A League of Her Own

Friday Cubs Hot Toddy Headlines

Rockies vs. Cubs

Oh, we have so much to talk about this morning. Before we get to the details, let's all take a moment to celebrate the departure of the horrible Error Miles! Note to Jim Hendy: just because Jim Edmonds kinda worked out doesn't mean you should grab an ex-Card EVERY off-season. In  fact, let's just stop that practice right now. (cough Rick Ankielcough)

Miles and the remaining $2.7 million he is owed joined Wrigley Field fan favorite Jake Fox in a trade for reliever Jeff Gray and two minor-leaguers

(snip)

Dave Van Dyck reminds us just how horrible the Miles deal was:

The player exiled was Aaron Miles, who was paid more than $400,000 for every run he drove in during an injury-plagued season.

I'm just going to pretend I don't know that. On another note, I know a lot of you are lamenting the loss of Jake Fox, so let me take a moment to remind you that this was a player who a) couldn't hit a curveball and b) couldn't field a position. Feel better? You're welcome.

And what did we get for Miles? (and Fox?) Well, I'll tell you:

While Gray was added to the Cubs' 40-man roster and is expected to make the team as a reliever -- he went 0-1 with a 3.76 earned-run average in 24 games with the A's -- the key to the deal may have been Matt Spencer.

A former third-round pick of the Phillies, the 23-year-old Spencer would seem to be a more athletic version of Fox, able to play the outfield corner spots as well as first and third base.

He also bats left-handed. Hendry called him, a "very important guy for us."

Spencer hit .289 with 34 doubles, 19 homers and 91 RBIs combined at Class A and Double-A last summer.

The Cubs also received right-hander Ronny Morla, who was 1-7 with a 4.86 ERA at Class A Vancouver.

My guess is that we would only give Billy Beane Jake Fox if he agreed to take Miles, too.

In other news, new hitting coach extraordinaire Rudy Jaramillo is busy at work this off-season:

MLB.com reports: New Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo said he decided to not call any of the Cubs players to introduce himself but wants to get to know their hitting style by studying film.

"I've got a good idea watching tapes of the hitters," Jaramillo said Thursday. "It'll give me a good idea as to where they're at and give me a plan going into Spring Training. I want to watch their films over and over. Maybe once I meet them and I'm around them, I can tell them what I think and what I saw and how they can get better."

This morning Deadspin gives us a blurb (from Time Magazine) that points out that the numvber of MLB players getting drug exemptions this season is up from previous years. Specifically:

Two players received exemptions to use performance-enhancing drugs because of hypertension, two for low levels of testosterone, one for narcolepsy, one for obsessive compulsive disorder and one for postconcussion syndrome.

My guesses:

Hypertension: (team-induced) Carlos Zambrano,

Low testosterone: Jim Edmonds, David Eckstein 

Narcolepsy: Barry Zito

OCD:  ARod 

"Postconcussion syndrome:" Kyle Farnsworth

In other news, a whole cabal of Cubs fans, lead by the fabulous guys at Cubscast.com, are leading a media blitz aimed at getting Andre Dawson into the HOF. By the way, if you're unclear as to why Andre Dawson deserves to be in the HOF, check out this great piece by Tim over at Tales from Aisle 424. It tells you everything you need to know.

On Tuesday, December 8, at 1:20 pm CT, we're all going to tweet, blog, comment and do whatever else we can to be so obnoxious about Dawson getting into the HOF that the sportswriters will vote him in just to shut us up. More on this to come.

Don't forget the Cubs Tweetup taking place at Kitty O'Shea's (720 S. Michigan) on January 15 (the Friday night of Cubs Con) from 7:00 pm until we get arrested. Everyone is invited (lurkers included). RSVP here!

Finally, I'm thrilled to announce that Alex Quigley (you've seen him post here, in 5 on 5, and might remember him from Chicago's Q101) are starting a podcast focusing on Chicago spots. Our first podcast will take place this Monday at noon, but you can, of course, download and listen to it any time. As Alex is, as I would say, a "real" radio person, it's only a matter of time before he catches on and replaces me with someone else, so listen while you can. Our first guest will be Rock Mamola of "The Rock Report."

We'll have a post up later focusing on the upcoming Winter Meetings.

Oh! And my new CN blog will debut on Monday. For now, I'll just tell you that it's called "Designated Hotter," and you girls and 10% of the guys are going to love it. The rest of you, not so much. 

Final thought: Tiger and Elin are reportedly undergoing marriage counseling twice a day (GAH!). Exactly what kind of counseling covers "My husband goes to Vegas and bangs a multitude of skanks several times a year?"  

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27 Comments

Doc said:

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Wow...so much news...and so little to talk about. :(

I'm looking forward to the pod-casts...the new blog, not so much, but I'm sure Jeanna will enjoy it.

Aisle424 said:

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Thanks for the shout out, Julie. While I am pleased with Miles being gone, I do wish that Fox could have been a more valuable trading chip.

Maybe they didn't hide him well enough down the stretch to get anything better than Miles' ticket out of town in return, but it is disappointing.

Maim said:

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Uh, Julie?

This Matt Spencer. Is he what you might call "cute" at all?

