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Marlon Byrd Is The Word!

By bullpenbrian - May 2, 2010 - 11:32 pm Leave a comment.

Raise your hand if you expected Marlon Byrd to bat over .300 into May…my hand isn’t raised…anyone else?

Nearly half of Byrd’s hits (15-of-35) have been for extra bases. His six three-hit games leads the majors…12 of his 19 RBI have come with two outs…and he’s batting .607 (17-for-28) against lefties.

Lou’s put him in the four-hole…in favor of Aramis (.155 avg.)…and suddenly the Cubs are scoring runs and winning games again. Who knew?

We know Aramis can hit…and will hit. But my hope is Byrd’s hot bat will offer Ramirez a little more protection at the plate…which will only help the slugging third baseman get back on track.

Once that happens the Cubs have a lineup looking more like 2008 than 2009…and that’s a major step in catching St. Louis.

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Cubs Snakebitten?

By bullpenbrian - May 1, 2010 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Cubs always seem struggle against Arizona.

Not sure why, but they’re just 38-53 all time against the Snakes…and having won just one series against them since 2003 (Cubs took four of six games in ’08)…a win tomorrow and the Cubs win this four-game series 3-1.

That’s big…it makes for a winning homestand…and puts the Cubs above the .500 mark at home…where they’re just 6-6.

Winning at home goes without saying. And with the Cubs in the middle of a stretch that sees them paying 15 of its next 21 games at home…it’s an important couple of weeks.

Furthermore, Monday marks the end of 19-traight games without a break, which began April 14. Cubs are currently 9-9 during this stretch.

May needs to be a spring board to catch St. Louis. If the 4.5 games back widens by June 1…the final curtain could easily drop on the North Siders.

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MLB’s Best Uniforms

By bullpenbrian - April 21, 2010 - 1:07 am 5 comments.

The Mets have one of the best uniforms in all of baseball…too bad they never wear them.

The addition of ‘black’ in 1998 as the team’s official third color, accompanying the Royal Blue & Orange, looked bad then…and still looks bad now.

I’ve said before…the Mets are way over-thinking its uniform changes.

Going back to the all-blue cap with the interlocking orange “NY puts them back in the league’s upper-crust of uniforms. As it stands, however, they’re near rock bottom.

I’ve posted some of my favorite digs below…in no particular order. And the Cubs, of course, are a given!

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Baseball On The Air

By bullpenbrian - February 15, 2010 - 5:15 am Leave a comment.

The  Baseball Bloggers Alliance is taking to the airwaves.

Beginning Tuesday, February 16th at 11 pm Eastern, BBA Baseball Talk can be found at Blog Talk Radio.  It’s a one-hour show discussing the big stories in and around MLB.

Callers are welcome to chime in at 347-884-8690.

Hosting the first edition will be BBA founder Daniel Shoptaw, who writes at C70 At The Bat, and Ron Kaplan of Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance is a confederation of 132 blogs working together for collaboration and discussion possibilities.

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Xavier Nady A Chicago Cub

By bullpenbrian - January 27, 2010 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

Signing Xavier Nady is a smart short-term risk for the Cubs.

One-year, $3.3M with incentives is a little pricier than signing Johnny Gomes or re-signing Reed Johnson, but Nady’s a solid all-around ballplayer, well above average coming off the bench, and durable enough to start if need be.

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Cubs Want Jermaine Dye

By bullpenbrian - January 21, 2010 - 1:00 am 2 comments.

Jermaine Dye is undervalued throughout baseball, even on the South Side.

Of course, White Sox fan doesn’t want to hear that, but Dye’s never received the acknowledgment of a Konerko, Thome or Buehrle.

If the Cubs are smart, however, they’ll value Dye this offseason. And if Dye is smart, he’ll commute to the North Side.

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Ryan Theriot Arbitration Hearing

By bullpenbrian - January 20, 2010 - 1:15 am 1 comment.

The Cubs are showing little interest in signing Ryan Theriot long-term.

While the club avoided arbitration hearings with five players on Tuesday, they failed to sign Theriot.

It’s a wake-up call for the second baseman who’s seeking $3.4M. The Cubs counter with a $2.6M offer.

That’s a considerable gap, wide enough to be settled in a hearing, and a situation Chicago has avoided all together since Mark Grace’s case in 1993 (he lost).

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Cubs Bullpen Session

By bullpenbrian - January 14, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

–I wonder what Mark McGwire didn’t like about Sammy Sosa?

According to former Cub Steve Trachsel, who served up McGwire’s record-setting 62nd home run in 1998, cheater Mac was never a fan of cheater Sammy.

–Lou Piniella, however, feels bad for McGwire saying:

“It was difficult doing what he did. It was probably something that needed to be done. America forgives and forgets. I don’t think there is anybody out there that hasn’t done something that they don’t feel sorry for.”

“I would probably think that down the road he will be a Hall of Famer. Maybe not in the first few ballots, but people tend to forget, and rightfully so.”

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Cubs Sign Greg Maddux

By bullpenbrian - January 12, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

Teams win with inteligent people in the front office and solid pitchnig on the field, which makes the hiring of Greg Maddux as an assistant to Jim Hendry a very smart move by the Cubs.

Maddux, unquestionably, qualifies in both catagories.

He’s always been a cerebrial player and I have little doubt he’ll be a good scout, as well.

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Cubs Promise Hawk A Flag

By bullpenbrian - January 11, 2010 - 1:15 am 2 comments.

As I predicted, and according to Fred Mitchell at the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs are promising the Hawk a jersey retirement if he goes in the HOF as a Cub.

It’s not an issue with Dawson, who publicly stated last week he would prefer a Cubs cap on his Hall plaque.  Problem is, Dawson and the Cubs have no say in the matter…it’s the Hall of Fame’s decision.

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