Cub Fans May Have Tribune Company to Kick Around Some More

Two developments on the ownership front:

As reported by Chris de Luca in the Sun-Times and noted by a reader under the previous post, there is z-e-r-o chance that MLB owners will approve beer-drinkin' regular guy/billionaire Mark Cuban as the next owner of the Cubs. According to de Luca, this seems to place "the group headed by John Canning, Jr.—(Commissioner Bud) Selig's personal favorite—back as the frontrunner."

On a related note, Friday's Wall Street Journal reports that Tribune Company may retain 50% ownership of the team anyway.

In recent weeks, an early plan to sell a 95% stake has fallen to about
half as suitors' ability to buy the team and its landmark stadium on
Chicago's North Side waned, according to two people involved in the
negotiations. On Thursday, bidders were preparing to receive a request
to submit new purchase proposals with financing details, those people

The shift in strategy is a result of the tight credit market and a
heightening fear that few, if any bidders, would be able to complete a
transaction once valued at more than $1 billion. Under the new
scenario, the windfall to Tribune would be far less.

"This will still generate substantial cash," said one person with
knowledge of the sales process. "We're talking hundreds of millions of

While the Cubs and Padres dance around a possible deal for Jake Peavy, there was another bit of Padres news this week that is very loosely connected to the Cubs.

Matt Vasgersian, who has done TV play-by-play for the Pads since 2002, is leaving San Diego for the job of lead studio host with MLB Network. Vasgersian, who worked Brewers games before heading west, was mentioned as a candidate for the Cubs job when Chip Caray left and was ultimately replaced by Lenny Kasper.

The greater connection between Vasgersian and the Cubs, however, lies in the fact that it was Vasgersian on the mic during a Padres game in May, 2006, when former Cub great Rick Sutcliffe stumbled into the booth (literally) and made his infamous drunken cameo appearance. (Kudos to Gaslamp Ball for retaining this unforgettable piece of baseball history.)



Sorry, I messed up the link to the Sutcliffe audio initially, but you should be able to hear it all of its drunken glory.

You remember that?


I heard Cuban was close to closing on some property in the northern burbs. Perhaps that's just a tool of his to show Selig that he's going to be around.

Someone may have posted this already but these are the Cubs minor leaguers who filed for free agency yesterday.

Mike Burns (AAA)
Hector Carrasco (AAA)
Adam Harben (AAA)
Billy Petrick (AAA)
Carmen Pignatiello (AAA)
Jason Stanford (AAA)
Matt Craig (AAA)
Robinson Chirinos (A)
Bobby Scales (AAA)
Andres Blanco (AAA)
Luis Figueroa (AAA)
Doug Deeds (AA)
Jason Dubois (AAA)
Josh Kroeger (AAA)
Andres Torres (AAA)

I wonder if AZ Phil can tell us who of these guys he thinks the Cubs should be most interested in bringing back.

I'd think Kroeger, Andres Blanco, Carmen Pignatiello, and Billy Petrick would be toward the top of that list.

I'm sure at least a few of those guys will be back as that was essentially half of the Iowa roster. Piggy and Petrick probably at the top of the list. Kroeger may want to go somewhere where he'll at least get a shot to break as a 4th/5th OFer.

Doesn't Zell have some ownership in the WSux? If a sale doesn't happen soon or if Tribune retains 50% of the Cubs, Isn't it time for them (who ever the powers that deal with this stuff) to force Zell to get off the conflict of interest throne.

Of course, if I'm getting my conflicts wrong then nevermind.

Latoya Hawkins signs 1 year deal with Asstros.

So much for 2009... guess Hendry will have to build for an eye on contending in 2010.

I wouldn't give up just yet. Greg Maddux is still out there, and he would make a great converted closer. Bullpen problems solved!!

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.