I just got done reading this article off of ChicagoSports.com. And i am just gonna high light a few of its contents below before i comment.......
The Cubs are interested in obtaining the left-handed hitting Palmeiro to platoon him at first with Eric Karros. But the Texas veteran told his club he wasn't ready to waive his no-trade clause yet to rejoin the Cubs.......
Boone did become available after Bowden and Boone's father, ex-Reds manager Bob Boone, were fired Monday. But the Cubs already had acquired a third baseman in Pittsburgh's Aramis Ramirez, and their interest in Boone would have been as a second baseman in case Mark Grudzielanek doesn't return in 2004.......
They also entertained offers for struggling reliever Antonio Alfonseca, but found no deal to their liking.
The Cubs don't plan on eating the remainder of Alfonseca's salary, which comes to around $1.3 million, feeling he still has some value in spite of his recent problems.
What is going on in the front office of Jim Hendry???? Get Palmerio to platoon with Karros? Offers for Alfonseca, but no deal to thier liking? Boone for 2nd base? Has Hendry completly lost his mind?! OMG.
1st off for the price the Yankees got Boone surely Jim Hendry could of pulled a slightly better deal out of his magical top ranked farm system to land him. Aramis Ramirez could of easily been dealt to LA, exactly the same way Ventura got easily dealt to LA. Now you have an offensive 3rd basemen who also plays gold glove defense.
Yeah i know it sucks for Ramirez to be quickly bouncing around but who cares, the job of the GM is to improve his team and Boone would of improved the team more than Ramirez. Not that i am unhappy we have Ramirez.
On to the getting Palmerio trade.......WHY? Why would you trade for him and then platoon him?? I think the only reason Hendry went after Palmerio was because Baker is the only person on this team that would actually platoon Karros and Palmerio. I am sorry Palmerio is not a platoon player even if he is hitting .250. His power and RBI totals if traded to the Cubs would lead our team. Karros is no where near as good as Palmerio, and to even suggest that those 2 would platoon is insulting, mainly to Palmerio and he turned it down for good reason.
And sitting on the bench watching all of this is Choi. He lost virtually all of his playing time due to injury and now they want to send him away for who knows how long if they get Palmerio.
I dont know Hendry why dont you just let Choi play and stop trying to trade for every former Cub thats out thier on the market. You might find the lefty power hitting 1b basemen your looking for.
And finally Alfonseca. Your telling me a sack of used baseballs wasnt a good enough offer to trade this guy? What does Hendry want in return Kieth Foulke? Or is he simply over pricing his talent thinking they actually have some value. Which would explain why Harris still has a job. Hendry must think someone wants the career pinch hits leader, he could surely bring in a mid level prospect.
I am just soooooooo upset now with the inept GMing of Hendry right now. Deals he is pursing, deals he let fall thru the cracks, deals he should of done just to move dead weight. Read the whole article.
A Fire Dusty Baker, Chicago Cubs Blog
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Clement pitched a 2 hit shutout against the Giants as the Cubs won 3-0.
Over the past month Clement has been one of the Cubs best starters with an ERA of 2.88 and hitting .164 off him.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Cubs beat Houston, take series
After spending my day cutting grass. It was nice to see the Cubs finish out the series on a good note and still be somewhat in it for the divsion race. Lofton finally got going today as the Cubs beat Houston 5-3.
Ironically in each game the Cubs limited Houston to 3 runs and won 2 out 3. Cruz looks like the better option down the stretch. He didnt have good location for most of yesterdays game but has enough raw power to pitch himself out of jams unlike Estes. And i will give props to Baker for removing Estes in the 5th today after only 79 pitches. I mean why play with fire? The bullpen has been solid the last week or so.
Overall it was a good series. The Cubs didnt roll over and had some gutsy pitching performances from a couple of our youngsters. Now we just have to figure out how to win at home.
Friday, July 25, 2003
Zambrano got off to a shakey start in the 1st inning giving up 3 runs. After that it was all Cubs as Zambrano went 8 1/3 innings and won 5-3. Zambrano helped his own effort by smacking a 2 run HR and Alou contributed to the rest with a 3 RBI game.
This is what you call a blood and guts pitching effort. Most young pitchers would of packed it in after the 1st inning, thinking they had no shot to win and they werent good enough. Instead Zambrano shut them down the rest of the way till an opening came so that they could win.
A start like this can make or break a young pitchers career and it looks like Zambrano passed with flying colors. Just 2 more wins and we are back in this race.........Estes you better not screw it up!!!!!
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Make or Break Series?
