Archive for January, 2011

Chet’s Corner: Don’t Quote Me On That!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Every so often I start riding the Internet wave.  The one that starts innocently like a quick read of a new post on VFTB, and after a few clicks of the mouse on a random link or two, ends at ……well……let’s just say I may have found the end of the internet a time or two.

This past week provided a few interesting quotes and stories from around the Cub-o-sphere.  I wanted to take a few seconds and spill my thoughts and then of course give the VFTB readers a chance to share theirs.

We will start with everybody’s favorite, Sam Fuld! 

The following Q & A is an excerpt from a Fangraphs interview with Jonah Keri,

Keri: Then there’s the church and state idea, when you’re out on the field, that you try to shut [statistical thinking] out. Do you feel it needs to go that way?

Fuld: I think baseball, in a way, the more brain-dead you are on the field, the more success you have. Which is why you see some big old dummies who are Hall of Famers (laughs). That’s the way it goes. There is a time to think on the field, but when you’re in the batter’s box, it’s all reaction. Maybe there’s an opportunity when you’re in the dugout to think on the stats side, but really your job is simple as a player, and ultimately you have to do what your manager expects you to do.

I suppose it depends on who your manager is, and who your front office is. I came up in the Cubs system, and they’re probably not as involved in the statistics side of the game as some other organizations. It still is important to me to get on base, even though (laughs) there were some guys who, all they cared about was my average.

Keri: Were they telling you, “be aggressive, be aggressive, swing, swing, swing?”

Fuld: Yeah, I definitely got a lot of that sort of instruction. It’s frustrating, but it’s reality. You have to please your boss before anybody else. That’s one of the things I’m actually looking forward to in going to the Rays, is maybe a little more advanced thinking when it comes to the numbers of baseball.

Hey Sam, what’s the old saying?  Excuses are like assholes, everybody’s got one? yah, that’s it!

Okay, so this alarms me a bit as a Cubs fan.  Yes, the Cubs finally got up with the times and hired a sabermetrics guy last year (about ten years too late) and yes , I know Jim Hendry is not a numbers guy.  Yes, Sam Fuld has a point.  Does this mean we will miss Sam Fuld?  His fielding….sure, as he did make some nice hustle plays.  Hitting ……probably not. 

I bid you adieu Sam Fuld, their was just no place at the table for you in chicago.

On to other things………

According to a few reports out of Cubs Convention, Carlos Zambrano wants to forget 2010.  Really Z?  You mean you don’t want to bathe in it?  I thought it was quite fun! 

Let me shed the sarcasm for a moment……Carlos, I have a great way to make everybody forget about 2010. When you take the mound in the first game of the season try not implode in the first couple innings setting up the preamble to your temper tantrum symphony which played out over the course of the first few months of last season.   By the way, unless something catistrophic takes place in spring training, “Big Z” will be your ace this year Cubs fans.  I don’t think Quade has the crotch taters to put him at number 2.  It could happen, I am just sayin’ don’t bank on it.

I am glad to hear Z is pumped about this season.  I would just like him to get through game 1 and we will take baby steps from there.

And then there’s this…….

Apparently Aramis Ramirez told Bruce Levine he hates the wintertime in the United States.  This is his excuse for not showing up at Cubs Convention in past years.  Well, it is a contract year and A-Ram is pulling out all the stops.  He attended his first convention this past weekend and with free agency looming stated it may be his last year as a Cub.  Gee, thanks Aramis, so glad you could stop by and grace us with your presence. 

I get this strange feeling A-Ram has never really liked his time here in Chicago. …at least April and May games.

And Finally…..

The Cubs will honor the late Ron Santo with a Statue outside Wrigley Field.  They will also wear a #10 patch throughout the 2011 season.  The names being mentioned to fill the vacancy left by Ron’s passing are not really exciting me, but then again how do you replace Ron Santo?  Might be the single toughest decision of the season.

To the readers, The Corner is now yours! What are your thoughts?

