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Browsing posts from January, 2009

Glavine Speaks Clearly

By bullpenbrian - January 7, 2009 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Brett Favre took note of Tom Glavine’s decision not to hold his team hostage during the off season?

While openly stating he’d enjoy another season in Atlanta, the lefty has graciously offered to pitch elsewhere if the Braves don’t want him back for 2009.

There’s no reading in-between the lines, no confusion as to what’s being asked for and most importantly, no drama.

Although, with Smoltz setting sail for Boston, I think it’s more likely Glavine follows suit and heads east as well.

The Mets seem like the most logical option…easy transition for Glavine and the club has yet to broker a deal with any of the top F.A. pitchers on the market.

Not that Glavine -a 300 game winner- has anything more to prove, but you’d have to believe Tommy would be in favor of redeeming himself in New York after his final start of the 2007 season which sealed the deal for the Mets’ historic collapse: 7 ER, 5 H & 2 BB in 0.1 of an inning against Florida.

I say, go for it Glavine.

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Griffey Still Better Than Bradley

By bullpenbrian - January 6, 2009 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

During the past four seasons Ken Griffey Jr. has averaged 41 more games played than Milton Bradley.

Since 2005 Griffey averages 131 games per season…Bradley averages just 90.

In this same time frame Griffey has posted 110 HRs, 328 RBIs vs. Bradley’s 62 HRs and 204 RBIs.

And you’re telling me a left-handed batting Bradley is a better sign for the Cubs than Junior?

Put Griffey in Wrigley’s small outfield, platoon him with Gathright and Fukudome, and let the man chase his ring with Chicago.

Not to mention, Griffey would be a far better addition to the clubhouse and would come to the North Side at a far more reasonable rate than Milton’s 3-years $30 million.

My prediction that Griffey ends up with Tampa Bay or Seattle appears spot-on after reading this report.

Of course, this isn’t a brilliant uncovering on my part, but the result of common sense.

Griffey’s agent, however, says six teams are interested in signing Junior…probably lasting no more than two seasons.

And whereas Tampa Bay appears to make the most sense for Griffey, given his family commitments (which resides in Orlando), the Rays’ signing of Pat the Bat greatly lessens that possibility.

Obviously, a return to Seattle is the fan’s choice for Griffey, but I think Junior surprises us all by signing elsewhere.

The guy has always been in search of a ring…Seattle isn’t postseason bound…and the Rays chances for a championship are always tough playing in the AL East.

Noting Junior has lost more than “a step” defensively, my best guess says Ken goes for an AL team where he’ll have the opportunity to DH.

So I’ll go out on a limb with this prediction…Junior signs with Boston to fill-in for an ailing Big Papi, or with Atlanta to stay close to home and help lead the Braves past New York in the East!

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The Milton Bradley Game

By bullpenbrian - January 5, 2009 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

He learned this in chemistry?

Bradley learned this in chemistry class?

Jim Leyland says chemistry is a class in high school, not something that exists in a baseball clubhouse.

Well, I disagree…they’re people in this world I definitely get along with more than others, and the social interaction I share with them has a lot to do with it.

Sure, nothing prevents bad chemistry from surfacing better than money (or a winning record), but even in good times chemistry is a fragile thing.

And when clubs lose its Mojo, they lose their way in the standings too.

That being said, in one week the Cubs have traded one of its best chemistry guys (DeRosa) for one of the league’s worst (Milton Bradley).

There’s a reason Bradley has played for seven different teams in nine years…he’s a bad chemistry guy.

After all, why else would the Expos, Indians, Dodgers, A’s, Padres and Rangers deal a hitter with a lifetime .280 average and career .370 OBP?

Bradley is a time bomb, plain and simple. We have no idea when he’ll blow his top, we just know it’s a matter of time before he will.

So, I don’t care how high Milton’s OBP was last year (tops in the AL .436), some things (not many! ) are more important than home runs, RBIs and OBP…clubhouse chemistry is one of them.

