''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.
  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.