Congratulations!

We have had our differences over the years, our battles, our disagreements, our love/hate relationship, as in we love to hate each other. But in the end I'm happy for the fans of the Chicago White Sox, the ones who are actually fans, who lived and died with their team with the same fervor that we've done time and time again with our beloved Cubbies. For those Sox fans who jumped on the bandwagon just not to be Cubs fans, and let us know at every turn how your team is doing better, you can eat human waste and find an untimely demise. You're the worst of the worst among fans, your fandom built by bitterness and fueled by an identity crisis. I have no place in my heart for you. So I tip my cap in reverance to all the REAL White Sox fans out there and can only dream a little dream of how it must feel. If I was in Chicago at this moment, I'd buy a round for some of my dearest friends who are White Sox fans, Marc and Tom in particular. They've fought the good fight year in and year out for as many years as I have and I can only imagine the euphoria that you must be feeling now (probably feels a lot like 10 beers). So congrats White Sox fans and let's hope next year the baseball gods smile northward.
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Comments

Here's to 2006 beging Xtremely kind to the Cubs...

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9748234/

You knew it wouldn't take long to see a story talking about how it's the Cubs turn to win one.

One quote definately caught me by surprise though.... this writer must not be any sort of Cub fan or he would know better than to buy into the "the Cubs are going to bust their budget because the Sox won" thinking:

"The rest of baseball now knows the White Sox well. Next season, they'll face the top of every rotation and have to ward off every opponent's best shot. They'll have to bust their budget to keep Paul Konerko off the free-agent market. Most worrisome, perhaps, they'll have an organization on the other side of town with a curse and a drought and the hunger to get even in a hurry."

I dont think "hunger" has ever been our main problem. I'd give more weight to the fact that for the majority of the years we have been an ineptd organization ran by incompetent management.

Of course that doesn't sound nearly as catchy as the word "hunger" if I'm writing for NBC sports...

Well said my Cubbie brother! Have faith fans...When we win it, we will show Chicago and the world how to celebrate a World Series! I have a feeling the wait won't be long...

I hope you're right about the wait being short. BUT I have to be concerned that the wait might be very long. What are the sure things for next year? Or as sure as things can be in baseball. Z 15 wins. Dlee .320 30 hr 100 rbi's. Aram 320 30 hrs 120 games. Dempster 25 saves? Things are not looking very good for the cubs for next year. Question marks everywhere. Will we sign Nomar? Will he be healthy? Will Wood or Prior be healthy? Will Aram's groin be better? Will Murton be batting second? Will hendry even try to sign someone worth a damn in the outfield? If you look at the cubs from the outside world and not as a die hard fan like myself, you start to see gaping holes in the major league team. I hope we fill a lot of holes this offseason. The cards don't have many.....

Good riddance, World Series....bring on the hot stove!!!Bring on the World Cup(baseball)!!!Bring on Spring Training!!!

Good post, Rob. I agree.

I have too many friends who are Sox fans to be bitter. I wish the Cubs could have taken care of business in 2003.

Some of the folks on the cards blog are talking about a cabrera to Brewers deal...
http://mb10.scout.com/fstlouiscardinalsfrm1.s...

Bear in mind it is all speculation

With the other WS drought teams winning in '04 and '05, anyone else get the idea that maybe we were supposed to have done a bit more in '03? Anyway, maybe it's working backward from the shortest of the long droughts to the longest. I just don't see the Cubs doing it in '06 though.

So the Cubs had winning records against three of the four teams in the League Championship Series and played .500 against the World Series champs. The move Hendry should make is getting the Reds, Brewers, Nationals etc. off the Cubs' schedule. Let's only play the best from here on out.

2006 Needs (not in order)
5th Starter
Lefty in pen
Righty in pen
SS
Bench Depth/Backup IFs at every position
LF (almost has to be Murton)
CF
RF

Now there are options to fill all of these holes internally - just not great options. I just don't see a lot of great external options. This is a terrible FA class, in particular when it comes to OF. We were left out in the cold when everyone signed SS to long term deals last year - and now Nomar is the best available option. We went with an obvious one year solution in RF, as he was the best left after we moved Sosa. We didn't ever play seriously at Beltran.

Here's what scares me... It's not like we are one or two moves away. We need an overhaul similar to the Sox overhaul this year. (4 new everyday players and 1 new SP, in addition to new bullpen arms.) That is often not a quick route to success, certainly not with a manager in limbo.

We need to get out of the Hot Stove gate fast...Need to make one or two significant signings to set the tone, and to dictate what other moves would be made.

Well said. Warmest congratulations to the Sox and their true fans. It's been a long time coming.

As for the Cubs, though they may "catch lightning in a bottle", don't count on it. My father was born in 1910. He lived 86 years, dying in 1997. He bled Cubbie blue all his life, but never in all those years did he see them win the Series. I was born in 1952. I vividly remember 1969. And 1970. And 1984. And 1989. And 2003. I also recall far too many years in which the team simply stank. Maybe I'll live to see the Cubs win the Series; but I'm beginning to doubt it.

My grandson was born this year. Maybe he'll live to see the Cubs win the Series. Or maybe not. Or maybe he'll be truly blessed and just not care. And so it goes.

Anyway, I'm glad that when baseball season roll around, for once they won't be playing the blues in Chicago - at least on the South Side.

One thing about Lee. I would be really shocked if he hit .320 next year. I would expect a return to his .280/.270 hitting. Just remember, don't get stuck in the Sosa syndrome of expecting 60 HR's every year, or with Lee expecting him to hit .320 or higher every year.

One interesting thing to note. I remember talking about Lee's RBI totals during the year when he was hitting .370/.380 and barely struggling to stay atop the RBI leaders. If his average returned to normal he would have a real hard time driving in anyone.

Pre All-star - .378 BA, 315 AB, 72 RBI
Post All-star - .287 BA, 279 AB, 35 RBI

It could possibly be said that if Derrek Lee had his usual season he might of driven in 70-80 RBI max. This goes to show how utterly pathetic the first 2 hitters in our lineup were this past season.

Wait a second, there is another team in Chicago? When did this happen?

What a difference a morning makes. So last night, I didn't watch WGN or Comcast at all. I barely watched the game. I only watched a bit of Baseball Tonight, and I was fine with it all.

What do I wake up to? Sox fans calling Cubs fans posers. Articles about the Cubs drought. I don't get it. What do we have to do with the Sox winning the World Series? During the 2003 run for the Cubs, not once did I think about the Sox. Why does everyone feel the need to open our wounds the day after they win the W.S.?

I've tried to be good about all this. It's been easier living in Vegas. I do get people coming up to me "So you must be excited the Sox are in the Series?" "What about them White Sox?" Then they are shocked when I tell them I don't care or really shocked when I say I'd rather be thrown out of my office window than to root for them. My father, however, feels like he's in Hell. I live here, and my brother lives in Philly. My dad has no protection; no one to talk to. He's has to see this stuff on every station, and it's killing him.

*sulk*

Classy post. Well done. Congratulations, Comiskeyites.

*sulk*

The bitterness and the inferiority complex are part of what makes a White Sox fan a White Sox fan. If they didn't identify with it, why would they embrace it so much?

I can tell you this: if the Cubs win a world series, their fans won't be complaining about the White Sox and what kind of cars they drive or who is more of a "real" fan.

Hey, where I work they said we can wear Sox grab today, so of course I show up in my Cubs shirt and hat. Cubs fan until I die! And it maybe soon if we don't win the WS soon!

I was going to root for the White Sox at first. I don't live in Chicago, so I don't have that 'hatred' towards the South Side. Then I listened to ignorant, annoying, cocky and downright nasty sox fans calling in WMVP 1000 and ripping Cubs/Cubs fans. Why? Then I read the same ignorant, annoying, cocky sox fans post and spew their crap on the internet. Then the unthinkable happened - I actually wanted the Asstros (ugh) to win JUST to shut the Sox fans up. Can you imagine a Cubs fan rooting for the Asstros? It happened. Though, no matter how much Sox fans pissed me off, I would NEVER root for the Mets..........

As for last night's game, how stupid is Phil Garner?

Bottom of the 7th, 2 outs, no one on and he pinch hits for the guy who was doing this so far in the game:

7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's and retired the first 2 batters of every inning ( i think that's what the announcers said). And his PC was at 100 at the moment and I think you can push a guy in Game 4 of the World Series

He then proceeds to put in Brad Lidge who should of have officially been put on the 'shaky' list after the Pujols hr. I think Lidge will be just fine for the rest of his career, but I'm not sure I'd trust him to be lights out for the rest of the playoffs.

