Prose and Ivy Intro to New MLBlog Readers

As we are only about five hours away from flipping our baseball calendars to a whole new year and being that the MLB Network launches tomorrow in millions of fans’ homes across America (which could only bring more attention to the MLBlogs community), for any new visitors to MLBlogs.com or Prose and Ivy, I would like to wish you a happy new year! 

To kick things off heading into 2009, I thought I’d use a copy of the spheroid MLBlogs posted about Prose and Ivy earlier in the year to introduce myself to you and say welcome to my blog!  For everyone that enjoyed reading Prose and Ivy in 2008, thank you for continually stopping by and I look forward to talking Cubs baseball and baseball in general with you throughout 2009.  
Have a safe and happy new year,
Ryan
Prose and Ivy

Spheroid: Prose and Ivy

Wrigley 

MLBlogger: Ryan at Prose and Ivy
Signup date: Dec. 5, 2007

1. Why do you blog?

I live in New York City and there aren’t many Cubs fans that I’ve met here so far who are readily available to talk about the day’s Cub headlines or the most recent Cubs game.  It’s great to have access to a community of baseball fans in general, but especially to be able to reach out and communicate with other Cubs fans on a daily basis.  Until the Cubs hire me as a beat reporter/analyst, this is the closest I’ll come to either…and I love it!

2. What was your favorite post?

My favorite post would probably be the one titled “The Face, The Brace, The Pace, The Place and The Ace” or “The Poster Child”.  The first one was one of those blogs where you feel like you have so much to say it just flows once you sit down and start typing.  Those are exciting when they happen. The other one I just think is really funny…my own little parody of the Cubs upcoming ads for the 2008 team.  Good times.

3. Strangest blogging experience?

The first time I received a comment because I couldn’t believe people were actually reading my blog.  It’s made me post nearly daily lately with people responding and the feedback I’ve received regarding how many people are enjoying my page.

4. What is your favorite blog, including at least one MLBlog?

There are couple that I was really enjoying yet can’t seem to find any longer which is too bad.  I really like Crawly’s Cubs and Some Ballyard. A good mix of humor and analysis is what I really enjoy when reading someone else’s blog.  And anyone who enjoys my blog…I generally read there’s regularly too.

5. What would you be doing if you weren’t blogging?

Walking my dogs.  They REALLY should be outside on a walk right now.

6. Where do you think the blogosphere is going?

Blu-ray?  I don’t know you got me.

7. Favorite team and why?

Cubs.  Chicago Cubs.  Yes those Cubs.  Great characters on the team, great potential, great history, great fans, great stadium, the seventh inning stretch, the underdog status year in and year out, wondering if this will be the year and how many more years I’ll be wondering if this will be the year…and Ryne Sandberg.  He was the man.

Chevychase8. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I have met two of my comedy heroes in rest rooms (BIZARRE but true).  I met Chevy Chase in rest room at a political fundraiser a few years back and was so excited I shook his hand to meet him before I had a chance to dry my hands after washing them.  After shaking my hand he looked at me and said “You gave me a wet shake.”  I didn’t know what to say…all I could come up with was “It’s all water I swear.”  The other was Bill Cosby in a Barnes and Noble bathroom in NY. I was waiting for the bathroom to become available and right behind me walk in two huge security guys…behind them, a man with sunglasses and a baseball cap.  Quickly that man became Bill Cosby.  SO COOL.  I didn’t want to bother him although inside I was freaking out as he is a stand up legend.  He then said to me “Are you waiting?”  I turned and looked at him and said “Yes, Mr. Cosby. I am waiting.” He just turned away, then turned back, smiled and said “We are waiting.”  He then left.  But for a brief moment there, Bill Cosby and I were doing the same exact thing at the same exact time.  Again…SO COOL.  (And yes, he was wearing ‘one of those sweaters’.)

9. Happiness is…

…champagne all over your team’s clubhouse at the end of the World Series.  I’d say that’s happiness indeed.

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What?!

DeRosa for three no-names???  What?!

I get Cubs updates sent to my phone.  No big deal…not bragging…just saying.  Today’s headline read Cubs Sign Miles, Acquire Three pitchers.

Oh, interesting.

Scroll down a little further…

…they got the three pitchers in a separate deal with Cleveland, which included MARK DEROSA!!!  What?!  No Peavy?  And still next year, NO DEROSA!?!  Why?  Who is this Miles guy?  Nobody special that I can tell, at least not special enough to send away DeRosa for.  Derosa is extremely valuable, perhaps the most valuable player on the Cubs team last year.  His versatility is a key component to the Cubs success year in and year out, and yet we deal him for three young pitchers.

What?!

Congratulations Cleveland fans.  You now have yourself two of the key players in last year’s division title.  A first year closer who earned over 30 saves and probably has a decent couple years left (which is all you signed him for anyway) and a versatile, do-whatever-it-takes everyday player in DeRosa.  Enjoy.  You’re about to see why DeRosa meant so much to Cubs fans.

