Author Archive

and another thing about how stupid this organization is

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Last night prior to his minor league rehab start Carlos Zambrano took batting practice in Peoria. He hit multiple home runs, swinging as hard as he could…even though he is trying to rehab pulled muscles (and even though the team asked him not to).

The idiocy seems to never end. They should fine Carlos $25,000 for this. They will probably do nothing.

and by the way in Peoria they use a designated hitter.

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


Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Undoubtedly someone will type up something more about this soon. But the Cubs have completed a trade with the Pirates that brings left handed reliever John Grabow and pitcher (now in AAA) Tom Gorzelanny. The Cubs send Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and minor league infielder Josh Harrison.

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired left-handed pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates for right-handed pitchers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio and Single-A Daytona infielder Josh Harrison.

Grabow will be added to the Cubs 25-man roster prior to tomorrow’s game at Florida. Gorzelanny, a native of Evergreen Park, Ill., will join Chicago’s Triple-A Iowa roster.

The 30-year-old Grabow is 3-0 with a 3.42 ERA (18 ER/47.1 IP) in 45 relief appearances for the Pirates this season. He has posted a 2.22 ERA (7 ER/28.1 IP) and a .184 batting average against (18-for-98) in his last 25 appearances during the last two-plus months starting May 24. He has not allowed a run in 22 of the 25 outings, including 11 consecutive scoreless outings from June 24-July 22, covering 12.0 innings pitched.

Grabow has been especially tough in “close and late” situations this season, limiting opponents to a .212 batting average (22-for-104) in those spots. Overall he is limiting foes to a .246 batting average against, including a .234 mark by righthanders (29-for-124) and a .275 mark (14-for-51) by lefthanders.

In 2008, Grabow turned in the best season of his seven-year big league career when he went 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA (24 ER/76.0 IP) in 74 relief appearances with the Pirates. He limited opponents to a .215 batting average (60-for-279), including a .239 mark by lefties and a .207 mark by righties. Overall in seven seasons with Pittsburgh, the six-foot-two, 205-pounder is 20-15 with six saves and a 4.09 ERA (165 ER/363.1 IP) in 390 career relief outings. A native of Arcadia, Calif., Grabow was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 1997 Draft.

A 14-game winner for the Pirates in 2007, the 27-year-old Gorzelanny has split the 2009 season between Pittsburgh and its Triple-A Indianapolis club. With Indianapolis, Gorzelanny has gone 4-3 with a 2.48 ERA (24 ER/87.0 IP) in 15 starts. He has a 0.96 ERA (4 ER/37.1 IP) in his last six Triple-A starts beginning June 27 and is 3-2 with a 1.21 ERA (7 ER/52.0 IP) in his last nine starts. Overall with Indianapolis, Gorzelanny has limited opponents to a .228 batting average, including a .195 mark by left-handed hitters.

Gorzelanny enjoyed his first full major league season in 2007 when he went 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA (87 ER/201.2 IP) in 32 starts with the Pirates. He has split the 2008 and 2009 seasons between Triple-A and the majors. He is 3-1 with a 5.19 ERA (5 ER/8.2 IP) in nine relief appearances for the Pirates this season during his big league stint from May 17-June 9.

The six-foot-two, 202-pound Gorzelanny made his major league debut with the Pirates in 2005 and was named Pittsburgh’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2006 after going 6-5 with a 2.35 ERA with Indianapolis. Overall in 76 major league appearances (65 starts) with the Pirates, Gorzelanny is 25-26 with a 4.79 ERA (204 ER/383.1 IP).

Hart, 26, has split the 2009 campaign between Chicago and Triple-A Iowa. He is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA (29 ER/66.1 IP) in eight appearances (four starts) with the Cubs this season, earning the win this afternoon against the Houston Astros.

Ascanio, 24, has also split the 2009 season between the Cubs and Triple-A. He is 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA (6 ER/15.1 IP) in 14 relief appearances for Chicago this season.

Harrison, 22, is batting .286 (20-for-70) with one home run and nine RBI in 18 games with Daytona this season. He began the year with Single-A Peoria, where he batted .337 (102-for-303) with four homers and 33 RBI in 79 games.

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

Welcome to MLB Hell

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

There is a phenomenon that I hear discussed often on Chicago sports radio often referring to the Bulls. It has to do with the term “NBA Hell.” The term refers to a team that is good enough to make the playoffs in one of the lower seeds but not good enough to win it all. Because they make the playoffs they are also not bad enough to score one of the high picks in the draft and pick a real game changer to build your franchise around. The Bulls “lucked out” last year by landing the first pick and picking Derrick Rose who is hopefully a franchise turn around type guy. However, without that stroke of luck a team can be mired in this territory for years. This is not a fun place to be.

