Jim Hendry Close to Extension with Cubs
The sale of the Cubs is still up in the air, delayed due to the economic crisis and Joe the Plumber trying to figure out what net income means. That isn't stopping the Cubs from doing business though. They already extended Piniella before the playoffs started and it looks like Jim Hendry might get three more years or at least three more years worth of paychecks from the Chicago Cubs.
Kenney has previously said only that he would put his recommendation of
a Hendry extension "on a tee'' for new ownership. But sources indicate
that position has changed, possibly because the worldwide financial
crisis may have devalued the franchise while making it highly unlikely
the team will be under new ownership before the start of the 2009
One source indicated that a three-year extension is being discussed and could be completed soon.
Nothing is official yet, but the link above goes on to say the Mariners, the only team searching for a GM this offseason, asked the Cubs for permission to speak to Hendry about their vacancy and were turned down. Hendry had a an option he could exercise for 2009, but was a little weary of being a lame-duck GM with the pending ownership change.
The Cubs being in a state of prosperity on the field and I'm sure on the accounting books, probably couldn't be happier with Hendry right now, thus the extension.
I know Hendry has his enemies around here, I mean 2005 and 2006 were bloody awful, but I'm all for the extension. He didn't hit every ball out of the park the last two years, but
under his watch and with the people that he's surrounded himself with, he's responsible for the best Cubs team most of us have ever seen
and the best team in the NL in 2008...at least on paper. And while that seems like a hollow achievement, it's actually the one every GM should strive to accomplish - to put together the best team out there year after year and make the playoffs. As the playoffs taught us all this year, anyone can win or lose a 5-game series, no matter the tremendous difference in talent, so just get there and hope the cards flip the right way for you. The Cubs are now in that position and a large part of that is due to who Jim Hendry has traded for, signed, listened to and hired.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.