Tues Funnies. Just...sharing my Cubs angst.

Edgar Gonzalez, Matt Tolbert, and Trever Miller all in the same day?
Yeah, it's just the beginning of price-paying for you and me as our favorite team attempts to claw out of their 104 year old hole.
Seriously though, everything's gonna work out just fine, right?
Just a little angst now and then.
I'll deal with it by drawing.


Wait til next year when opening day payroll will be less than 90 Million. Such is life when ownership is more concerned with "Wins per dollar" than actually winning.

You can say that again, but until Sori and Z are off the payroll it is still going to be dollars per win... -edit- or loss

What happens if Thoyer signs a free agent that turns out bust though? Do we end up tanking again until that guy is off the payroll? If they couldn't afford to pay a commensurate payroll. They shouldn't have bought or been approved to purchase the team. Frank McCourt basically got forced out by the public when his wife spilled the beans on his plan to Raise ticket prices while slashing payroll. Yet fans are championing Ricketts for essentially doing the same thing.

Amazing that you continue to compare McCourt and Ricketts, especially since, as Lowitzki points out, your payroll numbers have been WAY off.

I'm sure they will pare off Dempster and probably Garza as the year progresses. It's still going to be at its lowest point since 2007. Which coupled with things like cutting scouting per diem and "looking for internal ways to save money" doesn't instill much confidence. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensatio...

They reveresed course on the per diem.

We'll see what happens next winter. There will be a recent record of quality MLB pitching available, even if one or two guys do extensions before then. The Cubs should have plenty of money, with all the albatross except Soriano fully discharged. Having this payroll flexibility will be nice. I don't think they possible could have won in a smart, sustainable way in 2012, so I'm very, very happy with the offseason we've had. My expectation that this team makes the playoffs in 17 of every 20 years begins with the 2013 season. At that point, I think it will be fair to begin judging Ricketts, Epstein, and Hoyer. In some ways, 2012 will be the final year of the Tribune, Hendry era.

If they couldn't afford to pay a commensurate payroll. They shouldn't have bought or been approved to purchase the team.
I said that last year multiple times. However, with Theo and friends, I am now in wait and see mode, completely. Hendry left behind a complete mess, and, really, the free agent options are getting more difficult, it seems, by the year. Pujols is a great player, and Fielder is very good, but those contracts are insane. I can see how an owner would not be interested in contracts of that length. Combine that with already getting bit by a Soriano contract, and some hesitancy is understandable. The other free agents just didn't get anyone very excited, at least not that I saw. I'm not exactly sure, then, what you want them to do, specifically. Where should they be spending their money? Even Cespedes seems like a pretty risky bet, to me. I haven't seen him yet, I guess I should go look for a video. But our experience with "5" tool players isn't great. Corey Patterson was supposed to be one and it turned out he had no baseball instincts whatsoever. If the Theothing decides that Cespedes has baseball instincts and isn't just another athlete who can't actually play baseball, I'd be all for taking a chance, but other than that, I don't see a lot of areas where the team can spend much money on established impact players (and Cespedes is by no means established - he merely would become our top prospect). I'm not defending the current roster, which to me seems pretty piss poor so far. I'm only saying that I doubt the roster is complete yet, and I'm not seeing much in the way of existing, available major league talent that the Cubs might be interested in. They can't even really pull off a trade for an established player without decimating what little there is in the minor league system, which they seem to be wanting to build, not tear apart. It's a classic catch-22 scenario. I'm only glad it's not Hendry trying to dig out of it anymore.

At least Theo has the ability (we hope) to turn this team around quickly. Most of us on this board are old enough to remember the reserve clause. IF you were good at GM, it took 10 years to reverse the fortunes of a team (Cubs, maybe longer...) The difference we hope we have here is his ability to pluck unknowns from Hispanola and other minors systems and mold a B+ team today, A+ soon. It may work. Our history has been change for the sake of change. This off season has been much more studied. Again, we hope...

I think I'm too jaded to actually hope. Like I said, I'm waiting to really judge this whole thing. I did make the decision to not go to Spring Training this year, because I just haven't seen much to get excited about yet. Hopefully, next year I'll feel differently. Half the reason I go is to see some kids play, and by next year I'm hoping some of the new acquisitions will move up the food chain some.