After watching the series’ against the Nationals and Phillies this week I fear that the Cubs are in Major League Baseball Hell. They are good enough to beat bad teams and bad pitching but will struggle against good teams and good pitching. Sometimes they will win series against good teams. Other times they will not. They will be able to play a little above five hundred and hang around in a weak division, but it would seem that they will be no match for the better teams if they make the playoffs.

I know that the stats guys say that it is all up for grabs in the playoffs, and this might be statistically true. However, there is one thing that I feel almost always demonstrates itself in the playoffs. You want to have a shut down ace to pitch games one, four, and seven in a series. You want to have the guy that both teams would pick to start game one for them if they had the choice. This guy might lose a close game and the series might shift on that, but you can be sure that this guy will keep you in the game and give you a chance to win. Is there anyone on the Cubs that you would feel this way about? We know that Big Z is a stud and also nuclear. He seems to have one or two bad innings every game, and if these go real bad you have lost the game. He has that talent that makes you  feel like you want him on your side going to war, but a psyche that makes you know that you don’t really know how that will end up. Dempster has been down this year, and who knows what you will get with him. Harden goes seven at the most, but has days where he (in his words) is throwing batting practice. Wells is unproven. Lilly is the ballsiest, guy on the staff. But he has never been seen as a dominant pitcher. Thinking about all of the teams you could see in the playoffs, there probably is not one whose game 1 starter you would not rather have than whoever ours might be (and many game 2 starters that I would prefer over our game 1).

We all know about the holes that we are currently seeing in this team. We hope they will change. But even if they do what makes us think the playoffs will be different than previous years? Will Soriano be able to hit quality starting pitching (Will most of the players for that matter)? They might be good enough to squeak into the playoffs- but then what?

My fear is that this will be the case for many years to come. Of course, over those years, our core guys will be declining as they age. A team that is not scoring runs now will probably score less runs as their run producers get older. This team was built to win now (two years ago) and leave a boatload of bad contracts and aging players and millions of dollars in salary to a new ownership…along with a championship to bask in the glow of. Unfortunately, there is no new owner and continued delays in finding one…and no championship. But the contracts, and dollars, and no trade clauses are piling up.

You can see the terror of the Cubs situation playing out every day. Milton Bradley was overpaid by Jim Hendry (who outbid himself) and has now just seen his third year option become real because he went less than 75 games on the disabled list this year. Which seems like an odd conract clause (but who am I to evaluate that) and seems odder when you consider that there were times this year when he should have been DL’ed but wasn’t. Alfonso Soriano has five years remaining on his contract which will pay him $18 million annually. He also has a full no trade. Which means that barring some team wanting to take that contract off your hands, Soriano will be playing left field for you for five more years- or be the highest paid bench player in the game. Ryan Dempster (he of the one good post-injury year of starting pitching) will make on average $13 million for the next three seasons. Kosuke (slap hitter extraordinaire) is signed through 2011, will average $13 million over that time and also has full no trade protection. Ramirez, Lee, Lilly, and Samardzija also have no trade clauses. And by the way Aaron Miles will make almost $3 million next year.

The scary thing is that this team is your team for a while, especially if there is no money to add in coming years since so much is already eaten up. Consider that for 2010 the team already has $114 million commited to 8 players: Zambrano, Soriano, Ramirez, Lee, Dempster, Bradley, Fukudome, and Lilly. Which means that if the team keeps their current payroll (At a time when most teams are dropping payroll right now…which would seem to be a desire of new ownership) you will have about $20 million dollars to spend on the other 17 players on your roster. To make things worse: Marmol, Soto, Theriot, Marshall, Fontenot, Guzman, Hoffpauir, Wells, and Jake Fox all make around $500,000 on deals that expire this year. Now, I am not sure how MLB contracts and years work but eventually these guys will need to get paid. You have very liitle to pay them.

You can see how dire it is in the Cubs current approach to the trade deadline. They have deep needs and they can do nothing about it. The pop they would have coming from the farm system is blocked by high paid talent that you cannot give up on. While teams like the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Phillies are talking about big names like Halladay, and Holliday the Cubs might not be in the position to even add a guy like Freddie Sanchez who the Pirates will be looking to trade and could make a huge difference to the Cubs lineup.

