Archive for January, 2009

Crane Kenney on Waddle & Silvy

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Cubs chairman, Crane Kenney, appeared on the Waddle & Silvy show yesterday to talk Cubs. Here were the highlights from the show:

A Haunting in Connecticut move
  • The next step in the ownership process is to negotiate final terms with the Ricketts family to finish a deal for the sale of the team. The other bidders are in waiting and if a deal can’t be done with the Ricketts, they’ll move down the list.
  • The number of bidders and the bankruptcy of the Tribune Company slowed the process down significantly.
  • The Ricketts family comes to the table with no agenda other than to own the team for a long time and build a winner. They look at the stadium as a cathedral and want to make sure it stays special.
  • If a Peavy deal were to happen, it would have to have the stamp of approval, from a payroll standpoint, from the new owner.
  • None of the front office has discussed with the new owner if they’ll be staying around. My guess is that they will be staying. Damien: Omen II move
  • The Cubs would love to get on with Wrigley 2014, which is a plan to continue to improve the ballpark and the area surrounding it.
  • The move to bring in the priest was a dumb decision by Kenny. He takes the heat for that one.
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Steve Stone on 670 the Score

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Steve Stone made an appearance yesterday on 670 AM with Zach Zaidman to talk Cubs. Here were the highlights:

  • Ricketts is best thing for the Cubs because of the fact that the family is the biggest Cub fans of the three final bidders. They understand the Cubs and their history as well as their brand.
  • He believes the first order of business will be to go after Peavy now that the new owner will be able to give an OK on the cost.
  • Should win the division by double digits and should have more balance than last year.
  • Thought they should save some money for mid-season acquisitions.
  • The only time a Corporation has won the World Series was when the Angels won it and they were in the process of selling the team from Disney to Arte Moreno
  • Pitfalls for the new owner – Inheriting lots of back loaded contracts and the fans can’t be asked to pay the freight for that. New owners have to be creative in generating revenue outside the walls to keep costs down for fans.
  • Wrigley Field is going to be renovated in stages instead of one larger renovation. Doing it all at once would put the Cubs away for more than an year and that would be a tough loss of revenue.
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Friday Funnies

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

This has nothing to do with baseball, but it’s darn funny.
Big Fish trailer

Damien: Omen II download

The Code Conspiracy video

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Hennry Blanco gone, Rich Harden out, So now who's Closing?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

It’s day 2 of the return for VFTB. Not much on the plate tonight, just a few notes to report.

San Diego loves the Cubs – Buster Olney reported that the San Diego Padres have agreed to a one-year deal for $750,000 with Henry Blanco. He should serve as a mentor for their young catcher and seems to leave the Cubs looking at Koyie Hill as the backup catcher coming into spring training this year. You know what? I’m fine with that. Hill did enough with the staff in his time up two years ago to trust him as the backup this year. Having Blanco last year was key for Soto, but that role isn’t as needed at this point. Now, the question becomes whether or not this is Blanco’s last year and if so, where does he begin his coaching career once he retires?

In other news, the Padres have also claimed former Cub, Jae Kuk Ryu off waivers from the Rays. The coolest part about the story though is that it led me to find out that the GM, Paul DePodesta, has his own blog

. How cool is that? I’d love it if all GM’s did this. It would be a great avenue for the fans to get inside the mind of a GM.

Baseball America’s Minor League Transactions – The Prospects blog updates these on a regular basis. Here was the latest entry for the Cubs.

Signed: RHP Ken Kadokura, LHP Matt Smith, 3B Erick Almonte, SS Joseph Colon, OF So Taguchi

The Cubs certainly won’t be lacking in Japanese veteran presence in spring training. Taguchi, 39, has emerged as something of a household name (in ways that Tsuyoshi Shinjo never did in this country) for his presence on three World Series teams, with the ‘06 Cardinals and ‘08 Phillies emerging as winners. And if you want to make a Mets fan wince, remind him of the ninth-inning home run Taguchi hit off Billy Wagner in Game Two of the ‘06 NLCS. But back to our regularly scheduled program . . . Kadokura, a 35-year-old reliever who was released by the Yomiuri Giants, logged just 12 2/3 innings in the Central League in 2008, posting a 3.55 ERA and a 16-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

So, Rich Harden was hurt….that’s not good – I say that sarchastically, of course. The shoulder will keep him out of competing for Team Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic…Not that Canada had a chance anyway.

Who’s in the 9th? – According to Lou, Carlos Marmol & Kevin Gregg will both compete this spring for the closer role coming into the season. My guess is that it’s only to not take a shot at Gregg. Unless he totally blows Marmol out of the water, I look for Gregg to be pitching in the 7th and 8th.

“Let them compete…I feel comfortable with Marmol, there’s no question. But we traded for this other young man, and he was a closer over there with success. Give him a chance, too.” ~ Lou Piniella

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Tom Verducci on WGN 720

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

David Kaplan welcomed Tom Verducci, well know baseball writer, to the show to talk about baseball in the city of Chicago. Here were the highlights:

    Dog Days of Summer

  • Jake Peavy rumors remind him of the Brian Roberts rumors of last year; He doesn’t think he’s coming here.
  • Verducci feels that the moves the Cubs have made this off-season seem to be risky. That being said, he still picks them to win the division.
  • He mentioned that the problem with the Milton Bradley signing is that the Cubs need his bat badly and have to hope he stays healthy to be able to provide the offense they need. The season could hinge on his ability to stay healthy
  • Kaplan didn’t like the fact that the Cubs picked up the option on Rich Harden and felt like he was hurt down the stretch. Verducci agreed that it did seem like something wasn’t right with Harden down the stretch but also mentioned that when we was on, he was very good.
  • Kaplan suggested signing someone like Andy Pettite to round out the rotation. Verducci agreed it would be a good move, but also mentioned the Astros and Yankees for Pettite.
  • Verducci mentioned that he wouldn’t be surprised at all if Rickey Henderson suited up for the A’s at some point this season.
  • Ben Sheets was mentioned as a nice wild card for the Cubs (and other teams) to look into by Verducci. Kap mentioned that you can pitch Harden all out until he beaks and then throw sheets to finish the season.
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