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January 2012

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COMMENTS

Guess Who's Back? Bobby's Back

Written by , Posted in General

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

  • cap’n obvious

    I am wondering what significant player not named Starlin I would be sad to see go to the Red Sox. Really, who else do the Cubs have that the Red Sox would even want on their 25 man?

  • Buddy

    “Hemispheres” by Rush is the album of the day in Buddyland.

  • Joe

    Who says it needs to be someone that goes directly to the ML team?

  • BLPCB

    If it is Garza, Castro, or Jackson, I will scream very loudly

    A lot of customers have been telling me how expensive the food is. I work at Pizza Planet, for one person, a meal of pizza, drink, and dessert can run 17 bucks. I have the next 2 days off, I plan to explore the parks these next 2 days if I can get some things taken care of in my apartment. Did you also pay 14 bucks for parking?

  • Doug S.

    Dear Bud,
    Allow me to assist you in identifying a significant Cubs player to compensate the Red Sox with.
    Soriano.
    What’s he getting?……..18 mill a year?…..I would call that pretty significant dough. No sane organization would pay that kind of money for an unsignificant player would they?
    Exactly. And make the Cubs pony up half his salary for messing with a signed GM. Suitable punishment and compensation.
    See ya Fonz.

  • Noah

    My wife is a huge Disney fan (she used to live in Orlando and work for Disney), so I’ve been there a couple of times in the past few years. The prices to get in the parks are Really high for one day, but decrease if you stay on property and increase the number of days you get passes for. By day 4 or so it’s like $3 for each additional day per person. Of course, then you still have to pay to stay at one of the hotels on property. I agree with your general assessment, though. While you’re there you vary between wondering how you will pay your mortgage and thinking “huh, this is a lot of fun.”

  • Joe

    @BLBCP – We did pay for parking at the park.

  • Doc Raker

    The anatomy of an urban thug looks like they are trying reverse evolution down to a chimpanzee.
    * I pray it is Soriano but I will bet it is a top prospect that the Red Sox lobby for, i.e. Rizzo or Lizzie’s second love Brett Jackson.

  • Eddie Von White

    My wife and I went to Disneyland in CA years ago and have never been back for the reasons Joe mentions. Instead, when our children were younger, we made it our goal to hit every Sea World in the U.S. That was fun. I suppose we got reamed there as bad as Disney, but at least we got to see the whales in different parts of the couuntry. Our daughter even got to pet one.

    Loved the photo of the day.

    No offense, (which inevitably means one is coming) but Bud Selig looks like a mortician sends him out the door in the morning.

    Looking forward to pitchers and cathers reporting – which means the boys of summer are back. I might even purchase the MLB package this year -but then again Joe’s Disney comments come to mind…

  • Dusty Baylor

    Is anyone else amused by the compensation issue? It sure seemed like the Red Sox couldn’t wait to get Cherington into the big boy job. Just sayin’…

  • Lizzie

    @Doc do I like him? I can’t keep all my those prospects straight.

  • Posted on another thread, but pumped to see Scales back in the mix. Minus the first half of last season, we have watched a whole mess of light hitters, often times mulleted cajuns, run out an play second. Scales has some pop, a bunch of class, and an interesting frame of reference. I’m almost guessing this move is a job interview of sorts. The brass is committed to player development…well, our longtime journeyman has infielders around him who need some guidance and can now add ‘played in Japan’ to his resume. I’m biased, but think this is an interesting move.

  • flyslinger2

    My kids are awesome. We own a Marriott time share in Orlando and they are thrilled to bits to just be able to hang out at the pool all week, read their books, play putt-putt that is on the facility and enjoy warm weather when it is nasty back here. Disney is a four letter word in their vocabulary and they arrived at this conclusion on their own. They would rather take the same amount of money and hit Disney Main Street for a nice dinner where we can all sit and laff together then be raped at Dizzy World.
    *
    Theo. Any good lawyer will tell you that contracts were made to be broken. Thus, Sellig, in his warped brain, has been so conditioned that another four letter word-“Fair” keeps ringing in his ears. Who cares whats “fair?” It’s business and Theo or anyone else for the matter has a right to determine their future when they want to determine it. Any old day someone else would ever be given the ability to make decisions regarding my career.
    *
    Watched moneyball this weekend. It’s about the game is all I can say without runing it for someone else who may not have watched it yet. Even Mrs. Fly, who goes to a game with me only if a Dooney and Burke bag has been gift wrapped and is sitting on the seat at the stadium when she arrives, enjoyed the game.

  • BLPCB

    What is a time share and how does it work?

  • Kris

    I’m with Lizzie–I have no idea how y’all keep so many prospects straight! The ones I’ve managed to remember get traded to flipping quickly that it seems a waste of my brain cells to try harder. 🙂

    The now hubby and I were at Disney two summers ago and found Pizza Planet to be one of the better bargains. Pizza and a salad for each of us and one drink wasn’t too bad. We didn’t spend more than $20 on a meal the whole week we were there (except for one upscale dinner in the Canadian restaurant, which was our splurge). Mostly–I suggest bringing in a water bottle you can refill at a drinking fountain throughout day. And sharing at least the fries/side dish instead of ordering two complete meals is a huge $ saver. It’ll be trickier once we have a family, of course.

  • Jedi

    Any lefties want a Spring Training invite from the Cubs? If Trever Miller can get one, so can you. The 39-year-old journeyman MIGHT be in the Cubs’ bullpen this year.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/cubs-sign-trever-miller.html

  • Jedi

    Oh, and the Giants are apparently fighting the Orioles for former Cubs – they’ve signed Ryan Theriot and in the process reunited the best mulleted pint-sized cajun DP combo (they still have Fontenot).

  • Noah

    I have to disagree that the random AL GM’s view is the “best school of thought.” I’d more describe it as a random quote on the issue from a guy who would prefer for it to be higher so that when his assistant GM moves on elsewhere he could get a better prospect in return. Also, if teams got significant players in return for GMs who broke their contracts, it would increase the value of GMs (“hey, if I go somewhere else in the last year of my contract not only do you not have to pay me, but you could get a top 10 prospect in return for it! Isn’t that worth another half mill a year?”) Brett Taylor did a good analysis of the quote on Bleacher Nation yesterday.

    With that said, my bet is that the VERY best the Red Sox will get back is Junior Lake. And there actually is precedent for this. Back in 1992 Selig had to decide the compensation from the Cubs to the Twins for MacPhail. Selig sent a prospect that was rated around number 25 in the system. Rizzo, Jackson, Szczur, McNutt, etc. are almost certainly all safe.

  • BLPCB

    What if Theo decides to say, you know what, screw it, I’m going back to Boston for a year and then coming to the North Side in 2012. That would really stick it to the man.

  • Jedi

    Noah – it was 1994 not 1992 and the Cubs and Twins agreed on that one, Selig didn’t have to step in – he was too busy celebrating realignment of the divisions as acting commissioner. (Trinidad was #30)

    http://viewfromthebleachers.com/blog/2012/01/19/northside-archives-trade-compensation/

    I guess it was about 10 days too soon to talk about.

  • Evan

    Kill two birds with one stone: Send Scales to Boston as comp.

    • Evan

      Not that they’d want him.

  • Seymour Butts

    Me.. I’m back..at my desk.
    Dinner with Seymour Saturday night was attended by one of my coaches Pete LaCock, Bobby Dernier, and Lee Smith. A boisterous table. Did you know that Pete Lacock hit a grand slam off of Bob Gibson as the last batter to face Gibson in his career. Good trivia. Got him plunked in an old timers game a few years later.
    We had a conversation with Randy Hundley about what happens at camp staying at camp. So I’ve decided not to name names. BUT… I had 3 extremely famous team mates from the fields of Music, Movies and Hockey. Due to this, My team had bench visits from several other names very, very high up the Cub food chain, and one MLB network talking head. Great week even though wins were sparse after the first day.
    Can’t wait for next year.

