Weekend Open Thread

I'd like to move on from the unfortunate business in the last thread of comments. So have it...

The only news I can find is Rafael Furcal headed back to the Cardinals on a 2-year deal, around $14M. The Brewers found their SS in Alex Gonzalez on a 1-year deal with a vesting option for 2013.

Bruce Levine and Wittenmyer both had articles on the Cubs new third basemen.

I liked Baseball America's take on the trade. Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus share their thoughts as well.

Ho Ho Ho!


From the Twitters over on the right.

" Aramis Ramirez's agent, Paul Kinzer, said he is taking a "break" this weekend and hopes to talk again with #Brewers next week."

It's fitting that the lazy players agent takes a "break".


also, aram is screwed now that LAA is out of the hunt. MIL can basically name their price (within reason, of course) unless PHI gets bored.

Detroit? I thought they were interested?

yup, DET.

I think DET is already overloaded with DHs.

from fangraphs

"Colvin appears to be a decent defender in the outfield, though it is hard to be certain given his limited chances, but overall he appears to be an upside candidate quite similar to Stewart — he’s coming off a rough year, but is still young enough to turn things around. Colvin, however, lacks the minor league wow that Stewart brings. And, more frighteningly, Colvin compares incredibly favorably to another outfielder who has power, hates walks, and defends well: Jeff Francoeur."

if colvin could field...and especially throw...anywhere near francoeur's skill level he wouldn't have too much issue finding someone to give him a shot in RF as a full time player as long as the power stuck around.

i can understand comparing bats, but that's where it ends.

Yu Darvish please.

i hope they do something...it's a pretty boring team as it stands...seriously lacking some pop.

i'm still waiting on that BOS/SD compensation...i dunno what to expect at this point, though i'm not expecting a huge loss.

wish they'd go in on fielder...i understand not wanting to spend 25m on a 1st baseman even if he's one of the best...but this is a 130-150m club and they can carry that kind of guy...especially a 27 year old version of that guy.

why is everyone all of the sudden hoping the Cubs make a splash this offseason? Do you all forget how bad this team is?

The Cubs are a LONG way from being any good. Spending a ton of money this offseason makes absolutely no sense as it doesn't come close to fixing the team. This team is probably 3-4 seasons from being any good. So why sign someone like Fielder when it would just be a waste of his best years. It's not like the team is just missing a big bat.

Going after Darvish seems insane to. Fukudome was a disaster. DiceK had one good season and that was it. Is it really worth such a big roll of the dice? It will cost $50 million at least just for the posting fee. I just don't see that as being smart.

I for one would like to see the Cubs just call it a day, suck for 2 years and get really great draft spots. Obviously that is not much fun, but what else can you do? Its not like the team has any shot at the world series over the next 2 years.

I also think they should just trade Marmol and Garza while their value is good. A couple top prospects would be real nice.

Just my 2 cents. I don't consider myself an expert on the Cubs system, but it sure seems to me that we have a long way to go.

I tend to agree with you on Darvish. He may turn out to be fantastic, but the track record for Japanese players coming to the U.S. is not great and the posting fee alone for him is going to be outrageous.

Having said that, I don't agree with your thoughts on the next 2-4 years for the Cubs. The organization will be spending $130 - $150 million per year and they have a lot of money coming off the books over the next couple of years. There's no reason this team can't be competitive two years from now, and I don't think it's completely crazy to think they could sneak into the playoffs in 2012 with a couple of key signings or trades.

If you plan to compete a year or two down the road, you don't wait until then to start building the team. You do it over time. So even if you believe the Cubs are going to suck in 2012, it still can make sense to sign someone like Fielder now so he's on the team in a year or two when you think you can compete. Top tier players just aren't available all that often so you have to make a move when they are.

There are a couple reasons why Fielder makes sense:

- it makes us a potential dominant team in the Central for several years 2013-
- The Comcast deal will be ending fairly soon, and then this team will be able to compete on the same field with the teams that have seemingly unlimited payroll
- There are no other players in Fielder's level (other than Votto) in the next several years
- Its a big market team. Act like it.

I Certainly agree, that as is, this team will not be a championship contender for...who knows?

But Fielder changes things for the Cubs, and the balance of the Central.


Saying Fielder wouldn't matter is akin to saying we didn't need Sammy Sosa back in the mid 90's.

When the opportunity arises to get a cornerstone piece. You do what you can to get that guy. Much easier to build a winner when you have a legit #4 hitter in your lineup.

because this is a 130+ million team and 2013 isn't looking good for anything but pitching and bit of OF.

there's not much to "save up for" next year.

The thing is, going after Darvish..is that yuo have to bid $40-60 million for the posting...then spend $$ on the contract? Fuck..he'd better be Jim Palmer..Mike Mussina and Glavine rolled into one pitcher.

STL signs furcal 2/14m

This is fun...Yu Darvish vs Matt Murton:


OK, forget Darvish, let's sign Lee Jung Hyun instead. I think she might get called for the balk on that windup, but Bill Lee's got nothing on her ephus pitch.


The Jed just signed this pitcher from San Diego...


ESPN reporting that Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs... http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/733827...

I used to hate Ryan Braun. No more.


haha! I just heard this on CSN Chi.


Are we still pretending Pujols is clean?

i dunno why he wouldn't....look what roiding pays.

oh well, he won't get to make a speech in his 40s about how awesome baseball was to him and how he's happy to be in a museum.

Lulz. I finally traded him from my keeper league this year. Sorry, JD.