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Video Book Review: No Angel

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

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GirlieView (01/17/2011)

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Good morning! For those of you lucky enough to have a day off in honor of the good Dr. King, I hope you’re enjoying your long weekend. For those of you who are back to work, well, hope you enjoyed your (now over) weekend. :-) Let’s review last week:

Lizzies

  • It’s a welcome change to see the Cubs deal prospects while they’re still high in value rather than wait until they bust like we’ve seen with guys like Rich Hill, Felix Pie, and Corey Patterson.
  • Matt Garza…good pitcher, bad judge of facial hair.
  • Now, let’s hire that same sports psychologist that worked with Garza and hope he can keep the mercurial 2/5th of the starters straight this season.
  • I’m just impressed that Chuck’s desk-car can do 20 MPH.
  • 1. Z is good Z all year.
    2. Aramis is healthy all year.
    3. Wood can give us 60 dominant innings.
    4. We get a better 2B.
    5. Geo, Castro and Wells continue to progress.
    6. General good health.
    7. Soriano hits league-average vs RHP.
    If five of these come to pass, we are in good shape.
  • 8. If the Reds bus driver can’t find Wrigley Field.
    9. If Pujols gets drafted into Afghanistan.
    10. Miller Park does a Metrodome and the Brewers are on the road for their home schedule.
    These would also be helpful for the Cubs playoff chances.
  • I now know why Van Gogh cut off an ear, he had a bug in there.
  • I was graded a 2 for a ground out to third, since ball rolled to third base off my face.
  • Hope springs eternal, but the yellow ‘proceed with caution” light is still shining brightly at chez obvious
  • i had a friend who took a line drive to the groin during a baseball game while pitching . lesson learned ….keep your eyes on your balls .
  • Had a lot of scotch that night.
  • I’m just going to cast my ‘greatest moments in reader injury history’ vote for Capn right now. While I’m at it, I’m going to give my ‘least awkward segue to girlie-mag-centric braggadocio’ to you too Cap…nicely played, sir.
  • At which time I heard, ‘Oh that is bad!” followed by someone telling that woman to shut up so that I didn’t freak out.
  • not necessarily in order of suck
  • I’ve deduced that there is a direct correlation to players whose names contain 2 vowels in a row and the ‘oh no” tag. Aardsma, Neifi, Neil Cotts, Jaques Jones, and Aaron…both Heilman and Miles.
  • Neil Cotts and Bob Howry
  • I see Chuck’s Cotts and Howry, and raise him a Grabow.
  • captain suck himself Will Ohman
  • Did I ever mention that Aaron Heilman is an anagram for ‘I am an anal Hero”?
  • Currently it’s John Gra…NOOOO! I would just turn off the TV or the radio when Lou called his number. Then Lou kept doing it, even though the guy was throwing grapefruits my grandma could hit, and she’s been dead for 15 years.
  • If anyone even mentions Jim Edmund’s name, I’m gonna stick my nutsack in an electrical outlet
  • I’m beginning to think that perhaps Dr van Nostrand isn’t an actual MD.
  • By the way, if Perez doesn’t make the cut this spring, can we consider him for the spot in the radio booth?
  • The ‘dirty monkey” is a fine dessert drink down in Mexico. Not to be confused with the Capn’s ‘dirty monkey’ tricks he used to play before he was married.
  • One of the best catches I’ve ever seen by anyone, right up there with top plays in my own baseball history.
  • The Local weather guy this morning twice pointed out a current temperature of 54 degrees, and less than a minute later predicted a high today of 50. And we wonder why America can’t compete in Math and Science anymore.
  • I didn’t even know teleprompter reading was a science. We do suck.
  • I don’t dislike the Pirates, but the Brewers, Reds, and especially the Cardinals can go sit on a snake.
  • I totally forgot about the Astros. Let’s put them, oh, say, 10th.

Lizard

  • This just in. One of the pitchers in the rotation will be the Opening Day starter!

Monday Morning Discussion Question

There was plenty of interesting and entertaining news coming out of the Cubs Convention this weekend. (Must admit the more amusing and telling pieces were written by bloggers and not by “official” news sources, but perhaps I’m biased.) On the cubs.com convention roundup article, they snuck in this little bit:

The Cubs may go with a leadoff by committee with Quade rotating players in the No. 1 spot in the lineup depending on matchups. Among the candidates are Jeff Baker, DeWitt and Kosuke Fukudome.

