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http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120...

Top 10 SS prospects, Lee #5, Baez #8

I could watch Baez bat all day. Love his swing . . . In the field he looks like a cross behind a better tejada and a 3rd baseman tho. Coulda been Baez @ 3b, Lee @ short and Castro at 2b with Rizzo at 1B in 2014 but I guess that wasn't to be. THAT would have been fun to watch!

Baez in the majors in 2 years? that is some optimism...

If Stewart is as bad as crunch says, we'll need him then. Oh, ok I'm just dreaming here...'

if a 20 year old baez is good enough to even taste the majors 2 years from now who cares who's playing 3rd/SS/2nd when it goes down? i doubt it'll happen, but i'll take it.

Javier Baez was shut-down with a sore arm halfways thru Instructs. I don't know whether it was an elbow or shoulder problem though.

Also, he did something you don't often see an 18-year old do...

The Instructs Cubs had been working on pick-off plays at 2B in the morning workout, and they tried one during the game. The pitcher delivered the pitch without even looking back to 2nd base where Baez was standing, and Baez had a fit, throwing his hands up in the air and yelling at the pitcher to pay attention.

You very seldom see a young player yell at a teammate like that on the field.

some guys from high end highschool baseball programs have issues with bullying or pushing around their teammates. this has become a lot more prevalent the past 5+ years, imo. there's some real horror story control-issue kids out there who aren't even 20 years old yet and a lot more coming up through high schools.

i dunno what baez's issue is, but any 18 year old barking at a teammate like that on a pro contract needs to get his ego in check...hopefully it was just a bad night/day and his immaturity was venting in a way time and experience will tame.

Well it's a good thing Zambrano won't be his big league mentor then! Phil, you think he is a SS long term?

i still think baseball would be a lot more interesting if someone hired kevin mitchell to manage a mlb team. ozzie couldn't hope to compete. i'm shocked mitchell hasn't done prison time for his temper...i don't mean jail time...i mean prison. he's not "crossed the line" too hard, but he was/is a guy who can snap and do some screwed up stuff at any given moment.

i wonder what elijah dukes is up to...last i heard he was trying to be a rapper.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 7:33pm — superjimmer New

Well it's a good thing Zambrano won't be his big league mentor then! Phil, you think he is a SS long term?

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

SUPERJIMMER: Baez was bit erratic at SS when i saw him in the AZL and Instructs. He makes all the plays, but he also plays too fast and tends to rush his throws.

He does have more range than I had expected given the pre-draft scouting report that projected him as a 3B.

He might have hurt his arm overthrowing trying to impress his new organization, but he does have a strong arm. If it gets to the point where he does not display enough range to remain at SS, he certainly has enough arm for 3B. But hopefully the Cubs will give him a full-shot at SS, because a bat like that at SS is pretty rare.

BTW, I think his demeanor on the field (he's chippy with umpires, too) is just a part of his competitive personality. He plays with a lot of fire, and while having a Billy Martin or a Jimmy Piersall on the field can be kind of annoying at times, I'll take intensity over doesn't give a shit anyday.

Isn't that what we said about Z when he was good? It seems that when a player produces he is seen as having fire, or being a competitor, but when he is bad he becomes a clubhouse cancer or bad influence on the team. Just my opinion.

That's a good point JohnT. I think I'll give Baez some leeway, due to being 18 years old though, and see if the Cubs can temper that with some coaching. Being a hothead at 18 is one thing. Pulling that crap at 30, is tiresome.

I see the parallel, but most of Z's worst behavior occurred later in his time with the Cubs. The Edmonds stuff was earlier, but not when he was first up if I remember right (not looking it up).

I guess my point is that Z seemed to get worse the longer he was on the team. If Baez gets worse from here instead of maturing and getting better, only then will I have any concern about him

If you recall, when Z first came up he used to get angry on the mound, stomp around muttering, give the ump the butt, yell at the centerfield scoreboard...that type of thing. But I think he left all his frustration out there on the field.

Even though Z said he was just being angry with himself, Cubs opponents didn't like it, so the Cubs told him he needed to act "more mature" and made him bottle all that up when he was on the field. And I think that led to him bringing the frustration and accompanying emotion into the dugout.

