Sunday, October 31, 2004


Every time Kerry talks about Afghanistan he looks like an idiot...

Within days of Sept. 11, the clueless airhead president that inhabits Michael Moore's films and Tina Brown's dinner parties had done this: forced Pakistan into alliance with us, isolated the Taliban, secured military cooperation from Afghanistan's northern neighbors, and authorized a radical war plan involving just a handful of Americans on the ground, using high technology and local militias to utterly rout the Taliban.

President Bush put in place a military campaign that did in two months what everyone had said was impossible: defeat an entrenched, fanatical, ruthless regime in a territory that had forced the great British and Soviet empires into ignominious retreat. Bush followed that by creating in less than three years a fledgling pro-American democracy in a land that had no history of democratic culture and was just emerging from 25 years of civil war.

This is all barely remembered and barely noted. Most amazing of all, John Kerry has managed to transform our Afghan venture into a failure -- a botched operation in which Bush let Osama bin Laden get away because he "outsourced" bin Laden's capture to "warlords" in the battle of Tora Bora.

Outsourced? The entire Afghan war was outsourced. How does Kerry think we won it? How did Mazar-e Sharif, Kabul and Kandahar fall? Stormed by thousands of American GIs? They fell to the "warlords" we had enlisted, supported and directed. It was their militias that overran the Taliban.

Everyone completly forgets that point. We overthrew a regime in a country that ground up British and Russian armies in the past. Then on top of that in less than 3 years we gave them the first opportunity at free elections and it was a spectacular success. Kerry thinks the war against terrorism will be over the day Bin Laden is captured. I am sorry but it wont. Yes it would be nice to capture him or kill him but in the grand picture of securing free elections for millions of people he really is small potatoes. You have to go on, and that is exactly what Bush has done, continue with the plan of spreading freedom and democracy to the middle east regardless of what Bin Laden does.

This Bin Laden tape just recently released you need to ask yourself this question. Why did Al Jeeza only air 6 minutes of the 18 minutes of the tape? Usually they play the whole thing. Makes you wonder, makes you want to find out what they left out. Good thing is that the New York Post had the chance to see the whole tape.

bin Laden bemoans the recent democratic elections in Afghanistan and the lack of violence involved with it.

On the tape, bin Laden also says his terror organization has been hurt by the U.S. military's unrelenting manhunt for him and his cohorts on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

A portion of the left-out footage includes a tirade aimed at President Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, claiming the war in Iraq is purely over oil.

Hmmm doesnt sound like the big bad Bin Laden does it? In fact go read the whole transcript via the Belmont Club. Which notes some key points...

It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out.

"If you leave us alone we will leave you alone." Belmont club probably got that in this Bin Laden quote...

Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al Qaeda. Your security is in your hands. Each state that doesn't mess with our security has automatically secured their security.

Sounds like Bin Laden wanting a timeout to me, so he can regroup. I find it amazing that Bin Laden has gone from all his firey rhetoric to, "Please GET OFF MY ASS AMERICA!" Yeah because Bush certainly isnt going to ease up on the pressure. Bin Laden's only chance is from a Kerry quote of "returning to tried and true policies of the 90's." You know treat it as a police action and send the FBI instead of Delta Force. That worked out well in the 90's huh? Nothing bad happened later on did it?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Dumbest Trade of the Year

I know you can't have a good trade every time you do one. But the Cruz for Pratt trade is easily the dumbest trade of the year for the Cubs.

I guess it just proves the point to keep Jim Hendry as far as possible away from the "real" GM's in baseball. The Atlanta organization practically raped us in the Cruz trade.

It's not to hard to ask but could we of atleast gotten a prospect who could find the strikezone? I don't care if his fastball topped out at 68 MPH it would of been better than Andy Pratt by leaps and bounds. Last I heard Pratt was taken off the 40-man roster and is now in Milwaukee.

What a Perfect Ending

Congratulations are in order for the 2004 Chicago Cubs. You have now officially gone down as the most hated team in the history of the franchise! Lets have a round of applause for this collection of whiners, malcontents, and idiots!

Yesterday Steve Stone resigned and will not be back next year.

Stone, 57, didn't disclose his reasons in an open letter he wrote to Cubs fans, saying "I do not want to be forced into sharing my side of the story."

But according to Cubs and broadcast sources, Stone thought the climate had become too tense for him to operate comfortably within the organization. Stone's pointed remarks about the team during the last week of the season angered Cubs President Andy MacPhail, general manager Jim Hendry and manager Dusty Baker. They thought the comments were personal in nature.

