A Real Stocking Stuffer!

For your consideration...

STUBS: A Father's Tickets to the Greatest Shows on Earth [Outskirts Press] will be formally released on Friday, December 3 at Beaverdale Books here in Des Moines. The book is already showing as "in-stock" online at both Amazon and B&N. The cover synopsis and author bio are below. I've also included a link to the preliminary Amazon listing. I think if you order more than one copy you'll trigger the magic words: FREE SHIPPING!

A boxful of old ticket stubs is the framework for this account of a father’s evolution. While his children grow his horizons expand, changing the way he sees the world. STUBS makes a case for holstering the camcorder, and the dot-to-dot of episodes intertwines with reflections on parenthood from the perspective of a man reborn by the births of his children. The venues range from Raccoon Valley Little League to Carnegie Hall; the occasions from Opening Day at Wrigley Field to Mozart’s 250th birthday party in Salzburg. The result is an album filled with illustrations of how much kids have to teach.

Michael Wellman is the author of Far From the Trees: The Troubled Sons of an American Neighborhood [Outskirts Press], a finalist in the 2009 Indie Book Awards. He is a regular contributor to the Des Moines Register whose work has also appeared in The Iowan and on Iowa Public Radio. During the summer he blogs for The Cub Reporter. He was born, raised and lives it up in Des Moines, Iowa, a place he can’t seem to get enough of. Contact him at [email protected].


Congrats Mike! Just resize the image to under Amazon's 4mb size limit and try uploading it again. If you don't know how to do that, email it to me and I'll do it for you. I sent you an email.

It's also free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

I uploaded the picture to Amazon, it should show up now for everyone. Mike, I had no idea you were 12 feet tall! :)

Congrats again Mike, can't wait to read it after thoroughly enjoying FFTT. I uploaded to cover pic but then realized your text is now a bit out of synch.

From one stub collector to another...I love the book concept.

the odd thing is that on Amazon you can buy the book new for $14.95; but someone, (two people? Tom Ricketts and Crane Kenney?) is/are selling it used for $23.16 and $23.63...Seems that the Cubs ticket brokerage has gotten ahold of your Stubs and is scalping the pre-market!


sort of like expensive pre-ripped jeans! thanks for your interest & support cubster...

Speaking of stocking stuffers, I also ordered a copy of Keith Richards autobiography, Life, along with Stubs...isn't he the half-brother of Astro's great pitcher J.R.? (just like the half brothers Tiger and Kerry)

Which book should I read first? Talk about a tough act to follow.

quote from Time magazine review: "The Evel Knievel of illicit substances, Richards wears his 66 years with a jaunty gauntness."

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,...

Thanks for the heads up on my favorite Glimmer Twin's bio. Lots of good links to visit from that article also -- Keith Richards photos, photos of the Stones' 1969 Tour, a book on their '69 Tour (with lots of additional photos), a list of Time's 100 Greatest Albums and list of Top 10 music festival moments. I got significantly sidetracked by all of that stuff for awhile.

Gotta love the Internet.

If I haven't expressed it before, I appreciate that a writer of your quality graces our virtual pages.

Thanks for all your posts over the years.

actually, you have, but thanks [again]... dropping tcr's name has gotten me into a lot of ballgames in the last few years!

10 years/157.75M, essentially a 6/119M extension.

Rox also signs De La Rosa for 3/33, same as Lilly money.


They still had him under contract for 4 more years? Not sure what the rush to overpay that guy was?

obviously they feel like he's a franchise player, which he is.

Puts him under contract until 36 and he can move to 3b pretty easily if his fielding slips.

$15M average for Tulo, adjusting for inflation is probably gonna work out for them just fine over the long haul.

He's been worth $25M each of the last 2 years by Fangraphs goofy money ratings(and $22M his rookie year).

They are paying him 20 Million per year on this extension though. The cheap part of it is the 4 years already remaining on his existing contract.

I'm not saying he isn't worthy of being locked up. I just question the need to do it when he already has 4 years remaining on his current deal? It wasn't like they got a discount in doing so? I would have let it play out until maybe ST of his final contract year. Then you have a better idea of what kind of health shape he will be in.

Edit* that was stupid.

I guess I can agree, where was the rush if he was already under contract? Just another GM baring all of the risk for a very slim chance at reward. I wonder if he's got some player opt outs in there too.

It wasn't like they got a discount in doing so? I would have let it play out until maybe ST of his final contract year.

and then his agent and him smell free agency and decide they'll test the market or at least you risk that happening.

They like the guy and by all accounts he's one of those team leader types that works his ass off and is well on his way to to a HOF career(if he stays healthy, etc). It's obviously the guy they want to center their franchise around like the Yanks did with Jeter.

So maybe the summer before his FA year, but why now?

Well..it's certainly a calculated risk to extend him now...but he is a very good SS, at the plate, and in the field...In the top 5 in baseball, no? 10 years is silly long for a sports contract...6 I would get....but 10?

probably to be the face of the franchise now that helton's finished up being noteworthy.

hell of a risk, though.

Well didn't Helton's contract work out ok? Oh....not....lol.

they really, really like the guy?

I'm sure the Rox and O'Dowd will let us know the motivation soon enough.

Signing anyone to an extension when they have 4 more years under contract is stupid. Doing it when he also appears to be injury prone should be illegal.

elbow surgery, will try to make a team for 2012


Looks like we found our opening day starter for 2012.

That's crazy talk. At best he's #3.

Agreed. Mark Prior's perfect mechanics will push him back to #3.

I thought you were reporting that Tulo got hurt already. Disaster in waiting.

We have Brian LaHair at the top of our 1st base depth chart. There are whispers of Dumpster diving to fill our massive offseason roster holes.


Sometimes I wish my dad was a Cardinals fan (dies a little inside)

Colvin's probably at the top of 1b chart at the moment, but there's 6 guys out there that can be had and probably some trade options as well.

Pena, Berkman, LaRoche, Dunn, Konerko, Lee

They have to pay Marmol anyway, I assume they're attempting to buy out a free agency year for a slight discount. Anyway, allegedly the article said they just talked briefly about it with no offers made. I assume that'll intensify once arbitration cases need to be settled.

Pulled this from Bruce Levine's chat. Bruce is responding to a Sox question. (1:19)

"The White Sox want Dunn and have been trying to make that happen. However Dunn is telling people close to him that he'd like to play left field."


Jeez. Dunn also wants to wear a pink tutu and sit on Santa's lap, but that's not going to happen either.
The more I hear of his demands the more I realize he's an idiot.

other noteworthy items from Levine...

- lots of Carlos Pena mentions
- calls them a $135M small market team this offseason looking for bargains
- looking at injured starting pitchers (aka cheap), Webb, Harang, etc.
- doesn't think Greinke's would fit Cubs plans, meaning they don't seem keen on moving top prospects in any deal.
- would eat up to half of Fuku's contract, but only if deal makes sense, not aggressively trying to move him.
- Colvin will work at 1b in spring, more for late-inning options or fill-in then as a regular
- Cubs asked about Loney but currently not available
- Ricketts suggested they'll continue to be in top 3-4 payroll in NL for the foreseeable future.

Well with the way the Dodgers have been spending money to fill up their roster, I can certainly see why Loney's not available.... not that I think Loney should be on an MLB roster.

oh my god what a shock!#!@#!@#!

seriously, there's a flush-as-hell 1st market. there's no hurry.

RP, 1st, and probably SP...in no particular order...known for quite a while.

the last thing going away in the FA or trade market is 1st basemen. it's not a good year to be a 1st FA.

Agreed, some of those FA 1b will end up taking whatever they can get, there just aren't that many jobs open, and since we are supposedly broke and going nowhere, waiting for a blue light special is a good thing for a change.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Tue, 11/30/2010 - 2:12pm.
We have Brian LaHair at the top of our 1st base depth chart. There are whispers of Dumpster diving to fill our massive offseason roster holes.


DR AARON B: Tyler Colvin and Geovany Soto are at the top of the Cubs 1B depth chart.

One thing to keep in mind about 1B is that Soto might have to play 1B next season if his shoulder surgery rehab is still in progress, and even if he's 100% healthy and able to catch from the gitgo, Soto is not going to catch more than 120 games (max), and if he is the Cubs best hitter, would you rather have him sit on the bench for those 40 games he's not catching, or be in the lineup playing another position (1B) on days he's not catching?

And if 1B needs to be kept available for Soto (at least part-time), having a player who can play 1B and then move to the OF on days Soto plays 1B would be ideal. In-house that 1B-OF would be Tyler Colvin. Luke Scott would be a good candidate if the Cubs look to make a trade for one.

