Archive for December, 2009

GirlieView (12/18/2009)

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Today, my Blackberry (which came back to life about 2:16 this morning, thanks RIM) is all a-Twitter with the latest Milton Bradley news. In case you haven’t heard (how is that possible?) he’s headed to Seattle for a guy named Carlos Silva. Who the hell is Carlos Silva? I don’t really care. He’s the guy who allowed us to get rid of Bradley. So he’s good enough for me. Which I know will not sit well with some of my esteemed colleagues, but that’s what makes this so much fun! (Disclaimer: I did not and still do not think Bradley was anywhere near the Cubs’ biggest problem in 2009. And I surely don’t think his departure insures a positive 2010. But I also don’t think there was any way for him to turn successful in Chicago and for that reason, he needed to go.)

Incidentally from what I’ve read our new acquisition is no prize, so don’t get excited. But the Cubs need a fresh start and so does Silva. So maybe it will be good if only for that reason. Also we have a few other Carlos’ that will no doubt garner much more attention. As the third Carlos (behind a head case and a potential head case) he may be able to fade to the background a bit. And we got some cash. That was a shocker! So, I look upon all of this positively. Then again I look at everything positively. So there you go. Merry Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas I’m sure Joe will allow me the holiday off next Friday, so we’ll catch y’all in 2010 with a full two-weeks-worth of Lizzies for your New Year’s Day entertainment. Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday! :-)

Lizzies

  • We’re talking about Ryan Garko and Garrett Atkins. This off-season is a big fat turd.
  • Warning: Whether male or female, you may also sprout a reddish goatee.
  • I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really frustrated watching the moves the Brewers are making, and even the White Sox.
  • On an entirely unrelated note, pigs were noted to be flying in the sky over Chicago today……
  • Swine flew?
  • The air temp is too cold for a pig to gain lift today. Those reports are unfounded.
  • going from having “Milton Bradley” in the outfield to “Coco Crisp” is just too rich for my blood. Maybe they could pick up a guy named “Matchbox” or “Lego.”
  • I’ve heard Hendry is in discussions to sign Lincoln Logs.
  • Maybe Soriano could try hitting with one of those next season.

Lizard

  • When you get dealt an unexpected lemon, you make lemonade.
Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Speak Out: Fire Jim Hendry

Friday, December 18th, 2009

From the Cubs Media Department comes Exhibit A in the case for firing Jim Hendry:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Carlos Silva and cash from the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Milton Bradley.

Silva, 30, is 60-64 with two saves and a 4.72 ERA (592 ER/1128.2 IP) in 295 major league appearances (159 starts) with Philadelphia (2002-03), Minnesota (2004-07) and Seattle (2008-09).  He has walked only 214 batters in 1128.2 innings pitched, an average of only 1.7 walks per nine innings.  Silva is 15-7 with two saves and a 4.18 ERA (116 ER/250.0 IP) in 135 games (17 starts) in his career against the National League, including a 5-1 mark and a 3.71 ERA (26 ER/63.0 IP) in 33 games (four starts) against the National League Central.

The righthander won nine or more games in four consecutive seasons with the Twins from 2004-07, including three double digit win campaigns in 2004 (career-high 14 wins), 2006 (11 wins) and 2007 (13 wins).  He made 27 or more starts in five-straight seasons from 2004-08.

Silva broke into the majors in 2002 and went 8-1 with a 3.83 ERA (73 ER/171.1 IP) in 130 appearances, all but one in relief, in his only two seasons in the National League with the Phillies.  Acquired in a trade by the Twins prior to the 2004 campaign, Silva went 47-45 with a 4.42 ERA (380 ER/773.2 IP) in 129 appearances (124 starts) in Minnesota, compiling more than 180.0 innings in all four campaigns.  In 2005, Silva walked only nine batters in 188.1 innings pitched, an average of one walk every 21.0 frames.

In 2009 with the Mariners, Silva was limited to eight appearances (six starts) due to a right shoulder impingement that landed him on the disabled list from May 9-September 15.  He went 1-3 with an 8.60 ERA (29 ER/30.1 IP) in the eight outings.  A native of Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Silva is currently pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Bradley, 31, batted .257 (101-for-393) with 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 124 games with the Cubs last season.

Now that you know how I feel, let’s hear your thoughts on this trade.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

The Cubs just got worse

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Milton Bradley to the Mariners
Carlos Silva the to the Cubs

Carlos Silva is terrible.