Awww poor babies. Your team stunk it up in the second half, 95% healthy I might add, what did they expect? For Stone and Chip to laugh it off, shrug, and go "Gosh golly gee we almost had them! What a great season! Maybe Next Year..........AGAIN!"

And all of this can be traced back to one single person. Dusty Baker. Congratulations Dusty you have now worn out your welcome in Chicago. Rick Morissey has an excellent article about the
Cubs credibility.

Stone later talked with manager Dusty Baker and general manager Jim Hendry, and although he wasn't happy about what he felt had been a lack of support from the organization throughout the season, he believed they had reached an understanding. He was ready to start fresh next season.

Both Hendry and Baker said they wanted it known that, although they had no problem with Stone's on-air analysis, they were upset with what they perceived as his personal agenda against Baker.

I don't know maybe Steve Stone was getting tired of a piss poor manager run the Cubs into the ground. I certainly am. But what pisses me off was that the issue was apparently resolved, then Hendry and Baker sniped back that it was a personal grudge.

It was that conference call with reporters and another one the same day with Baker that angered Stone and made him realize he could no longer work with the Cubs, a source said Thursday night. The toxic working conditions that made him miserable in 2004 likely were going to be there in 2005.

Again Baker involved in the decision of Stone resigning.

I know were talking about a manager versus a broadcaster. And most time I will take the manager over some stupid man in the booth. But a lot of us have grown up watching Steve Stone, we know he is an intelligent person who loves the Cubs. Harey Carey was the face of the Cubs for long time, but Steve Stone ranks up there just as high. That is why this is a sad day when a manager who knows nothing about our franchise disrespects it's history and it's fans by forcing a guy like Stone away from his job.

I don't care that we finished .500 two straight years. It means nothing to me. In my opinion a 12 year old could manage this team just as well as Dusty Baker. Dusty is just in the right place at the right time in Cubs history, nothing more. If you want a real lesson in managing take a look at the 1998 Cubs under Jim Riggleman. I still haven't figured out how that team managed to win 90 games. But I know one thing they did a hell a lot more with a hell of a lot less than Baker. But you know what? Riggleman was in the right place at the right time as well. A year later he was fired. I can only wish for the same thing to take place.

You can say the winner of the battle between the Cubs' baseball side and the Cubs' business side was the one holding the bat in the end. But nobody won here. Not Hendry and MacPhail, who didn't do enough to stop a bad situation from getting worse. Not Baker and the players, who bear the most responsibility for Stone's departure.

In the end the fans lost out and in the process exposed who was really in charge of the future of the franchise. Dusty Baker.

NOTE: Yes I have hated Dusty since the day he was hired, and this incident makes me loath him more than ever. In Dusty We Trust? That is like trusting an airline pilot who just drank a half a bottle of vodka to land your plane on an aircraft carrier.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

No Beltran, No Problem

While I am still in the camp that Beltran is a pimp dream to be a Chicago Cub I can still believe the Yankees will end up being his ultimate next stop. People forget that Bernie Williams is about done and I believe he has one more year left. Beltran could easily start in CF with Williams getting about 300-400 AB's coming off the bench. I also have no idea how much longer Sheffeild will continue playing with one arm either. So it makes sense if your the GM of the Yankees to lock up a position on your roster when other guys are approaching the end of their careers.

The obvious counter point is that the Yankees need pitching, and they need it badly. And that is a very real arguement by some which would keep Beltran from going to the Yankees.

So this is where my armchair GM crazy thinking comes into place. The Yanks sign Beltran. The Cubs ship Kerry Wood for Hideki Matsui. This helps the Yanks keep a pretty good offense, and get some young pitching. This would also tie into the Yanks purseing Tim Hudson who is a free agent in another year as well. Remember always thinking ahead...

This move would allow the Cubs to pursue either Renteria or Nomar to fill SS. And if by some act of god the Sosa contract could be shipped then a Drew or Magglio could fill out RF. You have to be creative as a GM and give a little to get a little. I still think Jim Hendry is not a creative GM and does not have enough insight to think 2-3 steps ahead. By time the 2005 season opens the Cubs could dramatically upgrade the offensive with little overall damage to the team or it's payroll.

I did the math earlier in the year and if the Cubs dont resign the players that shouldnt be resigned then that frees up about $18 million I believe.

Wood (8 million) - Matsui (7 million)
Nomar/Renteria - (10 million?)
18+8-7-10= 9 million left to spend on whatever else the team needs.