Well tomorrow we begin a 3 game series against division leader Houston as Carlos Zambrano and Wade Miller square off. At this point we have to sweep Houston to have a chance at winning this division. That would only put us 2.5 games back and right back in striking distance. Getting swept or lose 2 of 3 is unacceptable.
The Cubs have to go in like this is a playoff series where every AB counts. They cant afford to fall 7.5 or 8.5 out. If their going to make a run it has to be now.
On a side note, Aramis Ramirez has just killed Houston this year he has 3 HR's and 15 RBI against them even though he is hitting just .200. I expect to see him inflict some more damage on Houston and be a key piece in this series.
Wood Gets Shelled
Kerry Wood got lit up today as the Cubs lose 14-6. Sosa got the action started off in the 1st inning with a 2 run HR but Philly made sure they ended it when Abreu hit a GS in the 6th inning. In all Wood was charged with 8 runs on 5 IP and ballons his ERA from 2.98 to 3.38.
Personally i think Wood was still tired from his last start where he had thrown 130 pitches and said he was tired. I think Baker needs to pull back on the rotation and watch pitch counts otherwise this staff will fall apart in the 2nd half. He has too many young arms not used to this kind of work load.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
I just have to point out what a fan did with Thomes 1,000 RBI ball that i picked up on at ChicagoSports.com.
Jim Thome just loves Wrigley Field.
The Peoria native cranked a two-run home run onto Sheffield Avenue in the third inning of the Phillies' 3-0 victory Wednesday night. Amazingly, a fan returned the ball when he heard it was Thome's 1,000th RBI.
"To accomplish that here with my parents here, it was really neat for sure," Thome said. "I just remember as a kid my dad bringing me here. He always said 'I know you're going to hit a home run here sometime.'"
Thome, who was 4-for-8 "all singles, no RBIs" in his only other appearance at Wrigley when he played for the Cleveland Indians in 1998, said "for sure" he would give the ball to his father.
"Some guy was walking by on vacation from Florida [who got the ball outside on Sheffield Avenue]," Thome said. "Someone told him, 'That was Jim Thome's 1,000 ribbie,' so he turned it in. I signed a bat for him.
"As a kid, 7, 8 years old, playing Little League, growing up a couple hours away â€¦ just the tradition of this ballpark and the atmosphere," Thome recalled. "I remember the first time coming in here going, 'Wow. This is baseball.' What a neat ballpark. It's fun to be here."
Thome admitted that as a child he sometimes slept wearing a Cubs helmet.
"If you grow up in Illinois, you better be a Cubs fan," he said.
In the day and age where any meaningful HR ball is held for ransom to the highest bidder, it truely is nice to see a fan simply give it back without any thought of what it might get him.
And i simply love Thomes comments........i mean thats what baseball is all about. And why i love baseball.
Wolf dominates the Cubs
Well we didnt see much from the Cubs tonight as they lose 3-0 to the Phillies.
Our brand new pick ups Ramirez and Lofton were hit less. But i am not worried. Randy Wolf pitched lights out tonight and i still think our recent pick ups will help this team down the road. If nothing less than to stabilize the batting order....
Grudz (where he belongs)
A-gonz (where he belongs)
Now that looks like a major league roster. Not great, but not horrible like it was the last few weeks.
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Cubs and Pirates make trade
Well its official Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez have been traded to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Jose Hernandez, Matt Bruback, and a PTBNL.
Fantastic deal for Hendry. Fill a hole in CF with the Corey Patterson injury and add a much needed offensive bat to 3rd base. But even better is NO MORE Lenny Harris. I think. Well we can hope Baker will start Ramirez over Harris atleast.
Ofcourse on the bad side this will pretty much end Choi's season with the Cubs as i expect him to be sent to AAA very shortly. Dusty needs to find a veteran to start now that a "young" Ramirez will be hogging up "veteran" playing time.
I feel sorry for the Pirates fans as they got nothing good in return for Ramirez. Surely he could of fetched more than the all time SO champion and some grade level C prospects. But hey i am a Cubs fans and i will take it, the deal is done. I am a happy camper.
Mitre roughed up
Maybe it was too much for a rookie to overcome. Lenny Harris at 3rd base, Paul Bako at catcher. Ohh wait Greg Maddux and the hot hitting Braves he was facing also. Anyways Mitre looked way out of his league out their tonight giving up 8 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks as the Cubs lose 8-4.
Is Dusty Serious?
Just when i was about to go to bed i picked up this on Chicagosports.com......
Now Dusty Baker is re-considering his plan to play Choi over Karros against most right-handers.
"I've wrestled with that," Baker said. "I'm going to make a decision there soon. It depends on how Choi does. He hasn't been the same since he came back [from his concussion]. Eric is one of our hottest hitters and it's getting late. We have to win ballgames. So I'm going to have to make a tough decision soon."
