Anarchist's Brunch- Shoot Theo!!!! That's all you had to say….

It didn't take much. It took long enough, mind you, but it didn't take much to get the bad taste of the off-season out of my mouth. I knew the answer was there. In fact I had heard other people say it. But you need to hear it from the right people saying it the way it needs to be said. And now I'm ready to watch some baseball. God bless context. I suppose.

This week, the MacNeil and Spiegel show was in Arizona checking out training camp.  And when they were at Cubs Under Armour plantation at Cubs Park part of the Wrigley experience or whatever it's called, they got to sit down with President Theo Epstein. Now I had usually enjoyed the heck out of Theo his first year or two. His words shined through the darkness that the Cubs were in and I could see the direction the organization was heading. But this off-season Theo was rather aloof, and you didn't know if the Cubs stagnant off-season was by design or by the hand he was dealt by upper management.

That ended Tuesday.

Dan McNeil asked Theo if the Cubs were playing lousy in the beginning of the season, would they consider "giving the fans a cookie" and call up a prospect like Baez or Bryant a little early. Fairly general question asked in a rather condescending manner. Theo first laughed. and Danny asked why he was laughing.

"I'm laughing at the idea that we should be giving our fans cookies. We're cooking a whole meal."


It wasn't that the analogy used cookies….MmMmMm cooooookies. But it was the "You simply don't get it" attitude with which he answered the question. Now Dan McNeil is not a Cubs fan, and he's kind of coasting in his job, as all peole who've been that successful for that long are. Heck, Howard Stern has had it on Cruise control for at least 20 years. So Danny doesn't care. But it was obvious that Theo cared. And that's what pricked up every Cub fans' ears.

Theo then went on to explain that it wasn't the Tanaka process that held up the Cubs off-season, rather it was every team being so rife with cash that it made what few FA's out there over priced that it was simply bad business to get involved, and now the Cubs off-seson makes a little more sense.

Now you turn your attention to these kids- not just the "Core four" but pitchers like Hendricks and Vizcaino. Players like Villanueva, Alcantarra, heck even Mike Olt and Josh Vitters ( Remember, Vitters is younger than Olt, and was just as highly thought of.) You look at all these kids and you realize that you need to get the RIGHT veterans in there to be mentors, guides, and  other pieces to the puzzle. But it has to be right. And since you can do it through trade ( Kemp? Ethier? Maybe Jason HeYward…. if he's not part of the Atlanta future) or next year FA you could afford to sit it out a mediocre FA class like this one where every team is ready and willing to overspend.

So I'm really glad to get this season going. Maybe have a drink or two. While I wait for my meal to cook.

Odds and Sodds

Remember when Trey McNutt was too valuable to lose as compensation for Theo Epstien? Good times.

Disappointed in the Blackhawks lack of activity during the trade deadline this week. What was more aggravating was the press' not only defense of Stan, but attacking fans like me who wanted to see something done. I can't get too deep into it because this isn't a hockey blog. But I'll ask this- When Stan Bowman let's Mike Kostka go via waivers and tells the press "We didn't want to carry 8 defensemen going forward…" only to spend a 2nd round draft pick on an 8th defenseman, don't you owe it to ask why he changed his mind? Because no one did… Whatever. It'll be interesting to see if anyone says anything should the Hawks go out in the second round.

I'm really really glad the Cubs are in the National league because that means they won't play the Angels much and I won't have to listen to their announcing team.

So Edwin Jackson threw 54 fastballs and Bosio and Renteria had no idea that's what he was going to do? I mean, I know it's Spring training and perhaps it turns out to be a good thing. But after 25 or 30, couldn't you have gone out there and been like "Umm Edwin, the catcher needs work too……"

If one more person says that Darwin Barney is going to up his trade value by playing 5 games at SS in the beginning of spring training, I'm gonna scream.

Nice to read all the positive tweets coming out of the baseball-drinking mashup at Lincoln square with some of the Cubs Den crew, Harry Pavilidis, Shahadev Sharma and others. I didn't read much from Mauricio. I assume Harry drank him under the floor.

True Detective finale tonight. I'm expecting an off-kilter ending. I think there's too much to wrap up in one episode. In fact, I'd be disappointed if they did wrap everything up. If that makes sense.

The problem with Baez and Bryant hitting these home runs……kinda covering up for the fact that Major league Cubs aren't…..

Well, I woke up to Here comes the Sun, so Abbey Road gets the honors for Sunday music.



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  • Good read Felzz

  • Thank you sir.

  • I can't help reading the title with Samuel Jackson's voice in my head.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ha! Same here,..... but is that a bad thing?