Agreed. Dale has his work cut out for him. I'm still planning on subscribing to MLB.TV just to catch what he does with what he has and how he adjusts to situations. Last season I had to stop watching except when Campana was playing. No, he probably won't win a world series, but he played fun-to-watch baseball. Q-ball, however, was in over his cap.

Sigh. I'll subscribe, too. I did last year, even. But I didn't watch many games. It all seemed so hopeless.

I'm willing to wait it out and see what happens. I've been a cubs fan for 25 years and I won't change my rooting interest of anything like that. I just want the Cubs to be perennially competitive. I just see some troubling signs with this ownership group. And I think some sort of light needs to be shone on what they are doing.

oh yes please enlighten us with these "troubling signs" that you so prophetically are seeing.

Troubling sign #1. Joe Ricketts was the actual money man on the purchase. He doesn't even like baseball. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac6h2wczxGA Troubling sign #2. Tom Ricketts saying he figured we'd be top 4-ish in NL payroll. When the 4th place payroll was 97 million. Which was 50 million dollars less than what his payroll was at that time. So he was telegraphing a lowering of payroll over a year and a half ago. Troubling sign #3. His statements such as "We don't need to spend on top level free agents. We can spend on vets coming off of down years and maybe find a bargain" and "I looked at teams who got the most wins per dollar when looking for a new front office voice" It all just kind of reeks of a guy who wants to put as little money as possible into the ballclub. Troubling sign #4 The reports that the Cubs are looking to slash expenditures internally. Also that they planned to have scouts double up in hotel rooms and were planning to cut per diem's from 50 to 30 bucks. Even though they might be backing off of that. It still speaks to the point that they are looking to pinch pennies wherever possible. It just feels like Ricketts wants to be the baron of P.K. Wrigley's adult beer garden.

1. Joe Ricketts does not like baseball that's why he put his own son in charge who LOVES baseball and the Cubs 2. It's already been proven that having the largest payroll does not guarantee you championships. 3. Even if they are reducing payroll they are still putting that savings into other areas which in their opinion will make the Cubs franchise as a whole better and more sound which will eventually lead to a strong winning foundation. 4. Well reports are reports. they may be true or not. in this case the latest on that report is that they ARE NOT slashing per diem. they are actually hiring more scouts and increasing the size of the front office to improve the player evaluation capabilities of the team The bottom line is that Ricketts/Epstein/Hoyer's strategy for long term success does not line up with yours. And based on track record, i will put my money on Team Epstein. no offense.

Do you think the Epstein/Hoyer strategy was to slash payroll? They are playing the hand they are dealt. Not setting budgets in Wrigleyville.

so still going with the theory they both left their jobs to take shittier jobs?

Theo got a promotion and out from under the thumb of Lucchino. Then he offered an either or job to Hoyer and Byrnes. The Pads owner had a long relationship with Byrnes and wanted him to be his GM. I like the hires overall. Just don't think it was the theft of other peoples talent like some are trying to paint it out to be. Both guys got out before the walls started to close in around them at their previous jobs.

And to expound. Theo was a lame duck GM in Boston. Last year of contract without an extension on the table. Probably a good reason why compensation hasn't been settled. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-10-11/sp... And Hoyer was allowed to leave because ownership wanted to promote Byrnes in San Diego. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-10-29...

You've been in a slump lately, Doc, but this was a good comment. Epstein was sort of a lame duck in Boston in that he had no room to grow. Both Boston and San Diego had a lot of GM-type talent and thought that Epstein and Hoyer were expendable. Given a choice among Epstein, Hoyer, Lucchino, Cherington and Byrnes, I'm quite content with what we have. As for payroll, I'm a bit of a bargain hunter myself. Except for Lilly and DeRosa, I have loathed the high-priced FA's in blue pinstripes over the last five years. You must not have had the same reaction to Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley or you would not be straining so hard to find players like Dunn, Kubel, etc.

Hoyer, who reportedly was about to close on a house in San Diego, was blown away by the parameters of a five-year offer, You read not willing to match an unprecedented 5-year offer as he was being pushed out?