I understand pinch-hitting for your pitcher, but 2 outs, no one on base, your odds were pretty slim and it's not like Bagwell's been tearing it up this post-season.

Rob G.

My wife and I thought the same thing. Were we missing something? Didn't his starter make the Sox look sick for seven innings? 0-0, two outs. What's the hurry? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The worst they do if they keep Backe is probably get to the bottom of the eighth still at 0-0.

By the way, Rob, thanks for the advice concerning tickets.

So I tip my cap in reverance to all the REAL White Sox fans out there

Sp you are basically tipping your cap to about 8 people, right? :)

And what are people's thoughts on Lidge? That is the kind of playoffs that could ruin a pitcher's confidence, and in turn ruin a career.

Not only that, but he also pinch hit Bagwell for strictly sentimental reasons. His shoulder is keeping him from doing anything with a high pitch & the Sox knew it. Then to compound his mistake, Garner pinch hits Viscaino in the 8th against a lefty, when everyone KNOWs he's a better hitter from the left side. Then uses Burke (a righty) against Jenks in the 9th. Had the two of them switched wrong. Maybe that's a good sign, that Garner is just as bad an in-game mgr. as Dusty, yet he took them to the series. I could live with that on the Cubs.

By the way, Rob, thanks for the advice concerning tickets.

Um, not recalling this conversation, sure it was me? Or are you talking about a different Rob?

The Astros should trade Lidge right now to the Cubs, no doubt. He's done and we should be kind enough to take him off their hands.

Eddie Guardado's option is most likely to be declined. He has some shoulder concerns but he made it through all of last season and it's not like teams don't perform physicals when they sign guys.

He's a bit old at 35, and his K/9 rate declined a bit last year, but he DOES NOT walk people, has been mostly excellent for the better part of 4 years now, is good at getting righties and lefites out, particularly difficult versus lefties (looking at 3 year splits).

When/if B.J. Ryan proves to be too expensive, Guardado at the right price (& years) wouldn't be all too horrible of backup plan in my fantasy bullpen.

I've always thought of Phil Garner as a buffoon, but everything is relative in this world. When some of the other managers in the division are Baker and LaRussa, you hardly need to be a genius, just 3 great pitchers who stay healthy.

It's amazing...when it's your year nothing else matters. A.J. & Crede blew a routine foul ball, and the next pitch is a routine grounder to short. Rowand showed poor baserunning on Credes double & it didn't affect the outcome. While still an excellent team, the Sox had everything go just right too.

That is one thing I'll say about the Sox. Ozzie let his starters pitch. I still think it was a mistake for Garner to take Pettite out when he did. Again, this idea of pulling a starter in the 5th and using the bullpen or even other starters is a joke. Hopefully, some teams will use this year's White Sox as a blueprint & look for starters to go deeper. Maybe others will finally stop talking about pitch counts and innings and realize that if a pitcher is in great shape and takes care of himself, he can pitch 220 innings and another 30 in the post season.

I still believe the only true curse belongs to the Cubs. Did Babe Ruth actually put a curse on the Red Sox? Never heard of him saying any such thing. Did the Commish or gamblers or anyone else put a curse on the Sox? Nope. BUT, did some Greek actually SAY he was putting a curse on the Cubs? YES! His family has tried to remove the curse, but it MUST come from the one who did it. Since he's long dead we have to hope for a successful seance! (sorry, this is all tongue-in-cheek. I'm just venting my frustration at our Cubs).

And don't get me started on the Astros fans down the 3rd base line. Any self-respecting fan would have taken one for the team and mugged Uribe for that ball, thrown beer in his face, whatever. If the cost was next year's season tickets or just getting ejected from the game, you have to do it!!!

Maybe others will finally stop talking about pitch counts and innings and realize that if a pitcher is in great shape and takes care of himself

Except the Sox pitchers did not have high pitch counts.

Any self-respecting fan would have taken one for the team and mugged Uribe for that ball, thrown beer in his face, whatever.

I had the exact same thought. Where the hell were the fans? They needed to be doing everything they could so taht he could not catch that ball.

I have to weigh in here. This was the worst possible World Series for me, well, maybe the Mets and the Sux. I just souldn't believe I was rooting for the Assholes. This put me in such a quandary that I had to analyze why.

Let me go back to my first recollection of the Sux. I was probably 8 , just getting home at 3:30, hoping to catch the Harry sing the 7th inning Stretch on the Worlds Greatest Network. There's baseball on, but this isn't the Cubs! It's a team called the White Sox. Well, they're from Chicago too, so they can't be all bad, I figured (I'm not from the Windy City, but rather a small city in central WI). Aroung the time the Sux errors and the great George Brett were both contributing to a 9th inning comeback, my philosophy had changed to "If it weren't for these fuckin clowns I'd be watching the Cubs now like I'm supposed to be (sorta developed the same opinion of the Andy Griffith gang). I've come to call this phenomenon Newsuck.

Newsuck generally affects me in WI through the Brewers, whose team usally gets the nightly news sports segment or the front page of the paper. We've experienced theis this last month with the Sux. Beat reporters who should be theorizing about how Jim Hendry will add the last few pieces of the puzzle in the off season are instead wasing their time with the Sux.

But I have to admit I dont really have a problem with the Sux players, they played good ball all Oct. It's just their 'fans.' After Scotty Pods' homer in Game 2 I saw some fuckhead in the stands waving a white flag with a blue 'W'. Gee, where did you get that fuckin idea? Or the idiots last night with the brooms. Or when the throw back foul balls in the Windy City Classic - it's home runs only, douche bag. They just don't have any traditions or ideas of their own, I guess. Or the stuttering old bag at Jimbo's Bar trying to spit out something about 'AAA' and 'Northside.' Ah, that's my line bitch, as in "Aren't the Sux the Yankee's AAA afiliate?"

Speaking of Jimbo's, anybody remember free beers at a certian bar on Marlin home runs a few years ago?

Not that I was paying attention then. I have to admit to a certian satisfaction that much of the coverage is still about the Cubs. What the Sox fans think of us, their little brother complex.

I alluded earlier to that Sux fans have a hard time with original thought, but that's not true. Who else would have though of beating the shit out of Kansas City first base coach Tom Gamboa? Or just this last week bitch slapping Craig's wife Patty Biggio? Or, and this is by far the most damning evidence to me, pouring poison or pesticide on the Ivy at Wrigly Field. If the Sux want brotherly love from a Cubs fan, all they have to do is bring me that guy's head.

Maybe others will finally stop talking about pitch counts and innings and realize that if a pitcher is in great shape and takes care of himself, he can pitch 220 innings and another 30 in the post season.

How soon people forget Grady Little....

For God's sake, there is no such thing as a curse--on any team.

If you play well, you win; if not, you lose.

I made this reference at work.

The Sox winning the World Series is like Ashlee Simpson winning a Grammy.

While another long suffering franchise is able to finally celebrate, we again proclaim "what til next year".

I don't know why, but the past 2 years has taken some of the steam away from my fervent desire to see teh Cubs win the Series. Now, I am still a rapid fan who takes each loss too deeply, but this whole notion of ending the frustration has become a less urgent matter to my heart.

I frankly was very happy for the Red Sox last year and had little interest in the outcome of the 05 Series. I have never cared for the White Sox, but will give them credit - when it looked like they would buckle down the stretch, they managed to right the ship and play well.

rather than being resentful about their win, I instead remind my childlike side:

Being resentful is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Instead, I will go back into hibernation, resigned to my fate, and wait for another year of Cub baseball and watch again as they find ways to confound us all.

That's the thing, Scott. I didn't have a problem with Grady Little. He stuck with his best guy. I realize the #s were against him at that point, but so what? Sometimes you have to go against the #s. Had Pedro pitched through it, nobody would've said a word.

Sox:
Buehrle 236 inn 33 sts 105 pitch/g 7.15 in/g
Garcia 228 33 103 6.91
Garland 221 32 103 6.91
Contreras 204 32 99 6.40

Cubs:
Zambrano 223 33 108 6.76
Prior 166 27 105 6.15
Maddux 225 35 88 6.43

Thats not all that far off. Their pitchers were going a about 2/3 an inning deeper, which would amount to about 10 pitches per game. That's not too far off to me. Prior was held on a very short leash when he first came back also. Perhaps someone here that looks more at those #s could input?

