Posted on 05 April 2012 by Lou
For a while it looked like the Cubs might actually win on opening day, but it wasn’t meant to be as the Cubs ‘pen blew a great outing from Ryan Dempster. Dempster worked 7 2/3 innings, giving up just 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 10 Nationals hitters. Dempster got out of 2 early jams (2nd and 3rd with only 1 out in the 1st inning; bases loaded and only 1 out in the 3rd inning) to keep the game scoreless against Nats ace Stephen Strasburg. The Cubs eventually took the lead in the 4th inning on a timely 2-out single by Marlon Byrd which gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Dempster worked all the way into the 8th and had 2 outs with a runner on base when Manager Dale Sveum made his move. Sure it is only Game 1 and sure Dempster had racked up 108 pitches, but leave the guy out there. Sveum brought in Kerry Wood – who had a limited spring due to injury – to try to get the final out of the inning. But Wood walked 3 straight batters to force in the tying run. Not good.
Then Sveum called on Carlos Marmol in the 9th with the game tied 1-1. After he got 2 quick outs, Marmol gave up a double to Chad Tracy and a game-winning single to Ian Desmond and just like that the Cubs has lost 2-1. Hey, I guess at least Marmol threw strikes and didn’t walk a batter, right?
The Cubs did make it interesting in the 9th when Ian Stewart “tripled” to right field when Jayson Werth lost the ball in the sun in that dreaded corner-outpost area. Joe Mather pinch-ran for Stewart and Mather was quickly gunned down at the plate in a bang-bang play on Jeff Baker’s grounder to 3rd.
I have a feeling we’re going to see a LOT of games like this. Cubs starters keep the Cubs in the game with a lot of 3-2, 2-1 scores. Cubs offense doesn’t produce enough run-support. Cubs bullpen blows game. Cubs lose. I wish I could be more optimistic, but this team just has way too many holes and with no dead-on power-hitter who can serve as an equalizer with a big home run with runners on base, the Cubs will have one of the poorest offenses in 2012. Who knows, maybe we’ll see Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson a lot sooner than President Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have led on. Only time will tell…
Posted on 22 October 2011 by Lou
It’s official – Tom Ricketts and the Cubs have hired Theo Epstein as their new President of Baseball Operations. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig convinced the teams to make the announcement on Tuesday (a World Series off day) and finalize the compensation to allow Epstein out of his last year as Red Sox GM at a later date. After aiming “high” by asking for Starlin Castro and then Matt Garza, and then asking the Cubs to take on the remaining 3 years of John Lackey’s $82.5 contract, the Red Sox agreed to settle for “minor league prospects” as compensation. The Red Sox and Cubs spent a week haggling over players until they agreed upon a process to select the players to be traded from the Cubs to the Red Sox to complete the deal. What is known is that the Cubs top 3 prospects – Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt and Matt Szczur will not be part of the deal.
The Cubs have scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to make the announcement. After the World Series ends, the Cubs will then announce that San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer will come to the Cubs to serve as GM under Epstein. Padres Assistant GM Jason McLeod – a top scout under Epstein and Hoyer with the Red Sox – will also re-unite with the duo in Chicago and serve as Assistant GM to Hoyer.
This is pretty incredible – the Cubs who have had one of the smallest baseball executive offices in all of baseball with GM Jim Hendry and Assistant GM Randy Bush will now become one of the premiere offices in all of baseball. These guys all have a proven track record, so let’s hope that they can get it done on the North Side in the next few years.
Good work Tom – let’s hope we see some immediate improvement over the next few seasons…
Posted on 20 October 2011 by Lou
The Cubs are set to hire Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations and then Jed Hoyer as General Manager. Supposedly all the details have been agreed upon and now it’s just a matter of waiting for a World Series off-day for the teams to publicly make the announce on Friday. Cash will not be part of the deal, but it looks like the Cubs will send one or more prospects to the Red Sox for the ability to hire Theo. The prospects till not be any of the Cubs top prospects – Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt or Matt Szczur.
The Cubs will not owe any compensation to the San Diego Padres to hire their GM away from San Diego. The Padres are ready to promote their senior VP of baseball operations Josh Byrnes into the role currently held by Hoyer.
Now it looks like Tom Ricketts got his main man and also pulled off another coup by landing Hoyer in the process as well. The two-headed Epstein-Hoyer monster is sure to make Cubs fans very very happy. I’m sure we’ll have a lot more to report on Friday morning – we’ll keep you posted…
Posted on 17 October 2011 by Lou
The Cubs and Red Sox are still trying to work out the compensation that will allow the Cubs to hire Theo Epstein as their new General Manager. While things have been mostly quiet on the front, it did come out over the weekend that the Red Sox initially requested Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza in the deal. Good luck with that one John Henry. What a joke. I hope Tom Ricketts laughed in their faces when they threw Garza’s name out there, just as he should do if the Red Sox throw out the Cubs top prospect – Brett Jackson – as the player who needs to move if the Cubs want to complete the deal.
This is turning into a complete charade, as it appears that Red Sox management is being completely unreasonable. If you knew you would only let Theo go if the other team gave you a top major league player or a top prospect, then you should have made that clear when you granted the other team position to talk to your GM. If you really wanted your GM there long-term (or at least for the final year of his contract), then you should not have even granted another team the right to speak to Theo.
Red Sox management is making this way more difficult than it needs to be and I hope Ricketts holds his ground before succumbing to the Red Sox egregious demands. At this point, the last thing that the Red Sox want to do is bring Theo back, so they are in just as a tough position as the Cubs are. After all the things John Henry has said the last 2 weeks, can you really see Theo serving out his final year as Red Sox GM? No way. If that happened, the Red Sox would probably have to pay Theo the value of his final year PLUS the $3.5 million conclusion bonus just to sit on the sideline. I can’t see them trusting Theo enough to play a major role in selecting the Red Sox next manager and then making major player decisions which will affect the Red Sox organization for the next several years.
It’s clear that both Red Sox management and the Ricketts family will have to “bend” a little in order to get this deal done. Ricketts wants Theo to turn his bad club around and the Red Sox want Theo out of their skin so they can go onto the next phase with a new GM and a new manager. Now they just need to take a step back, realize what is at stake and come up with a minor league prospect who can make both sides save face. I know that’s tough to swallow for millionaires with insane egos who are used to getting what they want. But if they look at the alternatives at this point of the negotiations, I think they’ll be able to see which is the better way to proceed.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as anything goes”official” before the start of the World Series on Wednesday…
Posted on 08 November 2010 by Lou
The Cubs top outfield prospect – Brett Jackson – will not participate in the Arizona Fall League as expected. Jackson was diagnosed with a calf infection and doctors feel that shutting him down is in his best interests. Jackson was the Cubs top pick in the 2009 Draft. He had dealt with a heel injury for Team USA earlier this year, but GM Jim Hendry has said that the calf injury is unrelated. Jackson is expected to make a full recovery and Hendry is not worried that this will set him back in his development in the least. Hendry confirmed that Jackson has played plenty of ball the last 18 months and that he will be ready for Spring Training 2011. It is unlikely that Jackson will make the major league roster coming out of spring training, but look for Jackson to have an impact soon a la Tyler Colvin…