I thought it was pretty much common knowledge that Theo would being either Hoyer or Byrnes to GM. Jeff Moorad gave his blessing on Hoyer because he preferred Byrnes. Obviously he couldn't keep both guys in that situation. All that being said. I do like the Thoyer front office. I'd like them more if they were allowed to work with the 130-150 range payrolls that Hendry got.

They *can* spend that kind of money. I guarantee it. They just have no one to spend it on now. You spend it when you can win. You don't spend it cause you can - if you do then you lock in players for too many years, at inflated prices, that aren't good enough - and you still don't win. That's ALL that is going on here doc!

I hope so.

i think jimmer hit the nail on the head there. value for money not just shopping to spend.

You can say that again... Don't worry, he will.

Well, being that your projection for this year's payroll was off by tens of millions of dollars, I'll believe that <$90M payroll amount when we see it.

Hendry hired by Yankees as special assistant to Cashman.


"Brian, my boy, let me show you the wonderful world if the no trade clause"

I literally see them smoking cigars, sipping scotch or brandy, and laughing at the Cubs as an entity. "Well, Jimmy, ya tried. Welcome to the good life. Ya think they'll ever do it?" "Probably not, but they say if anyone can that kid from Beantown can, y'know, whatsizname?" "Well, not until he gets to spend like us, anyhow." (in unison) "Bwahahaahaa!!!"

I'm glad he found a team with lots of money... he'll have a ball.

what's w/ the recent obsession w/ baseball heads on obese bodies? LOL

Good question; there might be something wrong with me. Who's next?!

there's still retro neifi on an obese mermaid body to be done. someone just has to mention him...

Hmm. I don't have a mermaid one...but here's a Two-headed Neifi-Dusty Gorilla Hybrid. http://flic.kr/p/bmTkD4 ...I'll have to think about a mermaid, though. Nice.

haha... you, sir, have a talent.

Why thank you! It's a useless talent, but I feed on compliments...it's one of my love languages:) http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

I fucking hate that book. Goddamn pastor made us read that before getting married. It told me that I don't give a shit about gifts and I like to fuck.

Lulz. Yeah, it was required by a spiritual director/councilor (wife of a pastor:) because my wife wanted us to meet with her.

Thanks for the mermaid idea. As soon as I heard mermaid, though, I immediately though of Zambrano...I don't know why. Any, how he's a fish, so it's more fitting. I decided to go a little more retro, 50's-ish black and white. http://flic.kr/p/bngKx8

awesome...so awesome.

Thanks Crunch. Any guesses on whose torso that actually is?

Lou Pinella?

Ooh good guess. Nope. It's not a fair questions because it's someone famous, but not in baseball. *Hint: You can see from the picture that he's phat.


ozzie background is a nice touch

Thanks; I thought that negative space needed a little something extra. Though only in spirit, I allowed him to break the ex-Cub barrier.

where were you when we were still doing that Cubs photoshop blog?

I don't know...that's new to me. What was it?

it's still here but we haven't posted anything in years. might be a good time to revive it. http://cubsfun.blogspot.com/

Wow, I completely missed that...

:) too fat and too white. It's Russell Simmons.

nice things said about Russ Canzler and that he seemingly may be the Indians starting 1b over LaPorta. http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/2...

one of the nicest guys in the game and everyone's teammate. even if he hit .100 for the rest of his career clubs would be begging for him to be a coach if his current demeanor sticks around.

Teams fear getting stuck with the other Schmidt deal -- the three-year, $47MM contract he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/free-ag... I thought it was 3/44. ?

3/44 was cubs supposed deal

I thought 3/44 meant "Old News"?

That's very 3/44

Yes it is, but when you get to be my age, even the basics slip away from the neuron matrix. Luckily for me, we have people working on the problem. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/...

According to Bruce Levine, Cubs' major needs are backup INF, and backup catcher. Anyone else feel like perhaps the starting lineup has a few holes in it???

Hmm...I thought, with the signings so far, that over the hill mediocre reliever was the Cubs biggest need?

Apparently we are shopping for a high draft pick in the 2013 draft.

If they're stockpiling relievers, it may because the Red Sox have their sights on Beliveau and Rhoderick, the two best young Cub relievers.