Now if Sosa could be moved and we pay half of his salary it gets a little better...
Sosa (8.5 million, paying half his salary)
Drew/Magglio - (10-15 million?)
9+8.5-12.5= 5 million left.

Some extremly rough math but it is possible to turn over the current roster and build a better team.

I would sacrifice Wood and eat half of Sosa's contract if it meant a lineup something close to this.

Patterson - L
Drew - L
Nomar - R
Matsui - L
Am-Ram - R
Walker - L
Lee - R
Barrett - R

The other version may look better to those that don't want anything to do with Corey Patterson.

Renteria - R
Drew - L
Am-Ram - R
Matsui - L
Lee - R
Walker - L
Barrett - R
Patterson - L

Honestly I will defend Patterson against most things, and I am a pretty huge Nomar fan. But I like the bottom version better due to the fact that it gives a perfect lefty - righty balance. I have my concerns about Renteria and a return to his low OBP days but willing to take that risk.

The other obvious improvement would be OBP.

Drew - .436 OBP
Ramirez - .373 OBP
Matsui - .390 OBP
Lee - .356 OBP
Walker - .352 OBP

Hmmm now if only I could be the Cubs GM.

Ok guys hop off the Fantasy Bus and let Jim Hendry work. I cant wait to see who is our next Lenny Harris/Jose Macias/Tom Goodwin/Rey Ordonez/Neifi Perez player for 2005. Did I leave anyone out?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Congrats to the Redsox!

The Redsox just completed the sweep of the Cardinals and winning their first World Championship in 86 years.

If your a member of the 2004 World Championship Redsox you should probably consider moving there on a permanent basis. People will clap and cheer for you the rest of your life, and dont ever worry about buying a beer again. The Redsox nation will not allow it, so dont even try. Immortilzed in Redsox history, treated as a god, how can you not pack up the wife and kids?

Sound like something the current Cubs roster would like to achieve? Or maybe a respective free agent? Tick Tock Tick Tock, 100 years of futility is just around the corner. I hope this lights the fire under this team and management to finally put a complete team together.

Ohh BTW is Curt Schilling interested in slaying another dragon and going down as the single most important player in the history of baseball? He helped take down the mighty 86 year curse. But can he slay the 96 year one on the Cubs? I think I am going call Schilling and tell him that he is a p***y for picking on the weak curses.

Bush or Kerry?

Call this an experiment in perception.....

If one candidate came out and said that "He would make some sort of community service a prerequisite for graduation from any U.S. high school" who would it be? Or said "Make national service a way of life by requiring mandatory service for high school kids."

Feel free to research those statements after you have come to the conclusion. I dont expect any responses, just that people discover the facts on their own. Don't let the media shape your perceptions.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Pedro Pitching Inside

I was listening to a sports talk radio show and they were discussing what might be in store for game 3 in the World Series when Pedro Martinez pitches. They came to the conclusion that Pedro would not pitch inside and push batters off the plate like he does in the America League because now he has to bat and the opposing pitchers will have a chance for pay back.

I laughed when I heard that, and said non-sense. The same was said of Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens when they came over to the National League and they have pitched exactly the same and in some cases better.

A bunch of hype will be put around this little fairy tale myth for game three, but Pedro Martinez will pitch the way he has his entire career. Pound people inside and throw brush back pitches to keep the batter thinking about ducking every once in awhile. Also the Cardinals I don't believe will get caught up in the tick for tack ball game. If Pedro nails someone, the Cardinals will not come back the next inning and nail someone in retribution. They didn't do it against the Cubs and they certainly wont put extra runners on base against a very good Boston offense in the World Series.

Yeah it will be fun to watch Pedro bat, but beyond that it won't make much difference in how the game is going to be played.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Looking Back

I didn't get a chance to be part of the Cub Reporters blogger round table but I answered some of the questions anyways, lets see how they panned out...

Q: Most pundits agree that the Cubs have one of the best rotations in baseball. Will the rotation live up to the hype? If so, which pitcher will have the best year? If not, who will falter, and will the team be able to overcome it?

CP - For the most part the rotation will live up to the hype. The only way it wont will be because of injury. By far Mark Prior will have the best year. He is leaps and bounds ahead of where Wood should be.

I guess that's like a, "well duh" comment, but Prior did not have the best year.

Q: Which, if any, of the Cubs pitching prospects will make an impact on the team this year?

CP - None. Baker as we all know has zero patience with rookies. There is always some crusty veteran who Baker thinks is better than some nobody prospect. Shawn Estes, and Lenny Harris are perfect examples. And afterall were talking about a man who benched Rich Aurilla for a year so he could play the crafty veteran Jose Vizcaino in San Fran.

