A League of Her Own

Monday Headlines: Back to Baseball, Folks

(Photo Courtesy Chicago Tribune)


Now that the improbable playoff runs of any likable football team are over, we can get serious about the fast-approaching start of spring training. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of news out there for us to drown our tears in. Bruce Levine examined the contract situations of Carlos Marmol and Matt Garza, and what we can expect both of them to be paid in the future.

The bigger picture is whether the sides can come to an agreement on a three-year deal. A two-year contract would not be beneficial for the Cubs. Marmol has one more year of arbitration left in 2012. After that season, he'll be eligible for free agency. The Cubs would give Marmol a three-year deal if they could save some money over the average life of the three years. 

A good starting point for an agreement might be $18-$20 million. In 2011, Marmol most likely will get around $4.8 million when the sides decide to agree. Projecting next season, Marmol may get $7-$8 million, if he repeats his 2010 performance.

And for Garza?

The process of signing Garza is a bit different. The newest Cubs starting pitcher has two more years of arbitration left after 2011. As a comparison to pitchers in his class, Garza will make $5.9 million in 2011. His projected salary number in 2012 may be $10 million if he continues to put up 15 wins and throws his usual 200 innings. It may be up to $13-$15 million in 2013 if he stays consistent.

The Cubs may want to reconfigure all three seasons -- 2011-13 -- and offer something in the area of $23-$25 million.


Crazy Uncle Phil's whispers are a Sunday staple, and he didn't fail to get in a jab at Carlos Zambrano in yesterday's edition.

Tom Gorzelanny grew while with the Cubs, thanks largely to time spend with Greg Maddux, and could have a long run with the Nationals. He will be missed if Carlos Zambrano goes back into the tank but GM Jim Hendry made a good deal to get three prospects (especially Double-A outfielder Michael Burgess) for a pitcher who was acquired from the Pirates alongside lefty reliever John Grabow. One of the benefits of the deal was opening a spot to evaluate pitching prospects Casey Coleman, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija and maybe even Trey McNutt.

There's one story on his own company's website that makes Zambrano look like a compassionate grown-up. I'm not sure how Rogers and Sullivan haven't written several pieces just to bury it.

Carlos Zambrano and his wife, Ismary, are in the final stages of adopting a boy from a Guatemala orphanage, and Carlos said he hopes to finalize the details before Opening Day. 

The Zambranos already have three girls, but the right-hander met the boy, now 18 months old, during a trip to Guatemala as part of his church's relief efforts.

"We've been thinking about this for a long time," Zambrano said. "It's a good thing for us. Our daughters are excited about this. We just want to keep this guy, this little kid. He's a blessing." 

In other news, beware the tainted hot dog at Chicago pro sports facilities.

At Soldier Field, site of Sunday's Bears-Packers playoff game, the food venues, restrooms and kitchens haven't been inspected during the football season in at least three years, records show. At Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field, regular inspections were held a few days before the Cubs' and White Sox's first home games the last three years. Meanwhile, no inspections have been recorded in more than a year at the United Center, an apparent violation of the city and state code.

I have to say that this isn't that big a deal. Most companies now have their own inspection systems in place. Remember Jack-in-a-Box and their e-coli issues? That cost them a lot more than just the money that went out to people who got sick. Any food service business knows that any kind of food safety issues are bad news, and will do all they can to avoid them in the first place. So don't worry about the hot dogs at Wrigley. 

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35 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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I have a friend who now manages a huge sports/concert venue, who spent a summer in food services at Wrigley. He refuses to eat the food there and tells everyone else not to, too.

jarowcliffe said:

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I was a health inspector for a local health department...this story intrigued/disgusted me. I have seen what a kitchen can turn into if there isnt some standards in place. The traditional "game food" like hot dogs and nachos are pretty benign, you see them cooked in front of you. Those are pretty much self-regulated. The restaurants where you cant see the people handling the food is what scares me!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Even so.

No more giant pretzels for me. The dipping sauces were gross, anyway.

sloan peterson said:

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I usually never eat stadium food- both Anaheim and Doddger stadium have too many people touching everything to want to eat the food..

Doc said:

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Over the years...I have found myself getting less and less food at Wrigley (not counting beer). Financially, it just doesn't make sense. I eat outside the ballpark before the game, and bring my own bag of peanuts in.

And none of that has anything to do with the actually conditions that the food is being prepared in at Wrigley....just the price of the food.

With that said, it just adds to the validation for not buying food from the vendors at Wrigley. It's too bad, too.

Wasn't it the case a few years ago that the Tribune Company had to hush up a couple of health code "violations" at Wrigley anyway?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Also, if you're showing up here this morning to rag on Cutler's "heart," or lack thereof, take it somewhere else. If Cutler's teammates stand behind him, it's good enough for me.

sloan peterson said:

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I'm curious-what "NFL Players" went on Twitter to rip Cutler? Someone whose team was not in the playoffs? Players in the playoffs should have been too busy to act stupid on Twitter. The stupidist thing I saw on the internet was the arguement that because Cutler was not on crutchs and didn't have a cast, that he was not hurt. The bright spot is Pretty Boy Sanchez lost, and all the LA sportsfools look like idiots. I smiled when I was how happy Blier and Franco Harris were last night...

sloan peterson said:

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Also I still cannot spell....