As I write this, I thought of his nickname, The Pulse, given his erratic heartbeat condition from earlier in the year.  Hopefully this isn’t a case of Cubs doctors knowing something the rest of us don’t.  I don’t like the thought of DeRosa in another team’s uniform, but I really don’t want to find out he’s another Cuttino Mobley, yet nobody’s speaking up that something’s seriously wrong.  The physical exam is up next of course and I’m sure Cleveland’s doctors will make sure they’re not getting damaged goods.  Here’s to DeRosa having a healthy and successful 2009 in Cleveland.

As for these new guys?  Give me a break.  Looking forward to Spring to see if any of them are worth anything near what DeRosa can bring.  And Fontenot?  Looks like your time as a daily starting Cub is now.  Looking forward to seeing you in the Spring too.

This is so disappointing.  And if it doesn’t somehow result in Peavy in a Cubs uniform next year, SOMEHOW, it will be unbelievably disappointing.  Figures it happens on the last day of 2008.  This year bit it hard in more ways than one. What a fitting ending to 2008.  5 hours, 28 minutes and counting 2008. I won’t miss you when you’re gone.

Happy New Year everyone!  Go Cubs Go in 2009!

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Hard Not to Spend

Anyone else finding it difficult to be fiscally responsible this holiday season?  I am doing this year on a strict budget like never before and it has been tough to not go over budget on anyone on my list, and of course, hard not to ask for expensive things when others ask what may be on my list…especially since I don’t really make lists anymore.  Not like I used to anyway.

I find so many things on-line that I think would be cool to own.  Sandberg something here, Banks something there. Fukudome here, Cubs jacket there.  But most are so expensive, I don’t even suggest them when people ask if there’s anything I’d like for Christmas this year.  I know everyone is in the same boat with the economy and unless they won’t take no for an answer, I’ve decided to not ask for anything this year.  That is a hard thing to do! To simply grow up and understand that ’tis the season, but not for being greedy and asking for things you can’t afford yourself, mainly because chances are others can’t afford them either.  Ahh, to be a kid again.

I remember growing up and the big event that putting together ‘The List’ was.  Video games, jerseys, caps, entire sets of Topps baseball cards, dvd’s, autographed memorabilia, more video games.  I was game and wise to the whole Santa thing (looking forward to seeing what he puts in my stocking this year though) and I don’t think I ever really appreciated how much it took for my parents to have gifts under the tree.  I sure do now though.  Especially from my Mom those few Christmases when it was just she and my brother and I.  This economy we’re in now is making it amazingly complicated when it comes to shopping for people and affording nice things you know they’d like.  Probably not unlike what it is for a single parent to deliver a great Christmas for her two kids.  Only difference is, at that time I didn’t ‘get it’.  My list still included video games, jerseys, caps, entire sets of Topps baseball cards, dvd’s, autographed memorabilia, and more video games.  Many years later, I get it.  I haven’t asked for anything from anyone this year.  Some people just won’t take no for an answer though and nyone who demanded to get a couple ideas from me so they could make sure they got me something I like (even though I said no worries about 10 times), okay, sure, those things were Cubs things.  I’m only human and they were being really adamant about the whole thing.  Really the only thing I’m looking forward to this year is seeing my family, including my new born nephew enjoy his first Christmas.  Hard to believe my brother has a kid.  Soon he’ll be the one trying to figure out how to get those video games, jerseys, baseball card sets, etc. under the tree for his kid.  Good times.

All that being said…I’m not so concerned about St. Hendry’s pocketbook this holiday season. And I’m not going to ask for anything/anyone.  I’ve always found the best Christmas presents are either the one thing you wanted all year (that number one thing on your list growing up) or when someone gets really creative and delivers something you may have never even thought of and it makes your whole holiday.  I’m not giving a list to GM Hendry.  Time to get creative Jim.  We’re all going to go to bed knowing the economy is tough Christmas Eve, but we all hope you get creative and come through with the team that will provide the greatest gift of all.  (Hint: the organization has had 100 years to figure out what that would be).

One more day of editing this week and then its off to see the family.  Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, no matter what it is you may be celebrating!  Happy holidays to you all!  And of course, Go Cubs Go!

Looking Forward to Christmas

Last year at this time I was wondering if the Cubs would deliver Fukudome for the holidays.  They did.  This year, it’s looking more and more likely that the big acquisition will be Milton Bradley (insert holiday board game joke here).

With the Cubs signing Gathright, a speedy left-handed bat with the skills to be our fourth outfielder and specialty of covering center field it looks like my favorite up and comer Felix Pie will soon be sent out to pasture (or at least to wear another team’s uni’s).  Edmonds was fun to watch while he was here and I’m glad we’re holding onto Johnson.  Soriano, Johnson and Fukudome is an unlikely threesome when it comes to our starting outfield for ’09.  More than likely the Cubs will sign Bradley, platoon Fukudome and Johnson in center and have Gathright around to sub anywhere, anytime.  This ability makes me even more nervous that DeRosa will no longer be a Cub come the 2009 season.