A tough call on this one. Weurtz and Leicester pitched well at times with Leicester having a pretty good year. 41 IP, 35 SO's, 3.89 ERA, 5-1 record. Impact? I don't know.

Q: What should be done with Juan Cruz?

CP - For the sake of his career he needs to be traded. I think all Jose Cruz wants is a legit shot in the rotation, anyone's rotation. He has no future with the Cubs barring catastrophic injuries to the front 5.

Well he was traded and became a regular bullpen man in Atlanta. Maybe the comment should of been he just needs to feel wanted, period. With Baker he was jerked back and forth in the rotation and the minors. 72 IP, 70 SO's, .224 BAA, 2.75 ERA, with Atlanta. Tell me again why we didn't need those kind of numbers? Don't be surprised if he ends up being Atlanta's closer soon.

Q: How much better is the Cubs bullpen this season than it was in 2003?

CP - Overall its a little bit better. I don't trust Remlinger or Mercker to remain effective. And if Borowski falters your down to 1-2 dependable arms. What is this an even numbered year? Which Kyle Farnsworth is gonna show up? I hope its not the 7.00 ERA one. A lot of people need to remain effective out of this aging pen to be a significant improvement.

Mercker and Remlinger were effective when healthy so I was wrong on that account. And I nailed the bad Farnsworth year. Overall the bullpen was not much better than last years, they still blew way to many games.

Q: While there are very few questions about the pitching, there are plenty of questions about the offense. Will the Cubs score enough runs to hold off the Astros in the NL Central?

CP - Not if they repeat the hitting from last year. And that should be no problem to avoid. But expect a lot of droughts in the offense like what happened last year. The Cubs can win 15-2 one day then get shut out the next 2 games. We still don't hit RHP very well, I think around .250 overall. And our division and the National League as a whole is dominated by very good RHP. Its going to be all about getting the 3 run homerun this year. Just like it has the last 3-4 years. Not a good sign.

Yes it was not a good sign as the Cubs offense continued to sputter. But something very weird happened this year with the splits. The Cubs hit a respectable .273 against RHP but only .249 against LHP. Usually it is the other way around as most of our hitters are better at hitting LHP.

Q: Who will have a better 2004, Michael Barrett or Damian Miller?

Damian Miller - I think Barrett is nothing more than a Alex Gonzalez clone with the bat. Were are gonna miss Miller's defense, and Barrett's small improvement in hitting over Miller wont be enough to take away from his defensive short comings.

Ok I was way harsh on Barrett. I didn't believe in him, but he changed my mind over the course of the season. But was he better than Miller offensively?

Barrett - .287 BA, 16 HR, 65 RBI
Miller - .272 BA, 9 HR, 58 RBI

Yes he was, but not by much. To my credit I expected much worse from both these guys with Miller being less sucky. So I will put that down as dead wrong, or should it be an ohh so close? -shrug-

But I do miss Millers defense, Barrett had some key passed balls down the stretch that lead to big innings from opposing teams. Overall I was pleased with Barretts defense this season, he actually improved, which is better than remaining the same or declining.

Q: Who will have a better 2005, Derrek Lee or Hee Seop Choi?

CP - Derek Lee. I am not quite in the boat that Derek Lee will have a monster year just because he is in Chicago compared to the Florida. What I don't get is a move to Chicago for Lee means he will have monster numbers while if Pudge came to Chicago his numbers would decrease? Huh? People seem to knock Pudge for playing in the SAME EXACT park but prop up Derek Lee on a golden horse. That train of thought doesnt jive.

And it didn't jive as Lee actually sported identical stats as what he put up in Florida. BIG SURPRISE, well not to me atleast. Jim Thome is elite, Derek Lee is good, and that's it.

Q: The Choi for Lee trade was a classic example of trading potential for current performance. Do you think it was the right trade to make for this year? What about for the future of the team?

CP - Yeah it was the right trade to make to win this year. On the other side it sends a terrible message to an organization who has troubles developing positional talent. If you don't come out hitting like Albert Pujols your trade bait. It puts tremendous pressure on minor league talent to be good right away. And very very very few players hit straight out of the gate.

I still think the trade sent a bad message to our minor leaguers. No change on that.

Q: Jim Hendry was very active this winter. Everyone expects the Lee and Maddux acquisitions to help the team immensely. Was there another, lesser transaction the Cubs made this winter that you think will have a significant impact on the team?

