A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Monday - It's Gonna Be a Slow Week

Italy v Venezuela - World Baseball Classic - Toronto Day 1
Carlos Silva performs with a baseball modern dance troupe



Once upon a time, someone thought it a good idea to give Carlos Silva $8 million more than Ted Lilly over the course of a four year contract. That someone (Bill Bavasi) is no longer employed in the job he held at the time. So what are we facing with Carlos Silva, and what should we expect? I'm sure we're all familiar with his situation, but since there's nothing else going on today, we'll turn to  Dave Van Dyck for all the answers.

Like Bradley's signing, that of Silva had been an albatross for the Mariners after they paid $48 million for a pitcher who had just come off a 13-14 record and 4.19 ERA for the Twins.

What they got was a 5-18 record for two seasons, which included a long stretch on the disabled list this summer for impingement in his right shoulder and fraying of the labrum and rotator cuff. That's the same problem that plagued Kerry Wood and Mark Prior at times.

While he avoided surgery, Silva missed from May 9 until Sept. 19 with the shoulder soreness. He appeared briefly in September. This winter, he is pitching in his native Venezuela. In his first four games, he was 1-0 with an 8.00 ERA over nine innings.

Wow, sounds promising. And here's his vote of confidence from Jim Hendry:

"He's healthy, he's 30, his stuff is still pretty solid," Hendry said. "Maybe he needs a change of scenery."

When Jim Hendry can't even pretend to be excited about him, we're all screwed.
In more hopeful news, the Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner rumor seems to have some legs. I'm okay with Marlon Byrd, but really have no interest in seeing Scott Podsednik or Rick Ankiel roaming center field next summer. Though we all know that if we're hearing about it in the media, Hendry probably isn't doing it.

A trade is also an option, and the events of the past week could make the Chicago Cubs a potential trading partner. The Cubs, who dealt outfielder Milton Bradley to the Seattle Mariners for starter Carlos Silva, are now looking for a center fielder. They could be interested in either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner, who could be expendable after the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson.

Chicago GM Jim Hendry could be in contact with the Yankees about such a deal, according to a report on FoxSports.com.

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117 Comments

FrankS said:

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Ahhh, the kids help Ryan when he's baking brownies. What a great dad he must be. I never let my kids help me with baking. Oh wait, I don't bake.

Anyways, I've commented before about the hatred that many Cub fans expressed toward Jason Marquis. Rather than being pissed at Jim Hendry for giving him too much money, they took it out on Jason who was a perfectly acceptable 4 or 5 starter.

Now it seems that a lot of Cub fan hate is going toward Ryan Dempster. No, not at this site, but in the reader comments at The Trib. And I'll admit that I think that Ryan is overpaid, but nobody in his right mind is going to turn down that money. He was our 3rd best pitcher last year. He out-pitched our ace, Zambrano, who is paid even more money. He was 18th in the league in ERA which is pretty good.

Yeah, Ryan was not as good in '09 as he was in '08, but his performance was certainly more than acceptable. So why all the hate? How did all the crazies figure out how to get on the Internet?

Doc said:

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And why all the love for Rich Harden, who was our 5th best pitcher last year?

MB21 said:

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Except he wasn't their 5th best starter. His xFIP was better than Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly and Wells, which makes him the pitcher you'd have expected to be the best. They could have had him for $7-8 million. Do you think the Cubs would not even offer Ted Lilly arbitration or not re-sign him if he were a free agent this offseason? He's a fan favorite so the new ownership would have paid him anything he wanted to come back. http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=Cubs&pos=all&stats=pit&qual=0&type=1&season=2009&month=0

Doc said:

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One stat that shows Rich Harden was their best starter...while the other 5032 stats out there show he was their 5th starter (4th at best).

MB21 said:

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No, it's just the only important stat to this discussion. You claimed someone was more talented. In order to find out if you are correct, we have to adjust things for luck. Including luck as part of true talent allows you to reach the wrong conclusion. I'll play at the one year level equals true talent level just to appease you though 2 years would be better and 3 years would be even better. If we use 2 years it's not even close.

All xFIP does is adjust the home runs per fly ball down to 10%, because we know anything higher or lower is luck. That's it. Rich Harden was the very same pitcher in 2009 that he was in 2008 with only one exception (twice as many fly balls left the ballpark in 2009). His 2008 rate was not sustainable and his 2009 rate is not sustainable.

AndCounting said:

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I wouldn't say it's the only important stat, seeing as though Gorzelanny's xFIP was even better than Harden's. With Harden, IP might be the most important. 141 innings (and Hendry apparently freaking out about Harden's shoulder) is what would concern me most.

Doc said:

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xFIP can only be used when taking into account other statistics. You cannot just throw out every other stat just because it isn't consistent with what you think. Yes, xFIP is a good adjustment for ONE STATISTIC...ERA! But take into account wins, innings pitched, WHIP, he was 4th or 5th in each of those categories among the Cubs main 5 starters in '09...(Z, Wells, Dempster, Lilly).

Hell, Luis Vizcaino, Justin Burg, Jason Waddell and Tom Gorzelanny all had better xFIP than Harden...maybe they all should start instead.

MB21 said:

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sample size, db.

Statistics are tools. You don't use a screwdriver to hammer in nails and you don't use a chainsaw to sand your table. ERA is defense-dependent. I don't even know why people use ERA.

consider for a moment that great defensive plays help an ERA, but bad defensive plays do not hurt it. Run Average is far better than ERA because at least you're not cherry picking the defensive plays you wish to include.

Innings pitched? It's an important stat for sure, but it's not nearly as good as other ones.

WHIP? There's so much luck involved in WHIP that one season's worth isn't even worth discussing. You're including 2 things that include luck into one metric making it only a stat worth glancing at. I wouldn't call it irrelevant, but if one stat is lucky (hits), you can't just add another lucky stat (walks) and consider the stat to be good. It's horrible.

Let's see, Berg was a reliever, Waddell was a reliever and Gorzelanny's sample is pretty darn small. I hope you see the difference between small samples, how much easier it is to be a reliever, and if you do this will make more sense.

You said others were better. You cannot use stats that include luck or are defense dependent. you can't do it. you absolutely must separate the defense from the pitching and adjust for luck. doing it any other way is wrong. I hope you can see that, but I won't waste my time trying to further explain why a great defensive play is not something the pitcher should get credit for. What if a pitch gives up 20 line drives and they all happen to be hit right at someone. he allows 1 earned run, only 3 hits, but 20 freaking line drives. That is a seriously shitty outing. Period. Yeah, so the result ended up looking pretty. who cares? Well, other than probably winning the game, it's useless. It was a bad start, but people who don't understand how important defense is to pitching would look at it as a good start when they couldn't be more wrong.

then there's the issue of using one season as you are. The variance in production in one season is enormous. use a weighted average over the last 4 years and get back with me. I'll give you $100 if any one of the starting pitchers is better than Rich Harden. If you run the weighted average and Harden turns out to be the best, you owe me $10.

I should point out that this work has already been done and you'd not only be wasting your time, but you'd be sending me $10 too. Rich Harden is better than Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and Ted Lilly (yes, Lilly, the new team ace supposedly, is worse than all of them).

Put your money where your mouth is. My $100 to your $10.

gravedigger said:

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You don't use a screwdriver to hammer nails? God, I've been doing it wrong all along.

AndCounting said:

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Just don't include IP in that bet, because Harden only threw 72.1 innings in '06 and '07 combined. Obviously injuries are somewhat unpredictable (unless you're looking at his MRI), but his low inning counts aren't just the product of injuries. For his career, Harden averages about 5.85 innings per start. By comparison, Zambrano averages about 6.44 innings per start (almost 2 more outs per game). Dempster's at 6.17 for his career (+1 out per game). I know that's not a huge difference, but it's something.

It brings up an interesting question (to me at least). How do you evaluate a pitcher's per game performance? Most stats are either cumulative for a season (W, L, Sv), general ratios (K/BB), per-inning rates (WHIP), or nine-inning rates (ERA, K/9). But I can't think of any rates judged strictly on a per-pitching-appearance scale. Maybe it's not that valuable a stat, but it's the chief complaint people have against Harden. At what point does his inability to last into the 7th inning (he's done so in just 54 of 127 career starts) begin to lower his value as a starter? I don't know, but it seems to make the question of who is the better pitcher somewhat subjective. Somewhat.