That is all I have to say.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Friday Fight: Social Security

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The pilot light on our hot stove appears to be broken so perhaps it’s time to bust out the old debate post about non-sports content. What better way to bring that heat and maybe get people talking? Like last time, let’s have a meaningful discussion without personal attacks on someone’s thoughts or beliefs. If we stick to that, things like this become profitable for all parties. Stick to your guns, but be at least open to hearing the other side’s arguments about the point. A wise man considers all sides. Oh, and if you want no part of this, I’ve included a Who Am I post at the end.

TOPIC: The concept of government run retirement savings is something that should be required for all citizens.

Note: We’re not talking about the current system, but rather the idea that the government should make saving for retirement mandatory and should be in charge of running it. If you take the approach of ‘Yes’, then present the basic idea of how the system would look. If you take the ‘No’ approach, explain why you feel that way. What part of the concept has you taking that approach?


WHO AM I?

Clue # 1 – I lost 20+ games in a season as a starting pitcher twice in my career, while also winning 20+ once.

Clue # 2 – I played on the lowest winning % team in Cub history

Clue # 3 – My Topps baseball card was issued with my info on the back, but the picture of a deceased player on the front by mistake.

Clue # 4 – I led the Cubs in wins for a particular decade that I played in.

Who Am I?

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Morning News With the Daver

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Good morning, Cubs fans. *Awkward silence.* And now, the news:

The Cubs have signed a player! Is it Bay? Is it Holliday? Is it Mark freakin’ DeRosa?! No, no…it’s former LSU third baseman Derek Helenihi, who will join the team for spring training. I’d hope someone in Mesa…or Naples…or wherever the hell spring training games will be held next year will have a camera ready to record Theriot and Fontenot’s bizarre hazing rituals. I believe a vat of crawfish and a pound of butter are to be involved somehow.

Speaking of spring training — beware, Illinois, they’re coming! No, not Al Qaeda bad guys from Gitmo. Not yet anyway. A delegation of Mesa businessfolk is on its way this week to make their case for keeping the Cubs in sunny, dry Arizona.

Meanwhile, in Collier County… Floridians are planning a massive January event to lure the team to the swamplands. Expect an electric atmosphere, which may be dangerous because of all the humidity in the air.

Wondering what Marlon Byrd looks like? Click here! This Trib “breaking news” piece doesn’t really break any news. There’s apparently been no movement on the Milton Bradley scene except for the either fortuitous or unfortunate fact that Byrd (who’s now the prime candidate for centerfield) and Bradley have the same agent.

Oh, and Coco Crisp’s name is starting to come up, too. Sorry, folks, but going from having “Milton Bradley” in the outfield to “Coco Crisp” is just too rich for my blood. Maybe they could pick up a guy named “Matchbox” or “Lego.” (These references are from my childhood, beloved readers. If you don’t like ‘em, sue me. What else you got?)

This just in: Former Cubs centerfielder Juan Pierre to wear long johns on the Southside. As you’ve probably heard, our favorite Class of ’06 fleet-footed slap hitter (not counting Neifi) will be back in Chi-Town next season. He claims his legs have been in (presumably temperature controlled) storage and the only thing he’s worried about is the cold. Quite a team Kenny Williams has assembled.

Ryan Dempster charity event tonight!!! If you’ll be anywhere near Wrigleyville tonight, head over to D’Agostino’s Pizza at 1351 W. Addison. The North Side eatery will be holding the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation Event to create awareness for DiGeorge Syndrome, which their daughter suffers from. For a $100 donation, it’s all you can eat and drink, not to mention a chance to mingle with the Cubs starter and perhaps even a few of his teammates.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Where’s the beef?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

This offseason has been a little different that what Cubs fans have been used to. The normal post-season period is typically one of hope, one wonders what the team will do to add to the team’s capabilities. This year most of the attention has been on what the team will subtract. And if that’s an eight hundred pound gorilla then voila. Everyone knows the deal, we’re talking about a guy that has a people problem. He can play ball but do you really want that guy in your clubhouse?

So let’s face it, the 2010 Cubs will not be fundamentally different from the 2009 team. The team has too many long term contracts to make fundamental changes; in fact the team is now at the crossroads where it will have to let some marginal players go because they are due raises. Did we all yell “yea” when Soriano was signed? How did we feel when Ramirez and Zambrano were re-signed…did we complain when Fukudome was signed for four years? Now is when it’s time to pay the piper, we’re gonna have to play the cards we’ve been dealt.

