A League of Her Own

Tuesday Cubs Headlines: Next Year Is Here

 

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone. -- Bart Giamatti

A lot of people consider "next year" to begin on the first day of Spring Training, but as the Cubs' brass usually manage to do something to completely screw up the team in Winter Meetings, I think "next year" starts right now.

When the Cubs begin their annual organizational meetings Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz., some of the same old topics from previous years will be resurrected.

Can they afford to sign a left-handed slugger, another starting pitcher and some bench help?

Will the farm system provide a couple of prospects that can contribute immediately?

And what should they do about Carlos Zambrano?

The meetings run through Friday, with the first order or business finishing manager Mike Quade's coaching staff. Nationals third-base coach Pat Listach, who won a Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year award at Triple-A Iowa in 2008, will be named as bench coach after the World Series.

But the real purpose of the meetings is for general manager Jim Hendry to get input from everyone -- his manager, advisors, scouts, coaches, minor league coordinators and statistical gurus -- on how best to put together next year's team. Quade has spent the last couple of weeks fishing and digesting numbers from Baseball Information Manager Chuck Wasserstrom.

A couple of thoughts:

1) Even if there ARE prospects that can help the Cubs immediately, it doesn't matter because Hendry will insist they waste away in Iowa until the Cubs have no choice but to bring them up or face an angry mob of Cubs fan with torches and pitchforks;

2) When I picture the organizational meetings, and Jim Hendry getting input from the rest of his staff, I can't help but picture Ari Kaplan spinning around in his chair and tossing pencils into the ceiling while the grown-ups talk. 

The big news this week is that Pat Listach has managed to finagle his way onto Quade's coaching staff:

Former Cubs minor-league manager Pat Listach has agreed to become Mike Quade's bench coach, sources said Monday.

The Cubs will have no announcement, and the move won't be made official until after the World Series concludes.

Listach, who was Jim Riggleman's third base coach with Washington, was considered a top candidate for the job, having worked under general manager Jim Hendry in the Cubs' system and interviewing for the managerial job in 2006.

And for those of you who were hoping to scrape together enough change to buy Sammy's corked bat, you still have a shot:

Sammy Sosa's infamous corked bat did not sell at auction Sunday night. Former Cubs pitcher Mike Remlinger, who owns the controversial bat, had a secret reserve auction price in place, and reportedly that amount was not reached by the close of bidding.

Grant DePorter was the high bidder at $14,407. The CEO of Harry Caray's Restaurant Group used the secret bidder name of Charles Murphy, the Cubs' owner in 1908. DePorter said he wonders "if the auction was corked" because Remlinger reportedly was hoping to fetch $15,000 for the bat.

Screw you, Mike Remlinger. Though I had no idea you were so enterprising.

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66 Comments

plamorte said:

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Offseason predictions:

Cliff Lee: Cubs
Adam Dunn: Cubs
Adrian Gonzalez: Cubs
Carl Crawford: Cubs
Rafael Soriano: Cubs
Kosuke Fukudome: Cubs

Cubs Psychologist said:

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And, what drugs are you taking and can I get some??

sloan peterson said:

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Cliff Lee will only come to the Cubs if his wife gives permission...

JulieDiCaro said:

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his wife would LOVE Cubs fans. We'll stick her in the family section--they're so warm and fuzzy!

Doc said:

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And yet we still don't have a second baseman.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Now is the time of year when we have to start checking MLBTR for Cubs news every day!

Cubs Psychologist said:

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I do that already?? Sad, I know.

HackWilson09 said:

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I like to make up my own rumors. Last year, it was Bradley for Silva, and it was kinda creepy when it happened.

This year, it's Soriano & Silva for Zito & Rowand.

Bruce Levine actually made fun of me for suggesting it. But what more perfect salary swap could there be? Zito probably issued a trade demand this morning at 6 am Eastern time. Rowand has been a bust. Soriano is the definition of bust, and he's the offensive equivalent of Zito. Silva's just a big, fat, warm body to make Sandoval look skinny.

I want Soriano to go away in the worst possible way. He's serioulsy one of the worst players I've ever seen. Fields like Manny, hits like Bellhorn, runs the bases like Moises Alou.

Doc said:

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I fear that the Cubs news on that site will be frighteningly quiet as it was most of last off-season.

HackWilson09 said:

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Quade's reign is starting to feel like Obama's presidency already. The underdog won, hooray. Now what? I feel an overwhelming sense of ennui, and a little bit of the usual doom and gloom. Like the whole thing is disintegrating before it starts. Listach definitely feels like a Biden. I wonder what sort of Hillary will be coaching third?

I think it's a good time to analyze what kind of team wins a world series. You need two or three aces and a strong bullpen. The rest of it simply doesn matter, and defense seems to be more important than offense.

When did the Cubs come the closest? When they had two bonafide aces, before they were hurt.

Currently, the Cubs have zero aces. You can't win with that hand, and you can't bluff your way to victory when people know about your losing streak.

If we do nothing but sign Cliff Lee and Kerry Wood, we'll be fine. Seriously.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ennui is par for the course for Cubs fans and Democrats.

Doc said:

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The Cubs are going to get us universal health care? They can't screw it up any worse than the Democrats did, right?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't care what Tom Ricketts says about the team payroll. If he loves baseball as much as he claims, he'll be in the bidding for Cliff Lee.

cadarnell said:

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all i hear is how we can't afford him ... I think the thing I would say to mr. money baggs about that is ... we can't afford not to have him ... god I'm tired of losing ... I hope tom ricketts is too ...

Doc said:

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I don't want Cliff Lee...he sucks. I mean, how unclutch can you get, losing 2 games in the World Series. Name me one current Cubs pitcher that has lost 2 games in the World Series.

We don't need losers like Cliff Lee.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I bet every Cubs fan on the planet would throw in $100 to get Cliff Lee. They just have to ask.

flyball said:

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I disagree, since I consider myself a Cubs fan and I would not chip in $100 for Cliff Lee

Doc said:

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I agree...I would not give $.05 to that loser.

flyball said:

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I have nothing against Lee, just against another big contract

secdelahc said:

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I have nothing against Cliff Lee, I just have better uses for $100.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey--get out and vote!

gravedigger said:

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No thanks.

plamorte said:

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i haven't been paying attention, who should I vote for, I trust you Julie...

Doc said:

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I'm sure Julie would agree that you should vote for anyone with an "R" next to their name.

sloan peterson said:

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Keep all the "R"'s in the midwest where they can't mess up CA anymore...:)

sloan peterson said:

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Voted last week, and vetted/helped fill out 4 more absentee ballots for my mom and co-workers. Passed my sample ballot on to still more relatives, since I'm the only person they know who actually read all the ballot propositions and researched the judges on the ballot....

Teebob2000 said:

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Just in the name of saving time, shouldn't Listach have also been named the Cubs' next future interim manager?

Doc said:

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no necessarily...

The last interim manager the Cubs had was Bruce Kimm (lightning...thunder)...he was the AAA manager at the time. Speaking of which, I believe Listach took over for Kimm in Iowa that year.

Doc said:

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ugh...my 't' disappeared.

Teebob2000 said:

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You mean the last interim manager *before* Quade...

Doc said:

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sloan peterson said:

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Actually his title should be "First Runner-up" in case Quade can't fulfill his duties as "winner" in the Manager's Beauty contest.....

flyball said:

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I apologize Quade, but I really hope they don't sign any big names

flyball said:

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how does Remlinger own the bat?

HackWilson09 said:

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He hid it up his ass for about four months.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm going to protest the Listach hiring by refusing to learn how to correctly spell his name. Suck on that, Pat.

Doc said:

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um...you just spelled it correctly.

JulieDiCaro said:

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you have to wonder if guys are jumping at the chance to be Quade's bench coach because they think they'll have a shot at his job in a year or two.

Doc said:

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You are assuming there are people, besides Ryne Sandberg, who actually really want that job.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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BTW, Padres have exercised their option on Gonzalez. Hello,
Adam Dunn??

Doc said:

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It's a matter of signing Dunn to a long term deal or if they just wait out until Gonzalez hits free agency. It's an interesting thought, especially considering 2011 doesn't look to show much promise anyway.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Agree....For a year, bring back D-Lee then go after Gonzalez!!

sloan peterson said:

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The only place I want to see D Lee is in the cast of "Celebrity Apprentice." Still don't forgive him for whining about Anaheim,then hightailing it out a month later....

Doc said:

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I agree with that assessment.

Dmband said:

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What are the chances Hendry brings back Mike Tontenot as a "clubhouse guy". I mean he's got a ring, theres so much he can teach the kids about winning.

sloan peterson said:

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Is that Mikey F's evil twin?

Dmband said:

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or Mike Fontenot...either of those guys.

ELRaythar said:

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I'd bring back Tontenot. While Fontenot is all well and good, he clearly carried the baggage of Cubs suckage with him to SF, as evidenced by his lack of playing time.

Edelweiss said:

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'fraid not. Julie will have to find someone else to stalk and complain about.

Dmband said:

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There was a seemingly erroneous report regarding the Cubs having already reached a tenative 3 year 40 million dollar deal with Adam Dunn. I forgot where I heard this, but I think someone shot it down as nonsense.

Any truth to that?

Doc said:

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That was a joke...

yes, it is nonsense.

I have no doubt that the Cubs have had no contact with any potential free agents yet. Besides, the Nationals have exclusive negotiating rights at the present time.

secdelahc said:

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Who cares about facts?

gravedigger said:

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Relatedly, this year there's only a 5 day waiting period before open negotiations start with other teams, as opposed to 15 excruciating days in previous years,.

Dmband said:

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Facts, Smacts. Give me heresay and conjecture...thats a winning combination!

Doc said:

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If you haven't seen the Cubs reaction to Tim McGinnis not renew his season tickets...go take a look.

secdelahc said:

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I'm impressed that there was actually a response from the Cubs.

ELRaythar said:

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I think the picture at the beginning of this post ranks as one of the most depressing things (sports department) ever.

Dmband said:

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That is such a great response that Tim sent back. That was impressive.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Agree-he did a great job. And he's MY podcast partner! You can hear him every friday on Wrigley Talk Friday.

gravedigger said:

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well, im getting drunk and watching election results. none of this is a surprise (i predicted 8 seats changing to dems int he senate and 45-50 in the house), but watching it actually happen is... well. its why im drinking tonight.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm guessing getting through these results will take at least 2 bottles of wine. UGH

gravedigger said:

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rubio is crushing in FL (i was hoping for crist - he's at least a little more moderate, and almost certainly would have caucused with the Dems). portman wins in OH. ugh.

flyball said:

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it makes me lauh when the media swears up and down its going to be really close, and then its not, I'm sure thats partially because people who might stay home get worried and go vote, but still, it ammuses me

sloan peterson said:

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Meg /Whitman the $200 million woman is going down to defeat, the 1 bright spot tonight. The bad news, is according to one of her "people", is that Nutmeg may be invited to join a DC think tank,or get a seat on a major corporation.....

FrankS said:

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That's no surprise. If she were an incumbent losing an election she could become a lobbyist. Even Dick Nixon made a comeback after 1960.

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