Cubs Schedule 11 More Players for NRI

The Cubs have announced the names of 11 more players who have received Non-Roster Invitations to Spring Training. Together with the five players who received NRIs to ST in November, the new list of NRIs is: * bats or throws left # bats both PITCHERS (9): Jason Anderson Sean Gallagher Adam Harben Ben Howard * Ryan O'Malley * Carmen Pignatiello * Les Walrond John Webb Randy Wells CATCHERS (2): Jake Fox # Koyie Hill INFIELDERS (3): Mike Kinkade Casey McGehee * Eric Patterson OUTFIELDERS (2): * Tyler Colvin Chris Walker Four notable names NOT on the Cubs NRI list are: RHP Federico Baez 2B Mike Fontenot 1B Micah Hoffpauir RHP Jeff Samardzija Baez--a rubber-armed swingman and one-time infielder in the Orioles organization--pitched for Team Puerto Rico in the WBC last Spring and split time between AA and AAA in '06; Fontenot--the one-time DP partner of Ryan Theriot at LSU, who was acquired by the Cubs from BAL in the Sammy Sosa deal a couple of years ago and who has been the starting 2B at Iowa the last two years--almost certainly has no future in the Cubs organization, but he probably at least deserved a courtesy NRI to the big club's camp; Hoffpauir tied Scott Moore for most HRs among Cubs minor leaguers in '06 and would appear to possibly have a future as an MLB 1B-LF-LHPH; and Samardzija was supposedly promised an '07 NRI to ST when he signed with the Cubs last Summer.


sweaty les walrond! here's to hoping EPat gets some reps (sorry for the football term, it's that time of year) in the outfield.

@ RobG: No, the Transaction Guy is not dead. He's just a little annoyed at all the 500 Internal Server errors he's getting while trying to post since late December and at the fact that his blog's link is now buried in the MLB section...

Is he on or still at

Even though it wasn't "officially" announced today, Jeff Samardzija will also be an NRI at Spring Training.

Ugh I hate attitudes like Ken Rosenthal in his latest article about McGwire. A confession would end the talk that McGwire is hiding something, forcing voters to view him for what he is — a product of his era, the Steroid Era, and hardly the only star player suspected of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. It is like we are back in the 1950's in the deep south or hell the Duke Rape case. Why didn't those stupid kids just admit guilt like the Group of 88 and all the protestors wanted. The only answer anyone wants to hear from McGwire is "Yeah I used steroids." Anything else and he is liar. It is exactly what happened with the Duke kids, they come out right away and denied it. No one cared, all anyone wanted to hear was guilty. So there is no benefit for McGwire speaking either way. If he is truly innocent and just flat out denies it, he will be called a liar and excluded anyways. If he says nothing, then at least gets some measure of dignity. If guilty our nation has laws against self-incrimination. So why the hell would he open him self up to law suits? It is up to baseball to prove he did anything wrong. And if they can't prove it, he is innocent. Unlike the Duke case it is impossible for him to prove his innocence. I would love for these sports writers to get accused of some crime so we can sit on our high horse of judgment and demand they just plead guilty and accept whatever punishment comes their way. I don't care whether they are guilty or not, treat them the same way they are now treating McGwire. See how they like it when the only thing people want to hear out of your mouth is guilty. I want to see if they will just suck it up and take it, I doubt any of them would. Yet they demand it out of McGwire. It is pretty disturbing trend we are seeing in society these days.

MikeC -- If McGwire would say anything, it would be better than just hiding. I don't know if he used PEDs or not. I do know that the change in McGwire's body coupled with his refusal to answer questions during the Congressional hearing and his refusal to talk to the press now makes him LOOK guilty. If he came out and admitted using PEDs or he denied it, either way, I think it would help his cause. But his refusal to discuss it makes it look like he's trying to hide something. Finally, I'm not making a legal argument. After all, the vote for the HOF is not a legal proceeding. I'm making a PR argument. Right or wrong, his silence is worse than either a confession or a denial.

RobG -- still on Movable Type, but the server's been glitchy today... but go visit the Transaction Guy! He posted his takes on the Unit trade, the Javy López signing and the Russ Ortiz mistake!

Something is pissing me off. Shouldn't have Ryan O'Mally been allowed to come out in the ninth and try to get the complete game shutout? I mean, Christ! It's not like we had a chance to win anything at that point. And I'll accept anti Dusty answers here but please try not to let your overall feelings on Dusty taint your answer. And... Am I crazy or are we only playing 2 of the four AL West teams. I see Texas and Seattle. No LAAOA or Oakland? Whatup with dat?

The NY Daily News reports that McGwire was implicated in an FBI sting operation into illegal steroids called "Operation Equine" which resulted in the 70 steroid trafficking convictions in the 1990s. The horse reference comes from the fact that they were trafficking in drugs used to lessen the healing time for injured race horses. "...according to FBI sources, McGwire's name came up several times during Operation Equine. 'In hindsight, we could have gotten the big names - (Michigan State lineman) Tony Mandarich, Canseco - the problem is, where do you draw the line?' says Bill Randall, who was the FBI undercover agent during Operation Equine. 'You have to remember, there was no benchmark, nothing for us to model the investigation on. We wanted to get to the root of the problem, that's all we were after. And if we had started going after Major League Baseball players, we'd never get up to these big-time dealers.'" Also reports of informants seeing McGwire work out with one of the convicted dealers. He doesn't have to come clean if he doesn't want but people know this stuff and it just makes McGwire look pathetic.