What, Rodrigo hasn't been signed?

don't mention 2nd...we've gotten through the offseason without some people realizing d.barney is slotted up. wonder SWAIN will hit him 2nd in the lineup...never been much of a fan of "contact hits 2nd" but it's a religion to many managers.

another kid goes down via recreational drug use... "Angels' minor league right-hander Daniel Reynolds was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse." okay. yeah, playing baseball on the highest stage is a high-money-earning profession and recreational drug use is something MLB teams do not want their players doing...however...imo...we need to quit punishing kids for this with the same level of punishment as PEDs. jeremy jeffress agrees.

Totally agree. Hell, there's a distinct threshold that shows an inverse relationship between age and money, and if I had as much cash as some of these young dudes at their age, I'd have been doing lines of blow off call girls' stomachs for the opening fucking act. Not because of how awesome that sounds, but because even normal men in their late teens and early 20s feel immortal/bulletproof to some extent, if I played PRO F'ING BASEBALL and got paid an ungodly sum of money to do it, or even just to sign with a particular team, I mean that's the american dream to some people, man. I'd probably have flamed out young, ended up broke and dead in a puddle of my own vomit at 25, but I'd have had a ride for the ages on the way. Kinda makes the vindictive part some of us wanted in the testing lose its teeth a little. A lot of fans don't want you to punish drug users, Bud-dy boy, we want you to punish FUCKING CHEATERS. And not little scuff the ball/steal the sign with the runner on second cheaters, but real according to hoyle I'm trying to steal an unfair advantage cross the line fucking cheaters. But if a young rich kid can't do blow off hookers man, I mean, come on, what's next, haircut regs and uniform inspections for the whole league? 75 gm suspensions for the side piece some guys have on the road? Not saying I condone the behavior, I simply don't give a shit because it's none of my business, and it ain't the league's business either. /rant over

1986 Mets agree...and Fergie Jenkins is somewhere in the back yelling "Hell yeah!"

Anyone remember Steve Howe?

Sure it's the league's business. MLB is a business and they're trying to protect their assets to make more money. If you as a business owner had an employee who was drugged out constantly and it was affecting your bottom line you do something about it. Strawberry is the poster child of someone who screwed up their career cause of drugs and in the end that hurts the team which hurts MLB.

IF it's affecting the bottom line, maybe. But I would argue it doesn't. But you fine or counsel a guy, you don't make him sit out 50 fucking games just because of it. Teams will let you know if you're screwing up bad enough that it's having effects, see Hamilton, Josh. Bottom line, that's a team issue, not a league issue. People still bought Strawberry jerseys and rooted for a comeback, so effects were minimal. It's also a lot about PR, and who among us saw whoever this minor leaguer is splashed all over front page news for screwing up, until the league slammed him? It reeks of "No, really, look how pure baseball is moms and dads!" PR BS, not the punishment fitting the crime.

MLB/The Owners own the business. They can do whatever they damn well please. And it's not like these issues aren't collectively bargained anyway. If the players don't like it, they can go dig ditches for a living or whatever the hell else they want.

Unfortunately, the players who smoke weed are breaking the law, so MLB doesn't have much of a choice when it comes to discipline. They pretty much need to come down on the general side of "if you break the law by ingesting illegal substances, it's 50 days". Otherwise, they'd be taking a political position ("Pot should be legalized"). I'd argue any day of the week that alcohol is a much more sinister drug than weed, and that, well, people who tend to abuse don't base their drug on choice on anything other than what turns them on. But the legalization of weed is a political topic, and MLB can't be seen as taking a position in favor of it. The fact that if you have a predisposition to abuse drugs you are much safer from a physiological standpoint to make weed your drug of choice than alcohol doesn't have any bearing on current law, and, therefore, cannot be used as an argument by the MLB for its drug use policies. If you feel really strongly about this, I'd recommend saving the money you'd spend on a seat to watch this mediocre roster and sending a donation to NORML.

