Mid-week funnies: if the Cubs were on South Park

If you're a "South Park" fan, hopefully you get a laugh here.
Yeah, the collective dislike and bashing of Cub Suit Crane Kenney is pretty old news, but this cartoon just popped in my head.
Of course, it would be awesome if this gif had an accompanying story about Kenney actually being dismissed or moving on, but that didn't happen.

What's really going on?

Why, the Cubs will interview Mike Maddux for their manager job.
Lets see what happens...


"I heard he's a big teddy bear. I might just pick him up and burp him." - mike maddux on Z ...mother of god... seriously, though...i think m.maddux being the next cubs manager is/was as transparent and theo being the next GM...i just hope TEX lets him move without compensation (which they should for an upward moving job like manager).

on the FA pitcher front... "Jon Heyman of SI.com writes that if Hiroki Kuroda pitches in the United States next season, it will be with the Dodgers."

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/11/09/119-madd... Maddux said he discussed the possibility of his brother joining him on the coaching staff if Mike did get the Cubs job. But that’s a family matter that will be discussed later. ~snip~ “What would I look for in a pitching coach?” Maddux said. “Somebody who could put up with my second guessing.” dude sure nailed the media portion of the interview

"Nailed it" is right. I'm on board. Apart from his resume, I love the fact that he's a little Cub-struck, like Theo--see, there's a reason besides accident of birthplace why we're all nuts about the Cubs. And the way he blew off the Red Sox just fit my mood perfectly.

Muskat blogs on the post interview press conference with Mike Maddux. http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/11/09/119-madd...

Sandy Alomar on deck. Heaven forbid that the Redbirds hire Ryne Sandberg as their next manager.

http://tampabay.sbnation.com/florida-marlins/... Marlins rumor is they may only offer a 3-year deal to Reyes, but at around $20M per year...not a terrible strategy.

It's what the Dodgers did with Furcal to bribe him away from his best buddy, Neifi Perez and the Cubs. Dodgers lost a little bit on that bet, if you go by Fangraphs player values. Fangraphs has an article about a similar grain of thought on Reyes, though the conclusion, that he's likely to get a six year contract at age 31 is probably nicely described as "hemp helped." http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/jose...

It's a worse offer (for the team) than 5 years at 12 per, because it limits the team's upside. If it lives up to it, then they don't get to retain his services for as long of a period. Unless Reyes really wants all his money up front for some reason, I don't know why a team would do it that way.

It's a worse offer (for the team) than 5 years at 12 per if Reyes was willing to take 5/60, there would be 20 teams after him right now... I don't know why a team would do it that way. because the next 3 years are going to be his best years and that's all the Marlins want him for...

You really think this guy's gonna get $20M a year? If so, it almost necessarily needs to be a 3-year deal because everyone alive knows he's not getting a Prince contract. You run the Marlins, and you call the agent and say we're give you 20 a year for 3 years. To get a better deal, all Agent has to do is call Teams X, Y, and Z, and say, "I've got an offer for 60. Will you give me 70 over 5 or 6 years?" And when one of them says yes for 6/70, Agent calls you back and says, "Team Y is giving $70M, can you match that?" Now you'd have to go to $23-24M a year, which you probably don't do no matter how shiny your new stadium is. That's why, in practice, teams can't lock in studs for just a few prime years.

he's gonna get near 20m, easy...i think the question is whether it will be for 5 years or 5+ years... imo, i wouldn't touch that kind of contract unless a team REALLY needed a SS and there was nothing in the pipeline for years...that's slugger money.

It could happen, but general consensus is he'll get less than $20 million a year. If the Marlins were sure that the starting asking price was $100 million for five years, they would have known that he'd reject their offer. The assumption here, is that they're paying a premium over what he'd get for a six year deal.

i wouldn't be shocked to see him make less than 20m a year...but i would be shocked to see him make less than 18m a year.

That's nuts. I guess I'm just mis-reading the market, but in 2016 it'll be his age-33 season. The guy's game is based on speed, and he has a huge DL rap sheet. Prior to this past season his best OBP is .358. Obviously we're talking about a quality major-leauger, but you're saying he definitely gets a franchise-altering contract. Someone's gonna get the bad buyer's remorse on that one.

I think it was Heyman who tweeted today that a GM (I think) said that 5/100 was the ballpark for Reyes. Found it: SI_JonHeyman Jon Heyman one gm on the fair price for ultra-talented, oft-injured reyes: $100 mil for 5 yrs. (sounds about right to me, too)

probably Frank Wren trying to drive up the price on the Mets, Marlins and Phillies :) with his injury history, if you're going 5 guaranteed or more years, I doubt it comes at anything over $17 - $18M average, but it just takes one idiot...

apparently you haven't noticed, but a lot of these guys (Sabathia for example and there are many others) negotiate an opt out after 3 years, so they can cash in on a 2nd big deal or re-up for an extra year or two. Reyes MAY be very willing to give up a few guaranteed dollars for the higher average salary now, in the hope that he can cash in on another 3-year deal in the 15-20 (also consider baseball inflation) in three years. 3/60 now and 3/50 (or more) later is better than 5/85 although there's certainly risk on his part doing it that way if he takes 5/70 now, he won't have that opportunity to cash in again....

Forget TCR Free Agent Frenzy, we should be guessing contracts instead. =) My final-for-now prediction on Reyes: 5/80, no opt-out, possible PA-based option for a sixth year.

