Friday Funnies: What Theo Epstein and Ryan Dempster's secret trade chat might be.

Click to watch gif.

The other day in comments here, Jacos put up  and asked for some captions.
Looks like the Uecker Seats doesn't it?
Thanks for the laugh and inspiration, Jacos ( and whoever took that photo).
If you're old enough, you'll know the "He missed the tag!" line comes from a really funny Miller Lite spot starring Bob Uecker which unfortunately I couldn't find in it's entirety on you tube.
Anyway, this trade talk.
Ryan Dempster.
Pretty sure this has occured to everyone, but I'm kinda slow: what if today is Dempster's last start as a Cub, or in Wrigley?
Do I want to see him go?
For his own good, the Cubs good, and for your's and mine.
But still, pretty sad.
Really rare combo of talent and good guy, Dempster. 
And if I can figure out how to get to Wrigley today, I'll be there.


"Great seats, ay buddy?" Glad to be a muse. And I will Dempster too, class guy and good pitcher. I have a feeling we will be seeing him again after this year.

Happy 74th Birthday to sweet swinging Billy Williams, HOF lineup in (same as yesterday with Demp pitching): Campana, Castro, DeJesus, Soriano, LaHair, Clevenger, Barney, Valbuena, Dempster

No doubt this lineup has the Red Sawx shaking in their cleats, CUBSTER.

Well done as always Tim.


Cubs considering going to 3 catchers when Soto returns. Opens options to pinch hit Clevenger and use him at 1B at times. cause I guess LaHair was already getting too many at-bats.

Clevenger at 1B is exactly what this team needs to reach 100 losses. At least it isn't Koyie Hill at 1B. Dempster/LaHair package may actually net a decent prospect or two, although I'm sure there looking for a bigger name at 1b. Maybe Morneau... Mark Grace calls Jason Kubel's shot.

about the worst jump I've seen Campana have, but still steals a bag. Salty throws it right into the ground.

Campana padding his SB totals with a stolen base of 3rd with 2 outs in which Youkilis didn't even cover.

Theo/Jed got the message across to make Dice-K throw strikes. 3 BB's in the first.

then Clevenger swings at the first pitch...sigh. Worked out though, bloop to left and 2-0 lead. LaHair almost costs a run going to 3b though as Soriano hadn't scored yet.

Or Soriano almost costs the team a run by jogging and watching the play back over his shoulder?? Jesus, run!

I was giving him a bit of a pass because of the knee, but yeah, probably loafed a bit on it.

Dempster showing he's Al East worthy so far. Also that he should be hitting every day. 2/2 with an Adrian Gonzalez aided triple.

2 bad hop errors for Castro and Barney so far.

will you pick a closer already Sveum...

#Cubs‬, supp 1st-rder Paul Blackburn agree on $911,700 (full value). Calif HS RHP, clean delivery, 90-94 FB, potential 3 + pitches.

cubs locking up signable HS'rs is nice. the dust won't settle for a while, but it'll be interesting to see how this draft format affects HS signings.

No Valbuena love from you guys?? Geez. Tough crowd. Killer play at 3B today. Web-gem. There is no fucking reason this kid should not get every chance to fail this year.

he should get at least 2+ weeks to fail unless FREE JOE MATHER takes some starts from him...or they can figure out how to have play 3rd and pitch at the same time.

eric byrnes is the most annoying person on television...especially since gilbert godfried isn't on TV anymore...or fran dresher... he's got the worst skills for working with others on the mic, he don't know how to set up his co-hosts in ANY format, he loses cues when he's being set up, and his rambling hyperactive stories are usually self-serving leaving his co-hosts to do little but pick on him...which he usually replies with getting internally frustrated and being even worse on the mic til he gets it out of his system. /1st world problems

Just wait until Nick Swisher retires.........I don't even like to watch him talk in the dugout when I can't hear what he is saying.

ugg...yeah...the east-coast clone of byrnes with a touch more spaz.

