overpaid junk that they were going to non-tender anyway?? What am I not seeing??

"After hitting 23 homers in 2009,"

"for Paulino, 27, posted a 5.11 ERA"

I do like Paulino's arm, but at the age of 27 you need to be able to do more than throw hard.

Pittsburgh is looking for a SP. The Cubs pay half, take someone(s) reasonable from Pittsburgh (they've never been afraid to trade guys before), and throw in a tryout for the Steelers to convince Z to accept the trade??

No, just me?

Z has a full no trade clause and has said he refuses to waive it, so all the rumors and speculation on where he might go is a waste of time.

Wow. Sense of humor, anybody? Jeez.

Z really don't get enough credit for being a bright personality and a hell of a cubs "citizen."

...as he's punching his best friend in the face and calling out teammates in the dugout.

He is a good guy, though, he just has a short temper.

yeah, i could take that as a reason for anyone not to like him, but he's been invisible almost his entire career compared to his teammates until recently...and recently it's been for all the wrong reasons.

says he'd love to play for Marlins, but has already received some decent offers that Marlins would at least need to approach. Definitely wants to return to NL.

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_baseball...

he's one of those guys that has a hard-on for specific coasts (east, in this case).

i'm sure at this point he'd go where the money and years are, but i wonder if chicago is too "west" for him.

He did play multiple years with the White Sox, but I think I recall him bitching about spring training in AZ. I'd bet he signs with an NL team that trains in Florida.

according to rumor stl/chc/col/was have all inquired about them.

there's probably more and there's probably a team or 2 up there that hasn't even contacted him...woo rumors.

WAS was mentioned before the season even ended as a place that would like to have him for 2011.

I was on a crew yesterday doing audio for a cable network. Z walked in from the left field corner almost out of nowhere. Lou Cannelis got to him first (Sox fan) and then my cameraman got right in on the action while I got pretty aggressive with my boom. We then got him to ourselves while the producer asked some questions about college "football". He was mildly amused I'd say - but ours is not the kind of "football" he likes. I guess he tolerates the Bears as he says.

Gotta say it was really cool (and recording) seeing the NU kicker rattle the seats with footballs in the RF Bleachers. I never yelled out "you suck!" even!

ESPN radio report

Big Ten says Wrigley wall too dangerous. Game will still be played. But teams will switch ends each possession on offense. Only head away from the wall.

Story up now:

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

solid planning....

damn, no kicks on Sheffield

gonna be some pissed off folks who bought tickets to that side of the field

Jonah L. Rosenblum writing for the Daily Northwestern pins the tail on the donkey. The layout of the field was the result of a collaboration between the "braintrusts" at NU and Illinois.

Among the primary issues were field layout and the safety of the players involved.
"When (Illinois coach Ron) Zook and I were down there over the summer a couple years ago, we both said we were for it as long as the health, safety and well-being of our players is the number one priority," coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "It got turned over to the universities, and they were the ones making the decisions."
The layout that was ultimately decided upon puts the right field wall just behind the north end zone, a potentially dangerous situation, but Fitzgerald insisted both universities were taking safety into account.
"If you think back, it took some time for the T's to get crossed and the I's to get dotted so I think both universities felt great about it from a risk management standpoint," Fitzgerald said. "It will be an element in the game but we'll plan accordingly."
The Illini and Cats will also be sharing a sideline, which is highly unusual in college football. And while Bears games were played on a north-to-south field, NU and Illinois will be playing east-to-west, which might cause difficulties as the sun begins to set.
Other issues included ticket distribution and liability, but all of these have been worked out at least for 2010. As for future games, Wolf wrote in an e-mail that Cubs Executive Chairman Tom Ricketts suggested having a game at Wrigley Field every year, but Fitzgerald doesn't want to jump the gun.
"Why don't you ask me that on Saturday?" Fitzgerald said. "It's been a lot of fun to this point. I'm just appreciative of our administration handling all the logistics."

With the majority of the game being played on top of the Cubs infield, which consists of newly dropped sod, it will be a miracle if the turf doesn't start peeling off.

while it's easy to knock NU and the Illini, why does the Big Ten get themselves involved just a few days before?

I suppose we'll find out, but I doubt they were completely in the dark until this week on the logistics of it, it seems like they just decided this week to pay attention.

while I mocked it myself, I assume there's just a shitload of padding on the wall on that side of the field which should suffice. The coaches all joked that it would get the player ready for Arena Football and were comfortable with it.

-edit-
http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/2001...

more on the decision, Illinois guy pawning it off on Northwestern since their the home team and basically blaming a rule that no one bothered to look up that there needs to be 12 feet of distance between endzone and any barriers.

I wrote Big Ten. But it sounds like it was a joint decision between NU, U of I, & the Big Ten.

The interview I heard said something about after seeing the field actually set up, with the padding installed, they felt safety should be their main concern.

Didn't the Bears play there for years?

Yes, and the field was configured the opposite direction for Bears games. One goal post was near the visitor's dugout and the other was in LF. It sounds to me that today's players and coaches are just pussies.

and had the field going from 1b to LF, rather than 3b to RF, not sure why they decided to change it.

http://gapersblock.com/tailgate/wrigley-field...

judging from the photo, they'd still have the same 12 foot issue at least in one corner.

-edit- also, didn't they add a few rows down each foul line for those special auction seats, which would force some changes.

Many are asking why the field isn't laid out north south the way the Bears used to play it. But in those days the goal posts were right on the goal line and the end zone in left field was only 8 yards deep. You just can't fit a regulation field in Wrigley that way anymore.

You are correct about the end zones being 8 feet deep at Wrigley.

As Pappa Bear use to say "Passing is for pussies."

There is a story of Bronko Nagurski scoring against the Washington Redskins at Wrigley, knocking two linebackers in opposite directions, stomping a defensive halfback and crushing a safety, then bouncing off the goalposts and Wrigley Field's brick wall. On returning to the huddle for the extra point try, he reportedly said: "That last guy hit me awfully hard."

Sounds more like Bill Brashky ;)

Did I ever tell you about the time Brasky went hunting? Well anyway, Brasky decides he's gonna hunt down all four members of the Banana Splits. He stalks and kills every one of them with a machete. They all beg for their lives, except Fleagul.

HAHA

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

probably for 2012 season, looks like 2 WC's that will play each other in 1 or 3-game set. You'll certainly play to win the division now.

Hopefully a 7-game LDS comes with it...

and a 154 game season, so we won't have to watch game 7 of world series on thanksgiving.

/thought I go with that rather than another series for Cubs not to get a win in

Too soon, man. Too soon.

(But yes to going back to 154)

Dump the divisions. The first place team in each league gets a bye until finals where they meet the winner of the also-ran playoffs.

I think a 5 game LCS would be good if they insist on all these damned off days.

lame. very very lame...

what's the point of playing so many games only to let 1/3rd of the league into the playoffs?

might as well be hockey or pro basketball...only with twice the amount of games to play before they let almost everyone into the "playoffs."

LAME.

revenue?

oh, i know why it was done...i just hate the cheapening of the playoffs by letting too many people "in the door."

just venting...wooha.

Sayonara Larry - Yankees sign Larry Rothschild to be their pitching coach for three years

I put up a post on it if folks wish to discuss.

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