I understand Karros is hitting .330 and were in a division race by default. But this is the year Choi was supposed to get most of the PT at 1b. And he still should in my opinion.
Baker gets criticized sometimes for sticking with struggling players, such as Lenny Harris and Troy O'Leary, but he hasn't let it affect the way he uses them.
"What are you going to do?" Baker said. "You can't beam 'em up from outer space. Yeah, you have to stick with them. Older guys I've noticed are better second-half players than [younger] guys."
Tell me Baker didnt say that. What does that mean even more Lenny Harris? He goes from saying a decision will be soon on who plays Karros or Choi and then says vets play better in the 2nd half than younger players. His mind is already made up, Karros is soon gonna get the nod as our everyday 1st baseman.
And for Choi? He will end up watching most of the season from the bench and learn next to nothing. You can look at all the video you want and talk about the art of hitting until your blue in the face but nothing is better than real game situations.
WORST NIGHTMARE: Due to Karros and Mark G hitting so well, Hendry may feel the need to resign them both thinking their seasons werent a fluke. Thus falling into the Gaetti, Fassero, Alfonseca nightmares.
UPDATE: The Cub Reporter agrees Choi should play...
So does The Clark & Addison Chronicle...
Most damning of all is The [Untitled] Cubs Page where he suggests Baker should be fired.
Monday, July 21, 2003
Cubs crush Braves
Well the Cubs kept up the offensive barrage pounding the Braves 15-6.
Estes looked horrible but what is new? He has 10 starts this year where he has given up 5 runs or more. His curveball is slow and has no velocity and worse yet he has no control over its location. One minute its high high high then hangs over the plate or gets buried into homeplate making Miller jump all over the place to try and block it.
At this point Estes looks washed up. He was washed up before he was a Cub. His ERA is now 6.00. Lefties are hitting .301 off him and righties are hitting .313. He is fooling no one. You telling me someone down on the farm cant do better? Estes will not get any better as the season goes on, and if Hendry is truely committed to a winning team Estes, Harris, and Alfonseca should be gone before Aug 1st rolls around. For god sakes eat the money your paying these bums and inject some youthfull energy into this ballclub for the stretch run.
Anyways about tonight........Goodwin should get the MVP since the Patterson injury. He truely is playing above his head. How long will it last? Who knows. As long as he keeps legging out INF singles with his speed and hustle on the basepaths to get us runs, we will take it. He was 5-6 tonight with 4 runs scored.
The Pudge that wasnt
"In the winter I went to Chicago to see everything," Rodriguez said. "But then they traded for [Damian] Miller, and from there everything was over."
Rodriguez did not discount the possibility of signing with the Cubs next year if they're interested.
"Right now I'm playing in Florida, and after the season we'll see what's going to happen," he said. "Chicago is a great city, and the Cubs are a great team to play for. I think they're going to be a contender, and that's what every player wants."
If the Cubs didnt want to pay for Pudge then, they are not going to pay for him after this season. I dont know what the Cubs think a offensive catcher who is also a gold glover goes for these days but 8-10 million is about right. Already Pudge in half a season has put up numbers that Miller and Bako will struggle to get in a full season combined.
The Cubs have a disease. Impact players no. Over the hill, retreads, and never has beens, yes. Miller or Pudge, Miller or Pudge....Miller please!!!!! -rolls eyes-
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Cubs win 16-2, take series
After getting shutout in the series opener and Kerry Wood pitching a two hit masterpiece to even up the series, the Cubs brought out the whoopin sticks and sent Dontrelle Mania to the showers. Ofcourse every sportscaster in the country is upset that the Marlins sent him back out their after the hour plus rain delay. Well funny thing it didnt hurt Zambrano too much......so they can stuff it on the most overhyped player in baseball at the moment.
Zambrano went 6 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked two. He also had three hits and two RBI at the plate today. Sammy Sosa, Trenadad Hubbard and Karros had 2 RBI each also. Hernandez and Gonzales had 3 RBI each.
NOTE: Sammy Sosa hit a 484 foot HR in the 8th inning. The longest ever at Pro Player Stadium.
Chicago Cubs right-hander Mark Prior, still bothered by soreness in his right shoulder, will miss his next start Tuesday and instead will fly to Chicago to be examined by a doctor.
This is not good news. At the very least he should of been taken for x-rays the day of the collision, no matter what Prior was saying. He could have a hairline fracture of his right shoulder which would end his season. But i pray its nothing more than just a deep bruise.
