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Bullpen Session – Cheese Head

By bullpenbrian at 01.27.2011 3 comments.

The Bullpen Session is a weekly round-up of my observations surrounding Cubs baseball and much, much more!

According to my Friday Cubs Poll, 71% of voters believe the Cubs should sign Carlos Marmol to a 3-yr deal. In this case Marmol gets longer-term security and  the Cubs save somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-7M. It’s basically addressing the big picture.

My vote was a 2-yr deal, which was about 22% of the vote. I don’t like the risk of adding a third year given Marmol’s typical workload. The downside, however, is re-signing Marmol again when he becomes a free-agent in 2013, a which point Marmol’s asking price will be sky high as a premier bullpen arm.

Only 7% feel the Cubs should offer Marmol arbitration, meaning a 1-yr deal around $4.1M. It would certainly give the Cubs some short-term salary relief, but likely burns the bridge of signing Marmol to a somewhat affordable deal following the season.

–The talk of Derek Jeter moving to the outfield is just that–talk. I feel confident when Jeter losses his ability to field the SS position, which some believe he already has, the great Yankee will call it a career. And if he doesn’t, he should. Just check out these numbers from Craig Calcaterra at HARDBALLTALK:

Derek Jeter is entering his age 37 season. Between 1901 and 2010, there have been:

* Exactly 16 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in left field.  None of them did both after the age of 35;
* Exactly 17 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in center field. None of them did both after the age of 35;
* Exactly 17 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in right field. None of them did both after the age of 35.

–Tough week for Bears fans. Tougher week for Jay Cutler, who I’ve never been a fan of, but deserves better from his peers around the league that criticized his exit via Twitter in the third quarter of the NFL Championship game.

It’s easy to sit at home, NFL player or fan, and think Cutler could or should gut-out a left knee sprain. But there’s no way of feeling Jay’s pain, his discomfort level or his confidence to run the offense.

Like the rest of Chicago, I too was disappointed to see Cutler leave the game. But  to be fair, you’ve got to give Jay the benefit of the doubt that he was unable to play.

Besides, if Cutler wasn’t tough, we’d already know that by now. The fact is, he got hurt, the Bears lost, and the QB was a sitting target to take the blame. That’s the life of an NFL signal caller, especially one who carries a smug personality. But it doesn’t mean the criticism is fair.

–No doubt who I’m pulling for in this year’s Super Bowl–the Green Bay Packers. That’s right, for the next two weeks I’m officially a Cheese Head!

There’s no team I dislike more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. At worst, it’s a jealousy issue. They’re always good, they always seem to knock off my Colts and they just keep getting stronger.

The hardest part about disliking Steel Town is Mike Tomlin–dude’s a terrific coach. I admire his leadership and would love playing for him.

The easiest part, Big Ben. I’ve never viewed the QB as the great player many believe him to be. Of course, that statement never goes over well, but I’ve always thought of Roethlisberger as the beneficiary of a tremendous defense and stellar running game.

I’m not calling Ben a terrible QB, just a very good one. Albeit, one good enough to possible bring home his third Super Bowl ring.

–Best meal this week: M. Henry on the North Side in Andersonville. Latino omelet is out of this world. Seriously, we’re talking 10-out-of-10.

–Best show on TV other than sports: WGN’s weather report with Tom Skilling. What a character!

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3 Comments

  1. zrbe says:

    I think Jeter still has a few years left in him. I also thought his fielding skills were good as ever last season. Although that was kind of lame when he pretended to get hit by that pitch, I guess I just prefer honesty sometimes.

    And I’m a Packers fan too for the time being.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      I’ve never been a Jeter hater. In fact, I love the way he goes about his business, especially under the media crunch of New York.
      No question the Yanks could have a better fielding shortstop, but they can’t replace what Jeter means to the team, its fans and the organization.
      And although I think Jeter would transition easily to the OF, I just hope he doesn’t take it that far.
      He’s put together a stellar career, there’s no need for him to hang on playing left field.
      Go Pack Go!

  2. zrbe says:

    I agree on all those points. Jeter has been a true franchise athlete for the Yankees, and I greatly respect the way he has handled himself in New York. His pretending to get hit by a pitch is all I really got on the guy. So that’s actually pretty amazing.
    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see for how he finishes.

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