Archive for November, 2012

Morning News: Bears, Pimp-Slap, Tranny Love & More!

Monday, November 12th, 2012

NFL
The Bears locked up with the AFC leading Houston Texans in the Sunday night matchup. The loss put the Bears just one full game clear of the Packers in the NFC North. Add to that a loss by the Falcons and a tie for the 49ers, the Bears didn’t lose a lot besides that critical ground within the division. It’ll be necessary to split with Green Bay in order to win the division. But the next two weeks will go a long way to determining the Bears’ playoff fate – next Monday night they find themselves in San Francisco and the following week they host the Vikings. If they get to December at 9-2, it just might be their year.

NCAA
The SEC might get left out of the title game this year. Alabama lost on Saturday, and right now Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame all sit undefeated. Georgia and Alabama round out the top 5 of the BCS, and those two will likely meet in the SEC title game. There’s still a long way to go, and if USC were to win out, chaos would reign (they still have Oregon and Notre Dame on the schedule). But Tommy Tuberville was the real loser on Saturday, striking another grown man across the face with an open hand.

Tranny Love
There really is someone for everyone.

Lakers
Take heart Cub fans, there is a franchise that today (today, mind you) is in more disarray than our beloved Cubs. The Lakers crashed and burned with Phil Jackson in the playoffs two seasons ago. Last year with Mike Brown at the helm they did slightly better, but still well short of a title. So their solution this off-season was to sign an over-the-hill Steve Nash and trade for Dwight Howard. On paper it seemed like a great idea, but after five short games it’s all come apart at the seams. Mike Brown has been fired, Steve Nash is hurt, and Phil Jackson might be on his way back in. I personally think the Lakers have 1 season, maybe 2 where they could conceivably win a title. After that, all that’s left will be a rapidly aging Dwight Howard. Essentially, the Lakers are the 2007 Cubs – they’ve mortgaged their future for maybe 2 promising years. And if the reports are true about what Jackson is seeking in the way of benjamins and benefits, he’s essentially writing his own contract in a way that no coach or player ever has before. He’s basically asked for everything except the owner’s daughter…wait, he’s got that too!

Update: The Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni in a huge surprise just before sunrise in the East.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Morning News: Big Paydays, Embarrassing Brothers, and Bond Themes

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Major League Baseball continues to move toward expanding instant replay at a glacial pace. Here’s an update on that and a few other topics of discussion at the GM meetings this week.

The New York Mets are trying to extend R.A. Dickey and David Wright, unless they can’t. Not sure what kind of flexibility they’ve gained from buying out Jason Bay, but I get the sense Sandy Alderson is already hedging against losing one of both of his marquee players.

Jayson Stark compares the Dodgers’ new business model to the Yankees’ free-spending ways. Back in April, I said the Dodgers new owners “have proven the will massively overspend to get what they want.  Even the famously deep-pocketed Steinbrenners wouldn’t overpay by a billion dollars–Magic Johnson and Co. have set fire to money in a way that (potentially) scares the rest of the league.  We won’t know the full ramifications until free agency hits again after the season, but expect the MLB market to be less of the meritocracy it once was, and more of a free-wheeling auction, where value is primarily determined by what a team is willing to pay.  And when that team is the Dodgers, all bets are off.” It turns out we didn’t even have to wait that long, as Los Angeles gladly adopted a quarter of a billion dollars in salary from the Red Sox. Don’t expect them to stop there.

Anyone who has Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson on his or her fantasy team this year is wondering what’s up with Megatron? He says it’s nerve damage that resulted from a concussion earlier in the season. Not good news.

Michael Vick’s brother Marcus tweeted a request for his brother to be traded away from the Eagles during Philadelphia’s Monday night loss to New Orleans. If it was your loved one struggling behind that wet paper bag of an offensive line, you might have done the same. Regardless of his intent, Michael has put an end to his brother’s digital outbursts.

There may still be an NHL season, but each passing day makes me less and less optimistic.

College basketball tips off today. Here are ESPN’s experts’ predictions for the season. (The rest of you non-basketball fans out there can join me in a collective yawn.)

