I Predict...

Swami Murph will predict tomorrow that Todd Wellemeyer will retire!

OK, so it's just a tired old radio bit. Still, like a bad penny (I said BAD not Brad), Former 1969 Left field Bleacher Bums  mad Bugler (maybe it was a Coronet?),  Mike Murphy has returned to the Chicago airwaves on Sundays at 9AM. He's got a new gig with his old sidekick, Fred Huebner, on ESPN - 1000 (listen live link). ESPN has more WSCR refugees than the Orioles have ex-Cubs...although not by much (Orioles lineup today featured Jake Fox, Felix Pie, Ceasar Izturis, Kevin Gregg and DLee, not to mention almost Cub Brian Roberts).

Murph will host a regular show every Sunday from 9-1, bringing his 20 plus years of radio presence, dating back to the WLS "Fan Talk" days ("just fans talking to fans"). "Never been in a locker room Murph", he was never was afraid to read the tough questions from his yellow pad to Cub GM Jim Hendry or replay some of the great play-by-play calls from Jack Brickhouse or reminisce about his playing prowess in 16-inch softball with Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks.

...more after the jump

Murphy was embroiled in a legal despute with CBS and WSCR over a restrictive covenant issue. He has been off the air since June 2009 when his show was replaced by Dan McNeil. To me it was WSCR's final and not so subtle attempt to remove the featured hosts that were Cub fans. Although remaining host, Brian Hanley is a Cub fan, it's not like he wears his Cubness on display. Hanley usually expresses his embarrassment at being a Cub fan which suits WSCR (aka wsux) just  fine.  The catch was that Murphy wasn't fired and was still under contract with CBS Radio thru May 2010 (and apparently he kept getting paid till then). After the contract expired he filed  a class action suit vs CBS radio  which owns WSCR because the contract claimed to block local radio employment vs competitors for 6 months after contract expiration (and 3 months before expiration). The suit has yet to be resolved and as it's a class action suit, I presume there are other CBS radio personnel that were put in employment limbo with similar contracts that date back as far as Jan 2002.

Even though Murph's bits get repetitive and his theories (I like your "angle" sez Murph) are usually off the deep end, I admit I missed his Cub loving presence on Chicago radio. Since Ron Santo is gone, nobody on radio leaves his Cub emotions on his sleeve like Murph.

I'm sure many of the radio bits will be back. I do Hope Reverend Watkins is back too..."The Cubs don't have to be getting better, the other teams just have to get worse". Project .500 couldn't get a better motto.

P.S. Murph... Don't tell anyone this but I was secretly predicting you were going to be Pat Hughes sidekick. I can smell Swami Murph and Swami Fred now {{dons noseplugs}}


per E-man:


He has been on for two weeks now, IIRC.

I listened to him last week.

Its just like "old days" though.

Good Sunday baseball talk show.

Miss a little, miss a lot.

If the kool-aid is a little too sweet (or sour) on Murph's show...

Barry Rozner and Matt Spiegel do a nice baseball show Sunday mornings over at WSCR.

I agree QM.

Jessie Rogers, a former co-host of the show is an idiot and infamous for asking the Cubs former reliever Antonio Alfonseca about his six-finger hands, "So, how did you get those? Were you born with them, or what?"

Last week, the same moron when talking about the Atlanta Hawks fans quipped, "I don't know about the Hawks fans there, if they are interested or not. I have no idea if they have had a playoff game there before..."

Guess he never heard of Dominique Wilkens.

This is someone getting PAID at a sports talk radio station in America's #3 market!

Jessie Rogers might not follow much basketball because he's the beat writer covering the Blackhawks.

He has only had that gig for one or two years after jumping to WMVP from WSCR.

He touts himself as a "Chicago Guy", and as a sports talk show host, to not know that in fact the Bulls crushed HOF's 'Nique's Hawks Playoff team is pretty bad. Its not like he is a 25 year old new on the scene.

Not only did they lose to the Bulls in '93 and '97 (Jordan years), Wilkins is a TV analyst for the Hawks.

Rogers is in the "media business". He is an idiot and I scratch my head every time he is on the air wondering how he got the job.

In thinking about it now, I think it was Mike North. Another imbecile.

I was never a Mike North fan. Guys who blow their own horn have always pissed me off, hence, I dislike North, Coppock, etc.

Murphy might be a goofball but he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. I can see people not liking him, but I can't see anyone hating him. He's like a fly, sometimes annoying but basically harmless.