Brandon Sing mystery solved...

http://cubs.scout.com/2/458099.html

---
Midway through the season there were other questions about Brandon Sing, but those were put to rest last week. After the 2005 season, Sing became a six year free agent.

"Yeah, I've always wanted to be a Cub," Sing said last week from Phoenix where his Mesa Solar Sox were preparing to take on the Grand Canyon Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, "so it was a pretty easy decision for me to re-sign."

Yes, Brandon Sing is remaining a Cub, and it would be hard to believe it is because of a lack of other opportunities.

"I look at the Arizona Fall League as an opportunity for me," Sing said. "If I do well down here, I think they'll have to look at putting me on the 40-man roster.
----

I assume he's still eligible for the Rule V draft if not put on the 40 man though. And I would be shocked if he didn't get snatched up.

"Any self-respecting fan would have taken one for the team and mugged Uribe for that ball, thrown beer in his face, whatever. "

Huh? I can't believe people are encouraging this...

"Maybe others will finally stop talking about pitch counts and innings and realize that if a pitcher is in great shape and takes care of himself, he can pitch 220 innings and another 30 in the post season."

So you think the problem with Prior and Wood is that they are not in great shape and they don't take care of themselves? I disagree with that.

Pitch counts are important. Biophysics studies have shown where outings start putting extra pressure on guys. Over 110 pitches starts to get really risky. And over 125 is in the red zone. Garcia went 107. Garland went 93. Buehrle went 100. Contreras went 82. Going back to the ALCS, when they had 4 straight CGs and 1 8.1 IP outings, 3 of the outings were between 110 and 120, but none were over 125.

Here's the difference - the Sox pitchers throw 9 innings in under 120 pitches. Our guys take 5-6 innings to get to that point. They throw first pitch strikes, and pound the strikezone, getting lots of quick outs. Our guys focus on the strikeouts, but not on actually getting hitters out quickly and often go deep into counts or into ABs.

Although Z, Wood and Prior have better STUFF than guys like Garland and Buehrle, Garland and Buehrle are more effective pitchers right now because they get hitters out quicker and can go deeper into games.

Pitch counts are important. Inning counts are important. The days of Nolan Ryan are long gone. Livan Hernandez is a rare exception. Check out the BP Pitcher Abuse Points numbers over the past 4 years. Being top 10 on that list is highly likely to lead to injury...nuff said.

I am NOT one of those White Sox fans that RobG is referring to in the post, though the other Marc does a good job of spelling his first name.

The Sox showed the importance of going into the playoffs with momentum. The Cards did not have it, even though they were the dominant team in the NL this year. The Cubs last year showed promise and then sputtered in September.

I'm finding it hard to give congrats to the other team, so I'll just say "good for you and your pale hose" in my best Pee-Wee voice.

Check out the BP Pitcher Abuse Points numbers over the past 4 years. Being top 10 on that list is highly likely to lead to injury...nuff said.

2005 LIST
---
1. Livan Hernandez
2. Z
3. Prior
4. Harang
5. Zito
6. Schmidt
7. Davis
8. Lowry
9. Marquis
10. Oswalt

2004
---
1. Livan
2. Schmidt
3. Z
4. Victor Z.
5. Leiter
6. Russ Ortiz
7. Bobby Madritsch
8. Ben Sheets
9. Oswalt
10. Tomko

2003
---
1. Vazquez
2. Wood
3. Livan
4. Prior
5. Redman
6. Williams
7. Ortiz
8. Leiter
9. Schmidt
10. Z

2002 wasn't coming through for me. Schmidt's had some arm problems, Wood certainly, I guess Prior could be in there, Ortiz finally went down this year after starting 33 games every year since 1999. Sheets had some back problem this year or was it knee problems? Doesn't really appear to be a who's who's list of injured pitchers to me? What am I missing?

So at the end of the game last night, my heartrate got up a bit, and when the Sox poured out onto the field I felt a little bit of...

well...

pride, I guess.

Then I turned off the TV and went to sleep.

The Sox were great this year. I don't think anyone expected such a dominant postseason, especially wobbling like they did at the end of the regular season. Say what you want, they fricking earned it.

And so far my day has been free of the taunting I feared.

Well. Onward, then.

BP's 2004 top twenty in Pitcher Abuse Points = WORTHLESS
Livan Hernandez
Jason Schmidt
Carlos Zambrano
Victor Zambrano
Al Leiter
Russ Ortiz
Bobby Madritsch
Ben Sheets
Roy Oswalt
Brett Tomko
Doug Davis
Randy Johnson
Barry Zito
Mark Buehrle
Freddy Garcia
Kerry Wood
Gil Meche
C.C. Sabathia
Curt Schilling
Ted Lilly

I originally was talking about innings pitched on a whole, and not in regards to just the Cubs. However, no one things Zambrano didn't come back out of shape this year? He could barely last 5 innings at the beginning of the season--including the first game of the year when we have a very comfortable lead.

Wood has battled injury his whole career, so I don't include him. What about Prior though? Where are all these injuries coming from now? Wasn't he supposed to have great mechanics and was unlikely to break down? The guy could barely last 5 innings himself. What's his problem then?

#37 of 42: By Rob G. (October 27, 2005 11:57 AM)
Brandon Sing mystery solved...

Midway through the season there were other questions about Brandon Sing, but those were put to rest last week. After the 2005 season, Sing became a six year free agent.

Yes, Brandon Sing is remaining a Cub, and it would be hard to believe it is because of a lack of other opportunities.

"I look at the Arizona Fall League as an opportunity for me," Sing said. "If I do well down here, I think they'll have to look at putting me on the 40-man roster.
----

I assume he's still eligible for the Rule V draft if not put on the 40 man though. And I would be shocked if he didn't get snatched up.

ROB G: Yes, if he is not added to the 40-man roster by November 19th (when minor league rosters are frozen in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft), Brandon Sing will probably be selected by somebody in the Rule 5 Draft.

Of course, the Cubs still have about three weeks to add Sing to the 40-man roster. The names of the players who will be added has not been released yet, probably because some of it depends on how many roster slots Hendry feels he will need for free-agents.

Felix Pie and Ricky Nolasco are "locks " to be added, but there is probably some question about which youngsters will claim the other three spots likely to be available for prospects. Certainly Btandon Sing is in the mix, and how he performs in the Arizona Fall League (the AFL season concludes on November 13th) will go a long way toward determining Sing's future. Others who are probably under consideration for the 40-man roster include pitchers Bobby Brownlie, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Juan Mateo, Jae-kuk Ryu, and Andy Shipman, and infielder Casey McGehee.

Bedies Brandon Sing, four other Cubs minor leaguers who were eligible to be six-year minor league free-agents (Cliff Bartosh, Phil Norton, Casey Kopitzke, and Nate Frese) were not on the list of six-year minor league free-agents released by the MLB office last week. So I would imagine that even though the Cubs have not released their list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training, that Bartosh, Norton, Kopitzke, and Frese will likely be on the list of non-roster players invited to Spring Training.

The best a six-year minor league free-agent can usually expect is a AAA contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Obviously that wasn't good enough for David Kelton, who I would expect to surface as a non-roster player with his hometown Atlanta Braves next Spring (Kelton's idol is Chipper Jones), if he doesn't end up in Japan. The other five Cubs minor leaguers who took advantage of the chance to be free-agents were pitchers Talley Haines and Jonathan Searles, catcher Mark Johnson, infielder Cody Ransom, and outfielder Calvin Murray.

Other Cubs minor leaguers who were eligible to be six-year minor league free-agents (Kevin McGlinchy, Aron Weston, Michael Mallory, and Enrique Cruz) were released by the Cubs organization prior to the end of the minor league season, so they are not considered six-year minor league free-agents. They just be free-agents.

"BP's 2004 top twenty in Pitcher Abuse Points = WORTHLESS"

Really? Let's do this...
+ = better than in 2004
= = same
- = worse
* = hurt

= Livan Hernandez
-* Jason Schmidt
= Carlos Zambrano
= Victor Zambrano
- Al Leiter
-* Russ Ortiz
-* Bobby Madritsch
-* Ben Sheets
= Roy Oswalt
- Brett Tomko
- Doug Davis
- Randy Johnson
+ Barry Zito
+ Mark Buehrle
+ Freddy Garcia
-* Kerry Wood
- Gil Meche
= C.C. Sabathia
-* Curt Schilling
-* Ted Lilly

Of the top 20, I'd say 3 were better than the year before and 5 were the same. 12 were worse. 7 were hurt. More than 1/2 were worse. 1/3 were hurt. This is just one year after. Look at the list from the previous years with any sort of rigour and it is the same. There is a strong correlation between being overworked and being hutr or less effective after that.