Jermaine Jackson wants to legally change the spelling of his name to “Jermaine Jacksun,” because apparently he hasn’t been in the news enough lately. For my money, Jermaine needs to think bigger–even with the altered spelling, he’s still only like the fourth craziest Jacksun Jackson.

Finally, the 23rd official James Bond movie hits the US theaters today. It’s called Skyfall, and by all accounts it’s a winner (making it a nice rebound after the stillborn Quantum of Solace). In preparation, Grantland published an interesting article analyzing, comparing, and ranking the various Bond theme songs.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Position Player Free Agents

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

There are at least two obvious positions of need on the Cub offense heading into 2013; third base and center field. Shortstop and first base are the only positions where the Cubs are conceivably set for the foreseeable future, with catcher not far behind, assuming Welington Castillo can turn into an average performer. So while we wait for Brett Jackson to fix his swing and Josh Vitters to stop swinging at everything, who will be talked about as Cub targets?

Not Josh Hamilton, that’s for sure. He’s asking for 7 years, $175M? Good luck Josh.
Not Michael Bourn either. He may even get a contract in excess of $80 million. He doesn’t seem like the type of player the Cubs would sign long term; now or in the future.
Here are a few names Cub fans will be debating on in the near future:

Third Base
Kevin Youkilis  -  Age: 34 (for the 2013 season)  -  Bats/Throws: R/R
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(wRC+ Find out about it here)

Youkilis is coming off the worst year of his career, but he still maintains good enough control of the strike zone and enough power that despite a .235 batting average, he was still able to be an average offensive player. He’s not as good defensively as he was a few years ago, but few 33 year olds are. The .268 BABIP might lead one to think his slash lines will improve, but it also came with a career high in groundballs, so it can’t all be attributed to balls not finding the holes in the defense.
He won’t be a .950 OPS guy again, but I can see Youk as a 260/360/450 hitter in the next couple years. As long as he doesn’t require a 3 year contract, Youkilis would be a great acquisition for the Cubs. If he keeps declining, it’s only a short term deal. If he maintains 2012, he’ll be a trade candidate for a long term asset. If he bounces back to 2010 and 2011 numbers, he can be worth quite a bit more.

I’d sign him for a year, two years max, with the idea of trading him to a contender. But with the lack of third base options on the free agent market, I could see him getting better money/years from a contender in need…like Philly.

Outfield
B.J. Upton  -  Age 28  -  Bats/Throws: R/R

I think BJ is going to get a pretty sweet deal, so will likely not be an option, but it won’t stop us vocal fans from debating the decision.
He’s never lived up to the hype, but has been a pretty good player and may even be underrated because we all expected much more.
As he’s aged, he has become more aggressive at the plate, which has increased his K’s and decreased his BB’s, while boosting his power. He could be a consistent 25 HR, 30-40  SB, good defensive centerfielder while hitting 250/325/450 but an outside shot to see him post .900 OPS’. He has that potential.
But we’re 4000 plate appearances into his career and over his last four seasons, he’s hit 242/316/420. Should we still be talking about potential?
Andre Eithier just received 5 years and $85 million…I’d rather have BJ Upton, but even so, I don’t think the bidding goes that high. Nevertheless, I can’t see the Cubs investing $15M per season on a player with a .316 OBP over the last four seasons.

Nick Swisher  -  Age 32  -  Bats/Throws: B/R

While I’m betting we hear fans clamoring for Upton, I don’t think there will be much interest in Nick Swisher. But Swisher’s last four seasons show what a productive player he’s been in New York: 268/367/483, averaging 26 HR’s a year. He can’t play center and he can’t run like Upton, but he’s more productive on offense and will likely come at a lower cost. Will that cost be low enough for the Cubs and would they move DeJesus to center for him? I don’t think so.
I’m guessing Swisher gets 4 years, $48/$56 million. Because of his age and his position, doesn’t sound like a Theo/Jed target, but I think the team signing Swisher will get more bang for their buck than the team signing Upton.