If Soto reverts to the 2009 version, then he can certainly sit on days he's not catching,. But if the Real Soto is the one we saw in 2008 and 2010, then I don't want him sitting on the bench for 40 games. And 1B is the only other position he can play.

I enjoy watching him pitch, but a 4 year extension is going to lead to uncounted strokes and heart attacks among the Cubs faithful.


Miles says Cubs will be "cautious" about any extension citing his "violent delivery".

Pitching coach should be named by next week.

Why sign a guy to a multi-year contract when you don't have to?

The best thing about players who aren't yet eligible for free-agency is that you can sign them year-to-year. And then if the player suffers a career-ending or career-limiting injury, you're not on the hook beyond just the one year.

A player (especially a pitcher, even a really good one) can have his career suddenly and irrevocably derailed by injury. And that doesn't even include the ones who just go south for no apparent reason.

I wouldn't approach Marmol about a long-term deal until he gets to his last year of arbitration (the 2012 season), and even then I wouldn't offer more than three years.

The best example of a GM going nuts and jumping the gun with contract extentions was ex-AZ GM Josh Byrnes, who gave Chris Young, Chris Snyder, Justin Upton, and Mark Reynolds long-term deals before they were anywhere close to free-agency. Reynolds, Upton, and Young got their deals before they were even eligible for salary arbitration!

A GM doesn't have to "lock these guys up." They are under club control for six freakin' years before they can be a free-agent.



Why sign a guy to a multi-year contract when you don't have to?

cost certainty? save a few bucks?

Reynolds and Young seemed like silly deals. Tulo's has already paid for itself as has Longoria's. Padres saved a ton on Gonzalez I assume and there are tons of examples on both sides of it working and not working.

Ryan Howard and Lincecum have pretty much scared the shit out of teams.

Totally agree Phil.

I'd be fine with year to year and even getting Type A arbitration comp for Marmol when the time comes. Surely this top shelf ML system can find a relief pitcher somewhere in the next few years?

K-Rod got $7M and $10M his last 2 years with the Angels after 3.75M his first arb year but he was a closer sooner than Marmol.

If Cubs get him around $7M a year for 3 years, it's probably a wise move.

Last I checked teams go more than 1-deep in the bullpen.


I'm obviously talking about finding a replacement close.


curious to see why all these relievers are declining arbitration, haven't they learned?

why would anyone sign Scott Downs and give up a draft pick?

I just hope that Hendry correctly waits out the market on any bullpen moves he makes.

but hurry the fuck up on 1b, damnit!!!!


Take as much time as needed to get the right guy.

Just make sure that guy is Dunn, or Berkman as plan B I guess?

notice a lack of adam dunn news regarding the cubs or anyone looking a 1st baseman yet?

just simply wanting something doesn't make it any team's priority.

there's a young SS with a wild arm, dunn not liking 1st and showing it by being stiff and clumbsy with no range (he's not fast enough to see plays unfold off the bat and that is his main range issue, imo), and there's a huge ass 1st FA market with 20-30HR power...it's not like it's dunn or nothing though on bat alone he's obviously the best option.

it doesn't seem like anyone's in a hurry to fill the excessive 1st slots (or pick up a DH/1st for the AL).

speaking of a lack of news...wonder who will give dlee 6-8m bucks...he's been almost non-existent in the 1st FA talk all over MLB

Theriot to Cards for Blake Hawksworth...

B. Ryan/Theriot middle infield?

or Theriot/Schumaker middle infield?

possibilities are endless

suggests Cards want Theriot for SS.

Passan says Dunn's agent asking for 4/60 and "executives" believe Berkman will go for $7M.

if Dunn has finally accepted life as a DH, some AL team should pay that happily for him.

Passan also says Greinke would waive NTC for big market team, assuming he gets an extension or likes the situation. Your move Hendry...


owed $13.5M the next 2 years...

I imagine 3 top 10 prospects would be needed to make that deal.

In reference to Theriot playing SS for the Cardinals...

From Callis at Baseball America:

According to BIS, Brendan Ryan saved more runs with his glove (27) than any player in baseball this year.


It's not a complete list to look at. Just best and worst.

"Two days before they were likely to non-tender him, the Los Angeles Dodgers instead traded second baseman Ryan Theriot to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday for right-handed reliever Blake Hawksworth, a move that bolsters the Dodgers' bullpen and also paves the way for newly signed infielder Juan Uribe to take over as the club's everyday second baseman."


