636 Reasons for Cub Fans to be Thankful in 2008

In a special, Thanksgiving edition of his Stat of the Week, John Dewan chronicles the Cubs' aversion to taking walks from 2003 through '07.

Here is how the Cubs hitters ranked among NL clubs in BB:

2003 14th of 16 teams
2004 14th of 16 teams
2005 16th of 16 teams
2006 16th of 16 teams
2007 15th of 16 teams

Last year  was a different story.

Lou Piniella's Last Thoughts on the Playoffs

I read the Sun-Times writeup on an interview with Lou Piniella in yesterday's paper and thought it was worthy of TCR discussion.

''The two things that I take from the postseason are that I didn't get a chance to pitch [Ted] Lilly, and he was such an integral part of us getting there.."

Here's my translation of Lou's comment #1:

1) The Ted Lilly Fan Club Super Computer predicted this.

NL Central Smackdown Revisited

Back in April, I put up some polls for our readers to rank the position players and number one pitchers in the division. I originally intended to get them up before the season started so any hot starts wouldn't influence the results. I failed miserably at that and the poll results showed that (Derrek Lee second?). Nonetheless, let's revisit the fun.

Delusions of Grandeur

Kansas City is focused on Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot in talks with the Cubs about Mark Teahen. …

That is according to a Phil Rogers article.

That's great, I'm focused on solving world peace after I cure cancer, which will all happen after I retire at age 35 because the charming widow across the street is really the heir to the Buffett family fortune and appreciates when I roll her garbage can up her driveway on Tuesdays.

Cubs Add Three to 40-man Roster

The Cubs have added three players to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), one day in advance of the November 20th deadline that requires MLB clubs to submit major league and minor league reserve lists to the MLB office. .

RHPs Mitch Atkins and Justin Berg were selected from Iowa, and RHP Marcos Mateo was selected from Daytona, and with the addition of the three, the Cubs now have 36 players on their MLB Reserve List.  

Notably absent from the list are LHP Donald Veal (the Cubs 2005 2nd round pick) and 2B Nate Spears (acquired along with two other prospects from the Baltimore Orioles in January 2006 for OF Corey Patterson), meaning both will be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft. And I would say that it's very likely that Veal will get selected, and somewhat likely that Spears will be, too.    

Tribune Shows How Not To Write an Online Poll

The latest article from Phil Rogers also discusses the Cubs interest in Mark Teahen. I still can't fathom why the Cubs would be interested in a player with a 98 and 91 OPS+ the last two years. Rogers suggests that Felix Pie for Teahen would get the deal done or Mike Fontenot and Ronny Cedeno. I suggest that Phil Rogers finds a new profession and the Cubs actually acquire someone who might help the team.

The best part of the article though is the poll at the bottom of the page.

The Ryan Dempster Era Will Continue

UPDATE: Here are the contract terms according to SI.com: $8 Million in 2008 with a $4M bonus ($12M total). $12.5M in 2010, $13.5 M in 2011 and a 2012 $14M player option which is almost a guarantee to be picked up. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm about 90% certain he's earned 10/5 no-trade rights.

It's being picked up by multiple news sources that the Ryan Dempster Experience will call Chicago home for the next four years. It sounds like it might be for a total of $52M a year or $13M on average. That's a pretty good deal if he pitches like he did last year, not so much if he pitches like 2001-2003. For what was out there though and for how much the Cubs and Dempster seem to like each other, it sounds like the right deal. He really did have a fantastic 2008 season. His 152 ERA+ was good for third best in the NL.


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