I don't have a big stake in this discussion, but by your rationale it wouldn't be a big leap to give out 50 game suspensions for DUI's. The enforcement and criminalization of pot is very unnecessary when you realize how many people are in jail for pot. I worked for a contractor building a federal prison and it cost about 80k per inmate to build. FBOP officials told me it costs 40k per year to house each inmate (this is in rural Mississippi about 10 years ago for the sake of cost of living). Also, the crack cocaine laws were bullshit with the 100:1 ratio compared to powder cocaine, but whatever. Just some thoughts to share

Well, I don't want to get all political, but yeah, I agree with the silliness of current drug enforcement laws. I was just saying that I understand why MLB thinks it needs to group all illegal drugs together. I personally would just look the other way. If somebody wants to go all Daryl Strawberry on himself, I guess I see how that hurts a team, but it's still ultimately the most damaging to the player, and laws aren't going to really have any effect on an addictive personality. As for 50 game suspensions for DUI, it actually would be more consistent to do that.

Personally, I don't particularly care if they do or don't get punished for misbehavior, but MLB should probably follow the rest of society in its punishment of employees*. I do think that penalties should be greater for those are attempting to cheat...actually harming the company itself. *If players are being punished for weed, then absofuckinglutely, 50 game penalties should be handed out for DUI's. Both are illegal but only one is endangering society.

About the DUI piece, totally concur. Great discussions. And while we're at it... Would coke make Soriano take faster routes to the ball?? (somebody had to)

His hop on the catch would be replaced by itching his neck. Maybe that's crack. I dunno

PR is part of what having this big a business in the public eye is about though. Take Apple right now with the sweat shop stuff going on. They risk losing a lot of busines because of bad PR and are going to need to take a huge step to fix it. Baseball has lots of ups and downs and has gone through some bad PR drug wise. If they feel like financially they are better off hitting drug users hard then that is a cost/benefit analysis done and completely in their right. I don't agree with having pot be illegal. I do agree with businesses being able to decide what they want employees doing if their employees actions are harming the business bottom line. You might not think it is with baseball players using pot but in the end we don't have the financials and they do. I see nothing wrong with teams (and MLB) wanting to protect their assetts by making sure they don't start doing stupid crap that's gonna get them in trouble outside of baseball. I see the same thing happening in the NFL with the player safety stuff. As much as people complain that the NFL is becoming sissified, when you pay someone millions of dollars, you want to make sure they keep producing for you.

I'm glad johann's back. I'm missed them.

And I want to make sure I wasn't misunderstood, because I agree with most of that. I have no issues with what MLB can or cannot do, and as somebody pointed out, it's bargained collectively. I just think a) 50 games for recreational drug use is excessive (whether I'm looking at their financials or not, I just don't buy it) and b) it's a crock that it's the same penalty for rec drug use as PEDs. I would ultimately defer to Old and Blue, who I think hit the nail on the head that they have to take the 'all drugs are bad' stance, I'm just surprised and irritated that it's 'all drugs are EQUALLY bad'. Realistically, though, my guess is that was absolutely a result of the bargaining process... "We want 50 gms first time for PEDs." "Oh yeah? Why not for all drugs??"

they sure all hell wouldn't let them rec drug test on the MLB level without a prior reason...it's all on the minors kids. hell, i don't even mind the testing, but the penalties on par with a dude pumping PEDs is kinda a "screw u." if they wanted to shut down all the weed smokers in the MLB they'd have to go back to a 24 team MLB just to keep people on the field.

How many NBA and NFL teams would be left? I'm guessing less

"Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com in Minnesota reports that the Cubs and Athletics are among the teams showing the most interest in free agent reliever Todd Coffey." alright, then. i like the guy...wood + coffey would make one hell of a positive/intense leadership bullpen.

I love coffee

Two things I have every morning. Sorry.



Golf clap


If he starts sprinting now, he can be in Arizona by the time pitchers and catcher report.

CubbyBlue-- Were you perhaps inspired in part by a certain Monty Python skit spoofing film director Sam Peckinpah? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmcrreUVBeo

woo oldschool comedy gore. this is one of my favorite python skits. also, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is really really awesome "grown up grindhouse"

Please Jeebus pgammo Peter Gammons tweet- Bud Selig still hasn't received written arguments in Cubs-Red Sox compensation case. "OK, I've defined 'significant compensation-Soriano..."

on Epstein and Cashman http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/sports/base... “All these negotiations, the team that doesn’t sign the guy is better off than the team that actually signed the guy — the joke’s on us,” Epstein said, before relating the story of his 2002 courtship of Jose Contreras, who signed with the Yankees but failed in New York. “Sometimes, there’s a winner’s curse.”

