Archive for January, 2012

Handicapping the Non-Roster Invitees

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Yesterday, the Cubs announced the names of the players who are not a part of the 40 man roster who have been invited to compete for a big league job in spring training. The list is:

Nine pitchers – righthanders Marco Carrillo, Manuel Corpas, Jay Jackson, Rodrigo Lopez, Trey McNutt, Blake Parker and Dae-Eun Rhee and lefthanders Trever Miller and Chris Rusin.

Three catchers -  Michael Brenly, Jason Jaramillo and Blake Lalli.

Five infielders – Alfredo Amezaga, Edgar Gonzalez, Jonathan Mota, Bobby Scales and Matt Tolbert

Four outfielders – Jim Adduci, Jae-Hoon Ha, Brett Jackson and Joe Mather.

For those not familiar with the process, for a player to be on the active roster during the season, they must be on the 40 man roster and for a player to be removed from that 40 man roster they must be placed on irrevocable waivers. What that means is that the process to just add and remove a player from the 40 man roster is not one that is done flippantly. Another caveat is the fact that anyone with a big league contract must be on the 40 man roster. All that being said, the Cubs roster stands at 40 players right now, which means for someone from this list to be added out of camp someone else must be removed.

Before we break down the names on the list above that have a shot, we first need to examine the 40 man roster as it stands currently and look for potential openings.

At the catcher position, the Cubs are carrying three names. Geovany Soto is a lock as is top catching prospect Wellington Castillo. Steve Clevenger occupies the other spot and could be removed without consequence should one of the names above warrant the spot. I would strike Brenly’s name right off the top as he’s only on the list because of his last name. I would also strike Lalli’s name because I see him primarily as a first baseman. That just leaves Jaramillo who some feel has a decent chance of opening the year as the backup catcher to allow Castillo to continue to develop. Personally, I like the versatility that Clevenger brings to the table over Jaramillo. He’s played primarily at the catcher position in the minors, but has also seen a fair share of time at third as well as second. Jaramillo is strictly a catcher. I’m a fan of versatility so I give the nod to Clevenger, but it’s going to be a battle for that spot on the 40 man.

Looking at the infielders on the 40 man roster, there’s really only one name with the potential to be removed, Junior Lake. To be honest, I’m not sure why he was given a spot on the 40 man roster over Ryan Flaherty. As a result, Flaherty was selected in the Rule 5 draft. Unfortunately, the names invited to camp are less than impressive. If I had to lay odds I’d give Bobby Scales the best shot at making the team out of camp, but that’s a very outside chance.

The outfield, much like the infield, is involved in a decent sized log jam. Barring a trade before opening day, the only names I could see that would make sense to remove from the 40 man would be Tony Campana or Dave Sappelt, who was brought in as part of the Sean Marshall deal this off-season. Considering the fact that Sappelt was just brought in, it’s hard to imagine he’d immediately be out so that leaves just Campana, but his job appears safe. Jackson is the obvious name that will eventually be part of this team, but he’s not coming up without a place to play every day. Ha is too young at this point so that Adduci and Mather, neither of which deserve a spot. Not really much intrigue in the outfield just yet unless Brett Jackson plays himself into a job.

That leaves the pitchers, which is anyone’s guess. The names that stand out on the list for me are Miller, who was just signed and could provide a veteran lefty presence in the pen if he has anything left in the tank, and Lopez who may have shown enough last year to earn a shot to at least show what he can do as a long man out of the pen. Personally, I’ve always been a Jay Jackson guy, so I’d love to see him come into spring guns blazing and earn himself a job, but it’s a long shot. There are definitely spots available, with a name like Casey Weathers holding down a spot he probably doesn’t deserve.

Overall, nothing overly intriguing about the list, but there are definitely spots to be had should someone reach out and grab them.

