Sunday Funnies: Don't ask a Cub Fan to turn back the clock today.

Turn back the clock today?
What a stupid idea.
The last time it was good for us doesn't even exist because WE WEREN'T BORN YET.
If a tree fell the last time the Cubs won a World Series but everybody died since then, did it make a sound?
I don't think so.
Turn back the clock?
Are you insane?
Even the "good" years are horrible, filled with collapses and black cats and Steve Garveys.

Lucky for us, that's in the rear view.
Now is a time for optimism.
The times they are a-changin'.
I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
You're built like a car, you've got a hub cap diamond star halo.

Okay mabye not T. Rex but you know what I'm talking about.

It's horrible that poor Ricky Renteria lost the Cubs' managership, but really anybody who signed on with the Cubs since Theo Epstien arrived had to know that the people playing at Wrigley Field weren't really a team at all.
They were a concept.
An abstract notion.
I mean, Bryan LaHair was an All-star.
Did that even really happen?
The words "Bryan LaHair was an All-Star" are weirder than anything T. Rex ever wrote.
Ricky had to know that his job could be gone at any time.
I have a couple friends who are Dodger fans, and those guys are FURIOUS that Donny Baseball is still their manager when they coulda bought our new guy.
Joe Maddon?
That's a big step towards reality.
I mean, even Cardinal Fans noticed that one.
It's a disturbance in their force.
The game I got to go to this year, when the crowd was homer-silenced twice by new, unknown Cubs?
That was about as good as I've felt about our favorite team in years.
"Who is Soul Air?" I was asked.
"How do you say Al can't are ahhh?"
I was in HEAVEN.
And I liked it.
And I expect more of that in 2015.
So don't ask me to turn back the clock, okay?


It's a disturbance in their force. --- Thanks Tim. I'll just fall forward from here on out.

Nick Cafardo's Sunday piece is all over the Cubs/Theo grabbing Maddon.
It’s considered cold and heartless. It’s tough to fire someone just because someone better comes along. In the end, did Theo Epstein do the best thing for the Cubs by firing Rick Renteria and hiring Joe Maddon, and did the Dodgers miss out on an incredible opportunity to obtain Maddon by sticking to their commitment to Don Mattingly?
“I think it will be a case of, ‘Why didn’t I do what the Cubs did?’ ” said one baseball executive. “Joe Maddon seems to be the hot manager out there and guys like that aren’t available very often. When Maddon is out there you don’t need a long, drawn-out managerial search. If you can afford him, you hire him. Seems like the Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies, Rangers all could afford him.”
The early rap on Mattingly was that he wasn’t keeping up with in-game decisions, that he was a tick slow. That seemed to improve. The other positive about Mattingly is that he managed a lot of high-maintenance players, including Adrian Gonzalez, Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Yasiel Puig. It’s not an easy team to manage. Friedman will likely weed out some of them, but would Maddon have been able to manage those personalities better than Mattingly? Friedman probably knows the answer, and he may regret that he let an opportunity slip away.

I am very surprised by this move. In the year 2014... eh... 2015, managing baseball seems to be about knowing the data and executing based on the data. I felt Renteria did that well enough. I get that his lineups really irked people around here, but as long as the Cubs are losing, folks will be irked about something... anything. His positioning of defenders was good more often than it was bad. I'm anxious to see how this changes the dugout's ethos.

Is this performance art? I dig it ... trippy man!

and a few more Cub related things from Cafardo:
David Ross, C, free agent — Ross spoke to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington at length late in the week and was told that Cherington wanted to see how the roster shook out before making a commitment to him. What that means is anyone’s guess. The Red Sox need a backup catcher, and why not Ross? It could mean that if they were unable to obtain a lefthanded bat, they would need that lefthanded bat from the catcher position. Ross should get a few calls when free agency begins in earnest on Tuesday.
Rick Renteria, former manager, Cubs — The Twins and Rays are contemplating interviewing him for their vacant managerial jobs. Renteria would fit the Twins’ situation nicely as they have some big-time Latin players coming up in Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas. One of the lures for the Cubs a year ago is that Renteria is bilingual and there were a few Latin prospects and major leaguers he could communicate well with.

What I'd like to see, just to engage the dark side of my funny bone, is to see Renteria go to the Twins, Olt get traded there, and then watch the immortal Trevor Plouffe take at bats away from him. But, in all seriousness, I think it would be great to see Capt Happy land on his feet somewhere and do well.