MB21 said:

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I've not looked at things that way for awhile and I know most front offices do not do so either. You'll notice that the only pitchers that get moved into the bullpen are done for one of two reasons:

1) they simply weren't good enough to be a starter (it's much easier being a reliever)

2) they could not stay healthy and could not give the team more innings than a reliever would (about 65).

Those are the only two reasons pitchers are moved into the bullpen. Harden has proved the last couple years that he can give you more innings than a reliever so teams will value him as one.

what I mean by value is that a 5.35 FIP is league replacement level for a starting pitcher, but 4.5 (thereabouts) is replacement level for a relief pitcher.

As long as Harden is likely to give you more than 65 innings of work, he'll remain in the rotation. I realize it's already borderline at this point. Harden isn't too far away from a move into the bullpen, but you'd rather get 70 innings out of him as a starter than 65 innings out of him as a reliever. Those 70 innings would be much more valuable than the 65 innings as a relief pitcher.

One also has to consider the ballplayer here too. Would Rich Harden welcome a move to the bullpen? If not, then teams are going to value him as a starter. However, he definitely has less value than CC Sabathia. The difference in expected innings pitched is enormous and there is also a big difference between the reliability of the two pitchers. That hurts Harden's value.

Harry Pavlidis has a great article up on THT about Rich Harden: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/harden-by-ground/

He was very unlucky last year and a bit lucky in 2008. I've already mentioned that, but HP takes a look at it using pitch f/x.

MB21 said:

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My last comment...

Here are Harden's 2008 and 2009 numbers

IP
2008: 148
2009: 141

BB
2008: 61
2009: 67

SO
2008: 181
2009: 171

K/9
2008: 11.01
2009: 10.91

BB/9
2008: 3.71
2009: 4.28

k/bb
2008: 2.97
2009: 2.55

BABIP
2008: .265
2009: .304

LD%
2008: 21%
2009: 18.4%

HR/FB
2008: 6.5%
2009: 15.1%

xFIP
2008: 3.55
2009: 3.70

The only difference between 2008 and 2009 Rich Harden is a combined 50 pitches. 50 out of 2500. He gave up about 8 more home runs than you'd have expected and threw about 42 more balls than you'd have expected.

I'm sorry, db, but I just don't believe you're the one person on the planet who has the eye to pick out 50 pitches out of 2500 and notice a difference. What you notice is the result and your opinions are heavily influenced by that rather than taking a look at everything else he did. Everything else was the same as 2008 when he was the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball. The reason we have stats is because we can't pick out these differences by watching the games. It is impossible to do so.

The difference between 2008 and 2009 Rich Harden is bad luck and these numbers (all kinds of stats that are far from obscure) prove that.

Doc said:

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Maddog...nothing you have stated proves that he wasn't the Cubs 5th best starter in 2009.

Sorry.

Would he have been the 5th best starter in 2010...I doubt it. Wells will not pitch this coming year. And he'll probably be about equal to Dempster and Lilly.

When comparing his stats to Wells, Z, Lilly and Dempster, Harden was not any better than any of them.

MB21 said:

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So you're only talking about the results? That's not what you implied. You first said you didn't understand why people wanted Harden back and the reason you gave was that he produced the 5th best results as a starter for a Cubs in 2009. The implication is that you obviously think he's the 5th best starter. That would be wrong. I don't care about the results. The peripherals are a far better indication of how he'll pitch in the future and those are what is important.

This is a great example of why I couldn't care less about results: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/what-do-stats-tell-us/

There was literally no difference between AJ Burnett's 10 worst starts and his 10 best starts other than a difference of 8 earned runs per 9 innings. There's nothing in his "stuff" that anybody can see. All we see as viewers are the results. We're all dumbasses. This is why "watching the game" is for fun. There's not one thing you can spot watching a game that the stats won't give us a better idea of the truth. I'm not picking on you here. It's the same for everyone who is a professional trained scout. I'm sorry, but that is the truth. Not one of us here is good enough to tell whether or not Harden was the best or worst Cubs starting pitcher. that's just a fact. That's also why numbers are so very important.

