Friday, August 29, 2003

Speeding Congressman May Be Permanently Slowed

One of our "law makers" has finally been caught after years of openly flaunting the law. U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow of South Dakota is a "self-proclaimed speeder" who got 12 speeding tickets in South Dakota between 1990 to 1994 and paid more than $1,000 in fines. "He often drove 15 mph to 20 mph faster than legal speed limits and once got caught going 90 mph in a 65-mph zone." (Source - AP).

Well, the years of speeding have finally resulted in a problem for Rep. Janklow. Oh yeah, and a problem for the motorcyclist he hit when he ran a stop sign at 70 miles per hour - death.

Rep. Janklow was charged with second-degree manslaughter, failure to stop, going 71 in a 55 mile an hour zone and reckless driving. Failure to stop and speeding a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, while the top penalty for reckless driving is one year in jail. Manslaugheter gets you 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The penalty for the 55 year old man who was killed is certainly higher.

Memorial Notes

Dusty says the team is getting killed in the 8th inning. His solution? Promote Alenfuega to setup. In other news, Ariel Sharon has hired Yasir Arafat to provide security at Jerusalem bus stops.

September call up lists are in all the papers. Juan Cruz arrives on Sunday to start and be eligible for the postseason. Pitchers Todd Wellemeyer, Sergio Mitre and Felix Sanchez, infielders Augie Ojeda and Hee Seop Choi, outfielder Dave Kelton and catcher Josh Paul are likely to follow Cruz on Monday.

Looks like the beat writers were in a hurry to get outta St. Loser (who can blame them). The "interest" stories in all three papers focus on Wood's dinner meeting with Mark "Pud" Grace and if Wood would sign with the D-Backs after 2004. It's nice that Grace can spend Jerry Collangelo's money like that. Oh, wait. Collangelo has no money to sign a guy like Wood. He had to get an additional $160 million in capital to keep the D-Backs liquid and is looking for even more cash for the Coyotes.

Even more disappointing is the focus on this non-story but no mention of Waivin' Wendell's 932nd runner getting thrown out at home. Three papers, three reporters in a hurry to get home after a 9 game road trip, no stories for the readers. Sigh.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Tumbling Down For Hill does a run down of all the major prospects traded in recent weeks. Included are Ray Sadler, Emmanuel Ramirez, and Matt Brubeck.

I guess Bobby Hill no longer is on the radar.

Defining Moment?

I was listening to the radio yesterday and Paul Harvey evoked the classic Mike Royko definition of Cubs fans.

Optimists see a glass as half full.
Pessimists see a glass as half empty.
Cubs’ fans wonder when it’s going to spill.

19 for 19

If you want to know why the Cubs lost last night, look no farther than Jim Hendry. His lack of balls in refusing to outright release Antonio Alenfuega is sickening, and scary if you really think about it. Alenfuega's contract is up at the end of the year. His salary is fixed until September 28th. He gets his check if he's at Wrigley, Busch, or on a slow boat to the Dominican. The money is already spent, even if his arm falls off. You look at the refusal to eat spent money, then you see Rod Beck. The man is 19 for 19 in save opportunities. I mentioned I'm reading Moneyball. Billy Beane says to stop looking at things like a player's "look" or hs pitch speed, or his power. See if the guy performs in games. You are Hendry. Evaluate Beck at AAA vs. Alenfuega at Wrigley. Hendry's conclusion: Keep Alenfuega and his sunk cost over taking a flyer on Beck. You are Hendry. You make the same decision?

The rotation has officially been changed. Prior gets the Cards on Monday. Juan Cruz goes Sunday against the Brewers making him, most importantly, playoff roster eligible. The rest of the Brewer series has penciled in Matt Clement for Friday and Shawn Estes for his scheduled loss on Saturday.