Gonna be way over on that, either on average or total value. Owners/GM's go nuts when labor agreements get signed.

"Nuts" indeed. Side note: I wonder how much Pujols could get on the 3-year contract? 120?

high end has pujols "base" at 30m, but it'll probably be 26-30m...and probably only 26 for STL if they want to give him mega-years and pujols is feeling nice...fielder's been rumored around the 25m mark...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball... not sure about this quote... When people talk about more talent -- (like) 'They have more talent than we do,' it doesn't matter," he said. "Because you're talking about the most talented guys in the world. The guys that play for the Cubs, the guys that play for the Phillies, the Brewers, the Padres, they're the best players in the world, the best talents. "So the talent is there -- it comes down to the best makeup guys."

Translation: If I get to be manager, you losers better fucking win.

"I despised the song, 'Go, Cubs, Go.'" --What more could you ask for in a manager?!

for those who like context, he was speaking about hating to lose to the Cubs and hearing the song.
"“When I was with the opposition, I did everything I could to keep the Cubs from winning,” he said. “I’ve never been here and analyzed it. I never played for the Cubs, always played against them. I’ve always admired everything – and I despise the song ‘Go Cubs Go’ after they kick our butts. I’ve always admired this town. It’s a unique, very unique set-up, very historic. Whoever becomes the manager of this ballclub is in a good spot."

Muskat tweets... Josh Vitters (DH) went 3-for-4, including solo HR, to help Mesa beat Salt River, 8-4, in AZ Fall League Cashner pitched an inning, No runs/hits, 2 K's, 12 pitches, 10 strikes (and he got the win). Beliveau and Carpenter also had scoreless innings.

New Re: Mid-week funnies: if the Cubs were on South Park Muskat tweets... Josh Vitters (DH) went 3-for-4, including solo HR, to help Mesa beat Salt River, 8-4, in AZ Fall League Cashner pitched an inning, No runs/hits, 2 K's, 12 pitches, 10 strikes (and he got the win). Beliveau and Carpenter also had scoreless innings. =========================================== CUBSTER: Josh Vitters HR was a high fly right down the LF line, and he also hit another ball out of the park (almost an exact duplicate of the dinger) in his previous AB that hooked foul at the last second. Andrew Cashner was overpowering, although it might have been because he was pissed-off that the home plate umpire made him change his two-tone glove for a solid-color one after he finished throwing his warm-up pitches.

Baseball Prospectus, John Perotto puts odds on Cubs (and other teams) managerial hopefuls: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...
Pete Mackanin (8-5)—Epstein has said he does not want to recreate The Boston Show with the Cubs, and that might bode well for Mackanin as an older candidate... Mackanin is a Chicago guy. It can't be understated how important knowing the history and culture is to the manager... Dale Sveum (5-2)—His familiarity with the National League Central has to be a bonus. Mike Maddux (7-2)—Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer are two very intelligent men, and they will be blown away by Maddux's intelligence. He is unquestionably one of the game's best pitching coaches, and Bud Black and John Farrell have removed the stigma in recent seasons that pitching coaches can't make good managers. It also doesn't hurt that Maddux's brother, Greg, was one of the greatest pitchers in Cubs' history. One of Maddux's drawbacks is that he eschews the spotlight, since he would have no choice but to deal with the media on a daily basis should be become manager. Alomar (8-1)—His day will come, just not this year. Davey Martinez (10-1) DeMarlo Hale (12-1)
also Sandberg is at 8-1 for the Cardinals with Francona (8-5) and Oquendo (7-2) ahead Bosox with Sveum at 2-1 and Alomar Jr. at 7-2.

"It also doesn't hurt that Maddux's brother, Greg, was one of the greatest pitchers in Cubs' history." People seem to forget that Maddux changed uniforms when he was entering his prime. Looking just at Cub numbers, only Fergie Jenkins since 1950 makes the top ten in all-time wins among Cub pitchers. 20th-century Cub hurlers in the top ten are Charlie Root, Mordecai Brown, Jenkins, Guy Bush, Hippo Vaughn and Bill Lee. Maddux's comparables as a Cub would be Rick Reuschel and Carlos Zambrano. If that makes him one of the greatest, fine, but his HOF plaque won't sport a Cub cap. I guess my point is that I'm more interested in Mike Maddux, who isn't a millionaire and has to work for a living and could actually someday make a name for himself as a Cub. In any event, his getting the job or not getting it will have nothing to do with Greg.

I'm willing to bet he IS a millionaire.

According to BR he played 15 seasons and made $5,571,000, plus he's probably added a couple more as the preminent pitching coach in the game.

He pitched longer than I thought. So he averaged $370 K over 15 seasons, then probably less than that in the last eleven years. I'm not going to vote to raise his taxes.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i... Bruce Levines blog post on Maddux.

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos allegedly kidnapped from his home in Venezuela.

Wow. BTW, is Ugie Urbina still in prison?

think so, but Alfredo Simon's case was dismissed or he was found innocent

That's terrible. On a related note, if Z gets kidnapped, do we have to pay his salary? Also, you'd have to give me a six figure bonus just to set foot in that horrible country.

A six figure bonus would significantly increase your likelihood of being kidnapped in Venezuela.

Every spring I look at the Cubs bullpen and ask the same question.

Wed, 11/09/2011 - 6:57pm — Rob G. In Holy Shit News Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos allegedly kidnapped from his home in Venezuela. ================================ ROB G: Henry Blanco's brother was kidnapped and murdered in Venezuela three or four years ago, and Angel Guzman's brother was shot & killed resisting kidnappers in Venezuela a couple of years ago and died in Angel's arms.