Right-hander Sergio Mitre will be recalled from Double-A West Tenn to make his major league debut Tuesday at Atlanta in place of Prior, the Cubs said Sunday. Mitre, a 22-year-old right-hander, was 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA in 18 starts at West Tenn.
And Juan Cruz didnt get the call?
UPDATE: Prior is now officially on the 15 day DL. His next start at the earliest could come July 27th.
Saturday, July 19, 2003
Leave it to Wood
Well Kerry Wood pitched his heart out to get us back to .500. A CG Shutout on 130 pitches. He moves to 10-6 with a 2.98 ERA on the season.
But my god the offense............1 run on 4 hits. Yesterday we had 5 hits and no runs. At this point our pitchers have to throw a shutout to even have a shot at winning a game.
Lenny Harris started for the Cubs. Why? Who knows. But in games Lenny Harris has gotten 3 or more AB's the team is averaging 3.23 runs a game, in which he has gotten 2 or less AB's the team is averaging 4.63 runs a game. I dont know about you but thats even more reason why Lenny Harris shouldnt be starting. His AB's are just free outs to other teams.
Hendry still working, i think
At ChicagoSports.com Hendry was quoted saying.....
"I'll just try to add some offensive help where it makes sense," he said. "You can't pigeonhole yourself and say, 'I need a left-hand hitting third baseman that can hit between Mo [Alou] and Sammy [Sosa]. Those things don't fall in your lap."
Well a few things have fallen in Hendrys lap over the course of the last year and passed them by. I still dont trust a thing coming out of his mouth. I have been let down too many times in Hendrys short stint as GM to believe anything he says. To me it just sounds like Andy speaking thru Jim. Same old BS.
And at the end of the article.......
Hendry wouldn't discuss names, but with Cincinnati slumping and center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. out for the rest of the season, there's some feeling that Reds third baseman Aaron Boone will soon be available.
Now thats probably the best option available on the market, and Cincy needs major pitching help so it makes sense to deal with them and vice versa. Provided Boone is even available ofcourse. If the Cubs do get anyone it will likely be right around July 31st. And probably someone out of the blue who we havent even talked about.
Sad sad sad sad
You figured after a nice little break this team would come out with some life ready for the second half. Instead they looked flat and just like the team that entered the break.
Again the offense sputters to even put runs up on the board losing 6-0 to the Marlins. Ivan Rodriguez went deep also. He is hitting .308 with 3 HR's, 5 RBI, in 16 or so AB's against the Cubs(.300, 14HR, 61 RBI season). Gee arent we glad we passed on him in the off-season?
Friday, July 18, 2003
Sorry but your wrong
I like Uncouth Sloth's site. I like reading his comments and his insight. I respect his stance on Sosa, but it doesnt mean i have to like it or agree with it. Thats why America is a great place to live. And i know i am relatively new to blogging, but i just feel his justification for blaming Sammy Sosa for our years of losing is nonsense.
"He's been here 11 years, four of which he put up literally unprecedented stats, and how many World Series have we won?
Am I supposed to just sit here with my thumb up my butt and figure that he has had nothing to do with the losing? I KNOW THAT'S WHAT HE THINKS! And, he's wrong, wrong, wrong....
He's a loser. Period. Sentence. Paragraph."
I will never agree with this point of view for the anti-Sosa people. If the team isnt winning its Sosa's fault. If the team is winning he gets no credit.
I dont know if Sloth realizes the shitty players this team has had since 1998. Let me run a few names by you..... Hundley, Gaetti, Stairs, Coomer, Harris, A-gonz, Estes, Alfonseca, Mike Morgan, Girardi, Jose Hernandez, H-rod, Rondell White, Jason Bere, Ricky Gutierrez, Julian Taveraz, Felix Heredia, Jeff Fassero, Damon Buford, Darren Lewis, Ismael Valdes, Rick Aguilera, Willie Green, Micky Morandini, Jeff Blauser (The Cub killer remember him?), Lance Johnson. Would you like me to go on?
This is the crap the Cubs have mostly shoveled out since 1998. I can name off more failures and bums than i can name off players that were actually helpfull to the Cubs. Some of these guys had 1 good season and then just blew chunks the rest of their time as a Cub. This is the reason the Cubs suck year in and year out especially in the last 5 years. Its the lightning in the bottle approach that the Cubs have been doing for decades. Sometimes it works most of the time it fails.
But to say a guy putting up a .300 BA, .400 OBP, 50 HR's and 100+ RBI and RUNS a year ISNT helping the team is just plain wrong. I thought the point of baseball was to get on base, score runs and drive in runs? Sorry to say but 1 man cant put a team in the WS. Which means you have to put the talent around Sosa to get a winning team. Our talent level compared to the Cardinals and Giants is ridiculous and we all have the same amount of payrolls. You have to increase the overall talent on the club while keeping what you got. The Cubs have not done that. They havent done that for years. Yet it is Sosa's fault? I dont buy that for a second.