Fred Mitchell interviews (ok, asks three questions) Milt Pappas in today's Trib. "Kerry Wood scares me because he still throws with his arm. That's what happened when he hurt himself. Dusty Baker and I have talked about that because Dusty is a dear friend of mine. Dusty broke in with the Atlanta Braves when I was with the Braves. Why doesn't somebody just take the bull by horns and tell the kid, 'Hey, you have to use your whole body. Otherwise you're going to get hurt again.' His ball is not moving now. It is as straight as an arrow," says Milt.


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Franken vs. FOX was Nothing

So some Egyptians want to sue Jews all over the world for "stealing" gold when the Jews left Egypt after the 10 plagues (article via MEMRI.ORG)
Dr. Nabil Hilmi, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Al-Zaqaziq who, together with a group of Egyptian expatriates in Switzerland, is preparing an enormous lawsuit against "all the Jews of the world."

"... a group of Egyptians in Switzerland has opened the case of the so-called 'great exodus of the Jews from Pharaonic Egypt.' At that time, they stole from the Pharaonic Egyptians gold, jewelry, cooking utensils, silver ornaments, clothing, and more, leaving Egypt in the middle of the night with all this wealth, which today is priceless."

"The theft was not limited to gold alone. The thieves stole everything imaginable. They emptied the Egyptian homes of cooking utensils. One of the women approached Pharaoh, her eyes downcast, and said that her Jewish neighbor who lived in the house on the right of her house had come to her and asked to borrow her gold items, claiming she had been invited to a wedding… The Jewish neighbor took [the items] and promised to return them the next day. A few minutes later, the neighbor to the left knocked on the door and asked to borrow the cooking utensils, because she was having guests for dinner. Using this same deceitful system, they took possession of all the cooking utensils…"
Allowing that there is no archeological evidence of such an exodus, let's say there was. OK. What about lost wages? If Jews owe $1,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in gold and accumulated interest over 3,300 years, what do Egyptians owe Jews for indentured servant wages?

Damn good thing there weren't 401K's back then.


Beaned Bird Files

Jae Kuk Ryu was sentenced yesterday after killing Ozzy the Osprey in a game earlier this year with a thrown baseball. Ryu gets a $500 fine, court costs, 100 hours of community service and six months probation. Doug Glanville offered to serve in Ryu's place if Ryu could do the same act in Wrigley on another Ozzy.


Helpfull Injury?

Interesting banter with Murph and Fred this AM. Where are the Cubs with Korey Patterson and without Kenny Lofton? Well, with Korey's .224 strike out per plate appearence average and his penchant for base running mistakes, I'd say about 3 to 5 games back.


Estes Park

The Daily Herald reports that Estes will remain in the rotation, it's just a matter of what day he'll pitch again. "I'm going to talk to Jim (GM Hendry) now about some things," (Dusty) Baker said. "He (Estes) is going to pitch. It's just a matter of which day."

The Trib reports that Estes will pitch against the Brewers for certain. But Paul Sullivan ignores the angle of Prior against the Cards and suggests that Prior would go on Sunday. Not my first choice.

The SunTimes mentions Juan Cruz coming back to possibly tweak the rotation thereby allowing Prior to face the Dead Birds again. No mention of Estes -- which is actually soothing!

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Giles Goes Home

Brian Giles has finally been dealt to San Diego (his home town) in exchange for left-hander Oliver Perez, outfielder Jason Bay and a PTBNL. That means the Cubs will face the Giles-less Bucs 7 times while Houston gets to play the Giles-enhanced Padres six times in the next 12 games. Sounds like a good deal to me. Now, if only we could see Jose Vidro at O'Hare....


Dog Days

Just no good baseball news today, I guess. All three of the rags I skim daily have nothing interesting to say. Oh, there's the usual story about how the Cubs suck when they play in St. Loser. Paul Sullivan tries pot stirring with a column comparing the moves of Hendry vs. Kenny Williams. Booorrrrring. Mariotti tries to be above the fray by reminding everyone that 1 game leads in the AL Central and 1/2 game trailers in the NL Central are not guarantees of anything. Thanks for the flash, Gordon. If I were a SABR guy I suppose I could come up with some stat that would be interesting, but I'm not so I won't. I'm reading Moneyball right now. I could chat on that, but I'm only half way through it (note: great chapter name - "Giambi's Hole").

So, I'll just note that in the rest of the world, we ("we" used properly here, not relating to a baseball team) lose a soldier in Iraq every 32 hours, the budget deficit if going to be close to $1 trillion over the next two years, Palestinians continue their civil war by killing religous (read: non fighting) Jews in buses, 14 more Taliban have been joyfully dispatched to the ether, 46 tourists and jewelry shoppers were sent to their final rewards as Bombay lives up to its name, I observed Mars' sourth pole through my telescope yesterday evening, and summer is almost over with the Cubs clinging to a winning record.

Can someone tell me what this all adds up to be?


Monday, August 25, 2003

What to Think

With 33 games to go, there is a three way tie in the loss column between the Cubs, Stros and St. Loser. Effectively all tied up. All three teams are on a pace to win 84 games. Are they really in contention? If they eek out a division title, can a team win a playoff series with 84 wins? My survey says only the Twins came close, and they had 87. And what's the rotation going in? Can Prior/Zambrano win 3 games out of 5 and 4 out of 7? Can Wood/Clement (these guys are the same pitcher) be counted on for long relief or just comic relief?

Other pressing questions:

Does Wendell Kim get replaced for finally getting a player hurt (Womack)?
Does Juan Cruz get activated for his September 2nd start by August 31st making him playoff eligible?
Who bats second the rest of the way? Womack or A Gonz?
And what about Naomi?


Friday, August 22, 2003

Mr. Mom Week Ends

One of the only bad things about watching your two sons for a week is that you can't talk Cubs. Then again, when you see a key series and get to avoid seeing your fave team walk around like they have a chicken bone in their throat, it's a good thing. Regular entries return next week.

The Politicking Contines

Hee Sop Choi will not be a Cub next year. Why? Articles keep hinting at it by praising Simon. Phil Rogers chimes in with more on this increasingly obvious story planting by Hendry/Baker. So the farm system, which is supposed to be so good, has yielded nada. Shocking.


Thursday, August 21, 2003

The speculation has already started. Mike Kiley scribes that Choi may not be a Cub in 2004 and that Randall Simon may keep the job. Now were Choi part of a package taht brings Vidro, I could live with that. But Choi in Sec Taylor vs. Simon in Wrigley? Gimme Big Choi.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Where's The Beef?

As our good friend Sloth rightly ranted, most of us have been led to believe that the Cubs are going to be built via Farm System Players.

Well, where are they?

Bobby Hill? Gone. David Kelton? Yo-yo. Hee Sop Choi? Banished. Montanez? Sucks. Frese? Ditto. Patterson? Playing better, but strking out as often as he blinks and running the bases with the deftness of Norm Petterson in a beer can museum.

Every day I get an e-mail, The Baseball America Prospect Report. I look for "CHC" as I go down the list. I see far too few names. For every "CHC D.Bacon CF 4 2 1 0 .269 - 3 BB, K, 6 SB (71); 40 SB in 40 G, promoted to AA" I see 50 other names from other teams. And I never see the names at AA.

What is this team doing and when is it going to do it?

Barry Rozner on the chance that Steinbrenner might just take Sosa off our hands and allow the Cubs to get young and better at several positions all at once. If Sosa goes, Tejada, Vidro, Vasquez and Vlad are all possible acquisitions. Probably 3 of them would be a good bet.


Monday, August 18, 2003

First Thing Smoking

Randall "Abe Froman" Simon may have taken a beating from bloggers, but you know what? He wants to be here. The Daily Herald has a great article on this guy and his 'tude.

"I said 'Hey, man, will you be here tomorrow? Who's going to pack the stuff up?'" Baker said before Sunday's game. "He said, 'I'll be there. My wife will come in and pack up next week, but I'm on the first thing smoking in the morning and I'll be there ready to play."

"I want to be part of it as soon as I could," (Simon) said. "They told me last night, and I said, 'Let's get a flight today in the morning so I can be here and help my team."

Simon wore a wide smile before Sunday's game as he chatted with Ramirez in the clubhouse. The Pirates are 7 games out of first place, and Simon looks forward to chasing a division title with his new team.

"It's a beautiful thing," Simon said of the Cubs' position. "It's awesome to be here knowing that they want to go with the playoffs. I think we have a very good chance, and I'm looking forward to helping the team get there."

That is a beautiful thing.


Pass On Wood

Let's just ignore the hilarity (and cross marketing) that was Ozzie and Sharon yesterday, shall we? I mean, if you don't understand the real purpose behind the 7th Inning Guest Singers then you probably think tht Ask Amy was there because she's cute.

The real issue is Kerry Wood and his future. This is a guy that's about to go tell Jim Hendry, "Give me $50 million over the next four years or I walk after 2003." We find out that Wood has had balsa for vertebra since he was 18 and that it's been a problem his whole pro career. He's never won more than 13 games in a season. He's already had his arm repaired once (some pitchers have had it twice). And he loses concentration in seemingly every start, leading to an inning where he blows the game. Is this guy worth $12.5 million per year and the players it prevents the Cubs from getting / keeping?

I've gotta say, "No."

Back in 1998, when Wood got his 20, I called WSCR and said that this was one of the worst days in Cubs history. Why? Because Wood was now no longer a pitcher, he was marketing and the cuddliness that comes with it. That attitude is still in Cubs fans to this day. If you factor out that one game, Wood has been an average to above average pitcher at best. His ERA keeps rising. He keeps getting out pitched by guys younger than him. He doesn't show increased mound maturity (although not taking a curtain call after his 1,000th K was sharp -- considering they were losing the game).

He's not a $10 million man. Much less, $12.5 million.

In other news....

...Korey Patterson was spotted getting thrown out in a key spot. Why was he wearing #7?

...Eric Gagne on the mound in the ninth. Cubs need a pinch hitter. So instead of lefty Choi we see Karros. The latest Sky Kids movie was the result. Choi heads to Iowa today for the rest of the month. Get 50 ABs and clear your head, Big Choi.

...just like the "L" in Chicago removed the "A" and "B" trains and replaced them with "All Stops," so have the Chicago Bears replaced their "A-Train" with an "All Stop."


Friday, August 15, 2003

WGN is reporting that Bobby Hill is now a Pirate. I guess that makes him the PTWNT (player that was named today). Hill is now on his third organization (the White Sox drafted him, but could not sign him).

This team must be a candidate for Jose Vidro in the offseason.


So many tidbits from yesterday's Hugh Jass win over the Astros.

- Gotta keep batting Gonzo second. He did well early in the year in that slot. I guess he likes the fastballs that batting infront of Sammy brings.

- The schedule gets tough for a while compatred to Houston and St. Loser. Cubs get LA, at Houston, at Zona, at St. Loser. Houston goes at Cinci, Cubs, Cinci, LA while St. Loser goes at Philly, Pitt, Philly, Cubs. Gotta hang on until 9/1. I mean, Gonzo sucks overall (Tejada needs to be here next year), but he's got more than 10 PAs batting 2nd (305 PAs), 6th (50) and 7th (81) this year. His OPS is .713, 1.109, and .241 (!) respectively. Second or sxth seems to be the place to hit him. So long as Grudz is out, he has to hit 2nd. I'm gonna try and find out what Gonzo's average is hitting 2nd with Sosa batting third. My guess, unseen, is it's pretty good.

- Dusty sure seems to be afraid of the Thunderbirds. They're gonna be here for the next three days, Dusty. Get used to them. Maybe even use them to psyche out the Dodgers and the Hundleyettes (nice how Big Head Todd is on the DL and won't show his noggin).

- The Trib gets an edge on the other paper's reports regarding the demotion of Juan Cruz. Seems he was pissed. And seems if Juan wasn't shy about telling Larry Rothschild how he felt. If I was stuck watching Shaun Estes pitch I'd be pissed, too. Cruz will likely get his next start against the Cards during the doubleheader scheduled that first weekend in September.

- The Suntimes does get a scoop back with info on Sammy's expired drivers license and license plate. What's the prob, Sammy? $70 for the plate and $25 for the license too much? Ahh! Now we see why you are trying to extend your contract!

- To turn the power back on along the east coast is simple. Find the guy in the silver suit and say, "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!"


So many tidbits from yesterday's Hugh Jass win over the Astros.

- Dusty sure seems to be afraid of the

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Only 1 game in the loss column separates the Stros, Cards and Cubs. I still think the Cubs will be on the outside looking in, but this team has become "Must See," except when Estes is pitching. Biggest game of the season today. And Clement takes the bump. Let's hope the Clement that pitched 2 ad 3 starts ago shows up and not the one that pitched against LA.

Bruce Miles was on WSCR this AM with a familiar sounding caller. He was asked who would be gloing to Pittsburgh this Friday. Ironically, Miles' column was on this very topic. Francis Beltran's biceps are inflammed with tendinitis and may cause the deal to be delayed. According to Miles, Bobby Hill is not prevented from being called up even though he is on the PTBNL list. I've heard conflicting reports on that.

Kenny Lofton: 2004 everyday center fielder.

Seems Wood, Clement and Prior were having some fun with Santo, Carey and Stone.


Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Estes made it through 4 1/3 today before being removed. The hot rumor is that he snapped his fetlock and will be humanely destroyed. Somehow, I doubt Baker will let that happen.

Carol Slezak writes a column about the badness that is a Ron Santo broadcast. She must be kidding when she says, "How can anyone not find this pair amusing?" She must. Mustent she?


I see the Florida Marlins are the leaders for the Wild Card. To be sure, this franchise didn't exist 15 years ago, built itself into a winner, won a World Series, traded everyone away for young talent, played terrible baseball, and is now good again and would be playoff bound were the season to end today.

Yeah, and the Cubs can't do a frickin' thing in 96 years.


Heard a suggestion for a nickname for Carlos this AM that I kinda liked. The Big Zamboni. It fits because he has ice water for blood, but would a Hispanic be upset with an Italian nickname? What Big Z did last night was the definition of "Ace." If only Kerry Wood could keep his composure like Z and Prior do. I always see Kerry sitting next to Prior in the dugout. I wonder who talks and who listens?

The more I see of Kenny Lofton the more I wish that somehow his brain could be transplanted into Corey Patterson. Lofton is the consumate professional baseball player. Patterson is your consumate bonus baby. Lofton wins you games. Patterson finds ways to cost you games. Lofton makes contact. Patterson strikes out. Lofton does things right on the basepath. Patterson gets tagged out oversliding second on a steal attempt. Sign Lofton to a 1 year extension. Or see if the babe with the boots from Star Trek can still do surgery.

So what's up with Cruz? Lot's of speculation at C&AC. Gotta hope that they are keeping him around for the 3rd inning today -- the point where Estes is removed. I hate rooting against Estes. My first house was on Estes just down the street from Jack's Restaurant in Skokie on Touhy. Great pancakes!


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The Scumbag is back.

Derek Zumsteg and Will Carroll are reporting that the biggest cheater in the history of baseball will be allowed to be affiliated with the game he directly sullied as soon as 2004.

Yes, Pete Rose, the person who made believing in the ligitimacy of Cinci Redlegs game outcomes equal to that of your run-of-the-mill Wrestlemania, is supposed to be back next year. Amazingly, no admission of wrongdoing will be required of Rose. Congrats to Bud Selig for, once again, deflecting attention away from the sacking of Rome with another tune from a liar.


Major League Baseball has repsoneded with a statement saying that's report is, "unsubstantiated", "totally unfounded", and "wholly inaccurate." This ball will continue to bounce for a while, I'm sure.


Mike Kiley is confirming the Pittsburgh reports that the PTBNL will be named by Friday. Speculation still circles around Bobby Hill (4-20 since returning from the DL) and Francis Beltran.

The Sun Times has a feature called, "Weather in a Word." In a single word, they give you the idea for today's weather (today in Chicago could be, "Sticky"). After watching Aramis Ramirez for a few weeks now, I've come up with "Third Baseman in a Word." That word is, "Next!"

Now I know Kerry Wood isn;t to blame for last night's loss. But when does this guy really step up, if ever? Prior is an ace as he showed Sunday (and why I would have saved him for Monday). Wood is a good pitcher who seems to have a mental lapse in at least one inning every time out. He's a #2 or #3 pitcher at best.

Godspeed, Herb Brooks. Thanks for the first, great sports memory in a 12 year old's life.

Two questions for Ahh-nahld!:

1) What will you do? And;
2) When will you do it?

Until you can answer those two questions, get off the airwaves.


Monday, August 11, 2003

Mr. Brutal with the key AB of the game. In the 4th, on a 2-0 pitch with the 2 guys ahead of him walking, Karros taps a Texas Leaguer to center. Here he comes in the 8th. Should we do real time blogging?

Nice, Ramirez. You suck. This guy is not a winning ballplayer.

Ok. Karros time.

Strike down the middle. And a shrug from Mr. $9.5mm.

Foul to left. Here comes the whiff.

Ooooh! Close.

Pop to third. Why the hell is this guy playing against a right hander? Answer, Dusty? I don't give a crap that this guy had the only RBI.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Had a flu bug this weekend so I haven't felt like doing much typing. I did want to acknowledge the other Cubs bloggers out there that have added Ivy Chat to their links. Thanks, everyone. Nice to know you've been spotted.

Just one other thought. Why not start Cruz today and give have Prior ready, on a extra day's rest, for Houston? That'd have the added benefit of keeping Estes from facing the Astro bats.


Friday, August 08, 2003

Is Mike Kiley an Ivy Chat fan? Just 48 hours after I wondered why the press has been so soft on Waivin’ Wendell, Kiley pens a story that the front office is gonna push Baker on that issue. It seems that there is precedent as Andy McPhail forced Jim Riggleman to move Dan Radisson over to first back in 1997. A curiosity: Radisson was replaced by Tom Gamboa, the subject of yesterday’s entry and rant on Chicago judge “Let ‘Em Go Leo.”

Off to Dodger land, the only stadium outside of Chicago where I have ever seen the Cubs play. Is there a more overrated food than Dodger Dogs? Those hot dogs tasted like they were made out of Ken-L-Ration. So what they’re longer than your normal ball park dog? Would extending the Dick Jauron show with Hub Arkush make it more listenable?


Thursday, August 07, 2003

Wanna talk about a team that couldn't buy good press even if their owner was named Hearst? The White Sox. William Ligue Jr. was sentanced yesterday for running on the field at Comiskey Park with his son and pummelling Royals coach Tom Gamboa. Gamboa now has a partial hearing loss in one ear that is likely permanent. So what does unprovoked assualt in front of 25,000 witnesses get you in Cook County? Thirty (30) months' probation. Who makes that call?

Judge Leo Holt.

John Kass over at the Trib has a great column on Holt. At the court house, Holt's known as "Let 'Em Go, Leo" Holt. He's let go some pretty interesting characters over the years. Now, l'm sure a lot of judges have some bugaboos in their docket history. But this just stinks. The guy served 60 days awaiting trial. I think he deserved another, oh, 305. You've gotta send a message that attendees to sporting events will face more than the "noo-noo-noo" I give my nearly 1 year old when he goes near an electric outlet.

And given the lack of White Sox blogs (I guess they think the Web is what hangs in the corner of their crawlspace), I figured I'd point this out.


Nothing like a big win off a Sosa homer to get Sosa focused on what her really desires. A longer contract. Two articles (LINK and LINK) today say that Sosa wants a two year extension and he won't become a free agent at the end of the year. Sosa can declare himself a free agent at the end of the year. Key to understand is that Sosa does not have "free-look" free agency. If Sosa files, he voids his remaining contract. The Cubs would then be free of $16 million in 2004 and $17 million in 2005 due to Sosa.

You have to ask yourself two questions:

1) Would Sosa file?
2) If he did, do you trust Hendry to get a replacement?

In reverse order, my answers are, "Yes," and, "I hope so."

Now, I love watching Sammy play and I'd love to see him hit #756 as a Cub. But looking at the upcoming free agent class, the Cubs upcoming pitching, and the likelyhood that Sammy's play will begin to diminish means that you have to think that a younger player would help this team win for a long time.

A guy like Vlad Guerrero.

The Cubs are going to dump over $20 million in salary this off season (Karros, Alfonseca, Grudzelanek, and Estes alone add up to $19 million) and another $20 million after 2004 (Alou, Ramirez and A Gonz). Add Sosa's $16 million and that creates a pool of $36 million to sign free agents -- AND THAT JUST KEEPS TOTAL PAYROLL EQUAL TO THIS YEAR!

That means adding Vlad isn't the only guy that could be added. Miguel Tejada, Jose Vidro, Corey Koskie, Mike Lowell, Javier Vasquez all become potetial targets. Give me Vlad, Vidro, Coskie, Vasquez, Prior, Wood, Zambrano and Tejada and I'll hang a few World Series banners on the Addison El.

I figure Vlad wants $15 million, Tejada wants $12 million, Vidro wants $10 million and Koskie also wants $10 million. That's $45 million. Sosa, Alou, Grudz, Karros and Alfonseca have salaries totaling $43 million. I'd do that trade. Anyone out there who wouldn't?


Wednesday, August 06, 2003

A nice win in San Diego with another Wendell-Kim-Out-At-Home-By-More-Than-30-Feet play. This guy CAN'T be coming back next year, can he? And how the media doesn't lean on Dusty over this is beyond me.

The Sun Times is reporting that Viagra boy is still in the Cubs sights, if he'll waive his no trade clause. Eric "E-4" Young may also be driving back to Chicago from just north of the Mars Cheese Castle on I-94.

While seeing Prior pitch lights out was cockle warming, seeing Aramis Ramirez finally drive in some runs in a key spot was huge. This guy has been called an RBI machine by some. Well, Cubs fans haven't seen that. Until yesterday.

One or two more wins like this and I may have to eat my own words that the Cubs are cooked.


Monday, August 04, 2003

Kobe Bryant's money problems begin.
Ferrero U.S.A. signed a two-year contract with Bryant to endorse its hazelnut spread brand Nutella in January 2001. Although Ferrero signed Bryant to a one-year extension in January 2003, the company said in a statement released Monday that "marketing plans established earlier this year did not contemplate a contract renewal."
I guess the tagline "Eat Kobe's Nutes" won't work anymore.


So many thoughts from this weekend. And lunch with Ronnie.

...Oswalt goes down and his replacement wins 3-1 in his major league debut. If Oswalt only misses 3 or 4 starts, the window of opportunity just got a whole lot smaller.

...Mark Grace, my least favorite player of the 90's, told the Chicago media that he wouldn't trade his title year with Arizona for any of the 13 years here in Chicago. Well, then why the hell weren't you more vocal about how bad the Cubs were while you were here? And why did you get bitter when they sent you out? And why were you so bitter when the D-Backs won? Were you really saying that you still wanted to be a Cub? Mark Grace is a loser. The fans ate up everything he did and he thanked them by being a good soldier and never rocking the Trib boat. We wanted to see a better team. Grace could have been a voice for the fan. Instead, he wanted to be Stoney's replacement. Thanks, pudknocker.

