Archive | December, 2009

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Reaction to Milton Bradley Trade – Gotta Love It…

Posted on 19 December 2009 by Lou

Cubs Brewers Baseball

Gotta love the reaction to the Milton Bradley trade to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Carlos Silva as we reported yesterday.

Manager Lou Pinella: “It was a gamble that didn’t work out lik we had hoped.  The way the season ended for Milton left little doubt that he would be back the following year…”

Catcher Koyie Hill: “I hope he has a great year except for the three game we play him.”  The Cubs take on the Mariners in Seattle in interleague play in June.

Ah the Milton Bradley Saga Continues…  Although it’s great that he is someone else’s problem now!

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Finally Something Good to Cheer About Cubs Fans – Milton Bradley Is Gone…

Posted on 18 December 2009 by Lou

Cubs Milton Bradley Risk 1

The Chicago Cubs have traded underperforming, disgruntled outfielder Milton Bradley to the Seattle Mariners for starting pitcher Carlos Silva.  It’s basically exchanging one bad contract for another (the Mariners will actually give the Cubs $6 million because Silva is owed $25 million over the next 2 years while Bradley is owed $21 million over the next 2 years), but at least they get Bradley out of the locker room.  Bradley didn’t perform on the field and he let it get the best of him by coming up with excuses for why the Chicago Cubs are a losing organization.  Bradley refused to let others in and refused to be a team player, and he was ultimately suspended for the final 15 games of the season because of his insubordination.  Cubs fans can finally rejoice.

Bradley hit just .257 in 124 games for the Cubs in 2009.  Bradley’s .378 on-base percentage was exceptional, but the Cubs did not sign Bradley to a lucrative 3-year deal in the off-season to watch him walk a lot.  They signed him to add a left-handed bat to a right-heavy lineup, and they expected him to add a little pop and drive in some runs.  He did neither, hitting just 12 HR’s and knocking in 40 RBI’s in 393 at-bats.  How pathetic is that?  To put it in perspective, Jake Fox in limited play (82 games and 230 at-bats) hit 11 HR’s and drove in 45 runs.  What a joke.  Throw in the fact that Bradley was a “cancer” in the locker room and it turned into one of GM Jim Hendry’s worst signings.

Now the Cubs are forced to take on another bad deal – Silva’s 4-year, $48 million deal signed right before the 2008 MLB season – just to make sure they don’t have to deal with Bradley’s theatrics for 2 more years.  The Cubs will be on the hook for the $11.5 million owed to Silva in each of 2010 and 2011.  There is a $2 million buyout on a 2012 option for the Cubs which they will certainly not exercise.  Silva is known to be a very smart pitcher who has good control of the strike zone.  He won’t walk a lot of batters, but he won’t strike out a lot of batters either.  He puts the ball in play and relies on his defense to make the routine plays.  Given the fact that Ted Lilly will not be ready to start the season in April because of his off-season surgery and a lack of dependable 5th starter penciled in, Silva could serve that role.  Silva made only 6 starts in 2009 because of injuries.  He made 28 starts in 2008, but had a hefty 6.46 ERA with a 1.60 WHIP.  Silva’s 2 best years were with the Twins in 2004 (14-8, 203 innings pitched, 4.21 ERA and 1.43 WHIP) and in 2007 (13-14, 202 innings pitched, 4.19 ERA and 1.31 WHIP), so he does have the potential to turn it around.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all works out.  We knew moving Bradley would be a lose-lose situation, but at least he is gone and now maybe Hendry will be able to focus on acquiring or signing that center fielder and/or relief pitcher that the Cubs so desperately need.  Plus, keep in mind that given the following 2 statements by Hendry and starter Ryan Dempster, there was really no choice in the matter – Bradley had to go regardless of the cost…

Hendry: “The bottom line is he got off to such a bad start, and the expectations were so high for all of us, and when the expectations weren’t met and the criticism started in his direction, I don’t think he handled it well.  Once you go down that path, we’re playing on the big stage, and if you want the big stage you have to be able to perform on the big stage.”

Dempster: “It’s unfortunate.  At the end of the day, he was provided a great opportunity to come over here and be a part of a really great organization with a lot of really good guys, and it just didn’t seem to make him happy or anything.”

Boy oh boy…

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Ice Skating Rink Opening Delayed Until Saturday December 18th – Boo Hoo!

Posted on 17 December 2009 by Lou

wrigley field ice skating rink

Boo-Hoo – the Chicago Cubs had to delay the opening of the new ice skating rink on Wrigley Field property until Saturday December 15th because of inclement weather.  What a tragedy!