CP - Todd Walker. Mark Grudz has never put up back to back good seasons. And I don't expect him to do it this year. I put Walker down as one of the players the Cubs should get over a slowing Luis Castillo. He brings a much needed ability to hit RHP that we are missing, and he has RBI and extra base potential. Plus he makes a cool $1.75 million your going to get your moneys worth with him.

I don't put Walker down as having a significant impact because he barely played down the stretch. I said it at the beginning of the season and I said it when Grudz came back from injury that if you want to lose you play Grudz and if you want to win you play Walker. Baker wanted Grudz to play, so we lost. I know it's a lot more complicated than that, but that is just the way I feel about the Walker, Grudz situation.

Grudz actually put up another decent year for the time he played but his RBI ability is still seriously lacking. Walker proved he is the better offensive threat.

Q: What sort of seasons do you expect Moises Alou and Corey Patterson to have? If one or the other struggles, will Dusty pull them from the lineup, or stick with them?

CP - I want Moises to hit .350 again. But I don't see it happening. He is pretty injury prone, so he will probably miss significant time this year, which will just make Todd Hollandsworth our every day LFer. Alou will be given every chance in the world to play if he remains healthy. If he is hitting .230, he will still be our #4/#5 hitter. Remeber who is our manager.
Patterson should jump right back on the horse and continue to do what he was doing last year. Patterson doesnt walk, has speed, and power. He is a Dusty player, he will play if only hits .230 as well. Well as long as he jacks 30 HR's. OBP be damned.

Dead wrong about Alou's fragile body as he stayed healthy and actually had a pretty good year. Alou and Patterson both had some terrible hitting months that were below the .200 line I believe, but they remained in the every day lineup.

I think Patterson jumped right back on the horse and had a fine season. I know most wont agree but I liked what I saw from him this year. He played a much better CF than I thought he could, and showed that he has a deadly and accurate arm from the OF. .266 BA, 24 HR, 72 RBI, 91 Runs scored. I am happy with that since he is 25. I expect more in the coming years.

The obvious major drawbacks are his low OB due to not taking walks and extreme SO's which totaled 168 this year. Those numbers can't continue. But I am willing to stick with it for a few years to find out where he is headed. That is unless ofcourse Beltran kicks him to the curb, then I really don't give a damn about Patterson. I just don't think the Cubs will even be in the bidding for Beltran.

Q: Who will get more playing time at second base, Mark Grudzielanek or Todd Walker? Who should get more playing time?

Baker has already said its Grudz's job. You know my stance, Walker.

Due to injury Walker played more at 2nd base.

Q: How close is Sammy Sosa to being a Hall of Famer?

CP - He already is. I can already hear the Sammy Bashers screaming bloody murder. He has one of the greatest 5 year runs in the history of baseball. His career numbers also are worthy of induction. No question he is a Hall of Famer.

Yep still believe that.

Q: Recently, GM Jim Hendry locked up Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood and Derrek Lee for the next few years. Who on the current roster, if anyone, should get the
next long-term contract?

CP - Aramis Ramirez. Considering how long it took for us to find a decent 3rd it would be insane for Hendry to just let him walk away. If he hits 15 HR's and drives in 75 RBI. He will still be locked up.

I believe he was signed long term, though I could be wrong.

Q: As a Cubs fan, are you having a hard time dealing with the fact that the Cubs go into this season as favorites?

CP - Not really, every year I hope Cubs are going to win the division and the World Series no matter how horrible I think the team might be. But there is a difference between being the hunter (last year) and the hunted (this year). Should be great to find out how the team handles it.

Yes there was a big difference in being the hunter and the hunted and the Cubs did not handle it well. They bitched, moaned, complained, and found excuses in everyone else but themselves for their failures.

Q: What are you looking forward to about the 2004 Cubs? What are you dreading about them?

CP - By far the pitching. Last year was pretty fun, but I dreaded waking up and seeing Estes name on the day to pitch when I had the day off. GREAT, Cubs baseball, day off, Shawn FREAKING Estes. Shoot me now. This year I will have the pleasure of waking up and not caring who is pitching, because they are all going to be so much fun to watch.
Again the offense. Us fans will scream at the TV for wasted opportunities. Lead off double, followed by SO, walk, and then double play. Or everyone's favorite. Bases loaded no outs, infield pop fly, SO, liner out to the 1B. We should see some more HR's hopefully. HINT HINT - AmRam and Lee. Thats your que.

This year ended up being, god I hope no one is injured today. Again I was correct about dreading the offense as they did all of the above this year and much worse on some occasions. We saw a lot of HR's but it did not translate into a better offense at all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I Voted John Kerry Style!

