Recent post on my Twitter page:
Oct 15th. That is my son’s due date.
About a week ago my wife and I finished up cleaning the entire apartment. They call it ‘the nesting period’ according to our very expensive and nearly as informative child care/lamaze classes. Talk about thorough, it wasn’t short of a visit to the ER to make sure my thumb was ok after cutting it while, none other than…scrubbing the tub. After an hour in the ER, some hospital glue and a ‘have a nice day’, we were on our way home to finish up and situate the nest to a level classified: Ready For Baby. (I’m fine, thanks for asking).
Things were cleaned, arranged just so. Nightlights were placed, sheets were laid down and curtains were put up. All that needed to happen was the baby’s actual arrival.
AND THEN….the storm came.
It rained extremely hard last Thursday night here in NYC and apparently a drain on our terrace area was blocked. By about six leaves mind you. This was just enough to cause a flood in our bedroom and living room. Classification now: Nowhere Near Ready for Baby. All of a sudden there is a ton of work to do as all of the floors in our apartment need to be ripped up, gutted and replaced. Joy.
With the recent success of the Cubs interim manager, Mike Quade, many Cubs fans are torn as to who should get the gig next year. Lots of fans, while Lou was still here, thought it was a no brainer: get Sandberg up here and let’s roll! Lots of other fans also thought trying to get Torre, LaRussa, Girardi, Bobby Valentine and the long list of others were no-brainers too.
However, now that the Cubs have posted a 9-5 record under Quade (an over .600 winning percentage) fans are wondering if perhaps Mike Quade shouldn’t be passed over and maybe he is the guy that should land the job for 2011. Those that believe Quade should be given a shot if he finishes the season as strong as he’s started his shot as Cubs skipper are quite adamant about it and hope he does so and carries this success over to next year. (Then again Cubs fans are always passionate in their beliefs of their Cubs no matter what those feelings are now aren’t they?)
The idea of Hendry’s buffoonery and Ricketts’ newness to the post and the fans’ new feeling of giving Quade a shot inspired this post. Please enjoy this new development in the world that is known as The Chicago Cubs through the eyes of Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon”.
In this video and the parody script listed below it which you can use to read along in Cubs translation…Tom Ricketts will be played by Dr. Terminus and Jim Hendry is played by his shorter, older con-artist minion. Ladies and gentleman, I give you “(Don’t) Passonmikequade!” (I suggest clicking the video window to open it in a second window and scrolling this page for parody lyrics)
Ricketts: Quick, who will they want to manage the team in 2011?
Hendry: Just pass on Mike Quade.
Ricketts: Just pass on my whatty?
Hendry: Pass on Mike Quade!
Ricketts: Got it. How wonderful to see your smiling faces again I…I’ve never known such warmth, such welcome, such loving hospitality
Man: Get out ya hack!
Man: And don’t bring those Milton Bradleys here again!
Woman: Go on back where you belong…Ameritrade!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
I sense enthusiasm I sense loving response
And that’s why I feel Wrigley is my home away from home
I’ve been making millions in my time at ‘Meritrade
Went to U of C and that’s right down the road
You’re gonna like us, No use in fightin’ us
Caray, Ernie, Billy Williams, let’s have statues surround the stadium!
Little Jeff Samardzija was so nice to visit
He comes and goes from Triple A when recalled
Man: Why doesn’t he stay there?
Ricketts: But through all the tips
You know who could manage this place
Make the call now, one name on my list
Why…..it’s…Get Joe Girardi, uh, Call up Joe Torre, no, no… Bring back ‘ol Dusty, uh, Try Alan Trammy, p…p…Persuade Bob Brenly Uh, Quick sign Jim Tracy, uh, Pass me a hottie? Oh, I know! I’ll Hire my daddy!
Cubs fans: No, don’t Pass on Mike Quade!
Ricketts: Of course, that’s what I meant to say
Woman: I thought we’d win, 2008 And then we got robbed!
Ricketts: Remember we’re losers who do thrive on your love!
I know Silva looks like he only drinks Buttermilk
Leads aren’t under firm control given to Marmol
Santo’s emotions, “Unreal” he does notion
New statues for Cub alliance
Forget we make losing a science
With L.A. we trade away
We couldn’t keep Ted here
Don’t know what to do with Sean Marshall
Cubs fans: You’ll probably ship him out
Ricketts: Ha, ha, yes we probably will…
Man: The issue is, no thanks to Jim our Cubs always stink!
Ricketts: But WE’RE here – the wins are coming!
Cubs fans: We’re gonna flush your BS down the troffs near the sinks!
Ricketts: Wait, listen, my specialties are Hand-shaking, public speaking, statue unveiling, beer guzzling Bleacher-bumming, sibling-having, spin-doctoring! And every other ‘whatever-ing’ you can think of! My friends, you are not giving me a chance! We brought all of these free agents in from Tokyo! Japan.
Cubs fans: oooh…
Old Cub fan: Oh Ricketts, oh Ricketts, Ricketts, Ricketts, help me.
Ricketts: I hear someone. I hear someone calling me. A Cubs fan in need. A Cubs fans calling out to another great cubs fan. A service only I can provide. Madam, Tommy Ricketts is here to appease you.
