Archive for July, 2006

Podcast is Here

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

In response to the poll on the sidebar, I am pleased to announce the arrival of a podcast on this site. I have teamed up with new blogger Phil Zuber of A Cub Fan’s Obsession. Phil has a degree in radio so it helps to have someone like that to get the ball rolling.

The Podcast will be called the Big League Baseball Report. We have plans to produce a podcast at least every other week. It will be increased if there is a demand there. This first podcast is a little longer than they will normally be, but we have some good topics on there. Here is a rundown of the broadcast (33 min)

  • Discussion of booing in sports
  • 5 Hitters potentially on the move before the deadline
  • 5 Pitchers potentially on the move before the deadlne
  • Cubs that could or should be moved before the deadline

We’re excited to bring this podcast to you. We really value your feedback. Give it a listen and please use the comment section. Enjoy!!!

Download the Podcast (MP3) – Here

UPDATE iTunes Subscription is available here

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Trade Winds Blowin’

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

This comes from the Sun Times this morning:

The San Diego Padres reportedly are in the hunt for Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, who would have to waive his no-trade clause to play for the National League West contenders.

Maddux lives in Las Vegas during the offseason and had talked about playing on the West Coast before signing with the Cubs in 2004.

The Cubs and Padres recently completed a swap of reliever Scott Williamson to San Diego for two pitching prospects. And the Padres have expressed interest in Maddux, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Well of course they’re looking at Maddux. After they fleeced un in the Williamson deal, who wouldn’t want to come back and see if it can be done twice. I don’t blame the Padres one bit for inquiring because according Hendry, the price is probably right.

I don’t know what to do with this rumor. We’ve heard a couple of teams mentioned in the Maddux sweepstakes, most of them out west. I’d love to see Maddux get himself a World Series before he retires. At this point, I think a deal is imminent and to be honest, I really wouldn’t be surprised to see it be OK by Maddux.

My Prediction: Atlanta calls their native son home for a last run at greatness. Maddux goes to the Braves, finishes out the year, and then signs on as Bobby Cox pitching coach in the spring. Once again, Atlanta gets what we want.

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Spoilers

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Tonight the Cubs sent 47,686 Mets fans lurching toward the vomitoriums as they attempt to lock up the season’s series, winning 8-6. On the minus side Dempster came in and almost blew the save but this time Dusty had Howry and Ohman up just in case. For a change Dusty looked managerial as he handed the ball to Howry and the Cubs won. Neifi also showed that he has much more prowess playing the left side of the infield than the right, he committed a key error and looked sloppy on a double play opportunity later in the game.

On the plus side Carlos Zambrano re-took the major league lead for homeruns by a pitcher and Ramirez and Nevin combined for back to back jacks in the first. The Cubs were again scrappy on offense including doubles by Perez and Hank White and they played spirited ball against one of the best teams in baseball.

Tomorrow will be a problem since Mark Prior takes the hill – look for a high-scoring game and hopefully the Cubs will continue their offensive onslaught against the Mets.

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Winning ugly

Monday, July 24th, 2006

But it was still winning – the Cubs stopped their three-game slide with an 8-7 win against the Mets in Shea. Beating the Mets is always nice, even when you’re on pace to lose a hundred games. Nightmares of Tom Seaver, Ed Kranepool, Keith Hernandez, Tug McGraw, Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry still torment me to this day, despite the fact that the Cubs no longer have divisional play against the Mets.

There was some timely hitting tonight, including back to back jacks by Ramirez and Jacque Jones. Earlier in the game Aramis got waved home by third base coach Mike Quade, but Ramirez chose to pull up and coast into third. I suspect that they will have speaks after the game. In my opinion the Cubs’ third baseman didn’t turn second base very hard and had less than a full head of steam heading into third. Ronny Cedeno played less than stellar shortstop tonight turning the double play but fortunately the Cubs had enough offense to win.

Prior to the game Derrek Lee was returned to the 15 day DL – it appears as though Lee was brought back too early following his wrist injury. I sort of expected this because they took his cast off and less than three weeks later he was on the bench in Chicago. How can one expect Derrek to build up strength and flexibility in that short a period of time? Hopefully now the Cubs’ brass will allow him to heal, condition properly and be fully ready for 2007.

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Here we go again

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

Today’s loss makes about the ninth time this year that the Cubs have been swept; one of those was a four game sweep. That means that thirty-one of the Cubs’ sixty losses came when they were totally out-matched by their opponent – they couldn’t even salvage one victory. Excluding two game series, the Cubs have been swept in nine of twenty-nine series, or thirty-one percent of ‘em. Almost a third of the time.

Lose lose lose. Or lose lose lose lose. Take yer pick, you have to have a strong degree of intestinal fortitude AND be a loyal fan to watch all these games and still hang in there. This team lacks in so many facets of the game. Sure they’ve been hurt. They were hurt in 2004 and 2005 too. Why do the Cubs consistently have injuries? Is it that they are not shedding injury-prone players? Are they unlucky or do they do a poor job of conditioning their athletes? Methinks all three of those scenarios are correct.

