Archive for November, 2010

GirlieView (11/07/2010)

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Well here we are, Monday again. How does it come around so quickly?

Two weeks ago, I asked y’all to predict who was going to win the World Series and in how many games. Big props to jswanson who picked the Giants in 6, the closest guess. Shout outs to Chuck and Doc Raker who also picked the Giants, but in 7. Everyone else picked the Rangers or didn’t care. Rich Beckman, even though he picked the Rangers, had the number of games exactly right! Way to go guys! Thanks all around for playing along!

Enjoy the week in review, and don’t miss the discussion question at the end!


  • There is nothing uglier that a parent yelling at a 10 year old kid during a game that is supposed to be fun.
  • Keep doing it the right way, Chuck.
  • 1) DH
    2) Titanium rope necklace things
    3) Stepping out of the box between every pitch in order to put on a batting glove adjustment clinic
  • Here’s a guy who’s fast! Here’s a guy who can throw hard!
  • It is what it is.
  • Bat flipping, spinning, helicoptering, etc. immediately after a home run swing.
  • “At the end of the day”…..
  • It’s former Iowa Cubs manager, Pat Listach. (Insert crickets chirping)
  • Nobody can touch Kyle Farnsworth.
  • yep, he can kick the crap out of the toughest of fans.
  • Michael Barrett votes for Carlos Zambrano.
  • I get this sinking feeling that we are about to experience a very dull off-season for the Cubs.
  • 7) Cubs win 81 games or more in 2011. I’m putting that right above signing Cliff Lee, which is right above Mike Quade showing up in spring training with a thick afro.
  • I clicked on it to see what they were saying about Derek and he wasn’t even mentioned. Some other dude named Lee is also a free agent. Who knew?
  • Good lessons for Quade, Soriano, Aram and Zambrano to ponder.


  • Sit down, Shut up, Drink your beer and Watch the game!

Monday Morning Discussion Question

Todd Ricketts appeared on Undercover Boss last night. Did you watch? And if you did, what did you think?

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Good Call: Dennis Eckersley

Friday, November 5th, 2010

On May 25, 1984, the Chicago Cubs acquired a future Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, most of his legendary production would happen for another team.

The 1984 Cubs were competitive early, and the front office rewarded them for it. In late May, the Northsiders sent backup 1B Bill Buckner to the Boston Red Sox for starter Dennis Eckersley, who had fallen on tough times in the American League. A former All-Star, the Eck was struggling through an ugly spring. After the trade, he quickly turned his season around and resurrected his career in the process.

Eckersley made 24 starts for the surprising Cubs. In 160.1 innings, the 29-year-old righty went 10-8 with a solid 3.03 ERA. He became an essential part of a dynamic rotation that would lead the team to a division title. Of course, Steve Garvey and some poor defense would deny the Cubs a trip to the World Series.

1985 was another productive year for Eckersley, at least when he was able to take the ball. Injuries plagued him and his fellow starters, but the Eck was still solid: 169.1 innings, 11-7, 3.08 ERA. The Cubs failed to repeat that season, but the future still looked bright.

The other shoe dropped in 1986. Eckersley fell apart that year, giving up 226 hits in 201 innings. Crooked numbers seemed to follow him every outing, and the team collapsed. In 1987, the Eck was shipped to the A’s for a collection of no-name players who never amounted to anything (not a “good call”). It was in Oakland that the real Dennis Eckersley was born. The rest, as they say, is history.

It’s too bad that somebody in Chicago didn’t come up with the idea to try him as a reliever. Looking back, it seems like an obvious move. Even though a HUGE opportunity was missed, Eckersley had two strong seasons for the Cubs, who only gave up a reserve player to get him. Bringing him to Chicago was a great move, even knowing what we know today.

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On to the Off-Season!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Outside of the off-season starting things are a little quiet on the corner this week.  This will be short and sweet.

For some strange reason I get this sinking feeling that we are about to experience a very dull off-season for the Cubs.

Ricketts is looking to make his mark on this team and if I was a betting man, which I am, I would ride the odds that he feels improvement will come from within.   He has recently stated that big splashy free agent moves will be but a thing of the past.

This leaves us all wondering if there will be any fireworks this off season.  Maybe the biggest news flash we get is regarding Mike Quade’s coaching staff? yawn.

Anywho, I have only one task for the readers today…..

Rank, in order of probability, the following off-season items:

1) Carlos Zambrano gets traded

2) Cubs sign Cliff Lee

3) Cubs sign Adam Dunn

4) Cubs trade Soriano

5) Cubs trade/sign a top tier reliever

6) Cubs enter spring training without doing any of the above

Have a great week folks!

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In the News: Weed Smokin’ Catchers

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Happy Tuesday everyone. If you missed the best comments from last week, make sure you take a minute to check them out on GirlieView. On to the news.

