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Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



October 2011



Wednesday Roundup: Crickets Everywhere

Written by , Posted in General

Arbitration Eligible – If you didn’t get a chance to read Noah’s piece on why the Cubs should extend Matt Garza and buy out his arbitration time you can do that here. Piggybacking on that thought, MLB Trade Rumors beat me to the punch and listed out the arbitration eligible Cubs as we head into the offseason. If you’re not familiar with the CBA, players are on auto renewal at league minimum for the first three years of Major League Service. Once they have accrued three years time, they have three addition years where they can go to arbitration to have an independent third party decide what they should be paid. Typically the Cubs do not go that route. Ryan Theriot was an exception a few years ago, becoming one of the first in a long time. That said, here are the guys eligible this off-season in the system:

I think I’ve been pretty clear on our current catchers and my feelings on them so there is no way I offer Hill a contract. The other guys are useful pieces for the right price, especially Garza.

NBA Cancels The Preseason – Insert crickets chirping here. All the momentum that league built up last off-season with the LeBron / Wade watch will come crashing down with this lockout. That league is in serious trouble and isn’t going to get better unless the players understand their pay needs to come down.

Deadspin Question of the Week – If you’re not a reader, shame on you. Each week they have a funbag that takes readers e-mails about completely random stuff and answers them. This question in this week’s edition is one I’d like to pose to you:

There’s gonna be some brave nutcase out there who ends up dating and marrying Amanda Knox. But who? If you were single, would you consider going out with an accused murderer? Would you give her a year or two to make sure she keeps her nose clean? ~

I have to claim ignorance on this one. Before I looked her up on Google, I had no idea who this Knox chick was. Is that bad?

“Brenly on managing job: ‘They know where to find me'” – And yet they never call, Bob. They never call. Poor guy continues to throw hints that he wants to manage, but no one calls. That must be frustrating and somewhat embarrassing. Insert crickets chirping here.

Dan Shaughnessy reported that the Cubs have been granted permission to talk with Theo Epstein. That got me thinking about two things. 1) If Ricketts would have bumped into Theo at Starbucks before getting permission and just sat and had coffee with him, discussing the Amanda Knox question, would that be considered grounds for tampering? After all, if they’d both date her, that could mean they’re aligned. 2) If you were going to make a movie about Will Ferrell and the lead was not going to be Will Ferrell, is there anyone better to play the role than Shaughnessy? Seriously? Amiright?

Enjoy your Wednesday everyone. Be sure to check back later today for a piece on Aramis Ramirez and the decision the Cubs need to make on his future with the team. Norm makes a strong case on what he thinks the team should do.

  • lizzie

    You guys are safe, Amanda Knox wasn’t accused of murdering her boyfriend. I, on the other hand, might want to think twice before joining in. 😉

  • Buddy

    I don’t want Quade to return, but I certainly don’t want Brenly as his replacement.

  • Norm Bothwell

    Agree Buddy…Brenly with sac bunts in the first inning is about as dumb as it gets for managers.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Lizzie…that was funny!!

  • That kid from Napoleon Dynomite sure didn’t age well.

  • Doc Raker

    Lizzie- You like to join in? Something new on the bucket list? Outstanding.
    * Amanda Knox- There is something to be sad about a woman who has been deprived for 4 years. A quick goodbye thereafter would be suggested, I wouldn’t close my eyes for to long while with her.
    * Matt Garza is the only name on that list that deserves a raise. Soto and Wells get offered with no raise and you let everyone else go.

  • Joe


    I believe it’s in the CBA that a player offered arbitation is required to get a raise of some sort. I don’t have the CBA here with me, but I’ll take a look at that when I get a chance.