This knocked the wind out of my sails and let me tell you it wasn’t a gale force wind to begin with. More like a slight breeze. But that did it. Not only the “by committee” part, but when I actually processed the choices and realized this is all we’ve got, I’m now officially pessimistic and I’m counting on you guys to talk me out of it! Who would you put at the top of the lineup? And/or, at least help me feel better about the options!


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GO: NL Central

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Rank the NL Central teams in order of your preference, favorite to least favorite.

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In the News: We’re Getting The Gang Back Together

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

It’s Thursday which means it’s time for me to put finger to key and try to come up with something that doesn’t make you want to click away after three seconds. Hopefully you enjoyed the information we brought about the Matt Garza trade. I know Mark over at the Ray Area worked hard on his portion. Since that trade, it seems like there has actually be a few things that have come across my e-mail that I’d like to comment on.

Before we get to that, a quick tangent. How cool is it when you’re dealing with a company and receive a fair amount of incompetence and poor service to finally get a good representative that has half a brain and knows what their doing. All of a sudden it’s as if the heavens have opened up and God is smiling on you. It always makes me laugh because I really don’t know how to handle the person that provided said service. You feel like giving them a hug and thanking them 100 times. Instead I typically try to get their name and ask for a supervisor to let them know, though I’m sure that person is a reject and simply nods and hangs up. I had this happen with Sprint today and it made me wonder what you guys do when you get a particularly good customer service rep.

The Headlines


Reed Johnson’s Back!!! – First it was Kerry Wood that decided to come back to Chicago. Now, the Cubs announced that Reed Johnson, one of my favorite Cubs, has signed a minor league deal with an invite to spring training to compete for a reserve outfield job. Right now we know Sori, Byrd and Fukudome are locks. You’d figure Colvin is a lock as well. That leaves one spot in the outfield for either Johnson or Fernando Perez. I’ll be honest. Both are such good guys for a clubhouse that it’s hard not to want both of them to make the team. One option to get them both in there would be to have Colvin be in there as the backup first baseman. That would let him slot in there when needed but also give Quade some flexibility with being able to carry Perez and Johnson. Obviously all this is contingent on the fact that both guys would have to actually be able to hit the baseball. Failure to do that makes it moot, but I like both Johnson and Perez a lot. Perez has been here under a week and he’s already one of my new favorite Cubs. He tore apart a Cubs blogger that tried a pretty sad attempt at satire at his expense.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Hey “Ace” an ‘attendant’ is someone that is employed to provide service—you meant that I was an ‘attendee’; someone who attends something, like the Cubs convention for instance. If you’d have done your homework and had seen this, you could have actually went with ‘attendant’— that would have been sort of funny actually. You also spelled ‘heroes’ wrong but that one’s a toughie, I’m sure nobody caught it.

Ace, there are so many places you could have went with this. If it was going to be a college joke about me being molested in my adolescence, you might as well have called me a “fag” or something for my well-documented poetic leanings. Let’s see, well, I’m a little funny looking with my short torso, high butt and long arms, sometimes I end up tucking in my jersey numbers in my pants—nobody likes that. I was in a musical too. Thats pretty lame I guess. You certainly should have brought up my career stats. Not so great thus far. There’s also that ridiculous picture I consented to take for a magazine, where I’m holding a polo mallet. Ewwww. I was poorer then, and I thought I’d get to keep the jeans. I was duped! But that’s neither here nor there, its on the internet, it’s fair game, and it’s a really nerdy photo. The point is, Ace, I’m such an easy target, how could you blow this! (Full Post)

Koyie Hill gets PAID – Well, not much. The Cubs agreed to a deal for him that pays $850K. It’s not terrible, considering Robinson Chirinos is gone now and Wellington Castillo is not quite ready. Hill will compete with Castillo and newly acquired Max Ramirez for the backup spot this spring. My guess is that Hill will win the job. According to Carrie Muskat, “Geovany Soto and pitchers Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, and Tom Gorzelanny are the Cubs’ remaining arbitration eligible players. Jeff Baker, 29, also was arbitration eligible but he renewed Dec. 2 on a $1.175 million contract.”