STL's picked up brian tallet (cruddy loogie) on a 1 year deal and now they have theriot playing SS.

nice day for them...well, nice day for the cubs that STL had a nice day like that.

via Sarah Spain on Facebook - "via Jeff Gordon of STLToday: Theriot: "I'm finally on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.""

oh snap.

Insert curse word aimed at crappy ballplayer here.

I hope we sign Steve Dalkowski's corpse and he drills Theriot right in the fucking head.

Um, Dalkowski's still alive?

Brendan Ryan was much worse at the plate this past year than I realized.

Don't slam him too much, he'll be playing second for the Cubs by late July.

Probably on a ridiculous multi year Jim Hendry contract.

Miggy signs with Giants

missed this one from a few days ago, but Cubs in on Crain according to Gammons


6.5m for migs...crazy...they'll probably stick him at SS, too.

It's weird because the signings have been slow, but MLB owners definitely seem to think that their recession is over.

I think that's a little high based on his declining production. I can't see him playing SS everyday anymore, either.

There will be a scheduled single-admission doubleheader this year, the first in 15 years. Not surprisingly, at least to me, it's being done by the Athletics, who are desperate to try anything given their attendance numbers.


Real doubleheaders rock. I once drove 7 hours to see one ... and the Cubs got swept to thank me!


"The Athletics will host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a traditional doubleheader July 16 — their first old-fashioned twinbill since 1995 and the first scheduled doubleheader anywhere since June 7, 1996, when the Minnesota Twins hosted the Athletics."

the opinion don't matter, but he suggests all important parties involved want a 3-game set between 2 wild card teams.

Just hope a 7-game LDS comes with it.


And a world series game 7 the day after Thanksgiving!

they already adjusted the schedule this year to allow for the 3-game set on what was the final weekend of the season.

Take out all the unnecessary off days in the playoffs and it wouldn't change anything.

or schedule double-headers during the season or go to 154 games.

Well, I doubt that the 6 games of playoffs will make up for 120 regular season games.

The off-days are so that MLB can schedule the games on their prime spots, away from the NFL and other nights when there's something else to watch. Shortening the existing playoffs will make revenue decline.

Plus it's going to still going to look like a real stupid idea when the first 100 win wild card team loses to a 88 win wild card team.

well nonetheless, the 3-game WC playoff is coming in 2012.

Whether a 7-game LDS is coming with it, I don't know, although I read in this phantom article that I can no longer find that is what most of the GM's and players want.


that's not the story I read, but the suggestions from the players are if the owners want expanded playoffs they need to shorten the season and most want a 7-game LDS as well. The article I keep recalling in my mind was one from Stark or one of those types that also asked executives and such and a 7-game LDS is something a lot people want.

We'll see what gets negotiated, but Selig already said that he does plan to try to trim the off days in the playoffs.

setup reliever Jason Frasor accepts arb from the Bluejays...thankfully we won't have to hear about him as being on the Cubs radar all winter


Stl columist (Bernie Miklasz) points out that basically Theriot sucks...unless LaRussa uses him as the next Aaron Miles (scrappy/crappy utility guy).


forgot who Steve Dalkowski was...so for those who didn't remember

He is sometimes called the fastest pitcher in baseball history and had a fastball that probably exceeded 100 MPH...Dalkowski was also famous for his unpredictable performance and inability to control his pitches. His alcoholism and violent behavior off the field caused him problems during his career and after his retirement.


Does anyone remember the name of the guy Sports Illustrated made up for an April Fool's Day article?

Sidd Finch, according to Google.

Thanks. All I could come up with was Sid Thrift and I knew that wasn't right.

I Could just remember the tagline for the article was an acronym for "Happy April Fool's" and they used Yogi for the 'Y'.

I also remember the guy on the camel and the picture of the Met (Gary Carter?) showing his pained catching hand.

Hilarious, but now I want the rest of the pictures. I remember how mad I was at the time, since they already had Dr K.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 28 min 58 sec ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 59 min 48 sec ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 12 hours 36 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 12 hours 48 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 13 hours 43 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 14 hours 27 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 14 hours 34 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 15 hours 7 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 15 hours 10 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 18 hours 32 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 18 hours 54 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 18 hours 55 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 19 hours 20 min ago view