  • Chuck

    RE NBA: I hope they get something figured out soon. With baseball wrapping up, I won’t have any teams to follow besides my kid’s teams. I don’t like the NFL and my alma mater is almost never on TV (go Cyclones!) so I need the Bulls to get me through the winter.
    RE Knox: This may be considered rude and borderline inappropriate, but here goes. I am only somewhat familiar with the case. I think she was accused of raping and killing her female roommate (how a female can rape another female is something I can’t quite wrap my mind around) with some other dude, there was some sort of investigation shenanigans and she was put away. I have no idea if she is innocent or guilty or just plain crazy. The question is whether or not I would date her? I would not if I was single. But I can see why somebody would. She is attractive and she has that potential crazy-girl bonus. Granted all women are crazy, but anybody who has dated a woman with above average nuttiness knows what I am talking about. I think she is girlfriend material but not wife material unless the guy was a total attention whore like anybody involved with a Kardasian.

  • Chuck

    I believe that arbitration works int he following way:
    Player agent submits a proposal that details the players work, potential and achievements that supports a salary number.
    The GM submits a different proposal that suports a different salary number.
    An arbitrator picks one or the other. There is no negotiation or compromise.


    Joe – I have a copy of the most recent CBA. I think it is up this winter though


    Arbitration – I only want to keep Wells, Soto, and Garza from that group
    NBA lockout – I want my NBA! Derrick Rose is amazing to watch (yesterday was his MJ and Sandberg birthday, I’m 3 months older than him). The NBA was pretty lousy for about 10 years after Jordan, but the last 3-4 years it’s gotten a lot better, and the league does risk killing the momentum it generated last year with the whole 3 stooges debacle.
    Amanda Knox – You are not alone. I never heard of the name either until yesterday
    No comment on the last 2 issues
    Chuck is right about how arbitration works. He can’t choose somewhere in the middle like in other jobs.

  • Norm Bothwell

    Right, if the Cubs don’t offer Soto or Wells a raise, they’ll lose in arbitration and have to pay whatever figure the agents submit.


    I think you can even offer a cut. I know the Cubs tried doing that with Prior one year. Speaking of him, and recent news on him?

  • There are rules for when you’re able to issue a pay cut.


    Then why were they able to do it with Prior? Is it because he didn’t pitch? Do you want the CBA BTW?

  • Buddy

    Under no circumstances should Koyie Hill return to Chicago. I’d rather see the Cubs place a wooden backstop behind home plate than catch Koyie Hil even one inning of one game.

  • Jedi

    Buddy, if we could get Koyie to construct the backstop we’d be killing two birds with one stone – he’d likely saw off a few more of those precious digits in the process.

  • BLPCB, no thanks. I’ve got it saved at the house. I’m at the office and don’t have a copy here.

  • Seymour Butts

    What rocks do you guys live under that had never heard of this young woman. It is big news in this neck of the woods, and what appears to have happened is that she was railroaded by an unscrupulous prosecutor and it took 4 years to be cleared.
    Fortunately we live in the good old US of A where our lawyers have scruples. (insert emoticon)
    Would I date her? My wife has issues with me dating, and she is younger than my daughter, so yes I would. Raker is right on with that deprived for 4 years angle, though most women’s prison movies indicate she may not be all that deprived.

  • Jedi

    The Knox coverage in the US has been rather one-sided. Not saying she did it, I really don’t know enough to have a strong opinion…but there are entire countries in Europe who feel about Knox the way most rational Americans feel about OJ Simpson. That’s got to count for something.

  • Seymour Butts

    Well, I wasn’t there, but according to the evidence, neither was Amanda and Rapheal. No DNA, no motive, and 1 convict, inebriated witness who later recanted. The cops interrogated her around the clock until she “confessed” but the details didn’t match.
    It’s likely hard to find any country in the world that likes Americans. Debating that logic would take multiple posts, but the appeals jury did not say not guilty, they said innocent. One of the Jurors said it was apparent to them that they were not present at the time of the crime. There is also one person convicted of the crime whose DNA was found at the crime scene. He implicated the others fr a reduction in his sentence in a deal with an indited (though not disbarred) prosecutor.
    So, the message. Be very careful when you travel abroad, The world hates us.

