Padres Disappoint a Cub Once Again

If you read Prose and Ivy regularly, then you know that I also have a podcast at BlogTalkRadio.com that compliments what you read here on-line.  I’m due to record another Prose and Ivy podcast so I will set that up soon.  However, as a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I also co-host a podcast occasionally for the BBA.  Tonight, I was supposed to co-host the podcast with the gentleman “Web”, from the San Diego Padres blog “WebSoulSurfer”.  Well, Mr. Web never showed up.  So I had to host the hour all by myself.  Have you ever talked about baseball to no one but yourself for an entire hour?  I hadn’t either.  However, now I can say I have.

Hopefully all is well with Websoulsurfer…even though once again the Cubs side of things were let down by the Padres (like 1984 all over again).  I tweeted about the show and asked fans what they’d like for me to say to the Padres fan.  One gentleman said “Ask him if we can have Andy Masur back” (funny).  Another guy said tell him, “See you in the playoffs”.  I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but it may have to considering so far in the podcast arena, the Padres are a no-show.  Check out what happens when one is left to his own devices for an entire hour talking to no one but himself by clicking here.  Enjoy.  Go Cubs Go!  

Marmol Aida

I don’t know that it came down from Mitch and Murray, maybe just Hendry…but finally Piniella took a stand and made the switch to Marmol as the Cubs’ closer.  Grabow and Guzman were considered but this round goes to Marmol.  Just like anything else, I’m sure it could play out to a situation by situation component of the Cubs pitching staff.  Lou was quoted as saying that Grabow and Guzman will get opportunities to close games as well and that there is no timetable for how long Marmol closes. 

But now what.  How will Marmol respond?  Will he step up and be the guy I’ve seen him as in the closer role in my mind?  Or will he let the pressure go to his head as he’s had some mental toughness issues this year?  29 opportunities and six blown saves by Gregg.  Finally Lou admitted it was time to go after these close ballgames different and secure some tough wins as opposed to constantly sweating tough losses.  The Cards are real strong right now and are considering bringing on Smoltz.  Out of the bullpen that will only make them stronger.  Why the Cubs didn’t make another pitching move to bolster their own pitching (you can never have enough) I don’t know.  At least if the pieces don’t change, we can rearrange and maybe finally figure out how to successfully put his puzzle together.

It’s good too to hear Lou admit they’ve been headed in the wrong direction with Gregg.  A lot of admittance going on in the Cubs clubhouse with Lou speaking up and Z finally admitting that perhaps he’s not exactly the spokesperson for 7 minute abs.  Now if only we can get him to admit he’s not paid to hit home runs during batting practice.  That would be a real accomplishment.

I actually thought we were in decent shape last night until we were defeated by of all things, an inside the park home run.  Is there any other way to lose a ball game that we haven’t seen already this year?  Have we seen them all?  Anyone else notice that whomever is at the plate, whichever team it may be, always scores or does something positive when MLB Network checks in on a game?  It says it’s live, but I feel like any time I’ve seen them check in on a game, like last night’s Cubs game for instance…they score.  I was watching MLB and they checked in on the Cubs game.  Soriano was up, Cubs down 3-2.  And it kind of took the drama away because I just knew they were going to tie it up with the way the check-in’s work.  Sure enough, bloop single by Soriano, RBI, tie game.  Just saying…anyone else notice this?

Good to see Dempster putting up 10 K’s.  Would be better to see him get the W as well.  A lot of that of course comes down to the bullpen taking better care of leads.  Let’s hope Marmol and the newly organized bullpen do just that.  Second place may be a set of steak knives, but as Gregg found out…third place is you’re fired. 

On a more amusing note…I’ve never been to San Diego.  However, if ever there were a time I wished I was, it would be seeing Piniella get stopped for jaywalking.  How he restrained himself from firing his hat down and kicking dirt on the traffic cops shoes would have been a hilarious sight to see.

Harden up tonight.  Here’s to him getting over the .500 mark.  Go Cubs Go!

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‘O’ Here We Go Again

When it comes to Felix Pie’s potential and what he can on the major league level, fans are split with how much he could ever do for the ballclub.  What if I told you Pie could be the guy that gives the Cubs an end of the 2009 season stat line that looks like this?

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10 11 ERA 2.85 IP 173.2 146 HR 17 BB 59 SO 166

Would you be happy?  I mean sure the 17 HR’s would still be less than preferred, but 173.2 innings pitched?  Come on, for anyone never mind a center fielder, that’s impressive!  Of course that’s ridiculous and it wouldn’t be Pie giving us those stats.  How can  Pie deliver these stats for the Cubs this year?  As a key part of a three-team trade between the Padres, O’s and Cubs which in the end, lands the Cubs starting pitcher: Jake Peavy.
Familiar trade rumor partners surfaced today with the Orioles mentioned as the potential third team involved, necessary to complete a trade of Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres.  Sweet Lou mentioned recently that fans shouldn’t expect any more deals to go down for starting pitching as we’re good to go there compared to other areas of the team.  Zambrano, Harden, Lilly, Dempster and Marquis/Marshall have everyone feeling rather comfortable, including Piniella.  This of course was before our old trade rumor partners of Winter Meetings ’07, the Orioles came calling with Garrett Olson up for grabs and all they want in return…Felix Pie.
Wow.  Now, I have been a huge fan of Pie since he came up and I truly STILL believe he has a huge upside.  However, the platoon of outfielders we have right now can more than handle center field for ’09 and if Pie can get us Jake Peavy?  A guy who averages 12 wins a year, loves pitching in the national league and in 2007, put up a 19 spot in the win column and averages over 180 strike outs per season?  That just may be more than I could possibly ever expect from him in the long run, especially considering pitching wins nowadays.  
We send Pie to Baltimore.  Baltimore send Olson to us.  We send Olson to San Diego.  San Diego sends us Peavy.  It’s no DeRosa for Roberts.  It’s better.  We keep DeRosa (last year’s Cub MVP if you ask me, co-MVP anyway with Dempster) and get a rotation of Zambrano, Peavy, Lilly, Dempster, Harden.  Sign another strong left handed hitter and throw him in the middle of the lineup and dare I say, I’d be even more excited about this team’s chances than I was last year’s.  And I thought last year was THE year.  I know Cubs fans say that all the time and I’m guilty of hoping that certain previous seasons were…2008 however, I truly thought was.  Give me this rotation in 2009 and I have no words prepared as of now to describe my excitement.
It’s all still rumors of course, nothing official.  Given the fact that Piniella said we’re done with Peavy talks, I’m skeptical to say the least.  And given my new approach to being a fan (no expectations) I’m not getting my hopes up.  Worst case, we keep a player I think has a lot to offer in the near future.  Best case, we get Jake Peavy.  Enough said.  Can’t wait to see how this thing plays itself out!  Go Cubs Go!
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