Oh man I need Len and JD when I got T Rex.

speaking of my Montero idea

 The Arizona Diamondbacks, trying to create payroll flexibility, are willing to trade catcher Miguel Montero, according to major-league sources.

allegedly for some starting pitching upgrades, I presume Edwin and Travis Wood wouldn't fit that unfortunately. Maybe Hendricks but I'd hate to see him go at this point. Says they'd need a catcher replacement too, but not necessarily in the same trade.

I'd rather have Martin. Same possible downsides (wear and tear) and Montero has had a couple shitty years the last two at the plate. Martin had a nice OBP this year, something this team really needs. Contract will get ugly at the end, but that's free agency for ya.

If Martin is expensive in $$ and Montero is going to cost pitching, I don't see how either deal makes sense for the Cubs, unless the front office really believes Castillo's D is not salvageable. The difference in bats doesn't seem like enough to overcome the difference in cost right now, especially with Martin so old and Montero leaving the power-friendly Arizona park.

Martin's 2014 sure looks like an outlier, compared to 2011-2013. I'd rather see if Welly can bounce back than spend the $$ or prospects on those two

Yeah you guys have kinda talked me down on the need for Martin. Castillo is still young - had a bad year last year at the plate but however you measure the way a pitching staff is handled he seemed to do fine. I know everyone says he doesn't "frame" pitches right, but it hasn't seemed to hurt the staff much. Maybe what they really need is a really good backup catcher instead.

Catcher Games ERA John Baker 55 3.44 Eli Whiteside 8 3.23 Welington Castillo 103 4.24 Christina Kahrl's article on Maddon is worth the read. References some baseball books on evaluating managers (Bill James and Chris Jaffe). Also note the commentary on Sandberg's non-hire...
The Cubs from these last three years? They didn’t have much to work with. Knowing that was certainly why Ryne Sandberg never got a shot at managing the Cubs as the first hire by the Epstein regime. The first man through that door was doomed to be a crash test dummy, not simply hired to be fired the way any manager inevitably is, but virtually guaranteed to depart unlamented and 70 games below .500 after just two seasons. A key benefit of hiring a Dale Sveum or a Renteria was dispensability; there was no chance of rioting in Wrigleyville’s watering holes over their early, messy fates. But hiring and firing a franchise legend such as Ryno after two years? Or three? That would definitely not play in Peoria.
That’s all about to change. I’d liken the Cubs’ hiring of Maddon to some of the other celebrity manager hires of the recent past, such as the Cardinals getting Tony La Russa in 1996 or Dave Dombrowski getting Jim Leyland to join him in Florida in the ’90s and later return to the dugout in Detroit.

breaking news: yanks GM obviously smoking a lot of crack "CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are likely to make impending free agent David Robertson a qualifying offer." that's the equivalent of paying a SP $45m a year when you scale out to a full season's work.

Maddon's agent Alan Nero (audio) interview on XM with Jim Bowden and Duquette. • Rays were negotiating with Maddon with under market value numbers, leading to a standstill. Even Nero/Maddon's proposals to the Rays were under market value. The Rays did budge (in their opinion) but not in real world terms. Their offer was so far from reality that it didn't make sense. • First Cubs contact was an email asking for Nero to prove that there was an opt out. Theo was also in communication with the commissioners office as a part of his due diligence. Prior to the Cubs he had heard from 10 teams. Offers for front office and media opportunities that would allow JM to stay out for a year and tend to his charities. Theo wouldn't talk until he had clearance from the commissioners office. • Rays pursuing tampering is unfortunate, silly, sad and a bit insulting. • Rays should look in the mirror (Nero: I think so), there is no reason to tarnish something that was so good. Wish him well and move on. You don't make accusations that are unfounded. also John Arguello/Cubs Den has more on this interview...

In the Rays' defense, I think it was mostly one of the baseball writers tweeting that they "may" seek tampering. That's what those guys do. Helps build that twitter following, after all, the modern day equivalent of selling papers. If the Cubs checked in with the MLB office, there's nothing there, and I am pretty sure the Rays know that. For all we know, it's just a writer making noise where there is none to be made.