That is another thing that bothers me Sweet Lou, people saying he is in hiding. Do people know he is a very private man? Read this article, it is pretty good, and yet sad in a way... "He was a very private person," Kirk says. "He had a core group of friends that he hung out with that he felt comfortable with, that he spent time with." Eventually, McGwire distanced himself from his old buddies. It started, friends say, when a member of that core group tried to capitalize off Mark's name. An already private man was realizing that trust and fame didn't often go hand in hand. "When that trust was betrayed," Kirk says, "he looked at that inner circle and said, 'How can I trust those guys?'" Everyone has a theory. Some believe he doesn't trust people. Some believe he's embarrassed. Justin Dedeaux, son of the legendary coach, has his own idea. "I don't think he's embarrassed as much as I think he's crestfallen by the whole thing," he says. "Hurt. He's a highly sensitive person. He really is that way. Some guys it just rolls off their back. But Mark takes things to heart. This has hurt him terribly, and I don't think he knows how to approach this." "I don't think the Hall of Fame is something he needs," Robertson says. "Me, personally, I'd love him to be in the Hall of Fame, and I think he's deserving. I don't think he feels that way. I don't think he needs it. It would be another award that doesn't validate his life." I forgot what award he got or something but he had his ex-wife present along with her new husband. I have never met him, but he sounds like a man who goes by the beat of a different drummer, and is probably the nicest guy you will ever meet. But if you cross him, he will cut you out of his life. If he is innocent then his actions explain a lot. If he feels he has been unjustly targeted by fans, media, baseball, then he will distance himself from those things. He seems perfectly happy playing golf, and raising his family.

"If guilty our nation has laws against self-incrimination. So why the hell would he open him self up to law suits? It is up to baseball to prove he did anything wrong. And if they can’t prove it, he is innocent." First, whether McGuire used steroids or gets into the Hall of Fame is not a big deal to me, for several reasons which aren't relevant here. That being said, statements like the ones above don't advance your argument. There is no "law against self-incrimination". You have a right under the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions to not be compelled to give evidence against yourself. McGuire chose to clumsily and publicly exercise that right before a Congressional panel. That's his right. But, in life, there are often consequences to our actions, i.e., repurcussions of a non-legal nature. Public opinion is not subject to constitutional scrutiny. McGuire has learned this the hard way. Just exactly what lawsuits would he be opening himself up to? Who would have standing to sue him for using steroids 10 years ago? The fans? Organized baseball? His employer, the Cardinals? "Baseball" - I suppose meaning Organized Baseball - doesn't have McGuire on trial or subject to disciplinary proceedings, so they have to prove nothing. The Hall of Fame, as I understand it, is an entity not connected to Organized Baseball, but the HOF hasn't sued McGuire either to my knowledge. Mac's problem is with the Baseball Writers of America, who vote for the HOF, and in the court of public opinion. He doesn't seem to care about this, or is too "hurt" or "private" to publicly reveal that he cares. OK. If he's fine with it, why should we then care?

az phil- which, if any, of these n-r-i's have a prayer of making the 2007 club, either immediately or by the trade deadline? thanks as always.

Bruce Miles on arbitration for Z, Priorpus and Ohman plus a few more non tidbits...

Please, let's all shed some tears for poor, poor millionaire Mark McGuire...I feel soooooo sorry for him. He directly refused to admit or deny using steroids, in front of a Congressional panel, right? Like Sammy forgot how to speak English, right? Neither one should be in the HOF....neither should Raffy Palmeiro, although Palmeiro actually did fail a test.

I agree with you, Dusty. I don't care whether Mark M. is as nice a guy as a person could ever meet. Whether a player is a nice guy or not does not matter to me. A lot of guys in the hall of fame apparently were not nice guys. So what? In my opinion, and that is all it is, McGuire did not act the way he did at Congress because he is a private guy. I mean, there are private guys and there are private guys. The things he said at Congress were some of the most ridiculous reponses I have ever heard in my life. Private guys, if that is all they are, do a lot better than that. And private guys, if that is all they are, don't have looks on their faces that scream "I need to protect myself because I have done things that will bring shame onto me." I agree Dusty, McGuire is the last guy that any of us should feel bad for.

I don't care about Mark McGwire, nor Sammy Sosa, nor Barry Bonds, nor Pete Rose, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be in the HOF. They should and if they don't, it shows the Baseball Hall of Fame to be a joke, IMO.

McGwire's inclusion in the FBI report is damning. Since MLB doesn't have a police force to oversee the sanctity of its statistics, and as far as actual law enforcement goes, McGwire, Conseco etc. are just small time users, its doubtful that we'll ever know too much more unless a reporter digs into it. As far as McGwire being a nice guy - who knows and who cares? Until Sosa got involved in the homerun race in '98 McGwire was making an ass of himself by being a pouty bitch. My only contact with him was seeing him eat three whole chickens at a restaurant on Westwood in L.A. before the '98 season. Seemed nice enough to me although the chicken community could not have been too happy with him.

dc60124 — January 10, 2007 @ 5:59 am az phil- which, if any, of these n-r-i’s have a prayer of making the 2007 club, either immediately or by the trade deadline? thanks as always. ============================ DC60124: Depending on what happens with the Jacque Jones/Cliff Floyd thing, and depending whether an injury occurs to a position player or two prior to Opening Day, I would say the two most-likely candidates to make the Cubs 25-man man Opening Day roster (as of right now) are either Mike Kinkade or Casey McGehee. Either could well grab the 5th spot on the bench. Kinkade can play 3B-1B-LF-RF, and be the #1 RHPH and the #3 (emergency) catcher, and McGehee has played 3B-2B-1B in the minors and in winter ball, and he is a very patient hitter with a smooth line-drive stroke, and (like Kinkade) he can also be the #3 catcher. BTW, although they are listed as "infielders," both Kinkade and McGehee will almost certainly report to Fitch Park with the pitchers & catchers in mid-February, because both have their best shot at making the team if they can prove to Uncle Lou that they can catch in a pinch. As for the pitchers, there are probably no open spots for NRI pitchers right now, but if three or four guys who otherwise were expected to open the season on the Cubs pitching staff aren't healthy coming out of Spring Training, a lights-out performance by a Ben Howard, a Jason Anderson, a Les Walrond,  or a Carmen Pignatiello in ST could land them a spot on the 25-man roster, at least for a while. Guys like Gallagher, Patterson, and Colvin will be in camp just to get their feet wet, although depending on what happens with Jacque Jones, I wouldn't be surprised to see Eric Patterson to get at least a look in CF, and IF he can prove that he can handle a move to the outfield without spending some time in the minors making the transition, he could be the Opening Day CF (although that would be a long-shot).  As you probably know, I believe E-Pat's future is in the outfield, not at 2B.