Shane Victorino  -  Age 32  -  Bats/Throws: B/R

Now we’re getting into the players that I can see the Cubs focusing on. Victorino is coming off his worst year, which means he’s the proverbial “buy low” candidate. Is he declining to 4th outfielder status? Can he bounce back to his .350 OBP days?
If he can be had for a two year contract, he’s the type of player the Cubs will sign to find out the answer. The thing about Victorino that worries me is his hitting against RH pitching, where he’d get 70% of his plate appearances. If he starts out slow, his number will look pretty bad overall and would be hard to trade. Start out hot, with that .350 OBP and good outfield defense, and he could easily turn into a hot trade commodity.
Three years would be one too many. If the Cubs could get Victorino on a 2 year deal, he would be a solid gamble.

Angel Pagan  -  31  -  Bats/Throws: B/R

Similar to Victorino, but lacks the home run power. And while I worry about Victorino’s splits against right handed pitchers, Pagan is the opposite, which actually might make him a better piece to improve the offense.
He’s a year younger and is coming off a better year with the bat than Victorino has, and teams put more weight on the recent performance, so it’s likely that Pagan will get that third year guaranteed. We’re not talking about a large chunk of money, but I don’t see the Cubs committing to three years with Pagan, due to the limited upside. You really can’t expect much more than what he did in 2012; 288/338/440.
If both players were to get 3 years, $30 million, I think Pagan is the better value. But I’d take Victorino if he can be had for a year less.

Melky Cabrera  -  Age 28  -  Bats/Throws: L/L

Time for more BABIP talk. Most people will attribute Cabrera’s 346/390/516 line this year to his PED use. I disagree. If you regress 2012’s unsustainable .379 BABIP down to his career norm, .309, you’re looking at a .070 point reduction across the board, bring his line to 276/320/446 which is more reflective of his true talent. His BB% was in line with his career rate, same for his K%, and he hit more groundballs than ever, so I have a feeling his 2012 line will be the most obvious fluke of any free agent’s line. (And people will use this as proof that his 2012 numbers were due to PED’s)
Despite the career best slash line, with the PED suspension Melky may be looking at a 1 year deal to reestablish his value. If that’s the case, he’s an ideal acquisition.
Yeah, he took some PED’s. He paid the penalty. It’s over. You have to look at him as a commodity, and this is a great low risk, high reward commodity….exactly what Theo/Jed will be looking for, and, I am thinking, #1 on their outfield target list, assuming the number of years is only 1 or 2.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Morning News: Afternoon Edition

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The Cubs are heading the GM meetings this week with plenty of work to do. Doug Padilla gives you a little preview of what they might have in mind.

David Ortiz recently re-upped with Boston for two more years, and he had some thoughts about Bobby Valentine’s accusations that he quit on the team last season.

The Saints beat the Eagles last night in a game that might prove to be Andy Reid’s undoing (he’s been given a public and not-so-subtle mandate to finish better than .500, which is now all but impossible). I don’t know what sense it makes to fire the head coach mid-season (they haven’t yet), but nothing in Philadelphia seems to be working. Not even this creative but ultimately futile kick return.

Speaking of futility, Titans owner Bud Adams couldn’t even sit through Sunday’s loss to the Bears, leaving the game part way through the third quarter. He’s also talking about a top-to-bottom reevaluation of his organization–the kind which often conclude in a tidal wave of firings. Again, I don’t see the wisdom of firing a head coach mid-season. Unlike other sports, football seasons are simply too short to see any significant turnaround from a regime change, so it’s more about making a statement than actually righting the ship.

In other NFL coaching news, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano got some good news–his leukemia is in full remission. You can also see some of Pagano’s emotional post-game speech after the Colts’ victory Sunday in the embedded video.

I’m not a basketball fan, and I’m not sure I ever would have heard his voice except in the soundbites that circulated yesterday, but longtime NBA announcer Jim Durham died yesterday. He was the voice of the Bulls from 1973-1991, so undoubtedly some of you were familiar with his work.

A woman who drove on the sidewalk to avoid children getting off of a school bus will be forced to wear a sign that says “Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus” for a couple days in addition to her suspended license and a fine.

A woman in Oklahoma is facing a $2500 fine because her three year-old son tried to urinate in their own front yard.