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Morning News: Staving Off the Pre-Super Bowl Malaise

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

 

Strike One: Free Agent Free-For-All  MLBTradeRumors.com reports the race for Cuban refuge Yoenis Cespedes is about to heat up.  The new Dominican Republic resident will travel to the US in the next week or so to begin meeting with teams interested in signing him–including the Cubs.  MLBTR also links to a story from Baseball America that projects Cespedes as one of the top fifteen prospects if when he signs with a team.  With Theo and Jed wanting to get younger and emphasize player development, the speedy outfielder might be the kind of free agent target they’re looking for.  And be sure to check back this afternoon for Joe’s post on the wave of non-roster invitees the Cubs are bringing to Mesa next month.

Ball One:  Quick Hits  Elsewhere around the league, the Brewers signed ex-Cub Corey Patterson to a minor league deal… Pat Burrell retired… the new owner of the Astros has decided not to change the name of team after all… Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson has lost a step, but it seems he’ll be OK… and the A’s are open to signing Manny Ramirez, although I doubt they will.

Strike Two:  Headgear Selection (Non-Corso Edition)  Tomorrow is National Signing Day for high school football recruits, and ESPNU will be running televised coverage all day.  I’m generally a college football fan, and I’m eager to see who my Oklahoma State Cowboys pick up.  But I think the fervor around high school recruiting may be getting out of hand.  Exhibit A: the number one recruit in the country, Dorial Green-Beckham, recently had an in-school visit from Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, who landed his helicopter on the high school’s baseball field.  A cool, attention-grabbing move, to be sure, but is it the kind of attention we should be heaping on high school seniors?  Do we really need all-day coverage of seventeen and eighteen year-olds dramatically choosing hats in front of the national media?  In spite of all that, will I probably tune in throughout the day to see who OSU picked up?  Probably.

Foul Tip:  Save Ferris  A frightening percentage of Sunday’s Super Bowl audience will tune in not for the game, but for the commercials.  While some Super Bowl ads have lived up to the considerable hype, most of them fall far short.  Early indications point to further disappointment on Sunday, when Honda will unleash this abomination on the viewing public.  I have not driven the all-new CRV.  For all I know, it’s the finest small SUV ever built.  But make no mistake–it is exactly the kind of car Ferris Bueller famously eschewed for a stolen Italian classic.  No amount of tweaked quotes and vague visual callbacks can salvage this half-hearted attempt to recapture the magic of John Hughes’ 80′s classic.  And what happened to Matthew Broderick?  It’s like he exchanged all his Bueller-esque charisma for a soft voice and a weird twitch.  He’s basically grown up to be Cameron Frye.  Is that what married life with Sarah Jessica Parker does to you?  Bottom line: I don’t know if this commercial will energize Honda sales.  Terrible commercials often work–those dancing hamsters sold a bunch of Kia Souls.  But I do know that any hope for a quality Ferris Bueller sequel will die a sudden and disturbing death on Sunday.

Strike Three:  Winter X-Games Guts and Glory  I didn’t watch the Winter X-Games over the weekend, but there was apparently an emphasis this year on snowmobile jumping, in effect making the snowmobile the Winter X stand-in for the dirt bike.  Who knew such an offbeat sport could so thoroughly embody the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat (this guy survived and went on to win the gold in his event about an hour later)?

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Retro Prospect Profile

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I’m a big fan of prospect handbooks to the point that it makes my wife annoyed that I keep them once they’ve gotten past the year when they were written. I keep them because it’s fun to look back and some guys now that they’ve hit or missed and see what was said about them back in the day. Here are a couple of examples from the 2006 Prospect Handbook written by John Sickels. See if you can guess who they are. Only one was in the Cubs system at the time it was written, but both have Cubs ties.

Profile # 1

“_______ has power and lots of it. He controls the strike zone very well, boosting his OBP and enabling him to see enough cripple pitches to generate plenty of home runs, at least at the minor league level. Scouts worry that his bat may be too passive for the Major Leagues, and that pitchers with the right combination of stuff and aggressiveness will be able to contain him. His MLEs show him as a .240ish hitter at the ML level, albeit with enough power and walks to be useful. He is versatile defensively, best at first base but he can play third or corner outfield in a pinch. I don’t think he will hit quite enough to be a regular, at least for a good team, but he could help some clubs as a platoon player / pinch hitter / Ron Coomer-style guy.”