there's no law that anyone has to be elected to the HOF and there's no standard for electing anyone. if mcgwire wants in he has to prove to the people that vote that he is more clean than he's shown. so far he's had a very bad and disappointing showing at the congressional hearings which left almost anyone who saw him talk and answer questions with a "say it isnt so mark" not a "oh yeah, that guy is innocent". since then he's...well...he's not exactly been a steward of the game. when's the last time anyone saw mcG at the park or even doing MLB charity events? no one's gonna arrest him for giving flakey answers and refusing to come clean one way or another with performance enhancing drugs, but these people that actually get to vote him in want more and they're not getting it. this isnt the court system and the HOF is already full of people that dont belong. the issues of the day and the current state of the baseball culture determine these things. its kinda sad that sosa has more credibility than mcG on this issue and even he's not a sure thing because of the current social climate.

Just a little pet peeve of mine... It's MCGWIRE Not McGuire, MacGwyer, McGueier, or however else you want to spell it. Carry on.

mark mcguire used to be a cubs PR guy...woo useless info.

Mark McGuire Executive Vice President, Business Operations ...fancy.

To look into the future, here are the top first time eligible players for HOF in the upcoming years: 2008: Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryman, David Justice, Mike Morgan, Tim Raines, Randy Velarde. 2009: Mark Grace, Rickey Henderson, Dean Palmer, Dan Plesac, Matt Williams. 2010: Andres Galarraga, Edgar Martinez, Robin Ventura On that list there is only 1 guarantee HOFer (Henderson) and only 3 players who will even get at least a little consideration, but likely fall short (Raines, Grace and Martinez).

on further inspection of Mike Kinkade's numbers I hate him even more. the guy barely slugged over .400 last year in one of the the most hitting friendly environments in the minors (Albuqurque) and hasn't been in the majors since 2003. His only redeeming quality is he can take a walk and carry a bunch of gloves. And I still don't see where's there's room for him or Mcgehee unless Pagan gets shown the door or Theriot has a crappy spring. Starters C Barrett 1b Lee 2B Derosa SS Izturis 3B Ramirez LF Murton or Floyd CF Jones or someone else RF Soriano Bench Blanco Theriot Ward Pagan Floyd or Murton SP Z Hill Lilly Marquis Prior or Miller Prior or Miller Cotts Ohman Eyre Wood Howry Dempster What am I missing? Unless someone really thinks Pagan is going to be given much of a shot at the starting CF gig which I highly doubt. Once they figure out this Jones thing they'll acquire someone with some experience to at least compete with him.

look at Bruce Miles showing off... The garrulous, loquacious and sometimes obstreperous lefty was pretty effective out of the bullpen between games of “word of the day�? with TV announcer Len Kasper.

Tim Raines deserves it, should have spoken in the third person more often. Let me add though, that's on my own HOF standard of was he one of the best at his job during his period. And Tim Raines was best leadoff man in the NL and I hated when the Cubs had to face him or when he was on base.

I suspect a Jones trade may come in spring training. I think some future decisions depend on whether Prior/Miller is healthy to pitch full time. If they show up and do well then the Cubs can trade some of their excess pitching to a team like Tampa for Baldelli or Crawford. So I think the the Cubs are kind of in a holding pattern now.

kincade is probally a AAA teacher. a tim laker/pat borders type. the kids in AAA need a mentor...dunno if kincade is that type of guy, but it seems its his to do.

not sure if they can wait on Jones moving until spring training if signing Floyd is contingent on it.... But the rest I agree, Cubs will hold onto their staff until they see what's going on in spring training. Rapada steps up or whatever, they can start moving some guys. Miller/Prior situation, etc...

Can someone tell me why we are only playing 2 AL West teams this year? Don't you usually play at least 3 (not including your rival team?)

I thought we've been playing 2 teams out of our division the last few years or maybe it rotates or something. I think the NL Central since they have more teams than any other division plays less interleague games than other divisions.

AZ Phil: If Pagan can make the team, why not Chris Walker? Walker stole 50 bases last year. What's so hot about Pagan? He hit .238 in the second half, .150 in September. He swings late and would prefer not to swing at all. I don't know much about Walker but I've seen enough of Pagan.

well he got invited, he'll get his chance to prove himself in the spring.

Chad...looks like you may need to go to Japan to watch your boy Sammy play next year.

It seems the Randy Johnson trade got set in motion due to his older brother dieing. He does look much happier in his press conference coming back to the D'backs than he ever looked being a Yankee.

Don't tempt me Dave. I've been looking to go to Japan for a long time. Now I just might.