Maybe these guys should stop going home in the offseason? Or at least get lots and lots of security detail while they're there. [edit] And also get security for their families, I guess.

Another part of the problem is that these are often inside jobs.

I've heard stealing on a catcher, never the other way around.



GM meetings next week, monday and tuesday, Nov 14-15 in Milwaukee. Supposedly the Theo compensation will either be finalized or go to the "arbitrator" after that. http://proxy.espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/...

ESPN Chicago article on Quade (from an interview on the Silvy-Waddle show). http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/721... Supposedly the Twins are looking at Quade for a manager position at their AAA Rochester club. http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/13357...

Sandberg's interview with Cardinal management...
"I'm a competitive person," Sandberg said when asked about an iconic Cub became the on-field leader of the Cardinals. "I'm loyal to my uniform. I'm loyal to the organization that is going to give me a shot. If I come into Wrigley Field as an opposing manager, I probably would get an ovation to start, maybe in that first time. But if over time those turn to less of an ovation or boos, then I know that means I'm doing my job as an opponent." Sandberg said he met for a little more than two hours with general manager John Mozeliak, chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and... special assistant Mike Jorgensen and assistant general manager Michael Girsch. He said during the interview he was told that a Cardinals scout saw him manage the Phillies' Class AAA affiliate this season and that helped put him in line for one of six scheduled face-to-face interviews.

"I'm loyal to my uniform." Yep, he's a professional. The Cards have nothing to worry about there.

Sandberg sucks. Just trying to get used to saying that.

I just smile every time I think of it... I can imagine Theo and Hoyer sitting down and saying "OK, what's the first thing we could fuck up?' 'Not hiring Sandberg?' 'Yeah, that's it, let's set the bar low for ourselves." Their little interview pop quiz is a trick question by the way. When presented with these game situations and thrown the stats and the pitcher's statuses the correct answers is "Shrug, I don't know. I would have figured this all out before the game started."

The only rationale I can think of is that they've known who they're hiring all along, and they didn't want to put Sandberg through the interview ringer out of either respect for him, or, more probably, it would have brought fan expectations for his hire up to a fever pitch that they didn't want to deal with. Or, they at least have a real good idea on who it is, and same issue. If that's the case I can't say I blame them. If it's not, just outright dismissing his candidacy because of a lack of MLB coaching experience is kinda weird. [edit] One other possibility: they just don't like him for some reason. I do remember hearing him interviewed when he was very young and thinking he was dumber than a door nail. You can't make much out of one interview of course, and as much a part of Cubs lore that he is I really haven't heard him talk much.

I just hope for their sakes he doesn't get a NL job and then out-manage whichever puppet they hire. Imagine what the fans and sportswriters are going to say the first time Sandberg catches our manager with his pants down on some in-game strategy. In their defense, they already did interview Sandberg, (and offer him a job), so whatever they are looking for in a big league GM (assuming it isn't drinking buddy, and I think it probably is), they figured Sandberg wasn't going to learn it in a another year in AAA.

Q: Are the Cubs cursed? A: It's hard for me to totally disregard the possibility. Ryne Sandberg, 2005 http://yhoo.it/rvFHU8

"Major League Baseball in 2006 should be a blast. Many teams this offseason have put themselves in position to succeed, while others figure to be left in the dust once again." --Ryne Sandberg, 2006 http://yhoo.it/s1zkiu

Same article: "Commissioner Bud Selig – Here's hoping that the "steroid" issue is behind baseball. You have addressed the problem, and I hope your plan continues to look out for the betterment of the game. Players should be back on a level playing field. That being said, I hope someone in the majors is able to show the world that it is still possible to steal 50 bases and hit 40 home runs the natural way. That's what an all-around player is." [...] "Roger Clemens – I wish him another year with the Houston Astros. He's good for the game and one of the last old-school pitchers who knows how to challenge hitters inside. If he chooses to leave the Astros for another team, though, it might create a new media circus for him. That's the last thing he wants at this point in his career." Bahahahahahaha

If the Cardinals hire Sandberg as manager, then we have to sign Pujols. If they pull a knife, we pull a gun. If they put one of ours in the hospital, we put one of theirs in the morgue. That's the Chicago way.

The Cardinals probably want the Cubs to sign Pujols. I'd rather we signed Oquendo.

" That's the Chicago way." Ya, we've really put the screws to those Cards over the years, haven't we?

If this is true ( http://espn.go.com/losangeles/conversations/_... ) then the Dodgers probably won't be outbidding everyone else for Pujols or Fielder.

Old news.

Old news --- Dodgers offer 3/44 for Fielder Pujols Schmidt?

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/rumblings... lots on Prince and Fielder contract and this on schedule change in CBA Eighteen games against each of the other four teams in your division; six games against each of the other 10 teams in your league; three interleague games against each of the five teams in the corresponding division in the other league (i.e., AL East versus NL East); three more interleague games against each team in one of the other two divisions (i.e., AL East versus NL Central one year, NL West the next) three interleague games against two divisions in the other league. Add that up and you get 72 intra-division games, 60 more intra-league games and 30 interleague games a year -- up from the current 15 to 18 interleague games a year. The other net result of that change: Only three "rivalry" games (Mets-Yankees, Cubs-White Sox, etc.) every season instead of six.