Fortunately we have decent pitching and some role players that don’t cost much. And the competition is in much the same position, they’ve got a guy by the name of Pujols and another named Carpenter they have to pay. This year will be a question of how certain non-performers (Geovany Soto, Mike Fontenot, Soriano and Bradley) perform. They’ll either rebound or it will be 2002 all over again.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Thinking Outloud About Rich Harden and Hendry’s SNAFU

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Something about this Harden situation doesn’t sit well with me and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t sit well with a few other readers as well. Coming into the 2009 season, we knew that Harden would be a free agent at the end of the season. I had a feeling the Cubs wouldn’t bring him back. What I didn’t expect was that we would get nothing for him whatsoever. When he’s healthy, and that’s the key, he has one of the most electric arms and overpowering set of stuff in the game. Now, he’s pitching for Texas and we’ve got nothing to show for it. I believe Jim Hendry had two moves to make and held on both of them when he could have been active.

Move # 1 – Trade Rich Harden late in August last year to Minnesota

On August 28, ESPN noted that the Minnesota Twins had claimed Harden. There was talk that they were interested in dealing him, but that the asking price was too high. I was ok with it at the time, though I would have made the deal, because I assumed it meant Harden would either be back next year or we would at least make the offer of arbitration in an effort to receive a supplementary 1st round pick this year in the draft as compensation. Instead, we did neither.

By dealing him in August, it does send a white flag to your team, but did we really think we were going anywhere at that point? As of that day, we were 9 back in the division and 6.5 in the wildcard. It wasn’t happening and the move should have been made, especially considering that the team shut Harden down not too long after that.

Move # 2 – Offer Harden Arbitration

Some may disagree with me on this one, but hear me out. With Harden being a Type B free agent, it was up to the Cubs to offer arbitration to Harden to be eligible to receive compensation this June in the event that he went to another team via free agency. The fear of many was that if he was offered arbitration, he would accept and we’d be stuck with him. While that certainly could have happened, looking at the current state of the rotation could that have been that bad of a problem to have? I’m not saying he is someone I want to spend the money on for 2010, but if we were stuck with him, it could be worse.

What I would have done is offer arbitration to Harden with the assumption that he leaves. If that’s the case you’re a pick richer in the draft as a result. On the off chance he accepts the offer for arbitration, you follow the lead of the GM of Atlanta, Frank Wren. When offering arbitration to Rafael Soriano, a player they didn’t really want to bring back, they saw him accept. They promptly turned around and dealt him to the Rays for Jesse Chavez. Is Chavez a great prize? No, but when you get dealt an unexpected lemon, you make lemonade. Hendry could have offered to Harden, had he accepted, you deal him before the hearings. You can’t tell me no team would be interested in him for a small price. Even if the player coming back is nothing more than a scrub, you get more that we got as of right now.

You can rave about Hendry’s moves this off-season to move the Aarons (Miles and Heilman), but I look at his inability to properly deal with the Harden case and his overconfidence in the market for Milton Bradley as big time mistakes that I’m not going to be quick to forgive this off-season.


Who Am I?

Clue # 1 – I once struck out six times in a game

Clue # 2 – I played for the Cubs for one season before being traded to Cincinnati

Clue # 3 – I never won the MVP award, but was the runner up in the NL one year.

Clue # 4 – I died just over five years after my final game.

Clue # 5 – My Nickname was “Tiger”

Clue # 6Legend has it that during his one season in Cuba, Hoak actually batted against Fidel Castro

Clue # 7 – On May 26, 1959, in a game against the Milwaukee Braves, Harvey Haddix had pitched a perfect game for 12 innings. In the 13th, MY throwing error on a ground ball by lead-off hitter Félix Mantilla ruined the perfect game bid.

Clue # 8 – I was a Pirates’ broadcaster for two years, a coach for the Phillies in 1967, and a manager in the Pirates’ farm system for the next two years.

Who Am I?

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Morning News With the Daver

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

G’morning, Cubs fans. It’s time for some news you can use to beat the winter blues. So without further adieu…s:

Buh-bye, Mike Cameron. Looks like the AL East is about to screw us again. According to Brewers beat reporter Adam McCalvy, the Red Sox have a tentative two-year deal in place for centerfielder Mike Cameron. First Granderson, now this. In my humble opinion, Cameron was the Cubs best available option for centerfield. A two-year deal like this would’ve made a nice bridge to, we hope, strong prospect Brett Jackson making the Bigs in 2012. Alas, it appears not to be. Look for Hendry to go hard at Marlon Byrd now.