Cubs Interleague the last few years: 2006: CWS -6, Twins - 3, Det - 3, CLE -3 2005: CWS -6, Boston - 3, Tor - 3 2004: CWS -6, A's - 3, Angels - 3, 2003: CWS -6, Tor -3, TB - 3, NYY - 3, Bal - 3 2002: CWS - 6, Sea - 3, Tex - 3

Virginia Phil — January 10, 2007 @ 1:06 pm AZ Phil: If Pagan can make the team, why not Chris Walker? Walker stole 50 bases last year. What’s so hot about Pagan? He hit .238 in the second half, .150 in September. He swings late and would prefer not to swing at all. I don’t know much about Walker but I’ve seen enough of Pagan. =============================== VA PHIL: It isn't that Chris Walker can't beat-out Angel Pagan for the 4th OF job (or depending on what happens with Jacque Jones, possibly even the starting CF job until Pie is ready). It's just that I think Angel Pagan will make the Opening Day roster as the 4th OF because he has a couple or three areas where he has an edge over Walker, Walker is a CF because he has speed, but he has a LF arm. He is essentially a right-handed version of Juan Pierre, except he strikes out more than Pierre. He has improved his hitting over the past couple of years, though, so it's not like he's necessarily another Dwaine Bacon. He's not THAT bad. But Walker has never played above AA, while Pagan has a full year of AAA (2005) plus last season with the Cubs (minus time spent on the DL with a pulled hamstring). I'm not saying Pagan is the perfect 4th OF, just that he has several areas where he has an edge over Walker (more experience, more power, switch-hitter, and the ability to play RF). But the Cubs invited Walker to camp to give him a chance to compete with Pagan (and others) for a job, and so it's up to him to make the most of the opportunity. But in my opinion, Walker will never make it out of AAA. I believe he will play semi-regularly at Iowa in 2007, and then he will eventually move on to another organization.

btw, why the hell are they even bothering with Fontenot anymore since he's obviously nowhere in the teams plans? Not that he's in any other teams plans either as he got passed over in the Rule V...

Rob, I'm pretty sure we got torched by the Yankees in 2005. I'll check, but I'm pretty sure we lost 2 of 3 IN NY. Whereas in 03 they played in Wrigley. (BTW, 6/03 Wood V. Clemens - one of the greatest Cub games of all time. except for Hee Seop Choi cause it ruined his career).

Actually we got swept: 6-17-2005 L 6- 9 6-18-2005 L 1- 8 6-19-2005 L 3- 6

damnit, you're right, got swept by the Yankees thanks in part to the stellar D of NEIFI! (can't resist the urge to bash Neifi...must stop) but 2004 and 2002 are correct, must be something when we play the AL West

And we played Oakland in 04 as I was at 2 of three of those games.

I had that one in there

Yes you did! I don't know why I read it as the A's as the angels. Perhaps the A on their hats? I dunno?

I went to 2 of the 3 Angels games out here (the Angelfan wife still owes me from the bet we made I might add) anyway, the first game on Friday night, you know tons of Cubs fans (although decent Anaheim crowd far better than the Padres games which is like 85% Cubs fans). So this 5-6 yr old kid is behind us, really into the game and Corey butchers a fly to center that he should have had, let's Angels score a run or two. Kid behind me in the most dejected voice: "I hate you Corey......the Cubs suck" I'm like welcome to Cubville kid, welcome to Cubville!!! Kid was a riot though, totally into the game, major mood swings as the plays happened, already disliked Corey Patterson. I only hope my kids can be so enlightened.

Mulder back to Cards? St. Louis Post Disp. reports he is supposed to make a decision tonight with Cards, Rangers, Cleve awaiting. BUT he won't be ready until July. HA! We've seen THIS MOVIE! CHAD: Didn't our Blue Men win 2 of the 3 in Oakland in '04? ROB: Had a couple friends that spend big coin seeing the Cubs lose 3-straight in Yankee Stadium. And, $10 beers?! Was Anaheim a nice park? It usually gets excellent "ratings" from those things...

BTW - realy funny story abt. the little Cub fan! Grace will be at Cubs Convention. Dance in Joy Everyone! Hopefully he does a Q&A. Q: So, how many ballplayers rode the Cindy Sandberg express? Q: Best (or I guess worst) town for picking up slumpbusters?

Rob G. — January 10, 2007 @ 12:02 pm on further inspection of Mike Kinkade’s numbers I hate him even more. the guy barely slugged over .400 last year in one of the the most hitting friendly environments in the minors (Albuqurque) and hasn’t been in the majors since 2003. His only redeeming quality is he can take a walk and carry a bunch of gloves. And I still don’t see where’s there’s room for him or Mcgehee unless Pagan gets shown the door or Theriot has a crappy spring. Starters C Barrett 1b Lee 2B Derosa SS Izturis 3B Ramirez LF Murton or Floyd CF Jones or someone else RF Soriano Bench Blanco Theriot Ward Pagan Floyd or Murton ============================= ROB: If Ryan Theriot has a crappy ST (which I don't think would matter, anyway), or if he gets hurt and can't play, then the Cubs will go with some other back-up middle-infielder (presumably Ronny Cedeno, or MAYBE Buck Coats). If Angel Pagan doesn't make the team (and again, I don't see that happening unless he gets hurt), then the Cubs will keep a different 4th OF (could be Coats, or maybe Chris Walker), but it won't be Kinkade or McGehee, because they can't play CF. You keep presuming that the Cubs will sign Cliff Floyd and either keep Jacque Jones or trade him (exchange him) for a different CF. And if that happens, then you will be correct, There will not be room for Kinkade/McGehee (barring injuries). However... AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW The Cubs '07 Opening Day bench would likely be (in my opinion): Blanco Pagan Theriot Ward Kinkade or McGehee If the Cubs sign Floyd and keep Jones, then Kinkade/McGehee don't have a spot on the 25. If the Cubs sign Floyd and exchange Joines for a different MLB CF, then Kinkade/McGehee don't have a spot on the 25. But, if the Cubs sign Floyd and replace Jones in CF with Pagan/Theriot (until Pie is ready), there would be a spot available on the bench for Kinkade/McGehee. Or if the Cubs don't sign Floyd at all (no matter what happens with Jacque Jones), then I believe Kinkade and McGehee are the front-runners for the 5th (last) spot on the bench. And I'm not saying that Craig Wilson or Phil Nevin wouldn't be better options, either. Because they certainly would be, I would sign Wilson or Nevin before I would sign Cliff Floyd. It's just that the Cubs haven't signed Craig Wilson or Phil Nevin, and I don't think they intend to sign either of them. . So given the players the Cubs actually have on the Spring Training roster right now, Kinkade and McGehee would seem to fit the profile of the type of player MLB clubs (like the Cubs) keep on their bench these days when there are only five slots available: GENERIC BENCH 1. #2 catcher 2. 1B-LHPH 3. Utility middle-infielder (2B-SS-PR) 4. 4th OF (LF-CF-RF-PH-PR) 5. Multi-positional player who can PH and at least play the corners (3B-1B-LF-RF)--if not everywhere--and be the #3 (emergency) catcher in a pinch Craig Wilson and Phil Nevin can indeed play the IF-OF corners, and both can catch in a pinch, and both would give the Cubs right-handed pop off the bench. I would have absolutely no problem with the Cubs signing either of them. But until they do sign one of them, or until they actually do sign Cliff Floyd, I believe Kinkade and McGehee would be the front-runners for the last spot on the bench. AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW.