Old Cubs fan: Ayye?
Ricketts: What’s your problem lady?
Old Cubs fan: Ayye?
Ricketts: How can I turn my back on such a dear woman? It’s the bleacher bum in me.
Old Cubs fan: I hear…Santo…yelling.
Ricketts: That’ll be exactly $150 madam. $75 a seat!
Old Cubs Fan: Oh, bless you Ricketts! Wait ’til next year! Wait ’til next year!
Ricketts: My decision can cure her! Did you hear her bless me while I blessed her too? How wonder I feel right here in my heart! And that’s what the baseball business is all about folks! People helping people. You should all get help!
(Hendry jumps up on Convention stage in disguise)
Ricketts: Gadzooks! What have we here?
Hendry: Oh, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. All I’m asking for is a miracle.
Ricketts: All he wants is a miracle! How can I deny him folks….IF he’s willing to pay for it, he’s gonna get it!
Hendry: 8 years for $136 million!
Ricketts: 8 years for $136 million!
(Ricketts pours Old Style into Hendry’s mouth out of a flask, Hendry begins to dance to Go Cubs Go!)
Woman: I trust him!
Woman: I believe he’ll hire the right guy!
Man: I’ll put my hard earned money for season tickets with no guarantees in his hands!
Ricketts: My friends you’ve seen a miracle!
And you’ll see many more, People will come pouring in to, see Wrigley!
Sosa failed testing?
Surely you’re jesting!
Keep those dimes and dollars mounting
Hendry: I’ll collect!
Ricketts: I’ll do the counting! Everyone who roots for us will strong and happy We’ll be getting more wins by the day!
Cubs fans: Yay!
Ricketts: Get them off waivers!
Need the right man to lead us
All of Cubs Nation’s gonna say…
Buhh..Bring us Bobby V, no,
Raise up Frank Selee,
no, no, Dig up McCarthy,
Uh, Call Atlanta ’bout Bobby?,
q…q…q…Call up Bill Dancy
… Hire Barbaro Garbey,
Go with Bud Bailey,
Sandberg’s the must be,
Help me Girardi,
Just get Joe Torre, I want my mommy…ha ha ha ha!
Hendry (whispers): Pass on Mike Quade
Cubs fans: Don’t Pass on Mike Quade!
Ricketts: I know.
Guess we’ll see how it plays out! For now, yes…if Mike Quade finishes this season the way he’s started, I agree. The guy should be given a shot and someone should suggest the Cubs (Don’t) Passonmikequade. Go Cubs Go!
You just need to keep your mouth shut in this great game. You can’t mention anything about anything going great because as soon as you do…BOOM, gone.
My last post was about Lou loving his decision to move Z to the bullpen and all the great winning that went on afterwards. Were we on a streak to end all streaks? No. We weren’t even in first place. But the team had found it’s offense for a few games, it had a new fire lit under itself with Z gone to the bullpen and we looked to be headed in the right direction. Then I posted all about how please Lou must be with himself and it was all down hill from there. Now we’ve been swept by the Pirates, lost two games in a row after exchanging blow outs with the Reds and have to suffer a series against a strong NL East team in the Florida Marlins (who as I write this, we are currently losing to 4-2 in the ninth.
We are six games out of first place in the Central, five games behind the wild card leading Giants and have a miserable record of 14-18, looking up at the Cards who sit pretty at 20-12 and are only three and half games above the lowly Astros at the bottom of the division. Castro has even been called up to the bigs and after one huge, record breaking outing of a home run and six RBI in his major league debut, our team seems to have forgotten how to string hits along for offense again and have even found more ways to struggle at home at Wrigley.
Z to the bullpen. Castro up to the bigs. Theriot to second. Flip flop Ramirez and Soriano in the line up. I’ve been watching a lot of NBA playoff basketball lately and just like in those games where every team will have it’s run if given enough time, the same has gone for Lou lately. A hot streak, a cold streak….a cold streak, a very cold streak. Hopefully he finds the right mix and the right words to light a fire under this team soon. If wanting to win, if being paid millions isn’t enough then something else must be wrong. We need Lou to figure it out because Hendry can only call up so many hot hitting prospects to try and make a difference.
I think Keith Hernandez would fall into a coma if he called Cubs games. The Mets are 17-14 and two games out of first place behind the Phillies and even with all of that, here’s a clip of Keith calling a Mets game. Go Cubs Go…let’s turn this thing around QUICKLY!
Imagine if we were able to put a contract with the costs of signing the likes of Milton Bradley, outside of the cash aspect in front of Hendry? Or even a giant contract like the one that was offered to Soriano? Scare tactics for better investments by baseball GM’s. Might be a good idea to apply the same strategy used here to stop people from driving home drunk, to our trusted execs in the front office. Brilliant….and for what it’s worth, a good message for those leaving Wrigley and ballparks across the country, as well.
Go Cubs Go!
In 2004, it had been 86 years since the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. A near collapse, a stolen base, a miracle comeback and a defeated curse later and the Boston Red Sox were World Champions for the first time since 1918.