  • Your right about Dan Mcneal. I believe he thinks his listeners care more about his workouts, Ball State or how cool he is telling some listener that they don't know the proper way to speak rather than sports. I thought he got suspended for good. He should be for that pathetic interview.

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

    I can't listen to those two on the Score. McNeil won't stop shouting and Spiegel won't stop whining. They and that other pathetic duo of Bernstein/Boers are the epitome of really bad sports talk radio. I'd like to see Samuel L. Jackson's Jules Winnfield have them all bound and gagged in chairs, saying "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers" before inflicting serious bodily harm to them!

  • Theo' s a BAD MOTHER#UCKER!

  • Great Pulp Fiction reference, a good laugh to start my day. There is a million ways the cubs prospects can fall in to place, but i feel good knowing Theo/Jed are in charge of the decisions.

  • Nice. You always cut through the noise, and find the real stuff.

  • Great job felzz. I can't wait to see the meal Theo is cooking up. Much rather have a well prepared meal than something thrown together.

  • While I am probably as interested in seeing the Cubs in the post season and a WS as anybody - I 'get' the meal anology completely.

    IF Bryant and Baez have gotten their offense and defense completely developed (as far as one can against AAA players anyway) and have nothing left to accomplish,..... and if the guys ahead of them on the big-league club are not getting the job done as well as could be by their replacement,...... Theo is a fool to NOT bring them up.

    But - even if Baez is hitting 0.400 with a HR every other game,.... if he hasn't knocked down the error-rate at SS or hasn't successfully shifted to another defensive position,.... there is merit to leaving him in AAA unless Castro or the up in the air guys slotted into 2B oir 3B are doing something inferior.

    Same for Bryant,.... unless he is forcing the issue,..... he's got some things to work on too. Especially if they are going to make an RF or LF out of him.

    Long-winded I know,.... but I'll wait for the meal.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Hi drkazmd65,

    It might be a good thing to listen to the full Theo interview. The last portion of your post dovetails pretty closely with what Theo was saying during the interview. I'm paraphrasing and will probably miss some of what he said but basically he said that his perspective is that the players development isn't based on time (like a certain amount of time at each level in the minors) but more on what they have demonstrated they can handle. In Baez's case he mentioned being comfortable and able to make the pivot at second in a double play situation. So that is right in line with your concerns about Baez's error rates.

    As Felzz mentioned, it was a really good listen for Cubs fans. Theo really does give you confidence.

    FYI - neither player has spent any time in AAA yet.

  • In reply to Boogens:

    "FYI - neither player has spent any time in AAA yet."

    Exactly the gist of my point Boogens,..... But if the excell there - what else is there to prove?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Hear, hear!

  • So this season is a few pre-meal, top-shelf cocktails and perhaps an appetizer or two. I'm gonna enjoy a couple on the rocks and look forward to the entrees. And this is one of those high-end places where you don't know exactly what's gonna be served, but everyone's here because the chef is famous and used to be at a Five Star Michelin restaurant. And perhaps in a few years no one will be going to this place anymore because its too crowded.

  • Agreed about the Angels broadcasters... One bad inning by Soler defensively and they were saying he can't play defense... They also said the Angels should be aggressive and challenge Jr Lake because he doesn't have a strong arm... I don't expect them to know everything about the Cubs but I don't expect them to miss the mark so bad.

  • Sports Talk Radio is why I'm so thankful for Cubs Den. I tried on two separate occasions during the last 20+ years to get into it, but I can't. The content is mostly based on trivial, inane tabloid B.S. Which is hosted by narcissistic hucksters whose job is to sell sports talk radio. It's meant to be frustrating and divisive so those people that might even hate it, can't stop listening. Kinda like Jay Mariotti and Notre Dame. Cubs Den is such an escape from that silliness. Where we can intelligently and civilly discuss our favorite team. I rarely comment, but I do read every day.
    Thank you to John and all the writers/contributors and commenters that make up this great Cubs Den family. Have a great week fellers!

  • In reply to Bill:

    I don't think that sports radio crap is limited to the Chicago market. I listen to ESPN and New York radio when I travel for work and, for the most part, it is junk. I tuned in to MLB Network radio and all they talked about for an hour was the Kinsler quote. It was interesting for about 5 minutes, 3 of which were comercials. Only sports radio I actually look forward to is SVP and Russillo on ESPN. The rest is junk.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    It's not surprising that most sports talk is junk universally. I was pretty sure that we didn't have the monopoly on that here in the Chicago market. Lol.
    The original concept might have been interesting, but certainly not what it actually is- at least for me.