Beckett will miss Sunday start, lefty Franklin Morales instead. Jeff Baker time!!! Max Fried signs with Padres for $3M. Should set the bar for Almora, although Boras will certainly wait until the last minute.

lulz... a reporter asked b.harper (underage and mormon) if he planned on taking advantage of Canada's lower drinking law age...he replied with "that's a clown question, bro." (which is not only a great answer, it's the right one given this climate of media everywhere and alcohol/baseball not having a good 2012 so far with the BOS reports). anyway, a denver brewing company is now making a beer called Clown Question, Bro.

he's mormon

old news, but here's the video if anyone hasn't seen it. It's funnier to read than to actually see it. if you want a good laugh that involves Bryce Harper, read this horseshit.

some of the comments picking apart the article are even better. "This is a clown article, bro." "So hears the funny thing. The Nationals picked Harper first overall because they had the worst record in baseball. They didn't earn that pick through hard work, in fact they worked the least and were rewarded for it. That sounds like income redistribution to me. Bryce Harper is a socialist hero." "Just because you CAN type words doesn't mean you should." "I remember when Kirby Puckett used to run out ground balls back in the 80s and 90s. And I remember when Derek Jeter used to run out ground balls back in the 90s and 00s. It's almost as if there have always been some players who ran hard, and some players who dogged it. Almost as if baseball players are individuals." blah, blah, blah, don't bring up politics on TCR, I know...yadda, yadda, yadda. It's the hackneyed analogy regardless of what side of the fence that I found particularly entertaining/appalling.

Wrongway says Dempster would not be surprised if he's traded before his next start. Top suitors? Yankees Orioles Dodgers Tigers Red Sox Blue Jays Cleveland Atlanta


Blue Jays lose another starter tonight, something like 3 in 4 games (Hutchison, Drabek, Morrow). Probably not gonna be looking to add at this point. (GM Jon Daniels)..."But the save definitely impacts how the game is managed."... Most managers vigorously deny this, but they're either lying or kidding themselves. They all use their closers depending strictly on whether it is or is not a save situation. Managers do so because they are trapped by the save rule. To manage otherwise puts their jobs at risk by upsetting the closer, the closer's agent, the closer's wife and those people most easily irritated -- the media. Still, none of this would be a big deal except for one thing: The whole one-inning save strategy doesn't work. For example, it doesn't prolong the careers of relievers. ~snip~ And most importantly, it doesn't help teams win more often. ~snip~ ....the success rate for a team protecting a ninth-inning lead hasn't changed a bit over time, regardless of relief strategy. "It has never changed. Ever," Smith says. "If you lead by three runs going into the ninth inning, you're probably going to win. It's a pretty safe bet."

unless the guy hasn't worked in a while...i -hate- it when a guy is brought in to get a save in situations where a guy(s) on base make the situation a save. when you're up by 4 runs and you bring in your best arm to protect that lead just because there's men on base giving a save op...maaaan...

Rashad Crawford's uncle signed up for an account on TCR, says he's signed.

@thekapman I spoke w/ 2 scouts who were at today's Cubs/Red Sox game + both told me that Yankees are much more interested in Matt Garza than Dempster. They question Dempster's effectiveness in the AL East and point to Garza's track record pitching in Tampa. They also feel price to acquire Garza will be extremely high as opposed to cost of landing Dempster which could make Demp easier to move.

ra dickey appeal denied, fwiw.

Cubs collect 4 hits and commit 3 errors, but win this game somehow. Amazing. Nice work, Dempster. Need to see Dempster, Garza, Marmol, Soto, and LaHair all getting hot from now through the trade deadline.

And Soriano to get ridiculously hot.

