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Is Fredi Ready For Wrigley?

By bullpenbrian - September 2, 2010 - 1:08 am Leave a comment.

I could live happily with Fredi Gonzalez as the next Cubs manager.

He thrive during his four years with the always frugal Florida Marlins (276-279) and has both minor and major league coaching experience.

Gonzalez was also mentored by one of the best skippers of all time, Bobby Cox, during his four seasons as third base coach in Atlanta (2003-06).

The resume as a whole isn’t breathtaking, but Gonzalez appears to have several standout qualities the Cubs are looking for in its next field general.

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Miami Marlins New Stadium

By bullpenbrian - August 17, 2010 - 12:10 am 1 comment.

One of the biggest hurdles keeping the Marlins from becoming a financial power-house is the crummy ballpark that is Dolphin Stadium.

If the Marlins are smart when designing their new park, to be completed by 2012, there’s a strong possibility this organization will transform from frugal spenders in to big-budget contenders.

The club’s historically poor attendance records reaffirm the idea that baseball is not best observed, or enjoyed, while played on a football field in ninety-degree heat–and from terrible site lines, no less.

Building a dynamic stadium located in downtown Miami–a top-10 U.S. market, mind you–could very well allow the Fish to thrive financially under the retractable roof of a baseball only facility.

Quite frankly, it’s astonishing the city didn’t approve a new stadium sooner given Miami’s warm climate and its Latin flavor, which simply adores baseball.

But strictly from a baseball perspective, I believe the right stadium puts the soon to be Miami Marlins in the same financial class as its division rivals in New York & Philadelphia.

Winning, of course, is always of most importance and the Marlins are no strangers to championship teams. They’ve reached the summit twice, and more noteably, doing it once on a belt-busting budget and once on a shoe-string budget.

A new stadium with new unis and a revitalized fan base is sure to draw some of the most coveted talent in the major leagues, only this time around the Marlins will be able to reasonably afford its players long-term.

Of course this all sounds crazy right now, but if you don’t believe it, you soon will.

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Joe Girardi’s Resume

By bullpenbrian - July 24, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Florida Marlins
2006: (78-84)…kept Marlins in Wild Card race despite the
league’s lowest payroll–$14 million.

New York Yankees
2008: (89-73)…3rd place division.
2009: (103-59)..Won World Series against Philadelphia.
2010: (61-34)…1st place division.

Notes:
*Won 2006 NL Manger of the Year Award.
*2006 candidate to succeed Dusty Baker in Chicago.
*Catcher for the Cubs from 1989-92.
*Graduate Northwestern University.
*Native of East Peoria, Illinois.

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Cubs Swimming With The Fishes

By bullpenbrian - May 12, 2010 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

The reality of the Cubs’ season is pictured above…these guys are sinking, not swimming.

Tuesday’s loss against Florida drops Chicago a season-low six-games below .500…and worse, 6.5 games behind St. Louis.

If the Cubs–somehow– manage .500 ball the rest of the way, they’ll finish with 78 wins…obviously, nowhere near what it takes to win the division, let alone, the Wild Card.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, can finish the campaign playing .500 ball and still reach 85 wins. But realistically, it’s more likely the Cards push triple digits in the win column come September.

It’s a pretty clear picture…our Cubbies are swimming with the fishes…and that’s an ugly truth for mid-May.

*Picture: Boston.com

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Should Gregg Keep Closing?

By bullpenbrian - August 3, 2009 - 12:44 am Leave a comment.

cubsflorida

I know what you’re thinking; the Cubs need a new closer.

In actuality, however, they don’t.

What I’ve always liked about Kevin Gregg is his closer’s mentality. A mindset that’s helped him avoid long stretches of inconsistency.

Although Gregg has certainly been dismal the past two games, he’s still worthy of the closer’s role.

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The Cubs’ Hot July

By bullpenbrian - August 2, 2009 - 11:37 pm Leave a comment.

cubsflorida

I got a real kick visiting Tampa’s airport on my way back to Chicago.

The facility is littered with support for the Rays.

Heading into Gate A6 was a digital board listing congratulations to all the Rays’ All Stars.

The locals wear Rays hats and t-shirts, even the airport staff wore pins and buttons to decorate their uniforms.

That’s the difference ownership makes. Three years ago the then Devil Rays were invisible in baseball, let alone their home bay area.

Now under new ownership, they’re defending AL Champs and the toast of the town. I think it’s terrific!

Heck of a turn around for the Cubs in July.

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Triple Header In Florida

By bullpenbrian - August 1, 2009 - 9:58 pm Leave a comment.

cubsflorida

Lots of baseball to watch in southern Florida Friday night.

The White Sox and Yanks were on WGN. Kansas City was playing up the road at Tampa and the Cubs were in Miami of course.

I stopped surfing the cable box with the Cubs tied 2-all in the seventh.

Another typical Cubs game in Miami: low scoring and the Marlins carrying all the momentum.

Reminds me a bunch how the Cubs use to struggle playing at Montreal. Whatever the case, Chicago is 30-35 all time at Land Shark Stadium.

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Lee’s Grand Slam!

By bullpenbrian - May 4, 2009 - 1:31 am Leave a comment.

floridacubs

Derek Lee says the booing at Wrigley Field doesn’t bother him. I say, bologna! Who in their right mind isn’t bothered when 40,000 people directly voice their displeasure with you?

And, if Lee wasn’t bothered by the boo birds, why did he stall coming out for a curtain call after his slam?

I still think Theriot’s two bombs earlier in the series gave Lee a different perspective on hitting — stop over thinking and drive the ball!

What’s more, producing is the single best way to shut up disapproving fans. Lee goes granny and the fans go crazy! Good for Derek.

Not to heap on Lee, but who else was thinking double play with the bases loaded and only one out? Last year, Lee hits the ball into a tailor made DP.  Perhaps, he’s finally made the proper adjustment.

Not to mention, I loved Lee’s little Sammy hop after going deep. He knew it was four RBI right off the bat!!!

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Theriot Hitting With Purpose

By bullpenbrian - May 3, 2009 - 2:57 am Leave a comment.

floridacubs

Theriot is driving the ball with purpose. And, the home runs should remind him that he can actually pull the ball too. Hitting to all fields makes any hitter far more dangerous – I love it!

And better, maybe the Cubs’ big-boppers will take note of Theriot’s simple approach – see the ball and hit it hard. When you hit with purpose and to all fields, good things happen!

D-Lee plants one onto Waveland. That has to happen more often and, especially if Lou keeps him in the No.4. Theriot isn’t paid to hit the long ball – Lee is.

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Theriot’s Grand Slam!

By bullpenbrian - May 2, 2009 - 1:23 am 2 comments.

floridacubs

How about Theriot belting his first home run in more than a year!

I love that Lou keeps encouraging Theriot to drive the ball with ducks on the pond. It’s not the role Theriot is use to, but when they’re on, drive’em in!

Bradley isn’t exactly hot, but he’s collected three hits in the last four games. Maybe he turns the corner this weekend?

I keep reminding that Chicago is far too talented not to hit. Eventually, the runs will come pouring in. You hope Friday’s game is the start.

Cubs finally showed some intensity by coming from behind. Harden, of course, was a mess through his three and a third short innings.

Walks are haunting the entire pitching staff. Harden walks three batters with two outs – eventually forcing in a run. In the last two games Marmol has walked the first two batters he’s faced. That can’t happen.

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