Archive for March, 2007

“Welcome to the Friendly Confines of The Pat and Ron Show”

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

My wife may have given me one of the most wonderful gifts ever for my birthday tonight. She surprised me with a little gem I had no idea existed. As much as I enjoy listening to Len and Bob, there’s nothing quite like taking in a Cubs game with Pat Hughes and Ron Santo. No one describes the game like Pat, and no one is a bigger Cubs fan than Ron. You feel every low and high he goes through during each game, just like you do.

My wife, being quite resourceful, somehow came across this CD produced under WGN radio. It’s basically a “greatest hits” CD of Pat and Ron’s best, most memorable and typically funniest moments. It’s a must own for anyone that loves the radio team. I’ve been laughing all evening.

Check it out at WGN Radio.

Not to mention proceeds go to the JDRF. It’s a good cause.

As Ron says, “it smells of wetness.”

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Prior is just another “employee”

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I’ve about had it with this clown, he has an 87 mph fastball, an ERA close to 7 and he hasn’t done anything really since 2003. But as far as he’s concerned he’s the second coming of Nolan Ryan! The Cubs need to see what they can get for Prior now – I’d settle for Hayden Penn if Baltimore would do the deal. Prior is a whiner and the sooner we lose him the better.

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Your 2007 Chicago Cubs

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

With the last of the cuts made yesterday, the 25 man roster is set. Enough talk about Prior and Wood. Let’s talk about this years Cubs as they stand right now.

Lou Piniella announced his opening day lineup for Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. Alfonso Soriano, Matt Murton, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Jacque Jones, Michael Barrett, Mark DeRosa, Cesar Izturis and Zambrano.

About a month or so ago, I remember reading some article that questioned why the Cubs would want Soriano’s numbers at the top of the lineup. At a glance, it seems to make some sense. He doesn’t fit the stereotypical lead-off hitter role. His numbers point to maybe a 3-spot hitter. Regardless, I like to have information as ammunition for arguments. So I went out and Googled the Internet for some research. What I found is that this is a pretty fervent argument, all over the web. Published columnists, bloggers, and every day Joes in public message forums all have something to say. There are a ton of differing opinions about the Cubs lineup! Most specifically at the top of the order. So I was curious to see what all of you think. Should Soriano be leading off? Some hard core stats guys say he shouldn’t. Too many strike outs and too many solo home runs. Others say that your best player should get the most at bats per game. That’s why he is where he is. Some simulators show that the the Nationals may have lost out on something like 25-40 runs last year because of Soriano hitting lead-off rather than a more RBI producing position in the lineup. There are numbers to support both sides of the argument. To me, it really is interesting to see all of the different viewpoints. So my question is: If these 2007 Cubs truly were your Cubs, how would they line up for you come Monday?

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Cubs demote Prior to AAA Iowa

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

No surprise there, Prior didn’t pitch at a major league-caliber level this spring. And today was no exception – Mark threw two wild pitches, gave up two hits and walked two in three innings. Also sent down to Iowa were Rocky Cherry and Angel Pagan; Prior presently sports a 6.91 ERA which ain’t gonna cut it at the major league level.

I like this move for two reasons. First of all, if Prior does still have some gas left in the tank it will give him time to really work on his pitching and get his velocity up to an acceptable level. Thusfar Mark Prior’s career has been a downward spiral and if he can’t cut it at Principal Park he’s probably going to end up getting traded.

Secondly this is the “tough love” that has up till now been missing in his relationship with the Cubs. Prior has been mommy-coddled for years, treated like the young superstar that just needs a little more time. Now time has run out and Prior is being treated like any other player, he has to earn his way on to the roster and he sure as heck hasn’t. It remains to be seen as to whether or not Prior will return to the Friendly Confines as an impact player, I for one am not holding my breath. Rather, I’m looking forward to Rocky Cherry’s call-up, he showed much better stuff this spring than Prior did.

In other news, Cubs outfielders showed their fannies defensively today. Floyd totally showed his defensive incompetence with two errors. This guy is a pinch-hitter and occasional sub at best and needs to accept his role. Soriano also had an error and should have caught another ball that dropped. The Cubs outfield as presently constituted will be very different than the one that ends the season.

Also, congratulations to former Cub Nomar Garciaparra and his wife on the birth of twin girls.

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Will Carroll Stops By For a Chat

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

If you’re not a regular listener to the Big League Baseball Report, shame on you. We had our second of what has become known as a BLBR Extra. This show, I was joined by Baseball Prospectus injury guru Will Carroll. Will is the author of the Saving the Pitcher, which is a great look at how baseball can begin to keep baseball virtually injury free when it comes to arm injuries to pitchers.

We talked about two Cubs to start the show. Do I really need to mention which ones?

Here is the link to the post on the podcast website. It has a built in flash player or you can download the MP3.

Enjoy and be sure to leave me some comments on the interview.

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