If opponents didn't like it, well, he should have kept at it!!

http://www.espnmediazone3.com/us/2012/01/18/s...’s-sunday-night-baseball/

Sunday night baseball schedule, no Cubs games so far

I already emailed my Senators and State representatives. SOPA has no chance to pass. PIPA is a bit more likely though.

I also which people were as vocal about the NDAA bill as they are about SOPA.

And I would add to that the Keystone Pipeline. My 1st grade teacher had more brains...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/cubs-si...

Jason Jaramillo minor league deal finally done.

wellington castillo a rsox yet? =p

Is this gonna be your new thing?

it'll give you something to talk about...why the complaints?

you should sign up for my daily newsletter. it'll make you kick your pets and scream at kids.

wanna hear my opinion of ian stewart?

I hear he swings snakes at Wellington Castillo on a plane.

Cubs interested in Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/gerardo...

Orlando Cabrera retires.

Jim Hendry wonders how he never tapped that.

b.beane agrees 4 million times.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

Cespedes hitting a HR tonight allegedly off a 98 mph fastball. Bit of a Tejada like swing and build to me. Little Sosa in there too.

Have to be relatively quick to pull an outside fastball out like that.

And some Cub-like gawking at the bomb, he would make Soriano and ARam proud.

Pretty much everyone watches their homers these days.

The swing absolutely reminds me of Sosa, especially the way that he extends his arms. I could see him producing decent power at the MLB level. There are definitely going to be a lot of K's to go with it, though.

Recent picture of Sammy:

http://twitpic.com/896oeq

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?co...

Video on Byrd's offseason training, says he lost 40 pounds doing some sort of Kickbox training

I think he was training for the return of big Z. Hopefully this works better than whatever he took from Conte last year.

http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/01/19/mult...

some goofiness about Garza, compensation and how it's all intertwined. Does make some sense...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120...

Top 10 3B prospects, no Cubs

Rockies Arenado leads the list, but says he'll start in AA, so probably not the main reason they traded Stewart.

Top 10 RHP
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/...

Top 10 LHP
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/...

also no Cubs, posted the SS list yesterday with Baez at #8

if they break it down by LF, CF, RF then Brett Jackson will certainly show and likely Rizzo will show at 1B.

Tom Verducci is out with his latest Red Flag list of young pitchers who saw significant increases in their innings pitched over the season before. Says that in the last six years compiling these lists ~80% of pitchers on it saw an injury or significant decrease in performance the next season.

Notables for Cub Fans:

#3 is Jaime Garcia, 24, Cardinals (+57)
#7 is Yovani Gallardo, 25, Brewers (+41 1/3)
#11 Mike Leake, 23, Reds (+36 2/3)

Interesting: Verducci gives the responsibility for Leake's increase on Reds GM Walt Jocketty rather than Dustbag Baker.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers...

Isn't a 36-inning increase for a 23-year-old pretty normal? That doesn't seem like a huge increase. Can't argue with Garcia and Gallardo - if you're pushing for a championship, you gotta go for it.

FWIW, the "Verducci Effect" kicks in at +30 innings.

http://deadspin.com/5877565/the-verducci-effe...

always an interesting list when Verducci puts it out, something to look out for during the season, but no one should take it too seriously either.

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/421...

I think they're going to be creative with the major league roster while they try to boost the farm system (which, sneak preview here, isn't going to rank very high, even with the addition of Rizzo/Cates). If there's a younger free agent, or an upside play, they'd be in on him, but I don't see them going after the John Lackeys of free agency any time soon.

Brian Lahair and Matt Adams, any chance either of them profile as more than a AAAA or bench player? And what would you expect a full seasons in the majors stat line look like?

KLaw: Adams is more than that, certainly. Not really sold on LaHair, nor do I expect him to get much rope now that Rizzo has been reunited with his baseball guardians.

Keith, why on god's green earth would any team be willing to take on Soriano for his final 3 years of his deal even if the Cubs pick up 46 of the 54 million remaining on his deal?

