Archive for February, 2007

What is wrong with players today?

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

I started to write a post about the Devil Rays this morning, but after browsing the headlines for MLB on ESPN today, I’ve realized that baseball, and sports in general are filled with crazies. Listen to these headlines:

A-Rod: Friendship with Jeter cooled – Why do I care about if these guys are friends? Play together, play hard, and shut your mouth. End of story.

Sweeney says issues with Bonds in past – Does this really make the front page? Is Mark Sweeney that big a name to where his relationship with Bonds is headline news? Who cares if Bonds says he gave him steroids. I am so sick of steroids I can’t even began to express it to you. Why can’t people just play the game honest and clean?

Boss’ hand-picked successor apologizes for DUI arrest – This has got to make big George a little worried about dying or stepping down.

Hall of Famer Kell cited in hit-and-run accident – If you hit someone, be a man. Stay and wait for the cops.

Those are four of the biggest stories right now, not even mentioning the fact that Manny is still being Manny and Bernie Williams and his saga with the Bronx Bombers continues. I hate Spring Training more than any time in the year of baseball. It’s the most exciting time, yet yields the least amount of actual news to report. As a result, we get half stories and crap drama. I say enough with this garbage. Let’s stop reporting it and stop wasting our time with it.

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Mark My Words

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Here is how the whole situation is going to unfold in the next days and weeks regarding the future of Carlos Zambrano. Tomorrow, we will read a press release that says something to the fact of “The Cubs and Carlos Zambrano have agreed to a 1 year deal for the 2007 season worth $13 million.”

Then, over the next few weeks, both sides will talk, and settle on a five year deal worth around $80 to $90 million.

According to Zambrano today “I spoke to (Hendry) earlier today. We’ll get some agreement. I don’t think we’ll go to the trial tomorrow.”

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Yet another Cubs injury report

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

The Cubs are now reporting that Felix Pie’s winter season was cut short by a shoulder injury. Why is it that they choose not to report these things in real time, why is it always ex post facto? This is a consistent pattern of behavior, it is not just random happenstance.

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Jones NEEDS to stay

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

“You know what?” Jones asked, warming up. “I’m here to help this team win, and I went into the off-season working out to come back to have a good season here and help us get to the playoffs. That’s all I ever wanted to do from the outset. I can’t worry if people are surprised or not. I’m a Cub, and that’s it.” ~ Jacque Jones

In my mind, having Jones on this team is vital to our potential success. If we trade Jones, you’re looking at moving Matt Murton or Cliff Floyd to RF. Floyd has issues with staying healthy and Murton has youth issues. Trading Jones would weaken our OF. What do you think?

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Saturday Morning Linkage

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

I’m feeling a bit under the weather this morning, so I will simply point out a couple of interesting things I found this week.

1. Prospect Smackdown – Sean Gallagher vs. Kevin Slowey
John Sickels always does a good job with his site. It’s a great minor league resource for fans of any team. Once in a while, he does a series called Prospect Smackdown in which he compares two names down on the farm in various areas. In the latest installment, he includes Cubs pitching prospect Sean Gallagher, who is a name that most common fans don’t seem to know and should. ~ Full Story

2. Where Does the Cubs Farm System Rank?
We all know that the farm system is not as good as it once was, but how bad are we? Over at the Hardball Times, Jeff Slackmann profiles all 30 farm systems and ranks them from best to worst. I don’t agree with his rankings on a lot of teams, including the Cubs overall rank, but with prospects you never really know. ~ Full Story

3. What do the numbers predict for Carlos and 9 others?
John Beamer over at the Hardball Times has a 2007 Pitching Predictions post in which he profiles 10 pitchers and the upcoming season. Carlos Zambrano is number nine on the list and he has some predictions for what to expect out of Big Z. ~ Full Story

4. Steve Stone Chats with Baseball Prospectus
This one is no subscription necessary and it’s very good to listen to. Will Carroll sits down and talks with former Cub color man, Steve Stone for about 45 minutes. “Steve Stone is one of the game’s unique voices. Covering everything from his time as a young pitcher in a rotation with Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry with Willie Mays in center field to his years as a broadcaster aside Harry Caray, Stone touches all the bases in a long-form, unedited and uncensored conversation.” ~ Download the MP3

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A third injured Cub surfaces

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Rotoworld reports that LSP Sean Marshall is about a week away from throwing off a mound, he’s recovering from rotator cuff issues. Whoa, when did this happen? Is anybody else aware that Marshall had a rotator cuff injury? Last I recall Sean was recovering from a tired arm down in Iowa.

Did I miss an official announcement? If not, why are the Cubs waiting until now to inform the fans…

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And the first injury of the year goes to…

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Kerry Wood, with the torso, in the hot tub.


Read about it.

Note from Mastrick:The Cubs have announced their second injury of the season; minor league prospect Adam Harben (obtained from the Twins for Phil Nevin) apparently had Tommy John surgery in November and is out until the 2008 season. It perplexes me why the Cubs gave up Jae-kuk Ryu’s spot on the 40 man when they kept Brian Dopirak, a guy who plays first base and who has been hurt two years in a row. What is Hendry thinking? And why are they announcing Harben’s TJ three months after the fact? Getting information out of the Cubs is somewhat like trying to get information out of the Chinese.