27 yr old Donnie Veal is now a WSux (and is a year removed from Tommy John elbow surgery. someone remind me about all that anxiety over the rule 5 draft.

Somewhere in AZ Steve Stone creamed his kahkis.

aram's offseason value takes a little hit with a new LAA regime... "Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that he is not interested in free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez." also... "Mark Trumbo will work with Angels bench coach Rob Picciolo this offseason to see if he could be a realistic option at third base in 2012." kendry isn't being viewed as a DH, evidently. both burbs via rotoworld

I just smile every time I think of it... I can imagine Theo and Hoyer sitting down and saying "OK, what's the first thing we could fuck up?' 'Not hiring Sandberg?' 'Yeah, that's it, let's set the bar low for ourselves."
I don't understand this. Actually, I never was too keen on the Cubs hiring Ryno as the major league manager. They can do better. Sure I love the guy and his career with the Cubs, but let's just try to find the best guy for the job. Mike Maddux is interesting, but other than seeing what he did in Milwaukee, I don't know much about him.

Muskat's pre-interview article on SandyAlomar Jr:
"The only weakness that I have, to be honest with you right now, is that I haven't managed anywhere in the past," Alomar said. "That's the main concern for everybody. But I've managed myself, and I've managed people throughout my career with leadership, and I feel like I could do it."

https://twitter.com/SedanoShow/status/1348004... some rumor that Reyes deal with Marlins is "almost a done deal".

It's funny. I assumed that Hendry chose Quade over Sandberg because he's a fucking idiot. I now assume Epstein won't choose Sandberg because he knows what he's doing. Granted, Quade and Sandberg were both unknowns and Epstein seemingly has better candidates to choose from now. I'd hate to see Sandberg land somewhere else, but I'm willing to give Epstein more latitude.

Not sure I understand the "better candidates" bit. None of these guys has any significant experience as a big league manager. Maddux has 0 days experience managing a Taco Bell even. Possibly Francona has a better track record than Pinhead or Dusty, but the Cubs manager is probably the 2nd most coveted job in baseball coaching, now that George Steinbrener has passed away. It seems like egos or cronyism are getting in the way. I can't see how either of those things are best for the Cubs.

I don't know why you're assuming that Sandberg is the best candidate for the job. Epstein has interviewed him and must have determined that he's not the best choice. I think you have to give Epstein the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping to the conclusion of egos and cronyism.

I'm not assuming. I am going on the information available to us. Epstein has already blown all of his benefit of the doubt on hiring drinking buddies in the new GM and new head of scouting.

TRN -- You are right when you say that Theo has hired his drinking buddies to join him in Chicago. But what you're not saying is that Theo's drinking buddies are some of the most talented and respected front office people in baseball. If they can repeat some of the success they've had previously, I don't have any problem with the cronyism you complain about.

We're putting the band back together.

TRN keeps harping on the "drinking buddies" thing as if he picked the guys up through Facebook, or met them in a bowling league. Rarely has he acknowledged their track records as a group, professionally at the highest levels, nor their pedigrees. And, it is nothing different than a successful Fortune 500 company CEO known for turn-arounds (to use one example) bringing in key management people to assist in the vision. How, with all of the facts at hand, is this a bad thing? Its the REAL NEAL way: he is right. Always.

It doesn't fit his narrative. Sandberg is the only choice. Epstein should've brought in other people, thinking "out of the box" instead of bringing in cronies. Etc. If they hire Mike Maddux, I'm trying to figure out the cronyism/drinking spin will be. Anyone know?

Most people think they are right. It's just that some people won't shut up about it.

Really? Please someone give me the long track record for success on anyonee Epstien has hired or is interviewing. It's great that you guys like smoke blown up your ass. I'll try not to point it out in the future so you can continue to live in la la land. What did Jed Hoyer do as a GM? What did the new scouting director do that was any more impressive than the in-house guy (who did so on tighter budgets)? Epstein is doing the exact same shit that Hendry did. Oh, well, his shit is brown, not black? It's still shit.

The last time this crew was all together they won a world series or two. In a span of 8 years. So yeah, that's a pretty good track record of success.

span of 4 years

I don't pretend to know for a fact Theo will turn the Cubs around. I do know he has a plan, is actually interested in stats and probably isn't gonna get caught up in the 5-tool crap, has a track record of success (and isn't to blame in my opinion for Crawford and Lackey) and is interviewing some very interesting candidates. In the end that's what I ask for in the beginning of a GM's reign.

If I had a choice between a talented drinking buddy and a talented stranger, i'd go with the drinking buddy every time.

My point is that it's a subjective decision. You believe he's the best candidate and I think they believe that at least one of the interviewees is a better candidate.

Blah blah blah. Insert TRN daily rant here.

the thing about theo is... ...if you wanted to put a microscope on the guy and handicap his signings/drafts/trades you'll find a lot of ugly along with the good. ...the common consensus on this suit is to mostly ignore the bad, though. it's kinda refreshing, imo...better than hearing about 100 bad things they did wrong every day. it's not so refreshing that he's on hero-worship level with some, though (not most, but some). theo's obviously putting his working crew together and ignoring others for the sake of that comfort...it's not necessarily a bad thing....and besides, theo's looking to hire people who are going to be semi-puppets to his vision. our new GM is barely a GM...he's doing GM things that theo doesn't want to do...kinda like how we have a president in theo that's barely a president because he has a new sub-president to do "president stuff" while he plays co-GM. hell, the cubs have a new scouting director that's now sharing some power (dunno how much) with tim wilken (who was being more-than-assisted by randy bush anyway). the new front office is a new experiment in roles and power...not just a buddy's club. this could be "Moneyball 2.0" if it works out or another bad experiment in running a team...or history could stay the course and we just sit through 5+ years of mediocrity and wheel spinning.

this could be "Moneyball 2.0" As long as they get a better actor for Carlos Pena

The Carlos Pena character had two or three lines. And his acting bothered you?

that joke was for crunch, and it did bother him

Ohhh. Ok.