Finally, some news that will be of significant interest to our younger readers: Disney is planning a sequel series for the beloved 90′s sitcom Boy Meets World. Chances are if you’re under thirty years-old, this is massive news–even bigger than last week’s announcement that another Star Wars movie is on the way. I was never a devoted viewer of the show, but I have a brother (not Jedi) who is, and the longer I don’t hear from him, the more concerned I am that this news has given him a heart attack.

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Are You In A Gambling Mood?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Many fans cringe at the thought of free-agent acquisitions (and after the Alfonso Soriano mega-contract, I sure can’t blame them). Others view the free-agent process as an opportunity to get creative and quickly improve the ballclub. Either way, this year’s collection of available players is intriguing to say the least.

How active should the Cubs be this offseason? For the purposes of our discussion, let’s agree on a couple concepts: 1) The Cubs front office is free and clear to spend a little money.  2) The Cubs will say “no thank you” to the likes of Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, Michael Bourn, and Rafael Soriano.

So who’s left for free-agent tire kicking and bargain hunting? Here’s a quick list of possible fits (PLEASE NOTE, I SUBMITTED THIS ARTICLE ON NOVEMBER 3RD. SOME OF THESE PLAYERS MAY HAVE SIGNED BY THE TIME IT POSTS):

  • Dan Haren—The Cubs almost acquired Haren for Carlos Marmol, but the deal fell apart at the last minute. Instead, the Angels declined Haren’s 2013 option and made him a free agent. Haren has been brilliant at times during his 10-year career, but he battled back problems for much of the season and saw his velocity drop. Even with those question marks, Haren stands to cash in. I’d be more than willing to gamble on his health for a one-year or two-year deal, but I doubt Haren would accept those terms. Signing with the Cubs seems like a long shot to me.
  • Shaun Marcum—Another starter coming off an injury-plagued 2012, Marcum has been pretty consistent when healthy. Like Haren, he’s a strike thrower: 2.8 walks per 9 IP in 149 career starts. Marcum made $7 million last year, so his price tag should be less than Haren’s. Could the Cubs land him for something like two years, $16 million? If so, count me in.
  • Brandon McCarthy—Say hello to another interesting free agent starter…Do you see a trend? McCarthy is coming off a solid year that ended with a nasty head injury. Assuming a full recovery, he may be another cost-effective band aid for the Cubs bloody rotation. Of course pitching in Oakland helped his numbers, but McCarthy looks like a reasonable short-term investment to me.
  • Kelly Johnson, Maicer Izturis, or Steven Drew—With apologies to the Darwin Barney fan club, the Cubs could sure use some offense at 2B. And even if you don’t agree with me, Johnson, Izturis or Drew would likely be cost-effective options for a super-utility player who could provide some offense across the infield. If Barney improves as a hitter, maybe this player sticks as the starting 3B vs. RHP instead. No matter what, the Cubs should be able to get one of them at a nice price, as all three are coming off a disappointing 2012.
  • Kevin Youkilis—And speaking of 3B…How the mighty have fallen. It wasn’t long ago that Youkilis was an elite player who racked up an OPS in the .900’s. Those days appear to be gone, but the 33-year-old former slugger still has on-base value. Are the Cubs willing to overpay for a short-term 3B (hopefully keeping the spot warm until Javier Baez is ready)? How many years will Youkilis and his agent demand? If the Cubs can grab him for one year with an option, I think it’s worth pursuing. Otherwise, let another team write a big check for past performance.
  • Platoon Partners: With David DeJesus and Brett Jackson in the outfield mix, the Cubs will need at least one righty bat. Free agent options include Jonny Gomes, Reed Johnson, Andruw Jones, and Cody Ross. Nothing to write home about, but then again we’re only talking about 250 PA’s or less.
  • The Bullpen—Even if Marmol stays, the Cubs still need relief help. The good news…it’s another buyer’s market for the bullpen. Before I start tossing out names, let me restate the obvious: Giving a reliever a multi-year deal is completely unnecessary and borderline insane. There’s way too much depth out there to overpay in terms of contract length. Having said that, here are a few useful arms seeking employment (I left out the pitchers who will likely be “overpay” candidates): Jason Frasor, Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell, Brandon Lyon, Vincente Padilla, Joel Peralta, and Joakim Soria. At least two from this list should be available via one-year, team-friendly deals. If not, there’s still plenty of water in the reliever well. Don’t believe me? Say hello to Plan B: Juan Cruz, Brian Fuentes, Jason Grilli, Brad Lidge, Kameron Loe, Guillermo Mota, Chad Qualls, and Jon Rauch.

