When You Had a Bad Day...
You've heard the news by now, that Theo's white whale got away, snatched up from the open sea by his old nemesis the S.S. Yankees. The contract numbers are absurd (7 years/$155M, opt out after 4 years), but we knew that eyeball popping was going to be required once the dust settled. There's been no confirmation that the Cubs were willing to be as absurd, although the whispers from Peter Gammons and Jeff Passan seem to indicate that no one was all that close to the Yankees offer. That being said, we're not sure how much back and forth there were in these negotiations either or what the final push was for Tanaka to pick New York over the other clubs. It may have been simply the money, maybe the glory of Yankee pinstripes, maybe the city of New York, maybe a combination of all three. What we do know is that the consolation prize (most likely) is either Paul Maholm or Jason Hammel and you kind of hope that the Cubs just don't even bother going back to pick either one up.
Regardless, I'm not to worked up about losing out on Tanaka. A $22M a year salary is nothing to scoff at and maybe Tanaka will be worth it or nearly worth it, or maybe he'll blow out his arm and miss a few seasons and be less effective after that. You don't want those things to happen to a player, but it's the risk involved and it seems more times than not, teams are grateful they didn't land the big free agent signing than did. And while I'm probably just trying to convince myself that this doesn't suck, I think there are some truth behind those thoughts, even if filled with just a bit of sour grapes.
Right after the Tanaka news hit, there was the blurb that negotiations have broken down with the rooftop owners and lawsuits are most likely forthcoming. As the Cubs spokesman said, this will certainly force delays on the renovations, i.e revenue, i.e did Theo sign a 15 year contract by any chance? I don't wish to take sides in a dispute I know little about. What I seem to have pieced together is that the Cubs and the rooftop owners made a deal a few years back where the Cubs would get some kickback from the rooftops. I don't know if anything formally was agreed upon, but at least informally I'm sure the rooftop owners thought maybe the Cubs won't FUCKING BLOCK THEIR VIEW. But that seems to be exactly what the Cubs intend to do, although they are P.R'ing it in a way that any hindrance to views will be minimal. I'm not sure how a 95 foot sign won't block views, but maybe there's some new space age translucent video board material I'm unaware of. That being said, Cubs rooftop owners have been making a lot of money doing a lot of nothing over the years, so 'eff them as well. There are no winners here.1
As for the offseason, I don't think an 'F' would do it justice. It's not that I was expecting a ton of signings, but I was hoping for a little creativity. At least a little more than Jose Veras and a trade for Justin Ruggiano. I'm short on solutions, but overflowing with apathy at this point. I know the plan is to wait for the prospects and by all signs, these kids are about as a good as you can hope to get. But in the meantime I'm going to have watch Darwin Barney and Donnie Murphy take at-bats and that's just not okay. I'll wait, and I understand the process, but I just can't get too worked up about anything until that process turns into something resembling a winning team.
1 - There's your Cubs 2015 slogan.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.