A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Thursday

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs
Don't expect to see this anytime soon


There probably aren't any of us who thought that Mark DeRosa would actually sign with the Cubs this offseason. But there may have been a few of us (maybe someone with red hair) who held out, hoping against all odds that he would come back to us. It would seem now that there's no chance of it happening.

The agent for Mark DeRosa says the Dodgers are one of a dozen teams interested in signing his free-agent client, but -- perhaps surprisingly to fans in Chicago -- the Cubs aren't one of them.

Agent Keith Grunewald identified the other interested teams as the Cardinals, Mariners, Nationals, Giants, Phillies, Orioles, Rangers, Yankees, Mets, Twins and Braves.


Tom Ricketts had his first day of school yesterday, and we can only hope the other kids didn't beat him up or steal his lunch money.

New Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts will have a chance to meet the other Major League Baseball owners at a dinner Wednesday night. Ricketts, whose family took over the team in October, was not taking part in any of the owners committee meetings at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton. Team president Crane Kenney was at the hotel Wednesday for committee meetings on finance and revenue sharing.

Barry Rozner thinks we ought not to worry about Starlin Castro being involved in any Curtis Granderson trade.

The rumor mill is in full force, probably fueled a bit by Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski, who would love to get Cubs fans all stirred up and then get his hands on shortstop Starlin Castro.

That's not going to happen.

Castro is due to arrive in Chicago sometime in 2010, perhaps even pushing Ryan Theriot to second, so Castro isn't going anywhere.

Would the Cubs like to have Granderson? Sure, but at the right price.

Granderson, after all, is not without his faults, which is why he's available. If he were perfect, Detroit wouldn't be considering a trade.

Granderson is a great teammate, solid player, can hit home runs and steal bases, but he also can't hit lefties, played below his standard in center field in 2009 and had a poor on-base percentage with a high number of strikeouts.

The Cubs would take him if the right deal were there, but they're also looking at Marlon Byrd and Mike Cameron, too, and they won't be rushing to overpay anyone this winter.

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119 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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Re: DeRosa

Maybe we're playing hard-to-get?

gravedigger said:

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Stop it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO!!!!!!

gravedigger said:

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Yeah, well. This ain't happening.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Am I the only one alarmed that the Cubs are about to give John Grabow 2 yrs @ $7.5 million?

GAH. This does not bode well for the start of the new regime.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Because he's a mediocre middle reliever, and there are better places to spend $8 million.

gravedigger said:

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I agree. They could send it to me.

flyball said:

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I don't even need that much, maybe a hundred thou, that would work for me

AndCounting said:

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$7.5 million over the course of two years isn't that much. Compare it to Aaron Miles's $5 million over two years. They paid Kevin Gregg $4.2 million last year. Heck, they paid Luis Viscaino $3.5 million to not pitch for them last year. And Elias Sports Bureau at least thought he was among the top 20% of relievers the past two seasons, hence the type A status. I don't think it's outlandish.

Besides, if Hendry's moves start changing significantly, it would show only that Ricketts was full of crap when he said he'd let his people do their jobs.

We won't really know how the regime has changed in that regard until it comes time to hold people accountable for the jobs they've done. The only affect Ricketts can have on Hendry's decisions right now would be in dictating how much he has to spend overall. We should see that develop as the Hot Stove heats up (or cools way down).

JulieDiCaro said:

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Exactly! I want to stop giving shitty pitchers lots of money!

Doc said:

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My argument with middle relievers is it doesn't matter if you what you pay, you usually have to be flexible with them. If you end up paying guys a lot of money for middle relief, then your flexibility goes down and you are unable to make a lot of moves to adjust the team throughout the course of the season. You need to be able to pick and choose from a large pool throughout the course of the season...paying one or two players (most recently, Eyer and Howry) a lot for middle relief makes it more difficult move players around...those guys are stuck taking up roster spots (and money) at times when they are not effective.

We just need starting pitchers to go further into games...that's all.

