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Tuesday

10

January 2012

0

COMMENTS

Mid-Morning News

Written by , Posted in General

Strike One:  Defense and Place Kicking Wins Championships  Alabama thumped LSU 21-0 last night to win their second national championship in three years.  It was a defensive struggle to say the least, with all but the last six points coming off field goals.  My sympathies go out to LSU fans, who had to watch an undefeated SEC championship season go down the drain at the hands of a team they’d already beaten.  And while it’s hard to imagine anyone but Crimson Tide fans being satisfied with such a lopsided game, how did you enjoy the rematch?

Strike Two:  Barry (no, not that one) Heads to Cooperstown  Longtime Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin got the call from the Hall of Fame yesterday.  He’ll be the only other player inducted this July along with Ron Santo.  Other noteworthy players who missed the Cooperstown cut this year included Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and former Cubs closer Lee Smith.  Who would have been on your HOF ballot?

Strike Three:  Arms Race  Epstein and Hoyer continue to address one of the biggest flaws with the 2012 Cubs.  Last night they signed left-hander Paul Maholm to a one-year deal–one that may pave the way for them to trade Matt Garza.  Their asking price for Garza is thought to be very high–so high in fact that the Yankees have bowed out of the race.  And the Cubs are also working on resigning Kerry Wood, although Dave Kaplan is not optimistic the two sides will agree on a deal.  While Wood may not factor too much into the front office’s long term plans, it would be great to have him back in a Cubs uniform again next season.

  • chuck

    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.

  • chris in illinois

    In no Particular order:

    Larkin
    Raines
    Bagwell
    Trammell
    McGwire
    Palmiero
    McGriff
    Edgar Martinez

    If Sutter is in then Big Lee probably should be as well, but I don’t want to go down that road. Interestingly Brad Radke’s ERA+ (career) is 8 points higher than Jack Morris’s. And while I’m not here to say that Morris was a BAD pitcher, his ERA was below league average 7 out of 18 years…pretty good pitcher, but not Hall Worthy. Jim Rice of pitchers.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Agreed, Chuck. If it’s any consolation, Jed Hoyer said today that the Maholm signing isn’t a precursor to a Garza deal.

  • chuck

    Strike 1: Who cares. What happens in the deep South can stay in the deep South.
    Strike 2: My ballot would be Larkin, Raines, McGuwire and Bagwell. I would have to think about Trammell a bit more. He is borderline for me.
    Strike 3: It looks like the Cubs have cornered the market on 4th/5th starters. Yee Gods! Wood in the bullpen at a reasonable price is money well spent. The Cubs owe him.

  • Norm

    Chuck, that is true. But I like the idea of trading in the Vette before there are too many miles on it with eyes set on a brand new Ferrari in 2013 or 2014.

    Chris, I agree with your ballot, except I’d have to look harder at McGriff and Palmeiro.

  • Seymour Butts

    Strike 1- There was a football game last night, but not a national championship. Both OK State and Stanford appeared better than the 2 SEC teams of last night. Shame it had so much hype, and now we have a handful of 1 loss teams, more than 1 were a missed field goal away from being undefeated. Strike 2- Lee Smith had the Saves record for quite a while before Hoffman broke it. He was a better more dominate reliever than Sutter, and belongs in the Hall. I will tell him so in 2 weeks..at dinner.
    I was hoping nobody else was elected yesterday as I wanted it to be solely a Santo fest in July. I’m strongly considering going.
    Strike 3- Young guys that don’t scare hitters are ok, but I’m not sure we needed malholm just because he’s a lefty.
    Re-sign Kerry. It’s the right thing to do.

  • chris in illinois

    Mcgriff didn’t have the peak that a lot of HOFers do, but 10 seasons of 30+ homers and 493 career are enough for me. And I’ll preface this by saying that I thought the Rice election was one of the worst in a loooooong time, Fred had almost 100 more IBBs than Rice in his career…if Rice had been as ‘feared’ as all the old-timey writers like to claim, you’d think he would have had more IBBs than the Crime Dog or supposed ‘singles’ hitter Raines did…

    3000 hits for Raffy is good enough for me.

    And for the record, I couldn’t care less about these took or didn’t take, it’s not like that sort of thing hasn’t been going on forever….

  • chris in illinois

    errr…..what these guys took…stupid phone…

  • chuck

    Norm: You are trading in your Vette today for a chance at a Ferrari a couple of years from now. Bird in the hand my friend. Bird in the hand…

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Seymour, I totally agree. Can’t help thinking my Oklahoma State Cowboys would have at least made a game out of it last night.