I asked this over at Baseball Musings...but I thought I would throw it out here also:

Did anyone here Guillen's comment after last night's game about now wanting to "make money"?

I thought it was odd. But then he was aksed a follow up question and Guillen quickly resonded, "I have a 4 year deal."

----Wood has battled injury his whole career, so I don't include him. What about Prior though? Where are all these injuries coming from now? Wasn't he supposed to have great mechanics and was unlikely to break down? The guy could barely last 5 innings himself. What's his problem then?----Brian(Vegas)

The problem was Brad Hawpe(SP?) and Marcus Giles....that is his last two significant injuries...are you going to say the reason that line drive hit him was because of pitch count abuse???

A lot of times when these guys talk about "making money" they mean endorsement money once they become bigtime national or global marketing draws. I imagine that is the case since Guillen just signed an extension this year during June. He has no intention of leaving - that was just noise.

careful Billy - you might get flamed for actually wanting to debunk the myth about prior's pitching-related injury history...

I would LOVE to know what McPhail and Hendry thought this morning when they woke up and looked in the mirror. The sad part is embarassment is not one of them I bet.

I can promise you one thing though, the open forum Q&A sessions they have at the Cubs Convention with Hendry and McPhail will be heated and very negative from the fans (unless some major things happen by then). I am already formulating my questions now to ask.

X

Al Leiter, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling are all or almost over 40.

ROB G: One other thing about Brandon Sing regarding whether he might still be added to the 40-man roster.

Jim Hendry uses the AFL as a "carrot & stick" motivator and "Off-Broadway" audition for minor league prospects who are "on the bubble" in so far as whether they should be placed on the 40-man roster or not. Last year, Hendry added Russ Rohlicek (the #1 lefty reliever in the AFL in 2004) and Geovany Soto (the #1 defensive catcher in the AFL in 2004) to the 40-man roster only AFTER they performed well in the AFL.

So given that Brandon Sing has played well in the AFL, and presuming he continues to do well, I would be very surprised if he is NOT added to the Cubs 40-man roster prior to November 19th.

As of right noew, I would say Sing, Brownlie (former #1 draft pick struggled as a starter at AAA but pitched well out of the bullpen), Marshall (lingerng finger problem then arm problems), Marmol (converted catcher with only 1/2 season experience at AA), and/or Ryu (back problem in 2004 plus character issues) have the best chances to claim the likely three slots available on the 40-man roster for prospects (with Pie and Nolasco "locks" to be added).

I don't think Brian Dopirak will be added to the 40-man roster, not so much because he struggled in Hi-A, but because position players coming out of "A" ball who can't pinch-run or be used as a late-inning defensive replacement just don't get kept by drafting teams for an entire season (like Jason Dubois after he was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft).

Manny, I've been to the last 11 conventions. I won't be able to be there this year. Keep us posted on some of the hard questions & their responses. I can't wait....BTW, if you are willing to entertain question ideas, let us know.

AZ Phil,
What are the chances of Ryan O'Malley ever donning a big league Cubs jersey(or any other professional affilliate)?

When does the free agency period actually start. Isn't it like a week after the World Series?

"careful Billy - you might get flamed for actually wanting to debunk the myth about prior's pitching-related injury history..."

Why exactly did Prior start the season on the DL in 2004 after being #4 on the PAP list in 2003 (his first and only season over 27 starts or over 170 IP)? Ah yes, an achillies problem that didn't heal, which if I recall correctly somehow turned into an inflamed right elbow?

Mark doesn't make excuses for him being hurt - why do you?

"When does the free agency period actually start. Isn't it like a week after the World Series?"

Exclusive rights is 15 days starting today. Then FA.

CHAD: The free-agency period starts on October 15th or the day after the conclusion of the World Series (whichever comes later), so beginning today and for the next 15 calendar days (up through Thursday November 10th), players who are eligible to do so may file for free-agency.

The Cubs now must decide whether to exercise their 2006 options on Todd Walker, Scott Williamson, and Jeromy Burnitz ($500,000 buy-out), and Glendon Rusch needs to decide whether to exercise his player option to remain with the Cubs or file for free-agency.

The decisions to exercise a club option usually need to be made within 24 hours after the start of the free-agency period, so look for the Cubs to make their announcements vis-a-vis Walker, Wiliamson, and Burnitz no later than tomorrow.

#54 of 58: By billy (October 27, 2005 02:20 PM)
AZ Phil,
What are the chances of Ryan O'Malley ever donning a big league Cubs jersey(or any other professional affilliate)?

--

BILLY: If Ryan O'Malley had been chosen to play in the AFL, then I would say he might have a shot. But the fact that John Koronka was picked over O'Malley or Pignatiello means to be that Hendry does not consider him a major league prospect at this time.

I guess he could get selected by somebody in the Rule 5 Draft, though, because LOOGYs seem to be in high demand every year.

"Al Leiter, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling are all or almost over 40."

True, but all suffered MAJOR dropoffs in one season, or severe injuries. Most of the guys on that list are not old. Lots of guys who, one season after being on that list, failed to make 30 starts, or to do so at the level that they did the previous season. Isn't that enough to make the caretakers of the future of this franchise at least a bit concerned about how Prior, Wood and Zambrano are being used?

In a wasted season, one where we never really got closer than 5th in the WildCard and where we never had a sniff of the division, it's a shame to see our most valuable commodities on any list that has any sort of correlation to future injuries. It is not perfect science of course. Some bodies (Livan Hernandez has been atop the list for 5 years running) are just more capable of doing it than others. But given the fact that these guys are required pieces if this team is going to do anything in the future, I'd think Baker, Rothschild, Hendry, etc. would take a bit more caution than they did.

If someone can find the article that Mike Nadel wrote for Copley back in 2004, it was a fantastic chronicle of Prior's injury status that spring. It wasn't a line drive off his arm. It wasn't dumb baserunning. It was achilllies, back and elbow, all after a very heavy workload in his first full season.

X:

How many starts did that line drive cost prior last year? 5? 6? Seems to me that he'd have pitched the full season were it not for that fluke injury.

So Curt Schilling screws up his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS in 2004 and it has something to do with PAP?

and Bill James made a pretty strong case in his Neyer/James guide to pitching debunking PAP and actually demonstrating that most pitchers on those lists are MORE effective in the long-term.

So pick your sabermetrician I suppose....

Well, I think it is very good for the city of Chicago to have a winner. It has been 88 years since we last saw a Champ in Chicago and I think that the Sox deserve some respect. Although I would rather see the Cubs, I could not root for the Assholes. I am happy to see them win one, and I am happy to see one for Chicago. I hope the Cubs Management will take the Sox's approach and sign some good Free-Agents; Rafael Furcal can give us the speed we need!

"How many starts did that line drive cost prior last year? 5? 6? Seems to me that he'd have pitched the full season were it not for that fluke injury."

And in 2004, he wasn't on the list...
2003, on the list - 2004 injured
2004, not on the list - 2005 healthy
2005, on the list - 2006 ?

Look, it isn't 100% sure that every time someone pitches a lot, they get hurt. But 1/3 of the people on that list in 2004 were hurt in 2005. Half the people on that list were less effective in 2005. Dead season...why risk it? Why have him in 125+ pitch starts? Why so regularly over 110? I just don't get it.

"So Curt Schilling screws up his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS in 2004 and it has something to do with PAP?"

Did it? Or did it not? Nobody know. There is no 100% surety here gang. But was it worth the risk in a season that was almost never in doubt? Were we within the top 5 in the WildCard standings at any point in the second half? I don't remember.

"and Bill James made a pretty strong case in his Neyer/James guide to pitching debunking PAP and actually demonstrating that most pitchers on those lists are MORE effective in the long-term."

I'll read that when I get home. I love my copy of Guide to Pitchers - it is an awesome historical reference. But in any case, debunk or not... 1/3 of the pitchers on that list in any given year end up injured the next. And 1/2 of them, historically, end up pitching worse. It's not 100% mathematical sure that there is a cause and effect relationship...but is it worth that risk? Why not pull Prior 15 pitches early in some of those starts?

koronka 1ip 0h 0bb 0k
e.pat 1-4 (single) 1bb 0k
murton 0-4 0bb 1k
sing 0-4 0bb 2k

So what was the reason Prior couldn't start the beginning of the year? Oh, yes--it was an elbow injury. That had nothing to do with getting hit with a line drive.

As for that list--how about looking at all the players who have problems that aren't on that list. I'm sure you find some there also.

Congrats to Sox and fans.
They are a class team, and won in a way even "good" Cubs teams couldn't-team work.
I left Chicago today on business luckily, so no celebration hubris on me.
On the lack of mugging of Uribe-
1-If the ball is well into the stands it's no rules. Outside of punching player.
2- The reason Uribe was not mugged, a woman called WSCR to report all the guys sitting there were from her Southside neighborhood, yup-Sox fans.
THey may not be smart, but they remember(see Bartman 2003)
Anyways, I'm not having any high expectations for next year(.500) if team stays same. Have a nagging feeling in my gut that Brewers and the Las Vegas expansion team will win world series before our beloved.
I will try to keep my chin up as I look longingly for the cacti this February.

Why not pull Prior 15 pitches early in some of those starts?

Because he is paid too much money to remove in the 3rd or 4th inning.

there you go again with so-and-so is being paid too much to do this-or-that.

BULLSHIT!

its like the way people talk about woody making too much money to be a reliever.

damned primadonna is all woody has become.

i dont dislike woody. i think he gets paid too much money is all, because he needs to be a reliever for the cubs, not a starter.

jeez i mean do you want to do this again? how many of you think woody will come back from a SURGERY and start when he hasnt been able to cut it as it was?

you pay a guy to come and play for your team. once hes on the team, hell have him cutting infield grass if you want to unless its in woodys contract somewhere that says "ye shall NOT relieve, ye shall be given starts indefinitely year-in and year-out followed by your usual mid-season melt-down, until you grow old and tired enough of it all and the 18 strikeout game is such a memory that cubdom wants you gone already and you have enough millions of cubs money that you finally get lost and allow the franchise to move on and leave the unfulfilled promises fade away for good.

damn right we need a 5th starter. a 5th starter to go in place of wood. theres your right handed reliever right there dammit.

GO CUBS

The Cubs need atleast three starters next year. THe only pitcher to have faith in is Z. After that then Prior. And he is iffy with health.
After that you are wishing on a star, with Maddux, Wood and whoever(Rusch,Williams) if you want to contend. If you want to put a team on the field and be happy to sit in the sun then keep the previous rotation, and we will be sitting here a year from now talking about how the Brewers came out of nowhere to go deep in the playoffs.
The Cubs need atleast two to three starters, this whole well if Wood and Prior can start 30 games, and if Maddux can get us 12-14 wins... it is getting tiresome and also insulting to us the fans. Lets hold the Cubs to a higher standard they got 3 million fannies in their seats the last two seasons. Get some freakin' ball players!!!

That fifth starter could be Millwood...

i dont think you can call wood a primadona or lazy...

he's reformed an entire set of offspeed pitches since his initial injury. when he was drafted outta highschool he wasnt pitching high-90s fastball. he was hitting 90s, but not where he's at now.

every time wood's been met with a situation where he needs to change, he does it. he's throwing 100% entirely differently now than he did in 98 and to an extent just a couple years ago.

he is still a walking bandaid, though...but i dont think its for a lack of trying to stay in the game and on top of his game.

yeah, he probally wont be what he was, but he's still not trash.

That fifth starter could be Millwood...

Options expiration and Triple Witching...must be close to Halloween:

The Giants on Thursday exercised their option for the 2006 season for Randy Winn. San Francisco also picked up their option on ace Jason Schmidt, while outfielder Moises Alou, second baseman Ray Durham and reliever LaTroy Hawkins exercised their player options to stay with the team next season.

I'm pretty sure Millwood led the majors in pitches per inning in 2005. Another 6 inning starter is not what we need.

The Series was the lowest rated ever.

Stick that in your champaign flute and snort it, Sox fans.

FYI, Carlos Bernard (the guy from 24 - Tony Almeda) is from Chicago. I just saw him on Celebrity Poker Showdown where he confirmed that. He did not say if he was a Cub fan or Sox fan, but see that Tony Almeda had a Cub mug on his desk....

KedzieKid:
"Manny, I've been to the last 11 conventions. I won't be able to be there this year. Keep us posted on some of the hard questions & their responses. I can't wait....BTW, if you are willing to entertain question ideas, let us know."

I will do so....

If none of the "writers" of TCR will be attending, I would be more than willing in give a diary version of what happens to be psoted for everyone.

SM:
"The Series was the lowest rated ever."

Yeah, I thought it would be as both teams had little to no national fan following. Just something more teh White Sox fans will feel inferior about. I am sure it will somehow come around and be blamed on the Cubs or something.

Jeromy Burnitz is a free agent.

The White Sox/Astros World Series was the lowest rated only because it ended in four games. Game for game viewership was up over the 2002 series.

Matt Murton said the reason he's playing in the Arizona Fall league is because the Cubs wanted him
to get used to playing a full season and a lot of day games. Irony is lost on the Cubs braintrust.

Murt also said he can pull the ball when he wants but prefers to drive the ball up the middle. He thinks that trying to pull the ball is just a bad approach to hitting.

FREE AGENTS
_____________

AMERICAN LEAGUE

BALTIMORE (2) ó Jason Grimsley, rhp; Eli Marrero, of.

BOSTON (2) ó Kevin Millar; 1b; Bill Mueller, 3b.

CLEVELAND (4) ó Scott Elarton, rhp; Juan Gonzalez, of; Bobby Howry, rhp; Bob Wickman, rhp.

CHICAGO (1) ó Paul Konerko, 1b.

DETROIT (2) ó Fernando Vina, 2b; Rondell White, of.

KANSAS CITY (3) ó Brian Anderson, lhp; Denny Hocking, of; Jose Lima, rhp.

LOS ANGELES (2) ó Paul Byrd, rhp; Bengie Molina, c.

MINNESOTA (2) ó Joe Mays, rhp; Terry Mulholland, lhp.

NEW YORK (4) ó John Flaherty, c; Matt Lawton, of; Felix Rodriguez, rhp; Ruben Sierra, dh.

OAKLAND (1) ó Ricardo Rincon, lhp.

SEATTLE (1) ó Jeff Nelson, rhp.

TAMPA BAY (1) ó Eduardo A. Perez, 1b.

TEXAS (1) ó John Wasdin, rhp.

___

NATIONAL LEAGUE

ARIZONA (2) ó Royce Clayton, ss; Shawn Estes, lhp.

ATLANTA (2) ó Julio Franco, 1b; Eduardo Perez, c.

CHICAGO (1) ó Jeromy Burnitz, of.

CINCINNATI (1) ó Jacob Cruz, of.

COLORADO (2) ó Todd Greene, c; Dan Miceli, rhp.

FLORIDA (7) ó A.J. Burnett, rhp; Juan Encarnacion, of; Alex Gonzalez, ss; Lenny Harris, dh; Brian Moehler, rhp; Paul Quantrill, rhp; Ismael Valdez, rhp.

LOS ANGELES (2) ó Darren Dreifort, rhp; Jose Valentin, 3b.

MILWAUKEE (1) ó Wes Helms, 3b.

NEW YORK (2) ó Marlon Anderson, 1b; Danny Graves, rhp.

PHILADELPHIA (3) ó Ramon E. Martinez, ss; Michael Tucker, of; Billy Wagner, lhp.

PITTSBURGH (1) ó Daryle Ward, 1b.

ST. LOUIS (3) ó Cal Eldred, rhp; Mark Grudzielanek, 2b; Abraham Nunez, 3b.

SAN DIEGO (5) ó Brian Giles, of; Chris Hammond, lhp; Ramon J. Hernandez, c; Joe Randa, 3b; Rudy Seanez, rhp.

WASHINGTON (3) ó Deivi Cruz, 2b; Joey Eischen, lhp; Preston Wilson, of.

WOW!! Konerko wasted no time getting his free agenscy filed.

So if Burnitz is a free agent, I guess the Cubs must of declined his option and bought him out for $500,00. Weird that it is not mentioned anywhere but his free agency is.

Wagner is a FA...

i guess it kind of came off i was dumping on wood, but thats not what i intended.

i just dont want our starting rotation to be thrown into havoc before the allstar game AGAIN.

thanks for the FA info by the way!

Wagner would be a great addition. Dempty in the 8th and Wags in the ninth.

Now who is gonna play right field? Could Murton play right cause there is a monster left fielder who may have a penchant for playing really well in classic ball parks.