AndCounting said:

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Effect. Damn.

flyball said:

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the new regime seems shockingly like the old regime, but with a different signature on the paychecks

JulieDiCaro said:

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meet the new boss, same as the old boss. . .

flyball said:

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I kinda understand it, probably is a good idea after buying a company to actually evaluate the employees before deciding who to keep and who to leave, but right now other than a bathroom renovation it does seem to be exactly the same

Doc said:

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Umbra said:

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Tim Lincecum or Chris Carpenter should win the Cy Young. Preferably Lincecum because he pitched more innings. Wainwright's only advantage is his higher amount of wins. And since we've seen that the people voting on the Cy Young are no longer Horribly Stupid about this (e.g., they gave the AL award to Greinke with 16 W's) I am hopeful that one of those two will win it.

However, the Cy Young probably went to Greinke because he was head and shoulders better than the next guy. A three-way race between Lincecum, Carpenter, and Wainwright could put Wainwright over the top with his W's. Add in the fact that Carpenter won in 2005 and Lincecum in 2008, and Wainwright has a good shot.

It won't be the worst award decision of the year (Franklin Gutierrez getting jobbed in favor of Torii Hunter is), but I will madly mutter to myself.

Doc said:

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I hope it's Lincecum...just because he's not a cardinal...they've won enough awards this year already.

I'm guessing that Wainwright and Carpenter will split a contingent of votes between them, which will let Lincecum get the win, even though his second half numbers were much more human this year...probably because he was high all the time.

flyball said:

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didn't you know, all the members of the Cards are good teammates?

Doc said:

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That's because they drink and smoke pot a lot together.

Umbra said:

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That's why they have the best fans in sports, too.

Doc said:

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My opinion on middle relievers...

If you sign them to a multi-year deal, you will get good results from them for about 1/2 of that contract. Middle relievers are middle relievers for a reason. Because they aren't good enough or consistent enough to be starters or closers. I know the market is difficult, but I think it is highly unlikely Grabow is going to perform like he did last year. 2 years, 7.5 million? UGH!

Grabow better prepare for the boo-birds.

AndCounting said:

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Still, two years is not that bad. And they still haven't announced the terms of the deal. It could be one year with a club/player option for the 2nd; it could have incentives totaling up to $7.5 million; it could be for $7.5 million jellybeans.

I just don't think you're going to find too many free-agent relievers who are A) any good whatsoever and B) willing to take much less than this. I also don't think you can expect to staff a reliable bullpen with nothing but guys who haven't been in the league long enough to reach free agency. What's the better option here?

Doc said:

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Better option? Probably bringing up every AAA pitcher...one of them is bound to have a good year...right?

Better yet...not sign a middle reliever at all and have our starting pitchers actually go deep into games for once.

Umbra said:

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So help me, if the Cubs rush Cashner up and 'shatter his confidence' or whatever, I will hold you personally responsible.

Never should have gotten rid of Wuertz.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh yeah? Tell it to Felix Pie!

Doc said:

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Rushing Cashner isn't too big of a problem...

Cashner is being groomed as a reliever...much different animal than a starting pitcher or a position player like Pie. Now if they tried to make Cashner into a starter and rushed him up before he was able to develop all of his pitches (like Spellcheck), then we would have a problem.

JulieDiCaro said:

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he's not even that good! his WHIP was 1.41!

No.

AndCounting said:

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That's not the only stat in the world. Opposing hitters had a .670 OPS against him.

AndCounting said:

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Aaron Miles's career OPS is .678. So against Grabow last year, opposing hitters were slightly sub-Miles.

$7.5 mil over 2 years is a friggin' steal. :)

Doc said:

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yeah...a friggin' steal for him!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Stop trying to change my mind with facts.

John Grabow = Puke.

AndCounting said:

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Won't happen again.

Doc said:

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Honestly, I'd like to have Grabow...

I just don't want them to tie up that much money and time for him...

I could live with paying him $4 million this year. I could live with signing a two year deal...

