''His arm action's good; he's throwing free and easy...He's not close to throwing off a mound yet. There's some issues
there, no question.''

No, not a reprint of a 2005 article or 2004 article or 2006 article, but rather Larry Rotschild talking about Rich Harden at the Cubs Convention on Saturday. Don't worry though, the Cubs have the spin ready.

 Cubs insiders say Harden is right on schedule toward a strong, on-time
and well-conditioned start to spring training and the season

Of course they believe that...but what about this?

But sources also confirmed Saturday that Harden has a tear in the
joint, just severe enough that some players might seek surgery but
slight enough to be in a range often treated effectively with a
strengthening program, therapy and a well- managed work schedule.

A tear you say, never had any problems with one of those.

That's more than the Cubs let on last fall, even after the
revelation that Harden had a cortisone shot for ''rotator tendinitis.''

But Harden has been working six days a week this offseason on a
program that might be the most rigorous of any Cub -- and the first of
his career to focus this strongly on his shoulder, team officials say.
In fact, the team estimates his shoulder is stronger now than it was
when he joined the team in July and started piling up 97 mph scoreless

Other things the Cubs have estimated over the years: Sosa would never become a problem with the team and will be beloved by all fans, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior would pitch full seasons in 2006 and 2005, and that they'd win a World Series sometime within the last 100 years.

''I'm on a set program, and I'm not behind at all,'' Harden said.
''I'm right on schedule and feeling great. I'll be ready for the start
of the season for sure. There's no doubt in my mind. Nobody has any
doubts whether I'll be ready or not. I will.''

If anything, that might have been the confusion with Rothschild's
comments -- that Harden isn't ready to throw from a mound by design.
He's on a deliberate throwing program to ease him up to pitching
condition by the end of an extra-long 2009 spring training.

They tried that shit with Mark Prior.

it didn't work.

Anyone have Kevin Towers phone number?

Dr. Hecht's medical take is below.




2 full page ads today thanking the Cubs and their fans...

On Saturday, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Wood's agents wanted
a three-year deal and significant salary. Hendry said Wood was on the
disabled list for 62 percent of the Cubs games over the last four years
and that last season's blister problem "was one of the strangest
injuries of all time."

Hendry said he didn't feel the length of contract that Wood's agents
were seeking was fair to the team and disputed Wood's contention that
he would've stayed for a one-year deal.

"That's one of the dumber things we've done, right?" Kenney said. "In my six years of decisions, that's probably maybe (No.) 2 or 3 in the dumb things that we've done."



what was No.1?

that time he killed a hooker in Vegas, but he can't talk about that...

He didn't kill the hooker. The hooker killed Kenney.

You bastard!


Hendry was blunt about Hill's status, saying: "He had a shot, and he lost it."

Like he wasn't trying to sell quite low enough.

I suggested Rich Hill, Felix Pie and a few other parts for Johan last offseason and being laughed at that it was too much. At the time, it would have been a better package than they got from the Mets. Who's laughing now? Who's laughing now?

I kid...but yeah, I look forward to our new minor league scrubs from these deals.


Rich Hill to Baltimore for one of Andy's old red sweater-vests?

Barrett's in Toronto (hint, hint)...

I'm not sure anybody currently in the organization can squeeze into McPhail's size. Not Hendry, not Lou, not Randy Bush. Maybe Oneri? Tim Wilken?

An early Valentine's Day gift from Jimbo?

this is TCR...what's with all the fuckin' ***'s

I try to keep the profanity out of the titles

Those of us who keep the TCR RSS feed active at work thank you.

That fucking injury to fucking Harden has me fucking pissed btw.

Rosenthal reporting Cubs traded Felix Pie to Baltimore for Garret Olson...

Interesting, when I googled (or Yahoo!ed, rather) 'Garret Olsen', this is the first result:


Sucks. I guess Jim and Lou really think Gathright will be better. I'm not so sure. At least we got something of value for him though, which wouldn't have happened had we waited till March.

This is like a two years younger Rich Hill, no?

Let's see what Jimbo gets for Rich Hill and Cedeno. Anyone else think they should hang onto Cedeno or try to get a utility infielder back in one of the deals? Who's behind Miles at SS? What happens if we lose a middle infielder to injury? Andres Blanco?

Honestly, though, how many outfielders does the team need? Soriano, Fukudome, Bradley, Johnson, Hoffpauir (LF, emergency RF), and Fuld in AAA, plus this Brad Snyder dude. Joey Gathright really needs to be on the 40 man roster? Doesn't Fuld bring the same skill set, except mostly better?

What can the Cubs possibly get for Hill? He's working on a full big league season and one winter league stint of almost complete control of any pitch. Going back through his entire minor league career he's had to be "motivated" at various points to regain his control, and while up until 2007 it looked like he was headed in the right direction, what team is going to trade for him with an eye toward putting him on the 40-man?
The only thing that's going to provide him with another opportunity from anyone is that he's left handed. The Cubs will be lucky to get a single A player in return.