There will actually be an “Opening Ceremony” for the new ice skating rink on Saturday that is scheduled to start at 11:00AM.  Gimme a break!

Ryan Dempster will throw out the ceremonial “first pitch” to “christen” the rink.  Alderman Tom Tunney and Tom and Laura Ricketts are scheduled to be on hand for the festivities as well.  In addition to being able to skate on the rink, most people really want to be there to see the much-heralded performance by the Starlights Synchronized Skating organization – if you’ve never seen one of their performances, you haven’t lived…

Good job Crane and the Cubs brass – forget about making improvements to a disastrous performance in 2009.  Let’s focus on bringing in some revenue from the ice skating rink and taking out the troughs in the mens’ bathrooms to put in state of the art pissers…

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Ron Santo, Cubs, WGN Reach Radio Deal Extension

Posted on 16 December 2009 by Lou

chicago cubs ron santo lou pinella1

Ron Santo fans – you have reason to celebrate – WGN and Santo have agreed upon an extension that will keep Santo broadcasting on the radio through 2012.  Santo has diabetes and has dealt with the ramifications of his disease while missing time periodically to deal with those medical issues that arise from time to time.  WGN will still work with Santo during those times of.  Pat Hughes will still call the games, while former Cubs pitcher Dave Otto will continue to fill in for Santo when he is not able to make certain broadcasts.  Santo will be 70 in February, but is thrilled to be able to keep calling Cubs games for the foreseeable future.  “I go nuts when I can’t be at the games, but I have to think about my family and my health… So, if I’m not feeling well or I get wiped out, I’ll take cretain days off and WGN has no problem with that… I’m feeling good and I’m on a real good program now where I’m on a stationary bike, and my wife got me a special chair that I can do sit-ups in.”  Yippee – gotta love listening to a Hughes/Santo broadcast – doesn’t get much better than that…

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Cubs Still Trying to Deal Milton Bradley & Add Center Fielder

Posted on 15 December 2009 by Lou

Cubs Rockies Baseball

While other teams are wheeling and dealing this winter, GM Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs are stuck in the mud.  Hendry is still trying to make a Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell deal happen with the Tampa Bay Rays.  Each of Bradley and Burrell are owed $9 million during the 2010 MLB campaign.  But Bradley is still owed $11 million in 2011 and the Rays want the Cubs to pick up some of that tab for making a dumb contract with Bradley.  The deal still could happen, but it will all depend upon what the Ricketts Family is willing to eat for the disgruntled outfielder.  If the deal does go through, then Hendry and the Cubs would likely try to move Burrell somewhere else, and would presumably have to eat a portion of the $9 million owed to Burrell for this season.

Assuming of all this happens, Hendry and the Cubs still need to find a starting center fielder.  The New York Yankees already traded for Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers.  The Boston Red Sox beat Hendry and the Cubs to the punch on free agent Mike Cameron, signing him to a 2-year $15.5 million deal (seems a bit much for a 37-year old center fielder to play left field).  There are still a few options out there.  Tops on the list is Marlon Byrd from the Texas Rangers.  Byrd is 32 and has flourished under hitting coach Rudy Jarmillo who is now the Cubs hitting coach.  Byrd is averaging a .295 batting average in his last 3 seasons in Texas, but has plenty of suitors competing for his services.  If it gets into a bidding war, the Cubs will likely lose out on the outfielder.  After Byrd, there are less attractive options like Rick Ankiel and Scott Podsednik.  If the Cubs don’t get Byrd, I would rather have them try to re-sign Reed Johnson instead of taking a shot on Ankiel or Podsednik.

Guess we’ll see what happens.  It is definitely frustrating watching all of these top notch teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies continue to improve while the Cubs sit idly by hoping that someone pecks them on a cheek and gives them a bone.  It is pretty pathetic.  The Ricketts Family and Manager Lou Pinella must be seething at the position Hendry has left the Cubs in this off-season and the off-season for the next couple of years with the Bad Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley contracts still crushing the books…

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Cubs Tender Contracts to All But Neal Cotts

Posted on 14 December 2009 by Lou

Brewers Cubs Baseball

The Chicago Cubs tendered contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players except for Neal Cotts.  As we previously reported, the Cubs expect to bring Cotts back anyway as the 2 sides will work out a deal in the interim.

Carlos Marmol and Ryan Theriot were 2 of the players to be tendered contracts and the 2 players who will likely receive the biggest raises.

GM Jim Hendry will continue to negotiate with each player so as to avoid an arbitration hearing with any player.  The Cubs have not been involved in an arbitration hearing since 1993 when they won a case with Mark Grace.  We’ll keep you posted as soon as the Cubs announce any agreed upon contracts.