Wada signs new 2015 contract w Cubs, terms not yet disclosed Edit- $4M plus incentives up to $2M more


Well when they trade Arrieta and Hendricks in June, your going to need....never mind.

you need a hair piece :-)

Yikes, that seems like a lot for a guy with 69 big league innings turning 34 next year. They have a lot of 4-5 rotation guys at this point; I'd expect a trade or two during the off season, especially if they sign a top of the rotation guy too.

not too big a fan of this one...feel Cubs are just adding insurance at this point in case they don't like FA prices. Folks are gonna get cut or traded at some point here.

Arrieta, Hendricks, E-Jax, T. Wood, Doubront, Wada, Turner, Straily with the possibility of adding 2 starters? Something has to give.

Lester, Scherzer or Hamels, Arrieta, ?? (Masterson, Hammel, E. Santana, Liriano, McCarthy, trade), Hendricks, one of Wood, Doubront, Wada or Turner would be more interesting to me...

anyone know the $$ on the new babysitter-in-chief? 5 year commitment on this one.

5/25M deal...

Maddon might skip some early stuff to give players more rest opp, re day games. "I think pregame is overrated. I think BP is overrated."

well as long as they have a left-handed batting practice pitcher

BP is overrated. let the players get their reps if they want it and tell them to do it if they need the batting cage during BP almost always degrades into a nearly work-free water cooler scene.

Does this mean we'll see fewer "He's out there every day taking grounders" stories in 2015?

They did find a lh bp guy but unfortunately he was a racist.

2008 Carlos Marmol. *sigh*

When he was locating that slider, he was brutal. Michael Wuertz 2.0

Is the full video of the press conference up anywhere to watch? Thanks.


Heyman claims Martin will be top Cubs target, or at least Martin's agent wants Cubs to be top target :)

Have a hard time believing Cubs would cough up a pick for a 32-year old catcher coming off a career year. BB and K rates are nice though, but he's unlikely to hit .290 again.

another article saying Cubs will spend big and willing to give up a pick this year

Mooney seems to be pushing Roberrtson and Shields along with Martin in that article.

If they sign more than one player with a QO do they give up multiple picks?

they do, 2nd round down plus the bonus pool money that goes with it. Their first round pick is protected.

giving up picks isn't a terrible thing by any means, just not such a good idea for a 32-year old catcher or a closer, IMHO.

If LA is in on Martin, I think the Cubs won't push hard, especially if they are happy with Schwarber's progress. On the OTHER hand, they may be happy to seriously overpay Martin to ease Schwarber in. I really think Theo thinks very strongly that Schwarber is an incredibly valuable asset as a catcher. One rationale for overpaying for Martin could be to establish him here for a couple years with the pitching staff, then ease Schwarber in, transitioning Martin into a backup at the end of his contract and having him mentor Schwarber. That really doesn't seem like a bad strategy to me, much better than paying for somebody's TMJ surgery.

He costs a draft pick and cash. Might as well just trade for montero if he comes at a low cost prospect wise. If Martin gets anything more than two years, it just turns into an EJax situation.

I'm pretty much in Kool-Aid mode right now. If TheoCorp thinks Martin is a good move, so do I. If they're in on him just to jack up his price and keep the costs up for the signing team, I'm good with that, too. They know a helluva a lot more about this stuff than I do.

a lot of rumor-mongers since very late off-season seem dead set on getting the cubs a new starting catcher. as long as it doesn't keep them from getting someone the team actually needs (aka, SP) then whatever, though. still, martin...meh. good bat, good D, and all that, but he's a premimum position guy coming off a hell of a year and is probably going to get paid ($$+years) very well for some team to find out if 2014 was a fluke or not. also, robertson...hahahahahhahahahahahahaha...yeah, right.

Wtf is wrong with swellington? Good d throws out runners handled 40 pitchers in last two years Get pitching vet of bat, preferably top order guy

Good D is questionable, pitch framing has been a big issue

also 6.2 bb% vs 24.5 K% last year

wouldn't terribly upset me if they found a replacement, wouldn't terribly upset me if he stayed.

what top of the order bat do you think is available?

Mike Olt : / p

How many MPH does he add to a pitch?

Good point

The Cubs are rich with hitting prospects, but one whose future with the team is a bit cloudy is first baseman Dan Vogelbach writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times in a piece for Baseball America. As Wittenmyer notes, Vogelbach is seen by the Cubs (and other clubs) as a first baseman only, and he has Anthony Rizzo to serve as a firm roadblock to the Majors. The Cubs have already fielded calls on his availability in trades, writes Wittenmyer, who notes that Vogelbach, formerly listed at 6’0″ and 250 pounds, dropped 30 pounds and improved a good deal defensively this season. He does note that the improvement took him merely from “unplayable” to “below average.” Vogelbach recovered from a slow start at High-A to hit .285/.373/.461 over his final 115 games.