On paper the team was built to win by now. Probably with 2010 being the last real chance at winning as constructed. It seemed that the team would be sold by now and bad contracts would be the worry of the next ownership. These things are blowing up in their face. Which has tanked faster the ecomony or the talent on this team? The ownership situation is still unresolved. The team has not won and looks weaker than the teams that got bounced from the playoffs without a win the previous two years. Jim Hendry miscalculated on almost every move last off season. And there is no championship for a fan base that finds losing unacceptable now and seems readier to jump ship than ever. Welcome to Hell…MLB style. It seems the old saying is true. After throwing a lot of money around for a couple years, the Cubs have found out that the devil is in the details.

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

Just Wondering

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

What do the stats say about Alfonso Soriano as a fielder? I am pretty sure what I think they should say.

During today’s game, when Alfonso misjudged another fly ball allowing it to drop, Bob Brenley said something like “It’s humorous that we keep talking about the problems with Fox and Hoffpauir’s defense when we see this on a daily basis.” He must be reading this board.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three dvdrip
Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Dear Timmy

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Sleep easy my boy. It is all bad luck. Close your eyes and whisper to yourself “It’s all about BABIP.”  Lay in bed and count Albert Pujols-es, or Adam Dunns or even Raul Ibanez-es and fall asleep…but don’t ask yourself why those guys don’t have this bad luck for a third of the season. Don’t think about how the new guy that you brought in to make all of the bad things go away gets owies simply by running to first base. And even though you know deep down that the guy is a meanie who doesn’t play nice and gets the grown ups mad at him…just pretend that he drives an ice cream truck and makes everyone like him. I know you really don’t expect him to hit a million billion home runs every day, but maybe do something good every once in a while. It can make you sad. So just pretend like it isn’t there.

Don’t worry Timmy everything will be ok. We live in Cubville. It is a fantasy world where everything is happy, and smily, and sunny, and fun. Even though we are really in a scary forest where things never turn out good, we just smile and pretend that everything is fine. There are gumdrops and ice cream cones all over.

What’s that, Timmy? Our best hitter has a really bad owie and we don’t know when or how good he will be when he comes back? Don’t worry we have all of these little superheroes that can take his place named Miles, and Fontenot, and Theriot. They even have cool nicknames like “Little Babe Ruth” and “The Riot.” I know they’re not that good, but this is Cubville. We love guys like that. They are like little princes who walk up to the dragon and stomp on his toes. Just make sure you turn your head away when they get eaten by the dragon.This is Cubville we must stay happy.

We even have all of these guys with grey  beards that have not been good enough to come to Cubville when they were younger…when most good guys come to their teams. These guys are named Scales, and Hoffpauir, and even a guy named Fox (Yeah, like the animal…isn’t that funny). These guys are so good with their swords. They swing them and people run away afraid. Just don’t ask them to do anything else. As long as you can swing your sword real hard you can be a king in Cubville.

Who is the jolly guy behind home plate? Did you know that guy won rookie of the year last year? Last year he was so good. Last year he hit a lot. Last year he was a pretty good catcher. Last year he was in the all star game…..oh don’t ask that Timmy. Don’t worry about what is happening this year. We live in Cubville. “This year” we close our eyes and try to be happy. Sometimes we think about last year but last year always makes us sad…always. So we usually like to think about next year around these parts. There is always hope that next year Cubville will be a happy place.

I know you keep having that bad nightmare. The one where our streaky lead off hitter makes everyone happy and falls apart at the end of the story. The one where it looks like you will finally get the “ring” you have longed for forever. Then just when you reach out for it…”my precious”…it is taken away by someone else. Close your eyes and cross your fingers and make a lot of wishes. That can’t happen every year can it?…Can it? Things can’t be as they seem can they? Our first baseman is not declining due to age. He is a Cub, his legend will live forever. Cubs do not grow old. I know most of the guys in that field are pretty mediocre. But just pretend like the guys who were always good are just playing bad for a little while. And pretend like the guys who are not very good will be really good by magic. I know it seems weird to say that the struggling guys will bounce back because that is what the magic numbers say (we call these stats), while at the same time saying that the mediocre guys will not fall back to their mediocre “stats”. Those struggling guys are called scrappy or cute and in Cubville cute and loveable and scrappy matters more than everything else.

Now go to sleep Timmy. Everything will be better in the morning. Soon the sun will shine and the ivy will grow and the girls will be wearing bikini’s. That’s all that mattters. And one day you will be old enough to drink so much magic potion in Cubville that you will not even care that things are so scary here.
Sleep well my boy. And don’t worry about that monster under your bed. He has been there for 101 years.

Uncle RobThe Skeleton Key move Animal 2 video

Arranged full

White Oleander ipod

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock release

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie

Arranged move

The Fantastic Planet move

Employee of the Month on dvd

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