Archive | November, 2008

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Cubs Sale Update – Final Bids Due 12/1

Posted on 30 November 2008 by Lou

Thanksgiving is here and gone, and that means final bids for the Cubs are due on Monday, December 1, 2008. Only 2 days left for the final 4 bidders to get their reports into the Cubs. We should get a good idea of where all the bids stand in short time – hopefully by the end of the year. Stay tuned.

ESPN filed this report of the latest Cubs Sale Update – check it out for all the details.

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Padres Report That Cubs Are Back in the Mix for Peavy

Posted on 29 November 2008 by Lou

Padres GM Kevin Towers made comments this week that the Cubs and Padres may have identified a 3rd team who could help the Cubs land the much sought-after ace of the Padres, Jake Peavy. The 3rd team was not identified.

Towers is notorious for conducting negotiations through the media, so this should not come as any surprise. Is he trying this tactic to get the Braves or other suitors to up the ante for Peavy, or is there some truth to the statements.

Check out Yahoo’s Peavy Update for the latest on the Cubs chances of getting Jake Peavy.

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Cubs Community Outreach

Posted on 28 November 2008 by Lou

During this Thanksgiving weekend, let’s take a quick look back at the numerous for which Cubs players have extended a helping hand in the Chicago area. Many Cubs players have played huge roles in starting their own charities to help the Chicago area community or made themselves available to appear at charity events or fundraisers during the course of the year. Here’s a look back at some of the great Cubs Causes. Kudos to the Cubs organization and Cubs players for making the time and effort to get involved in such great organizations.

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Cubs Raise Awareness of Living With Diabetes

Posted on 27 November 2008 by Lou

Most people are fully aware of Cubs great Ron Santo’s battles with diabetes. Santo has endured so many struggles with the disease, yet still continues to show up in the press box for each Cubs game every single season.

Cubs player Sam Fuld has brought more awareness to the disease, as he administers glucose shots to himself in the locker room each and every day.

Now another minor league Cubs player is trying to bring awareness to the daily struggles with Diabetes. His name is Jake Fox and his wife, Allison, suffers from diabetes. Check out this great article for more details about Fox’ and the Cubs’ efforts to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with their FEWSIC Fundraiser to be held in Greenfield, Indiana at the end of December.

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Cubs Get “Short End” of Obama Media Stick

Posted on 26 November 2008 by Lou

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One would think President-elect Barack Obama has enough on his plate with the global economic crisis and the constant threat of domestic terrorism. But Obama and his team have implemented a new scheme for the news media personnel at all future press conferences. Red v. Blue? Blonde-haired v. Brunttes? Tall v. Short?

No – Cubs v. Sox! Check out John McCormick’s Cubs-Sox Rivalry Update.

Obama is a long-time Chicago White Sox fan and he and his team have decided to line up the media with one side of the room being dubbed the “Cubs side” and one side of the room being dubbed the “Sox side”. My apologies to those Sox fans who end up on the “Cubs side” and those Cubs fans who end up on the “Sox side.”

And here’s to hoping that Obama’s real plan to lead the country out of the current financial crisis shows a little more creativity and bite than the “Cubs-Sox Media Seating Chart”…

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Cubs Done Trying to Deal for Peavy

Posted on 25 November 2008 by Lou

According to Manager Lou Pinella, the Cubs are no longer pursuing San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy for their starting rotation. Click here to check out Pinella’s Thoughts. In addition, Pinella talks about the Cubs focusing on one more experienced reliever for the bullpen and a left-handed bat to hit in the middle of the lineup.

Seeing that Pinella told Waddle and Silvy (of ESPN Radio 1000) last week that he had no idea that the Cubs didn’t plan on re-signing Kerry Wood until Hendry and the Cubs traded for Marlins’ reliever Kevin Gregg, I’m not sure how much Pinella is involved in trade negotiations and personnel decisions. Hendry is usually pretty independent when it comes to his roster moves, but the signing of Ryan Dempster does make it more likely than not that the Cubs aren’t willing to give up the kitchen sink to land Peavy. Stay tuned…

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Cubs Set Sights on Royals’ Mark Teahen

Posted on 24 November 2008 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs are looking for left-handed hitting outfield help. One man that could fit that role is Mark Teahen – the Royals right fielder who has also played left field, first base and third base. Although Teahen’s numbers dropped during the 2008 MLB season, he did hit 15 home runs with 59 RBI’s in 572 at-bats. His batting average was only .255 and his on-base percentage was .313. In 2006, Teahen hit .290 in 393 at-bats, with 18 home runs, 69 RBI’s and a .357 on-base percentage. In 2007, Teahen hit .285 in 544 at-bats, with 7 home runs, 60 RBI’s and a .353 on-base percentage.