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He gone (?)

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

As most of you know, the newest commotion in Chicago now appears to be whether or not Carlos Zambrano means what he says. Said Zambrano: “I want to sign with the Cubs before the season starts. If they don’t sign me, sorry, but I must go. That’s what Carlos Zambrano thinks.”

Jim Hendry, on the other hand thinks Carlos is bluffing. He so much as said so when he was quoted as saying:

“Basically, that statement has never been conveyed to me…Carlos and his representatives have always made it clear that the Cubs are where he wants to be. I certainly have no problem with a player with five-plus years wanting to have a deal by Opening Day, but if you don’t have one, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a parting of ways.”

My question to Jim Hendry is very simple: What part of “I must go” don’t you understand? Does he think that Zambrano is fibbing? Is Hendry daring Z-Man to leave, is he throwing down the gauntlet? Hendry’s public response to Zambrano does not bring the two sides closer together – rather it increases the distance between the two negotiating sides. It’s tantamount to saying ‘oh well, that was just Carlos running his mouth.’ What exactly does that accomplish?

I am hopeful that Hendry and Zambrano’s agents come to a five year agreement prior to Zambrano’s arbitration hearing on Tuesday; the Cubs will surely win their arbitration and that will only further alienate Z-Man from the Cubs. After watching the Cubs spend gobs of money on Soriano, DeRosa Lilly and Marquis, Cubs fans know that Zambrano will now cost a lot more than he would have cost just five months ago. Had Hendry only prioritized better we would not be where we are today. Let’s get ‘er done Hendry! If anything, Zambrano’s worth more money than what Schmidt got.

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Looking at the new Cubs as if they were in KISS

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

What can we expect from the new players? I’ll tell you what I think and what his nickname would be if he were a member of Kiss. Keep Paul (Starchild), Gene (the Demon), Ace (isn’t that a nickname already?) and Peter (the Effeminate Cat) in your thoughts. Is it up to you to imagine what each player’s face makeup would look like.

Ted Lilly
I’d guess a 14-11 type, 4.40 ERA season in which he keeps us in games, pitches into the 7th, and provides a left-handed arm for strategic games which could matter once or twice per season. Underwhelming for 10 million a year, but we’ve all been saying that the Cubs have lots of money to spend.
KISS nickname: “Flower Child.” You know, because of the “Lilly” part. Not because of Ted. Ted has nothing to do with flowers, or children. Unless your child is named Ted, in which case that’s what I meant.

<img src=”” align=”left” title=”” border=”0″ height = “60”Jason MarquisRothschild thinks he can fix the mechanical flaw that caused Marquis’ awful 2006 line. Seems to me that if you’ve got a guy who had a flaw that needs correcting, you can sign him for less and dump him if it doesn’t work out. Now the team will likely feel obligated to trot him out every 5th day. I see 10-14, 5.00, lots of HR allowed and some really, really ugly innings. Every fourth start will be a 7 IP-2 ER outing, which will keep him from the chopping block all year. Not like that hippopotamic contract would allow any chopping. (Note: After the Marquis Grissom Experience last spring, perhaps we’ll get lucky and this Marquis will get cut…)
KISS nickname: “The Whip” (as in “my career WHIP is 1.43”)

<img src=”” align=”left” title=”” border=”0″ height = “75”Alfonso SorianoThis year and next year will be the golden years of the Alfonso contract. I actually don’t have any worries that he’ll be able to play defense in CF TOO poorly; he’ll cost us 1 or 2 wins all year, but more than make up for it with his bat. He’ll put up great counting stats, poor rate stats, and contribute slightly less than his 45 HR/40 SB season would have you believe. All in all, though, he’ll be a strength.
KISS Nickname: “Lightning Bolt”

Cesar Izturis (still pretty new)
345 at bats of Neifi.
KISS nickname: “Neifi!

Mark DeRosa
We’ll get 2 decent years and one crummy year out of him. He’ll be anything from Mickey Morandini to Jeff Blauser. No matter what he ends up doing, an average Theriot season would have saved us money. He’s not the smelliest turd in the porta-potty, but he’s adding to the overall stench.
KISS nickname “Roadblock”

Daryle Ward
This is the signing that, apart from Soriano, I think will help us the most. The beefiest player since Randall “Beef” Simon could give us a truly fearful bat off the bench. 250 at bats spelling Lee, Murton, and Jones and being a bat in the 9th inning will give us the advantage we thought we were getting last year with John “Maybe Not” Mabry.
“KISS Nickname: “Lipid

Cliff Floyd
The theory, as I understand it, is to sign guys that are ridiculously injury-prone. That way our key guys will stay healthy as guys like Floyd absorb all of the injuries. Right? I mean, it couldn’t be to take away AB from the only guy on the team not named Derrek Lee who can take a pitch and put up an OBP over .340, right?
KISS nickname: “Mr. Glass

What are your KISS nicknames for the rest of the Cubs?

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