  • Buddy

    I doubt even Bobby Scales’ family and friends are excited about watching Bobby Scales. As far as Red Sox compensation goes, it won’t be Rizzo or Jackson. I’ll guess a young pitcher, like Ben Wells or Rafael Dolis.

  • CubbieDude

    Oh hell, Joe, I can top that story:

    Last week we returned to Southern California. Our welcome reception did not go exactly as I might have hoped:

    We were rear-ended on the freeway before even reaching our destination, we were ripped off by an unscrupulous auto “mechanic” (of the Spanish persuasion), and I was dissed innocently and repeatedly by a clueless waiter at a faux Hawaiian brunch…

    I could not have scripted a more quintessential “Welcome Back To Southern California” opening scene if I tried.

    On the other hand, we have been able to get together with a number of old friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in years and years, which helps to take the edge off the other irritations.

    The weather is 70 and sunny. I love cold weather, but I must admit this is not too hard to take.

    Getting back on topic, my sister and I were taken to Disneyland a million times when we were kids. Of course, I realize that we weren’t paying for it, but the memories of those trips are truly some of the highlights of our summer vacations. Priceless.

  • The only thing worse than a dishonest Spaniard mechanic is a thieving mechanic from Portugal.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Knowing (or at least assuming) that neither has a long future or an inside track for a starting job with the Cubs, I’ll take Scales over Blake DeWitt on the bench.

  • Doc Raker

    *Lizzie- You once said Brett Jackson was dreamy.
    We used to buy the annual pass for Disneyland when the kids were a little younger. We would go for a few hours all the time. We stayed a few nights at the Disney hotel, ate at the Napa Rose, excellent seasonal menu. The annual passes are pretty good deals if you live locally.
    *Butts- Randy passed HIPPA regulations for campers. “The Randy Hundley Fantasy Camp takes your privacy seriously. RHFC will keep your lousy stats private, including your 217 errors for the week not to mention your strike outs against a pitching machine that throws cookies.”
    Wayne Gretkzy’s kid was drafted by the Cubs. Since Gretzky is the only hockey player you ever heard of Butts and his kid is in the Cubs system I will guess Gretzky. Who hits better, John Cusak or Eddie Vedder?

  • BLPCB

    Related to Disney, a little trivia:
    Disney is the 2nd largest purchaser of what in the United States.

  • David

    I’m really worried the compensation is gonna be Dolis. He’s got maybe the best arm in the system and he’s fully recovered from TJ surgery. He would/will be a great contributor this season in the pen.

  • Doc Raker

    Soda pop BLPCB?

  • BLPCB

    No, but good guess. Try again

  • Smitty

    @kris..what the hell us a canadian restaurant? beef jerky and syrup?

  • MJ

    As a bit of a Disney nut, going for one day is the worst idea ever. It’s far better to pony up the chunk of change and buy the full non-expiring ten day pass up front. I used mine over three different visits over four years.

  • BLPCB

    I wonder if Universal has something like that

  • Seymour Butts

    @ BLCPB Electricity?

  • BLPCB

    Here is a hint:
    The Military is the largest purchaser

  • BLPCB

    And no it is not electricity, though you are kind of on the right path

  • Seymour Butts

    gunpowder, fireworks?

  • Jedi

    @BLPCB – torture paraphernalia

  • Jedi

    @BLPCB – mind-altering psychotic drugs

  • Jedi

    @BLPCB – Sherman tanks

  • Jedi

    @BLPCB – toy shooting galleries

  • Jedi

    @BLPCB – Spam (the pseudo-meat, or the Nigerian Prince’s email scheme)

  • Jedi

    @BLPCB – the instructive mini-series “How to spot a foreign child molester in under 3 minutes.”

  • Seymour Butts

    Kiddie porn.. oh I thought you said producer, not consumer.

  • Lizzie

    @BLPCB I think Jedi’s got it with the child molester identification kit but I’m gonna go with water.

  • BLPCB

    Seymour got it with fireworks