Francona is what I was getting at. Last time it was between Sandberg and Quade. Maybe there were others out there, but I don't remember. This year, I'd be cool with several of the candidates. Personally, I'd like to see Sandberg now because I don't see them seriously competing for the next year or two. Seems like a perfect time for Sandberg to gain some experience and learn the core young guys (ok, not many of them). But, I'd also be excited about Francona or Maddux (especially a Maddux-Maddux daisy train). I trust Theo knows what he's doing, so I don't blame him for eliminating Sandberg. With Hendry, I just assume he's a fuckup, chose HIS guy and also let his team make the decision for him. I hadn't realized that Maddux hadn't managed a Taco Bell, though. In that case, you can eliminate him from my list. Clearly he's not a better candidate than Quade was. I assume that Boston will be hiring Quade shortly, since Maddux took his own name out of the running.

What I actually think is happening is that Theo is making a show of other candidates, but is going to offer the job to Tito, and at this point is arm twisting the owner to come up with a nice $3 million per 4 year contract offer. If he turns it down, for whatever reason, because rumor has it that he's hot for it, then he'll offer it to Sveum. If both turn it down, then it's Pete or Maddux, probably Maddux, because Farrell has had good press and he was the pitching coach for Boston so it is obvious that another pitching coach, with no experience managing, will make a good manager. But I agree that now would be the perfect time to bring Sandberg in. There's no pressure, and the Cubs fanbase are much more likely to cut him some slack than anyone else. If he was a disaster, like he's been in his minor league managerial (2011 minor league manager of the year, the first HoF player to earn that award) and big league playing career then you fire him in two years and bring in the Yankees Bullpen coach when the team is ready to legitimately compete. Oh, yeah, and in the interim, Sandberg jersey sales pay for his contract. I just wish we were as smart as Theo Epstien... or Tony LaRusa. http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/718...

Is Mike Harkey still the Yankees bullpen coach?

It's cute to see you write 20 comments alleging Theo's partiality toward people associated with the Red Sox, while you, an old Cub fan, tout Ryne Sandberg. Your second choice wouldn't happen to be old #31, would it? For me, cronyism is hiring some old associate who has passed his sell-by date, like Hendry "employing" Gary Hughes for nine years to attend A's and Giants games, or, for that matter, his hiring Greg Maddux to shoot the breeze with pitchers at spring training. Avoiding cronyism is why I think Epstein won't give Francona the time of day on this Cub deal. First of all, Francona is a handy guy to blame for the collapse of a Sox team with an out-of-control clubhouse. The manager is actually the most to blame for that, isn't he? Besides needing Francona for a scapegoat, Epstein probably wants someone younger and hungrier, which to me is the opposite of cronyism.

Dave Van Dyke article mostly on Francona's possibilities and the video of Maddux's press conference with the picking up Z and burping him line. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Levine's articles about yesterday's Cub season ticket holders getting a one hour conference call Q&A with Epstein, Hoyer and McCleod , hosted by Len Kasper. I listened in but it wasn't very newsworthy. http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/721... http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Epstein and Hoyer have proven that they're very accessible and when giving that access, they've proven they're not going to tell you anything. That's probably part of their long term game plan.

I imagine that at some point in history that Epstein and Bill Belichick have discussed media relations-as-game strategy.

The dance between management and the media is fascinating. On the front office-side, they need to maintain a good relationship, because when the media turns on a guy, the Cub world will usually follow. Theo and co will eventually have to scoop some information to the media, but I think it's wise to stay quiet about strategy this off season (as he promised he would do) and when they do scoop, make everyone is on the same page. Epstein is a consummate professional and I'm sure messaging & PR will be the least of his problems. The beat reporters also have a responsibility to not piss off management or they'll lose their scoops. The infamous Mike Murphy interview with Hendry was probably not the coffin, but was definitely nails in the coffin as he pretty much ensured Hendry or any other Cub's front office personnel would never speak to him again.

I see politics in Epstein's future. Especially if the Cubs win a World Series. He's already got the media thing down pat.

Interesting, or not, that Epstein used the phrase "If Aramis leaves" when talking about replacing power production.

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/11/10/the-end... All that matters are the victims of the horrible crimes allegedly committed by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. I cannot say that enough times. Sometimes, I feel like the last week or so there has been a desperate race among commentators and others to prove that they are MORE against child molesting than anyone else. That makes me sick. We’re all sickened. We’re all heartbroken. We’re all beyond angry, in a place of rage where nothing seems real. The other day, I called it “howling.” I meant that in the purest sense of the word — crying in pain.