Paul Sullivan Gets to the Heart of the Story – “Quade also declined to name an Opening Day starter, saying it would be between Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster.” Did he really just write that and try to pass it off as reporting? He couldn’t press the issue just a little. I could post that and never have even talked with Quade. Good grief Sully, you’re better than that. Don’t get lazy on us.

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Chet’s Corner: The “Oh No!” Player….

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

As Cubs season’s pass me by none of them ever seem the same.  They all have their own little theme or characteristics that carry them to there end.  For instance, 1998 will always be Sammy’s year and 2003 will be the Bartman year.  You could say that 2009 was the “Milton Bradley Meltdown” year and 2010 was, well, we will call it the “Youth Explosion” year in order to stay positive.

There are, however, those same underlying currents that accompany each season likewise.  The other night a friend and I were sitting in a local Wrigleyville haunt admiring some of the Cubs memorabilia on the walls when the conversation of all conversations started.   He and I have a very interesting relationship.  Our communication almost goes dormant for the winter but when a sniff of baseball season hits the wind we are right back in touch.  If there is somebody I want to talk Cubs with, he is the guy.  The trick to this little meeting was the fact that Cubs season is nowhere near.  So we did what great baseball fans do, we dug up the past.

As we hit every season we also hashed out every memory, like the time I ate a hotdog per inning for 10 straight innings (yah it went into extras) or the time we were handed free tickets outside the box office and they happen to be 4 rows up from the dugout.  The biggest topic , bizarrly enough, was the “Oh No!” player. 

Definition: Oh No! Player

              -A player who enters the game, either at the plate or on the mound, and always, predictably, implodes to the point of no return…. Yet they keep coming back.

 

My friend went through his list of Oh No! players and even recounted a time when La Troy Hawkins was dragged out of the pen in an act of torture exacted on all Cubs fans by the manager. The Cubs had a one run lead heading into the ninth and then came the call and out rolled Hawkins and my friend stood up from the bar and asked for his check and left in a fury!  As he left the front door of the bar Hawkins third pitch went yard and the game was tied……I will let you guess who ended up winning.  That is an “Oh No!” player!

Here is a list of my Oh No! players, not necessarily in order of suck…..

1) Felix Heredia

2) Antonio Alfonseca

3) Jeff Fassero

4) Sammy Sosa (at times)

5) La Troy Hawkins

6) Milton Bradley

7) Lenny Harris

The list could go on but to save space……

Anyhow, here is my question for you readers……who is your “Oh No!” player?  Who is your guy that when he strides to the plate or runs in from the dugout makes you say Oh No! ……check please!

 

 

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Great Moments in Reader Injury History

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

I called for some stories from the readers and chose a few of my favorites. I’d like to hear from you guys with your injury stories or perhaps those of your “friends”

Docrav writes:

My first fantasy camp I was leading off of first base and the pitcher tried to pick me off. I caught a cleat and rolled my ankle spraining it badly. Billy Williams told me to try to walk it off, but I couldn’t and suffered the humiliation of having a runner for me the rest of camp. took about 3 months to heal, but to date I have had my ankles taped prophylactic ally every day of every camp since. I had injured both ankles in a fall from a ladder and a roll down a hill while building my house about 4 years earlier, so they are both weak. I crack like rice crispies walking up the stairs. They feel so good now that I’m considering forgoing it this year. Raker and Obvious will let us all know if that does not work out well.

Other injuries I have seen at Fantasy camp:
A 70 year-old first base coach had a scorcher hit at him off of a left-handed batter. He stuck his bare hand out and it caught his ring finger tip and pulled it all the way against the back of his hand. Little blood, but the bone popped thru the skin. Out for the rest of camp. Our coaches are supposed to man 1st and 3rd coaching assignments, but some are famous for not moving from their chairs, and that was the case in this instance.

A dislocated shoulder sliding head first into second base in a burly guy. Out for the rest of camp.

A dislocated hip sliding feet first into a stout catcher at home.

