Archive for October, 2006

Um….No, but thanks for playing

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

I was cruising Pro Sports Daily and I noticed a curious headline that read “Screw Aramis”. The link was to the forum where a person who uses the handle “Cubswoo” had posted the following:

I am getting so tired of this Aramis situation.
How greedy do you have to be to want more money than the 2 years 22 million dollars left on his contract?
If he wants to opt out let him opt out and get more money elsewhere, he’s a good player but he’s no Albert Pujols, the Cubs would have finished in last place with or without him last year and most of his home runs were garbage home runs when the games were way out of hand. We can get a serviceable 3rd baseman for a quarter of what Ramirez wants for 1 year until Moore is ready and use the money saved by signing some good players that actually want to be here.

I’m interested in who this serviceable third-baseman he speaks of is. Perhaps it’s the great Vinny Castilla. Or maybe he wants youth and desires the wiffmaster, Russell Branyan. He doesn’t get into specifics. He does go on to say:

basic principle of business? It’s called GREED
How can a guy who never hustles and tries to catch balls with his head possibly ask for more money?
There is no doubt that he is a good player but he is not an elite player that can command a big raise just because he almost had 40 home runs in a year.
If he really wanted to win he would be happy with the 12 million the Cubs are paying him and not ask for 3 million more a year because that 3 million dollars can sign a pretty good free agent or at least help pay for an even better free agent that can help the Cubs win.

What made me laugh the most though was this:

I like the guys who go to management and are willing to take a pay cut and restructure their deals to help free up money to help the team get better.

I wonder what he would do if HIS boss called him into the office and asked him to take pay cut so they could hire another marketing person in the company. People need to remember, that baseball is a business. Cry all you want about greed, but if you were in the situation, you would do the exact same thing. You’d be a bad businessman not to.

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Time out for Prayer

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Sometimes in the business of life, we forget to slow down and actually remember that life is fragile. Recently it was Cory Lidle who was taken way too young. Now, word is that it could be Erik Walker. Walker was boating in the New River near the Virginia/NC state line. Word is that Walker and his female companion flipped. She made it to shore to call rescue. As of now, he has not been found. These situations never seem to turn out right. Hopefully this is the exception. ~ FULL STORY

If you have no clue who Erik Walker is, he is a relief pitcher drafted in the 20th round in the most recent draft by the Rays. He was a Senior out of UNC Charlotte. In limited time in the big leagues because of when he was drafted, Walker managed twenty appearances. In that time, his numbers were: 3-1 with an ERA of 0.41 and a WHIP of 0.64. Granted, he was in low A ball. He’s not a guy that would probably be very valuable in a baseball sense, but all people are valuable in a human sense.

I said a prayer for Walker today. You ought to do the same.

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Another Japanese pitcher worth consideration

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

A few days ago I posted an article about one of the true prizes available in this year’s meager offseason crapshoot – a highly-touted Japanese pitcher that Seibu is “posting” by the name of Daisuke Matsuzaka. He is probably the best pitcher to ever come out of the Orient and he will be very expensive. He is also young and will likely be an impact pitcher for years to come. Estimates are that Matsuzaka will cost somebody a $20-30 million posting fee PLUS the multi-million dollar salary that agent Scott Boras will negotiate.

There is another quality Japanese pitcher that will be available this year and reportedly the Cubs are interested. That pitcher is the Hiroshima Carp’s Hiroki Kuroda, who has reached free agent eligibility and thusly will be much cheaper than his Seibu counterpart. Kuroda is known by the nickname of “Mr. Complete Game” and his career Japanese stats are posted to the right. Kuroda throws a mid-nineties fastball, a split finger (pictured above) and a “shuuto,” which is basically that crazy pitch that Maddux throws that tails in and down to right handed batters.

Reportedly Kuroda is a hardcore competitor but allegedly he throws too many fastballs. Given the lack of quality free agent pitchers in this year’s market he deserves close consideration by the Cubs; our usual assortment of Wounded Wing pitchers will not get us a .500 record let alone a division championship.

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Here we go again

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Today’s Rotoworld reports that the Cubs are likely to re-sign Wade Miller for the 2007 campaign; it is also likely that Hendry will work out a deal that will bring back Kerry Wood as well. So here we are going forward after a disastrous season that was marred by injuries and guess what – our solution is to again rely on players who have consistent year after year injury records. When will we ever learn? The only good news is that another poor year will likely rid us of Jim Hendry and his failed policies.

In other Cubs news, former Piniella associate John McLaren chose to accept Seattle’s offer over the one that was made by the Cubs; it appears as though the favorite now for bench coach will be Alex Trammel. I do not view this as a pivotal role; no one has yet to satisfactorily explain to me what a bench coach does, other than being a crony of the manager. Lincoln Holdzkom continues to be lights out in the Arizona Fall League and former Michigan catcher and Cubs AA prospect Jake Fox has been putting up impressive offensive numbers.

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New Podcast Available

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

In this episode, Phil and I break down our opinions on the upcoming World Series. We share some historical tidbits and make our predictions for the winner and MVP. Head on over to www.bigleaguebaseballreport.com to listen. We’re now part of the 360 the Pitch network.

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