For those interested in the actual legal proceedings of the grand jury, which we should keep in mind resulted in perjury charges for two Penn State employees, they are available here in .pdf form: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/... I agree with Posnaski regarding the media coverage. However, I think this very quickly became a story about a university bureaucracy that failed to acknowledge that its authority was not sufficient in dealing with this matter--and that's the optimistic view. The pessimistic view as of right now is that there was an active and intentional coverup in order to protect the university's image. That matter is not settled since we don't have all the info--and we probably won't until the perjury cases are under way (if even then). Paterno has done a lot of good things in his career--good for Penn State as an academic institution, too. But this is the sort of scandal around which the public image of anyone connected with it can turn. Paterno's is simply the most prominent and valued image involved. For that reason it's not much of a surprise that media attention has centered on him.

That is a reasonable summation. As I stated on Wednesday, there is "Happy Valley", then there is the rest of the U.S. We may, or may not find out how much Joe Paterno actually knew. I personally feel that he just tried to take care of things the "old-school" way with his former employee and friend: "Jerry, are you finished with this monkey business?"("Yes Joe") "Alright. Let's just move on, then." Everyone wanted to keep this as an internal matter. The Penn State football program, with Joe Paterno as its figurehead, is its own fiefdom beholden to no-one. Even still, Joe says to the Board "Good Job fellas! Don't worry about me. I have decided to retire at the end of the season. Isn't that righteous of me?" Fuck that. The entire emphasis on this ugly story should NOT be on the "poor folks" who have had their "image tarnished" but the people who traumatically suffered at the hands of a pedophile - all under the tent of Penn State University. I can give a shit if Joe Paterno's image has been tarnished, or the "media has exacerbated" things.

Yesterday Penn State players were complaining about what suffering that McCready, the assistant is going through. Screw that, McCready saw this a-hole raping a kid, did nothing, then went home, came back the next day, and told Paterno, who also did not call the police but instead told his supervisors, who did nothing for 10 weeks, then finally called Sandusky in and took his keys away. And the grand jury was told that Penn State employees saw Sandusky raping or molesting two other kids, once in 98, I think, and once in 2000. So 3 times this guy was caught red handed on Penn State property and the only thing that was done about it was they finally took his keys away, but allowed him to continue to use satellite campuses for camps he was running for several more years. Also the press keeps describing as 'abuse' or 'attack', but the grand jury says the assistant saw that Sandusky was raping a 10 year old kid and did nothing. He didn't stop it, he didn't help the kid, he did nothing. This is a nightmare. Paterno was supposedly worried that he would be charged with a crime and was looking for a criminal defense attorney, according to reports yesterday. I don't know what the statute of limitations is on this, but anyone crying about how JoPa was mistreated or anything along those lines with sympathy for him or Penn State/McCready needs their head examined.

I think many students and alumni of Penn State identify so strongly with the name and the team that they feel personally guilty and also personally attacked whenever it comes up. People seemed to think that Paterno was their grandfather while I was there. I don't think the desire of some people to defend Paterno (or others) is much based in rational thought.

I would agree with the "grandfather" analogy. That's why I state there is Happy Valley, and then everyone else in the country.

from rotoworld meet with King Albert today but consider Reyes and Cespedes as more realistic targets.

It's great that you guys like smoke blown up your... --- http://tinyurl.com/cxnwqmd

hate to even ask because i don't wanna sound pushy, but what's the site status as far as going back to what it was...or is some new format being worked on? getting back post #s within the thread would be nice...i assume all of this is still temp based on the lack of logo up top. g'luck with whatever is going on behind the scenes.

when I get to it, which at earliest will be late November, December.... the plan which depends on certain ad vendors cooperating that owe us money is.... 1) get money they owe me 2) upgrade site to Drupal 7 from Drupal 6 3) buy new theme/layout to something that doesn't require any or very little customization, but also is more mobile friendly and up-to-date to today's web standards than what we were running. The latest problem that caused all this was an upgrade that the theme layout didn't like which was highly customized and is difficult (for me) to decipher. 4) Change to Disqus comment system 5) Rake in non-existent ad dollars!!!! (actually intend to just keep the text-ads on the left and nothing else and just attempt to break even from this point on and if we're not, shut down the site). Other option is say goodbye and thanks for all the fish...but not quite there yet. Besides AZ Phil, most of the writers have gone or are no longer that interested in writing and I can't justify the time and expense to my family or myself on keeping the site going if I'm not really contributing and just to keep AZ Phil around...which of course I would love to do, but there are more important things in this world. we'll see how the offseason goes...

The irony is that it seemed that the Bruce Miles blog site was becoming a go to place, sometimes well over 100 comments on a blog post, but the Herald screwed the pooch on that one by introducing a paywall. As somebody who does web site engineering for a living I appreciate all the effort it takes to keep this site going, and one of the things I like most about it is that, unlike a mainstream media site like the Herald/Miles, there is no censorship to speak of. I personally don't see the need for a lot of f bombs but I do sometimes get a kick out of the extra "color" the commentators here offer, and the baseball knowledge of most of the regular posters makes this one of my only sources for Cubs stuff. The debates are usually pretty lucid -- I'd participate in more of them if I knew what the hell I was ever talking about. So good luck collecting some cash to keep this thing going. Maybe if you can get a few dollars you can find some east europeans on elance or something to help maintain it. Of course, that may end up turning this place into a malware nest, so maybe that's not a great idea.

I found some nice natives of India to help me the first few times on Elance, but it gets too expensive and the language barrier becomes too difficult to deal with and it gets too frustrating. Others have helped too, but ad dollars are disappearing to pay for that unless you want to chase them down on an individual basis or deal with all the gambling and ticket sites, but that just muddies up the site and they're a pain in the ass to deal with as well. So I either find something that is much easier to maintain and costs me a lot less, without having to switch platforms again or the site stops existing.