Hooray for spray charts- Phil Rogers tweet What made Ryan Dempster so effective against the Red Sox? "A lot of balls were hit at people,'' Bobby Valentine said. "Some guys weren't picking up the spin very well.'' Said Dustin Pedroia: "He was throwing everything -- his changeup, his cutter, his fastball. He did a good job.'' Pedroia couldn't say the same thing for his teammates. "We hit some balls good, we just hit 'em right at 'em. It's frustrating. We're not trying to be (bad). Everybody's trying. We're just not playing good. We scored zero runs. You can't win a game when you score zero runs.'' not so flattering things about Rizzo off the field. Hopefully a misunderstanding or small sample size.

if he hits like he does in minors in MLB he can do whatever the hell he wants

he can do whatever the hell he wants agree to disagree....

Half joking

Who does he think he is, Baez?


forward him this: yeah, he's probably "one of those types" that doesn't like to sign. there were some guys in the 80s/90s who were epic hard signs, but some people pointed to them being under contract to companies that charge for autos. some guys just don't like to "live baseball" 24/7 and want to get on with the rest of their lives outside the game.

maybe he just doesn't like Iowa as there's a comment even on that video that he didn't sign for someone down there.

some guys hate signing...especially after seeing their stuff end up on ebay or having an adult send 2-3 kids down to get sigs only to have them bring the haul up to a single adult who's going to resell the stuff. some guys hate all the non-field baseball stuff. yeah, they need to get over it cuz that's why they get their pay. if they were really f'n good at lacrosse and wanted to go pro they're not going to have to worry about autograph hounds...or being millionaires after 3 years of minimum wage if they're not already via a signing bonus.

If he smacks the shit out of the ball I don't care what he does off the field, as long as he doesn't go all Sandusky on us.

Campana is +27 as the leagues top baserunner (#2 is E. Bonifacio at +21) according to John DeWan
(Campana and Bonifacio) have advanced first-to-third on a single in 50 percent of opportunities (compared to the league average of 29 percent), and both have advanced from second to home on at least 80 percent of singles (league average is 60 percent).

I believe the only Cub draftee in the CWS is 26th round pick, RHP Jasvir Rakkar of Stony Brook. Stony Brook losing badly to UCLA in the first game at the moment 8-1 in the 6th. Rakkar came in to relieve and has gone 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.

J. Rakkar finished with 4 1/3 IP, 4 hits, 1ER, 2BB and 4K. I watched an inning in the middle of his appearance. He's got a high 80's (touched 90) with a bit of two seam movement. I saw an 81mph pitch that looked like a change-up, but really acted more like a slow 2-seam sinker. I didn't see a breaking ball. Decent size, fairly easy delivery. He'll make it to at least AA.

dumpster may play a few more games for the cubs, but as of now... 87 saves in 4 mixed bag seasons for the cubs, but he really shined once they returned him to his starter role (a year too late, imo, but whatever)... 143 gs 55-44 w/l 898.1 ip 3.69 era 1.30 whip he put in 31-34 starts a season all 4 years and he could make it a 5th 30+ season, though he missed a couple of weeks earlier this season.

Jim Hendry. The Good Years.

Give Hendry credit, rescuing Dempster from the dumpster (hehe) was one of his best moves as Cubs' GM. I'm really starting to regret a bit how much I dissed Hendry's work with the Cubs. He deserves blame for more than a couple moves no doubt, but Dempster? Lilly? Lee? Ramirez? DeRosa? Those aren't clown moves, bro.

Ya but its all erased by signing Dusty Baker, Neifi Perez and Glendon Rusch to multi-year deals (seriously you dimwit tard?), giving Jason Marquis a raise after coming off his shitty 6.02 ERA from the Cardinals, John Grabow who was a mediocre pitcher at best with the Pirates . But let me get to the 2 moves that made him a clown GM. He got swindled by Milton Bradley, and he signed Greg Maddux when all his team ever wanted was some offense. It was nothing more than a giant "screw you Chicago". It was looking at the shiny new toy Maddux and welcoming him back while he shits in his other hand and hobbles a team with no offense. It was a shell game to make you forget he failed at his job so he distracts you with Greg Maddux. And to throw some more trash on the burning legacy of Hendry, if he wanted you gone he would do everything in his power to trash you in the media and burn any lasting trade value you could get out of a player. The dude was a serious clown as a GM, ooooohhhhh and his draft strategy was god awful. From 1995 through 2011 he was the main guy selecting talent for this team. Even when he had top picks they bombed. And he constantly drafted players who looked good as baseball players but actually couldn't play baseball. I guess we called these Hendry's Toolsy players jack of all trades master of none. Actually Hendry's draft ability was akin to throwing darts at a dart board blind folded. When he left the farm system was a barren train wreck. That was probably his greatest crime to this organization, being billed as a guy who could find talent. You had a better chance of stabbing yourself in the heart than for Hendry to find useable talent for his roster.