Looks like Theo continues to layer his people over the old Cubs front office. No mention at all of Paul Weaver or Oneri Fleita in this article http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-31... Contrast that with this one last July. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-02...

And, how does this affect the urgent per diem issue that seems to be prevelant here to some?

I have no idea why anyone would think this relates to the utterly stupid plan the Cubs had to cut scouts' per diem so that it would be less than NCAA college ball players get.

You mean the plan that never happened? That one?

Are you suggesting that there was never a plan in the first place?

I'm suggesting that they didn't lower the per diem, regardless of initial reports.

Well then its obvious that ownership is generous and will spend whatever is needed to compete then. Guess I was worried over nothing.

I've seen a lot on here (not only you) with this stance. Would it really mattered or been worth it to spen money to plan to finish fucking second or third in the Central with maybe 85-87 wins, or does it make more sense (ie would it make you happier) to see real, long term fixes and legitimate chances at depth and WS rings over the next 3-5 years that the seeds were laid now? YES, before you bother to type it, you maintain that the team can do both. I disagree. The Ricketts bought this team (not the Steinbrenners), and there's a difference between large market club and bottomless pit of money to waste. There is something to be said for frugality so when the next Fielders/Pujols' are on the market, it's not if the Cubs will be involved, but for how much. I don't see what Thoyer does, but I have no doubt that this organization was fucked in several ways top to bottom, and have no issues with that being the focus this year. I'm also an eternal optimist, and maybe Stewart turns it around and hits .250/25/85 this year!! But whatever...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php... Goldstein polls execs on Cespedes vs. 5 current CF'ers and whom they'd prefer Rasmus: 6-2 Cespedes Stubbs: 6-2 Cespedes Upton: 5-3 Cespedes Chris Young: 4-4 Adam Jones: 6-2 Adam Jones suggest 5/40 as a deal...

Do the same poll with Fukudome prior to the 2008 season. We'll see. Seems like a good year to gamble on high-ceiling foreign talent, though.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/2... 12 teams since 2006 went from a losing record to the playoffs, only 2 did it by "buying" there way there. 2007 Cubs and 2006 Dodgers.

"Besides Lilly and Marquis, the rotation was helped by Rich Hill's one good season" HAHA

Another rendering of new RF bleachers http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IEpM-XxWlqA/TymWiKN...

I assume the discolored ivy is because whoever did that was too lazy to match it up. Otherwise, I don't think it looks too bad. (Not advocating for it, mind you.)


How about an upper deck to the bleachers while they're at it?

I can't believe people think any of this is "cool." Wrigley is being walled in. But then you might have to be as old as I am to remember when you could see home runs hit the streets and lawns outside the park ...or care.

Do hr that go on the street count more then the ones that land in basket?

I will never forget Willie Stargell blasting a high line shot over the right field catwalk, across Sheffield Avenue and up against one of the apartment buildings. Longest home run to right field I ever witnessed at Wrigley. Don't really remember any basket home runs at all... What's your most memorable basket "shot."

Mike Lowell Game 1 of the NLCS in 2003

I remember Glenallen Hill hitting a moonshot that ended up either off of the rooftop building or actually in the across the street rooftop. The Steroid Era was really a lot of fun.

Landed on roof behind left fiedl

If you can stand the unbelievably grating voice of Chip Caray, ugh..... http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3017...

I would much rather listen to Chip Carey than Len Kasper.

You, thankfully, are in the very small minority.

Len was truly terrible his first year in Chicago, but I forced myself to keep an open mind, and he has truly improved dramatically. I still listen to Pat.

Rocket Shot to Right Field!!!!!!! ...Caught by Theriot... Chip Caray...FTL....

Len is absolutely terrible. I can't stand the way that he does games. I enjoyed listening to Chip, especially when worked with Steve Stone. I know that he annoyed people, but I would take Chip over Len any day of the week.

I miss Steve Stone in the booth.

Why is Len "terrible," especially when compared to Chip "BELTED!" Caray?

Chip Caray in a nutshell: "There's a line drive base hit to left field.....it's caught out there...(stammering)" Chip Caray was one of the worst announcers ever. EVER.