KLaw: Well, so far no one has proven that stupid, so I think that's your answer.

thinks Domonic Brown is a change of scenery guy...get them on the phone Jedstein.

View of rival executives: Matt Garza's $10.225 million arbitration request greatly complicates any interest in him as a trade target.

...GMs...like cost certainty and aren't wild about chance of $10.2 million salary.

from Buster Olney

I'd love to see Thoyer offer him a 4/52 with 4 equal years of 13.

Garza has the incentive in that he gets 52 million dollars of security. Cubs get a 1.5 starter for about 80% of peak market.

Either way, it just gets more expensive the longer the Cubs wait him out.

top-rotation pitchers making 15m or less seems to be theo's thing in BOS.

whoops...

from Heyman and Bruce Levine
garza actually filed at $12.5M, w/ #cubs at $7.95M. misread chart. the $10.225M was midpoint (seemed like weird filing #)

well there's an easy win for Cubs although trading him will be harder until deal is settled.

If Garza loses how soon before the bitterness sets in?

12.5m...garza have theriot's agent or something? cubs suddenly have a lot more leverage on a multi-year.

more random sources saying Soriano actually rejected a trade to O's

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2012/01/cu...

sorry, slow news day

For Brian Roberts?

If I call up Witty or Bruce anonymously and tell them it's for Roberts and that it's "imminent", maybe I can make tomorrow's edition. Unless you actually have to just be a figment of the writers' imagination.

Greatest comment in that thread is by Chad:

"It's douchebag Monday and no one called me?!!!?!??!?!?!?!?"

I miss that man in a strictly platonic sense.

EDIT: Now I'm spending my entire morning going through the comments in the archives.

If this is really true, and if I were Theo, this would be very easy to fix.

'Fonz, I would advise you to reconsider this trade to Baltimore or become very familiar with watching Cubs baseball from the seat on the bench next to Sveum for the next three years.', said Theo.

that always sounds good to the fans and media, but then you have an $18M a year player with a mic shoved in front of him every game asking why he's not playing. I doubt anyone would want that distraction.

I'm sure Soriano and his agent would call the bluff and just ask to be released which is what both parties would prefer in that scenario.

Don't you think that's how this ends anyway? I know I do.

well at some point, most likely, but the idle threat of a benching isn't going to be any kind of motivator to approve a trade.

Getting released lets him shop his talents to any team or just go home and still get paid.

If EpHoy doesn't do any more signing, and if Ricketts is willing to push the payroll a little higher this season, they might have enough flexibility to cut him by September.

right now he's the guy poised to hit the most homers for the team. sigh.

He hits a lot of HRs.......OK. Unless about 12-15 of those win ballgames in 2012, that means exactly what?

i wouldn't bring it up if there was some replacement waiting to steal or challenge his slot.

as things stand he's probably the #4 or #5 hitter for the cubs in 2012.

he sucks in LF and should be DH'ing for someone, but i doubt they'll be cutting him until someone else steps up their game or he turns into 2011 adam dunn.

But honestly, I could see cutting him at the END of 2012, before another offseason of re-tooling and theoretically being ready to truly "go for it," as well as in the face of his yet-further-declining skill set.

From Rotoworld:

According to a report by broadcaster Yancen Pujols, Indians' right-hander Fausto Carmona was arrested in his native Dominican Republic for using a false identity.
The story was passed along by Jorge Arangure of ESPN Deportes. Maximo Baez Aybar, who handles PR for the Dominican police, confirms that Carmona (whose real name is actually Roberto Hernandez Heredia) was arrested outside the consulate while trying to secure a work visa.

A faux Fausto?

He made a Fausto-ian bargain.

bravo

*clap* *clap* *clap*

+1

Deal with the Devil'd

I wonder what Carlos Zambrano's real name is.

John Rambo

Chris Volstad for all intensive Cubs purposes.

Juan Carlos Oviedo approves.

Just read another account of this story, which says that he is actually 31, not 28 years old.... If I were with the Cleveland Indians, I might be a little peeved to learn about that....

Maybe Soriano is actually Juan Carlos Ortiz?