John Kerry!
P.S. Congrats to the Redsox for beating the Yankees and advancing to the World Series.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My God Schilling

An amazing performance by Curt Schilling tonight. I can not imagine the pressure that he was under before this game. He had won 21 games during the regular season and was lit up in game of the series. Now he has to go out there and pitch in pain with an ankle that has a torn tendon in it. And not only did he do it, but he considered it his duty to make that start.

He know's he wasn't brought in to win 21 games, he was brought in to beat the Yankee's nothing more. And if all he had to show for it was game #1, his season was meaningless not only to himself but to Boston fans.

Nothing like putting the entire hopes of the Redsox nation on your back, in Schillings case, he thrives on it. Gutsy, Gutsy performance.

Off-Season Shopping List

The odds of trading Sosa are slim to none. With Magglio Ordonez and J.D. Drew both available this off-season why would a team trade for Sosa and his $17+ million dollar salary?

Now if someone was stupid enough to do that, I would be all for signing Magglio Ordonez and J.D. Drew. Because I don't think we have a shot in hell of getting Carlos Beltran.

But I fully expect Sosa to stay and the Cubs actively looking for a LF replacement for Alou.

Left Field - Who do I want? Magglio Ordonez. Yes he is a right handed hitter, and Drew is a left handed one but Mag's hits righties just as good as lefties. He is the type of hitter the Cardinals have in their lineup. A right handed batter who feasts on right handed pitching. When Sosa leaves/retires you can move him to RF, until then a worthy LF replacement

Typical Cubs move? Jermaine Dye. He has never been the same since his knee injury in the playoffs a few years ago. He is the perfect reclamation project the Cubs like to sign. They could probably sign him for around 5-6 million and pray for the best. The old "lightning in a bottle" trick the Cubs are famous for.

SS - Who do I want? Nomar Garciaparra. Renteria is a nice consolation prize but Nomar is the better offensive player. The only question with Nomar is can he stay healthy? What worries me about Renteria is that his OBP may flatten out. He had 2 good years of .360ish OBP and then he dropped to .327 this year, and only has a .345 over his career. Nomar is keeping his up around .360 on a consistent basis. I don't want another SS who cant get his OBP above .350.

Typical Cubs move? Christian Guzman. In an effort to get a left handed batter and some speed at the stop of the order the Cubs would pay him on the cheap, around 3-5 million to continue posting .260ish, .300 OBP seasons because he is only 26 and is bound to break out at any moment. Mainly because he is a switch hitter is why the Cubs would want him, imagine the possibilities!

2B - Who do I want? Todd Walker. We deserve to find out what he can do over a full season hitting #2 or #3 in this lineup. He only had 372 AB's and drove in 50 RBI. Grudz had 257 AB's and only had 23 RBI. You tell me, who was better for this offense?

Typical Cubs move? Todd Walker. He is here, wants to be here (I think) and is cheap. But for the sake of argument if the Cubs had to look elsewhere who would it be? Jeff Kent if the Astro's don't resign him. He is 36 years old which means the bottom is going to drop out sooner rather than later. Plus it fits perfectly in the Cubs mentality of passing on a player when he isn't too old yet and then waiting until he is too old to sign him.

Bullpen - Who do I want? No one. All that minor league pitching talent with virtually no room for them to make the major league roster. I am sure we have one decent closer that is undiscovered down there. And please god don't say Ryan Dempster should be our closer. Houston retools its bullpen with minor league talent nearly every year, why cant we?

Typical Cubs move? Troy Percival. He will bring that winners mentality and be able to show of his shiny World Series ring and tell the team the way it should be done. Reality is Percival is getting old quickly. He is not a long term solution and might not even be a short term solution. Again he is 36, the bottom will fall out sooner rather than later.

There are not a whole lot of fixes that are available this off-season. I fully expect the Cubs to field the same team they have over the last 2-3 season offensively. A poor one. A trade could shake things up, but that would mean Sosa or Lee would be moving. Everyone else has little or no value and others are untouchable.

But hey if I was being crazy I would offer Kerry Wood, and Derek Lee to Texas for Francisco Cordero, Mark Teixeira, and Chan Ho Park. Yes I know Park sucks, and he makes 13+ million a year, but you have to offer to take that bloated worthless contract off there hands if your handing them the salaries of Wood and Lee in exchange for cheapies like Teixeira and Cordero.