I would have absolutely no qualms about ponying up a few dollars again. Just let me know when you need the money...

Rob G., Couldn't you just switch to a Wordpress installation on a small hosting plan? It would be much easier to run, has a million different plugins, and hosting plans are pretty cheap. I use Hostgator myself and have several friends/family/customers on their own HG plans as well. It starts at under $4 per month if paid 1 year in advance, or I think $9.96 per month if paid monthly. I'm sure some of us regulars wouldn't have a problem shooting a few bucks via Paypal to contribute to hosting, especially if we did the once a year paid in full plan. You could also put a Donate button for Paypal up. Just something to consider that also wouldn't cost very much.

The people who created WordPress also created bbPress, a free WP forum plugin. http://bbpress.org/about/ Other than paying for hosting, which is nominal, I don't see why you need to be paying for anything else to keep this site running.

Couldn't you just switch to a Wordpress installation on a small hosting plan? TCR archives are more important to me and the others that I started this venture with than the future so I'm not switching platforms again. Also the amount of comments drives up your hosting rates and you guys comment a lot. and the differences between Wordpress and Drupal are nominal to be honest, other than popularity. Wordpress is what MVN.com was running on and it was buggy as hell for such a big group. They may have fixed some of that and some may have been because we were part of a bigger site, but the choice to move to Drupal was not made lightly. Anyway Drupal isn't the problem, when we moved I had very clear sense of the design I wanted and that required a lot of customization in the layout. The upgrades to the core Drupal software though conflict with those customizations. It's not all that hard to change to a simpler layout/theme and the only real hold-up is the jokers at Yardbarker holding my ad money and my time to do it. and say what you wish, the site has very rarely been down in 4 years since we moved to our own domain. The people who created WordPress also created bbPress, a free WP forum plugin. if I just wanted a forum site, I'd be at NSBB. that is not to say that forums or Wordpress or other options might not be something you like or others and I encourage any of you to seek that out if you wish, but not for me personally. as for Paypal or anything like that, my days of asking for donations are over. All the money in the blog world doesn't make up for the time it takes to do things properly and manage all those aspects. Back when I started writing and then moved to our own domain, I had loftier goals for this site, but the market is too saturated now with blogs and the time drain is becoming difficult to justify to myself. That all being said, TCR isn't going anywhere, anytime soon....you guys will get your numbered comments back soon enough.

I'd like to add that TCR is what keeps me going, especially in the off season. I don't have much to offer in baseball knowledge...I'm just here to be awesome, gloat about my fantasy 3-peat, make fun of stupid people, needlessly say fuck and provide a theological analysis to baseball...BUT, I need this place. It's my home. Everyone morning, I look at the noose I've got hanging from the ceiling fan, ponder it's existence and mine...then remember that there might be some new posts/comments/rumors here. You keep me alive Rob. You! You complete me. You had me at hello. Love means never having to say you're sorry. I'm king of the world. I'm just a boy standing in front of a boy asking him to love him. I feel the need for speed. Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning? Wait...forget the last two.


I'm here for the girls. /checks around /shit

We had a girl once. What was her name? I seem to remember she got angry a lot. Honestly, I think things started going down hill when we lost Chad's mullet and camaro.


you forgot Show me the money!

Oh yeah, I guess that would have actually fit;)

"if I just wanted a forum site, I'd be at NSBB." I got banned from that place years ago because I said Adam Dunn wasn't as valuable as they all thought he was. Some guy said I was stupid, I tried to reply and found out I was banned. It was pretty swift and weird. I think Kurt Evans had something to do with it.

via paul sully "Alomar sez he would "bring a stun gun" if he couldn't get Z to listen" lulz.

I wonder if Z is reading all these comments about himself, must do wonders for his fragile mind.

phillies sign papelbum according to CSN philly... http://twitter.com/JSalisburyCSN/status/13507...

4/50 allegedly... Phillies decided that 4/44 for Madson wasn't crazy enough I guess. Marmol deal would be looking better if he wasn't busy imploding last year.

and an "easy" 5th year vesting option as well...


I do not know this, but do the Phillies have their own private cable station? Just wondering how they have such a Fort Knox in-house?

Unless something's happened recently they still co-own CSN Philadelphia along with NBC Universal.

being good for over a decade with a new stadium sure doesn't hurt...

That. 104% attendance this year I think.

just a reminder that in the upper right is a twitter stream of Cubs news me or Cubnut find interesting, I didn't think constantly copying and pasting made any sense. You're all still welcome to do it yourselves, but if you're just looking for rumor news, that's the first place you should look.

If the crap the Bosox released about Francona is true, he should take some time off and get his head straightened out. Take a breather, Tito.

He sure seems a lot like Lou post 2009. He's probably the least desirable of the candidates to me. The one thing that really recommends him to the job is that 2004 post season, but that was a pretty damned long time ago, and I've always assigned too much of the credit for that to Lowe.

95 years ago someone realized that Batting average was a crap statistic and did something similar to wOBA. http://www.fangraphs.com/community/index.php/...

Awesome! Then everyone ignored it. Not awesome.