I think we all agree that the Cubs are still a few years away from serious contention. But a handful of strategic free agent signings could help bring the Northsiders back to respectability while Theo and the Theo-ettes continue to build through the draft. Yes, it’s possible to do both.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Morning News: Cubs, Bears, Tragedy…Unrelated

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Marmol For Haren Scuttled
Late last week it broke that the Cubs were involved in a deal to acquire Dan Haren from the Angels and in return send Carlos Marmol out West. The deal didn’t materialize, but two good things came from it 1) 29 other teams know the relative cost of Marmol (don’t underestimate the importance of that – especially after the Dempster trade experience), and 2) Dan Haren has been marked by the Cubs. After the deal fell through, Haren’s option wasn’t picked up making him a free agent; so perhaps now the Cubs can snag him for nothing.

Bears Trounce Tennessee
What an ugly game, the Titans found themselves trailing after a single quarter by the unusual score of 28-2. The final was a much uglier 51-20 total. If Brandon Marshall is part of your fantasy team, you probably won your matchup. A Minnesota loss and a Green Bay win has the Packers just 1.5 GB in second place. Plus with a win in the first matchup, Green Bay will find themselves in control of their own destiny if they crawl to within just 1 GB. It’s a tenuous division lead for the team that sports the best point differential in the NFL.

Zoo Danger
Don’t dangle your kid over the railing…ever.

Hurricane Aftermath
Is it just me, or has the Hurricane Sandy aftermath been eerily similar to Hurricane Katrina. If a levee were to break, it’d be deja vu.

Tomorrow
I think something is happening tomorrow, but I forget what…then again, I’m posting this from 30,000 feet, so maybe it’s just the altitude.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Morning News: Something For Everyone

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Anybody else get slapped around by the flu this week? Most of my extended family has had it at one point or another, and it’s not pretty. I’ll spare you the details–just know that if refusing to vomit was an Olympic sport, Michael Phelps would be the me of swimming. On with the news.

Let’s start with what little Cubs news there is to report. Carrie Muskat tweeted yesterday that the team has been in contact with Ryan Dempster, setting off a lot of knee-jerk complaining online. Doug Padilla’s story on the matter gives some more details, some quotes, and, you know, actual facts (I’m not a huge Muskat fan, on Twitter or otherwise). One of those facts, like it or not, is that, like Jed Hoyer says, Dempster does fit the Maholm mold they’re aiming for, and it’s entirely possible he could be back with the Cubs. I think it’s unlikely, and I think Hoyer does too, or he wouldn’t have said so much about it, but we’ll have to wait and see what they do. Personally, I’m hoping they go in a different direction for pitching help–I think the Cubs just got the best season they’re ever going to get out of Dempster, and I think he’s better off looking for the kind of payday that’s not waiting for him in Chicago on the Northside.

I haven’t seen anything about it in any of the news posts this week, but the Cubs hired a new coordinator for minor league pitching. Derek Johnson had been the pitching coach at Vanderbilt, overseeing the college careers of David Price, Sonny Gray, and four other pitchers taken in the first round of the MLB Draft. I won’t pretend to know anything about Johnson’s pitching expertise, but consistently developing talent on the mound has been difficult for the Cubs since forever, so let’s hope he’s the right man for the job.

Finally, Dan Plesac may be interviewing for the Cubs’ vacant booth job as TV commentator. I teased an article about the Cubs broadcast situation after Bob Brenly left for Arizona, but it’s taking more time than I’ve had to give to it lately, so it’s still forthcoming. Here’s the short version: the Cubs aren’t just hiring a new color commentator. With the TV contracts expiring in the near future, and the likelihood of creating a Cubs Network, the new guy in the booth–whoever he is–is poised to be key building block in a massive new broadcast entity. I’m a little disappointed it won’t be Brenly, but holding out hope the Cubs can find a suitable replacement to build on.