The Royals appear to want Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot in return for the 27-year old Teahen. Marshall appeared in 34 games for the Cubs in 2008, with 7 starts. He was a versatile and dependable pitcher, who had a 3.86 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Marshall walked only 23 batters in 65 1/3 innings. Mike Fontenot was a left-handed hitting spark plug for the Cubs at the 2nd base position. In 243 at-bats, Fontenot hit .305 with a .395 on-base percentage. He also hit 9 home runs and drover in 40 runs in limited play. Fontenot also came through with a ton of clutch hits that don’t appear in the box score, and gave Manager Lou Pinella flexibility to play Mark De Rosa in Right Field when Kosuke Fukodome hit the 2nd half wall once summertime arrived.

In my opinion, giving up both players for Teahen is way too much. Each player played a vital role in the Cubs success last year and were good influences in the locker room. Teahen’s drop in numbers coincides with MLB’s crackdown on steroid use, so who knows if Teahen was caught up in all the “steroid-hype”. Plus, giving up a Marshall will all but mean that any deal for Padres starter Jake Peavy is done.

Message to Cubs GM Jim Hendry – don’t do it unless we get David DeJesus instead of Mark Teahen or we only part with one of the 2 Cubs discussed above.

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Cubs’ Sale Update

Posted on 23 November 2008 by Lou

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Bob DuPuy, MLB’s President and Chief Operating Officer, has met with the 4 remaining bidders likely to make final offers by the December 1, 2008 deadline imposed by MLB and the Cubs. After the bidders conducting due diligence of the Cubs in September, and after Sam Zell, the current owner of the Cubs, analyzed the offers submitted by the bidders, MLB and the Cubs announced that a second round of offers would need to be submitted by December 1, 2008 in order to be considered for the sale. The minimum bid that can be submitted at this point in the process is $1 billion.

In earlier rounds, it was widely believed that Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, had submitted the highest bid to date, estimated to be $1.3 billion. Earlier this week, however, the SEC announced its intention to pursue a civil proceeding against Cuban involving insider trading of personal stock held by Cuban in the company momma.com. It is unclear how this lawsuit will affect Cuban’s already-shaky standing with MLB (it has been rumored that Commissioner/Dictator Bud Selig will never allow Mark Cuban to own an MLB baseball team on his watch).

Neither MLB nor the Cubs have announced the front-runner for the Cubs sale and they have refused to discuss the specific details about any of the bids. Assuming the quick review of the final bids before the end of the year, the winning bidder could be submitted to MLB ownership committee review and approval when the group meets again in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2009.

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Minor League Update

Posted on 22 November 2008 by Lou

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Here’s a quick update on 2 Cubs pitchers moving in opposite directions:

Angel Guzman has looked great pitching for the Magallanes club in Venezuela. In 5 starts, Guzman is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA. He has pitched 22 innings and struck out 15 batters during his winter ball work. Guzman missed the entire 2008 season recovering from Tommy John reconstructive surgery that he underwent at the end of 2007.

Rich Hill, on the other hand, continues to battle control problems. Hill started 5 games for the Cubs at the beginning of the 2008 MLB season, but he walked 18 batters in only 19 2/3 innings and was sent to the minor leagues to work on his delivery and command. He suffered a back injury which further affected his work during 2008, so now he is forced to work during the winter time for Aragua in Venezuela. Hill has started 6 games during the young winter ball season so far, and has not performed well. He has a 7.45 ERA and a 1-2 record. He has walked 19 batters in 19 1/3 innings, and in his last outing, he lasted only 1 inning, giving up 3 hits, 3 walks and 5 earned runs.

Boy have the tides turned for Hill. During the 2007 MLB season, Hill started 32 games for the Cubs. He went 11-8 with a 4.12 ERA and 183 strikeouts during that productive year. The Cubs had extremely high hopes for Hill during the 2008 campaign, but his continued problems are pause for concern. We’ll keep you posted if Hill turns around his winter league play any time soon.

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Peavy Deal Likely Dead

Posted on 21 November 2008 by Lou

With the signing of Ryan Dempster earlier this week, it is unlikely that the Cubs will continue to pursue San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy. The starting rotation is now set with the same 5 starters from the end of last season – Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, Harden and Marquis. It would be great to add a Peavy to any rotation, even the Cubs, but that would mean moving one of the current starters – most likely Marquis.

Sam Zell has still not settled on a buyer for the Cubs and given the financial crisis being felt all across the world, who knows where final bids will come in at the end of the month. The Cubs also have escalating commitments to current players coming up over the next few years (under contracts with Lee, Ramirez, Soriano and Zambrano), so adding on the $63 million that Peavy is still owed under his current contract through 2012, might not be feasible at this time.

The team still needs to address it’s left-handed hitting void and has limited options available given its current financial constraints and the anticipated 2009 budget. Adding Peavy’s contract to the mix would limit that even more. The Cubs are still trying to get a 3rd team involved to complete a deal for Peavy, but that option seems less and less likely as more time passes by.

My bet – the Braves and Padres eventually come to terms and agree on the right prospects to send Peavy to Atlanta.

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