  • In reply to Bill:

    i am neither from Chicago or Illinois. Montana actually. But I sometimes come to Chicago and listen to sports radio. As an outsider I can say most of the personalities seem to be more interested in CREATING controversy than being informative. I do listen to Sirius XM MLB, and the only problem is listening to the northeastern fans like Yankees and Boston. Same thing! Another thing that bothers me are the "homies" in broadcasting, among fans, and All-Star voting. So most of the media is annoying.

  • In reply to Bill:

    Anyone remember the days of Chuck Swirsky on GN radio? I thought he had a great talk show. I felt a bit forsaken when he left for Detroit, but who can blame a guy for taking a better job? In a recent trip to Chitown (I live in TN), I did some listening to the various talk shows while driving, and they were basically boring - unlike Swirsky's talk shows, mostly arguing over minutiae.

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    In reply to cubs1969:

    I always thought Swirsky did a good job. Then he started going overboard on the religious talk.

  • Thank you for the kind words Bill.

    I should point out that I am a Dan McNeil guy. Sports talk radio has always been a tedious medium for me and there are very few that cut through as original or honest. Dan McNeil and Terry Boers' "heavy Fuel crew" show was great. and Dan is his own guy. But he does seem a little set in his ways at times. Him and Spiegs, transition, the "second half" of the Boers and Bernstien show, and I'm good.

    Oh and Hit and Run….starting next Sunday.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Thanks for the Hit and Run update. I turned on the radio earlier in hopes it was on. I lived out of state when McNeil and Boers were together. I really missed out.

  • In reply to felzz:

    You're welcome Felzz, you guys have certainly earned it.

    I hope I didn't come off as condescending. I truly believe in "to each, his own". Sports talk radio doesn't work for me, but I'm glad it does for others. I have a few friends who live and breath it. Lol.

    Keep up the great work!

  • fb_avatar

    Good stuff Fellz,I'll have some of that Cubs stew provided the pieces go down small. Yeah another long year ahead if I still lived in the area I would spend my time in Geneva watching the kids at least the competition would be at an even level,not like at Wrigley. I'm rejoicing however at the thought of the kids emerging for the Cubs this season and next.

  • McNeil did Theo and Cubs fans a big favor with that question. The beats wouldn't have asked it, but they probably all have a 'throw the fans a cookie' first draft on their laptops. The transition that day was great when Spiegs told Bernstein about how Theo cringed when the question was asked.

  • What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Felzz? No, my fair cousin;
    If we are mark'd to die another season, we are now
    To do our team’s loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
    God's will! I pray thee, wish not one free-agent more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for golden arms,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if free-agents my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
    But if it be a sin to covet honor,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my cause, wish not a minor’s talent.
    God's peace! I would not lose so great an honor
    As one man more methinks would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Epstein, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us another season.
    This day is call'd the beginning of hope.
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
    And rouse him at the name of “Champions”.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
    And say "To-morrow in honor of victory."
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say "These wounds I gave for my team."
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words-
    Baez, Almora, Bryant, and Soler,
    Alcantara and Vogelbach, Vizcaino and Edwards-
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And our Championship shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen of doubt, now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon our Victory’s Day.

    Felzz, thy passport be made,
    30 coins of silver thy purse line,
    Your passage secured.
    In our glory our eyes heaven search,
    But find you not!

    And in the end at the Battle of Angincourt, 112 English farmers with ax and bow laid dead. And at their feet slain 10,000 professional French mounted and dismounted Knights.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Until today Felzz! Now I see you get it. There are many negative voices, impatient children in men's armor. But few can keep from sticking their finger in the pot and crying unfair. If you are prepared to go without the cookie, then I think I will not resent your share of the glory.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quasimodo:

    by my troth, ten times a thousand huzzah's doth thou deserve for a post most learned, merry and well-wrought!

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Hear, hear!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    You might have something there. Perhaps if we can trick the Cardinals into wearing a 100lbs of armour and riding huge war horses into a very watered down wrigley infield, we too might come out victorous this year.

  • Ha! Whilst though praise most deservedly, the Cardinals would off my head, such proud rhetoric it be.

    That is the whole purpose of not signing the free agent cookie this off season. We need more powerful long-bows as Felzz has pointed out!

  • Felzzy...

    I'm late to the dance... um! I stopped listening to WSCR a long time ago... thank god it was before McNeil came back. Nuff said.

    My life is richer and much, much better informed for having the Den and Bleacher Nation to keep me in the loop about All Things Cubs.

    You, sir, are a wonderfully brilliant light who can always be counted on for great prose and a Fels-ian rapier-like wit. I always read the Anarchist's Brunch... always!!

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