A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Tuesday Headlines: The Hawk, The Hall, and

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Note how non-roidy-looking sluggers used to be.

Rise and shine LOHO, it's Hawk for the Hall Day!

Today Cubs bloggers across the internet will be taking part in a media blitz to try to push Cub favorite Andre Dawson over the top and into the Hall of Fame. If you tweet, make sure to include the #Dawson4TheHall  hastag on all your tweets. Our goal is to make Andre a trending topic today!

Speaking of Andre, if he could replace his knees, hit leadoff, and play CF, it would really help the Cubs out a lot.

I don't know if you've heard, but the Cubs have been trying to move Milton Bradley. But shhhhh! It's the best kept secret at the Winter Meetings!

" . . . Hendry is finding it difficult to deal the mercurial outfielder unless the Cubs take on almost all of the remaining $21 million on his contract.

The stalemate could go on for a while, though the Cubs remain confident a trade will be consummated before long.

Sources outside the organization insist the best bet remains a deal with the Rays involving Pat Burrell, whom the Cubs would try to deal elsewhere, possibly to the Blue Jays for prospects.

A three-way deal discussed last month in which the Cubs would send Burrell to the Mets for second baseman Luis Castillo appears dead because the Mets aren't interested in Burrell, who is better suited as a DH.

Rumors that the Royals and Mets are interested in Bradley proved to be false, leading to speculation it's either Tampa Bay or bust

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Hey, you know what? Since Milton Bradley is like, WAY better than anyone rumored to be involved in this deal, maybe just keep him?

BAH. 

In further Winter Meetings whispers:

The Cubs won't include prospect Starlin Castro in any potential Curtis Granderson deal, and the Yankees appear to be front-runners if a Granderson trade is made. If the Yankees acquire Granderson, sources said the Cubs could take a run at Yankees switch-hitting center fielder Melky Cabrera.

Yes! Don't trade the prospects! We have to keep them so they can grow into solid, every-day Cub starters like Felix Pie, Corey Patterson, Sean Gallagher and Donnie Veal.

Bruce Miles has a little more info on Milton Bradley Cub Watch 2010:

"Progress is hard to judge. I did feel there was sustained interest from the clubs we talked about (last week), or the same level of interest. Nobody seemed to be going in different directions. We made some inquiries to teams we hadn't talked to before today, too, about some long-range possibilities," (said Hendry.)

Trading Bradley remains the top priority, and the Cubs had to shoot down one rumor that surfaced early Monday that a deal was done. There also had been talk that the New York Mets might be interested in trading for Bradley and not merely acting as a conduit in a three-way deal with Tampa Bay, but that seems a long shot.

Tampa Bay and Texas remain the two most likely landing spots for Bradley, who has $21 million coming over the next two years.

After that, the Cubs can concentrate on signing a free-agent center fielder such as Mike Cameron, Marlon Byrd or Rick Ankiel.

While that's going on, Hendry will continue to look for an experienced right-handed reliever. One name that appears out of the picture in that scenario is San Diego's Heath Bell, who figures to be in line for a large payday after saving 42 games for the Padres.

The Cubs reiterated they'll stick with Carlos Marmol as their closer.

And, in happy news for everyone, Ryne Sandberg has been named the manager of the 2010 Iowa Cubs. Huzzah!

As usual, I'll be monitoring the rumor mill until Carl decides to get his lazy butt down the Winter Meetings. 

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42 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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It's amazing here in Chicagoland right now. Snow everywhere! I want to go walk in the woods.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Here we go with the morning rumormill. It looks like the Brewers are close to signing Randy Wolf (joy). They reportedly offered him something like 3/30. YIKES!

The Cubs may be out on Granderson, as a deal (now shot down) that would have sent Granderson to the Yanks and Edwin Jackson to Arizona was all the rage last night. Jon Heyman now says this is unlikely.

Doc said:

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Wow...I didn't realize Jim Hendry was GM for the Brewers as well.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Buster Olney says the Red Sox aren't THAT interested in Rich Harden.

Doc said:

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hmm...

Maybe Rich Harden's value will drop all the way to the level where the Cubs could actually afford him again.

JulieDiCaro said:

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That would be awesome.

The Cubs should have told everyone what a clubhouse cancer RICH was.

Incidentally, Bruce Levine reported that Hendry had a done deal with the Twinks for Harden last August, but because we were only 5 or 6 games out of the WC, he decided to go for it.

He chose poorly.

Doc said:

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I really have to question Hendry's judgement as of late. The Cubs didn't need Harden to make a WC run last year, even if they did have a chance. Yes...he chose poorly

Dmband said:

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Something's gonna go down today...dont ask me why...

"I've gotta feelin"...

Sorry...lame, I know.

Dmband said:

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PS:

Julie, I couldnt help but notice, you've kind of changed gears on the Bradley move...dont let the time away fool you...just remember how bad it got...I realize he's a decent player, but sometimes, you have to take more into account then just that...just my opinion.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I havent' changed sides. I still think he's a paranoid jerk with a victim complex, not to mention incredibly immature and probably also a liar. I also maintain that anyone who knew anything about Bradley saw this coming a mile away.

At the same time, there's no denying that this team is far better with Milton Bradley in the OF than Pat Burrell. Or Scott Podsednik. Or Marlon Byrd.

I just don't want to trade him because he's a jerk. Force him to apologize and work through it, for once.

Dmband said:

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Also, I knew this was already decided, but I just breathed a sigh of relief when Lou reiterated the fact that Soriano would be in the 6 hole this season...THANK F-ING GOD!

millertime said:

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Julie, since you have changed sides on the Milton Bradley move, I have also decided to change sides, to maintain the delicate balance that makes this blog work so well.

Why should we trade Bradley? I shall answer this the same way I answer everything: by inventing/wrongly stating theories to try and make myself feel better. I shall try and use big words (wrongly) and apply random concepts that I heard a smart guy on tv say once. And then afterwords Umbra will be able to explain to everyone exactly why I am wrong about everything. Let's go! (If anyone at ESPN reads this blog, I will happily give up my dream of being World's Greatest Staff Accountant and come work for you).

An argument can be made regarding the utility that the fan receives in cheering for a certain team. There is probably a connection between Utility derived from watching a team and the number of wins that team has in a season. There is also utility derived from certain players. The Cubs might not have won much with Ryne Sandberg on the team, but he was fun to watch, so it made people happy. And for another situation, people might not like Bradley. But if the Cubs would have won more games last season, the negative impact of Bradley would have been much smaller. Take Boston for example. Manny was a polorizing figure who many people seemed to have a love/hate relationship for. When the team wasn't winning, fans wanted Manny off the team. When they won the world series, nobody gave a shit what Manny did. Guy took a nap during a pitching change and nobody really cared. Really, the goal of any entertainer should be to maximise the audience's utility. Utility! (It's my favorite word in the post).

So, when looking at Bradley, if the main goal is to receive as much Utility for the capital invested, wins alone does not work. We have to consider the net effect of trading Bradley on Utility from watching the Cubs. Winning the division/world series would be great, but how much better would it be if we won the division without Bradley on this team?

Bradley puts up great numbers, no doubt about that. His numbers were down last year, but there is no reliable evidence that supports they will be this bad again. The real question is how our chances of winning change with a replacement player instead of Bradley, and whether the decreased chances of winning and resulting lower utility is counterbalanced by not having a player on the team who many people can't stand.

If people love watching Reed Johnson play, and love the idea of young, low-paid underdogs like Sam Fuld or Tyler Colvin being in the lineup, and the Cubs can still be competitive with lower production from RF, then why not trade Bradley?

With a healthy Ramirez, healthy Soriano, a non-slumping Soto, Fontenot going back to a platoon role, Lee continuing to have a good year, and a good year from F-Dome, this team should still have a very good lineup. Having another bat like Bradley is just unnecessary icing on the cake. Bradley is another year older, another year closer to IR. Unless the Cubs find exactly nothing for Bradley, the loss of his bat will be replaced by a team effort.

Look, if having Bradley on this team garunteed a deep playoff run, it would be one thing. But Bradley just isn't that type of player. I'll take a team that I like with a 40% chance of winning the division to a team I don't like with a 60% chance of winning any day.

So, you see, the Cubs are like industry. In that, they were both lost in the woods. And nobody, especially the little boy - "society" - knew where to find 'em. Except that the Cubs was a dog. But the industry, my friends, that was a revolution.

Knibb High football rules!

millertime said:

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This is probably the worst thing I've ever posted. It's rambling, poorly written, bad grammer, and makes no sense to anyone with a High School education.

I'll always think of everyone on the this blog as I sit in my ESPN office, writing another ESPY winning column.

Dmband said:

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Miller-

I think what you are trying to say, which I agree, is that winning cures all. You are 100%, if the Cubs were winning, fans would have taken the, "well, thats just crazy ol' Uncle Milty" but since we were losing, he certainly became the whipping boy. Look, I do not believe he was the main reason why we lost, I just believe that everyone on the team would be better served if he is playing elsewhere. I mean, there is a reason why Lou makes a comment like this.. (this isnt just Cubs fans saying he needs to go)

"While Piniella didn't have much to say to Chicago media, he told the St. Petersburg Times: "I would think a different environment would help him immensely, and I think a place like Tampa Bay would be a place he would flourish."

This isnt heresay, conjecture, or an irrational fan (such as myself) saying this...this is the MANAGER of the club flat out saying, he needs to go...

millertime said:

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Sure. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, while I think that the team is better with Bradley, and that the correct move would be to keep him, how much payoff do we actually get from making that move? Bradley will probably not gaurantee this team a winning season, at least not enough for most people to not care that he's on the team. It's not about chemistry, or being a good teammate. It's about how little impact Bradley actually has on the team. That is the best arguement I can think of as to why we should trade him.

This sorta goes along with Flyball's way of thinking(maybe). Spending lots of money for these FA's is nice, but how much nicer is it? The Yankees have been outspending everyone the past decade, and while it's helped them be more consistent winners, it still shows that it is almost impossible to actually spend enough on payroll to "buy" a WS. And for all the winning, do Yankees fans actually seem happy? The Cubs have had 3 winning seasons in a row, and have won the division 2/3 years, finishing in second place last year. This has resulted in the fans being so happy that they want Jim Hendry fired and kicked out of town.

While teams like the Twins don't win all the time, they seem to have a happy fan base. People like to have an excuse to why their team lost, and if your team spends less money, you can feel good about losing, or at least not feel so bad when they do lose. Just look at the Brewers. The Brewers are a team that makes horrible moves, doesn't really try that hard, and have low expectations every year. And their fans seem happy enough to me. If the Brewers go .500 they start making DVD's chronicling the season. So maybe what the Cubs need to do is keep their underdog identity, spend less money, lower expectations, and wait through 4-5 losing seasons to drive down ticket prices and restock the farm system. This way I can afford tickets, we can get some young, cheap talent, and the Cubs can remain "Lovable Loser's". I'll be happy. Fans will be happy. Everyone Wins! Except the Cubs, but that's the point.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Yankees get Granderson. Sorry, Cubs fans.

gravedigger said:

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OK, apparently I really, realyl don't pay attention. I have no idea who Granderson is. ESPN calls it a "megadeal." So, where have I been?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Looking longingly at photos of Dick Cheney?

Maim said:

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gravedigger said:

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What? He's awesome.

millertime said:

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Maybe Granderson has a brother we can trade for?

JulieDiCaro said:

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We're in the national anthem for #Dawson4theHall please remove your caps.

JulieDiCaro said:

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ESPN's Bruce Levine has revealed the following during his chat today:

1. There is ZERO change Bradley stays with the Cubs.
2. The Ricketts family hasn't given Hendry any more money to spend this off-season.
3. Lou has said he's not afraid to start a 19-yo at SS.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/chat/_/id/29821/espnchicago-mlb-chat

Doc said:

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Lou wasn't afraid to start an untalented midget at shortstop, so why should age make a difference?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Post of the Day.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I heard a rumor that I made out with Jim Hendry and he still wouldn't give me an exclusive.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm awaiting confirmation on this one.

clyder1 said:

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Spent some time in Tennessee watching the Smokies and had a chance to see Castro play. Before all the hype I had a chance to see several players who I was impressed with. (note: I don't get too enthused because the Cubs always hype their mediocre prospects). I was very impressed with Castro with the way he handled the jump to AA, his glove and yes how he handled the bat at such a young age. He had the respect of his teammates as well. I thought that given one more year in the minors split between AA and AAA, so he could master the fundamentals, he would be our SS for a long time. We have a couple of others that will help the Cubs in 1-2 years. I was also impressed with Smith, Thomas & Colven. By the way, Castro is one of very few prospects that I EVER thought should be untouchable in trade talks.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I believe you, it's just that it sounds so much like what we heard about Ronny Cedeno. (shudder)

Dmband said:

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So does this mean we are going to go after Melky Cabrara

AndCounting said:

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I'm guessing Cameron is the most likely addition to the outfield, but who knows?

JulieDiCaro said:

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In case you missed it, Peter Gammons today announced he's leaving ESPN for MLBNetwork. Joy. Now the east coast bias will spread.

AndCounting said:

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I predict shrinkage. Just about everybody gets ESPN, but MLB isn't available to all (at least not me, so there). Still . . . how long before Steve Phillips and John Kruk wind up on that network, too? It's like the Baseball Tonight rewind channel.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I will be seriously sad if John Kruk leaves BBTN (I don't get MLBN, either). He has the best non-sequiturs.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay kids, now we hasve "breaking" news on the Milty front. Carrie Muskat reports as follows:

"There were reports Tuesday that the Cubs have found another American League team -- not the Tampa Bay Rays or Texas Rangers -- who are interested in the volatile outfielder. Chicago general manager Jim Hendry has been tight-lipped about the negotiations to the point that he is keeping the majority of his staff out of the talks.

Hendry did meet late Monday with Bradley's agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, at the Indianapolis Marriott.

A team official denied there would be an announcement Tuesday, but another said there was a possibility they could have word on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings."

If Carl was at the meetings, we'd be able to get him in there to figure out what's going on!


Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Of all the hotels in Indianapolis, they had to be staying at one of the seven I've been asked never to return to.

gravedigger said:

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That is one of my favorite comments ever on this site.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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cubbiejulie, does any of your so called sources and or yourself ever say anything in rumor that actually happens from THE PROPOSED 3 WAY DEAL OF BURRELL TO METS , BRADLEY 2 RAYS, AND CASTILLO 2 CUBS, OR GRANDERSON TO CUBS TOO LATE HE IS A YANKEE, WHY DONT YOU AND YOUR SOURCES WAIT UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS AS I THINK ALL YOU DO IS WAKE UP AND JUST POST RUMORS W/NO FOUNDATION, WHATS YOUR NEXT RUMOR TOMMOROW ZAMBRANO 2 PHILLIES 4 KYLE KENDRICK???????

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm warning you. . . I'm not in the mood to deal with you today.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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YOUR WARNING ME OH MY GOD HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOL
I ASK YOU AGAIN DOES ANYTHING YOU EVER POST EVER MAKE SENSE ?? OR DO ANY OF YOU SO CALLED SOURCES EVER GET A SCOOP, THAT IS CORRECT, YOUR A JOKE FOR NOW ON ILL REFER 2 YOU A CUBBIEJOKIE!!!!!!!!

AndCounting said:

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Phil's 8,008 caps has the most fascinating sense of comma usage I've ever seen. That's easily lost in the barrage of upper-case grammar defecation, but it's there.

smwojoz said:

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You are a ridiculous little person aren't you? The irony of you asking Julie if any of her posts make sense is not lost on the rest of the class. For example in just the this pathetic attempt at an insult you incorrectly use "your" when you mean "you're". This may be a little to advanced for you so I suggest you stick with "you are". BTW, you did this twice. You probably meant to fuck it up a third time but then you wrote "any of you so called...". I can't even get into how incredibly awful your(this is how you use it) punctuation is. Julie doesn't need me to defend her, she is fully capable of skewering the likes of you. I will conclude by saying this; CJ is by far the most fair blogger around and extremely knowledgeable. Your(again correct) tired act has played out. Why don't you run along now, hmm? I believe it's time for your evening meds.

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