I don’t believe Gathright plays second base but his versatility delivers a speedy player with the same value that DeRosa delivers (veteran utility guy) and Fontenot may be getting his shot at second base.  With Furcal no longer an option at short, the idea of moving Theriot over and putting Furcal there is moot which even more so makes the idea of trading DeRosa and using Fontenot full time more realistic.

The Peavy deal seems to have died for good so it looks like the only significant difference we can expect is a power hitting lefty in the outfield…or, as I stated earlier, Milton Bradley.  (Wouldn’t it be great though if we ended up with Manny?  I know.  It’s still fun to joke about though.  Also, wouldn’t it be great if all the news from Hendry and the Padres about Peavy ended up being like when you’re parents use to pretend you weren’t getting something for Christmas that you ended up getting, just to mess with you and build the drama?  That would definitely be cool).

As I write this I’m trying to remember the last time Bradley had a meltdown or a tantrum that made headlines.  I can’t even remember when it was so maybe that’s a good thing.  I understand bringing in a quality guy that Piniella is familiar with like Gathright.  I can appreciate the desire to add a power hitting lefty.  I just hope DeRosa isn’t left out of the equation come ’09 and I’m disappointed in the signs of things to come as far as Pie is concerned.  Also, not so sure that Bradley is the way to go and enough to get us out of the first round of the playoffs (that is of course if we make it in next year).

Two division titles in a row is nothing to sneeze at.  Interested to see what tricks and gifts Hendry has hidden up his sleeve for this year’s holiday season.  With all the ads and talk on the Cubs’ site about the Caravan, can’t help but wonder who the big addition is going to be when it comes to the convention and the caravan Cub roster of representatives.

With a week of preproduction on the pilot, a couple days of shooting and a week of 14 hour edit days put in this week, I’m exhausted.  Looking forward to enjoying some fudge, getting some rest and hanging with the family over the holidays.  And of course, once again, looking forward to seeing what Hendry has in store for all us Cubs fans on the ‘Nice’ list.

Go Cubs Go!

What’s with the DeRo Fire Sale?

Shot a couple of segments for a pilot for a new television show I created with a friend of mine today.  The day started at 3am for me and it was a long shoot day.  The shoot went great though.  The comedy we wrote for it ended up playing really well, the actors were great, the crew was phenomenal and the director and production company behind it were nothing but supportive and 100% committed to getting the best episode taped possible, regardless of the fact that our call time had them up at 2am. (That’s early for anyone, but especially Executive Producers and Presidents of production companies, believe me!)

Editing it all next week and I can’t wait to see the footage and how it all comes together in post. We have had some strong interest in the show we shot a pilot for back in January and after nearly a year of development with various networks, we came up with a related premise and cranked it out today.  It will be interesting to see what happens with it all for sure.

Speaking of which, it will also be interesting to see what happens to DeRosa.  Winter meetings wrapped and Peavy has yet to sign on the dotted line.  Sabathia and Rodriguez both found new homes and will call New York City home for several upcoming seasons.  From here on out the other pitchers will start finding out where their loyalties will begin to lie and really only the Cubs are still rumored to be in the fight for Peavy.  It’s just doesn’t feel right to be going through all of this to get Peavy when we have to sacrifice DeRosa.

Whether he ends up a Twin or a Philly, I’m still not one-hundred percent sold on losing such a versatile player as DeRosa. People get injured all the time and to have DeRosa’s ability to play numerous positions and deliver a quality bat with a quality backup (Fontenot, Cedeno) puts the Cubs in a very good place to be…especially with an already strong rotation.  We’ve won back-to-back division titles yet have been swept out of the playoffs two years running.  Because of our starting pitching?  I don’t think so.  Did we get there because of guys like DeRo stepping up and filling holes and making it happen?  Yes, I do think so.  So maybe a utility, versatile player like DeRosa is more valuable than a pitcher of Peavy’s caliber?  I don’t know.  I don’t know which would mean more to the team in terms of playoff success in the long run.

Thoughts?

All I know is, I like the rotation we have even without Peavy.  Piniella seems to feel the same way.  I know DeRosa was practically the MVP of the Cubs in ’08 and his versatility is hard to replace.  Throw in Pie and a couple others and maybe its too pricey?  Again, I don’t know.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Anyone?  Anyone?

Also, before I go try to get some much needed rest, today I saw that ‘Prose and Ivy’ made it to number 58 on the MLBlogs Top 100 Fan Blog list for the entire 2008 baseball season/year.  Thanks to everyone who stops by on a regular basis!  This community is a great place for baseball fans and with all the great blogs that are on the site, I’m just grateful for those of you who decide to stop to read this one.  Go Cubs Go!


Sweet, Now and Laters

Winter Meetings Now, All This Week!

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Spring Training Later (soon!)