And in sad news... Yvonne De Carlo (Mrs. Herman Munster) died today at 84. Well, maybe she was already dead? She joins Fred Gwynn and Al Lewis (who became a scout for the Celtics) whom the Grim Reaper has taken over the last several years from the show.

You keep presuming that the Cubs will sign Cliff Floyd and either keep Jacque Jones or trade him (exchange him) for a different CF. Guilty as charged. :) But, if the Cubs sign Floyd and replace Jones in CF with Pagan/Theriot (until Pie is ready), there would be a spot available on the bench for Kinkade/McGehee. if the Cubs go with Pagan/Theriot in CF, I'm going to be watching NASCAR, golf and arena football and I hate all those sports. 5. Multi-positional player who can PH and at least play the corners (3B-1B-LF-RF)–if not everywhere–and be the #3 (emergency) catcher in a pinch Well the catcher in a pinch would be nice I guess, but we already have Derosa, Izturis and Theriot on the roster. Is another 3b is really necessary? Just call up Scott Moore if Aramis gets hurt. But yeah as things stand right now (No Floyd, Jacque on the roster), there seems to be an open bench spot. If it comes to that, let's hope they get someone better than Kinkade or Mcgehee.

"The garrulous, loquacious and sometimes obstreperous lefty was pretty effective out of the bullpen between games of “word of the day�? with TV announcer Len Kasper." I think the fancy adjectives were used by Miles in relation to the "Word of the Day" games between Kasper and Ohman.

Oakland played at Wrigley in 2004. And I believe lit up Zito in one of the games. Cubs play 9 games against Atlanta next year. Six in Atlanta. Another date of notice- July 4th Cubs in DC.

Yeah I got that after I posted it....just ignore me. Most of you do anyway. Was Anaheim a nice park? It usually gets excellent “ratings�? from those things… i don't mind it. There's nothing nostalgic or original about it, but it's not "forced" nostalgia like many of the new parks either which I appreciate. There's nothing spectacular about it but I've always enjoyed it. Great family atmosphere if you like that sort of thing, parking is easy (easier than Dodger Stadium at least), sightlines are good, tickets and concessions are reasonable. Great fireworks show on Friday nights as well. Not the most baseball knowledgeable crowd, but there in the game when there told to be by the scoreboard. Hard to make fun of fans at the park though when Wrigley is basically a frat party/corporate get together these days. It's worth checking out if your in the area. Oakland series was in Wrigley btw in '04. Ramirez believes in what the Cubs can do so much he passed on tempting offers from other teams and re-signed with the Cubs in November for five years, $75 million. The new deal will keep Ramirez with the Cubs through 2011, and includes a mutual option for the 2012 season. It does carry some responsibility. "Once you get a contract like that, people expect big things from you," Ramirez said. "I'm going to try to do my best." His agent, Paul Kinzer, described Ramirez as a low-maintenance guy. Ramirez told Kinzer he was uncomfortable making more money than Lee because he considers the first baseman to be such a quality player. Lee signed a five-year, $65 million deal last April. *cough* Bullshit *cough* "With a better ballclub, you'll see Aramis come to the forefront in this game and become one of the great players -- not one of the good players -- but one of the great players in this game," Hendry said. Cubbie Kool-Aid for everyone!!!! (sadly I agree though with Hendry's statement)

Jacos: "Oakland played at Wrigley in 2004. And I believe lit up Zito in one of the games." June 20th, 2004. Zambrano vs Zito. Cubs won 5-3, but scored 3 in the bottom of the first. I remember that game well, as it was the only time I've ever sat first row behind home plate. I ponied up the $250 face value for the new, premium seats they added that year. I really expected they would have personal food vendors, nicer/wider seats for that price. Not at all. They basically just added a couple rows of seats and charged an extra $200 apiece for them. Total ripoff, but it was still insanely cool to see Zambrano throwing 98 MPH heaters from right behind the plate. (incidentally, I turned off my cell phone so I wouldn't be that guy talking on his cell phone behind the plate waving at the cameras)

"Yvonne De Carlo (Mrs. Herman Munster) died today at 84." im sure the atl braves blogs are crying about that one...for those around for 80s/early90s TBS. ...coming up after the game...the munsters...followed by some andy griffith...

(incidentally, I turned off my cell phone so I wouldn’t be that guy talking on his cell phone behind the plate waving at the cameras) God Bless you son, you're doing the Lord's work.

Also, not even a free program for the $250 seats. Pretty ridiculous, but everyone should first row behind home once in their lives.

