“The Cubs have five relievers still in camp battling for two spots. The list includes Chad Gaudin, Angel Guzman, Jeff Samardzija, David Patton and Chad Fox. Piniella said he hopes to finalize that decision before the team breaks camp on Thursday.” Source
I guess the way you end a spring where there has not been much to talk about, is to come down to a battle for the bottom 2 relievers. Patton is 25, has pitched well, but never above class A. Chad Fox is uninspiring to me, maybe as a lefty I’d find value there, but do we really need a one or two out righty? Guzman and Gaudin have major league arms, but have really struggled. And The Golden boy.
If I am choosing, I run with Guzman and Gaudin. I know they have maybe not earned it this spring, but it would be a shame to lose Guzman without seeing what he can do, and Gaudin can be an inning eater saving the bullpen during bad starts or Rich Harden 5 inning outtings. Chad Fox will be available in June, July, August… Patton as a Rule 5 would have to be returned unless something can be worked out. I don’t think you spend to much time worrying about losing a 25 year-old Class A pitcher.
About the Shark, if he’s meant for deeper water then he should start out as a starter in AAA. It is much easier to bring him up to fill a hole later than to stretch him out if needed. The only caveat to that is if The Shark makes the team he is not a 5th inning pitcher, but standing next to Marmol in the 7th or 8th putting out fires. So I guess I am reneging here. Our bullpen with The Smear is much better than with any 2 or 3 of the other guys. So I go, Shark and Gaudin. That’s it. That’s my choice.Pursuit to Algiers hd
Last year I undertook the monstrous endeavor of blogging about my entire OOTP Cubs season one week at a time over the course over the season. This was way too much because it put too much pressure on me to play the game just for the sake of trying to keep up with the season. This year I thought I’d provide updates on the season every 30 games for my team and let you know where we stand. That being said, here is where we stand after 30 games for the 2009 OOTP Cubs.
Jan 10th – Nomar Garciaparra is signed to a one year contract worth $1.46 million to backup Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. In 40 AB’s for the team he would hit .125 and would be traded to the Mets in a multi player deal that would net us Jenrry Mejia & Wilmer Flores
Jan 15th – Paul Lo Duca is signed to a 2 year contract worth $550,000 per season to backup Geo Soto. Lo Duca would be included in the Nomar deal with Paul Bako promoted from AAA to replace him.
April 17th – Claimed Steve Trachsel off waivers from the Angels to pitch in AAA. He was on a minor league contract and he’s always been one of my favorites so I thought “what the heck!?!” He didn’t do too well in AAA out of the pen and has since been demoted to AA as a member of the rotation.
April 18th – Claimed Brian Dopirak off waivers from Toronto just because I know Mark hates him so much and that I knew he’d read this.
April 21st – In an effort to address the lefty need in the pen due to Neal Cotts sucking up the place, I moved Logan Watkins to the Astros in exchange for Chris Blazek. He’s still in AAA due to the trade for former Cub Andy Sisco, who was brought to the Majors after pitching great in AAA.
April 24th – Traded Aaron Heilman and Chad Fox to the Mariners for Ryan Rowland-Smith and Nick Adcock. Rowland-Smith slots in as the 5th starter and has been average, but a heck of a lot better than Heilman.
May 1st – Moved a hot hitting Jason Dubois to Cincinnati before someone figured out he sucks in return for Homer Bailey and Micah Owings. Both were struggling with the Reds farm system and I think they just wanted to give them a change. I’ll take em off their hands.
May 13th – Signed Rich Harden to a 3 year contract extension worth a total of $42 mil that includes incentives for 200 IP and a Cy Young award. He’s been my best starter and I can’t let him go. According to the owner’s budget, I didn’t have any money left for extensions, but he did approve the deal.
Who’s Doing What?
Carlos Zambrano – he’s been terrible as the ace. In six starts so far, he’s thrown 36 IP with a record of 1-4 and an ERA of 6.25. Particularly alarming to me is the fact that his WHIP is a stunning 1.94. He really needs to step up his game. His lack of success was the major factor in my decision to re-sign Harden. Ryan Dempster is also getting rocked and needs to step up his game immensely.
Rich Harden – His record is 4-1 with an ERA of 2.68. He has 47 K’s in 37 IP over 6 starts.