There was a guy a few years before I started going to camp who dropped dead running first to third on a single. He had had prior serious health issues, but was not old.

The training room at camp is an extremely busy place. There are more shades of purple on calves, thighs and arms than you would expect to see at a Kiss concert, but nobody goes away without a smile on their face. 2 1/2 weeks and counting.

As an aside, Fantasy camp starts Jan 23rd and runs a week. the 21-23, there is a mini fantasy camp, also in Phoenix, run by West coast fantasy baseball where teams of folks who have attended one of the various fantasy camps get their own teams together and play 4 or 5 games in 3 days. Doc Raker has organized a Cub team each of the last 3 years for this and is doing so again this year. I think Captain Obvious is joining us and Sherm has been invited, but I’m not sure if he is going. Raker’s Brother is a well known professional comedian who plays ball fairly well and will also be there. If it would be of interest to the view, we might be able to provide some running commentary on our Cub team at said festivities.

Dragon writes:

My injury happened on the way to work one delightful sunny morning. As I approached the building, a moth flew into my ear canal. The thing kept fluttering it’s wings non-stop trying to escape but to no avail. Although my co-workers had lots of suggestions on how to get rid of the critter, I ended up having to go to an emergency care to have them put some foam in there to kill the moth so they could pull it out. I now know why Van Gogh cut off an ear, he had a bug in there. No worse feeling in the world, swimmer’s ear times 100.

Would like to read the injury report for this one: “Bats in the Belfrey”?

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Breaking Down Both Sides of the Garza Trade

Monday, January 10th, 2011

This weekend the Cubs and Rays, my two favorite teams, finalized a deal that sent a slew of minor league talent to Tampa and a front line starting pitcher the Cubs. Fellow Sweet Spot blogger, Mark Hilig, brought up the idea of collaborating on a post to give both sides of the trade. He’s taken the time to write a little about the players the Rays have given up, complete with a conclusion from the Rays perspective, and I’ve done the same from the Cubs perspective. Hopefully this will lead to good discussion. I wanna hear your take.

Matt Garza – Garza is a wildly entertaining pitcher to watch that should remind Cubs fans of Carlos Zambrano. Well, more precisely Carlos Zambrano with the benefit of psychological therapy. Garza let his emotions control him when the Rays initially acquired him in 2008 — even getting into a shoving match with catcher Dioner Navarro in Arlington that sent Navarro down a flight of stairs into the tunnel. But, at the Rays’ request he spent time with a sports psychologist that helped him balance his emotional state through physical reminders such as wearing ear plugs and looking at his children’s initials on the bill of his cap at the start of each inning. (Unfortunately, the psychologist wasn’t able to remedy his incredibly disgusting habit of spitting every two seconds. He’s like the Leo Mazzone of saliva). First basemen Carlos Pena also had a calming effect on Garza when an inning started to spin out of control, a relationship that should continue in Chicago. When Garza is good, he doesn’t shake off the catcher and he throws his breaking ball for strikes. Basically, he just throws. In fact, that is why I nicknamed him Nuke LaGarza earlier this year. (http://therayarea.com/nuke-lagarza). He does give up a lot of fly balls (65% of balls in play in 2010) and benefited from the Rays’ defense in 2010 (3.91 ERA/4.42 FIP ERA in 2010) but will be a great addition for the Cubs.

Fernando Perez – I am especially sorry to see Fernando leave the organization, even though his departure for the National League is probably long overdue. Perez is a Columbia alum and a published poet. He has a unique view on the world, is one of the most quotable players in the game, and has an incredibly entertaining Twitter feed. (www.twitter.com/outfieldrambler) all of which will be missed by the media that covers the Rays. Perez was a 2008 September call-up that made enough of an impression in 23 games (106 OPS+ and 5 SB in 5 attempts) to make the postseason roster and appear in 5 postseason games. The following spring, he seemed likely to make the big-league club in spring training until he broke his wrist diving for a line drive in the 8th inning of a game and missed the first two or three months of the season. Perez spent all of 2010 in AAA due in part to his limited offensive ability. He runs well and is a solid defensive outfielder that has trouble getting on base. He seems like a great substitute outfielder for the national league game that can pinch-run and be part of a double-switch.

Zach Rosscup – Rosscup appears to be a throw-in to seal the deal, possibly intended to replenish the suddenly depleted Cubs farm system. He was a mid-round pick in 2009 (28th round) and has shown the ability to miss bats in two pro season. He fanned 27 hitters in 40.1 innings during his short-season stay with the Rookie League Princeton Rays and punched out 41 hitters in 44.1 innings between the Gulf Coast League and NY-Penn League.

Rays Conclusion – As I wrote on Friday, I love this trade for the Rays. Jeremy Hellickson can take Garza’s place in the rotation (and maybe even outperform him according to the Zips projections that predict Hellickson throwing 135 innings with a 3.58 ERA in 2011 while Garza was projected for 208 innings with a 3.84 ERA in 2011). It also frees up cash for the Rays to get a one-year deal on a right-handed DH like Vladimir Guerrero or Jim Thome. And, most importantly, it uses the Rays strength in starting pitching to patch up four areas of need in the organization. Based on Joe’s analysis, this might be one of the few deals in recent memories where both teams address vital areas of need and get better in the process.


Chris Archer – He seems to be the focal point of the deal for the Rays. Everything I read pointed to the idea that he was a must have if the deal was going to be consummated. He was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 5th round of the 2006 draft, but disappointed enough to become expendable when the Indians wanted Mark DeRosa. He was shipped to the Cubs along with John Gaub and Jeff Stevens. He spent 2010 between Daytona (A+) and Tennessee (AA) and combined for a 15-3 record with a 2.34 ERA. The biggest challenge facing Archer at this point is his command. He still walks too many hitters. If he can continue to work on that and develop his third pitch (changeup), he has the makings of a low end # 2 or high end # 3 starter in my opinion. I like him a lot primarily because he’s young (just 22 yrs old) and he went to H.S. right near my house. He’s a tough one to loose, but I don’t see him being better than Garza.

Hak-Ju Lee – Lee seems to be getting over looked by a lot of people that have written about this deal. The Cubs signed him from S. Korea in 2008 and have been hyping up the fact that he has the ability to supplant Starlin Castro at SS. That’s pretty high praise, but he has the type of range that can warrant the praise. If he meets his potential, he’ll be a guy that plays above average defense at short, but lacks the arm strength to be an elite SS. He won’t hit the ball out of the ballpark, but he’ll get on base and be able to use his speed on the bases.

Brandon Guyer – Guyer broke out in 2010 and hit the ball so well that he was named the Minor League Player of the Year in the Cubs system. What people forget is that until 2010, his hitting was less than spectacular. He’s an athletic player that can steal bases well. I’m concerned that his lack of discipline at the plate might get him overmatched at the big league level. If he can work on that, there are opportunities to make a difference in the OF in Tampa.

Robinson Chirinos – If Geovany Soto was not in Chicago and if Jim Hendry wasn’t in love with non-hitting backup, Koyie Hill, Chirinos would probably be in line for a shot with the Cubs in 2010. I clamored for him to get a chance last year over Wellington Castillo, but for some reasons no one listened. I’m excited to see what he can do with Tampa. He’s got some power in his bat and can draw walks at the plate. He plays average defense behind the plate, but has a great arm that translated into 30+% caught stealing in 2010. At this point, he deserves a chance to play with Tampa.

Sam Fuld – Fuld reminds me a lot of Fernando Perez. He’s never going to be a starting outfielder in this league, but he has the makeup to be a productive guy on a part time basis because of his good baseball sense. He has tremendous patience and discipline at the plate that at one point translated into him being recognized as being top in the system in that area. He can play all three OF positions, but is probably best suited for CF. He runs the bases well can use his speed as an asset to make up for his lack of power. He’s out of minor league options, so that bears watching come spring training. He’ll need to make this club or risk being lost on waivers.

Joe’s Conclusion – From a Cubs standpoint, I like the trade. We get an upper rotation starter, which was sorely needed to help counter some of the moves made in the division. Garza is under our control for cheap for three more years, which allows flexibility given the bad contracts that are currently on the books. In return, we give up a starter that could be as good as Garza, but might not meet those projections, and players at positions where there wasn’t room to play. Chirinos is blocked by Soto. Lee is blocked by Castro. Guyer is blocked by Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome and Colvin. Fuld had not place on the roster no matter what. It’s dealing from a strength to fill a need. It’s a welcome change to see the Cubs deal prospects while they’re still high in value rather than wait until they bust like we’ve seen with guys like Rich Hill, Felix Pie, and Corey Patterson.

Buddy’s conclusion – I’m a long-time Garza fan, even during his highly publicized meltdowns. He’s got tremendous stuff, he’s been very durable, and his contract is Cub-friendly. He should be a solid, occasionally spectacular, NL starter.

Certain baseball writers think the Cubs gave up way too much for Garza, but I just don’t see it. Sam Fuld is a dime-a-dozen utility outfielder. Chris Archer pitched well in A and AA ball, but the Cubs are loaded with young arms. Robinson Chirinos hit very well at AA, but he’s been in their minor league system for 10 years, managing only 79 home runs in 2,900 at bats. Guyer has been up and down in four minor league seasons, including a very “up” 2010. His low walk total is a concern.

And now we come to Mr. Lee. Smarter people than yours truly love him as a prospect. After all, he’s only 20 years old and has impressive patience at the plate. However, Lee slugged an embarrassing .351 in Peoria last season. I know he’s young, but the caliber of pitching in low A ball is dreadful. If I worked in the Rays’ front office, I would be worried about his ability to swing the bat as he moves up the ladder. However, time is on his side.

Even if Lee becomes an everyday Major League shortstop, I still like this deal for the Cubs, who already have a superstar in the making at short. The Cubs may not be the NL Central favorites, but they just got a lot better. Nice move, Jim.

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GirlieView (01/09/2011)

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Good morning! I’m an early Girlie this week, Joe’s got an exciting Matt Garza introduction for you tomorrow morning so we’ll make it a great Sunday and start off your week a little bit early! Let’s get right to the week in review!

Lizzies

  • Best… 1) Castro 2) Soto 3) Trading Milton Bradley
  • Worst: 1)April-May 2) May-June 3) June-July
  • Worst: 1) Ronnie’s death
  • [Worst] 1) The death of Ron Santo. Radio will never be the same for me again. The world is a less joyful place without him.
  • [Worst] 3) The bloated carcass that is the Cubs payroll.
  • The Soriano contract is one of the worst in the history of sports.
  • [Worst] 3. The apparent demise of Sherm.
  • [Best] 2. Milton Bradley’s on cue implosion in Seattle.
  • The Cubs should sign Jeter because his routine jump-throws would make Sori’s routine jump-catches less ridiculous.
  • There are a few of old Yankees I would take. Old Mariano Rivera. Old A-Rod. Old Andy Pettitte.
  • right now what we got is old Alfonso Soriano.
  • I’d take old Mark Teixeira and old CC Sabathia right about now, though.
  • Jim Hendry stockpiled marginal talent with no help from the rule 5 draft
  • Pretty sure Lee swings a wet noodle at this point.
  • I nominate Wellington’s nickname to be “Beef”.
  • For the radio booth there could be a series of buttons to push that bring back Ronnies voice saying things like “OH NOOOOO” or “What a shame”
  • Bill murray
  • Geo Soto will continue to improve and become one of the best catchers in the National League. Honestly, he’s already in that category.
  • Alfonso Soriano will look like Stevie Wonder in the outfield and generally frustrate Cubs fans. His diminishing skills will lead to more playing time for Tyler Colvin.
  • Carlos Marmol will save 30+ games and walk 60+ batters. My heart will live in my throat all summer.
  • Don’t trust anyone whose balls are made of crystal.

Lizard

  • “Polin Trinidad, isn’t that a small island in the Caribbean Ronny?” “Must be Pat”.

Sunday Morning Discussion Question

There are two NFL Wildcard playoff games today. What’s your pleasure? I’ll take Baltimore and Green Bay, but if my streak continues from yesterday I’m heading straight for an 0 for 4 weekend in my pick’em league! What say you?


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