Back to Loretta?
The Chicago Sun Times is saying Hendry is back on the trail of getting Mark Loretta.
"Loretta won't come cheap, and he might be overpriced in the big picture because his .310 batting average ranks 15th in the National League. But since the Cubs' offense has needed a boost at third base for, oh, about 30 years, time's a-wastin'"
"In previous talks, the snag was Towers' insistence on Hendry taking a high-priced pitcher--thought to be Kevin Jarvis--as well as Loretta. Sometimes that extra money dump works out for the club on the receiving end, but not often. Hendry is not in the market for overpriced pitching risks."
I have warmed to the idea of Loretta in the last week or so. If he can keep his avg around .300 he should be able to bring a good #2 or #1 bat to the order.
But Hendry isnt in the market for overpriced pitching risks? What was Alfonseca? Or an ageing Remlinger? Or even Estes? I think Hendry is in love with over priced pitching risks to be honest.
Well finally the All-Star break is over and we can go back real baseball. The Cubs start off a 3 game series vs the Marlins tonight. The probables are.....
Fri 7/18 Clement (7-7, 4.39, 95 K) vs. Redman (7-4, 3.26, 72 K)
Sat 7/19 Wood (9-6, 3.19, 156 K) vs. Beckett (3-4, 3.86, 59 K)
Sun 7/20 Zambrano (6-8, 3.58, 94 K) vs. Willis (9-1, 2.08, 79 K)
This starts a tough stretch of about a month against alot of teams that are over .500. Its very very important the Cubs start off strong and atleast take 2 of 3 from the Marlins. I still think this team is gonna lay down and die in the second half, but i can pray that they will atleast make it interesting. Just take it one series at a time.
UPDATE: Prior has been pushed back till Tuesday with soreness in his shoulder due to the collision with Marcus Giles about a week ago. So Zamb should be moved up to start Sun and Estes will pitch Mon against Atlanta.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
The Sporting News is reporting that the Pirates are willing to trade anyone on their roster.
"The Cubs also are interested in Pirates third baseman Aramis Ramirez, whose salary increases from $3 million to $6 million next season"
Ramirez would be a nice addition to the Cubs. Maybe Kelton and Hill for him? I dont know.
I wouldnt mind if the Cubs went after Chad Tracy of the D-backs. He was in the futures game and is hitting .317 at AAA Tucson. He is kinda blocked with Hillenbrand, Counsell and the host of other rookies who the D-backs have brought up to fill in for injuries. He could probably be had on the cheap.
Saturday, July 12, 2003
Ok I have to comment on Dontrelle Willis and the trade that sent him away. I keep hearing how the Alfonseca/Clement for Willis trade was bone headed or stupid deal. Really, last year people knew who Dontrelle Willis was? That's a shocker. I seem to remember a different trade, Alfonseca/Clement, for Tavarez trade.
In fact it was applauded for getting a half way decent closer. Not a great closer but a serviceable one (Remember Tom Gordon? He was injured). And a pitcher with a lot of potential that has never really lived up to it. For a guy that was pretty much hated in Chicago for his attitude and comments in Tavarez.
It was labeled as a "Steal", "Brilliant", "Shrewd", "Genius", and a more off collar remark as "raping" the Marlins GM of his players.
Reading some of the comments on message boards and listening to fans you would think these people knew who Willis was before April 1st of this year. I would go as far to say, as 99% of these people didn't know whom Dontrelle Willis was after May 31st. I sure didn't.
Their was no way to predict how good Willis was gonna be. And it's pretty silly and foolish to look back on it and say it was a bad deal. It was not a bad deal no matter how awesome Willis gets or how terrible Alfonseca gets (can it get much worse?).
We traded a little talent to fill some holes right away, unfortunately there was a diamond in the rough and his name was Dontrelle Willis. At least be comforted with the thought that 30 other GM's passed on him 5+ times each before the Cubs in the 7th round drafted him. Every team in baseball had a shot to get Willis mania on their team.
Thursday, July 10, 2003
What a Stinker
Estes pitched half way decent today, but thats not saying much for him. Farnsworth had an unusual ineffective outing today, only to be replaced by Alfonseca.
Is it me or was it when the ball was misplayed in the OF that the very next pitch to Henry Blanco, Alfonseca served up a gofer ball just for spite? I guess thats his way of sticking it to the Cubs fans for booing him. What a waste.