Archive for February, 2006

Faith in Hendry?

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Sometimes it’s fun to look back at previous writing and see how your opinion has changed over the years. After 2003, everyone was on not only the Cubs bandwagon, but the Jim Hendry bandwagon. People wrote columns about why Jim Hendry was the best GM in baseball and everyone was buzzing about the upcoming World Series appearance that the Cubs were bound to be making. Even Sports Illustrated picked the Cubs to win it all.

Now, as the Cubs have failed to meet expectations over the past two seasons, Bryan from the Baseball Analysts takes a look back at what he wrote about Hendry. It’s an interesting look back and one that I think is dead on. His main premise is that Hendry is still one of the five best GM’s in the league when it comes to making trades, but one of the worst when it comes to managing the 40 man roster, losing players to the Rule 5 draft, and off season free agency.

Here are some of the highlights of the article.

Like his manager, Hendry enters the 2006 season in a place where no one would have thought just a year and a half ago: on the hot seat. Recently, I had a reader e-mail me asking for updated thoughts on Jim Hendry. “My question is, do you still feel the same about him? He’s not looking that smart anymore,” the reader questioned. Today we’ll breakdown the last two winters to see if Hendry has indeed taken a step back as a General Manager.

Jim Hendry has never traded away a prospect worthy of any real value in the end. In fact, in almost every trade he has made, he gets the better end of the bargain. Eighteen months later, I still think that Hendry is one of the five best GM’s in the game at making trades.

This year could be the make or break year for Jim Hendry. I really think that if he does not show something this season, it could be the end of the line. The fact that he has not been extended to this point has to be a clue that McPhail is watching.

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TWENTY QUESTIONS

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

In light of the recent scandal that has derailed hockey and the reputation of its premier personality, in view of the increasingly popularity of gambling on television (Poker) and especially at the college level, in view of this nation’s obsession with sports betting, I offer you the following:

Gamblers Anonymous offers the following questions to anyone who may have a gambling problem. These questions are provided to help the individual decide if he or she is a compulsive gambler and wants to stop gambling.

1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.

To get help…

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And then there were none…

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Just a quick note to let you all know that yes, I’m still here and that the Cubs have avoided arbitration with Carlos Zambrano by signing him to a one year, $6.5 million dollar deal.

Read about it.

As this college basketball season heats up, make sure you do all your sports betting online.

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Well it’s news to me

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

I vaguely recall Milo Hamilton’s time as a broadcaster for the Cubs – in my timeline he was somewhere before Stoney and after Lloyd Petit. Apparently this time period is still very vivid in Milo’s mind as he takes Cubs icon Harry Carey to task in his new book entitled “Making Airwaves: 60 years at Milo’s Microphone.” Milo depicts Harry as a pompous arse topped with a liberal dose of arrogance. ”He rode managers. He rode players,” wrote Hamilton. “It didn’t matter. He treated everyone the same way. In short, he was a miserable human being.”

It’s curious that Milo waited all this time to speak his mind. I’ve never regarded Harry as a saint but it’s surely the first time I’ve seen him depicted as the devil. Hamilton went on further to indicate that there were problems with other members of the Cubs family as well. In fact the only person in the entire organization he had anything good to say about was longtime Cubs producer Arne Harris. Well, who couldn’t get along with Arne?

I’m sure that Harry gave Milo some reason to be hurt – he portrays Harry to be a vindictive man. But the vituperative manner in which Hamilton trashes Harry’s memory makes it clearly evident who the real vindictive character was. I didn’t think much when Milo left town, he never really had any emotion or excitement in his voice when he called his games. But now that I look at it parenthetically I’m glad the Cubs clipped this guy before he bored generations of Cubs fans the way he has done Astros fans. Sorry that Harry wasn’t the best pal to you Milo, as an announcer you couldn’t hold Harry’s jockstrap.

Update
This isn’t newsworthy enough to be a post, but it does involve a former Cub. Fresh off the wire from mlb.com is speculation that Sammy is perhaps less than likely to sign with the Nats (thanks to Rotoworld for the heads up.) Is this Sammy’s Swan Song or is he playing chicken just before he swerves away and takes the offer? Methinks the latter – Sammy is addicted to the headlines, perhaps he’ll swallow his pride and do what coaches have been telling him for three years now…either that or he gets cut by Washington and leaves baseball as a shadow of His Samminess.

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Girardi Unavailable for Comment

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

On the heels of Joe Aiello’s post of yesterday….

beard

Artist Marco Figgen poses with his 1.10-metre-long (3.6-foot-long) beard, which he uses to paint, at his studio in Pattaya City, in Thailand’s Chonburi province, nearly 110 km (69 miles) east of Bangkok, February 3, 2006. The 51-year-old German citizen, who first came to Thailand nine years ago, describes his unique paint brush as an extension of his soul, and has been growing his beard for 13 years.

Figgen, no relation to rising superstar Chone Figgens, said he would bypass Marlins spring training camp to concentrate on his art.

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