What are we even arguing here? the goalposts have moved and there's no point in debating anything if our arguments are going to change as we move along.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Yeah. What Maddog said.

xFIP? Oh God, I've never even HEARD of that one.

Doc said:

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I've heard of it...it is what most stats freaks love to pull out when no other stat supports their argument.

It takes fielding factors and ballpark statistics into account for a pitcher's ERA.

Sometimes people actually need to watch the damn game.

Doc said:

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I don't think CDE is going to get listed over at ACB anytime soon. lol

JulieDiCaro said:

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that's okay. you'll always have a place. . on our team.

Doc said:

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I'm looking forward to tomorrow's story on ACB about how dumb Cub fans are on "other blogs" are because they don't base all of their opinions on an obscure and narrow statistic.

MB21 said:

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It's far from obscure. You don't like one statistic? Let's go with regressed tRA. Harden is tied with Dempster at a 4.02 tRA*. Regressed tRA is the true talent level of a pitcher by the way so he is tied with Dempster who is currently the best pitcher on the Cubs staff.

I don't care what statistics you use as long as you use ones that accomplish the goal you've set out to achieve. You haven't done so. There are a bunch of stats that could help you do it, but you chose ones that don't.

I understand. I was hesitant to look at any advanced metric before I really understood them. I definitely wasn't going to take the word over someone listing some stat I had never heard of. I get it. Believe it or not, I really do. I've been there. I just think there's a whole world of analysis that you're missing. I understand not being interested in it. I wasn't for a long time and there are still some intelligent people that aren't, but they punt to those who are when it comes to a discussion that's result is best achieved by using those tools.

There are people on ACB who can't stand these metrics. I read about new metrics all the time and until I understand them I don't argue about their worthlessness. I try to understand them or I accept that these metrics are far greater than the ones we're used to and let others discuss them. ERA has no place in a discussion about talent level. IP does and it's a good point you make. Rich Harden is unreliable. Nobody has said otherwise. Being unreliable doesn't mean you don't have value though.

Doc said:

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tRA...lol...

So you use a stat that is, what I would consider, is trying to measure the same thing as xFIP. That's ok.

Measuring Harden's talent level is one thing. I agree Hardens' stuff is great and always has been.

I guess the biggest point that I want to make about Harden is that the Cubs should be able to get along without out him this coming year. Lilly and Dempster should be about as good as they were this year. Z will probably be better, and Wells worse. I'll take that group with a 4th or 5th starter out of free agency for $3 to $4 million.

Starting pitching isn't where the Cubs were weak last year. Use the money to shore up the bullpen and fix the outfield.

Now, Lilly's surgery kinda throws a monkey wrench into this. But I still say not signing Harden was the right move.

Now, Harden's contract with the Rangers isn't quite as cheep as everyone thinks it is.

Yes, it is $7.5 million base, but if he were to pitch as much as we would hope over the coming season...say he pitchs 175 innings...he gets $9 million then. If he pitches less than that, well, that means he is missing starts, in which case you will have to pay another player to pitch in his place.

I suppose this could be argued for a long time. A lot of people love Harden basically for his talent. I just feel for what you actually end up getting out of him, he isn't worth it...especially with the holes this team currently has.

AndCounting said:

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The funny thing is, if Harden were a closer, he just might be the best in the game and would be considered by many to be the best pitcher on whatever team he was on.

Doc said:

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I made that suggestion last year when Gregg wasn't working out and Marmol forgot where the strikezone was.

MB21 said:

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Regressed tRA is somewhat similar to FIP, but quite different from xFIP. Like FIP, tRA looks at what a pitcher controls (walks, home runs and strikeouts), but it also looks at batted ball type (line drives, ground balls, fly balls, infield popups...all of which ave a strong correlation from one season to the next). FIP ignores all of that. xFIP merely adjusts home runs per fly balls to 10% because we know that all pitcher's true skill level in giving up home runs is 10% of their fly balls (this is true for every single pitcher in the history of baseball).