Kevin Gregg – He’s been my setup man and has an ERA of 0.75 in that role. I’ve been very pleased with his performance and I’m perfectly happy with keeping him in that spot.
Chad Gaudin – He’s been about as bad in this game as he has this spring. I’ve got him on the waiver wire so hopefully someone will take his $2 mil contract off my hands.
Joey Gathright – He started the year on my bench, with Kosuke Fukudome getting the start in CF. Fukudome screwed himself into the ground and found himself in AAA where he is still stinking up the joint. Gathright has taken the job, and while not running with it, has been effective and has stolen 9 bases so far. He’s on pace for 59 on the year.
Aramis Ramirez – He’s been very quiet and hasn’t driven many runs in. If his bat gets going, I think we’ll start winning a few more games.
That’s where we stand to date. Hopefully at the 60 game update, I’ll have better news for you. The goal is to be back to .500 at that point. Feel free to give me your comments or questions on the league as a whole. Let’s have some fun with this.
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — He looked a lot like Kosuke Fukudome and wore the same uniform number.
But the Kosuke Fukudome who showed up at HoHoKam Park on Thursday didn’t sound at all like the Japanese star who fizzled in the second half of his debut season in Chicago.
Appearing relaxed and confident after missing the first six weeks of camp while playing for Japan in the World Baseball Classic, Fukudome was at times self-deprecating, boastful and a bit introspective.
What caused him to have so much trouble adjusting in the second half?
“My stupidity,” he said, through his new interpreter.
Fukudome then laughed, something he rarely did in public last summer.
He said he had learned from last year’s struggles and worked out all winter to be in better shape for the long season.
“If I can be the player that Lou [Piniella] wants me to be, I should be playing a lot better,” he said.
Only one Japanese reporter was on hand for Fukudome’s arrival, in stark contrast to last year’s hoopla. ~ Chicago Tribune
Are you buying or selling this? Is Fukudome going to be the player we paid for? I’m buying. I really believe being a player from another country is a big adjustment for a player. Think about that time you took a new job or filled in somewhere. It’s a tough adjustment. You’re learning new things and couple that with the fact that he had a language barrier and a wife and new child overseas. That’s a tough season. This is the year we see the player we paid for.
Those of us that have been following the comments in Sherm’s latest post know that it’s gotten into a heated battle about autograph hounds. Those that haven’t read it should, or read this Cliff Notes version:
A Father and his son were at Spring Training. The morning before their flight they headed over to Cubs camp just to see what was going on. Carlos Zambrano, was out riding a bike, and the son approached him with a jersy to sign. Carlos rode past them without acknowledgement.
Classy move? Definitely not. Acceptable? Absolutely. I don’t see anywhere in any of these players contracts that state they must sign autographs at whatever time someone deems appropriate. Carlos was at an early morning workout, and most likely didn’t expect an autograph hound. I certainly wouldn’t. Nor would I want to be approached at that time in the morning.
I was raised with the idea that these professional athletes are people. People with personal lives, that most of the time they’d like to have. I distinctly remember eating at Chi-Chi’s on Lake Cook Road, shortly after Superbowl XX, and Mike Singeltary walked in with his wife. I was beside myself, Samarai Mike was eating at the table across from us. I asked my Dad if we could say hello, and he told my sister and I, “No. Let him eat dinner with his wife. This is not the time to bother him.” Within minutes a man and his son walked up and asked Mike for a autograph. His response? “Please. I’m trying to have a quiet dinner with my wife. If you must have one, wait for me in the lobby.” It struck a chord with me, and I’ve been respectful of athletes and their personal space ever since.
I’ve been pretty blessed with one on one encounters with pro athletes. I’ve hung around many Bulls players during their hayday while sipping coffee at Barnes and Noble. I personally attended to Phil Jackson while he shopped for hobby gifts for his sons. For a few years, I followed my friend to a local restaurant where WWE wrestlers hung out after shows. Same thing, we would wait around and just watch. Many times they’d start to talk to us. Partially because they recognized my buddy for the years he’d been doing the same ritual. The only autographs I’ve ever asked for, was Mickey Morandini, and that was at the post 9-11 game where that was why he was there. And the fact that everywhere I go Mickey seems to be there, so it turned into a running joke with a friend of mine. I’ve never understood the excitement over obtaining autographs. Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe, I know how much I like my personal space, so I let them have theirs.