Doug D- I sat behind home for the Cubs-Blue Jays game two years ago. Very cool. I might be mistaken but after this year, the only place the Cubs have not played will be Tampa.

I sat there as well. I was there on Friday in the front row then in the bleachers on Sunday.

Mulder resigns with the Deadbirds at 2/$13m + incentives.

I love "Andy Griffith."

floyd the barber must have been a part of the army's LSD tests in the 50's

Sad news, Bobby Murcer's brain tumor is malignant.

Floyd had a stroke in the middle of the series run. So he was always sitting down when he was on screen because he couldn't stand. The guys would go hunting and then walk up to Floyd sitting on a stump in the middle of the woods. The best setup was Floyd going to the courthouse. He sticks his head in the door and yell if anyone was there. Andy yells come on in. The camera pans from the door pass the cells to Andy coming out of the office follows Andy to his desk where Floyd is plopped down in a chair in front of the desk.

Welcome to "The Andy Griffith" Reporter so Mulder to Redbirds, yeah or nay? crap always seems to turn out well for them but seems as boneheaded as signing Marquis

"Mulder to Redbirds, yeah or nay?" how about "hahahhahaha" ? seriously...i'd rather have marquis...and that's not saying a whole lot.

awesome, John Thomson on picking the Blue Jays over the Mets "As far as just looking at Paul Lo Duca across the field, I'm not really into how he acts behind the plate," Thomson said on a conference call. "I know a bit about Gregg Zaun and I know he wants to win and he's not going to let anything get in his way to do that, and I like that."

I'm lovin' the John Thomson-Mets feud. I want foulmouthed-kiss-and-tell pitchers on the Cubs!

"Yeah I got that after I posted it….just ignore me. Most of you do anyway." I certainly don't.

That was supposed to say: [sucking up] I certainly don't [/sucking up] Sigh Wordpress.

in other news, USC song girl Bare-Ass gate has been debunked...

thank god Carlos, cause #72 sounded really gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). For the Bears fan, you'll love these And "The Sex Canon" is born (although I'm kind of partial to "Rextacy")

stupid smileys

#72 was AWESOME! I imagine Carlos staring dreamily at a framed picture of Rob while he said typed it. Then, after hitting "Post your comment" he tenderly touched Rob's cheek while Enrique Iglesias's "Hero" played in the background. It was a sweet moment. Let's not taint it.

the fact you know the title of an Enrique Iglesias song is a bit worrisome....

I can be your hero, baby...

Will you kiss away my tears?

Not only that, but I'll stand by you forever.

I like that song. I think it has the Guiness Book record for most meaningless cliches packed into a 3 minute song. It's hard to go to Karoke in Texas without hearing a heartfelt rendition at least once. And Rob G, I only ignore the parts where you bash Dusty, the greatest manager of all time. He and Lee Iaococa are writing a book, I hear.

I'm sorry, but I'm confused. I just logged on. Did someone just come out of the closet?

Tom Cruise?

Kevin Spacey?

R. Kelly? I heard he was trapped in one.

Anybody in the TCR league wanna trade? I'm bored.

Sure, I'll give you Scott Rolen and Jim Thome for Morneau and Miguel Cabrera? Great, I'll just put that through.... Other than those 2 and Utley (whom pretty much anyone is available on my team for), Bonderman is of some interest. Rolen, Thome, Wang, Schmidt or Beckett are on the table for discussions.

Bonderman's available. I like Thome. What do you think?

I'll think about it on my drive home....

Looking at tonight's posts, I think baseball season needs to start soon. I don't know what's worse, the crap that was posted or the fact that I read every line of it and enjoyed it. Manny -- if you are out there shoot me an e-mail, I have a season ticket selling/broker question for you. [email protected]

Holy shit, TCR had an irreverent moment? And I missed it? SDFGJSIO!!!!

Isn't permalink supposed to bring up the comments too? Who's running this joint? It's been nothing but trouble ever since the move. Sheesh.

AZ Phil-- Thanks for the clarification on Walker. I hadn't actually realized he batted righty. That's a tough one; there aren't many right-handed hitting outfielders with speed and no power. Those guys are supposed to be middle infielders, like Theriot. Apart from the 50 SBs, though, Walker also had 11 triples, so he was smacking the ball around somewhere. Both you and Rob presented versions of the Cub bench. Rob had Blanco, Theriot, Ward, Pagan, Floyd or Murton. You answered with Blanco, Pagan, Theriot, Ward, Kinkade or McGehee. Pagan is the problem with both of these lists. In Rob's list, assuming Murton is starting, Pagan is the number two righty pinch hitter. Pagan was under .200 from the right side last year. (As backup catcher, Blanco is not necessarily available to pinch hit.) On your list, Pagan is the number two lefty pinch hitter. With a lineup that's very right-handed, we need more lefty pop than that. I think Pagan is very much on the bubble.

Didn't see this mentioned anywhere yet. Bonds apparently failed an amphetamine test in 2006, though he blamed it on Mark Sweeney.

Eff'ing Liar..... no wonder the Giants want all of the drug clauses into his contract. It isn't just circumstantial evidence anymore, although I realize testing positive for amphetamines is different than testing positive for steroids. And if Bonds story is to be believed, wouldn't Sweeney have tested positive for amphetamine use also? I'm not sure about the scope of these tests... are entire rosters tested or just random players?

Poor Barry the greatest victim of circumstance. Flax Seed Balm Now McSweeney

Probably positive for ephedra. Whoopty doo.

Ryno — January 11, 2007 @ 8:52 am Probably positive for ephedra. Whoopty doo. --------------------------------- From the NY Daily News, who broke the story: "Sources did not identify the drug in question but characterized it as a serious stimulant."

Since Eyre has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, is he allowed to take adderall to treat his symptoms? Adderall is of course banned under MLB's amphetamines policy, so I wasn't sure how they handled that situation.