Here’s an interesting article from Jim Bowden about the Mets and some possible trade partners if they choose not to extend David Wright. No mention of the Cubs, likely because their prospect pool isn’t as deep as other, more likely trade candidates. And at this point in the rebuild, going all in on a player like–even on as talented and suited to fill the needs of the team like Wright–simply isn’t in the cards. A year or two from now, maybe it’s a different story.

Norv Turner deployed his cockroach-like survival abilities again last night, avoiding rumors of his firing with a Chargers win over the division-rival Chiefs. Like most NFL fans, I’ve been expecting Turner’s dismissal from San Diego for multiple seasons now. I honestly can’t make sense of how he manages to hold onto his job, but it looks like his team managed to save him for at least another week. (Side note: Thursday Night Football all season long is not growing on me the way the league might have hoped. Maybe it’s the poor quality of the games, but I keep forgetting about them until they’re at least half over. And when they’re fairly boring or lopsided–tonight was both–there’s no reason to stay tied to it. So far, at least for me, it’s falling far short of the MNF appointment viewing luster.)

Elsewhere in the NFL, the Steelers will have an unusual schedule for this Sunday’s game against the Jets Giants. Since the hotel they planned to stay in is still without power after Frankenstorm Hurricane Sandy, they’ve been granted special permission from the league to fly into town Sunday morning and leave after the game. As the article points out, it’s not an ideal situation for a team that’s already struggling on the road this season.

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was charged Thursday on counts of “perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse, and conspiracy.” I’m not sure which of those charges they can make stick, or what kind of punishment he faces if convicted. But if they can prove he knew even a little of what was going on and did nothing about it, it’s essentially as if he delivered those boys to Sandusky himself. And in that case, it would be difficult for me to think of a punishment too severe.

I realize for some of you, this next story doesn’t matter in the least. For others, though, it’s all they’ve been talking about for the last few days. I’ll try to be brief. George Lucas sold Lucasfilm Ltd. to Disney earlier this week. The sale includes the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, along with the visual effects wizards at Industrial Light and Magic, Skywalker Sound, and video game developer LucasArts. In the midst of their press release, Disney also announced plans for a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, beginning in 2015. Since the news broke Tuesday, the web has been flooded with educated guesses about what other fruit this deal might bear for fans. Several of the writers over at Grantland weighed in as well (just remember they don’t have the same language standards we have here at VFTB). From where I sit, this deal is a good thing for fans. Lucas has been worshiping at the altar of his own imagination for too long, and has forgotten what made his initial work so special and meaningful to generations of devoted fans. On Monday, nobody thought we’d ever see another worthwhile Star Wars movie. Today we have that hope, and much more. Don’t think that an entire Star Wars theme park is beyond the scope of Disney’s plans here. You don’t pay more than $4 billion if you don’t have big things in mind. No one can say yet how big–just know that if I’m not riding an animatronic Tauntaun somewhere in the central Florida swamplands within the next five years, I’m going to be sorely disappointed.

And since we’ve wandered into a fairly nerdy place now, I’ll leave you with this video. It’s the new Hobbit/Lord of the Rings-themed pre-flight safety instruction video for New Zealand Air, and as pre-flight safety videos go, it’s spectacular.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

GirlieView (11/01/2012)

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It’s a new month! October certainly went out like lion, and I’m hoping for a gentler November all around.

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks)
  • Top 10 of 2012 = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims. Let’s go!