What are you fucking talking about MIKE C! What about Jacque Jones? You forgetting about his offense? Or his RF defense? Seriously though - 2007-2008 truly were the sweet spots. In 2008, how many of us thought Dumpster would walk the entire North Side, and James Loney would hit a GS in the opening Playoff game? I am not defending Hendry cause he sold us down the river in 2009, but the "stars" of the team for the most part shit their pants at the worst possible time.

I was gonna mention Jacque Jones, but i thought i had enough negative items lol. Dont forget about Burnitz, and Cliff Floyd. Another point about the Milton Bradley signing......Hendry talked all this smack about Sosa like he was raping little children in the locker room and then years later brings in a guy who was a legit clubhouse cancer/psycho and pours money down his throat. If you got standards and morals of player conduct on who you go after and don't go after at least have the spine to follow them. Hendry did not.

Good point on the Sosa bashing/signing Bradley MikeC Eh I never minded the Burnitz signing...for a 1 year stopgap guy anyway. Well...compared to some anyway.

He was pretty good at finding pitching talent early on. In fact, he got off to a pretty decent start, with Ramirez, Dempster, Lee. Things went downhill fast. Faster, really, than I knew at the time. When he gambled and lost on Soriano, that finished him off. And he never was good at finding position talent. The system is really showing that now at the upper levels. And the journeymen he kept signing drove me nuts. I just hope that as the goes on and Theocorp continues to blow up the team, they get rid of dead wood like Mather, Baker and Reed Johnson. I have nothing against any of those guys. They'd all be a good bench addition on a contender with an open spot. But they are useless here. I'd rather see some kid play, even if he isn't a prospect. I'd rather see the team cycle through some minor leaguers and see if there is a guy who has paid his dues unspectacularly and who somehow, getting a chance at "the show" kicks some ass. I'm not at all interested in watching Jeff Baker hit. Or Mather. Or any other journeyman. Blow this team up. Fill it with minor leaguers. The record won't be that much different.

That's what I was saying above. Play Valbuena often and a lot!

I can't put Soriano on Hendry......that was a decision made above Hendry's pay grade. The Cubs needed to increased the sale price of the franchise and to do that you add the best talent available and we did that in Soriano. The sad part of signing Soriano is that it had nothing to do with winning baseball games it was a business decision, plain and simple. It is also sad that he is the biggest free agent signing we did in the last 20+ years and it still wasn't made on the basis of winning games. And for the last 20+ years the Cubs have been run as a business first and a baseball team 2nd. Knowing that i welcomed the Soriano got to take your shots and you cant be scared to do it again in the future.

Unfortunately that way of doing business continues. We have ownership that is more concerned about the Wrigley beer garden than about paying the price to compete.

If the Cubs are gonna trade i am looking towards Boston. That OF is gonna get crazy crowded soon. Daniel Nava is hitting like a god, they got Ryan Kalish returning from shoulder surgery, Cody Ross could return soon and then there is Ellsbury and Crawford looming. Ohh please oh please if we could snag Kalish for Dempster or something that would be awesome.

