Greetings from the Thunderdome, Cubs fans. I’m feeling a little woozy today. Not sure why. I don’t think I’m getting sick, but I was flat-out exhausted last night and am a little discombobulated at the moment. So I’m going to treat you to some off-day quickies. No, not that kind of quickie. Just some short and sweet news briefs to keep you in tune and on track for this weekend’s barn-burning series against the always hated St. Louis Cardinals – which I’ll be attending. Yup, looks like I’ll be going to Sunday night’s series closer. Anyway, on with the quickies:
Tigers in on Lilly. Theriot? Not so much. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports (scroll down to “Tigers have eyes on Cubs’ Lilly”) that trade talks between the Cubs and Detroit for our beloved left-hander Theodore Roosevelt Lilly continue and could soon heat up. The Tigers rotation currently lacks a southpaw and His Holy Tedness fits the bill. Go down a little further in Morosi’s post and you’ll see that he’s reporting the Detroit team does not have any interest in Ryan Theriot, who has really killed his own trade value this season with a (as of this writing) .283 wOBA (WAY below league average) and negative WAR (-0.2).
Big Z pulls another disappearing act. Exiled (starting?) pitcher Carlos Zambrano was supposed to pitch for the Iowa Cubs yesterday, but manager Ryne Sandberg (haven’t read his name enough lately!) says Z had to “take care of some business” (♪♫ every day! every way! ♪♫) and would return to the team today (Thursday) to pitch out of the pen. I’ve learned from sources that Iowa TV news reported that Big Z actually flew back to Chicago, so maybe he had some sort of family issue. I believe the plan is to get Carlos in pitching shape to join the team on its upcoming road trip, which begins in Houston on Monday night.
In other Carlos news, Silva has been pushed back. Len Kasper emphasized on Tuesday that Carlos is not injured but merely working on some tweaks with Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild. This change to the rotation order means I’ll be seeing a Ryan Dempster start on Sunday – which is really weird because I’ve attended precisely one game in each of the two previous seasons and both were Demp starts. The good news is the Cubs won both games.
A couple other bullpen updates noted in that story:
- John Grabow isn’t close to returning to action.
- Brian “Shoulda Learned a Splitter” Schlitter threw one-third of an inning for Iowa yesterday (Wednesday), giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.
Ryan Dempster holds star-studded charity event.Here’s an ABC News video with Demp before the event, which took place last night and benefited The Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation. Al Yellon over at Bleed Cubbie Blue posted some amusing pics of Cubs players in attendance.
Cubs Next Manager: Power Rankings
And now in a new and occasional feature on “In the News,” here’s how I’d rank the gentleman jockeying for a position to be the next manager of YOUR Chicago Cubs:
1. Ryne Sandberg. He’s in Cooperstown (literally) and the first name out of everyone’s mouth. In this on-field interview, Ryno even admits it would be his dream job.
2. Bob Brenly. His Score interview rocketed him up the chart. I wouldn’t mind seeing him manage the club for a season or two for the ass-kickings alone.
3. Alan Trammell. Classy as always, he ain’t talkin’. But it’s nice to see his name mentioned.
4. Fredi Gonzalez, Joe Torre (tie). Hey, ESPN has mentioned both Gonzalez and Torre, so anything’s possible. The former will probably fade from the chart quickly when it’s clear he’s going back to the Braves. And the latter would really just be a retread of the Lou Piniella approach, and it’s hard to believe the Cubs would go down that road again. On the other hand, Ryne Sandberg as bench coach to Joe Torre for a couple seasons is interesting.
5. Joe Girardi. The fans are certainly talking about him, but I can’t see Jim Hendry getting anywhere near the former Cubs backstop until after the season. And the way the Yankees are winning, their season won’t be over until late October/early November.
Shameless self-promotion: I wrote this commentary yesterday (Wednesday) on what might bring Girardi to Chicago. My insane theory might surprise you.
For the time being, I’m leaving Bobby Valentine off because I haven’t seen any news reports of him even being asked about the job – and I’d like it to say that way.
OK, in retrospect, these news items really aren’t any shorter than I usually write them, so perhaps they’re not quickies. But I already wrote the lede and came up with the title and I’ve got to get back to work, so I’m just going to leave it as is.