Obviously, I’m not in favor of the signing. They’re several other F.A. outfielders who can match Milton statistically, not to mention, they’re likely far more durable than Bradley who’s played no more than 126 games in a season since 2004.

Yes, as a switch-hitter Bradley fills a need in this Cubs’ lineup, but I’m afraid he also creates a much greater need inside the Chicago clubhouse as well.

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A New ‘C’ for DeRosa

By bullpenbrian - January 3, 2009 - 2:15 am Leave a comment.

Replacing Mark DeRosa in the lineup won’t be as difficult as finding a new quote machine for the Cubs.

Always well spoken, DeRosa was a regular guest on Chicago sports radio as well as the mouthpiece for the the Cubs’ players in the post game interviews.

It’s rare these days to find any player who speaks his mind truthfully rather than settling for the good ‘ol sports cliches.

Still, on the baseball side it’s not a bad move by Hendry; DeRosa’s stock is high after setting career highs at the plate in HR (21), RBIs (87), walks (69) and runs (103).

And, at 33-years-old Mark will finally have a full-time spot at with Cleveland at 3B – or wherever else he’s needed.

The addition of Aaron Miles fills the utility-role left vacant with DeRosa’s departure to Cleveland and it’s also time to find out if Mike Fontenot can be an everyday player at 2B.

Completing the D-Ro deal are three minor league pitchers, none of which appear to be around for long in the Cubs organization.

Everything I’m reading says Hendry is going to swing the newly acquired prospects in another deal, preferably for a left-handed power bat.

And let’s face it, nothing brightens a trade proposal like young starting pitching…something EVERY TEAM is in search of these days.

Of course, I feel disappointed for DeRosa, a stand up guy who wanted nothing more than to help bring a championship to the North Side.

Sure, in many ways Cleveland offers DeRosa similar opportunities: the Indians haven’t won a championship since 1948, the Jake is a modern day gem and the club itself is a legitimate playoff contender.

All that being said, nothing quite matches playing in Wrigley Field on a team World Series bound.

So long No. 7, we’ll miss you, especially in the post game.

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Wrigley + Hawks = Cubs

By bullpenbrian - January 1, 2009 - 5:00 am Leave a comment.

Leave it to the home team at Wrigley Field to disappoint in a big game.

The Hawks might as well as worn Cubby blue with the “C” on the sweater.

Up early and down late is the typical game recap of a post season atmosphere for the good guys playing on the North Side.

Of course, the event itself was a true spectacle and certainly one of the most exciting sporting event I’ve ever been to in my life…it’s definitely in my top three.

If anything, the Hawks’ controlling 3-1 lead after one period was worth the false hope that Chicago might actually beat the defending world champs for the first time this season (0-3-1).

And although I’m not against Huet starting the game, he should’ve been pulled earlier in favor of Khabibulin who entered late in the third period.

By the way, great retaliation hit by Seabrook on Dan Cleary (who knuckled Kane Tuesday night), not only does Cleary go head-over-heels into the Hawks’ bench but, his return to the ice brought about a too many men on the ice penalty.

Still a bit surprised we didn’t see a single fight, especially with Burish back in the lineup.

Today’s game boils down to this: the Redwings are far superior to the Blackhawks, bottom line.

Detroit is skilled, tough and full of championship caliber players who can skate circles around Chicago when they want to…and that’s just what they did from the second period on.

Doesn’t mean the Hawks can’t match Detroit’s level of play down the road but, Chicago is still a year or two away from giving Detroit a competitive seven game series in April.

  • Notes: Bob Costas earlier this week: “Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Blackhawks went on to the Stanley Cup Finals, having played a game at Wrigley, then they’ve done better than any team that played at Wrigley since 1945.”
  • According to NHL.com, the rink sits 112 feet from home plate and 288 feet from the center-field wall.

Top moment was the National Anthem (pic SI)

Top moment was the National Anthem (pic SI)

I went with four layers, two pair of socks and Bud Light (pic SI)

I went with four layers, two pair of socks and Bud Light (pic SI)

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