Who Am I? – View my Baseball Referenc Profile

Profile # 2

“Drafted in the first round out of a Missouri high school in 2004, ______ has tremendous offensive potential that he is just now starting to tap. Nagging injuries held him down in the first half of last year, but he heated up as the summer progressed, and finished the campaign on a tear in the Florida State League. _______ has a picture-perfect swing from the left side, the kind of swing that should keep his batting average high and produce lots of power. His strike zone judgement needs work, though he is adept at making contact against stuff that other players would chase and miss. I’m high on his bat. His glove is a problem. He is OK at third base, but is blocked by __________ at that position. He may end up at second base, but will need time to settle in. I predict a major offensive breakout for _______ in 2006.”

Who Am I? – View my Baseball Reference Profile

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Guess Who’s Back? Bobby’s Back

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Before we start the news, a brief personal life rant. We took the kids to Florida about a week ago and went to Magic Kingdom for the day. It’s the first time I’ve been to Disney World since I was a kid. I came away with one main impression followed be a few small impressions. The main thing I came away impressed with was their ability to make you bend over and drop your pants as they robbed you of all known dignity by charging you close to $300 to get in. That paid for me, my wife and my oldest son. Thankfully my youngest boy is only two and my daughter is just a few months old so they got in free. Once I pulled my pants up, we proceeded to pull them down once again at dinnter time and pay almost $40 for dinner in the park which consisted of chicken strips, fries, a BBQ sandwich and a roasted chicken plate. No drinks. The funny thing is, it’s not the prices that amazed me. It’s the way they end the night. They have a parade right through the heart of the park once it gets dark and then follow it up with some fireworks right over the castle. You end the night thankful for the opportunity to be taken advantage of. It’s a weird feeling once we’re done, but I’m glad we pulled our pants down. Now on to the news.

The Cubs signed “veteran” Bobby Scales from Japan to a minor league deal. Unfortunately, he still sucks and deserves no place on the Major League roster. He hit .261/.328/.394 with nine homers in 287 at-bats for the Pacific League’s Fighters. I don’t understand the point of the move other than it adds “veteran” depth in the farm system.

Dave Van Dyke ran a piece in the Tribune over the weekend on Brett Jackson and how he feels he’s ready for the Major League team. There was a quote that had me particularly pleased. “I value myself as a team player and someone who can really ignite an offense at the head of the lineup or in the middle. I’m capable of hitting for power and driving runners in, plus there’s nothing like getting on base and being driven in by somebody too.” I don’t think he’ll make this team out of spring training, simply because there is no spot for him, but he can make enough of a mark that Theo and Jed look to deal Marlon Byrd sooner rather than later.

Another name competing for a spot in Spring Training is Manny Corpas, who is still recovering from elbow surgery. He was removed from the 40 man roster recently, but invited to camp, to make room for Kerry Wood who signed a deal a week or so ago. I’m not really holding out much hope that Corpas will produce anything, but perhaps when he’s fully recovered he can be a pleasant surprise.

John Sickels chimed in with a post that highlighted a couple of grade C prospects to watch in 2012. The Cubs name that made the list was Neftali Rosario:

Neftali Rosario was drafted by the Cubs in the sixth round last June, from high school in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. He didn’t receive much attention pre-draft, but there are things to build on here. Although he needs more experience to refine his blocking skills, Rosario is mobile and should be an effective deterrent against baserunners due to a strong throwing arm. He has power, but his plate discipline needs work; he strikes out a lot and doesn’t draw walks yet, but he was just 17 on draft day and has plenty of time on the clock. He bears watching. Grade C with higher potential.

