The Headlines

Kosuke Fukudome has purchased a condo on Lake Shore Drive

We’ve talked about the fact that he may get traded this off-season as his salary is not nearly as bad now that his contract is nearing an end. That said, I wonder if the fact that he bought this condo has anything to do with him feeling like he’s not going to at least be shopped this off-season. I have to imagine that Jim Hendry would like to at least entertain offers for him, right? There were rumors that were shot down on Twitter that the Cubs were going to deal him to the Red Sox in exchange for Dice-K. The biggest question to me is whether or not he’ll be the starting right fielder for this team. We’ve seen how hot he can be in the early going and Tyler Colvin didn’t really do enough to be the unquestioned guy in that spot. Thoughts?

Ricketts proposes, but gets shot down

It’s hard the work up the courage to pop the question, especially when that question is of $300 million significance. Nonetheless, Ricketts got up the courage to pop said question the the city of Chicago and the mayor in a plan to help renovate Wrigley Field. I liked Daley’s response when discussing why he rejected the proposal:

The mayor said he likes the concept of a stadium renovation plan that would keep the Cubs at Wrigley for at least 35 years and free up the money the Ricketts family needs to develop a triangle building promised to Wrigleyville residents in exchange for a bleacher expansion.

But Daley said he’s not about to saddle his successor with a deal that requires Chicago taxpayers to forfeit 35 years of amusement-tax growth needed to bankroll basic city services.

“That would deny the next mayor — if I sign the agreement and say, ‘Go ahead’ — of the revenue they need to balance the budget,” Daley said. “And government needs money in order to balance budgets. (Source)

That’s refreshing to see someone do what’s right for the city rather than what’s right for his political career. Rickett’s plan moving forward to make the project happen? Well, let’s just say there wasn’t a plan B.

“if they’re the real Chicago fuckin’ fans, they can kiss my fuckin’ ass right downtown and PRINT IT.”

If you aren’t familiar with that phrase, it’s from one of the most memorable tirades ever in Chicago sports. Lee Elia is the man responsible for it. The 73 year old just signed on to help the Atlanta Braves as part of their baseball operations. Good for him.

Ask and you shall receive

I mentioned last week that Joe Morgan and Jon Miller were out as the announcers on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast. I had hoped the job would go to Dan Shulman, who I like a lot. ESPN announced just that. Shulman will take over duties with Bobby Valentine  and Orel Hershiser as his color men. What I’m curious about is if this officially eliminates Valentine from any managerial consideration. We hear about him all the time and we’ll probably continue to do so until he takes a job managing again.

Return to your roots

After being spurned by the Cubs for the managerial job, Ryne Sandberg interviewed and was hired for the AAA managerial job with the Phillies. You may remember that the Phillies initially drafted Sandberg and traded him to the Cubs. I hate that it came to this, but I wish him the best.

File this one in the ‘uh oh’ file

Jim Hendry, when asked about the off-season,

“‘I’m not worried about the ‘splash’ factor,” said Hendry, who might be looking at a 10 percent drop from the $146 million Opening Day payroll of 2010 once chairman Tom Ricketts gets specific with the budget in the next few weeks. ”I’m worried about getting the right guys that make us better. We’ve already put the fifth-place thing behind us, and we’d like to think we’re going to build off the last two months [24-13 finish]. … It’s really imperative that we have two or three really good moves.” (Source)

I’m not saying it’s a bad thin, but it doesn’t get me all warm and fuzzy to think we won’t even look at big name guys.

The Trivia

As always, what follows below are three clues to consider when guessing the mystery ballplayer. See how many clues it takes before you can correctly guess. Start with clue # 1 and work your way through. Good luck. If you’re interested in more of these, they can be found in the book, Name that Ballplayer by Wayne Stewart

Clue # 1 – This left-handed power hitter, a member of the 500 home run club, was once involved in a brawl at third base, with Frank Robinson. Robinson had complained that the man in question applied a tag on him with too much force. The third-sacker hauled off and slugged Robinson, then asked, “How about that tag?”

Clue # 2 – A teammate of Hank Aaron’s for many year, he later managed Aaron.

Clue # 3 – This Hall of Famer has the initials “E.M.”

Click here for the answer

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail