Browsing posts from November, 2011
1.) Tom Ricketts’ wise understanding as team owner.
2.) Pujols or Fielder?
3.) Did the Cubs really lose Maddux again?
1.) What I’m most happy about this offseason is Tom Ricketts’ willingness to allow Theo Epstein the opportunity to build the Cubs as he sees fit.
Basically, Ricketts is staying out Theo’s way, which is something we don’t see often enough from owners in pro sports be it baseball, football, basketball or hockey.
-Cubs HR 2011: Total: 148 – Solo: 82 – 2-R: 47 – 3-R: 19 – Grand Slams: 0
-Opponents: Total: 162 – Solo: 86 – 2-R: 50 – 3-R: 18 – Grand Slams: 8
-Cubs with 3-HR Game: zero
-Cubs with 2-HR Game: Soriano (2), Pena (1), Aramis (1), Soto (1)
-Cubs Inside The Park: Tony Campana (1), 8/5 vs. Cincinnati (Mike Leake)
-Cubs Three Consecutive Games With HR: Carlos Pena, 6/20-22
-Cubs Back-to-Back HR: Soriano & Soto, Pena & Aramis, Aramis & Soto, Soto & Soriano, Aramis & Pena
-Cubs Pinch-Hit HR: Reed Johnson, Geo Soto, Mike DeWitt, Bryan LaHair
-Cubs Walk-Off HR: Reed Johnson, 4/20 vs. S.D., Geo Soto, 6/30 vs. S.F.
I’m torn on whether or not the Cubs should trade Matt Garza.
On one hand you have a strong starting pitcher who’s entering his prime, is capable of 15 or more wins per year, and is under contract for two more seasons.
On the other hand, Garza, 27, is at the height of his trade value and could easily fetch prime talent in return, such as what Tampa received in the very deal that brought Garza to Chicago, or in one similar to the Zach Greinke trade from K.C. to Milwaukee.
My gut feeling is not to trade your best starting pitcher, even with the Cubs in dire straights to plug holes at numerous positions. Then again, trading the right-hander could set in motion a long-term fix to reaching the postseason.
Theo and Jed, take your pick.
Why not bring Carlos Pena back to the North Side for the 2012 season?
He’s not the long-term answer, of course, but Pena, 33, has expressed a desire to return, and the Cubs hardly have an internal option to replace him.
It’s clear Theo & Company are building towards the future, but also strongly emphasize the importance of keeping the Cubs somewhat respectable for the upcoming season. That’s where Pena presents value on several fronts.
In the ‘New Cubs Way,’ Team Theo Epstein is focusing on ‘winning players,’ guys who work pitch counts and solid defenders. Pena exemplifies all three.
Here’s a quick look at how the last 12 managers of the Cubs started during their first season, or in some cases, their only season on the job.
2011 – Mike Quade (71-91)
2007 – Lou Piniella (85-77)
2003 – Dusty Baker (88-74)
2000 – Don Baylor (65-97)
1995 – Jim Riggleman (73-71)
1994 – Tom Trebelhorn (49-64)
1992 – Jim Lefebvre (78-84)
1988 – Don Zimmer (77-85)
1987 – Gene Michael (68-68)
1984 – Jim Frey (96-65)
1982 – Lee Elia (73-89)
1981 – Joey Amalfitano (38-65)
I’m trying to get use to the idea of Dale Sveum as the Cubs new manager.
He wasn’t a candidate I gave much thought to, not with Tito, Maddux, and Alomar in the running. But, of course, that doesn’t mean he’s the wrong choice–just one that catches me a bit by surprise.