IMO - he is too often self absorbed. He sounds like every other young announcer, but seems to lack any personality. There was a time, and not that long ago, when you could tell who you were listening too. Now everyone sounds the same. I find Len boring and his analysis of the games to be lacking of anything valuable. When the Cubs are playing the Cardinals, I would rather listen to the Redbird announcers. At least they are entertaining. I know that people's opinion may differ, but when I grew up listening to Harry, and Brickhouse, and Jack Buck, the bar is set high. I love the way that Bob Ucker does a game. The Cubs deserve the best, but we end up with a run of mill, boring, poor excuse of an announcer.

Well, Len's not an analyst, but having said that, he knows WAY more about the game than Chip does. I would agree in one sense that Len's VOICE is not particularly distinctive, but his approach to the broadcast, his references and his wit make him much, much better than generic and much, much better than Chip. IMHO, of course.

Like len alot. Him and bb are good listen, Pat Hughes is better and even more so since last year. Chip and Joe Carter in the booth possibly worst team ever

I think too many fans judge Chip by the time he spent with Joe Carter. No announcer could sound good with Carter. He had to be the worst analyst I have ever heard. When Stone came back it was like a breath of fresh air.

There are fans that judge Chip just as harshly for his time with Stoney. Because he sucked then, too.

And after when he had that disasterous post season Twins game which he did for TBS. I believe he has not done any since.

Just busting your balls. I don't mind them building up Wrigley, if it brings in more money so be it. I was a kid in the LF bleachers when Kingman hit a homerun over my head onto the street. They finished fifth that year.

Kingman hit a moon shot one time onto Kenmore Ave ON THE FLY. It bounced several times and ended up nearly a block past Waveland. The ball hawks had to run their ass off to chase it down. Yes, Glenallen Hill put one on the roof of the apartment building that is behind the left field foul pole. You can find the clip on YouTube the last time I searched for it. When I was a kid, I swore a remember some opposing batter launching one to RF that ended up breaking a third story window on one of the apartment buildings on Sheffield. I want to say it was Stargell, but memory fades.

I remember Bonds breaking a window on Sheffield during batting practice, probably about 2004.

That picture CRACKS ME UP! The rest of the stadium is empty except a smattering of early arrivals - and then the new section has a bunch dutifully rendered fans sitting expectedly and packed in. So awesome!

"TMZ reports that the L.A. City Attorney's Office is not pursuing a DUI case against James Loney "due to insufficient evidence."" 1- lol source 2- found incoherent at the scene after crashing into 3 cars and refused to take a breathalizer he lucked out on a late-taken blood test and came out inconclusive/negative so his lawyer gets him a pass. neat...i guess.

Drunk driving lesson 1, always refuse the breathalyzer.

fwiw, and I'm sure it's total bullshit, they claim it was head trauma from the accident. Prosecutors said all the tests came back negative from a blood test. No idea how long it would be in his system or when they took it. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02...

2012 Topps skip schumaker http://media.philly.com/images/300*194/201202... lulz. also, they digitally edited pujols into an angels uniform...and keith olberman has an autographed insert in the Topps set which he signed "sorry, i know you wanted a joe maurer - keith olberman"

selig decision on bos/cubs compensation due by Oct 2012 decision on ryan braun's appeal due by Dec 2012 and if no one reminds SD...they've forgotten about their compensation with the cubs so everyone be cool and shhh when SD is around...that includes tony gwynn, too. be cool, y'all...

SD already got their compensation. I promised to stop making death threats to Steve Garvey.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118049602.html holy crap it's about time someone made a new jackie robinson flick. he's a hard character because of his later views on race/class conflicting with the easy-route hero story if he had stayed on a linear path with his beliefs. it goes back to the military and even before with jackie...not just being "the guy" hand picked by b.rickey. hope they do it up right...it's a tricky one. i wonder what year(s) they'll concentrate on or if it's a full life story. also, http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118047311

There's a play running in Chicago right now. http://lookingglasstheatre.org/content/box_of... Haven't seen it, but I think it's gotten good reviews.

Prediction: You won't like it Backup Prediction: You would like it better if it had a Japanese baseball player/chainsaw monster in it

the backup prediction i can already call as true without seeing a page of a script of a scene in a preview.