But I don't to pay him almost $4 million in each of two years. That's all.

AndCounting said:

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I'm glad they're signing him, and I think the Cubs have more to spend than they're letting on. I'm not quite as comfortable with the talk of having Grabow be this year's Marmolesque setup guy. I think he's a reliable 7th inning guy, but the high WHIP Julie referenced is the result of too many walks. Bringing him in w/ 1-run, 8th-inning leads on a consistent basis makes me nervous. Especially if the safety valve when he does get wild could be to bring Marmol in for a long save with men already on base. Yikes.

gravedigger said:

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Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.

The amendment, approved by the Texas Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by Texas voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the trouble-making phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Oh, that's funny.

Doc said:

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Government shouldn't have anything to do with marriage of any sorts anyway.

If you want to have a legal arrangement for civil union rights, then sit in a room with a couple lawyers and hammer out a contract.

More money for Julie that way.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'd be in favor of that.

Umbra said:

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Barbara Ann Radnofsky grandstands on this almost as much as Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen.

I happen to think that Van Hollen is right and Radnofsky is wrong with their legal arguments. But let me float this idea out there: we know from demographics that gay marriage will be legal by 2025. Voters also currently support civil unions. If people discover that the amendment they passed bars civil unions, they will freak the frig out and repeal the amendment sooner than they would have if the amendment had only banned gay marriage.

AndCounting said:

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Civil unions seem to open up a gigantic can of gigantic worms. I mean, would civil unions apply to any two (or only two) consenting adults? My brother has two housemates, who are sisters. Could the three of them form a civil union? Could all my rowdy friends get together on a Monday night and form a civil union? Good their be a check box on Twitter that allows me to form civil unions with all of my followers? And what rights would go along with that type of deal?

I would be far less inclined to vote in favor of civil unions than in favor of gay marriage. And I think people who are radically opposed to gay marriage are, in general, just as opposed to civil unions.

AndCounting said:

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Good their be? Man I'm an idiot.

JulieDiCaro said:

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we're all in civil unions. marriage is really a religious concept. no one is suggesting a church be forced to marry same-sex couples if they don't want to. and if you're married in a church, you can call it "marriage."

"civil union" is just changing the name. i don't understand what the problem is with defining a civil union (or a marriage, for that matter) as between two consenting adults of age. that's a no-brainer to me.

AndCounting said:

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I don't really buy that. Marriage is a social, cultural concept that has been a) influenced heavily by religions within those societies and cultures and b) governed by the state for as long as their have been governments. (The waters get pretty murky considering that not the separation of church and state is neither a universal nor a particularly well executed policy.) You don't need a church to be married, but you do need some form of state recognition of said marriage to get the benefits granted by the government.

I agree that marriage is a civil union, but I don't think the terms are interchangeable. I really don't see the need for introducing a concept purportedly identical to marriage in nature but different by name and (most likely) in the rights associated with it.

You know better than I do that defining a civil union as between two consenting adults of age is a far simpler description than the legislative realities associated with it or marriage in general. And politically the matter is far from a no-brainer.

The history of marriage in the Soviet Union, where public opinion didn't matter and religion was all but banned, makes for a pretty interesting case study, by the way.

Overall, I disagree with my conservative counterparts who think granting gay marriage rights would dissolve the strength of marriages in this country. I think granting some kind of second tier to marriages would have that effect, but removing gender designations would be the right thing to do.

Hell, I don't see how you can define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman when you can't even define "man" and "woman" on a universal basis.

Edelweiss said:

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Gay marriage seems attractive because it is not legal. Legalize it and see how many gay men actually tie the not. They are, after all, MEN. Probably some lesbians might get married, because they are after all, WOMEN. Since employers are cutting back on insurance, and offering it to fewer people, and at higher rates, covering a spouse is getting less possible, and when universal health care passes, that issue will be moot. The only reason to marry, rather than form a legal partnership, is to raise a family, and many straight people are doing it without getting married. If gay marriage is legalized, few will actually take advantage.

gravedigger said:

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That's really not accurate. Raising a family is far from the only reason people get married. If that were true, why would gay rights activists be fighting so hard for equality on that front? What you're saying doesn't pass logical scrutiny.

