Browsing posts from February, 2009
Not everyone believes in team chemistry, but I do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional ballplayer or a professional salesperson…it’s inevitable you’ll get along with some co-workers better than you will with others.
That’s reality and that’s life.
The Cubs’ decision to trade high-character guy Mark DeRosa vs. the signing of bad-apple Milton Bradley is a poor one.
Anytime you favor statistics -or left-handedness in this case- over leadership you’re taking a big risk…see Terrell Owens of the National Football League.
I won’t disagree that trading DeRosa was beneficial to the Cubs on paper, but for heaven’s sake…you can’t replace a team leader like Mark with the likes of Milton Bradley and expect a sound clubhouse.
There’s no question the Cubs have the talent to win the NL Central and perhaps the pennant, but its biggest obstacle won’t be the Cardinals, Reds or Brewers; instead, it’s their right fielder.
Thank goodness the Cubs have a position battle for the closer’s role.
If this wasn’t the case Carlos Marmol is probably pitching for the D.R. in the World Baseball Classic.
Can’t think of any good that would come from Carlos turning it up a few short weeks after his Winter Ball post-season play and a mere six weeks before Opening Day.
Listen, I understand the general idea behind the Classic as an opportunity to showcase the game of baseball on a world-wide stage.
But MLB needs to realize that its star players, organizations and fans care far more about the regular season than they do about a meaningless tournament.
I’ve been in favor of making Samardzija the No. 5 ever since Jason Marquis was part of the Cubs’ rotation.
However, the last thing I want to see is Samardzija transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation mid-season: think Joba Chamberlain.
There’s simply no need to delay big Sam from the inevitable: the guy is going to be a starting pitcher.
I think we tend to forget this is Carlos Zambrano’s ninth season with the Chicago Cubs.
And in five of the past six seasons he’s thrown for more than 200 innings.
It’s been great to have that work horse on the staff, but obviously, that also means a lot of ware and tear on the ol’ throwing shoulder.
So reading reports that the Cubs will take a cautious approach with Z during spring camp doesn’t come as a surprise.
In fact, we better get use to this being the norm for the soon to be 28-year-old.
Now that Brian Roberts has signed a new 4-year $40 million deal with Baltimore you can forget about a trade to the Cubs, right?
Roberts said loyalty - instilled in him by his father – pushed him towards resigning with Baltimore before testing the free-agent market.
But that loyalty is sure to fade away with any hopes that he’ll play for a winner before retiring.
No way Jim Bowden last through Spring Training.
Allegedly, the Nats GM has partaken in illegal scouting practices – specifically, skimming signing bonus money intended for Latin American prospects.
Bowden can whistle ‘white rabbits, white rabbits’ – an old wise tale rehearsed to clear smoke from a camp fire – all he wants, but there’s no escaping the smoke from this fire.
It’s inevitable the Nationals will cut ties with Bowden. He’s dipped into the company’s ink and that’s unforgivable…even in the nation’s capitol. But losing Bowden might be the best move the franchise has made since ditching Montreal.
I can’t figure out why Lou is leaving the leadoff spot open for debate?
It’s not as if the manager is without options at No. 1.
In fact, Lou has plenty of legitimate options for a leadoff hitter, so why not take advantage now?
Tell Soriano he’s moving down and stick with it.
After all, Alfonso has been open-minded about such a move since meeting with Lou in January.
Plus, a decisive decision now leaves Alfonso all of Spring Training, which is two weeks longer due to the Classic, to prepare himself mentally for a change in the order.
Soriano says his legs feel great after the off season, but that’s not the point.
What’s significant is the guy has suffered multiply leg injuries during the past two seasons; and most importantly it’s imperative that his legs are strong come September.
Better, the Cubs’ 0-6 stretch in October with Soriano leading off warrants a change – along with many other factors, of course.
Another lineup change I’d make is moving Derek Lee from the three to the two-hole.
Lee does well taking pitches and making contact, but this team can do better than 20 HRs from the three-spot.
Throw in the 27 double-plays he hit into last season and there’s another reason to believe he’s more suited at the two.
And while Derek briefly regained his power early last year he managed just five home runs after the All Star break, and that doesn’t cut it down the stretch against the NL’s elite pitching staffs.
We keep hearing Lee has regained his power form, but the numbers have yet to show it.
So let the guy earn his spot in the order…if the power numbers go up and the DPs down, then by all means take a look with him as the No. 3.
Also, let’s not get too cute about the lefty vs. righty business either…let the players earn where they hit.
2. Lee (R)
3. Soriano (R)
4. Aramis (R)
5. Bradley (L)
6. Soto (R)
7. Fukudome (L)
8. Whoever is out at leadoff?
9. Zambrano, who else!
Seattle just makes sense for Ken Griffey Jr., always has and always will.
The sacrafice of one more year (maybe two?) away from sunny Orlando saves a lifetime of work by Ken.
Had Junior signed with Atlanta it merely becomes a footnote to the season, perhaps, not even news-worthy enough for ESPN’s Bottom Line.
Instead, his signing with Seattle ignites a celebration that begins this weekend with his arrival at Spring Training and will last through September – whether Griffey is healthy or not.
Of course, being away from family comes at a price, but watching Dear Ol’ Dad get his praise should make life away from Florida worth while for the Griffey clan.
Besides, there’s no question Griffey’s return will rejuvenate his career, as it did for a brief time two years ago when he resurfaced at Safeco for the first time since being traded to the Reds.
Better still; the Mariners have an open spot at DH providing Griffey’s tattered legs a fighting chance to stay healthy for a full season.
Who knows, maybe, just maybe, he captivates the baseball world one final time with his towering home runs…giving baseball fans weary of PEDs, steroids and HGH headlines some much needed relief.
Forget about World Championships. Forget about his time on the training table in Cincinnati. This is the way Griffey’s career is suppose to end, and thankfully, Junior sees it that way too.
Jr batting during his return to Safeco in 2007
-From the Onion.com-
CHICAGO—At a press conference Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs and their absence from the World Series announced an agreement to a four-year contract extension, with an option for another six years.
“The relationship between the Cubs and their absence from the World Series is strong, as both sides have shown loyalty to each other for the past 63 years,” Cubs chairman Crane Kenney said.
“It’s something the fans have come to expect. Why, I remember sitting around the fire as a boy, talking with my grandfather about how the Cubs would never make it to another World Series. I only hope my children and their children and their children’s children have the same opportunity.”
Despite rumors, absence from the World Series would not admit to holding closed-door talks with the Mets.
-Don’t be overly sensative Cubs fans, this was too hilarious to pass up!-
The Cubs have offered Spring Training invites to twenty-some unsigned players; I figure four have a chance to get a contract: Luis Rivas, Jason Dubois, So Taguchi and Chad Fox.
The unsettled second base position between Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles leaves the door open for the slick fielding Rivas as a late game defensive substitution, and that’s about it because the guy can’t hit worth a lick.
Dubois carries the same label as Rivas, the guy couldn’t hit a ball of a tee. But having committed just one error in 50 games played in the outfield keeps him in the hunt.
If the Cubs’ suffer from an injury bug So Taguchi’s bat could earn him a spot in the lineup. In seven years of MLB service he’s a respectable .279 hitter.
Lastly, if the pen falls short on available arms Chad Fox is a temporary option.
Prior to joining the Cubs in 2005, the 37-year-old right-hander managed a (10-11) record with an ERA of less than 4.00 during four seasons.
Since 2004, however, Fox’s ERA inflated to an unsightly 6.30 average, including his 2008 performance with Chicago of 5.40 (three games pitched).
All that said, the worst Spring Training invite has to be Mike Stanton.
The soon to be 41-year-old was absolutely horrific with Cincinnati last season. He allowed 75 hits in 58 IP, walked 18 batters and finished with a sour 5.93 ERA.
Heck, I’d vote Bob Howry back to the bullpen just to keep Stanton off the mound!