Amazing and not amazing simultaneously. I wonder if not for Moneyball, how much attention even today would be paid to advanced statistics.

for baseball fans who are beyond the teen years they've been in regular use since the late 80s/early 90s...for teams, even longer. STATS Inc. used to do a lot of custom stuff for teams that they do in-house now. a peek at old scouting/binders that hang out in the clubhouse tell people a lot...a lot more these days (less spray charts with diagrams, more pure numbers). as far as recognizing the "what's cheap" vs. return aspect of the Moneyballs from back in the day...i dunno. collusion was a neat way to achieve that til they got caught.

I would do a one-year, incentive-laden deal for Sizemore. What do you have to lose?

I'm sure a lot of teams would, it's a matter of how much in that one year and what position he gets to play? if he still fancies himself a CF'er and not want to move to the corners, the Nats are looking for a CF'er that could lead-off giving them an advantage. The Cubs would have to trade, bench or move Byrd (all fine by me personally). And there's the Brett Jackson situation, although I'm all for holding him off until June so he's not Super 2 eligible. Otherwise Sizemore on a 1-year deal makes a lot of sense, cause even if the Cubs aren't competing and he's healthy, he should be tradeable. Ideally something in the 3-5M range with 4-5M in incentives.

I would do a one-year, incentive-laden deal for Pena. What do you have to lose? See what I did there? To answer your question, About $6 million for marginal revenue of maybe $1 million. If stays relatively healthy and relatively effective, you can also turn him into a 3rd round draft pick (assuming compensation isn't changed) or a prospect worth roughly the same thing, so maybe you get $2 million back. So you lose $4 million. When the Red Sox signed Adrian Beltre on a similar make good deal they were coming off a a 95 win season, and two or three extra wins to them was very valuable. The Cubs are not in that situation.

Let's assume that Epstein won't be a lame-duck GM in late July incapable of consummating a trade, OK? The goal is to compete, or to sign undervalued players and turn them into other assets. If the cost for Sizemore is too high, then the GM won't do it. In your logic, if the team sucks, all the GM can do is kick back and wait for the farm system to start making it better. I won't be replying again, so go ahead and "win" now.

Sorry, that I answered your question. I didn't realize that we had an imaginary argument in your head. For anyone else, who may stumble across the question and think that it isn't rhetorical, Even had we got back a C level prospect by trading Pena, or if we get a 3rd round draft pick via arbitration compensation, it still cost $10 million, so it was a waste of money. The fact that Hendry was a lame-duck, doesn't have anything to do with it whatsoever.

Should have just signed lyle overbay or had an American idol like competition for the job....they might have even made money that way. Certainly better than trying to compete.

Theo and Co need to not repeat Hendry's mistake by trying to spend more money (and prospects) in an attempt to recover the money Hendry already blew. The Pena and Garza moves are the type of ones the organization should avoid, at least until you have a team expected to win 88 or so games. When Epstein added Ortiz ($1.25 million), Walker ($3.45) , Mueller ($2.1) and Millar ($2) for his 2003 team with the Red Sox, that cost less than the Carlos Pena deal did the Cubs. That's the type of short term deals the Cubs should be looking at. (There's also no way that much offensive talent could be signed for a comparable amount of cash today, because other GM's more accurately value players now.)

Yes, we all agree that Theo and Co. would be wise to make better decisions than Hendry. Nonetheless, in the real world the Cubs were trying to win last year and Garza and Pena were positives last season without much long term damage (despite your personal opinion on the prospects). Would the deal had been bad if they got Berkman?

What does Berkman have to do with it? The deals were bad based on what could reasonably be expected. If the Cubs had signed Berkman and he had the year he had, the Cubs maybe could have turned him into $10 million worth of prospects. So the very best they could do on it was break even. If the Cubs got a bounce back year from Soto, Zambrano, Soriano, Wells and nice years from everyone else, and maybe a breakout from Cashner, and Garza and Pena have career years, then they make the playoffs and then it was worth it. So, the moves had a 5% chance of paying off. Sign him for $2 million, which you could recover in trade/ FA compensation if he has a good year. There's no upside in signing him for what he's going to get. Not for the Cubs in 2012. Sorry.

this Marlins uniform unveiling is awesome unintentional comedy marlins.mlb.com

still think the logo is goofy, but the uni's seem to work...

wilson ramos found... "@rafaelrojasc Rafael Rojas C VZ Information Minister tweets Ramos has been found safely by authorities at mountains at Carabobo state"

more details on Ramos http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/wils...
Ramos was "safe and sound" and that he was rescued by police. He said the circumstances weren't immediately clear. Information Minister Andres Izarra initially reported the rescue via Twitter, saying Ramos was "found alive by security forces in mountainous zone." Izarra said it was "a rescue operation by air,"

I like Levine's article (twitter link). "Alomar may be Cub's front-runner". I'm going to write my own article "I may be the Cub's front-runner". My article is just as true and just as evidentially substantiated. His reasoning is that Maddux has said he might not want to uproot his family. So, they might not offer him the job because he might refuse. I'm just annoyed because the headline was interesting, but turned out just to be Levine's guesswork..."this is for amusement purposes only".

another link (CSN) about Theo and Z having a "friendly" introductory conversation.
Zambrano...said, "We talked for awhile. Now I'm waiting for him to tell me when we'll meet. It might be after the winter meetings that the GMs have, which is in Milwaukee this year."

will he get the manager that will hug him or the one that will taze him? woo, cubs offseason. i wonder who will be named Executive Vice President of International Marketing...that could make or break the 2012 cubs.

from a Jordan Bernfield tweet...
Hoyer: "We had a lengthy meeting yesterday about 40 man protection. We've had a number of conversations about free agents and trade targets.