In non-player news, Bud Selig announced two things that impact the Cubs. First, the playoffs should be expanded as early as this year to 10 teams instead of the “traditional” eight teams. That means despite having a flaming pile of suck, the Cubs chance of making the post-season and being swept in the first round just increased. Also announced by Bud was that he is now in charge of the compensation for Theo Epstein to the Cubs. What has me nervous about that is an article in the Boston Globe saying “The Cubs and Red Sox will soon meet with a representative of the Commissioner’s Office or the commissioner himself to discuss the Epstein compensation issue. The best school of thought on this comes from an AL GM who is not associated with either team: “I think the commissioner will give the Red Sox a significant player. I don’t think MLB wants executives leaving their teams before their contracts are up and therefore he will try to deter teams from doing that again.

MINOR NOTES

  • Looking for an international player to roll the dice on? View the list of available guys. (Disclaimer: VFTB makes no guarantee on players ages or names)
  • Christina Kahrl took a look at what an average player looks like at each position. Since the Cubs may have a lot of names hovering around these numbers it may be worth looking at.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Joe’s iPod

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GO: Last Meal

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Let’s say you’re being executed tomorrow. What’s your last meal?

(If thoughts of your execution cause you to lose your appetite, pretend you’re starting a diet tomorrow instead!)

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Raising Cubs Fans

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Prior to New York’s 2009 World Series victory, sportswriter Bill Simmons liked to joke about the tragedy of eight-year-old Yankee fans never having seen a championship.  His point was that Yankee fans are spoiled, and he’s right–they are.

But Yankee fan parents are equally spoiled when it comes to raising their children to also cheer for the pinstriped multi-millionaires.  It’s easy to root for a consistent winner–to learn to love a team that makes frequent trips to the postseason, and is a perennial contender each spring.

It’s much harder to raise Cubs fans.  I know, because despite growing up thousands of miles away from the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, my parents successfully raised me and my brothers to root (root, root) for the Cubbies.

That’s not to say I didn’t have my youthful dalliances with other teams–I did.  While I was still childish enough to choose teams based on their uniform colors, I leaped aboard the A’s bandwagon.  I think I still have a Bash Brothers poster somewhere in the garage.  And later in junior high, I briefly toyed with rooting for the newly expanded Rockies.  I think my idea was that it would be fun to follow a team from its inception, or something along those lines.  Whatever my adolescent notion was, it didn’t stick.

That’s because in my heart, I was always a Cubs fan.  It was an inescapable part of my DNA, inherited from my parents, and cemented through their diligence.  And because of the high number of recent births and pregnancy announcements around here (congratulations, by the way) I wanted to pass along some of the ways my parents raised me and my brothers to love the Cubs.

And yes, parenting advice from someone with no children might be suspect.  But I do have a niece and two nephews, and you can be sure I’m following these principles to help my brothers and their wives raise their kids to love the Cubs, too.

