April 2006

Game Seven Thread

GAME SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CINCINNATI REDS (5-2) AT CHICAGO CUBS (4-2) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 CDT Weather: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees, wind out to right @ 18mph TV: WGN, DIRECTV 734 Radio: WGN, XM 186
Greg Maddux, RHP 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 6 1/3 IP 1 K, 2 BB, 1 HRBrandon Claussen, LHP 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 5 IP

Not So Minor Matters, Week One

All's well in the world again. The first Sunday of April has come and gone, and baseball is back. Every day is a good day. And when the Cubs win, it's just that little bit better. A sweep of the Cardinals is six months of winter well rewarded. Matt Murton, Ronny Cedeno and Sean Marshall have graduated to the game's biggest stage this year, and all played their part over the weekend. Hoping to follow in their footsteps is young talent at Iowa, West Tennessee, Daytona and Peoria, where seasons got under way last Thursday.

Today in Cub History: Catch-all Edition

4-3-2006 Transmission (me) successfully defends his dissertation at UW. While technically he still has to deposit his dissertation in a dank basement office somewhere, this functionally makes him Dr. Trans. 4-3-1987 Traded Dennis Eckersley and Dan Rohn to the Oakland Athletics. Received Brian Guinn, Dave Wilder and Mark Leonette 4-3-1888 Sold John Clarkson to the Boston Beaneaters 4-4-1988 Sammy Sosa hits the first of his 66 home runs. It's off Marc Valdes of the Expos 4-4-1989 Mitch Williams pitches 1 and 2/3 innings, gives up three hits, two walks, and a balk. He also strikes out three, gives up no runs and earns his first save as a Cub. Cubs 5, Phillies 4 4-5-2004 Signed Glendon Rusch as a free agent

Lee Gets Extension

ESPN.com and Buster Olney are now reporting that the Derrek Lee extension is signed, sealed and delivered. The Cubs have a press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning to announce it officially. He'll get a little more than Paul Konerko did this off-season, 5 years for $65 million and a full no-trade clause. His old deal will be voided($9 million plus this year) and the first year of his new deal will go into effect immediately, meaning he's signed through 2010.

Game 5: Marshall Plan Should Not Aid St. Louis

Fun with game notes: * A win tonight would give the Cubs their first home sweep against the Cardinals since June, 2001. * Sean Marshall is the 1,800th Chicago Cub in the franchise's 131-year history. GAME 5 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (3-2) AT CHICAGO CUBS (3-1) WRIGLEY FIELD 7:05 CDT, TV: ESPN WEATHER: 40 degrees, clear, wind blowing in from right at 12 MPH CARDINALS:

Organizational Pipeline - Opening Day 2006

In addition to the Chicago Cubs playing the Reds on Opening Day in Cincinnati on Monday and the Home Opener at Wrigley Field on Friday versus the St. Louis Cardinals, four of the Cubs minor league affiliates start their regular season schedules Thursday and Friday. Here is the current state of the Cubs organizational pipeline, with the Opening Day rosters for all affiliates now in place:

2006 MLB Payrolls

The Associated Press has obtained the 2006 MLB player payrolls. The Cubs' 2006 player payroll ranks third in the N. L., behind the Mets and the Dodgers, and just ahead of the Astros, Braves, and Giants. NATIONAL LEAGUE: 1. NYM - 100.9 2. LAD - 99.1 3. CUBS - 94.8 4. HOU - 92.5 5. ATL - 92.4 6. SF - 90.8 7. STL - 88.4 8. PHI - 88.2 MID-POINT 9. SD - 69.7

Opening Day Roster

The Cubs have been busy this past week, making final roster cuts that pared their Spring Training roster (originally 58 players in February) down to a 25-man roster on Opening Day. The 25-man Opening Day roster limit and clubs having to cut players the last week of Spring Training to get down to the limit is one of the ìRights of Spring Training,î in some cases the ìlast riteî (so to speak) for a player. But the 25-man Opening Day roster is actually a fairly recent invention.