A's release manny ramirez (upon his request). i wonder how much has to do with baseball and how much has to do with his hair (extensions). ;p also,

If you can believe Gammons, the Cubs didn't overbid on Soler, in terms of $$. He says Braves were at $30M too.

j.moyer made his 2nd start in AAA (BAL) 7ip 7h 2er 0bb 7k overall... 12ip 8h 2er 0bb 12k

Automatic "no trade" rights held by post-2011 Article XX-B MLB free-agents David DeJesus, Reed Johnson, and Paul Maholm have expired, and so all three can now be traded without restriction. Any Article XX-B MLB FA who signed a major league contract after the five-day "quiet period" that followed the conclusion of the 2011 World Series (including players who re-signed with their 2011 team) received automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th. The player could waive the right, but if he did, he could only be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000.

Just got back from my Chicago trip (went to wrigley for the wednesday and thursday games) and I have a few not-so-surprising impressions- impressions that perhaps don't necessarily require a trip to Chicago to observe: 1. The Tiger fans-to-Cub fans ratio was ridiculous. They were even chanting Let's Go Tigers on the train ride up to Wrigley on the L. 2. Despite watching the Cubs lose two days in a row, the games were surprisingly entertaining. The Cubs played decent defense (Castro played nice defense those two days) and stayed in the game until the final innings. 3. The team is over-matched against real big league teams in nearly every aspect. It has the feel of a team that is passing off AA & AAA guys as big leaguers- especially in the pitching department.

Crane Kenney strikes again, ASU spring training deal nearing breaking point-

if you say his name 2 more times, crunch will show up.


want to hear my opinion of ian stewart? ...i bet you do.

no wonder we keep losing against lefty's: tonight... Johnson, Barney, Castro, Soriano, Baker, Mather, Castillo, Valbuena, Sam-J and a Welington sighting!

I want to see more Baker...Jeff, Dusty and Ginger.

from Roto...
The Red Sox will recall Clayton Mortensen from Triple-A Pawtucket. He'll replace Josh Beckett (shoulder) on the active roster. Mortensen earned the promotion by posting a 2.39 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 15 appearances with Pawtucket. He'll return to a middle relief role with the Red Sox.
Dang, I was hoping to see a #22 sighting in the Bosox bullpen tonight.

g.concepcion goes tonight trying to improve on: 42ip 59h 26bb 23k 7.50era 2.02whip

rain delay in Peoria in the 4th. 4ip 6h 2bb 4k 4er ...and his 5th balk of the season. ...and suspended game.

not like it'd hurt much, but i.stewart might be gone a while...via cm's twitter: "Ian Stewart will see a hand specialist at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday for an examination of his left wrist." also, wtf does c.lee have to do to get a win this year? 77.2ip and counting. also also, wtf Fox Saturday baseball showing the BAL/ATL game. the one night they're not cramming BOS/NYY/NYM at me and they pick tonight. neat. least it's a decent game so far.

Blackouts really really annoy me. For someone who doesn't have cable, all of my baseball comes from MLB.TV. On a personal level, they don't lose or gain anything from blacking me out. Living in Seattle, I'd actually watch a lot of Mariners games, but have seen none this year just because of blackout. So they're actually losing a fanbase. Why can't they have a FOX broadcast on MLB.TV...hell, even include the advertising if they like? I had to leave the Chicago area just see Chicago games - that is ridiculous.

i'm BAL+WAS blackout area...though I live in central NC. I get about 30-50 BAL games a year and I don't receive a station that has WAS games. It's extra-blah paying a couple hundred bucks for MLB EI. I'd like to see some of this WAS youth. if i lived about 45 minutes further south i'd be in ATL's area and i get TBS + Turner South + FS South here...which covers a lot of their games.

Live in Austin, TX. Both Astros and Rangers games are blacked out. Both are 3 hour drives.

People in Hawaii have it the worst - all 5 California teams plus the Mariners. Blackouts suck.

This is the worst blimp crash ever.