  • First of all, you both have to love (or at least cheer for) the Cubs.  If you and your spouse can’t agree on which team to root for, what hope do you have of passing it on to your kids?  I don’t have the exact stats in front of me to back it up, but kids whose parents root for opposing sports teams are something like 800% more likely to bring guns to school, try meth as a pre-teen, join a gang, and/or wind up working as a drug mule.  It’s science.
  • I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but watch the Cubs games with your kids.  With the prevalence of second TV’s, iPads, and smartphones, watching baseball games has never been more individualized.  And chances are, if you’re watching the game on the main TV, the rest of the family–and especially the kids–are absorbed in their own entertainments.  There were a lot fewer options when I was young.  We had one TV, and while we did have cable, it was mainly so we could watch the Cubs games on WGN.  In fact, because of the prevalence of day baseball, we’d tape the games and re-watch them again when my dad got home from work if the Cubs won or if anything notable happened.  Long before I understood baseball, I knew the Cubs games were important and fun, especially when they won.
  • Watching the games with your kids is more than merely sitting in the same room with them, blankly staring at the same screen–you have to engage their microscopic attention spans.  Talk to them about the game, discuss the action, tell stories about past Cubs teams and players.  If you’re constantly lost in the middle distance of your screen while Starlin Castro works the count against a scuffling pitcher, you’re more likely to turn your kids off to sports than pass on your love for your team.  Kids–even very little kids–can pay attention to and enjoy baseball if you give hem a little help.  And yes, you might have to explain the rules two or three or twenty times–as I’m sure my dad had to with us–but who cares?  It’s not like the game is more important than talking to your kids.
  • Load up on the Cubs gear for your kids.  My nephew could recognize the Cubs’ logos before he could say his own name.  That’s because he’s seen it since the day he was born on his toys and clothes.  It doesn’t have too be over the top or tacky, but the sooner your kids are familiar with the Cubs logo, the sooner they can recognize the team they should be cheering for.  Bonus points if you can train them to boo all the other logos.
  • Going to Cubs games is a big part of passing on your fandom to your kids, but don’t be one of those fans.  You know the ones I’m talking about–the face and/or chest painters, the costume wearers, the obnoxious, loud drunks, the amateur pugilists, or whatever you’d call this guy.  Chances are you can get your kids to follow you only so far down the road of ugly fanaticism.  At some point, they’ll have the sad realization that their mom or dad is an idiot, and is actively ruining the game for the others in attendance.  You know that guy who dresses up as the Ivy Man?  I’ll give him all kinds of credit for creating such an elaborate costume, but do you think his kids love coming to the games with him?  Same goes for Ronnie Woo-Woo–he might be a semi-beloved Wrigley Field personality, but you never see any little Woo-Woo’s following him around the park.  Here’s a general rule–if your in-game behavior is the kind of thing that would not be out of place at a Raiders game, it’s time to dial it down a few notches before you chase your children away from the Cubs altogether.  And it’s not like you really want your kids to pick up your bad-fan habits.  We know how that ends.
  • It might be another no-brainer, but if at all possible, take your kids to Wrigley Field.  Growing up on the west coast, we didn’t have many opportunities to visit the Friendly Confines.  But the few times we did are cemented in my memory forever.  I have vivid memories of a day we spent out in the left field bleachers, facing off against the Phillies.  My brothers and I were decked out in makeshift Cubs uniforms, baking in the sun and having the time of our young lives.  The game went thirteen innings, and lasted long enough for the sky to turn green and start pouring down rain.  Of course the Cubs lost and we were soaked to the skin by the time we made it back our car, but we had a great time, and even the late-inning loss couldn’t ruin the day.  You don’t have days like that just anywhere.

Look, maybe none of this matters.  It’s entirely possible that I think (and worry) far too much about passing on my love for the Cubs to my nephews and niece, and eventually to my own kids.  That it really wouldn’t be the end of the world if they wind up cheering for the Dodgers or the Cardinals.  Nope, never mind, it would be.

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Morning News: An ugly morning for the news

Friday, January 27th, 2012

 

Ugly Rankings – The Yardbarker has a ranking of the All-Time Ugliest Athletes. While entertaining, such a list that lacks Zane Smith is really no list at all.

Ugly Tony – Tony LaRussa isn’t quite done with baseball. So let me get this straight, it’s imperative that the All-Star Game be of some value so that we all forget the tie in Selig’s house. But, it’s not so important that we require a manager who is 1) currently managing, or 2) has any interest in the outcome. For LaRussa it’s the ultimate fantasy, his team will be much deeper than the typical 25-man roster, he has many more reasons to be constantly violating his lineup card with red pen, AND he’s not employed so drinking wine coolers during the game involves zero repercussions (except reminding everyone of his exceptionally weak constitution). Only baseball could force their All-Star Game to matter while involving key participants who have zero incentive to win.