Solves the closer problem, and a left handed bat problem. I like Wood alot, but I am trying to make the team better over all, and I am trading from a position of strength because of our minor league pitching talent. It has been proven you can win a 100 games with 2 very good starters and 3 mediocre ones if you have a good offense. I am more than willing to go with Prior and Zambrano leading the way and filling in with whatever after that, provided it fixes the problems this team currently has that are it's Achilles heal. But that is only if I was crazy.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I'm Shocked!

The New York Times has endorsed John Kerry.

In my previous post I stated how the Bush haters can tell us everything that is wrong with Bush and why they hate him but nothing about John Kerry. The New York Times even proves my point on that. Out of 23 paragraphs only 3 paragraphs tell us why they support Kerry, the rest of it is Bush hatred to the core.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Fahrenhype 9/11

The Bush haters went out in droves to see Fahrenheit 9/11 and came back shocked, and in awe of the things Bush did! Sadly 90% of the film is a complete and utter lie. I don't expect the Bush haters to go and get the rebuttal film Fahrenhype 9/11 because it doesn't fit there fantasy world.

Fahrenhype 9/11 deals with FACTS, something Fahrenheit 9/11 and Michael Moore did not use in his film. I don't waste my money on a documentary that is supposed to be fact and ends up being fiction. So I will never ever rent or see Moore's version of reality, because it doesn't exist. I have read enough on the internet and people who fact checked Moore's film to know it is a waste of my time.

The single thing I hate the most is when someone uses the image of a dead soldier or a wounded soldier and distort his image of what he believes in. The interviews by some of these people who Moore put in his film will shock most anyone. Moore didn't ask for their permission, and they are pissed that Moore is distorting what they believe in. One mother does not want her son's image in any way being associated with Michael Moore. Her son wanted to be in the military, he believed in the mission. She finds it sickening the way her sons image is being distorted by Moore.

One thing I didn't like in Fahrenhype 9/11 was they used Ann Coulter in some parts. I am not particularly high on her, I think she is as bad as Michael Moore.

I guess you have to get one wacko to counter-act another wacko. Got to balance out the egos. To her credit she was toned down, and had some good points. They must of hit her with a tranquilizer gun before she went on camera.

Over all a good film.

Tip/test - Next time you meet or talk to a Kerry support and he starts going on and on about how he hates Bush, just ask him to name something that he likes about John Kerry. 90% of the first responses will be, "Well he's not Bush, thats for starters." After that I notice you get a long pause while the person searches his/her memory banks for something they like about Kerry.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Best Movie of the Year

Just a quick plug of a movie.

I am a sucker for a good sports movie. Miracle (about the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team) and The Rookie (about a 30+ year old pitcher making the majors) were good movies. But they do not hold a candle to Friday Night Lights.

If one movie lives up to the hype this year it is Friday Night Lights, the action is intense with some of the hardest and most crushing tackles I have ever seen. But at the same time it has a real story. This is the movie Varisty Blues with James Vanderbeek wanted to be but failed miserably at.

I dont normally do movie reviews but I was totally blown away by this movie. I expected good, but not great. If you do go see it, listen to the audience members during the championship game. See if people are yelling and screaming like they are really at the game. It felt like a football stadium in my theater, hell I even caught myself a few times blurting out things at the screen like the rest of them. To me that is the sign of a great movie, when the audience is caught up in it emotionally. Go see this movie!

Scare Tactics

"With George Bush, the plan for Iraq is more of the same and the great potential of a draft," Kerry said during a meeting with Register reporters and editors before headlining a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

For those of you Bush haters out there who think Bush is the one who will bring back the draft you should check this out.

Quick Summary - Democrat Charles Rangel is the one who introduce the legislation and five of his other democratic buddies. The Bill was then defeated by a 402-2 vote. Charles Rangel was even too embarrassed to cast his own vote on the matter.

So when you hear John Kerry talking about bringing back the draft it is nothing more than trying to pull at the strings of Vietnam one last time. It is a blatant lie ment to sway votes for the people who are uninformed. Don't be one of those people. Know the facts, then decide.

Is it any wonder why the military loves Bush?

A Little Redemption

I am still in my deep depression of the way the Cubs season ended but it's nice to see people getting fired that should be fired on this team. Wendell Kim as we all know by now has hit the road. A long over due firing but he is gone none the less.

The thing that peeked my interested was the firing of two cubs trainers. During the year I questioned the competence of Dave Groeschner's ability to properly treat this team and its injuries.

I even got to the point of saying that if our training staff said a guy would miss a few games you might as well tack on three or four more games, and for each week a player is expected to be out add an additional week for each week that he is diagnosed to miss. So if training staff said a guy would miss 2 weeks, that was code for him being out an entire month. Hendry was clearly upset with that.