  • Jedi

    It’s very possible that’s all there is to it. I will add though that her confession and subsequent retraction makes her only look more guilty to me. Not really a big believer in the “I have a weak mind and the cops convinced me to confess” defense. That’s right up there with “them drugs belong to my cousin” or “the cops set me up” as far as excuses. If my college roommate had been murdered when I was 20, it would’ve taken more than a few persistent cops and a lot longer than 14 hours for me to start confessing to something I didn’t do or had no knowledge of.

  • Doc Raker

    Note to Seymour: The world doesn’t hate the US anymore since Obama’s apology tour don’t you know(insert laugh track).
    * Regarding arbitration: does the club know the difference in salary request before committing to offering a salary? I would only offer to Wells and Soto if their requests were reasonable, $1-2M.
    * Don’t know much about the Knox case but one thing is for sure, she was hanging out with low lifes. Not a great example of ‘studying abroad’- not to be confused with ‘studying a broad ‘ like what Seymour does at certain adult clubs while passing out dollar bills.

  • Chuck

    Doc: I do not believe that each side knows what the other is going to submit. They look at contracts of similar players, recent contract offers, historical trends, etc…
    Jedi: The cops can exert tremendous pressure on people. Don’t kid yourself. The cops do it for a living and most people don’t have any experience in dealing with interrogation. Most people who are arrested are tangentially associated with the crime. They may not have done it, but they aren’t exactly sitting at home reading the Bible either. They have something to hide and cops can use that to squeeze them. The best advice I ever got regarding being arrested (given to me by a cop by the way) was keep your mouth shut and request a lawyer ASAP. Doubly so if you are innocent because the cops don’t go around arresting people unless they thought they did it.

  • Doc Raker

    I could believe that Knox knew of the diabolical plan to kill her roommate and didn’t do enough to stop it for some petty jealousy reason. That would make her bat shit crazy but if you are hanging out with such low lifes to begin with you aren’t on terra firma in the first place. Still, 4 years of no action for Knox, someone is going to hit the bonaza some night soon.


    It’s true what Chuck is saying. I was once interrogated by the Chicago Police for absolutely nothing. I went out to call my friend and then went back to the train station 5 minutes later and I got harassed for no reason.

  • Jedi

    “Most people who are arrested are tangentially associated with the crime.”

    That’s my point – there’s a reason she confessed. Whether the confession was accurate in every detail is a fair argument to make; but her claim now is essentially that she was in no way part of anything that happened to her roommate. The second she confesses, it becomes nearly impossible for me to believe that she knows nothing.

    For instance, I can swallow the idea that she didn’t actually plunge the knife into her friend. I can even believe that she only knew of it after her friend was dead. What I can’t believe is that she hasn’t got a clue about anything that might’ve led to her friend’s death – and there are only three kinds of people found at a murder scene 1) the dead, 2) the killer(s)/accomplice(s), and 3) the witness(es) – obviously sometimes there aren’t any witnesses. Knox isn’t dead; she confessed to being a killer/accomplice before she recanted; but has in no way tried to offer up information as you would expect from a witness. If she was honest, I’d be more inclined to feel badly for her supposed “injustice.”

  • I’ll leave the squabbling up to you guys and Nancy Grace. I am sort of disappointed to hear that Seymour isn’t squeaky clean. Almost had my vote…

  • Seymour Butts

    What? you thought my nom de plume was only a single entendre?
    10% of death row inmates who had DNA evidence re-examined by project innocence were found to be wrongfully convicted. I would assume that at least the same percentage holds true for crimes that involved less rigorous examination. Although you can still say “most” are connected with the crime, there are enough who are caught up in a shit storm thru no fault of their own to make a reasonable person have an open mind.
    Now that dude on trial for Michael Jackson’s death, absolutely no way to defend what he did. That drug has no place being used outside of the hospital. None. All of the extraneous issues are only surfacing to confuse the ill informed.

  • Jedi

    Most of those death row guys never approached anything close to a confession either; quite the opposite they’ve been pimping their innocence from day one. If she’d never confessed and/or eventually been honest about what she knows, I’d have a lot more sympathy.

  • Larry Sproul

    Please no more Koyie Hill . Lets hope this is his last behind the dish . Maybe he can get a slot as bullpen catcher somewhere .