Archive for February, 2007

Do You Have What it Takes?

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

As we head into spring training 2007, TVFTB is looking to expand our staff by one. We’re now taking applications for the position. The details of the requirements are as follows.

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must have sound writing ability
  • Must be willing to contribute a minimum of 4 posts per week
  • Must have basic knowledge of HTML tags like bold, italic, bullets, etc
  • Must live in the Chicagoland area OR have access to MLB Extra Innings via DirecTv

    The following are not required, but are a definite plus in your corner.

  • Sound sabermetric knowledge
  • Previous experience blogging
  • HTML and site design

    If you are interested, please submit an e-mail to with your name, location, and age and answer the following questions.

    1. How long have you been a Cub fan and how did it come about?
    2. What area of baseball knowledge is your area of expertise?
    3. About how often can we expect you to write on the site?
    4. What is your writing or blogging experience?
    5. Why would you be the best choice for the site?
    6. If you could change one thing about Major League Baseball today, what would it be? Why?
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  • A Couple Thoughts From Opening Day

    Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

    No, not that opening day, but rather the opening day of the Caribbean World Series. I watched some of the game last night on MASN and came away with a couple thoughts. In case you’re wondering, the Dominican beat Venezuela in 18 innings on a Tony Batista sac fly in the bottom half of the inning. (Box Score)

    1. Maybe Ronny Cedeno Has Improved
    That was my first thought after seeing him in the starting lineup at shortstop for Venezuela, seeing that Ceasar Izturis is also from Venezuela. He had a good game and was almost the hero in the late innings with a double. In the game, he went 3-7 with 2 RBI a walk and a double. Then I took a look at his numbers so far this winter and realized why the Cubs quit hyping him like they did when he had hit two home runs in the beginning of the off-season. In the winter leagues so far, here are his numbers.

    144 .236 2 19 .629

    Not nearly what I had hoped for. It seems an obvious choice that our starter this season has to be Izturis going in, unless we can some how teach Ryan Theriot to play short.

    2. Maybe we should take a shot on Jose Lima
    Lima was the starting pitcher for the Dominican in the game and looked really good, considering he was only able to go 5 innings. He gave up 8 hits, but only allowed two earned runs in the outing, while striking out five and walking just one. He’s unsigned as of this point and pitched the majority of the time last year in AAA. He had an ERA under 4, which is respectable and has pitched well in four starts this winter. It might not be a bad idea to sign him to a minor league deal with the understanding that if he made the big league club at any point, incentives would kick in. If you want to take a look at his numbers last year and in the 2006 Winter League to this point, they are located here.

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    Writing Contest Winner

    Friday, February 2nd, 2007

    Congratulations to our winner, Jason Hook, who submitted entry number 2.

    I will be in contact with him this weekend for him to claim his prize.

    Information on the February contest will be forthcoming. I can’t seem to decide what I want to do. Any suggestions would be great.

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    Opposition growing to DirecTV/MLB cartel

    Thursday, February 1st, 2007

    Most of you know by now that Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania will be introducing legislation this year to remove the NFL’s antitrust exemption because of it’s anti-competitive TV deal. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts apparently has taken exception to the Major League Baseball monopoly’s pending deal with DirecTV. Said Kerry:

    “I am opposed to anything that deprives people of reasonable choices…[in]this day and age, consumers should have more choices — not fewer. I’d like to know how this serves the public — a deal that will force fans to subscribe to DirecTV in order to tune in to their favorite players. A Red Sox fan ought to be able to watch their team without having to switch to DirecTV.”

    Kerry met with the chairman of the FCC today, more news to follow. Meanwhile the football and baseball monopolies continue to shaft the American consumer…

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    January Writing Project – Finalist # 3

    Thursday, February 1st, 2007

    Our last finalist before we announce the winner tomorrow comes from Tomas, who actually has a blog of his own called All You Can Eat Information. This one appears to be a tad bit more pessimistic than the previous two. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Tune in tomorrow morning at 8am EDT when the winner of the contest will be announced and the new contest for February will be explained.

    1. Key Players Suffer Serious Injuries
    Alfonso Soriano suffers a season-ending injury following the fifth preseason game as he is signing autographs for a group of rabid fans convinced that 2007 is the year Cubs will finally win the World Series. The media leads with the story for the next 11 days with such headlines as: “Why Was Soriano Asked to Play in a Preseason Game?”, “Cubs Endangering Their Players,” and “Soriano Seventh Player To Land On the DL.” Unable to stay in shape while injured, Soriano gains 60 pounds causing him to become one of the slowest players in the league while losing significant bat speed. No one question why a player can’t exercise while rehabilitating a shoulder injury. During this period, it is also discovered that another four years were subtracted from his age and that he just turned 35.
    Four weeks later, Aramis Ramirez accidentally impales himself on a leftover Dusty Baker toothpick while warming up in the on deck circle.

    2. Bill Simmons Becomes a Cubs Fan
    The city of Chicago offers Bill Simmons $20 million per season to become a Cubs fan and start writing about the team. Simmons hesitates explaining that it took him 35 years of cheering for the Red Sox for them to win the World Series and that he can’t guarantee a shortened waiting period for the Cubs’ World Series title. The Cubs’ fans jump at the deal and immediately start printing “Chicago Cubs: World Series Champions 2042” t-shirts. Simmons starts writing weekly columns about the Cubs using mostly the Search and Replace function on his previous articles: Red Sox –> Cubs, Fenway –> Wrigley, Pedro –> Zambrano.

    3. Lou Piniella Suffers a Nervous Breakdown
    Lou Piniella has a nervous breakdown during the twelfth game of the season as Cubs flub another routine 6-4-3 double play. The 21 minute tirade includes a quarter of a gallon of spit and numerous clubhouse items being thrown on the field. The fans let out a collective groan as one of the items accidentally hits the goat the team brought to the game in order to end the curse of the Billy Goat. The meltdown ends as Piniella passes out from exhaustion. The game has to be postponed as all three bases are thrown in the stands.

    Bonus: Hendry Saves Steve Bartman’s Life
    Jim Hendry performs a Heimlich maneuver on a fan choking on a hot dog only to realize afterwards the the guy was Steve Bartman. Paralyzed by his 2003 catch, Bartman goes on to allow a catchable fly ball to be caught by the Cardinals’ third baseman during the last game of the season. Cubs just miss out on making the playoffs… by 11 1/2 games.

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