Speaking of Chet Coppock, Garry Meier, who is on WGN now, told a funny story a while back about how when he was at The LOOP and Coppock would come on after Meier (and Dahl), one day Meier and Dahl screwed with Coppock's microphone, I think they said they rigged it to the light came on like it was on the air, but it wasn't. So Coppock started his show, talking into the mic for several mins, and nothing was heard. They had to go to a commercial, figured out what was wrong, and Coppock started the show again, repeating everything he had said word-for-word, because, as Meier said, he scripted most of his show.

m.fontenot is not a very good SS...

I'm already shocked the Giants haven't added a real shortstop to the roster, even if it's just one of the many good gloves on AAA rosters who barely hit.

watching the sf/col game..."i wonder what ben petrick is up to" (former COL catcher) popped into my mind.

last i heard he retired years ago after being diagnosed with parkinson's disease. i was wonder how he's doing, etc...

it turns out it was a misdiagnosis and he actually has lyme disease.

what's even freakier is he's about to be on a PBS documentary about lyme disease.


i guess it's better than parkinson's, but that's a hell of a swerve on diagnosis.

I don't think that WSCR got rid of him because he was a Cub fan. More likely that he happened to be a Cub fan who was also unfortunately a whiney moronic twit who drove listeners like me away.

BTW, who's wife did Coppock sleep with (alriiiight, everybody) such that a washed up has been like Murph gets a show before him? I mean, Coppock is washed up too, but once upon a time he did have something approximating talent.

Yeah Murph is hard to listen to.

He's famous for reading emails that agreed with that were sent by him.

No shit. I still can't hear the name McPhail without also hearing the clown noises in my head. Murph had his moments, like when he was asking Hendry if it would be a good idea to 'back up the truck' and they got into a heated exchange. I think this is about when Murph stopped getting good interviews. There is a delicate nuance to journalistic probing and Murph just doesn't have it.

I remember that interview.

Coppock's a tool!

Coppock did Talkin' Baseball with Bruce Levine about two years ago or so. Couldn't stand him so I understand why espn radio got rid of him.

I thought Coppock and North were doing the internet radio/telecast thing that went bankrupt after that.

Yeah, I think they both were with that company, and the owner had some financial issues and they were raided by the IRS or FBI, if I recall the story correctly.

Last I heard, North had popped up on Comcast Sports Net in the mornings, and I think has moved to CBS. Dan Jiggets is/was with him. That might have been before the internet radio thing, I'm not sure.

North off the air, thank God.

Coello has been starting and improving gradually. Yesterday he pitched a beaut--8 innings, no runs, 4 hits, no walks, 7 strikeouts. He looks like the only pitcher at Iowa who wants that fifth-starter gig, and he may give Doug Davis an argument.

I-Cubs won Coello's game 1-0 in the 10th on a home run by Brad Snyder. All five Cub teams, from Peoria up, won yesterday.

IF you haven't checked lately, the Wrigley Field Cam now has HD sound.

nice shoes soriano.

great outing by dumpster...crappy one for the bats.

2 runs given up by dumpster. he was taken out of the game for a bat in the bottom 7th.

81 pitches, 7ip 5h 0bb 3k...2er

...and yet another quality ninja outing.

1ip 0h 0bb 1k

he's packing a 2.33 era and a 1.34 whip...lot of walks, though.

On the Carlos Marmol 7-step reliever success plan

Nice. Ninja gets dogged a lot when he does poorly, but nobody has really said anything (until now) about his recent work. He's been doing a helluva job.

Understandably, it will probably take some time for him to build up some fan confidence. The Ninja jersey's probably aren't yet flying off the shelves.

all i see out of ninja is a guy that shows up in shape to play, works, doesn't bitch, and doesn't seem to have "baggage."

he's just overpaid and not very good. his lack of upper level development is unfortunate, but it doesn't seem to be a result of laziness or lack of focus.

He's obviously been pitching better, but his xFIP is still essentially 5. No HR's allowed and a BABIP of .182 aren't sustainable trends.

I haven't seen any of the games where he's done well, but his problem has been that he didn't have a swing an miss pitch and poor control. He is getting some strikeouts lately, so I have to wonder if something is changed, or if it's just a case of a blind squirrel.

When they called him up in 2008, his K pitch was an unpredictable splitter. The problem with that was that he had absolutely no control of it, and that showed in 2009 and 2010.

Well, I was just looking at his 2008 appearances this morning and if Gameday can be believed, he wasn't throwing splitfingers in 2008. He was relying on his four seamer almost exclusively by the end of the year and hitting 97-98 on the gun.

He added a cutter last year and this. And, maybe as a result of that, his fastball has lost 2-3 MPH. But in his last appearance they have him mixing a 4 seam 93 MPH fastball, cutter, slider and changeup and doing it effectively.