Ugly Halftime – you have one week to plan what you’ll watch during halftime of the Super Bowl; unless you’re into 53 year-old skanks who haven’t been relevant in more than a decade (so A-Roid won’t need his remote – that’s right up his alley). The cynical part of me thinks will.i.am brokered Madonna’s deal to help the world forget the Black Eyed Peas’ performance last year.

Ugly SweathogJuan Luis Pedro Philippo DeHuevos Epstein died. Let’s hope Gabe Kaplan at least got a note.

Ugly Bunnies – who knew one eared bunnies would look so weird.

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GirlieView (01/26/2012)

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

We’ve got a few administrative details to tend to before we get going. First, someone asked about guidelines for how I pick the Lizzies. They are here, if you’re interested. Also just so you know the timing, I work a bit in advance. This post (published Thursday) considers most comments posted through Tuesday. Wednesday and onward will be in the group reviewed next time. Sometimes my cutoff is Monday, sometimes Wednesday. But rest assured, nothing gets skipped. :-)

Next, I promised last time I’d keep track of everyone’s NFL divisional playoff picks. Ten people played, and no one got all four games correct. I, on the other hand, managed to get all four games INcorrect, the only person with such a distinction. Yay me! Buddy, Joe, and Rich Beckman each went 3/4. Doug S, gymjok, BLPCB, Kris, flyslinger2 and Jeremiah Johnson each picked 2 of the 4 games correctly. Thanks for playing!

Onto the Lizzies! We’ve got 65 of them this time around plus one big Lizard. Your productivity scares me a little bit, especially since it’s supposed to be the quiet, boring part of the year. By the time the season starts we’ll be cracking a hundred!