Regressed tRA simply regresses the current tRA with past tRA to find the current true talent level. FIP and xFIP do not do that in any way whatsoever. FIP and xFIP are results oriented. tRA is too, but tRA* considers results plus past performance to find what the pitcher is most likely to do moving forward.

That's all we care about. What's done is done. You pay players for what they're going to do in the future. Without knowing their true talent level we'd pay all players the league minimum. You have to know the true talent level before you offer anybody a contract.

You know this already. if Aramis Ramirez started out next season 1-25 with 13 strikeouts you're not going to say he's going to strikeout 300 times in 2010. You'd assume that over the next 500 plate appearances that he'd hit like he has in the past.

We all unconsciously make these assumptions when discussing these things. We're all very well aware of it, but for some reason you've shied away from statistics doing the same thing you're doing. I don't understand that. Projecting performance has been going on since the game began. The only thing that is different is that the methods to do so have greatly improved. Why ignore them?

MB21 said:

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Also, if the Cubs have 5 better starters than Rich Harden they're going to win 130 games and eventually dominate any team they play in the World Series.

Does anybody think that will happen?

Doc said:

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That might be true if Harden was as good as people think he is...and he could pitch longer than 5 innings in a game. And he stayed healthy. And...

smwojoz said:

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This is the mentality of the new Cub fan. The one that has high expectations. Having those lofty ideals is fine and good, but I don't think most fans know how to handle them. so they find a target. This year with no Bradley, maybe it will in fact be Dempster. Will it be warranted? God I hope not.
As far as him being overpaid? I'm not so sure he is. I don't understand the stats well enough to use them to support my claim, but I'd bet he's at least close in value to the money he was given.

Doc said:

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Some people think that a trade for Melky Cabrera would likely have to involve Carlos Zambrano. Not going to bappen if that is the case.

AndCounting said:

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Bait = Carlos Zambrano. Switch = Carlos Silva. We'll be across the border before they realize what hit 'em!

I don't want to lose Carlos Zambrano, though I do think watching him play for the Yankees would be hilarious. I was glad to hear the reports that the Cubs' asking price was too high.

Doc said:

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I like it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I love this plan. I'm excited to be a part of it.

Doc said:

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You said crossing the streams was bad.

JulieDiCaro said:

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define "bad."

Doc said:

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bad as in Carlos Silva's pitching stats the last two years. or a rupture in the space-time continuum.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Good morning, kids.

Is Carlos Silva still on our team?

flyball said:

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I guess that depends on if you want to live in reality, or in a way more interesting fantasy dimension

JulieDiCaro said:

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call-in number: (917) 889-9169

Doc said:

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Good job!

cub legend said:

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So far we have heard about bathrooms, billboards and changing spring training sites put nothing about improving the team. Jim Hendry will probably over pay to get somebody like Marlin Byrd or Sox reject Scotty Pods. It could be wait til the year after next year. Lets hope not. Jimbo will save us. Right!!

Doc said:

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If the game plan is "wait 'til next year", than there is even more work to be done. Ramirez, Lee, Soriano, and Fukudome are all on the back side of their respective careers. 2010 is really their last shot of leading this team to a world series. If this season turns into a rebuilding project, then the Cubs need to get younger and bring in a new group of leaders.

FrankS said:

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We have to trust the Rickettses. They have a plan! We're not allowed to have doubts or lack patience. Even CCD has told me we have to be patient now (which might be code speak for maybe 2 or 3 years from now the Cubs will be good). If you keep complaining, I'm going to have Stewie's Real Dad from Ivy Chat come over to make you aware of all the facts. Once the Jumbotron goes up, the Cubs will dominate baseball like the Yankees did in the 20's or the Boston Celtics did in basketball in the 50's and 60's or maybe like the Bulls did in the 90's. It's gonna happen!!!! The talk about refurbishing the troughs in the men's rooms is just to throw off all the other teams in MLB. They'll never know what hit them!!!!!!!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Motion to refer to the Rickettses the "Rickettes" on a going-forward basis.

Doc said:

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Only if they do a high kick line dance for us on a weekly basis.