Has anyone? mentioned that back in 2008 Samardzija was used as a bridge between the SP and the tandem of Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood and now that Wood is back he's been recast in the same role. Maybe Wood (who also is using a cutter more often) has something to do with his success this year. I wish our braindead media would ask him.

I think people and Gameday were calling it a changeup in 2008.

Murph was one reason (the other being Mike North) that I couldn't stand listening to the Score for years. Now I'd much rather listen to Spiegel and Rozner (despite him constantly interrupting Spiegel) than dealing with Murph.

The score is almost always respectful of their Cub listeners. I like listening to them. The afternoon show... the 'by cracky' thing is decidedly annoying, however.

Boers and Bernstein used to bug the fuck out of me - similar to Bob and Tom who always seem to be laughing - but they're generally better than Mac/Carmen,Jurko & Harry. I find myself laughing while listening to them, so I guess they're growing on me. Kinda like tallest midget to be the best afternoon show

Milton Bradley DFA'd.


MLBTR also says Rosenthal thinks the Cubs are in position to be contenders the next couple of years and should extend Hendry. I think they should extend Hendry a plank to walk into Lake Michigan with. This is not going to be a contending team the next couple of years unless they do something insane like sign Pujols or Fielder, AND add additional very good players beyond that, and have some kids develop fast and contribute.

Everyone in the NL Central is in position to contend if they add (or keep) Fielder or Pujols. The division just isn't that good.

Hmm. This offseason we lose ARam, Pena, Fukudome, Wood. Dempster will most certainly exercise his option because he's not likely to get $14 mil on the open market.

So we need a 1b, 3b, possibly a RF if they haven't let Colvin or Jackson get some regular AB's by the end of this year, plus we need to either resign Wood or replace him. I don't see any in house candidate ready to be a rh late inning rp.

Regardless, even if they sign Fielder or Pujols, they still need to plug someone in at 3b who can drive in runs, and the free agent market doesn't exist, other than ARam. Whoever replaces ARam is most certainly going to drop off in run production, perhaps a big dropoff.

We still have old players in LF, CF, a huge question mark at 2b, and fun but inconsistent SS play. Oh, and a good hitting catcher who is stuck batting 8th.

Not to mention no starting pitching depth.

I'm not seeing this team compete for the division.

you mean .700 OPS Ramirez? (.745 last year)

yeah, how will they ever find that replacement? Not to sound too VA Phil, but I think Marquez Smith could do that now.

Did someone ring?

Smith is one possibility, though he's off to a slow start (again?) at Iowa. He looked great in a few at bats in ST but I can't say I ever saw him hit a ball to center or right. He may have a pull-ish tendency that doesn't play in the majors, especially for a small guy.

Tennessee has Vitters at third plus two other guys, Flaherty and LeMahieu, who play third occasionally. Of the three, LeMahieu hits consistently. LeMahieu leads that team in doubles, by the way.

Wait and see if Vitters can get himself straightened out this season. I'm not making predictions, but I'm hopeful.

Statistically Vitters is doing fine - just a streak of bad luck.

Quade recently stated how he was struggling w/PT for Colvin.

Wondering who is the next AA or AAA lefty in line to take his place if /when he gets sent down? Jackson?

Well, they're not going to send Colvin down and call up Jackson, who would have the same problem Colvin does. More likely one of the AAA retreads or Aducci.

this is a nice way saying he's been a bust this year

I agree, if Colvin continues on with a .125 BABIP, he's not going to be able to stay in the majors. His K and BB rates are actually improved this year.

No they're not

2010: 25.4% K, 7.6% BB
2011: 25.0% K, 9.4% BB

Pretty sure that a lower K rate and a higher BB rate is an improvement.

Better start engraving that Silver Slugger award!

maybe more then one game a week would help?

Should be actively looking to move Fuku and Byrd, so they can bring up Jackson as well.

Suggestion: just watch the Iowa Cubs instead.

I-Cubs, no thanks, but I'd gladly watch the Smokies or the D-Cubs over the Cubs. In fact, I drove a long way to see Tennessee play recently.

Uncle Milty DFA by Mariners

I'm just saying, if the Cubs are looking for a little extra offense off the bench... I mean he's an option and he's available.

Hits from the correct side of the plate too, yes? Sign him up - i think the bleacherites would appreciate his passion for the game and he'd keep the locker room motivated.

More time on his hands to choke out and threaten the women in his life.

Next stop is California State Prison.

Recent comments

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 1 hour 46 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 11 hours 28 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 14 hours 25 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 14 hours 38 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 14 hours 47 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 14 hours 52 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 15 hours 10 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 15 hours 47 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 16 hours 4 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 16 hours 6 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 16 hours 24 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 16 hours 31 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 17 hours 27 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 17 hours 45 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 17 hours 49 min ago view