Lizzies

  • Barry (no, not that one) Heads to Cooperstown
  • Replacing Garza with Maholm is like replacing a Corvette with a Camry. Sure, they are both cars, both have 4 wheels, both begin with the letter “C”. However, a Camry is NOT a Corvette.
  • Wood in the bullpen at a reasonable price is money well spent.
  • I was hoping nobody else was elected yesterday as I wanted it to be solely a Santo fest in July.
  • Everyone knows we’re not competing this year, right??
  • My guess is Wood gets signed and they’re waiting for the convention so it can be announced there.
  • If those are our rotation options, I kind of want to cry.
  • Is Carlos Silva cheap this year?
  • I’m already seeing a number of upsides: 1) I don’t have to cringe everytime someone calls Zambrano our “Ace”.
  • Good luck with Koyie Hill, Cardinal fans!
  • The Cards are smart enough not use him as much as the Cubs did.
  • Cardinals luck – Watch Hill become a star
  • when the best you can say is “I was better than Juan Pierre and Jacque Jones” it’s probably best not to say anything.
  • Moral- teach your kids how to play middle infield in case they grow up to have no power.
  • Kerry Wood is smart , well centered and a class act.
  • My data to support my theory is based on the number of naps my lazy chocolate lab has snuck into this beautiful spring day here on the east coast.
  • I have a yellow lab that could go nap-for-nap with yours. One particularly slow day in my home office last year, I counted 17 naps for my big boy.
  • It is nice to see the Cubs keeping Wood. There is a rightness about that.
  • Love the fact that Bruce Miles gets a Lizzie despite having never commented or probably even read the site. I started the site and can’t even outscore him.
  • The Capns 2.0 LPC (Lizzie Per Comment) stat is pretty impressive. The Capn pulled in 2 Lizzies on one comment. Keep up that pace and the Capn can be epic. On the other hand Buddy made 7 Lizzies with 10,849 comments giving him a .00064522 LPC. So I ask you, who would you draft for your fantasy Lizzie team?
  • I’d draft Chris from IL.
  • Buddy drafting Chris from Il and Norm is like buying 1 stock with your nest egg. Your fantasy Lizzie team should have some diversity of thought for success.
  • 1 AWESOME stock!
  • I’m happy to announce that Mr. Kris and I are expecting Baby Numero Uno in late July!
  • Dude, you’ve got some big brass ones for admitting that you still listen to Boyz II Men.
  • That’s why the ladies love me.
  • in a realated story, Dr. Pepper and 12 different coffee companies want to sponsor Marlins baseball now…
  • I just picked up a slightly used Michael Barrett. Maybe we can put the two together and see what happens?
  • It was silly but I always liked ALF.
  • some of the other “upgrades” that will be included for 2012…$21 beers, the basket will be turned into a urinal so fans don’t have to leave their seats, and the first 10,000 fans on opening day will be given helmets to protect them from falling cement.
  • Best of luck to Mr. Cub John Grabow…big thanks for the memories and dominance on the mound.
  • What about Mark Prior? He seems to capture the modern Cubs better than anyone. So much promise, an impossibly short period of dominance, followed by utter disappointment and failure.
  • Just noticed you mentioned Manny Trillo, Jedi. I think that was the name of one of Buddy’s bands in college
  • Yes. The Manny Trillo Experience. We rocked.
  • By far the best game of the weekend was the down-to-the-wire shootout between the Saints and the 49ers.
  • Interestingly they had only 2 regular starting pitchers that ’83 year. One threw 473 innings and the other 383. Today’s lads must don women’s underwear.
  • Apparently he knows a trick or two about keeping the old ticker going for 150 years.
  • Lizzie will be happy to know that Geo will be back, signing for 4.3 million dollars.
  • People will actually have to be baseball fans to truly appreciate this season.  They will actually have to see what is going on beneath the top layer to enjoy 2012.
  • The owners (and the neighborhood) will just have to enjoy the Red Roof Inn for a while as they wait for their dream home of the future.
  • If there’s one thing I hate, it’s meaningless sucking.
  • I love it that I can read about the Cubs, Roseanne Barr and eating paint all in one place.
  • I’ve got to say, “It’s B.S.” doesn’t make for a very compelling acceptance speech.
  • Albuquerque Isotopes has always been a favorite as well as the Blue Claws with their marketing tee shirts, ‘Got Crabs’.
  • The shocking thing about the Rob Lowe thing is that anyone even found out about his tweet. That must mean people actually follow Rob Lowe on Twitter…
  • Bud Selig, fresh off his most recent “I’m going to retire” contract extension saga, will be in charge of sorting out the requisite compensation.
  • I say give them Soriano for free
  • And while he is there, he strips the Red Sox team and gives them our junk
  • Seymour…Seymour…
  • By the time the Super Bowl rolls around there’s a distinct “just play the game already” attitude due to the overwhelming two weeks of analysis. But this week, we get two great games that could easily go either way.
  • Cubs were still in the denial phase and it wouldnt have been a real crowd pleaser to put a nobody in there.
  • Just play a recording of Harry (before the stroke) and call it good.
  • I’m fine with the anthem as long as it’s done relatively straight up. “Artists” who attempt to personalize it too much can be annoying.
  • I wonder if the editor regrets his knee-jerk resignation now?
  • The Giants and Patriots have the same colors, as such, the NFL only needs one set of confetti for the game.
  • If there are aging cardiologists and optometrists that are better for their age in the country, I’d like to see them play.
  • Cap’n Obvious, trying to overcome nearly 175 years of blatant discrimination against lefties by playing a nearly error-free game at shortstop, which, incidentally, was integral to Raker’s mound performance.
  • Seymour explaining to me that he refers to Doc Raker here on VFTB as just “Raker” because, “he’s not a real doctor.”
  • Stay classy Nick.
  • Obvious also spent the entire weekend, in an effort to fit in with other under-achieving superstars of his generation, referencing himself in the 3rd person.
  • The Captain does have game however, and was not nearly as inept as the more or less constant dugout banter would have one believe.
  • I still think Doc and crew should get a guest post each year to run through their weekend triumphs.
  • At some point, there will be some youtube video of some of the events, I’m told. It will likely not be PG rated.
  • He replies, “Doc”, because Obvious understands MD’s aren’t the only doctors in the world
  • I don’t think I go the distance on a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich.