Lizzies

  • I remember when I was 20 and thought I had life experiences that were sufficient to guide me.
  • I see but one egg.  ”Bacons and egg.”
  • His juevos are covered up
  • My Halloween costume would be the umpire who called the infield fly rule in the Braves-Cardinals game. All I need is a seeing-eye dog.
  • There’s no way to avoid it any longer–the Cardinals held on to win 8-3 over the Giants. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go shout at strangers and set something on fire.
  • This is why there are no Lizzies in politics.
  • Jeff Samardzija came through with a successful conversion to the starting rotation. Admit it…you thought this experiment would explode in our faces. I certainly did.
  • Losers!
  • What about free agents like Johnson, who are slightly overpaid but play really hard?  Certainly there is room for a free agent of that nature.
  • Reed has now had 10 seasons in the bigs, that means he also plays long.
  • Elsewhere in the National League, if you had October 23rd in your When Will Ozzie Guillen Get Fired pool, congratulations.
  • Their viewing choice was less mainstream–a British stop-motion cartoon about the adventures of a group of bath toys called the Rubbadubbers.
  • Hmm..didn’t Eddie Murphy in Coming to Amereica have a team of “ruba dub dub bers?”
  • “The royal penis is clean”
  • “…, your highness.”
  • So the Giants won using Ryan Theriot and the bunt. That must really chap a lot of hides.
  • I’m coping by watching video highlights from the season.
  • Must be a pretty short video.
  • She didn’t say they were Cub highlights…
  • I’m coping by watching my copy of “Optometric and Cardiac Diagnostic Highlights by Sports Blog Distracted Health Care Practitioners.” Spellbinding.
  • Zoom.
  • I have a fantasy team… it has nothing to do with sports, however.

Lizard

  • I’d like to see a woman become the new Chicago Cubs color commentator.

Shout Outs

Congratulations to the following commenters on their first 2012 Lizzie! Thanks for being here!

  • Aaron Camp
  • Dusty Baylor
  • Tony LaRussa

MVL

  • Congratulations to Seymour Butts, the Most Valuable Lizzie’er this time around!

2012 Top Ten YTD

1. Jeremiah Johnson
2. Doc Raker
3. jswanson
4. Seymour Butts
5. Jedi Johnson
6. cap’n Obvious
7. Buddy
8. Joe Aiello
9. Chuck
10. Eddie Von White

Chit Chat

Well, it’s the day after Halloween. Got leftovers? Here’s my question, it’s a simple one: What’s your favorite candy?

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Morning News: The Offseason Begins

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The first big(gish) move of the offseason that involved players changing teams happened yesterday, with the Angels sending starting pitcher Ervin Santana to the Royals. This was a complete salary dump for the Angels, as Santana was either due for a $13 million option or a $1 million buyout at midnight Eastern time on Wednesday. The Angels received nothing in return aside from a 27 year old career minor league relief pitcher, so it was a chance to avoid the $1 million buyout, and potentially keep Santana away from the Rangers or A’s.

The Angels are facing a similar deadline with Dan Haren in just a few days, who is either due a $15.5 million option or a $3.5 million buyout at midnight on Friday. While Haren has a higher ceiling than Santana, the Angels got nothing meaningful whatsoever for Santana. And the Cubs are in a financial position to take Haren. Whether Haren reaches free agency through the buyout or could only be acquired via trade, he is someone I would like to see the Cubs explore on a short term, rebuild his value deal. If he returns to pre-2012 form, he would arguably be both the best pitcher on the Cubs next season and someone who could bring in a major haul of young Major Leaguers or prospects in a mid-season trade.

The NBA Season Started on Tuesday. I’m giving my first shot at fantasy basketball, which my guess is will end in utter embarrassment for me, but a fun embarrassment.

As far as my fandom is concerned, the Bulls have a slim but meaningful lead over the Kings. I’m curious to see how the Bulls’ plan with Derrick Rose will work. They’re trying to hold together most of the band that they planned to go to last year’s playoffs with, although with a different bench mob. I kind of would have rather seen the Bulls trade everyone with value aside Joakim Noah, who I think is in the level just below the few really elite centers in the NBA, be awful this year, have Rose sit out the whole season to get fully healthy, and then rebuild around Rose, Noah and a top draft pick heading into 2013-2014.

With that said, it would have made for a Bulls season that was nearly as painful as the past Cubs’ season, and the Bulls should still be good enough to make the playoffs this season as is. And they could be dangerous in the playoffs is D-Rose is anywhere near 100% by the time the postseason roles around.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: