Archive for March, 2007

Time to fish or cut bait Cubs fans

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Today we saw a great comeback when Darryle Ward hit a walkoff granny against Sammy Sosa and the Texans. I love seeing Texas being beat at anything, I have no love for that state or it’s sports franchises. I’d just as soon visit Albania as Texas. To be truthful, I’d rather visit Albania…

Anyway, pretty soon those of us who write for VTFB will be doing our divisional predictions. I’d like to encourage the readership to preempt us and predict the NL Central. Who do you pick and why?

Time to speak out Cub Nation, do we have it this year? What about the outfield defense? Zambrano, Hill and Lilly are set, are you afraid about our #4 and 5 starters? Let the readership be heard!

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Where are they now?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I thought it might be fun to take a look around the league and see what some former Cubs are up to these days. It’s always fun to keep in touch. This is my way of doing that with two players that many have probably forgotten.


Kerry Wood – threw 25 pitches Tuesday in his first mound session since being diagnosed with a strained triceps.
Wood is hoping to avoid a trip to the disabled list to begin the season, but it seems likely that he’ll miss at least the first week. He’s thrown just three innings this spring, so he needs some more work to get ready for Opening Day.

Ryan Dempster – returned to the mound Tuesday and pitched a scoreless inning against the Rockies.

Dempster missed a week due to back spasms. He has a 1.80 ERA in five innings this spring, and with Kerry Wood injured again, his job as closer is as secure as it’s been since last May.

For more player news, visit


Todd Walker
Walker was one of my favorite Cubs when he was here. He was dealt to San Diego late last year. Rotoworld reported on Walker on February 27th saying “The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Padres may release Todd Walker prior to March 15 because they would only be required to pay him $658,000 of the $3.95 million he received in arbitration.
Walker is currently a bench player for San Diego and both sides have indicated that a trade might be for the best. The newspaper also reports that the player’s union might protest such a release.”

This spring, Todd has seen action in nine games and has a total of 28 at bats. He’s hitting .267 with a .286 On Base % in that time. This don’t look good for Todd. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to the Cubs making him a minor league off if he was released.

John Koronka
In case you’re unsure who this guy is, he pitched for the Cubs in 2005, making just three starts. I was pretty critical of him back in 2005 saying “Mitre seems to be putting it together as insurance. God knows he can’t be worse than Koronka. I do not know why Dusty cannot see this. He’s essentially a one pitch pitcher, because of the quality of his other 2 pitches. His fastball is slow and doesn’t move. Every game i’ve watched, he comes in around 90. His 3rd pitch is a breaking ball of some sort, but it is almost non-existent. The only pitch he has that is any good is his changeup. When you get to the majors, you better have at least 2 good pitches or you’re going to get shelled. Hopefully the Cubs will see this and give Jerome Williams a shot for the next Koronka turn in the order.”

John was dealt in a three team deal that netted us the wonderful acquisition that was Freddie Bynum. Last year, pitching for Texas in their rotation, he started the year off fairly well, going 6-5 with an ERA of 4.63. However, in the second half of the season, he only made 5 starts and was shelled. According to Rotoworld on March 7th, ”
John Koronka bounced back from a shelling at the hands of the Royals to pitch three hitless innings Wednesday versus the Diamondbacks.
He gave up six runs in 1 1/3 innings in his first outing. That won’t be held against him too much, but he should be behind Josh Rupe and Kameron Loe in the competition to become the Rangers’ fifth starter.”

I might be wrong, but if you’re getting pounded by the Royals, something is seriously wrong with that equation.

I’d like to know your feedback on this post. What do you think of these guys? Do they have potential to 1) Make their team out of camp, and 2) Make an impact for their team this season?

Also, what did you think of the idea of looking back at Cubs that have gone away in terms of where are they now?

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Bandwagon ridin’

Monday, March 19th, 2007

  1934Babe Didrickson, a renown female athlete, pitches the first inning of a Philadelphia A’s exhibition game. The founder of the LPGA gives up no hits and walks only one Dodger.

1973 – In a special election, the BBWAA select (393 out 424 votes) the late Roberto Clemente to be a member of the Hall of Fame. The usual five year rule had been previously waived by the organization’s board of directors.

1989 – Peter Ueberroth, the commissioner of baseball, announces MLB is conducting an inquiry into gambling allegations concerning Reds’ manager, Pete Rose.

All information courtesy of


Every morning I pick up the Red Eye on my way catch the Metra on my way to work. It’s a great way for someone with a short attention span to get the most amount of news in the shortest amount of time. In this morning’s edition, I came across a DotComment from’s message board that someone felt needed to be printed. To be honest, it left me a bit perplexed, but got me thinking. As my friends know, that’s a dangerous set of circumstances.

“There’ll be all kind of jumping on the [Sammy] Sosa bandwagon now. Too bad [GM Jim] Hendry didn’t get on it. He spent 300 mil beefing up the Cubbies, but wouldn’t come up with pocket change (500 thou) for Sosa. A player with almost 600 homers should have been welcomed on any team, but too many front office honchos put their pride before ‘forgive and forget.’ Good for Texas.”

Now I’ve questioned some of Hendry’s moves over the last few years, but I’d hardly consider him someone that would put his ego before the organization. Sure this year’s club has some holes, for the most part, the most prominent holes have been filled. He’s admirably filled in the starting rotation, the bullpen, the bench, the infield and the outfield in less than four months. Granted he overpaid for some of the talent, but he went out and got what was needed and available to make the club competitive in a what may be the weakest division in baseball. Quite honestly, I was figuring at least one year of filling a few holes, letting some of the kids get more seasoning, and the occasional fireworks from Pinella this year. I was prepared to bet the farm that if we saw the Cubbies return to the post season, it’d be next year. It’d give Hendry a good chunk of this season to evaluate what he’d created this year, and work on placing an even better product on the field next season. Besides, what Cubs fan isn’t used to having a couple of down years in between that one fleeting moment of possible post season glory?

What I think the above poster had backwards, is the bandwagon on which to hop a ride on. We’re talking about a gentleman that gave up on a team on the last day of the season, and who had alienated himself within the clubhouse so badly, that no one wanted him around. I’ve played with some great teammates, and some characters that made playing on a team a real heartache…..and a headache. Sosa left Hendry really with no other choice, and with no real bargaining chips so to speak. Did we get little in return for what looked to be one of the most prodigious power hitters of his era? Heck yeah. Two years later, I’m liking what I’m seeing on the field a whole lot better.

So hop on that Sosa bandwagon. Watch him struggle to get to 600 homers while batting .245. I’ll be happily cruising along on what looks to be a entertaining, and perhaps even magical season on the Cubbies bandwagon.

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Zambrano is Closer?

Monday, March 19th, 2007

No, the title of the post is not Zambrano is A closer. The fact is, according to the Chicago Tribune, who talked to Carlos about his current negotiations on a new deal to stay with the club past this year, he said


The Chicago Tribune reports that manager Lou Piniella "virtually named" Angel Guzman the Cubs’ long reliever to begin the season.
Guzman had been competing for the fifth-starter job that appears set to go to Wade Miller. "Quite frankly, that’s the way you should bring up a young pitcher," Piniella said. "Put him in long relief and let him get some experience there. He can be protected, but at the same time he’ll get his work and watch other major-league pitchers the way they go about their pitches."

For more player news, visit


“Yeah, probably, We talked to them, we’re talking. We’ll just see what happens. I always say that because I want to put in my mind positive things. I always say I’m going to sign. We want to get it done” However, the next sentence makes things a little scarier.

The Tribune says “It turns out, according to insiders, the two sides have barely talked, although they could begin bargaining in earnest soon.”

If you ask me, I can’t tell you who to believe. I really want to believe Carlos, because I really want to see a deal go down. I believe he is really serious when he says that he will leave if a deal is not done by opening day. I don’t think it was a flippant statement like some believe. Playing with this stuff is like playing with fire. If you hold your hand close enough, you’re going to get burned. It happened with Greg Maddux and that caused the Cubs and their fans a huge amount of heartache. Let’s not let this happen again please.

On a side note, I want to draw your attention to the VFTB official prize pool. I have a lot of good books in there, but I can’t think of some good contests to run in order to give some of those books away. If you can think of some good contests, leave us a comment and let us know. I like to pass along good books, I just need a reason to.

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A time to celebrate

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Hope you all are having as much fun with the View From the Bleachers NCAA brackets as I am. I picked Vanderbilt early as a darkhorse and they have now advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, having defeated Washington State in double overtime. It seems like every time my Commodores make it to the NCAAs they make it to the final sixteen, only to be eliminated by the champion or semifinalist.

Next up is Georgetown, we lost to ’em this year but beat ’em last year. Let’s go Dores!!

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