BP agrees for the most part...
Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs: Even among patient hitters, there are different approaches. Some try to work deep counts while others simply refuse to give in. Vogelbach is the latter. He walked four times in this game but seemed generally disgusted by the notion, as though he wasn’t happy about not getting to hit but cognizant that it’s better than chasing bad pitches and getting out. Vogelbach clearly wants to hit, as it’s the only thing he does well on a baseball field, and he attacks hittable pitches when he gets them. He maintains a good idea of the strike zone, however, which should make up for any points in batting average he sacrifices for his power. His raw power is legitimate and is a true plus tool, and combining it with an above-average hit tool and good plate discipline should make for a solid everyday hitter. He may never suit up for the Cubs, with first base blocked by Anthony Rizzo and even that being a stretch of Vogelbach’s talents with a glove, but he’s going to give some American League team a solid DH for 5-7 years in his prime and should be one of the main pieces the Cubs use when they ultimately decide to trade for pitching help. —Jeff Moore

V-Bomb had a nice three run single last night.

Three-run single? That's an interesting image. I guess the guy on first was a lot faster than Vogelbach.

The hit may have been a double for another player, but to quote the announcers, speed is not his game. Here is a video, and as an aside I love the pitch clock.


jose abreu mvp snub...m.brantley one of the "finalists" with v.martinez and the guy who is going to win anyway, m.trout.

ex-Cub DJ Lemaheiu wins Gold Glove award at 2b

Theo extension on the dockett

“This is where I want to be,” Epstein said. “I’m fully invested in what we have going on here. I love the people I work with, and I wouldn’t trade our future for anybody’s out there. That’s how strongly I believe in it.

twitter rumoring that Indians may have some interest in EJax in a salary swap (Swisher, Bourn I suppose).

someone on twitter suggested an Alcantara/Bourn platoon, guess we could do worse. Alcantara may need to play 2b if Baez needs more seasoning too.

i wouldn't complain about bourn even if it means taking on 7.5m for the next 2 seasons after ejax is sent away (with a risk of a vesting option for 12m if he gets 550pa in 2016). the "real" CF in the pipeline is 2-3 seasons away anyway. i'm not a bourn fan or anything...i just see any chance to give ejax another team to play on as a positive and a nearly useless sunk cost if he sticks around. i dunno why anyone would have any interest in ejax, though. last season wasn't was a trainwreck.

Looks like he knew how to get on base until he got to Cleveland

Wouldn't have minded Nick "Old Man Skills" Swisher back in 2008 (on his first FA contract) or 2009 (when the White Sox sold low on him), but he's legitimately an old man now and doesn't really fill a team need. Bourn at least could play CF if necessary. I want to say I would take my chances on an E-Jax rebound, but this year makes me feel like that is hoping against hope. Edit: Let's all stop and imagine the alternative timeline in which the Cubs pulled off a Swisher trade instead of signing Milton Bradley. Wasn't that nice? OK. Proceed with your day.

considering Swisher playing the OF right now is a huge reach, don't know what Cubs would do with him. Last year was probably a bit extreme on the downside for him so he should bounce back a bit to 20 HR's and 335-340 OBP, but don't see what they'd do with him.

Bourn could at least play defense and be a good 4th OF, platoon, occasional starter.

Alfonso Soriano retires.

Thanks John McDonough and Crane Kenney for the extra 2 years in baseball :)

Don't know if this has been posted, but this article is bad-ass and thought provoking as hell:

In particular #7 ... and it may also hold the secret value of a Baez despite low OBP etc. he has a non-obvious skill like Sandoval.

Interesting article, but I think it points more to why Baez may be traded. If #8 is true and Diversity in a line up is important, the Cubs already have enough power guys in their future line up, which makes Baez expendable.

There's really no comp with Sandoval. In Sandoval's rookie season he struck out less than 10% of the time. During his next year, the adjustment year, it was 13%. Baez strikes out 99.999% of the time, or something like that. Sandoval is a little like Pedro Guerrero was, although Guerrero was about 50 points better in OPS. Baez is The Wild Thing of batters, so far. I think he'll tweak his mechanics some and still has a chance to be special but this is no time to trade him. His stock is too low.