BASEBALL CALENDAR

October/November -- Free agent filing period, first 15 days after World Series ends.
Nov. 7-11 -- General managers meetings, Indian Wells, Calif.
Nov. 16-17 -- Owners meeting, Milwaukee.
Dec. 5-8 -- Winter meetings, Dallas.
Dec. 5-9 -- Major League Baseball Players Association executive board meeting, Henderson, Nev.
Dec. 7 -- Last day for teams to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents.
Dec. 19 -- Last day for free agents offered salary arbitration to accept or reject the offers.
Dec. 20 -- Last day for teams to offer 2006 contracts to unsigned players.
2006
Jan 5-15 -- Salary arbitration filing.
Jan. 8 -- Last day until May 1 for free agents who rejected arbitration offers to re-sign with their former teams.
Jan. 18 -- Exchange of salary arbitration figures.
Feb. 1-21 -- Salary arbitration hearings.

Amen, this year the way lady luck has showered her blessings on the White Sox squad, it wonít stay away from the Cubs for a longer time.
Read more about sports at: Sports Buzz

I noticed Bobby Howry on the FA list. Any think he'd be a nice addition to the 7-8th inning slot for the bullpen? He seemed effective again after a few years of playing through injuries.

finally the media blitz in chicago is slowing and there is a paul sullivan/trib cub article today

Burnitz (GONE, maybe retired); Walker/Rusch news next. CPat rumored to the Rangers?

key portion...

Hendry and Baker now must focus on trying to solve their own team's problems.

The Cubs will hold organizational meetings in Arizona next week to discuss the plan for what figures to be a busy off-season. With a dearth of big names on the free-agent market, they may have to work out some deals to fill their holes.

And the Cubs will not pick up Jeromy Burnitz's $7 million option, making him a free agent. Burnitz, 36, may be considering retirement. Hendry has three more days to decide on infielder Todd Walker's $2.5 million option, while multi-purpose pitcher Glendon Rusch mulls over whether to exercise his own option for '06.

One of the most interesting decisions facing Hendry is whether to bring back center fielder Corey Patterson, who regressed at the plate and in the field in '05. Texas is rumored to be interested in making a deal for Patterson, and Hendry is expected to get other feelers if he decides to trade the enigmatic outfielder.

"Could Murton play right"

Not well - he doesn't have a RFs arm.

"Stick that in your champaign flute and snort it, Sox fans."

A) Who cares?
B) What happened to "Cubs fans don't care about the Sox
C) Who cares?

"The Cubs need atleast three starters next year. "

Then we are screwed. Cuz there is no way we get three new starters in FA, and I don't believe there is anyone in our farm system who is ready, right now, to pitch at a championship calibre level. If we get 1 FA SP, that would be about tops. Lots of teams with money will be bidding on FA SPs.

Chris Hammond is a FA. I'd love to see him in the pen. I'm not sure how many years he has left, but if used properly, he could beef up the left side of our pen.

>A) Who cares?
>B) What happened to "Cubs fans don't care about the Sox
>C) Who cares?

Agreed. I'd take a World Series victory that *nobody* watched.

"Agreed. I'd take a World Series victory that *nobody* watched."

And the metrics of "nobody" are funky. In 1967, there were three television stations to watch, and most houses had, at most, one TV.

But as you said, I don't give a damn who watches the World Series, as long as the Cubs win it. The Sox fans that I know think the same way. It's fun for them to laugh at the media and at fans of other teams, but really they don't care.

Yeah, the whole "no one watched the world series" is a lot of hype without looking at the realities of television in 2005. Every year more people get cable/sat tv, and every year there are more channels to watch on cable. Not to mention, that the cable channels are no longer exclusively second-rate specialty programs, giving more people reason to watch something other than the broadcast networks.

The same thing has happend to Monday Night Football and pretty much every other genre of network programming.

The Key for Fox:
The World Series game 4 was its best night since the final of American Idol and Fox had more viewers than any other network and every night of the World Series.

Do you guys work for the networks?? Just like most baseball stats, it is fun to watch people SPIN the stats to make them fit their argument.

Last year the WS ratings were 30% higher than this year and last year had a sweep too. Basically the same amount of channels in the universe. It just comes down to teh fact that the White Sox and Astros have ZERO national following. And no, it really doesn't make too much difference to the White Sox or their fans as they won the WS, but that fact remains it was the lowest rated ever.

Millwood had the lowest ERA in the AL!

Brian Giles Filed for free agency... we need him if Burnitz doesn't return

It pains me, but I have to agree with Bleeding Blue. The TV landscape is so much different now (actually, the entire entertainment landscape), saying it's the lowest-rated Series ever doesn't mean anything of importance. It was still a highly rated TV program that earned the network plenty of ad dollars. Would they want it rated more highly? Of course. They also would want it to go more than four games (which would end up raising the ratings). But they're not crying too much over at Fox.

"but that fact remains it was the lowest rated ever."

Again - WHO CARES?

It's not Boston vs NY - so the East Coast lost interest. Goody. I could hardly care. We got to see some exciting baseball game played by 2 very fundamentally solid teams. 4 games were settled by a total of 6 runs. We saw some great pitching, a lot of great defense, 2 teams with mostly "good" guys. I don't think there is a steroid freak in the bunch. No guys with really bad reputations as selfish players. Great stories on both sides (Bagwell and Biggio finally making it, the remade Sox, Clemens at his age, the Sox pitching staff, etc.) The fact that NY and Boston, and by default most of the population, were not watching it is their loss, not mine.

I'd love to someday get to see nobody watch the Cubs win a World Series. Cuz having everone come and watch them not play over .500 ball in 2/3 of the seasons since I have been alive really is not something to be proud of.

Viewership is irrelevant unless you own a TV network. Even then, it is only relevant in terms of future WS advertising costs.

Bob:
"But they're not crying too much over at Fox."

I bet they are not happy though. A 30% drop from last year alone is not too good. Chicago is a bigger market than Boston and Houston is a bigger market than St. Louis. Both series' ended in a sweep too. Just neither team this year has anywhere close to the national following than BOS and STL.

But yes the TV landscape has changed from 40 years ago, but what about 3 years ago, or 2 years ago or last year?

X-
If you don't care, then maybe you should stop posting about it and just ignore the posts of the people who do. Just a thought...

But yes the TV landscape has changed from 40 years ago, but what about 3 years ago, or 2 years ago or last year?

Well, first of all, this series actually did better in the ratings than games 1-4 did 3 years ago. This series just didn't have a winner take all game to prop up the ratings, like the 2002 series did.

Second, Not conicidentally, 2002 was also the last time the Yanks or Red Sox weren't in the series. Which goes to show when the only games ESPN and FOX cover all year long are the Yankees and Red Sox, when one of those 2 teams doesn't make the World Series people don't know as much about them and don't care as much.

Third, yes the TV landscape has changed over the past 3 years. Like I said before, not only are more people switching to cable and more channels being added to cable every year. The quality of shows on basic cable is improving every year. I didn't even mention before, but DVDs, the internet, and more importantly, video games are now taking a larger portion of the prime time audience away from TV altogether.

Do you guys work for the networks??

Well, actually, I do work for a FOX affiliate.

If the Cubs were in the series they could play the freakin' Devil Rays and it would be the highest ratings ever. Yes that matters to me. Like I said before, we are the Jessica Simpson to the White Sox's Ashlee.

They're not happy in the sense that, yeah, they don't want a 30 percent drop in ratings from the year before and they want a seven-game series. But it's all relative. They still raked in a ton of cash, and in world where there's so much competition for entertainment dollars, they'll take a 30 percent drop better than us would take, say, a 30 percent drop in salary. They want to do better, but they're not out busking for quarters.

I am sitting here, in my County Building office hearing the Sox Parade out my window.

EVERY Cub fan should have to hear this parade, and everyone in the Cub organization should be forced to witness this.

If this isn't a wake up call to the Cubs to focus the organization on winning and only winning, nothing is.

I really think we should stop marketing "the Wrigley experience" (especially that whole : I am Wrigley Field" campaign), Hendry and Baker should go underground, say it's us against them, and get us the pieces to really put this team over the top.

Congrats to the Sox, whatever. This should be kick in the ass for the Cubs, because it sure is a kick in the nuts for the fans.

Make that better than "we" not "us". Not sure what I was thinking there.

Bleeding Blue:
"Well, actually, I do work for a FOX affiliate."

Not a shocker....