Somebody better go verify Starlin Castro's birth certificate, just in case.

He might be needing to find himself a 3rd identity at this point.

he's obviously older than he claims. here's a picture of him, unshaved, playing in some cuban league.

http://www.johnnygoodtimes.com/archives/castr...

Bruce Springsteen concert at Wrigley

Tuesday September 4th

It's September. Who needs the field to be in good shape? Cubs clearly planning to be about a million games out of the pennant race by then.

That'd be like a record or something. In Theo's first year, no less!

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

good interview with Braves asst GM John Copolella on arbitration process

trying to find Matt Garza comps

it's his 3rd arb eligible season (was a Super 2), but extensions don't count.

Rodrigo Lopez signed to minor league deal

Rodrigo Lopez was an MLB Article XX-D free-agent post-2011, so per the new CBA he will get an automatic $100K retention bonus if he is not released by the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB 40-man roster by MLB Opening Day, and he has automatic "opt-out" rights on June 1st if he is not added to an MLB 40-man roster by that date.

If this REALLY is the team Theo has in store for 3012, last place is a lock.

What a bunch of shit.

It'll be a different roster by 3012 ... I promise!

But the Astros won't be in the division in 3012!

Damn I knew Epstein had a long term plan but 3012? WOW just Wow

it's a plan that involves theo's head being frozen in the same facility as ted williams.

we're going to have a hell of a #3 hitter in 3012. faith, brother...faith.

yes i heard ted williams has a good head not on his shoulders.

btw, i still find it odd the cubs have a "new school" front office...not in a sabermetric/etc. way, but in a FLA way where everyone knows the GM isn't really pulling the strings and there's the "real" president doing business stuff with the "operations" president that acts as a GM.

larry benifest hasn't been the FLA GM for like 4 years, but everyone knows he's running the roster and management.

i think at this point the titles are really more for show and that there was just an internal agreement between Epstein and Hoyer on who would handle what.

McPhail was president in Baltimore as well and probably GM/president with Cubs in the time between Lynch and Hendry. Theo's job title just means he doesn't have to answer to anyone on baseball decisions which is of course why he took the job.

I'm sure Jed has plenty of leeway to pursue deals on his own with Theo's approval and they sound like they discuss everything.

yeah, no one's getting paid to sit around and pretend to fill a role. everyone's working...it's just that "president of baseball operations" is starting to define itself as more important/influential than the GM on some teams.

there's weirder organizations. the power mike scioscia has over the roster, including minors and involvement in upper management, is kinda awesome for a guy who's "just" a manager.

I'm willing to bet that the Theoworld is more like the tech biz, which is the business I work in. We have some pretty rough and tumble meetings. They can get a little tense sometimes, especially when somebody throws a tantrum, which happens. When it does, they will sometimes walk out to cool down, while the rest us of sit somewhat amused.

I think a well run group doesn't have any interest in group think, and it doesn't creep in because things work best when people don't agree. Divergent points of view and all. You see a lot of it in the tech business, and I get the sense that even Ricketts, who himself comes from a tech-oriented company in Ameritrade, has some of the qualities I'm used to seeing.

I'm not worried about groupthink with these guys. I think the roster is still shit right now, but I don't think it's because of group think. I think it's because Hendry handed off an abomination and, hopefully, they're not done yet.

lucky you.

at a NCR division i worked at a hivemind group ran us all into the ground with the overwhelming reach in vision without the ability to keep up with it.

salespeople made promises that didn't exist in the software, or worse not even in it's development timeline, and that was -our- problem, not sales. if it wasn't part of the software development timeline, it is now. upper management and sales were so in bed with each other this went unchecked. they only cared that they picked up the client. no one worked 40 hour weeks...50+ was the norm. we had a cot office set up for people to sleep in like a dorm.

within a 12 month span a single-office, 40 person operation ballooned to a near-200 person, 2 office operation in 2 different states across the country (which lead to unsynched work between offices who start and end work with a 3 hour discrepancy). 5 months of this was followed by the other office being suddenly shuttered when management realized they made a needlessly stupid mistake...one of many.