HERO SQUAD encourages players to take PEDs. However, we do not encourage them to get caught. Ryan Braun will be fined by his fake team general manager for getting caught.

STL fans gloating over the braun thing seem to forget who their hitting coach is...and how many people he called liars (especially reporters) through the whole "denial" thing.

the "denial" thing...that's what came before the "have a professional coaching job and a standing ovation" thing.

Wow, it sure seems a lot quieter around here these days and the verbal abuse has dropped off considerably. What happened? The air smells cleaner, fresher... interesting.

The number of comments is sure to drop from 150 to 75 or so per thread without Neal and his sparring partner(s) for the day...

Rob - I've only been coming on for getting close to 3 years now. How many people have been banned since you started? Is Neal gone for good or is he e-mailing you daily to get reinstated, begging for forgiveness? By the way, Jayson Stark reported yesterday that TRN was linked to PEDs so that may explain the roid rage and his temper flaring up regularly like a pack of hemorrhoids...

Just curious - sorry if the questions are sensitive, PLEASE DON'T BAN ME!!!

You're fucking stupid!!!!

That's it. I'm trading The Joe for a can of Simoniz and an infield rake.

A new infield rake?

typical cub fan, over paying...

Nice post at Cubby Blue by Tim on Ryan Braun...love the Gopher in LF


Tribster, Sullivan's latest...


The Cubs must decide by Monday's deadline whether to tender contracts to the arbitration-eligible Hill, Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells. Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have been mum, but Garza may be in line for a long-term deal, while the rest figure to be tendered with the possible exception of Hill.

Don't know about you but if Jedenstein offers Koyie Hill a (playing) contract I'm done with them.

things get a little more interesting...

"Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Ryan Braun tested positive for a prohibited substance, not a performance-enhancing drug."


"Rosenthal promises to provide more details in an article that will be posted later Sunday."

ahhh it's that MSG in the Soy Sauce problem once again

Anyone think HoyStein goes after Morales now that he is NT'd?

yes, but he won't be

Have you read somewhere that he has been non-tendered? I read that the angels planned on tendering him a contract.

Actually, my bad - I THOUGHT he was getting non-tendered (psychologically, I was hoping this I guess), but this is MLBTR's take:

Our projections have Morales earning $2.975MM in 2012 following his second trip through arbitration this winter. There has been some speculation that the Angels would non-tender him after landing Pujols, but they should be able to finding some trade interest. A number of teams could use a switch-hitting power hitter at first base (or DH), including the Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Brewers, Pirates, and Rangers.

[and CUBS]

if he does get NT then he's probably really busted and not rehabing well.

his upside vs. cost is pretty minimal....4-5m tops.

Jester Felix signs with the Indians on a minor league deal.


I know, right?

The Indians really went balls-out on that signing, huh?

Fuck you, Jerry Angelo.

And Caleb Hanie...

fuck you Marion Barber and the Bears defense...why change the way you're playing the last 5 minutes?

Well, this team (and the management) is getting what they deserve.

Going on the cheap with a QB that doesn't belong in the NFL.

An idiot for a running back, a fucking dickhead for an offensive coordinator, and just terrible game management.

Stealing defeat from the Jaws of Victory.

Good thing we have baseball to look forward to, er...Bulls?

All this, Jerry Angelo has been luckier then Tebow through his career. Time to lanch his senile ass.

Your Blackhawks say hi, how are 'ya?

The god damn prevent defense and running the ball over and over and over at the end pissed me off more than anything. Also everytime I see Martz call another pass with just 5 lineman protecting I yell sack then it happens. I'm either psychic or Martz is a moron and our line sucks. Debating which one.

I wouldn't mind this so much if fucking Martz would have had the shitty Hanie RUN some to open up some other things.

It makes the defense think. Like ours did towards the end of the game.

Again, the Marion "play" is just like "I Got a First Down" Williams, who dropped a touchdown pass that hit him in the hands.

Last year there was a debate here on how Jay Cutler was not that good by several of you (not me). He's only the most prolific passer they've had. Not saying much - but sadly the truth.

I hope you see the difference.

I think a large part of it is the massive overvaluing of the QB and massive undervaluing of the line. Lot of stuff got blamed on Cutler when he was doing everything he could and getting no help from his players (or from Martz). One of the biggest positives of Cutler I see was the ability to basically get in Martz's face and force him to change his play calling which is still only half successful.

Can we get one decent baseball writer in this town?

The Jockey tweets-

Marion Bartman.

about 1 hour ago · reply · retweet ·

If this was done in the NFC Championship - maybe.

This team, IF it had made it to the Playoffs, would have lost in the first game with Caleb Hanie.

Over now.

This will cheer you up, Ed OBradavich and Doug Buffone talking about the game-


Jacos, I have heard them many times. I can only imagine...FWIW, I have heard from someone who has had contact with OB, he is an A1 asshole. And, while roaming the sidelines used to give fans the finong other things.

Someone gave me the finong once. I was sore for a week.

That's because you didn't hold your mouth right.

Ha. That must've been it. Instinct tells you to tighten the muscles, but really you need to do the opposite.

finong < reverse chalupa



bunch of pics from AZ Instructs

The only reason I'm not livid over what's going on with the Bears, yesterday in particular, is because even if they made the playoffs, they're not beating the Packers. Last year was much worse because I thought they had a chance.

Has TRN tried to sign up with a different user name yet? He was always kind of entertaining when he went off his meds.

Recent comments

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  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.