Why is it that every Cub team for at least the last four years has made fundamental mistakes on the field? I know it’s not from playing too many rookies, although some of this year’s rookies have contributed more than their fair share of bonehead plays. If I lived in Chicago I’d be tempted to go out to the ballpark early and see if this team ever does fielding practice or stretching exercises. And let’s face it, the 2006 Cubs can’t hit their way out of a wet paper bag.

Most of us concede that the leadership is very, very bad. Hendry looks like a knuckle-dragging cretin after the last trade – I can just imagine Jim waking up after a bad hangover and saying: “Trade? What trade?” Everybody seems to be looking for quality relievers but the best that our GM could get for Williamson was another team’s 16th and 19th-best prospects, both of whom have high ERAs and tons of walks. I’m scared to imagine what he will trade guys like Walker and Nevin for.

Today’s loss puts the Cubs back on track for one hundred losses. I am really looking forward to September of 2008, November too for that matter.

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Cubs send Williamson to Padres

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Today the Cubs traded seldom-used reliever Scott Williamson to San Diego for two Single A pitchers – both pitchers are supposed to have live arms. Here’s what www.sandiegopadres.com had to say about these two guys:

“[Fabian] Jimenez is 5-7 with a 4.43 ERA in 17 starts at Fort Wayne. He has struck out 54 and walked 52 in 87 1/3 innings. [Joel] Santo is 6-6 with a 5.38 ERA in 20 games, 15 as a starter. He’s 20-29 with a 4.92 ERA in 87 career Minor League appearances, 72 as a starter.”

What amazes me is that neither of these guys have had arm trouble. Otherwise it’s simply another “something for nothing” Jim Hendry trade – we trade something and get nothing. Look for more of the same when Nevin gets dealt.

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Finally…A Confession

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

There is finally some closure in the Steven A. Smith saga.

TV host Stephen A. Smith took on a new role Friday–investigative reporter. He said he found that an assistant producer on his ESPN2 show, “Quite Frankly With Stephen A. Smith,” had deceived him about a memo relating to an episode with Dusty Baker. “He lied to everybody,” Smith said. “Then he tried to cover it up.” The aide had e-mailed an invitation to several Cubs blogs offering free tickets to the taping of the show and adding: “You guys can definitely feel free to BOO Dusty if you so please.” After learning of the memo, Baker pulled out. Smith said the assistant producer admitted Friday he had lied. “I apologize for any unethical behavior from a member of my staff,” Smith said. “He will be dealt with.”

Chicago Tribune

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Cubs lose in a seesaw affair

Friday, July 21st, 2006

This was not a “bad Cubs loss.” Prior came in and did his usual job of poor pitching – his ERA is now flirting with 9 and it’s pretty much a guaranteed loss every time he takes the hill. No more excuses for this guy, it’s time for him to do his job or be a long reliever. He can’t be counted on as a starter from what I can see; if he’s not hurt he’s getting shelled. Personal note to Prior: “Sorry Mark but you’re gonna have to train during the offseason, you’re a professional athlete, it’s your job. It’s unfair to the rest of the team to do your spring training in July.”

Glendon Rusch pitched well in relief and Aramis Ramirez hit two 440 foot-plus bombs to get the Cubs back into the game. The offense played scrappy ball and gave the team a two-run lead going into the eighth; Scott Eyre had to leave the game with a sore lower back (he’ll be day to day) and Howry couldn’t get the job done. Cedeno also made a fool out of himself on a relay throw to home which cost the Cubs the winning run; I’ve been a big Ronny supporter but it’s now time to tell him that his throws might cost him his job if he doesn’t improve by the end of the year. Sometimes you just have to be direct.

Tomorrow the Cubs will be blacked out in most markets, Sean Marshall goes to the mound against Livan Hernandez. Marshall has thrown better this year than Livan but that guy has given us fits with his offspeed stuff and different looks. The Cubs are now 8 out of their last 15 so I’m not complaining.

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And we think we have it bad!

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

I’m not going to denigrate this site putting Shea Hillenbrand’s picture on it. Nor am I going to attempt to explain his reasons for what he did. Two short years ago we watched Sammy Sosa commit the ultimate act of Cubs treachery on Fan Appreciation Day. But Sammy’s actions pale to insignificance compared to what Shea did.

Mind you I don’t mind the actions that Toronto’s manager took – there’s no excuse for a player doing what Hillenbrand is alleged to have done. Rather, I fault Toronto for not handling the problem right – when you have a real attitude problem like this guy you have to do what the Angels did with Guillen. Suspend him for the rest of the year and show some backbone. Lay the smack down!

The Cubs aren’t stupid enough to trade for this clown and hopefully other teams will use some common sense too. Hillenbrand is another Jon Rocker, he’s just stupid in another way. Baseball will be better off without him.

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