Cubs injuries became a sore spot with Hendry, who clashed with reporters over team prognostications about how long injured players would be sidelined. Almost all recoveries took much longer than first expected, Hollandsworth's in particular, putting Hendry's credibility in question.

Another question was answered in the same article which was hard to find out. I remember looking through the site to see what happened to our previous trainer and I couldn't find out if he was fired or quit.

Groeschner becomes the second trainer fired in two years, following Dave Tumbas in 2003. Tumbas lasted six years but was dropped because of numerous injuries to the pitching staff.

First of all I would like to ask the question what pitching staff over the years Tumbas was the trainer? And Tumbas at least had his players quickly recover and back on the field with virtually no lingering effects.

A poster on the Cub reporter found out Groeschner's qualifications to be a trainer and they were seriously lacking in the experience department. He was a trainer, however he had qualifications that would barely make him an assistant much less a head trainer.

The only reason why Groeschner got the job was because Dusty Baker wanted him instead of Tumbas. Sometimes change is good, but sometimes you can end up with something much worse. This is a Dusty Baker decision that hurt this team a lot and Hendry is taking back control of this team.

When the coaching and medical staffs are completed, they will clearly be Hendry hires.

In other words, its a big f*** you to Baker that Hendry is sending. You hired all these bums who are incompetent, that cost us games, and dragged down team moral. I am stepping in and hiring the most qualified for the position, no more of your good buddies being hired. And I applaud that. The next step in that process is saying the same thing to Baker on team construction. No more getting Baker the greatest collection of .250 hitting infielders and OFer's. No more stocking the team full of power hitters that cant get on base. Hendry needs to build a balanced everyday roster, and the only way he can do that is giving the big fat middle finger to Baker's suggestions. Stock the team with the best talent available and then tell Baker it's your job to make them win. End of story, no more excuses.

One final thought...Dave Tumbas was fired in my opinion because he was not a Baker boy. I think he did a pretty good job last year keeping our team healthy through a lot of pesky little injuries and not allowing them to get out of hand. I can only sit and wonder what Dave Tumbas could have done to ensure Mark Prior was healthy coming into this year. I have cried and moaned about how Prior was injured in Sept of last year and how Baker increased his workload. But Prior's pitching in that month was stellar. Whatever Tumbas was doing it was working. Then Tumbas was fired and it seems like any treatment of previous injuries to Prior were forgotten about. Again just personal opinion but I believe if Tumbas had remained as our trainer Prior would of started most of the year, and many injuries this team suffered would of been quickly treated and had them back out on the field.

So yeah I am kind of happy that Groeschner got fired. I saw that he was a poor trainer months ago, and I am glad Hendry saw that as well.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Steve Stone

I wanted to comment about this earlier but couldn't find time.

The feud between Steven Stone and Dusty Baker/Players is amusing and shows how shallow this team has been this year. I was aware of Alou crying about Steve Stone but wasn't aware of this one.

The feud escalated July 22 when outfielder Moises Alou referred to Stone and Chip Caray as "too negative." Baker defended Alou the next day. The controversy flared anew Aug. 27 when pitcher Kent Mercker called the press box during a game to complain about Caray and Stone praising Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt during a Cubs loss.

Middle of a pennant race and a player calls during a game? Let me guess its the press box to blame for our team's struggle this season. They can't handle two middle age guys who just tell it the way it is. No wonder this team flopped last year in the playoffs when the pressure was on to win 1 game out of 4 to get to the World Series. The poll on the website shows the fans are behind Steve Stone all the way. 91% say keep him him overall, and 4% say can him.

Stone has been upset at Baker for allowing Mercker to berate him on the team charter and at the team hotel without fear of recrimination.

Baker lost control of this team and failed as a manager. No player should ever be allowed to do that, but under Dusty's ship it has been ok to act like an idiot and lose. Those things get in the way of winning.

Let me just get one thing straight. Dusty Baker may be a popular manager to most Cubs fans but he isnt more popular than Steve Stone. It sounds kind of stupid taking the side of a broadcaster over a manager. But I dont think one Cubs fan would have a problem if Steve Stone was the manager of the Chicago Cubs. Many of us have grown up on his broadcasting and know he is a extremly smart man when it comes to strategy in the game. If push came to shove and one or the other had to go, Cubs fans would kick Dusty Baker out on the first bus out of town.

Simply amazing what this team concentrates on and gets fired up for in the middle of a pennant race.