...at IBM the problem was the opposite for me. there was tons of levels of management and they were so out of sync no one knew what anyone was doing and you could go days without anything to do.

I love internal business chatter. Our accounting software is so antiquated that I went through two years of completed projects (over about 6 months time) so that someone in the company could start to measure our actual performance versus the estimated costs. And accounting is pissed at me now because we're upgrading our accounting system to something without a Stegasaurus logo on it. We're a small company, but I still can't believe that it got this far and that I'm the only one in the joint who can tell you how much it costs us to do something

Lucky me maybe but I am lucky only in that I have a good nose for smelling out crap. I can usually tell on an interview if a place is toxic. I can't think of any places I really hated working at off the top of my head -- a little contract gig at Bell & Howell years ago I guess, but even then there was a guy who would stop by and ask me if I saw that week's Hill Street Blues butt shot of the week, so there was some humor there at least.

I can't tell since I don't work in the TheoCorp but I get the sense they are not running a ship like what you experienced at NCR.

For one thing, it's a much smaller group. I would imagine, or at least hope, that the meetings they have are boisterous. Theo talks like he likes to gather opposing opinions together. If he doesn't and just looks for yes men, then I doubt the Cubs will be successful. Those kinds of environments rarely are.

Wasn't there some sort of story where Mcleod and/or Hoyer wanted to draft Pedroia and Theo disagreed and they had an argument about it but eventually they still took him?

I got the feeling that the Ricketts kids were about as involved in the Ameritrade day to day business, as Paris Hilton in the Hilton empire.

and you would be right dr.

Doesn't change the gut feeling I had about his coming from a tech biz culture.

from wikipedia

From 1995 to 1996, he served as vice president with Mesirow Financial until moving to ABN AMRO as vice president in their brokerage division.[1] Ricketts is credited with pioneering the idea of using of the Internet and other technologies to help companies sell their investment-grade bonds directly to retail investors, as opposed to limiting sales only to institutions.[13][14] He helped launch the first successful version of this system while at ABN AMRO. In 1999 he left ABN AMRO to found Incapital.[1]

So Tom Ricketts invented the internet? I thought Al Gore did that?

No no no. It was Steve Jobs. He was responsible for all things computer. May he rest in peace.

What a load of bullshit. Since there was virtually no world wide web in the mid-90's (i.e. no websites), the only way to use the internet to sell investment grade bonds to average mopes would have been to spam them with email.

speaking of bullshit, there was a web in the mid 90's, I surfed it all the time in college ('93 - '97).

helped to have a T-1 connection through my computer science classes though.

Dial-up was pretty brutal but the websites were simpler. On the other hand, internet porn had started to take grasp around there ('95 if the movie Middle men is to be believed).

Rob G...........internet porn aficionado

I suspect that the number of internet porn afficianados per capita is much higher in the U.S. than the number of any other kind of afficianado.

i'm doing a contract right now for the founder of E*Trade...who oddly, or not, is/was an old guy in the 80s who foresaw computer + internet + stocks before people were really using the internet.

what's even more odd is the contract i'm doing is a greenhouse design for indoor vegetable production using an entirely different pre-mid-life crisis degree in horticulture.

if they actually get the funding (or he gives up the loot to do it himself) the island of Kauai (Hawaii) has one hell of a community center in the future. he's building a performing arts space and already has a mini-golf course on this piece of land he's looking to turn into a mish-mash of distracting/educational entertainment. there's not a lot there for kids/youth/expression right now. hell, they only got a Walmart and Costco on the island in the past decade.

Well, I was thinking ahead.

is that another ted williams joke? if not, it ought to be...

the anti-humor/pro-bro "The Heckler" twitter feed almost had me believing the compensation issue had been settled...then i finished reading the sentence.

What? You mean it's not true?

i mostly mean real news mixed with "jokes" means i should check the header before the message.

This photo is probably 3/44, but I must post it. Oh my.

http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/sptusfantasye...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/national...

I had to laugh at the thought of managers "training" in the offseason by filling out practice lineup cards.

gary carter's brain cancer is getting worse...not responding to treatment and new tumors are forming. he's probably not too much longer without some good luck. :/

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