JulieDiCaro said:

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No idea. Why? Do you know something I don't?

Maim said:

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Dmband said:

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My take is, wouldnt it have been a better move, if we were looking at adding prospects, to give Fox another 1/2 season to really prove he can hit, then we could have possibly still sent him to the AL for some better players in a mid season deal?...I dunno......I am glad they were able to move Miles...and I had been hoping they would add some IF depth...If Spencer can play both corner spots...thats huge.

JulieDiCaro said:

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no, because he can only hit fastballs.

Aisle424 said:

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That is why they hid him so much down the stretch. He can only hit fastballs, which isn't out of the ordinary, but he also can't lay off the breaking balls. His trade value is as high now as it likely ever would have been.

The only thing they could have done is created a situation where they didn't "need" him on the ML roster and let him crush AAA pitching again for a couple months before dealing him, but that's just messing with the guy. Hendry tried to do right by the guy and give him a chance to hook on with a tema that could give him legitimate playing time.

JulieDiCaro said:

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every time i think of fox, i think of Cereno. "fastballs, i hit them very much. curveball. . . bats are afraid."

AndCounting said:

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Jim Edmonds needs testosterone? I once saw him face Steve Trachsel, and the dude grew a beard in between pitches.

secdelahc said:

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He gets a 5 o'clock shadow. At 5am. After shaving at 4:30 am.

millertime said:

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Kids have been born, gone to college, gotten a job, waited for season tickets to the Cubs, and then gotten back into the game in between Steve Trachsel pitches.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I was thinking of that photo of him as a male figure skater. . .

MN Pat said:

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I had a narcoleptic cat once. No one suggested I put her on steroids.

JulieDiCaro said:

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She probably didn't have a very good fastball.

Dmband said:

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Miller-

I just had a chance to read the simply delightful banter exchanged with our friend from the east coast. I literally laughed out loud at the "You're right...Im the moron here"..comment...good stuff...

The only mistake was at one point you tried to actually rationalize with statistical analysis on why it was indeed a bad signing. Surely that fell on deaf ears, but It actually made a lot of sense as to why they overpaid for him...

millertime said:

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I know. I failed to realize that since Polanco won a gold glove one time, and is only 34, and Raul Ibanez hit over 30 HR last season and is 37, that Polanco is awesome.

It makes me wonder if somewhere, out in Philidelphia land, there's a Phillies sports blog, with some guy named Cubbies19082010 who would say things like "LETS GO MY CUBBIES JUST SIGNED AARON MILES AND KEVIN GREGG RELEVENT BEHOLD THE DYNASTY APPROACHES".

millertime said:

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Also, you should go on Hulu and watch It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia episode "The World Series Defense". Great rips on Philllies fans. Or drunk asshole fans in general.

"We're passionate fans. We got to hammer somebody!"
"nah, I feel like there's only room for one green idiot running around making an asshole of himself"

JulieDiCaro said:

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The US just drew Englad for their first WC match this summer. FML. Though, I'm watching Sky Sports News, and England is actually worried about this game.

Dmband said:

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You're about the 25th person who has referenced that show....at this point I HAVE to check it out...

Thats hilarious...b/c Ibanez had a good year, it makes sense to lock up Polanco...

Hey.. Brett Favre had a good year, Im thinking the Bears should go out and lock up Jeff George for the long term!

flyball said:

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oh, something else to listen to during the week so that I can conserve my pandora hours, yay!

jtbwriter said:

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Good morning from TGIF cool and sunny So Ca...
Love the pic and comments about "Error"...sad to see Fox go as I did think he had possibilities...but hopefully he'll help the A's to a higher level of mediocrity!
I'm so over the "Tiger/skank" stories-it's no longer news but TMZ sludge. There are so many other important sports stories and scandals (ie. no Coach in the HOF, the LA Angels promoting the 2nd worst sports announcers in baseball and laying off Rex Hudler/Steve Physioc, McCourt vs McCourt, etc.) and as my sister is sick of me saying-"If it doesn't put a smile on my face, food on my plate or gas in my tank-who cares?"

JulieDiCaro said:

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No Chone Figgins for us, he gets 4/36 from the Mariners.

millertime said:

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That's Great! $9 Mil a year for a 31 year old IF with a career .751 OPS. To put this into some kind of perspective, Milton Bradley was paid a $4 million signing bonus, and was paid a colossal 5 Mil last season, and will make 9 mil this year and 12 the year after. Figgins has beeen just as injury prone as Bradley the past couple seasons (115 and 116 GP in 2007,2008).

This Cubs Offseason is turning into a gameshow where you keep rooting for other teams to sign players so that your team can't. It's like when you're drawing straws, and someone in front of you just drew the short straw.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I just tried to leave my house and I have a significantly flat tire. Now I'm missing "Mystery Reader" at school. Boo.

gravedigger said:

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One of the players has narcolepsy? lol

millertime said:

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"He was always really good to me,". "He was a great guy to me. He's got a wonderful family, and he kind of took me under his wing. He was a really good teammate."

Jake Fox's thoughts on, in ESPN's words "Supposed team pariah Milton Bradley".

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