Pre-Season Roundtable 2006, Part III

Time for the readers opinions; into the gauntlet are Andrew, Mike C., The Real Neal, MannyTrillo, Chad, Shawndgoldman, Nickelnights and Crunch. Donít fear, weíll get some other faithful readers the next go-around. Stay tuned for a historical look of Opening Day Rosters later today and a preview of our first NL Central opponent, the Cincinnati Reds, tomorrow before the big game. --------------------- Rate the Cubs off-season acquisitions and maneuvers? Did Jim Hendry sufficiently address the teamís needs or was he left in the cold holding a bag of donuts? [MannyTrillo] I would give him a C+. He finally went out and addressed two of the GLARING holes from last year after many of us fans were screaming for him to get a leadoff man and a better bullpen, but he has left us still with too many question marks in the starting rotation. He did not properly prepare for the very likely injuries to Wood and Prior. [Chad] Huge improvements in the HORRIBLE bullpen from last year. I feel that we might win a game with a lead in the 7th if our starter has to come out. Outfield is another story. While I really like Juan Pierre, I don't see any upside to Jacques Jones over Jeromy Burnitz. [The Real Neal] I like the Pierre trade, even though I don't like Pierre - it was nice to see the Cubs trade two birds in the bush for a real ML player. Probably a bit of overkill with Howry and Eyre signings (even more-so with the way Ohman has pitched in the spring), and I like everyone else would have preferred a $12 Giles to a $5.5 Jones - but the outfield defense should be top-rate. [Nickelnights] Overall, I'd give Hendry a C-. It was a baron offseason, and what was available came at an extremely steep price. He did do a good job of fixing the areas he targeted, particularly lead-off and bullpen, and those things will help the team this year. However, I'm concerned that the signings could be costly 2 or 3 years down the road. We've seen what happens when you sign veteran relievers to long term contracts, and multi-year deals to the likes of Neifi Perez and Glendon Rusch are will pretty darn stupid. [Mike C.] Offensively the Cubs fell short again for a third straight year. The organization is still hell bent on winning 2-1 games than 5-2 games. Pierre and Jones are not going to produce any more runs than the guys they replaced. The only upgrade is that hopefully Pierre gives Lee and Ramirez more RBI chances. In the bullpen Howry was an OK signing but Scott Eyre was just plain stupid. The man is situational pitcher who might appear in a lot of games but rarely ever pitches a whole inning. For the money he is making he will be expected to perform more than that which could lead to trouble. [Crunch] Cubs took care of LAST season's issues. I'm not thrilled with 3 years of Dempster. RF came down to J.Jones vs. J.Encarnacion and I'm happy the Cubs chose Jones. Pierre and his cost was taken on at the expense of 2 pitchers, the highest of which was 4th-6th on the minor league depth chart depending on just how much you like Nolasco...I like the move. Eyre/Howry I am happy to have around in the pen for years. W.Miller was a hell of a signing and a stable gamble, imo. [Andrew] Of course, it's a bit premature to judge any offseason until you see how the new team peforms that next year. But, alas, I guess Christian can't wait that long to post our analyses. So, what were our needs this offseason? Leadoff hitter, bullpen help, and a lefthanded slugger, and Hendry was up to the task. He acquired the leadoff man (although he gave up Ricky Nolasco to do it, which is a crying shame and might have been unnecessary). He shored up the bullpen (although he gave too many years to Dempster, Eyre, and Howry). He signed a left-handed outfielder with some pop (albeit one with poor OBP skills and who should be platooned). Did he accomplish the main goals (more or less), without blowing a ton of money or minor-league talent to do it? Yes, more or less. That in itself probably deserves a grade slightly above average. Still... *yawn*. Forgive me for being unimpressed. There seemed to be no urgency to Hendry's moves, no drive to think creatively and work to construct trades that could benefit multiple teams. Instead, we signed or traded for the obvious players, which, while not bad, isn't terribly exciting or encouraging. So, adding points for his commitment to Cedeno and Murton and for the Wade Miller signing, call it a B minus. [Shawndgoldman] I don't think Hendry sufficiently addressed the team's needs, but i also don't blame him for not doing so. The biggest problems Hendry faced were the best potential acquisitions - B. Giles, Furcal, Tejada, Ryan, and Burnett - all turned out to be somewhere between undesirable and impossible. Giles gave San Diego a home town discount, the O's wanted too much for Tejada, and Furcal, Ryan and Burnett signed contracts I wouldn't want the Cubs to top.

Pre-Season Roundtable 2006, Part II

Cubs Roundtable Questions (Spring 2006) Yesterday we got the opinions of the TCR powers that be, we now pose the same 11 questions to some of the finest Cubs bloggers out there. Former TCR writers Scott Lange(Gonfalon Cubs at Baseball Think Factory) and Derek Smart(Cub Town) once again grace us wtth their fine written word. Bleed Cubbie Blueís Al Yellon, Ivy Chatís Chuck Gitles , The View From the Bleachersís Joe Aiello, and Baseball Prospectus & The Juice writer Will Carroll round out this whoís who of Cub fans and writers. Thanks for their time and see what they have to say about the 2006 CubsÖ --------------------- Rate the Cubs off-season acquisitions and maneuvers? Did Jim Hendry sufficiently address the teamís needs or was he left in the cold holding a bag of donuts? Mmmmm....donuts!!!

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