Setting aside the most obvious reason most couples -- gay or straight -- want to get married (establishing a formal, recognized commitment to each other), there are a whole host of other reasons people get married.

Statistics on gay marriage are hard to study because few states allow it, and those that do only recently opened the doors. But even with these nascent figures, it is clear that when gay marriage is opened as an option, many gays choose to marry.

However, you have two valid overall points: marriage rates have been declining since 1990, and gay marriages will probably also experience a similar trend. Also, slightly over half of gay marriages (somewhere around 57-60%) are lesbian couples according to some of the initial statistics out of CA (which no longer recognizes gay marriages) and MA.

flyball said:

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nicely said gd

Doc said:

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Grabow deal is done...according to Gordon Witte on Twitter.

thisyearcub said:

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Cubs just officially signed Grabow. Two years, money not released yet. Official announcement to come later. If it is $7.5 million, I agree with AC, that's really not that much in baseball terms, a pretty good bargain overall.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Mike Remlinger, Part Deux.

Blah.

Umbra said:

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The Cubs paid Old Man River $4 million and he sucked! Glad you remembered this.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I need someone to come scratch an itch right in the middle of my back.

Umbra said:

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Can you point it out using this chart?

millertime said:

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Well played Bobby Fischer.

C5.

baturkey said:

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You sunk my battleship!

millertime said:

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Yahtzee!

flyball said:

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Umbra said:

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flyball said:

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too early

millertime said:

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Internets sure is crazy busy today. In other important news, in Wisconsin, some people want to legalize the sale of raw milk. I don't know yet if I'm for or against this, so I shall try and think up as many negative things as I can about both sides.

JulieDiCaro said:

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it would seem like milk should be. . . cleaned. . . first.

millertime said:

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True to form, I shall attack any statement instead of taking a stand myself.

By "cleaned" do you mean "Steal profit from honest hard working American Farmers and give it to the fat cats in government while at the same time depriving consumers of precocious nutrition found only in raw milk"?

If we all agreed to feed the Cows only grass, and stopped trying to use chemicals, and harvested the milk the correct way, raw milk isn't so dangerous. or something.

Umbra said:

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LAWLZ at 'precocious'.

If you feed cows grass instead of corn, don't use anti-biotics, and don't use rBGH, you will end up selling this.

millertime said:

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Thats what I get for not looking closely at what word I chose. Ugh.


Precious. Precipitous. Precinct. Precocity. Whatever.

Umbra said:

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Pasteurized and homogenized, or just pasteurized? Selling unpasteurized milk seems like a bad idea, I don't care if you did sign a waiver.

flyball said:

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I've had unpasteurized milk, and I'm fine

actually best after school snack ever, gooey brownies and milk that is straight from the vat out by the milking barn....yum

flyball said:

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it does get cleaned, after the cow is milked the milk gets filtered or whatever, then chilled and eventually hauled off by the company that separates the different stuff and does the fancy make it safe stuff

so see, even on the farm its "cleaned" of course its also basically drinking half and half

Umbra said:

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It's my understanding that it's homogenized almost as soon as it's collected, to make pumping easier.

flyball said:

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there was a vat, and this big arm that rotates to keep it from separating, you take a pitcher out to the vat and get milk

maybe it gets homogenized on the way to the vat

gravedigger said:

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Charlene Lugar, wife of Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), was arrested Wednesday night for drunken driving after a traffic accident in McLean, Va.

millertime said:

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Jeff Wood, Independent member of Wisconsin State Assembly, was arrested in 2008 for drunk driving, with Marijuana in the car. In Sep 2009, he was arrested again for an OWI, his 4th. In Oct 2009, he was again charged with OWI and with bail jumping.