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Chicago Cubs Add Pitchers Arismendy Mota & Michael Parisi

Posted on 12 December 2009 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs added pitchers Arismendy Mota and Michael Parisi this week.  The Cubs got Mota from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.  Mota is 22 years-old and he made 15 starts in the White Sox Diminican Summer League – 7-2 record, 1.81 ERA, with 80 K’s in 89 2/3 innings.  The Cubs got Parisi from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday during the Winter Meetings.  The Cards failed to protect Parisi as a top minor league prospect.

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Cubs Plan to Offer Contracts to all Arbitration Eligible Players

Posted on 11 December 2009 by Lou

carlos marmol back2

The Chicago Cubs are expected to tender contracts to all but one of their arbitration-eligible players.  The lone exception is Neal Cotts whom they plan on re-signing anyway.  Cotts missed a good chunk of the 2009 MLB schedule following Tommy John surgery on his left throwing elbow at the beginning of July.  He and his family moved to Arizona so that he could begin his rehab work in earnest.

The players that the Cubs will offer contracts to include – – 2nd base men Jeff Baker and Mike Fontenot; shortstop Ryan Theriot; catcher Koyie Hill; and pitchers Carlos Marmol, Angel Guzman, Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Marshall.

The Cubs have not gone to arbitration with a player since they won a case against Mark Grace back in 1993.

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GM Jim Hendry Accomplishes Absolutely Nothing at Winter Meetings

Posted on 10 December 2009 by Lou

Cubs GM Jim Hendry had 1 thing to do at the Winter Meetings this week – move Milton Bradley – even if it meant eating some of the $21 million owed to him over the next 2 seasons.  Did he accomplish that?  Of course not.  This guy really has to go.

Look at his quotes: “I thought there would be more trading.  I hoped there would be, obviously, for us.  I talked to a few guys, and they felt like they were going to make a deal in the next couple of days… For us, obviously, we would’ve loved to have made one here, but I don’t think it’ll be a detriment.  I think we’ll make a deal or two before the holidays.  It was a little slower pace and not as much action as I think all of us who sit in our seats would’ve liked.”

And later: “Right now, it seems like a lot more free agents are getting signed in January, and this year seems to be one of them… I think there will be opportunities to get a right fit in the outfield before we go to Spring Training.”

Ya think?!  What does this guy get paid for, other than to make bad deals that cripple the organization for the next 3-4 years?  This is a joke.  He can’t even accomplish the one essential thing that the Cubs need for 2010 – to move the tempermental and overrated Milton Bradley.  Something needs to give here.  I really hope the Ricketts Family closely assesses Hendry’s capabilities as a GM during the 2010 MLB season.  If we don’t see marked improvement and creativity, a change needs to be made…

CHICAGO CUBS JIM HENDRY LOU PINELLA2

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Ice Skating Rink @ Wrigley Field Set to Open on December 15th – Yippee!

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Lou

chicago cubs wrigley field ice skating rink

Forget about the ball club that can’t win an October playoff baseball game – now we have an ice skating rink on the grounds of Wrigley Field for all to enjoy.  YIPPEE!

“The Rink at Wrigley” opens on Tuesday, December 15th.  The rink is temporarily located in the parking lot on Clark Street just west of the stadium.  The Ricketts Family, the City of Chicago and Tom Tunney – the 44th Ward Alderman – were all for the family activity located right near Wrigley Field.  Tom Ricketts had this to say about the rink idea: “The ‘Rink at Wrigley’ is a great way to bring winter fun to our community and to highlight our commitment to our neighbors and the City of Chicago… We are excited to offer a family-friendly activity for our fans and neighbors at the ballpark during the offseason.”

The price is right – only $10 for adults and $6 for kids.  The only hiccup – – the hours of operation.  Sunday through Thursday, the rink stays open until 10PM and on Friday and Saturday, the rink stays open until 11PM.  Tom Tunney and the “Friends of Wrigley Field” won’t allow night baseball games on Friday or Saturday because of the negative impact to the community!  But now we’re going to be marketing a rink that stays open until 11PM those nights just to make a little money.  What about the liability too? – drunk patrons from Cubby Bear, Casey Morans, Barleycorn, Murphy’s Bleachers stumbling onto the ice skating rink ruining the fun for everyone else.  This should be interesting – I’m sure there will be some “negative” incidents during the free skates, but at least it will help off-set some of the millions of dollars shelled out by the Ricketts Family to buy the Cubs this past October…

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