...Teams don't lose games like Saturday and expect to be a playoff team. You're gonna win 60 and lose 60. It's what you do in the other 40 that matter. You've gotta think that the 4-3 loss is one of the "other 40."

...Is there a more worthless hitter than Eric Karros? In the 5 hole, he hit .362/.400/.536 during July. He hit 2 home runs. He had a grand total of *7* RBI. And he only scored 9 runs. So he doesn't drive in runs, he doesn't score runs, but he has to play every day because he's tearing the cover off the ball. He then kills the Cubs with two brutal bases loaded/less than two out ABs (GIDP, short fly to right). Until he either causes guys to cross the plate or starts crossing the plate himself, I don't want to see this guy in uniform.

...Anyway to convice Pittsburgh to take a pitcher and let Bobby Hill play for the Cubs while free-agent-to-be Grudz is on the mend?

So, on Friday at 12:30, 12 of us sat down in the Wrigley Stadium Club with Ronnie Santo to discuss Life, the Universe, and Everything (and make 3 or 4 trips to the buffet). Ronnie was my favorite player when I was a lad. He's my least favorite broadcaster in town. He talked with us very openly and casually for about 45 minutes. He also showed why he's a better community outreach guy than a broadcaster. He told some funny stories about negotiating his contracts (he made $8,000 as a rookie). Said his health was fine and that the legs are great. He uses a cane for safety, not out of necessity. Some other fun banter.

Two "newsworthy" comments were when someone asked him about Pete Rose and when I asked him about what's wrong with the game. Regarding Rose, he was very clear that Rose had a problem and that he's had it forever. Santo said that Rose's jail time for emulating Al Capone is probably what kept him out of the Hall. But, Santo never said if he thinks Rose should be in -- and that was the question posed.

I asked what he would do to make the game better, if he were in Selig's shoes. Santo said the game needs to be sped up. "How you do that, I don't know," he finished. Gee, thanks Ron. You played the game for 15 years, commented on it for 10. Yet you have no idea on how to improve what you identify as baseball's most glaring need for improvement? Give me your solution to a problem that's fixable. Agents. Contracts. Expansion. Even speed of the game. This is why he's a terrible analyst. You tell me what you see. You don't tell me a better way to do it. Stoney really gets that. Ronnie doesn't.

Oh yeah, I left after the rain delay started. Good thing, too. Wife woulda killed me if I lefter her alone with the kids until 11.


Friday, August 01, 2003

"(T)hat kid will respect me. He will learn fast. You've got to show respect in order to get respect."

More crass talk from a man who shows up the pitcher by standing and watching each home run he hits - Barry Bonds. When you run after each bomb you hit, then you can say this. Carlos Zambrano, who got Bonds to line out with the bases juiced and pumped his fists in celebration, gets it right:

"When he hit his 500th home run, he stood at home plate and watched it a little while, and then he runs. He has been doing that since he was a rookie, so I can do anything I want."

Good for you, Carlos. Stick it up his ass.

Still haven't changed my mind about the Cubs being out of it. Only 1 game over .500 with 55 games to play? Yeeesh! Shilling today. And Santo for lunch.


"(T)hat kid will respect me. He will learn fast. You've got to show respect in order to get respect."

More crass talk from a man who shows up the pitcher by standing and watching each home run he hits - Barry Bonds. When you run after each bomb you hit, then you can say this. Carlos Zambrano, who got Bonds to line out with the bases juiced and pumped his fists in celebration, gets it right:

"When he hit his 500th home run, he stood at home plate and watched it a little while, and then he runs. He has been doing that since he was a rookie, so I can do anything I want."

Good for you, Carlos. Stick it up his ass.

Still haven't changed my mind about the Cubs being out of it. Only 1 game over .500 with 55 games to play? Yeeesh! Shilling today. And Santo for lunch.


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