He has decided not to seek re-election.

gravedigger said:

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Why does Wisconsin have to be different with its OWI thing?

flyball said:

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because its Wisconsin

Doc said:

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I really hate this state.

flyball said:

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there are good things, like Summerfest and liquor stores that open at 5am


flyball said:

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and fish fry fridays, they need to have those more places

gravedigger said:

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How do I know if my skull is cracked?

millertime said:

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How many fingers am I holding up?

gravedigger said:

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I think like 15

millertime said:

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Hmmm. That might have been a lucky guess. Ok, howabout now? Now how many fingers am I holding up?

gravedigger said:

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Now I can see for sure, 3.5.

millertime said:

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You seem fine to me. I'm not a doctor. But I did stay at a holiday inn last night.

flyball said:

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is there reason to believe that its cracked? then may I suggest a trip to the doctor?

Doc said:

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Honestly, I've suspected GD has had a cracked skull for quite a while now.

ARupp said:

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The Cubs have been eyeing Marlon Byrd (reportedly) for like 5 years ...Why? He's put up mediocre OBP and Slugging numbers in a hitter's paradise.

flyball said:

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I think you answered your own question there, he has a mediocre OBP and slugging numbers in a hitter's paradise

Doc said:

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Sounds like 4 years $50 million to me!

Dmband said:

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Hey-

I know nothing of this, but I will tell you what makes me mad about milk. Invariably, I cant use it by its expiration date. Then, I will buy the smaller container, and I use that up too fast! What happens, is I end up searching maniacally through the fridge at the grocery store to find the furthest date, whilst enduring dirty looks from the stock boy standing right behind the fridge getting pissed at me.

Point being, wouldnt "raw" milk go bad a heck of a lot sooner?

flyball said:

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yes it would, the more fat (aka cream) thats in there the faster it goes bad

we switched to organic skim, which yes makes me a snobby elitist (thats ok, I'm still the bottom rung of that ladder) but it tastes yummy and lasts for weeks in the fridge so really I'm saving money

Umbra said:

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I'm curious as to why you think Adam Wainwright had a better season than Tim Lincecum.

Doc said:

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That's a fair question...

I don't have the stats in front of me...but I believe Wainwright had more wins and inning pitched...I think the ERA's were about the same, while Lincecum had more strikeouts. But I could be wrong. I only saw Lincecum pitch a handful of times this year, while I saw Wainwright and Carpenter quite a few more times...and I was more impressed with what I saw from them this year than Timmy. I do know Wainwright's number were just filthy during that stretch in July and August when the Cards ran away with the division.

Umbra said:

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Lincecum: (15-7) 225.1 IP, 2.48 ERA, 261 K's. 4.57 runs for run support.

Wainwright: (19-8) 233 IP, 2.63 ERA, 212 K's. 5.52 runs for run support.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ha. I have an anti-Grabow ally in Dave Cameon of http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/john-grabow-gets-paid/

"Instead, he’s just posted artificially low BABIPs the last two years, and by not giving up hits, he was able to keep the guys he walked on the bases. That’s not a recipe for success.

Grabow is a generic left-handed middle reliever, the kind of guy you’re fine having for the league minimum but that you don’t really want to pay any real money to. He’s eminently replaceable, but the Cubs have decided to commit real money to him over multiple years because he has a low ERA.

The Cubs have money, and $3.75 million isn’t going to drastically alter their budget, but this is just a waste of cash. Betting on reliever ERA is a great way to get burned, and given Grabow’s actual talent levels, the Cubs are unlikely to be very happy with how this deal turns out for them."

Doc said:

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...like so many relievers the Cubs have signed in the Jim Hendry era...hopefully we are wrong.

millertime said:

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Don't most baseball moves suffer from "Winner's Curse"? Am I going too far my attributing signing players to some kind of auction? I might be. Pretend that I didn't write this comment. It was...Doug...Dougler. Yep. Doug Dougler.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I have no idea what any of that meant.

millertime said:

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Winner's curse is where, when bidding on an item at an auction that should have the same value to everyone bidding, but in which there is no way to tell for certain the exact value of the item, and one party has no knowledge of the bids by another party, the winner almost always overpays.