Lizard

  • Jeremiah, this was a no brainer for me. Best thing I’ve read since Sherm’s Singalong. It really is fantastic and if anyone missed it, it’s well worth the read: The Carlos Zambrano Owner’s Manual

2012 Overall Standings (1 point for each Lizzie, 3 points for the Lizard)

  • Buddy – 12
  • cap’n Obvious – 11
  • Doc Raker – 10
  • jswanson – 10
  • Jeremiah Johnson – 9
  • Seymour Butts – 8
  • Chuck – 5
  • Jedi Johnson – 5
  • Kris – 5
  • BLPCB – 4
  • Doug S. – 3
  • Dustin Godsey – 3
  • Chet – 3
  • chris in illinois – 2
  • JoeAiello – 2
  • Norm – 2
  • Thirteen others have 1 apiece.

Shout Outs

Congrats to the following folks who got their first 2012 Lizzie this week!

  • BLPCB
  • Chet
  • flyslinger2
  • gymjok
  • JoeAiello
  • Katie
  • Lee
  • Mark P.
  • Norm
  • Rich Beckman

Lizzie’s Kitchen

This will be the last GirlieView before the Super Bowl, so here are a few more crowd pleasers of the salty and sweet variety.

Enjoy!

Chit Chat

So, here goes! Make your Super Bowl pick. Pick the winning team and also just for the heck of it (and so I can determine a winner) give us a total score (add together for both teams). As usual I’ll keep track and report back!

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Morning News: Is a Top 100 list news? (and other bits of baseball minutiae)

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Yep, Someone Was Watching: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in a cave, or anywhere outside the MLB Network studios, you probably already know that baseball’s flagship cable network aired a one hour special at 10 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday night to unveil MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects list for 2012. For those of you that missed this highly anticipated event, here’s a quick rundown of the future Cubs appeared on the list:

#67 – Javier Baez – SS

#37 – Anthony Rizzo – 1B

#33 – Brett Jackson – OF

To borrow a phrase from Tony Kornheiser: that’s it…that’s the list.

Miggy Making a Move: In a move that is surprising to no one, Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera confirmed Tuesday that he’ll be moving approximately 127.27 feet across the diamond in 2012 and reclaim his former spot at 3B. Of course, the position change was made necessary due to the addition of Prince Fielder, who as you know, signed a Fielderian sized contract on Monday to hold down first base in Motown for the next nine* seasons. 

*Please note, it is yet to be confirmed as to whether the length of this contract is based on human years  or “Mo Vaughn” years.

Breaking News! Gio Gonzalez Joined the Nats: If you read that and thought “Wait a minute, didn’t that happen a month ago?” you’re not going crazy…it did happen a month ago, when he was traded from Oakland to Washington. However, the Nats decided today would be a good day to hold a press conference welcoming their “big off-season addition”. Here’s a little timeline illustrating the decision process behind today’s presser:

Dec. 23 – Gonzalez is traded to the Nats after Washington is unsuccessful in luring Mark Buehrle to our nation’s Capitol.

Jan. 15 – Gonzalez signs the largest contract for a pitcher eligible for arbitration for the first time

Jan. 24 – The Nationals do not sign Prince Fielder

Jan. 25 – The Nationals, after being rumored to be involved in every big free agent dalliance this off-season, realize  ”Oh $#%^, our fans were expecting something big this year to make up for last year’s Jayson Werth money pit…time to turn up the hype machine on this Gio kid!”

Something Makes Me Think We’ve Seen the End of Daryle Ward: The 36 year old former Cub (’07-’08) hasn’t played in the bigs since his days in Chicago, but he’s still been kicking around in the minor leagues for the last few seasons in hopes of making a comeback. This isn’t going to help – Ward will be sitting for the first 50 games of 2012 after violating MiLB’s ban on amphetamine use.

Oh, and one more thing: Doc Raker…the Italian Dusty Baker?

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