Bob-
But for a World Series they were going to rake in a ton of cash no matter what. So saying well they still made money, would be a given if TB played MIL in the WS. It is not all OK then since they made money, as it was a given anyways. Next year they won't make as much though, with the ratings for the overall WS being the lowest ever, advertisers will pay less next year for the WS.

"Just a thought" for you, Manny:

Is there ANY subject at all that you do NOT have an opinion on--no matter how far-fetched or insignificant your opinion may be?

And just answer the question, Yes or No.

TRIBE:

" This should be kick in the ass for the Cubs, because it sure is a kick in the nuts for the fans."

You pin pointed my feelings EXACTLY. Well said.

"Like I said before, we are the Jessica Simpson to the White Sox's Ashlee."

I'm not sure exactly what that means. (not into this genre of Simpsons) However, I hope it means, they regularly win more games than us, have a better winning percentage since both team's current ownership bought them, and now have a World Series title, while we have ivy, beer, and a collection or perrenially injured pitchers. Cuz if it meant that we have anything over them right now, in terms of on the field performance, in my lifetime, I'd totally disagree. It isn't enough to make me a Sox fan - if it were, I'd have bypassed both sad franchises years ago to be a Yankee fan. But in my lifetime, the Sox had much more to brag about before this World Series, and even more now that it is over. Keep in mind that until 2003/2004, in my lifetime we had never even had back to back .500+ seasons, much less seasons that one could consider successful.

"Like I said before, we are the Jessica Simpson to the White Sox's Ashlee."

I didn't understand this last time either. Are you talking popularity? Talent? Sexiness?

Right now they look like Aretha Franklin to our Jessica Simpson.

We are the more popular and "prettier" of the two teams. We are the Michael Jackson while they are the Jermaine or Tito Jackson. We are the ones that everybody likes, we are the ones that everybody cares about. They won the World Series and no one cares cause the Cubs didn't. That matters to me.

F@#$#@!$@!@ the Whites sox and thier F!@# stick manager

On another Sox/broadcasting related note:

My "bold" prediction of the offseason:

Steve Stone will become the White Sox new radio color commentator.

"Steve Stone will become the White Sox new radio color commentator."

I'd love to hear Stone back in the booth. He was excellent in that role for us. Stone and Farmer - that would work. I heard that Charlie Steiner was miserable in LA and he wants out of there. Someone said he has talked to WSCR about the Sox job.

I do take just a bit of pleasure knowing that Hawk Harrelson didn't get a chance to call the World Series. You know that must have killed him. I will venture to bet that he had a microphone and headphones on AND rolled tape while the games were on. I'll bet you that jackass recorded himself announcing the games.

"We are the more popular and "prettier" of the two teams. We are the Michael Jackson while they are the Jermaine or Tito Jackson. We are the ones that everybody likes, we are the ones that everybody cares about. They won the World Series and no one cares cause the Cubs didn't. That matters to me."

We are the one that WE care about - not everone.

We are not prettier.

We are not smarter.

I don't care what everyone else thinks - we are still the "loveable losers" and frankly as each year passes, we are becoming less lovable and more of losers.

I'd gladly be less popular, have fewer soccer moms, yuppies and celebs in the park, get worse ratings, play in a neighborhood without Sluggers and the Cubby Bear, etc. and have a World Series ring.

Right now, they are Cinderella. The glass slipper fit perfectly. They are at the ball with the prince. We are the stepsisters sitting around jealously bitching... and I don't like this feeling one bit.

We are not the ugly step sisters. Not at all. No one liked the ugly step sisters and they were evil and cruel. If you don't like the popular, soccer mom, yuppie, celebrity, higher ratings better ratings better neighborhood, better hangouts image we have, then you should find yourself a new team bub. Cause that IS was being a Cub fan is all about. That is what the Cubs are all about. If you change that, then they aren't the Cubs anymore. If that changes, I want no part, cause that is not the team I know. Once again, why the HELL are you a Cub fan?

I'd love to hear Stone back in the booth. He was excellent in that role for us. Stone and Farmer - that would work. I heard that Charlie Steiner was miserable in LA and he wants out of there. Someone said he has talked to WSCR about the Sox job.

Ironically, my prediction came after hearing Roony talking about leaving the Sox on Charlie Steiner's radio show.
Roony said Farmer was going to take over the play by play, and they were looking for an analyst, so I would think that would leave out Steiner if he is looking to go elsewhere again.

Oh great. Just came back from lunch and some confetti flew into my office.

Be real, Cubs fans, this will not be a comfortable off season for us. We wil constantly be reminded of what our team didn't do, either by a mouthy Sox fan or those year in review specials at the end of the year, or at Spring Training out in Arizona. Face it, the future of the Cubs will now be viewed through the White Sox lookinglass of success.

It won't feel good, but I'm not sure it's such a bad thing. Maybe all of the Cub Universe will get some actual perspective.

Perhaps we'll finally gain some perspective on the individual achievements of our great players. Meaning, if a future Sandberg or Sosa or Grace has a great career, we will praise them, but we will consider their careers individually great, but actual failures if they are not part of a championship.

Perhaps the Cubs won't market the team through individual players and Wrigley so much. This leads to the beer garden atmosphere that perpetuates organizational laziness. Wrigley is great, but I always thought the Cubs and Sox had about 18,000 fans who came to every game to watch baseball, but the Cubs drew 20,000 more who are there just to screw around.

A full ballpark is a good thing for the team's ability to bring in future players, but it sure does seem like we take our eye off the ball when we seem to worry most about attendance (or what the Sox attendance is for that matter).

And now we can't even claim that this is a Cubs town. We can believe it in our hearts, and surely I am convinced that the city will not be whole until the Cubs win. But the fact of the matter is the Sox rule the roost. Not just in Chicago, where this debate is now over, but the World Championship. So the bragging rights discussion is now over. What do answer a World Series with? The Ivy? The bleachers? The piss troth in the men's room?

All of a sudden, we can no longer outcharm a fellow loser. Now, we stand alone.

A very uncomfortable offseason indeed.

"Once again, why the HELL are you a Cub fan?"

The team you root for is an accident of geography and upbringing.

Once you're aboard, the hope SHOULD be a championship.

The caricature of a Cub fan is someone who cares more about the hangouts, neighborhoods, and attendance than about winning. I personally don't want to live up to that caricature.

People have their own reasons for staying aboard. Sluggers is not on my list.

If it's on yours, go nuts. But there's no reason for you to call the fandom of others into question based on that.

"Is there ANY subject at all that you do NOT have an opinion on--no matter how far-fetched or insignificant your opinion may be?"

Nope...

Bleeding Blue:
"Steve Stone will become the White Sox new radio color commentator."

Did you hear anything that would make you say that? I had heard that Mike North wanted be part of the radio broadcast. And since he is the man at WSCR, I think he would have a big say on who is with him. Thanks!!

If you don't like the popular, soccer mom, yuppie, celebrity, higher ratings better ratings better neighborhood, better hangouts image we have, then you should find yourself a new team bub. Cause that IS was being a Cub fan is all about.

Sadly, you've just listed off everything negative thing I could say about what the Cubs have become: all of them symptoms of a team more interested in winning a popularity contest than winning a world series.

If that's what makes you a Cub fan, you have my sympathy.

Its not what made me a Cubs fan, and it's that mentality the makes me embarrassed to be one sometimes.

So tell me why then Brick. I would love to know why you root for this team? The commitment to winning? 6 winning seasons in 30 years?

My Stone prediction is pure speculation.

But he is on WSCR's payroll, and the White Sox are looking for an analyst. It seems like a perfect fit, if Stone is looking to get back into calling games everyday.

Mike North might do something with the Sox, but he's not an analyst. I could see him in a "Andy Meiser" type roll next year, doing pre and post game shows, and back up play-by-play, but he won't be the analyst.

"Well, first of all, this series actually did better in the ratings than games 1-4 did 3 years ago."

Brilliant post.

"So tell me why then Brick."

Like I said: it's an accident of geography and upbringing.

Since then, I've grown to love going to the games. I love the bright spots the Cubs have given me. And there's the hope that the sweat and tears I've invested will pay off.

That's why people are fans of teams.

Yes, I want them to win. But that doesn't mean I hop from team to team looking for the next WS winner. That's not a fan of a team. How shallow would it feel to have become a White Sox fan in July of this year, compared to being one all your life?

That said, Chad: why are YOU a fan? The bars and the sunshine and the girl watching? You can get all that while wearing a Padres hat.

Hotter girls in San Diego too. Plus Tijuana's a blast. Just go with about 20 of your closest firends to be safe.