Update: Per Ken Rosenthal’s Twitter page, Cameron’s deal is indeed for two years but in the “$15.5 million range.” That was probably too rich for the Cubs constrained budget.

Capps wants Cubs but many offers on the table. Pirates closer Matt Capps had a rough ’09, but he had two great years before that. Following his nontender, the Cubs were among several teams to look into the right-hander. Bruce Miles mentioned on his blog yesterday that Hendry would likely offer Capps a one-year deal, which might be easy for another team to beat.

Bradley-for-Burrell update. Because, sadly, talking Cubs news without mentioning Milton Bradley remains impossible, here’s the (relative) latest on the moribund Rays deal. This Tampa writer puts the odds at 50-50. Not good.

Got a couple of million dollars lying around? Why not make a bid on Ryan Dempster’s mansion? I understand that you become 30% funnier just crossing the threshold. And if you spend enough time in the upstairs lavatory, you’ll freakishly develop the ability to throw a nasty splitter. (Warning: Whether male or female, you may also sprout a reddish goatee.)

Sweet Lou goes to school. Some lucky Glen Ellyn tyke wrote his way into Lou’s heart, bringing the Cubs skipper out for a personal visit. When other contest entrants complained, Lou simply shrugged and said, “Look, what do you want me to do?”

The new USA Today Team Report is out! The new USA Today Team Report is out! Hendry postulates on when a deal (of some sort or another) might be made. Oh, and it looks like Theriot in the leadoff spot in ’10. That makes the bunny cry.

We! Are! Marshall! No, he is Marshall. Sean Marshall. Nice profile on cubs.com. I’ve always liked Sean a lot.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Two Non-Tendered Players I’d At Least Kick the Tires On

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

With the passing of the non-tender deadline (which comes at a stupid time, but that’s another story), the Cubs have cut ties with Neal Cotts and now have a few other names to look at. MLB Trade Rumors does a good job listing the players who were let go by their teams over the weekend and I’d like to mention a few I’d at least look into as potential fillers for needs we may have.

Ryan Garko (1B) – Primarily a first baseman by trade, Garko has played a few games in the OF as well. With the departure of Jake Fox to the A’s, Derrek Lee’s primary backup option right now is Micah Hoffpauir. While not a terrible option, Garko may be a better choice for that role. He’s one year removed from a .273 / .346 / .404 season with 14 HR and 90 RBI for the Tribe. He made just under 500K in 2009, so his price tag wouldn’t be a hefty one. The Giants brought him in to be a run producer and he didn’t fill that need. Looking at his numbers with the Indians, it’s clear he can be a productive player:

Year   G   PA 2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+

CLE   408 1587 72  2 53 235 113 258 .283 .355 .450 .805  112

It seems like he’s at least worth a look to be the guy that can fill a role behind Lee and in the OF if he is comfortable taking a one year deal to fill a role.

Garrett Atkins (3B) – We saw a horrible lack of depth at the corner positions last year, but it was most glaring at the hot corner when Ramirez went down with the shoulder injury. I think it’s safe to say that his shoulder does not instill faith and we could probably use some depth at the position. The sticky part about Atkins is that, up until last year, he’s always been the starting third baseman and made a shade over $7 mil last year. I have no idea what he would command in terms of salary or role on a team, but I’d at least make the call and find out. My guess is that he would want a starting spot and wouldn’t fill in as a back up to Ramirez, but the only way to know is to ask. One thing is clear to me. When you take out last year, this guy can hit the ball.

Year     G  PA   R 2B 3B HR RBI BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+

2005   138 573  62 31  1 13  89 45  72 .287 .347 .426 .773   93

2006   157 695 117 48  1 29 120 79  76 .329 .409 .556 .965  136

2007   157 684  83 35  1 25 111 67  96 .301 .367 .486 .853  113

2008   155 664  86 32  3 21  99 40 100 .286 .328 .452 .780   96

2009   126 399  37 12  1  9  48 41  58 .226 .308 .342 .650   66

WHO AM I?

Here is your morning edition of “Who Am I?” As always, post your answer in the comment section.

Clue # 1 – I am the only player to ever get 200+ hits in a season while striking out 150+ times.

Clue # 2 – I finished my career with 328 career HR

Clue # 3 – I am a former MVP award winner

Clue # 4 – My cousin also played in the Majors

Clue # 5 – I was mentioned in the Mitchell Report

Who Am I?

If you have a “Who Am I” post you’d like us to run, send it to joe@viewfromthebleachers.com

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: