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Browsing posts from November, 2011

Could The Cubs Trade Alfonso Soriano?

By bullpenbrian - November 16, 2011 - 2:01 am Leave a comment.

The speculatory trade talks regarding Carlos Zambrano has over shadowed another possible deal that could largely restructure the Cubs payroll and roster.

That being Alfonso Soriano, 35, who’s owed $58.35M through 2014.

If the Cubs are still willing to eat a “major, major chunk” of Sori’s deal, as they noted in late August, then there’s reason to believe some team will be interested in landing the seven-time All Star.

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A Cubs Wish For Albert Pujols

By bullpenbrian - November 15, 2011 - 3:01 am Leave a comment.

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The Z-Bomb For An A-Bomb?

By bullpenbrian - November 14, 2011 - 2:01 am Leave a comment.

The Cubs need a third baseman. The Yankees need a starting pitcher.

Carlos Zambrano for Alex Rodriguez? Hmmm…

Chicago desperately needs to rid itself of Zambrano. Although trade options are limited, the Big Apple makes sense for a couple of reasons.

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Cubs New Manager Poll

By bullpenbrian - November 11, 2011 - 2:01 am Leave a comment.
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Hasta Luego Carlos Zambrano

By bullpenbrian - November 10, 2011 - 2:01 am 1 comment.

I couldn’t care less where Carlos Zambrano pitches next season, just as long as it’s not with the Cubs.

Fortunately, we know some team, some where, will revert to the old Cubs ways of making excuses for and enabling Zambrano’s childish behavior just to land him in their rotation. All fine by me.

Such is life in professional sports. One team’s trash is another’s treasure. And the Cubs are way past due taking this load to the dump.

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Is It Best Ryno Never Managed The Cubs At All?

By bullpenbrian - November 9, 2011 - 1:04 am Leave a comment.

From the moment Theo Epstein announced Mike Quade’s dismissal he made it clear Ryne Sandberg was not a candidate to become the Cubs new skipper.

So I’m curious to know what would have happened if Jim Hendry had gone with Sandberg over Quade in the first place–assuming Ryno did as poorly or even slightly better than Quade as manager?

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Pete Mackanin Just Another Mike Quade?

By bullpenbrian - November 8, 2011 - 1:30 am Leave a comment.

It’s not fair to compare Pete Mackanin to Mike Quade, but the similarities between the two are hard to ignore: both are Chicago-born, both are baseball lifers and both have had successful stints as interim managers.

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Baseball’s HOF A Sham

By bullpenbrian - November 7, 2011 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

Shame on MLB if Ron Santo is elected to the HOF in December, which is under consideration by the Hall’s Golden Era Committee.

To let this man pass before awarding him the game’s highest honor, of which he’s deserving no less, is ridiculous.

What a sham. What a disgrace. Damn you HOF, voters and players alike.

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Mike Maddux Next Cubs Manager

By bullpenbrian - November 4, 2011 - 2:01 am 1 comment.

Mike Maddux is my first choice (Ryno aside) as the Cubs next manager, and that has nothing to do with being Mad Dog’s brother! 

More so, it’s the idea that he’s an innovative thinker, a successful pitching coach and has the recent experience of back-to-back World Series appearances with the Rangers.

Few things, if any, are more important for a manager than managing his bullpen. Maddux did this well in Milwaukee and then for Ron Washington in Texas, using a level-headed approach and uncanny ability to relate to his pitchers.

There’s no reason to believe he couldn’t do the same sitting in the manager’s seat.

Although the Cubs rotation and bullpen is a bit thin, there’s enough talent to compete within the Central in addition to the opportunity to unlock some serious potential with Jeff Samardzija, Andrew Cashner and Chris Carpenter, among others.

Assuming Maddux isn’t a miracle worker, the Cubs poor play defensively will remain its biggest weakness and greatly limit the Cubs’ success as it did last season.

But once Theo and company finish plugging the fielding holes, Maddux’s coaching touch should put his players, and pitchers in particular, in a position to compete for the division title, and perhaps, a deep run in October.

Now all Maddux needs is the chance.

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In Theo We Trust?

By bullpenbrian - November 3, 2011 - 1:01 am 2 comments.

Eliminating Ryne Sandberg from the Cubs managerial search appears a short-sided approach I didn’t expect from Theo Epstein.

It’s understandable Sandberg’s lack of coaching experience at the major league level is a concern, there is something to be said from learning on the job as a base coach or bench coach at the highest level.

But it isn’t as if Sandberg hasn’t paid his dues coaching successfully through the minor leagues as a leader for young men on and off the field—much like his playing days, no less.

More importantly, no other candidate would pull the respect of the players more so than Sandberg, who also has the best understanding of what it means to be a Chicago Cub—something that shouldn’t be over-looked in a baseball-crazed market like Chicago. (To be fair, a factor I fully believe Epstein will address). 

However, it’s a disappointing and difficult decision to swallow, especially if Sandberg ends up managing in St. Louis or elsewhere.

In Theo we trust, but it couldn’t have hurt to give Ryno an interview, a chance to plead his case…or even half the time Mike Quade got from Epstein last week.

Ryne Sandberg is a proven winner, but amazingly, not good enough for the Cubs managing job. Who knew?

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