1977 Cub highlights vs Reds, Jack on the call http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUURe4vXP64&fe...

I was 12 years old that season and don't think I missed an inning of a game that year. Of all the cubs teams I probably knew those players the best . . . Remember every quirk of every player. tha Baron . . . Man oh man. They are all a LOT skinnier than I remember actually . . . Great to see it again Jacos. Thanks! What year was the 23-22 loss? Phillies I think . . .


Oh man, do I remember that game, I can't believe someone posted that to YT, that is awesome!

Fuck you, groundhog, pitchers and catchers report in 16 days.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/ea... Early top 100 by BA for 2012 draft

Can't remember what all our top 100 picks are... something like 6, 43, 53, 76 Looking at those numbers all are pitchers! A sign?

currently 6, 43, 54, and 64 (which could be pushed down to as far as 67) as there are 3 Type B's still out there -D. Lee, E. Jackson and R. Ibanez, 2 of whom may retire. 43 and 54 are still in flux as well depending on if and who those 3 sign with.

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  • waveland 8 hours 45 min ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 39 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS. 


  • bradsbeard 11 hours 23 min ago (view)

    Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH. 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).   

    Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.   


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 1 min ago (view)

    I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option


  • bradsbeard 13 hours 6 min ago (view)

    I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 


  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 7 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

    BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 


  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

    Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could. 


  • crunch 13 hours 24 min ago (view)

    i am rooting for the cubs to retain schwarber.

    even though he's average on the best of days in LF (except his above average arm), i would like to see him and his work ethic remain in the cubs system...the homers from the left side of the plate are nice, too.


  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 46 min ago (view)

    At least as things stand right now, Kris Bryant is your Cubs de facto 2021 Opening Day LF! (Of course we know he will be traded before then...). 

    Otherwise, minor league NRI outfielders Ian Miller, Michael Hermosillo, and Rafael Ortega will be competing for Opening Day OF slots, with a legit shot to win a job.

    Even Alfonso Rivas (who was hitting rockets from foul line to foul line at AZ Instructs) and/or Eddy Julio Martinez (who has had a very good winter in the Mexican Pacific League) might have a shot.  


  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 48 min ago (view)

    I would think that both Colin Rea and Kyle Ryan must have signed contracts with minor league split salaries, otherwise I doubt very much that they would have been tendered. 


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 21 sec ago (view)

    With Tepera non-tendered and Winkler, Ryan, and Rea signed, the Cubs 2021 Opening Day bullpen (right now) would appear to be Kimbrel (clearly not tradeable), Wick (virtual lock), Winkler (can't be optioned without his consent), Underwood (out of minor league options), and Maples (out of minor league options), and then three from amongst Adam, Norwood, Rea, Ryan, Stock, and Wieck (each of whom can be optioned back & forth to AAA as needed).


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 19 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

    So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

    The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open). 


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Keep in mind that as things stand right now the Cubs projected 2021 MLB payroll is almost $50M under the 2021 CBT threshold (which will be $210M), so they don't have to worry about contract AAV if they can sign a player to a multi-year deal with a low 2021 base salary and then substantially higher salaries post-2021 (when they should be able to generate their normal attendance-based revenues --.presuming CoViD-19 is no longer a problem by that time).     


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 21 min ago (view)

    TIME OUT: As I mentioned in the post, the Cubs cannot cut Schwarber's base salary more than 20% without first non-tendering him, so if he is agreeable the Cubs could sign him for a relatively low base 2021 salary (something like $5M) combined with performance bonuses based upon actual PA (not pro-rated PA) maybe totaling $5M (which would cover the Cubs if the 2021 season is truncated), and then maybe an additional year or two (2022-23) for something like $10M per year plus performance bonuses (again, based on PA). Schwarber could get a player opt-out as well post-2021. 


  • crunch 17 hours 55 min ago (view)

    it's not surprising, but i also don't see the downside of giving him the $8m-ish he'd be owed.

    if you can hit 30+ homers that's usually money you can easily go get.

    i seriously wonder about this offseason and the amount of investment the cubs are going to make in the team.  i mean, it's fine if they go cheap yet somehow field a great team via off-season trades or other forms of black magic...i just don't trust how this off-season is unfolding so far.