"characterized it as a serious stimulant" Serious??? Come, come now. Bonds put something dangerous in his body?

I'm not sure what drug Eyre takes, but I do recall that he (and presumably other players with ADD) have special permission to use those drugs.

It does amaze me how all this supposed confidential information has been constantly leaked to the media. Someone should be going to jail. Those tests were agreed upon purely with the fact that they results would never be released. I can't understand why MLB or the Player Union is not going crazy as to why this info, if true, was leaked. Oh yeah, the new TCR is still having problems with timing out. GO Internet!!!

Little Nate Lewis says: January 11th, 2007 at 9:09 am Since Eyre has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, is he allowed to take adderall to treat his symptoms? Adderall is of course banned under MLB’s amphetamines policy, so I wasn’t sure how they handled that situation. ================================ NATE: Several players (Scott Eyre, Noah Lowry, and Dustan Mohr for sure, maybe others) were diagnosed with Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a couple of years ago while they were playing for the Giants, and the players were prescribed Ritalin (which is an amphetamine) to help them control their AHDH. These players have a doctors note, and so when they test positive for amphetamines, it's not a violation. It's possible that Mark Sweeney is another AHDH patient/player (I don't know), but if he is, and if he takes Ritalin, he could have left a bottle of it in his locker, and that's how Barry Bonds got a hold of it. Or maybe Sweeney got Ritalin (amphetamines) from Lowry (with or without Lowry's knowledge). Or maybe Bonds got the medication out of Noah Lowry's locker and only thought it was Sweeney's. But if Sweeney is indeed an AHDH patient and if that's how come there were amphetamines in his locker, then when Barry says he "got (amphetamines) from Mark Sweeney," he would be correct, and if Mike Sweeney said he didn't give amphetamines to Bonds, he could also be telling the whole truth. If Bonds took Ritalin out of Sweeney's locker without Sweeney's permission, that would be a crime (theft), and possessing the drug (even if he didn't use it) would also be a crime, and if Bonds then used the drug, that would be another violation of the law. On the other hand, if Sweeney knowingly gave Ritalin (if that's the amphetamine involved) to Bonds, then both Sweeney and Bonds committed a crime and both could be prosecuted. In either case, a crime was committed, and Barry Bonds could be subject to prosecution no matter how he gained possession of the drug. The bottom line is, if an MLB player who is not an AHDH patient takes Ritalin, he's going to test positive for amphetamines, and without a doctor's note, it's going to be a violation of the "no amphetamines allowed" rule.

I can’t understand why MLB or the Player Union is not going crazy as to why this info, if true, was leaked. ---------------------------------------------------------------- I think MLB is just happy that Congress's foot isn't any farther up their ass than it was a couple of years ago when the panel of juicers made asses out of themselves. Watching Selig and Fehr wet themselves was fun for the whole family, though.

"Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from the locker of teammate Mark Sweeney." so he's a thief, too! lock him up for 3-5 years! stealing is bad! call the cops! about the leak..dont think the player's association has the resources to launch an internal investigation, and i dont think they'd want their fingerprints on something like this anyway. the current political climate has politicians pressuring judges to do their witchhunts on reporters and its not working...don't think the player's association or MLB wants to publicly dragging out an investigation into who's leaking their stuff that would result in a public thrashing of the source.

The MLBPA and the MLB also have an incentive to let these things slip from time to time because it gives the new drug testing program some legitimacy -- that is, it shows that they're really testing and catching people, and not just no-name minor leaguers.

Thanks for the clarification Phil. That seems to be one hell of a loophole. From what I understand, it is not all that difficult to fake symptoms and get diagnosed for ADHD, thereby getting the ability to have access to adderall or ritalin while other players wouldn't, at least not legally under MLB regulations.

speed abuse in baseball...that was something that should have been taken care of...oh...40 years ago. hell, its practically part of the culture.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are interested in signing either Steve Finley or Darin Erstad to play CF until Felix Pie is ready. Another possibility, according to Rosenthal is Bernie Williams.

What...they couldn't get Darren Lewis, Lance Johnson, or Damon Buford? Acquiring one of those 3 would be like attaching an anvil to your parachute....

Well in Bernie Williams case at least he just threw that name out there and even said the Cubs haven't talked about him. Just cough up Marmol for Church already and be done with it, he's far better than Erstad or Finley that's for sure and he'll make Angel Pagan go away if/when Pie is ready. Speaking of the Nats, rotoworld says Manny Acta wants Guzman to be their #2 hitter. I believe Acta is the one who said he reads the hardball times or baseball prospectus (can't remember which one though), he should read it a little closer.

I agree with vorare, I don't think it would be to much of a stretch to think MLB is leaking. Especially when they can't acctually look like they are actively trying to stop Bonds passing Aaron. I suggested Bernie Williams as a platton partner for JJ and/or to give Murton a rest every once in a while.

erstad as a CFr? how many foot/leg surgeries has he had now? didnt he just finish having another one?

30-Oct-06 Filed for free agency. 01-Sep-06 Missed 64 games (ankle injury). 23-Jun-06 Ankle injury, 15-day DL. 20-Jun-06 Ankle injury, day-to-day. 12-Jun-06 Missed 37 games (right ankle injury). 08-May-06 Right ankle injury, 15-day DL (retroactive to May 1st). 03-May-06 Right ankle injury, day-to-day. 09-Aug-05 Missed 3 games (hip injury). 06-Aug-05 Hip injury, day-to-day. ...that's as far back as it goes...

no one even knows if his ankle is healed yet, Angels want him back on a minor league deal like they did with Salmon last year. Scioscia loves the guy, crazy intensity, plays to win, blah, blah, blah. Can't hit.... Good glove though, but who knows what the leg injuries have done to him by now.

