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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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 5 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 8 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 18 hours 11 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 18 hours 53 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 19 hours 4 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 19 hours 11 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 19 hours 14 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 19 hours 26 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 19 hours 31 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 19 hours 47 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 19 hours 48 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 22 hours 39 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 1 day 1 hour ago view