I don't think I missed your point. Everyone knows Baez CAN hit unhittable pitches. My comment was that there is no comp to Sandoval. Sandoval can hit stuff out of the zone but he doesn't flail at stuff. Shortly after Fangraphs had an orgasm at how Baez clubbed an unhittable pitch - a low slider if memory serves, the league, as if everyone at one time got a message on their phone saying, see this? started immediately throwing stuff consistently out of the zone and not giving him anything at all to hit unless it was a high fastball. The league ate him alive after it discovered he can hit stuff that many others can't. His challenge is to now make his own adjustment. Some of this absolutely needs to be mechanical. He just can't keep the swing as it is now, and I've read that much of his time in Iowa was spent NOT unwinding like a coiled spring. I really think he'll fix that, and I'm sure he'll always have a lot of K's, too. But if he adjusts, you'll see some pretty neat stuff. The homer fangraphs oohed and ahhhed over was a thing of beauty. But I keep seeing people throwing his name around in possible trades, and that to me is a mistake. It could be he'll be a bust and now is the time to trade him, but I have a very strong gut feeling he'll work on that swing over the winter and cut loose this spring.

You both missed my point which is simply that Baez may be the rare hitter who can take a ball out of the ballpark on an otherwise untouchable pitch. And he is saying that this type of skill may be of special use in playoffs when there aren't many hit-able pitches, etc. I'm not saying Baez is Sandoval. None of the other Cubs are bad ball hitters. The article poses the idea that OBP and contact etc aren't necessarily the end all be all. You may benefit from an extreme bad ball hitter.

you gotta be able to hit the ball to be a hitter. "oh snap" - anonymous. lulz etc anyway...history is littered with horrible partial 1st seasons followed by a respectable 2nd season. that K thing he's got going is quite alarming, though

He absolutely needs to improve (major league understatement). The article just made me consider his skill set differently - and I was pretty hard on Baez last year.

Just got an alert on my phone saying Cubs are interested in Hamels again.

Maybe they will take Vogelberg in trade to replace their old fat first baseman with a younger fat first baseman.

If they don't mind having a first baseman who has the agility of an unplugged refrigerator, you mean?

Yeah, I'd imagine the Cole Hamels would be a Cub already if it all it took was Vogelbach.

I find it hard to believe Cubs could get Hamels without using Baez or Russell or Soler, but I guess some depends how much if any salary Phillies will chip in.

If the 1st tier is off limits, maybe amongst the 2nd or 3rd tier Cubs would need to cough up Alcantara, Hendricks, Edwards, Vogelbach, maybe even W. Castillo....might need all of them to get a deal done.

What a riot.

Are you a province in Canada? 'Cuz you are ON, Theriot!

Dear God. lol

every time theriot plays "tough guy" all i can think of is this...

(Reuters) - New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview with federal agents probing a Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of baseball's doping scandal, the Miami Herald reported on Wednesday. yeah. baseball doesn't take kindly to players who try to trash reporter's careers and credibility by dragging them through the mud when they question or relay evidence that someone has doped. his days in the game is done. isn't that right mark mcgwire? wait...

speaking of "PEDs" (in this case, speed)...troy patton suspended AGAIN for a positive test for a banned amphetamine. 3rd time, 80 days. adderall strikes again. he really needs to get his shit together with the drinking and drugs. he should be way further into his career with his tallent.

So Baez is sporting Manny Dreads? Uh oh.

If he starts hitting like Manny hit, then I'll be impressed. Until then...

Some interesting quotes regarding the money side.

I thought they were broke

The reports of them being broke/cheap have been greatly exaggerated.

But the Sun Times said....never mind.

Story in 6 months: Bryant disappointed to find this bat, too, for sale on eBay.

Rizzo loses Silver Slugger to AGon. Stupid

Yeah, that's indefensible. Could've seen it going to Goldschmidt before Gonzalez.

Solar Sox on MLB network tonite.

phew...thanks. i totally spaced tonight's game and i'm in serious baseball withdrawl. also, Nov. 8 (Saturday) - Mesa at Salt River (Military Appreciation Game) Watch live on MLB Network at 8:05 p.m. ET/6:05 MT Nov. 15 (Saturday) - AFL Championship Game Watch live on MLB Network and at 3:08 p.m. ET/1:08 MT

disappointing least we get to see m.appel

yeah no vogelberg