FrankS said:

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Or we can all call them The Cricketts per Doc. Who gets to be Buddy Holly?

Doc said:

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Buddy Holly? Easy...that's Laura.

smwojoz said:

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Fantastic show guys! Very nice.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Awww thanks. I will never get over hating how my voice sounds on the radio.

Doc said:

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I feel the same way...that's why I don't call in.

flyball said:

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but if you don't call we can't tell you how wrong you are

smwojoz said:

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(snicker)
Flyball FTW.

JulieDiCaro said:

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What does "FTW" stand for? I feel stupid for not knowing.

AndCounting said:

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It's usually "For the Win," although there's another iteration involving Tiger Woods that seems to be gaining in popularity.

Maim said:

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It used to mean "Fuck The World." ...and if you're a fan of (I think) Tucson roller derby, it stands for "Furious Truckstop Waitresses."

JulieDiCaro said:

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I assumed it meant "Fuck the What." Then I thought I was just too uncool to know what "Fuck the What" meant.

Doc said:

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I think the mean Fuck the What...which is what you do when Flyball is being a jerk to me.

flyball said:

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I am rarely mean, I was referencing that we couldn't tell you that your voice is radio friendly if you didn't call in

when I'm being mean to you, you'll know it

Doc said:

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oh...I just assume everyone is being mean to me. I'm use to it by now.

flyball said:

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sorry, not today, I need positive energy out there today

smwojoz said:

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We all hate it.
Our own voices I mean...not yours.

Wow this is some mighty tasty shoe leather I have put in my mouth.

JulieDiCaro said:

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(narrows eyes)

Doc said:

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Don't get the redhead mad.

gravedigger said:

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When I was in radio, I knew some people who loved the sound of their own voices. Pretty sure it was the only thing that could turn some of them on.

But most of us don't like it.

Incidentally, Julie, I did get used to it after a while and think with enough time you will too.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Not if I don't listen to it, I won't!

cubsforever said:

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Aren't rumors or someone's imagination fun. Zambrano to the Yankees - for a bunch maybe Abrera and Hughes and a couple of minor leaguers too. Free's up a ton of money - and then they could go after a front line free agent - Orlando Hudson (?) - Capps and Garland - Johnson and Derosa (no I won't give up hope) Could wind up with 3 or 4 pretty good players. But whatever happens - team players and chemsitry and talent all have to mesh.

gravedigger said:

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This is sarcasm, right?

AndCounting said:

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Yeah, I'm spent on rumors, and I can't even think through the ones being suggested. Pretending I can do Jim Hendry's job has lost all its allure.

cubsforever said:

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Sorry - sarcasm is way to easy under the circumstances - wouldn't you agree? All of us want a very competitive team - that is fun to watch - fun to sit in the bleachers or wherever our seats may be - and we are all frustrated since the end of 2008. I am not suggesting that being GM is easy - and it is always easy to second guess any trade (yes - I was around for Brock-Broglio) - but I also was around for Sandberg - Dejesus --- and Andre Dawson --- and Rick Sutcliffe even though Joe Carter and Mel Hall went in that one) I also remember getting Aramis from Pittsburg - and Lee from Florida --- I just want to see more of those than what I have seen since the end of 2008.

gravedigger said:

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I guess my question was, do you really think trading Zambrano and signing DeRosa is a good idea? Or was that a pretty funny joke?

Dmband said:

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I thought this Bradley trade was going to be a positive part of the offseason. Boy, was I wrong..How is it possible that Jim Hendry can f** up his original bad signing with AN EVEN WORSE TRADE!!!!

On the bright side, I will be saving a lot of money on tickets this season...this really feels like a "feeling out" year for Ricketts...after next year, he'll dump Hendry, Lou will be gone, and we will begin the official rebuilding phase. I fear there are dark days ahead, Cubs fans...

flyball said:

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I'd rather have a not good team with no expectations, than false expectations of a team someone tries to tell me is good

Dmband said:

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You're right...expectations seem to be the Cubs worst enemy.

JulieDiCaro said:

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What a craptacular day. Terrible--from start to finish. Blah.

flyball said:

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you should find some holiday treats, it will make you feel better

gravedigger said:

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Agree. Also, this sobriety thing sucks.

flyball said:

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the day will end well, it has to, and I need happy LOHO thoughts, so be happy gosh darn it

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm getting chinese food tonight--that's happy.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Jason Marquis signed with the Nats.

I can't imagine who much compensation he must be getting to do that.

AndCounting said:

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There's a clause in his contract that allows him to start all of their postseason games.

Doc said:

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If the Nats make the post season...I might actually go insane.

gravedigger said:

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They'd probably sweep the Cubs right out of the first round.

Doc said:

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oh...well, that would put everything right again.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ha ha ha! He's guaranteed by his contract to be on the postseason roster. That's hilarious.

gravedigger said:

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I literally live one block from Nats stadium. I am going to go every time he pitches and wait outside the locker room and throw eggs at him.

Well, I won't really. But I'll think about it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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this probably explains why he signed with them: to be close to you.

gravedigger said:

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Ugh, probably.

cubsforever said:

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Not a chance - Marquis' string of post season just ended. I did not focus on this deal - but on the fact that Chip Caray is going back to Atlanta. Shows how my day is too. Maybe we will get a REAL Christmas present from Hendry this week - please?

gravedigger said:

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What? Man, I thought he was fired? That's the last straw for my day too.

bleurgh.

cubsforever said:

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I took my son to a Nats game this summer - nice ballpark - they were playing the Phillies and actually won. I would not mind having N. Morgan on the Cubbies

gravedigger said:

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Yeah, the park isn't bad. Thank god for it -- this neighborhood used to be full of gay strip clubs and adult video rental stores (my kinda part of the city), and old run down buildings and crack dealers. Now it has high rise buildings and more coming. In 2-3 years it will be the commercial center of DC. Smart planning by the city to put the stadium there.

However - I have a second-degree connection to the Lerners, who own the team, and I have it on good word that he despises the stadium. They think it isn't nearly accommodating enough to fans, is a little too "cookie cutter" and bland, and was too hastily built.

But as I drive by it and see it from my building, I think it looks really, really nice.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Rumor has it that the Cubs have inquired about Nyger Morgan, but were shot down. God, having him in CF/leadoff would make me fee oodles and oodles better about this team.

gravedigger said:

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which is why it won't happen.

Also, beign denied by the Nationals is like being denied by the ugliest girl/guy in school for the prom. That hurts.

gravedigger said:

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You were right:

Chip Caray is headed back to the Atlanta Braves broadcasting booth.

Caray said Monday he was hired to be the team's play-by-play man on Fox Sports South and SportsSouth and he is expected to work about 105 games next season. The hire came three weeks after parting ways with Turner Sports.

Carey is perhaps best known for his signature "FISTED!" call, which he employs every couple of innings, at least.

gravedigger said:

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That last line may or may not have been in the story.

Doc said:

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I'm fairly sure it was in the story.

gravedigger said:

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FISTED!

cubsforever said:

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Nope - it wasn't - of course he probably got it from one of his elders - Harry Caray - who is best known as a two-fisted drinkier - well maybe even more than that. But I met him - and he was sober at the time - and he enjoyed his job and his life - who can argue with that.

gravedigger said:

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Well I was sober when I first joined this conversation, but I'm not now. That may be applicable here. Probably not.

Doc said:

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Well...are you enjoying your job and your life right now?

I don't know why I dislike Chip so much now...I really didn't mind him that much when he was in Chicago.

gravedigger said:

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Job is great, life is fine I think. The Cubs suck, though. Really, I just don't enjoy sobriety.

millertime said:

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Lets sign Ben Sheets. And Marlon Byrd. That would make me feel like we have an outside chance at winning next year.

Also, I know people want to sign Reed Johnson. I just think that instead of paying for him to essentially be a 4th outfielder, why not promote Sam Fuld or Tyler Colvin and see what they can do? At least that way we can figure out Fuld's and Colvin's value sooner rather than later.

With the money we save by not signing Reeds, or going after DeRosa, we can sign a Marlon Byrd or a Ben Sheets.

gravedigger said:

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Or, how about no?

Doc said:

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OMG! I agree with you. 100%

you aren't being sarcastic here, are you?

I'm a little frightened and scared.

millertime said:

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We agree on something? How odd.

Yes, I think we should give the Ben Sheets tires a kick. Depending on how much it would take to sign him, he's one of those players you take a risk on. The Cubs should have enough money that they can take a chance on a player like Sheets. If Sheets pans out, the Cubs have a great chance of going to the playoffs. If not, oh well. It'll be time to start breaking up the team in a couple years anyways. Got to take some risks now while the core is still here. If it doesn't work out and the team tanks, at least they'll start getting some high draft picks.

JulieDiCaro said:

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There was a time when I would have disagreed with this as a waste of money. But hell, as long as we're giving Carlos Silva garbage bags full of money, why not?

gravedigger said:

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that should never be an excuse for anything

cubsforever said:

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I like Ben Sheets a lot - first of all he throws stikes - is a real competitor - and oh yes - he wins a lot and keeps his team in the game. He fits well into a real strong starting 5 with Lilly, Zambrano, Dempster, and Wells. We still have Marshall - Guzman - Grabow - Marmol (and Capps - also a good choice) - and can choose among Guzman and Gorzelany and Hi-Ho Silva and Caridad and Zamardzija (I can actually spell his name because I have a Cubbies T-shirt with his name on the back). i would also trade Gorzelany and some others for another infielder or outfielder. I guess I am just bitter about Derosa - which is why I keep his name coming up. Last year at this time we were supposed to use all the young studs to get Peavy and he winds up on the wrong side of town. Oh yes - I also have a t-shirt with Reed Johnson's name on it ---- If the Cubbies don't add a bona-fide infielder (short or second) then why not give Castro a chance to win the position outright amd focus on a 3rd outfielder? How about two new names - Cody Ross or Nolan Reimold - and of course N. Morgan too? Ain't it fun doing this? Actually if one of us comes up with a great idea like Ben Sheets - maybe, just maybe Hendry would actually do something about it. Do you think he reads these comments/

millertime said:

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I think he reads my comments.

Doc said:

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Wow...I didn't know he could read.

millertime said:

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The thing about Sheets, I heard the Yankees were thinking about him. And they have more money. So. It might be a false hope.

Doc said:

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I'm hoping the Yankees grab someone else first...then that will leave Sheets for the Cubs...

Does anyone know...will Sheets be ready for opening day? If not...if he's not ready to pitch until May or something, then the deal is off. We need insurance for Lilly-pad.

Doc said:

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It looks like the Yanks are trying to get their starter via trade, not free agency...at least according to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter.

gravedigger said:

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congrats max!

MillsChC said:

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I got some complaints...

Why doesn't this site NEVER keep me logged in if I happen to go away for a sec... I click the "Remember me" option every damn time, and it never remembers me...

So once I input my info AGAIN... it takes me to the damn front page of CN instead of the blog (THIS ONE) I was on when I tried to sign onto it in the first place... I don't give a rat's ass about any other blog on this buggy-as-hell piece of crap site other than ALOHO... so stop making me try to read any of that shit!

Now after it inevitably takes me to the front page, I input A League Of Her Own into the search bar, and it comes up with NADA.. so I have to backtrack my browse until ALOHO has to show up, which of course I'm not logged in at that point... and it becomes and endless circle for about 5 minutes, before I make it here in one piece...

Also... why the hell won't my DAMN ARROW KEYS work on this site and they'll work on every other site???

Okay... complaints over for now.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm forwarding all this to the tech department.

Me=Giver.

Edelweiss said:

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Gravedigger, I didn't mean to drive you crazy. First of all, I didn't take a picture of the guy. Secondly, if I had one, I wouldn't post it. I don't even post my own picture. People won't share confidences with you if you blow their cover. If you work for the Cubs organization, you have to keep your mouth shut, or you could be unemployed, or, even worse, shut out of the action. I did hear some gossip about a player no longer on the team, but I have to figure a way to say it in an acceptable manner. After all, I am a sweet little old lady.

gravedigger said:

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oh haha I was joking ;)

but yes, you should share that gossip with us in a way that doesn't give away you or your source.

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