"If you don't like the popular, soccer mom, yuppie, celebrity, higher ratings better ratings better neighborhood, better hangouts image we have, then you should find yourself a new team bub. Cause that IS was being a Cub fan is all about."

Being a Cubs fan is about being popular? about soccer moms and yuppies? About Wrigleyville? Maybe to you it is - but that's not what this team was to my Dad and not what it is to me. I'd be a fan of this team if they played at Thillens. If that's what this team is to you, that's cool. But that's not what it means to me and to a lot of other long time fans of this team who have recollections back before the Tribune purchased the team and marketed it as such.

Brick says, "If it's on yours, go nuts. But there's no reason for you to call the fandom of others into question based on that."

and Blue says, "Sadly, you've just listed off everything negative thing I could say about what the Cubs have become: all of them symptoms of a team more interested in winning a popularity contest than winning a world series. If that's what makes you a Cub fan, you have my sympathy. Its not what made me a Cubs fan, and it's that mentality the makes me embarrassed to be one sometimes."

You guys hit it 100% right on. I agree completely. Chad said what he likes about the Cubs. He said, "the popular, soccer mom, yuppie, celebrity, higher ratings better ratings better neighborhood, better hangouts image we have" is what being a Cubs fan is all about. [belch]

Not to mention that I live 2900 miles closer to Petco Park than I do Wrigley.

Why am I a fan? Cause my Dad cursed me. True. But that's not why I love the Cubs. I love them cause when I was 14 years old, I would take the Red Line to Addison and walk around for a couple of hours. It was more like a rock concert atmosphere than a baseball game. I would then get same day bleacher seats and go in. I'd watch batting practice and chat with the players who would be shagging the fly balls near the ivey. I would sing "Take Me out to the Ball Game" with Harry Caray and eat hot dogs and drink soda (I hadn't discovered beer yet). I would cheer when the Hawk would hit a homer (I was there when he hit #49 in '87 as we lost) then do the bow down to him maneuver. Or chant "Daryl, Daryl, Daryl to taunt Strawberry then would chant "Throw it back, throw it back!" after he crushed, yet another homer. Then to top it off get into a great "Right Field/Left Field sucks" fight.

That's why I love the Cubs.

" It was more like a rock concert atmosphere than a baseball game. "

And that's the problem. At a Rock concert, it doesn't matter who wins or loses. I wish it were more like a baseball game and less like a rock concert. Because when I want to go to a rock concert, I go to a Rock Concert.

I'm for dumping the Rock Concerts too.

We get lost in the Wrigley Field mystique, all the marketing of the team to that end makes us lose perspective on why we're supposed to be there, why the Cubs are supposedto be there.

How about this for perspective: Would you blow up Wrigley Field and live with a new stadium if you KNEW it would bring the Cubs a World Series Championship?

We can talk history, mystique and rock concerts all we want. I'd watch the Cubs play at the Cell if I knew they would win a world series.

NO FREAKING WAY!

There you go. Just wanted to know what the priorities were.

Would you blow up Wrigley Field and live with a new stadium if you KNEW it would bring the Cubs a World Series Championship?

I would drive the truck full of TNT to the mound and light the fuse.

Terrorists.

I'm starting to understand why Manny takes heat here.

Not only would I blow it up if I knew I'd have a championship, but I'd blow it up if I knew we'd have a 125mm payroll. I'd blow it up if I knew we'd have clean bathrooms. I'd blow it up if I knew we'd be more likely to get rid of some of the soccer moms, yuppies, and people with their hats on backwards. I'd blow it up in a heartbeat if there was a park out there that was going to be better than what we have now.

Retractable Roof (ala Minute Made)
Luxury Boxes (ala BOB)
50,000 seating capacity (ala Busch 3)
Clean bathrooms (ala Camden Yards)
Great new facilities for players
Great new stuff for fans
Keep the ivy, the bleachers, the marquee, the scoreboard, etc...

Not only would I blow it up, but I'd be there celebrating! And we'd get to play in USCF for a year, which would be an awful cool bridge from playing in the dump to playing in what could be one of the best parks in baseball.

Just once - walk into the bowels of Wrigley field. It is as bad a facility as there is in pro sports.

Sounds great X. Just like the Toronto Blue Jays. Go root for them.

Bob-
"I'm starting to understand why Manny takes heat here."

Why??

Bob-
But for a World Series they were going to rake in a ton of cash no matter what. So saying well they still made money, would be a given if TB played MIL in the WS. It is not all OK then since they made money, as it was a given anyways. Next year they won't make as much though, with the ratings for the overall WS being the lowest ever, advertisers will pay less next year for the WS

I'm not sure exactly when or how the World Series ads are sold. But I'm guessing it's much more important who's in the playoffs then who actually makes the World Series. Most of the time is sold before the World Series, so as long as the Yanks, Red Sox, Cubs or some other team is a threat to make the Series, an advertisier wouldn't want to lose out on missing ad time in the World Series.

Did find this from 2003:

http://www.bcheights.com/media/paper144/news/...

Fox does not make much profit from these advertisements, despite strong ratings for early postseason games, because airtime for commercials is sold long before the ratings come out.

According to CNN Money, Goren stated that the ad time for the first five games of the World Series was "essentially" sold out, with a price of nearly $325,000 for a 30-second time spot. It was tougher for Fox to sell ad time for Games 6 and 7 until it was clear that they would be necessary. Goren also told CNN that he was not worried about low ratings even after the sentimental favorites, the Cubs and the Red Sox, did not make it to the Series after devastating losses.

"You just hope for volume. If we get a Game 6 or 7, things will build naturally," Goren told CNN.
---

I do recall reading a number of times that most networks find the value of sports in promoting their own shows than in the marketing dollars it gets them from outside advertisers. I know this is particularly true of football, that Fox and CBS lose lots of money on football broadcasts, but it gives most of their other shows a big boost. Hence, 18,000 "Prison Break" commercials.

Yes Rob, just like the Super Bowl. Advertisers pay for the ad time before knowing who will be in the Super Bowl. They go off ratings of last year and other smaller factors. That is also why they have sweeps weeks for TV shows so that the advertising rates can be set for the next TV season.

So thus my point was with the ratings being teh lowest ever for an entire series, advertiser would most likely pay less next year, unless FOX uses spending on teh MLB playoffs as a precurser to some other show or sporting event.

Neither you or I really know exactly how advertising rates work for the World Series, but I doubt Fox sets their rates based on one series. There are four sweeps periods in a year for regular shows, plus however many episodes in that period. I'm guessing Fox uses an average from the last few years and I do know most ads are sold for Games 1 through 5 before anyone knows who's playing.

While I don't doubt that Fox takes a hit if ratings are low, I do doubt how much it affects them for next year. From what I read, I think Fox sets a rate which appears to be about $325,000 a spot (which is the same as it was in 2002 btw) and then promises a certain amount of viewers to advertisters and that number is where the vaguery exists. Read the quote to see what happens if those #'s aren't reached.

--
http://www.courant.com/sports/baseball/hc-tvs...

In this case, it is the network that stands to lose if household ratings don't pan out as promised. The network must give free air time to advertisers at another sporting event to make up for a shortfall in ratings, Bernstein said.

In addition, the rates charged for Games 6 and 7, which typically don't start selling until it's clear those games will be played, also could suffer. Typically, a 30-second spot goes for $325,000. The rate could fall to $200,000 if viewership wanes, Bernstein said.
--

Judging by that, I'm going to say it probably won't affect them much next year, since no one knows who will play and how the Series will pan out, but the low rating will effect some of their NFL coverage or other sporting events this year.

And it is going to effect all the paybacks they now owe the advertisers since the ratings most certaintly did not meet what they promised them.

But like everything, networks are great at spinning how bad rating are not all that bad.

#142 of 148: By Chad (October 28, 2005 04:31 PM)
Sounds great X. Just like the Toronto Blue Jays. Go root for them.

And how many championships do those Blue Jays have, exactly?

All, I'm saying is that the park, the marketing, the packaging of the "experience" is meaningless now that the Whie Sox are champions.

It's hard to counter the world champs argument with "I...am...Wrigley Field." Hope no one feels the urge to debate a Sox fan anytime soon.

"Sounds great X. Just like the Toronto Blue Jays. Go root for them."

I'm a Cubs fan - not a Jays fan. It's not the park, the neighborhood, the soccer moms, the budweiser, etc. It's the baseball team. You root for whomever you want - let me do the same.

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