Take bidding on land with natural gas deposits. I may think that the land has $5.5 worth of natural gas, based on my own research and calculations and survey teams. By random statistical sampling, you value the land at $3.0 million. Still other people will value it $0. Lets say that out of 31 bidders, my bid is the highest. When I win, it signals that out of 31 people bidding, I believe that the land is worth the most. Now, odds are good that since 30 people disagree with me, I'm probably wrong about the value of the land, and most likely overpaid.

"Winner's Curse" takes place in common value auctions with incomlete information. Applying this to baseball, Grabow is probably just as valueable to the Cubs as he would be to several other teams. Assuming that he'll most likely decide where to sign based on the highest salary offered, and the Cubs won't know how much other teams are willing to pay for him, the fact that they gave him the "highest" salary means that odds are very good that they overpaid for him. I think unless a player takes a "hometown" discount, or makes a decision based primarily on someting other than the monetary value of the contract, a team will almost always "overpay" for a free agent.

If that doesn't make sense (and it might not, I might be wrong in this anyways) just google Winner's Curse and it'll explain what I'm talking about. I might be applying this incorrectly.

If the above is too much to read: I think that odds are any free agent is overpaid.

flyball said:

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thats why you have a degree in money and I don't

flyball said:

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oh good, I don't feel so dumb

AndCounting said:

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It is a recipe for success if he walks hitters instead of letting them hit the ball hard. You know, if he has a method to his wildness. He has a low home run rate and a low OPS against, and maybe that's because he errs on the side of caution against hitters likely to burn him. 2 years is not exactly a small sample size.

flyball said:

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walking batters just clogs the bases, which is bad for the offense

JulieDiCaro said:

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not if he walks the bases instead of letting them hit the ball hard somewhere a Cub could catch it.

millertime said:

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The Onion A.V. Club declares "White Blood Cells" best album of the decade. "Kid A" finished third. "Funeral" finished 8th, I believe.

Dmband said:

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Im not sure how you can hold "wins" against a guy when it comes to CY young...I mean, theoretically, if your team sucks, you can lose games 1-0....but you as a pitcher..kicked A$$...Im pretty sure Lincecum had a lower ERA...I think he deserved it..you can make a case for either of those guys, but I also get a little leary of talking wins in a Cy young discussion.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Milton Bradley update--The Plot Thickens:

(ESPN's Jayson Stark)

"Tampa Bay, Texas and Toronto look like the three most feasible destinations for Milton Bradley these days. But the Cubs are telling teams that (A) they're not interested in digesting all or most of Bradley's money (two years, $21 million) just for the sake of moving him, and (B) the hiring of his old hitting coach, Rudy Jaramillo, means they no longer think they have to trade him. So they seem to be zeroing in on clubs that might be willing to swap one messy contract for another. Pat Burrell would be that guy in Tampa Bay, but the money doesn't match up and the Cubs would have to find a third team interested in Burrell. Lyle Overbay seems to fit that mold in Toronto, but the Cubs would need a third team to take him, too, since Derrek Lee is still occupying first base. And Kevin Millwood might still be a possibility with Texas, but certainly not one-for-one. Potential deals with the Angels (for Gary Matthews Jr.) and Diamondbacks (for Eric Byrnes) look dead at the moment."

AndCounting said:

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(A) and (B) make me happy.

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh hee hee hee!

(go to the doctor)

gravedigger said:

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My doc never takes same day appt, and the urgent care center causes more pain than I'm already in with its 4 hour wait in a urine scented waiting room.

flyball said:

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did you make an appt for tomorrow?

or explain to the nurse what the problem is? nurses are awesome, they will break doctors rules to help you

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm not joking around.

go.

gravedigger said:

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I'll go this weekend.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Julie's right... would you rather sit awhile in a stinky waiting room and get peace of mind, or have something worse happen in a couple days, weeks, etc. and wish you would've gotten it checked out?

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