If that's the case, why not carry Hill as the second lefty in the pen and send Olson to Iowa to rack up some innings? You don't have to use the second lefty much unless he's effective, and you can always give Hill away later, or release him. Hill's really only ever had the two pitches anyway--maybe he'd make a good loogy. If it turns out he's injured, they can put him on the DL and not lose him that way. If you can't get anything of value for him, then any of these options make more sense, I think. Why sell so low when it doesn't take all that much creativity to buy time? Sure, Hill could lose more value through continued struggles, but what do you really lose in that case as opposed to now? A nondescript A-ball player?

Because he can't find the plate.....?
Remember his starts with the Cubs last year. In the last 2 I believe Lou couldn't finagle him past the 2nd inning. How can he pitch either long or short when he can't throw strikes?
A guy with the yips really has no value. The only value that Hill has at this point is to a team that would have the patience and time to try to work his kinks out. The Cubs have neither, and I don't think any other contender is going to take any kind of flyer on him for more than a fringe prospect.

I'm pretty sure the Pirates have room for someone like him.

See ya later Pie, one of the most over-rated prospects in recent years. Learn how to hit a curveball and call me.

Kerry Wood says "Thanks" to Cub fans


Other rumors have the Cubs taking a look at Kris Benson (while I take another look at Anna Benson) and the Orioles are supposedly not going to extend Brian Roberts, but are also likely not going to trade him.

I don't want to get the whole Brian Roberts rumor mill stirred up again (or maybe I do), but why wouldn't the Orioles want to trade Brian Roberts. Unless they choose to decide the AL East by listing the teams alphabetically, Baltimore will not be contending for a division title or wildcard birth. That is pretty much a foregone conclusion (isn't it?). So why not trade Roberts for some prospects that will help the Orioles in the future. Baltimore can finish 4th or 5th in the division either with Roberts or without him.

Had to google Anna Benson...too bad Moderate Safe Search is on at school, or i could only imagine.

also, the cubs get another player in the Pie deal...

The Cubs have reached agreement with the Orioles on a deal that will send Pie to Baltimore for left-hander Garrett Olson and Class A right-hander Henry Williamson, according to major-league sources.

article speculates that Olson will be 2nd lefty (after Cotts) in the pen, freeing up Marshall for the 5th starter position.


the Baltimore Sun link


Williamson went 0-1 with 42 strikeouts and a 3.72 ERA in 29 1/3 innings with Single-A Aberdeen and Delmarva in 2008.

(42K's in 29 IP, sounds promising)

more stats on Williamson:


another tall pitcher: 6'5", 225. Righty.

but I wonder why only 29 innings?

Cubs should start worrying about starting pitching for this season.

You can't count on Harden.

So that leaves you Dempster,Lilly and half blind and sore shoulder Z.

No wonder Hendry was trying to deal for Peavey.

is there any truth behind that comment about olson being flipped in the peavy package?

When rich harden comes off the DL it will be like making a trade!

I thought at the time of the trade there was an article somewhere about the A's training staff re working Harden's workout to get him away from throwing off the mound, because he was a power pitcher it wasnt as vital as it it would for a finese pitcher.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Had a lot of hope hanging on that deep Fowler fly in the sixth.

    Really despise the Cards

  • aside from one swing, this 1-0 game feels like a blow out. Still nice to know one swing can change everything.

    We need Rizzo and Bryant to show up.

  • schwarb leadoff bunt single...lulz.

  • thanks. it was odd. supposedly the dodgers had him signed earlier in the year, then a lot of nothing, then the giants thing a few days ago, then the cubs get him for a bargain. i'll take it.

  • Umps strikezone is awful. Giving Lackey a good 6 inches off the plate.

  • Apparently it was greedy agents who kept pushing the envelope and teams backed away. He then fired his agents and by that time the landscape had changed. The July push had passed and teams were willing to be patient.

    As far as what happened to the Giants' deal, I don't know. But perhaps he looked at the two rosters and realized the Cubs had the better chance of winning going forward. Maybe the Cubs swooped in and gave him $500,000 more and he bit. I don't know. What I do know is he signed the day after the Cubs won the wildcard game rather impressively...

  • That's great to hear AZ Phil. If anyone should know, it'd be you. You've witnessed the transformation first-hand on a daily basis!! Thanks for passing that along and confirming what has seemed quite evident from afar!

  • Lester didn't have much movement there in inning one. Doubt the long break between starts helped him. Rizzo popping out way too often the last 6 weeks. 22 pitches for Lackey through 2.

    Tough start.

  • For Quintin to be in the team (should they get past the Cards) maybe a pitcher gets the axe.

  • if the cubs make it past STL (and molina behind the plate) it'll be interesting to see if they find a home for q.berry on the roster as a running substitution tool.

  • RHP Jason Hammel replaces OF Quintin Berry on the Active Roster, as the Cubs go from 10 pitchers in the Wild Card game to 11 pitchers in the NLDS. 

  • the story checks out.

    also, i agree.

  • So all this business about Maddon being an old Cards fan and Arrieta being in Matt Carpenter's wedding... I have really strong feelings about this stuff. I'm not sure if I really enjoy it or really despise it, but I feel strongly about it...

  • Joe.

  • Today's Loss puts new meaning into their national anthem: O Canada

  • LaTroy does what he's always done best, blow games on the line. Still breaking management hearts at age 42.