People in Hawaii have it the worst...
Not to split hairs, but no- I disagree.


that's harsh...very harsh. most west coast games are the only access non-retired people have to baseball in HI...and those "late games" take place around 4-5pm HI time. i remember waking up the last 2 spring trainings and listening to games from AZ/FL at 9-10am from HI. that was surreal enough. Does anybody here remember the old SNL skit with John Belushi, The Thing That Wouldn't Leave?


- L. Valbuena homered to deep left center, J. Baker and W. Castillo scored FREE VALBUENA!

That's what I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!

Our manager is such statistics/probability guy, how long will it take him to realize the line up he puts in against lefties sucks.

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  • crunch 8 hours 3 min ago (view)

    don't worry, i'm sure even though he was spared from cuts there's some hardship he's being tortured with that he has to unfairly overcome.  #coreystrong #onthecross #yolo #swag #kony2012


  • crunch 8 hours 4 min ago (view)

    there's no way a system like that or something similar to that would work.

    "oh hi." - green bay packers

    *shoves out of way*

    like i said, there's no way that would work.


  • Hagsag 11 hours 27 sec ago (view)

    Corey Black still has a job.


  • Charlie 11 hours 8 min ago (view)

    I am ready for MLB owners to give it a f***ing rest. I don't have any outrage to spare on them.

    If they can't afford this crisis, maybe they can surrender franchise rights to the players, grounds crew, concession employees, etc., and MLB teams can be employee owned.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Couldn't have said it better myself, unfortunately.


  • JustSayin' 23 hours 49 min ago (view)

    These players weren't cut/released; laid off is more like it. Fifty-two minor leaguers let go before any real games played, in two waves. The draft will be five rounds this year, not forty.  This is industrial downsizing, anticipating no traditional season this year and capitulation to MLB demands for a much smaller minor league system in 2021.  Next year or 2022 could also see a labor stoppage in the big leagues, over what promises to be a very tough CBA negotiation.  The game will not be what it used to be after this.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    i don't blame the ownership/font office for doing what they did with bryant.  it was just kinda bad timing that bryant was the client that boras was finally "i'm sick of this" over.  the cubs were warned that boras was going to make a stand and it dragged on so long there has to be some kind of toll on the boras/cubs relationship.


  • bigsky33 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Hi Phil, yes, hoping for an extended AZ Fall League.  Do you think there will be more cuts?  De La Cruz was the only big sureprise to me. I thought he had some upside. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    It'll be more over when Kris leaves. Or whenever the same thing happens to another of his clients.

    He isn't wrong though...


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Presuming there is no traditional minor league season in 2020, expect an expanded Arizona Fall League (with potentially a new "Florida Fall League" as well) for the best prospects and expanded post-season instructs for other minor leaguers (all TBA). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    My understanding is that the other two Cubs minor leaguers who are to be released are the two post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agents who signed 2020 minor league contracts, Brandon Morrow and Jason Kipnis. The Cubs will then supposedly re-sign them to new minor league contracts without the $100K retention bonus and 6/1 opt-out. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Agreed. Not counting the "4-A" guys, Oscar de la Cruz is the one legit MLB prospect on the list.  


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view) la cruz had some decent looking spring outings (though late inning spring work isn't exactly challenging).  the years of injuries insanely slowed his progression.  totally wouldn't mind seeing him return in 2021 if the team would still be on his radar after getting cut at a time like this.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    that whole "kris bryant thing" is over...but it's never going to be over as long as this ownership group and boras is around.

    boras could have focused this on 29 other teams, especially the more vocal ones because the cubs have been mostly silent.  the cubs aren't the only team out there paying off "creatively financed" loans, either.

    he chose the cubs.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Not looking forward to seeing that list. Hate to see it when a guy you've invested any sort of energy in is given up on.


  • Cubster 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Chi Tribune today. Boras picks, and focused on the Ricketts. 

    Headline writer, fun job: Agent won’t let Cubs get away Scott-free Matt York/AP and Paul Sullivan.

    Boras told his players “the game can not be played without you” and asked them to share the concept with teammates and opposing players when “MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries” during negotiations.