Bet you can't guess which MLB ballpark is ESPN's favorite-

speaking of drug testing, they had some "expert" doctor on XM this morning and they asked him about HGH testing. He says they have a very good blood test they used in Athens and Torino but MLB doesn't like it and it's not reliable (even though everyone else in the medical community and the world doesn't seem to have a problem with it). He also said though that MLB (or MLBPA) are completely against blood tests. This doctor also said a urine test for HGH will never happen.

nothing says classic park like rats in the OF walls and one of the most expensive tickets in baseball. the overpriced concessions are great, too. i guess the important thing is ESPN didnt have to send a reporter too far. ESPN...covering all things from boston to new york...and barry bonds. 2 teams, 1 man, 1 sport.

but those rats really know a lot about baseball

mark grace's first trip to boston (with arz) and his visit behind the green monster was funny. a few papers/outlets wrote up pieces on it, but there was one that pretty in depth with the reporter writing the story getting a lot of material from grace, himself.

Jacos: "I agree with vorare, I don’t think it would be to much of a stretch to think MLB is leaking. Especially when they can’t acctually look like they are actively trying to stop Bonds passing Aaron." If that is the case, the players should say they will not agree to any testing anymore. This leaking crap is not acceptable and I hope the players make a statement and say they are not going to put up for this crap. I don't care if it is Bonds that is getting leaked against.

"If that is the case, the players should say they will not agree to any testing anymore." Great Idea! It goes into one of those issues where when you want to make your living as a public persona, you sacrifice certain rights of privacy. If Barry Bonds wants to pop pills and shoot up with hormones and horse drugs and not have anyone notice or care, he should have been a bugger flipper.

The Real Neal: "It goes into one of those issues where when you want to make your living as a public persona, you sacrifice certain rights of privacy." So MLB can break a contract or deal? Just because the players are public figures? Bullshit... The players would have every right to back out of the deal they made with MLB because MLB could not keep their end of the deal. Another EMBARRASSING misstep by Selig.

Yeah, they should back out of the deal, and risk turning the league into the WWF, a characture of a sport. Again, a great idea. The PA doesn't have any negotiating power when it comes to drug testing, Manny. No matter how much righteous indignation you can muster.

Real Neal: "The PA doesn’t have any negotiating power when it comes to drug testing, Manny." More BULLSHIT.... There wasn't testing for awhile because the players wouldn't allow it in the collective bargaining agreement. But yet, somehow they don't have negotiating power? Wake up man... I don't know why you are being over dramatic here, but go ahead. The fact remains MLB and the players had a deal, MLB broke it. So why should the players stick with their end of the deal? If MLB can keep up with their end of the deal, then the players should stick with the testing procedures, but that did not happen. I would totally support the players backing out of testing or sending some other kind of message to the owners for MLB breaking a contract. Fire Selig!!!

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  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Dillon Maples does not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 9 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if he is not added back to the 40 in the meantime. 


  • crunch 11 hours 10 min ago (view)

    p.wisdom is the new cubs all-time rookie HR leader.


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 27 min ago (view)

    The Cubs will very likely be splitting the AZIL position players into two 14-man squads (like they did last year), with each squad playng in every other-game, and with the other squad having a Camp Day instructional work-out on a back-field when that squad is not playing in a game. There will also be five combined Camp Days during the course of the four weeks for all players from both squads.  


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 49 min ago (view)

    DJL: No. Signing a 2022 minor league successor contract would only matter with regard to a player in the Arizona Fall League, because the AFL schedule goes past the date when minor leaguers are declared free-agents. 

    AZ Instructs ends on October 16th, which is about two or three weeks before minor league free-agency, so the three guys at Cubs Instructs who are eligible to be free-agehts after the World Series (Dakota Chalmers. Nicholas Padilla, and Eury Ramos) do not need to sign successor contracts in order to play in AZIL games. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Sorry to hear about your dad, Charlie. I lost my father almost 2 years ago now, some of my fondest childhood memories are going to Wrigley with him.

    All the best wishes to you, sir.


  • First.Pitch.120 15 hours 7 min ago (view)

    If you had Bote in the '11-'12- '13 Cubs draft dead pool, then you are a winner!


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 40 min ago (view)

    Dakota Chalmers... interesting. He's scheduled to be a MILB FA, correct? Would this be a good sign he has signed a successor deal?


  • Cubster 16 hours 15 min ago (view)

    Maples dfa. Double Martini too.  Hoerner and Thompson back and Keegan to start today. Hoerner bats 5th.


  • crunch 16 hours 24 min ago (view)

    it's never a good time to be in the hospital, but things are extra complicated right now.

    hope everything goes well for everyone.

    go cubs


  • Charlie 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Listening to this in a hospital room because we are blacked out on I don't know which surprises me more, that the Cubs haven't beaten the Brewers since April or that the Cubs beat the Brewers in April.


  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    m.rodriguez to 10d IL, a.morgan returns.


  • Jackstraw 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    I like that the team was absolutely committed to not losing back-to-back games on a walk-off passed ball.


  • Eric S 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    And the funny thing is Rucker was the only Cubs pitcher tonight to post 0 runs allowed in the box score. You know things are really out of hand when Ross gives the okay for a Maples appearance.


  • George Altman 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil,

    Is there a reason Preciado hasn't been in an ACL game in about a month?


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    i'd like the 2021 version of whatever d.ross is smoking bringing m.rucker into a bases loaded, 2 run lead in the 4th situation.

    dude saw the situation and said "gimmie that guy with the 8.44era 1.59whip" as the first pen option to protect a lead.

    rucker has been in 13 games and given up runs in 8 of them.


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    hendricks last 7 starts...

    9er, 1er, 4er, 8er, 6er, 1er, 7er

    3.68era - 1.29whip 4.81era - 1.35whip