  • Roster Moves – The Cubs added Robinson Chirinos to the 40 man roster, which increases the likelyhood that Koyie Hill will not be back as the backup catcher next year. I can’t see them carrying four catchers on the 40 man roster, so Hill is the likely odd man out. In addition, Jonathan Mota was re-signed and George Matheus was released.
  • Now Vitters is staying at third – According to Mark Gonzalez of the Tribune, Vitters has only been playing a little first base in Arizona only because they don’t have a surplus at the position on the team. Vitters is quotes as saying: “Third is my No. 1 position,” Vitters said. “I love playing there. If I can stay there, I definitely want to do that. I’m just trying to get as many ABs as I can, to make up for that lost time with the broken hand that I had. ” (Source)
  • I Had That One – If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I tweeted quite a prediction. I mentioned that we’d see the Rangers and the Giants in the World Series and that it would be a ratings nightmare. Guess what happened? and happened again?
  • We have a bench coach – And his name is not Ryne Sandberg. It’s former Iowa Cubs manager, Pat Listach. (Insert crickets chirping)
  • Play Catcher, Smoke Weed – Geo isn’t the only catcher in the system with a soft spot for a good doobie. The Cubs bullpen catcher, Corey Miller, was busted in Nebraska for possession. I’m gonna give him a pass. What else is there to do in Nebraska? (Source)

Images of the Week

Josh Hamiliton is welcomed to San Francisco

Ron Washington has a mini me

Name that Ballplayer

Each day this off-season we present to you three clues to help identify the mystery ballplayer. It’s your job to read one at a time and decide on a guess. Please vote in the poll on how many clues it took you to correctly identify the ballplayer in question. Good luck. We’ll start off very easy for a little while until people get the hang of things. All content for the game used from the book Name that Ballplayer by Wayne Stewart.

Clue # 1 – This Hall of Fame flamethrower of a pitcher was traded along with three other players from the Mets to the Angels in December of 1971, when he was just 24 years old, for Jim Fergosi (who would wind up with a .265 lifetime batting average) in one of the most lopsided trades ever engineered.

Clue # 2 – The first player to earn $1 million in a season, he packed fans into ballparks across the nation with his 100+ mph fastball; fans knew that the possibility of a no-hitter occurring and/or a strikeout record tumbling were palpable every time he took the hill.

Clue # 3 – This ageless wonder broke Sandy Kofax’s single season record when he whiffed 383 batters in 1973, one of 11 times he led his league in K’s. In fact, he was still fanning 200 to 300 hitters when he was as old as 44.

AnswerView Baseball Card

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GirlieView (11/01/2010)

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Good Monday Morning VFTB’ers and welcome to the lovely month of November! Does it annoy you that I’m so chipper on Monday mornings? Speaking of things that annoy you, don’t miss our discussion question at the end of the column about pet peeves.

I can’t report on last week’s discussion question because I asked who will win the World Series and thus far no one has done so. So we’ll hold off on that until next week. I’ve been enjoying the games, you? I have a bit of a crush on Buster Posey, you?

Joe and I haven’t had a chance to get together so he can tell me about his plans after analyzing the thoughts and suggestions you provided during the Annual VFTB Reader Survey, but I can tell you a few things that have been implemented already based on your feedback.

  1. Comments via email. If you post a comment and check the little box at the bottom (“Notify me of followup comments via email”), subsequent comments will be sent to your inbox for your perusal. It’s great for those who like it, and also great for those who don’t (just don’t check the box!)
  2. Discussion questions at the end of every post. We haven’t been religious about this but at least semi-holy.
  3. Post a schedule. See upper right. Although it’s a tentative schedule that we don’t always meet, we try our best to stick with it.
  4. Change the time of the daily new-post notification email. It used to show up oh, say, maybe 4 or 5am. Now it’s around 10am (central).

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. There may be more, and there will probably be more on the way. If you have any comments/complaints/kudos about the changes please speak up. We’re always interested in what you have to say even if it’s about administrative-type stuff.

On to the week in review!


  • Moving forward my solution for the black hole that is third base is pray the base ball Gods gift the Cubs with another quality third baseman in the next five years.
  • Steve Stone is an arrogant self-absorbed schmuck that harbors a grudge with the Cubs.
  • How did Aaron Miles not make that list?
  • The entire Cub bullpen threw BP to opposing hitters for this whole season
  • Manny Ramirez – In a word: NO
  • I = Ichiro = Japanese
    M = Matsui = Left-Handed
    Fukudome = F = I + M
  • I want [the] Cubbies to win without hearing that we needed extra playoff spots to do it.
  • But unless you think we are one Lee away from a serious playoff run (I don’t) then you pass).
  • For him, being crazy is like eating potato chips. You can stop for a while, but as soon as you slip and have a little you end up having a lot.


  • if you drink enough while watching and you squint your eyes real tight, the Rangers uniforms will look a lot like Cubs uniforms.

Monday Morning Discussion Question

I’ve talked about pet peeves in past columns (bag lickers, for instance) but never baseball-related pet peeves. So here goes … What are your baseball pet peeves? I’ll start you off with one of mine: Players who watch themselves on the jumbotron. Go!

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