Teebob2000 said:

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Wow, why the hatred for Sanchez? He steal your lunch money?? He's a talented young kid who's not at all arrogant or a jerk from everything I've seen/read.

sloan peterson said:

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When he played for LA's professional team USC, he stole another player from another college ID, which allowed him to go to a bar near USC, became drunk and assaulted a female student. When arrested, he called one of the 40 or so lawyers on retainer 24/7 USC had at the time,and left the state. The female student was pressured and dropped out of college, then DA dithered and ditheren-end result he pled to a lesser charge got probation, and attended an AA class. Under Carroll this was one of the many players who committed various date rape offenses whom never were charged.The Jets knew about this and recommended pretty boy have one of his parents live with him when he moved to NY...google "Mark Sanchez assualt" to read some of the many stories written about the case....

JulieDiCaro said:

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I said yesterday, as a Bears fan, I want the Packers to lose the SB, but as a woman, I want Sanchez and Roethlisberger to lose the SB.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Maurice Jones-Drew and Deion Sanders are the two who come immediately to mind.

berselius said:

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Derrek Brooks too

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh, and Trent Dilfer, but he's always taking shots at Jay, so it's like white noise.

berselius said:

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It's a bummer about Brooks, because used to be one of my favorite players. It was mostly due to his United Way commercial from several years ago where he had a busload of kids singing his praises and glared at one who got one of his stats wrong. Probably one of my top 10 favorite/memorable TV commercials of all time.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I was especially mad at MJD because he was on my fantasy team. I think I'll fine him for comments that reflect poorly on the organization.

FrankS said:

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It might have been nice if the Bears had told the media at the time that it was a decision of the medical staff that Cutler was out of the game.

berselius said:

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Or if someone had the foresight to give Cutler a pair or crutches.

JulieDiCaro said:

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and a knee brace.

ELRaythar said:

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As much as some Bears fans are aching for the Caleb Hanie era to begin, Cutler is still a good qb and the Bears are better off with him. It's a good sign that his teammates are defending him.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Who is aching for the Caleb Hanie era to begin? Jay is 10 times the QB Hanie is. People are idiots.

Edelweiss said:

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True, but after Cutler got hurt, Hanie should have gone in right away, not that whats-his-name.
I think a lot of the criticism directed at Cutler should have gone to the decision to put whats-his-name in. Also, the Bears should have informed the broadcast booth that Cutler was hurt. Instead, they left everyone guessing.

JulieDiCaro said:

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ALSO, I had NO IDEA Ed Harris' new movie is the movie adaptation of "the Long Walk." AMAZING book. Now I want to see it. I hope they leave the bigfoot part in.

plamorte said:

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during work, my time is 60/40 G9Sports to real work.

Feb 1st!

Doc said:

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excellent!

gravedigger said:

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Yes, same here.

JulieDiCaro said:

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So today, a certain Bears player is letting the fans have it for ripping on Cutler. Not sure if he knows that his wife was part of the angry mob last night. And I have the screen shot to prove it.

plamorte said:

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lets see it! Mrs Harris?

jtbwriter said:

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Good morning from too sunny for January So Cal (and yes, Sloan-too warm for Jan too!)

I just can't believe how fast "fans" will turn on players-at least Cub fans know any injury to a diabetic is possibly health-threatening. Pity some Bears "fans" think with their a******s instead of their brains! Jay Cutler deserves thanks for a good season and not back-stabbing!
Sad thing is-some of the Pack fans I've seen/heard since last night haven't shown much class-guess I'm going to root for the yellow and black on the 6th!
Boy-do I wish spring training would start!

JulieDiCaro said:

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People predicted this team to go 6-10. Instead, they went to the NFC championship and lost by one score. Why the rage, people?

Doc said:

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My biggest issue is that I could have dealt better with a lose to anyone one else...but letting the Packers get to the Super Bowl...ugh...life is going to be hell for the next few weeks. If they had lost to Atlanta? Fine...all 3 of their fans wouldn't have bothered me all that much. If they had lost to Seattle? Fine. But not the Packers. I've got to hear about this for years.

Or maybe I should just move back to Chicago.

sloan peterson said:

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If any Packers fan had the nerve to mention the win to me, I would just keep muttering "Farve,Farve.." Besides the topic will soon change to which team deserves the Super Bowl win more, and of course the commericals/half-time show. And yes, you should move back to Chicago...

FrankS said:

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I'm not enraged, but I am frustrated. This Bears team was not as good as its record. It had more luck than any team I can ever remember. Everything fell perfectly into place for them, from facing 3rd string quarterbacks to strange rulings on the field.

With all that good fortune, the team laid an egg yesterday. The defense wasn't ready to start the game. Receivers played poorly. Questionable coaching decisions were made throughout the game. The game was there to be had and the Bears blew it.

On top of that, this Bears team has an old defense, a terrible offensive line and needs at least one great receiver. The general manager has drafted poorly time and again so that there really are few promising young players on the roster. The Bears have a good quarterback but no pieces to go with him. I fear the Bears are going to be bad for years.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Three weeks from today!

Doc said:

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Hi, everyone! I've decided to hide out in my basement to avoid any chance of running into a Packers fan today...as a result, I've been able to log onto my computer and see what is happening in the world.

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