    Also wish Santo had gone in alone. Hope you’re able to go.

  • Big Daddy

    1. SEC hands down the best conference in the country. Either team would pound Stanford or OK State.
    2. Larkin, L. Smith, Palmeiro.
    3. If they get Porcello, Turner, Castellanos, and one more go for it.

  • Norm

    Chuck, actually for a chance at a Ferrari, a Vette and two Camry’s!
    But off of the metaphors, the Cubs just aren’t going to compete for a WS in 2012 and Garza likely just had his best season.
    Even if the Cubs trade Garza today, they’d be able to sign an immediate replacement in Edwin Jackson who is not much worse of a pitcher.
    Not saying they would or should, just that Garza is replaceable. And acquiring a guy like Jacob Turner and 2 or 3 others is well worth the small downgrade from Garza to an Edwin Jackson type.

  • Jedi

    Why on earth would you trade a better pitcher only to sign a worse one for more money? If Garza goes, the Cubs aren’t finding his “replacement” on the scrap heap of free agency. His “replacement” as “ace” for a season will be Ryan Dempster. The only reason you trade Garza is because you assess the Cubs to be more like 3-4 years from championship quality, rather than merely a season or two.

  • Norm

    Not saying they would or should just that Garza is replaceable. And acquiring a guy like Jacob Turner and 2 or 3 others is well worth the small downgrade from Garza to an Edwin Jackson type.”

  • chris in illinois

    Everyone knows we’re not competing this year, right??

  • chuck

    Why not go after Edwin Jackson anyway? It’s not like the Cubs are the Pirates and they have to pinch every penny just to get a 25-man roster. If you can sign Edwin to a 4-year contract at a reasonable rate, you do it because it makes your teram better for the long run. It’s not like he would be bocking some young stud pitcher. Even if he was, there would be 3 other guys you can bump from the rotation before he becomes the issue.
    Just becaue you won’t be good in 2012 does not mean you burn the whole thing down.

  • MJ

    Edwin Jackson makes the team better in the long run????
    .
    How?

  • Jedi

    My point is – on this team, Garza IS irreplaceable for this team. We’ll not be able to acquire pitcher as good under team control and with the potential for extension if we get rid of him.

  • Norm

    Cubs don’t care if they don’t have a pitcher as good as Garza for 2012, they care about 2013, 14, 15, 16, etc.

  • Buddy

    I still think Garza will remain a Cub.

  • How Jack Morris got more votes than Bagwell and Raines blows my mind. Have you looked at Raines’ stats?!? Crazy! Larkin deserved the call, but so did Raines and Bagwell. I can go in depth and reprint stats here in the comment box, but y’all need to do that for yourself to see the travesty in print! Make sure you also compare the same players in the eras that Raines and Bagwell played in. Then go look at Morris’ stats. He got 66% of the vote b/c of his 10IP GC world series start. They weren’t looking at his career 3.90ERA; Morris was a really good pitcher, but not HOF!

  • Buddy

    Peter Gammons is reporting that the Garza-to-Tigers deal is dead. He said that the Tigers wouldn’t even do J. Turner straight up for Garza. As always, take these “insider” reports with a grain of salt.

  • CubbieDude

    Good!

  • Jedi

    While you’ve been setting everyone straight you’ve been forgetting to read. “The only reason you trade Garza is because you assess the Cubs to be more like 3-4 years from championship quality, rather than merely a season or two.”

  • Buddy

    Who?

  • Jedi

    Not you.

  • BLPCB

    The rematch of the century was more like the dud of the century. Why didn’t Ohio State get a rematch with Michigan in 2006? The SEC finally lost a national championship game.

  • MJ

    They still won a National Championship too.

  • BLPCB

    Yeah but now they can have a 2-game losing streak next year

  • Norm

    Me Buddy! I’m not discussing the reasons of trading Garza, I’m “setting everyone straight”. Can’t you tell?

  • gymjok

    My guess is Wood gets signed and they’re waiting for the convention so it can be announced there.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    What a difference a day makes–the Cubs are close to resigning Kerry Wood.

  • A belated congrats to you too, Norm. I’ll just presume that you too are ankle deep in small pink clothes and blankets.

  • flyslinger2

    Garza stays and Woods signs. Pass the beer.