2008 will be the 100th Anniversary of the last time the Cubs won a World Series. This past off-season (post-2006 season), the Cubs went on a $300M+ spending spree, hoping to win a World Series (or at least maybe get into the playoffs) before the Centennial Celebration commences. But with the new owners of the Cubs yet to be decided (apparently until further notice), it appears that the club's executives may take a passive approach toward the future, as evidenced by failing to sign Carlos Zambrano to a contract extension, taking the risk that he will walk away after the 2007 season. So here is what the Cubs might look like in 2008 should the sale of the club remain in limbo, and if the Trib decides to continue taking a more passive approach to player retention and acquisition during the next off-season:
If you purchased tickets for any of next week's Cubs/Giants games so your kids could one day say they saw Randy Winn or Mark Sweeney playing leftfield, you may be screwed. Per the Commissioner by way of Phil Rogers in today's Tribune:
In Tuesday night's 78th All-Star Game, the American League beat the National League 5-4, the tenth consecutive ASG victory for the AL. The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano brought the NL to within a run with a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, but after J.J. Hardy, Derrek Lee, and Orlando Hudson walked to load the bases, the Angels' Frankie Rodriguez retired Aaron Rowand to secure the win.
I apologize for the lack of original content the last few days, weeks, etc. We should have had some extraordinary first half review or second half look-forward for all our wonderful readers. Unfortunately real-life and a lingering family emergency has sapped my time and motivation these days. I do hope everyone understands. In the meantime, some Cub-related links worth reading. Baseball Prospectus Free Talent All-Stars
In the aftermath of Friday night's loss at Pittsburgh to Pirates LHP Paul Maholm, Cubs manager Lou Piniella called for another right-handed bat, mainly to hit off the bench. Stating the player will almost certainly have to come from within the organization, the candidates named in Paul Sullivan's article in the Chicago Tribune are (alphabetically):
A few quick tidbits for your discussion... - Bruce Miles with some news and notes heading into the break. The cliff notes version is that Hendry reiterated to him that he'll have the resources to add payroll for the stretch drive, Piniella is smart and Dempster wants to be a starter. At least that's what I got from it. - Neifi Perez suspended 25 games for using a banned stimulant. Reader (CA) Phil had the best line:
Now we know what put the ! in Neifi!
I've got two for you...
Which pitcher won the most games for the Cubs in the 1990s?and
Who holds the Cubs record for most stolen bases in a single season since 1900?As per usual, try to answer without a web search.
Dr. Joseph Hecht takes a look at what's troubling Henry Blanco and the possibilities to our roster if he does return ------ Henry Blanco remains on the DL after getting three cervical (neck) epidural cortisone injections for his disc herniation. The latest from this Sun-Times article says he’s going to start testing how improved he is by throwing to second base. If his rehab progresses he might be ready after the All-Star break. If not he’ll probably opt for season ending cervical fusion surgery. If Hank White can return, it seems odd to say but his bat will be considered an upgrade compared to Koyie Hill and Rob Bowen. Based on the small sample size of Bowen and Hill’s play this year compared to Blanco’s play from 2006, it might be. Blanco’s defense this year was affected by his disc problem, which pinches a nerve sending pain down his arm as well as possibly creating some weakness. So which Henry Blanco that shows up after the All-Star break is anyone’s guess. Improvement from cortisone injections doesn’t imply complete resolution of the problem. If Blanco’s defense isn’t up to his previous standards, I’d rather we keep our defensive catchers and not mess with the chemistry they’ve brought. Who gets moved off if Blanco can play?
The All-Star break will give Jim Hendry and the Cubs a great chance to minimize the effect on the 25-man roster of Derrek Lee's impending suspension. Here's how:
In 1997, all Major League and Minor League teams retired uniform number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. Who was the last member of the Cubs to wear #42?As always try to answer without a web search....
Livin' on a prayer Take my hand and we'll make it - I swear Livin' on a prayer We've got to hold on ready or not You live for the fight when it's all that you've got We're half way there Livin' on a prayer Take my hand and we'll make it - I swear Livin' on a prayer Where have you gone, Bon Jovi? A (Cub)nation turns its lonely eyes to you. 81 games in makes projecting stats pretty much 3rd grade math - which makes it right up my alley.
Scott Eyre though is still waiting for his phone call. Soriano got edged out by MLB public relations in the final vote as Bonds surpassed him. As the MLB.com article states:
He trailed Soriano 1,332,581 to 1,213,423. In the final vote total, Bonds had 2,325,391 to Soriano's 2,202,513.Hmm, two-plus months of voting results in a million-plus votes but in the last week they doubled their vote total? Okay, sure. Richard J. Daley approves.