Anyone else concerned about Ted Lilly?
“Whoa….no way! You ACTUALLY got me an…an iPud?”
So far this off-season the MLB Network has more key free-agent acquistions than the Cubs do. Patience will definitely be a virtue while we wait to find out what last names will be attached to Chicago’s favorite bags of laundry.
Hendry wasn’t able to do anything significant during the Winter Meetings but that doesn’t really surprise me. The economy is horrible so everyone’s being careful about every move they make and the consequences those moves may have in the long term. Also, there’s always those couple key free-agents that the dominos don’t get to fall until those pieces land where they may. In the past couple years guys like Fukudome, Matszuaka and Johan Santana played the role. This year it’s Halladay, Lackey and arguably Bay. We know that there are certain pieces we can expect to be there come Spring, but there are 266 free agents still out there looking for a new address. Anything can happen and it’s going to keep the miserably cold winter extremely interesting this year.
Happy to see Miles and Heilman go. Never was thrilled with Miles being a Cub, he had huge shoes to fill when he was the replacement piece for fan-favorite and capable utility man DeRosa. Heilman is just a joke. He came in with promise when he reached the Mets and then went on to contribute to the horrilbe state the Metropolitans have fallen to. I live in NY and have seen a ton of Mets games and read a ton of Mets headlines. Heilman is a disaster and we’re a better team without him.
That somewhat, in some round about way brings me to Castillo. Luis Castillo is playing for the New York Mets. I’d like to remind everyone of that. IF a trade actually ends up going through, whether it’s for Bradley straight up or involving as many as twenty-something teams, IF the Cubs end up with Castillo, be disappointed. This is not the Luis Castillo that played with Florida. This is an older, slower, less effective Castillo and he will not do much in getting the Cubs to where they need to be. Again, living in NY has given me plenty of opportunity to see Castillo let down Mets fans from all over and become the hot target of New York boo-birds. The Mets last won the Series in ’86 and last appeared in it in 2000. You think the Mets fans’ level of patience brought out a lot of boos and negative press? Wait until the fans of the Cubs, waiting 100 years and counting in taking home the trophy, get their hands on an inempt second baseman like Castillo. We’re far better off with the Fontenot-Baker tandem. I would prefer to upgrade at second if we can, but Castillo is not the guy.
Love Ted Lilly but I’m a little concerned about how long it will take for him to be effective next year coming back from surgery. I know we have more pressing needs than a back up plan to Lilly, but it would be great to see if Hendry could work out a deal somewhere that brings in a solid starter as insurance. I like his confidence in the guys we have, but I’d feel more secure in our shot if we had one more quality guy with the experience and numbers to prove he can handle it. Even more so than Gorzelanny or Marshall can offer.
Congratulations to Peter Gammons, look forward to catching you on MLB Network. Hoping the Cubs give us a few guys to look forward to catching as well. Go Cubs Go!
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!
“JERRY: You should just do it like a Band-Aid. One motion! Right off!”
As a fan of the Seinfeld series for years, this is one of my favorite quotes from the show. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll recognize it as Jerry’s suggested method of breaking up with someone in comparison to the best way to taking off a band-aid…one motion…RIGHT OFF! Sure, it’s uncomfortable and hurts a bit, but it’s going to hurt anyway so just get it over with and move on already.
Free agents: RHP Ryan Dempster, OF Jim Edmonds, RHP Chad Fox, RHP Bob Howry, RHP Jon Lieber, 1B Daryle Ward, RHP Kerry Wood.
Eligible for arbitration: IF Ronny Cedeno, LHP Neal Cotts, RHP Chad Gaudin, OF Reed Johnson, RHP Michael Wuertz.
Club options: RHP Rich Harden ($7 million; picked up Oct. 8), C Henry Blanco, $3 million ($300,000 buyout).
Player options: None
Non-tender possibilities: None
Geovany Soto, .285, 23 HRs, 86 RBIs
The Cubs expect Soto to follow up his sensational rookie season with another solid year. Henry Blanco was a mentor to Soto, but whether that’s worth the $3 million option owed him will have to be determined. Blanco started 45 games.
Derrek Lee, .291, 20 HRs, 90 RBIs
Micah Hoffpauir, .362, 25 HRs, 100 RBIs (Triple-A)
Hoffpauir is a solid left-handed bat with no place to play. He could be a better-than-average backup, but Lee never likes to take a day off.
Mark DeRosa, .285, 21 HRs, 87 RBIs
Mike Fontenot, .305, 9 HRs, 40 RBIs
DeRosa did seem to play more right field than second base in the final month because of Kosuke Fukudome’s struggles. Fontenot is a solid left-handed option.
Ryan Theriot, .307, 1 HR, 38 RBIs, 22 SBs
Ronny Cedeno, .269, 2 HRs, 28 RBIs
Theriot improved from a year ago, although his numbers did go down again in the final month of play. Cedeno hit .378 in the first month but didn’t maintain that pace.
Aramis Ramirez, .289, 27 HRs, 111 RBIs
DeRosa is the backup at third to Ramirez, who notched his sixth 100-RBI season in the last eight years and set career highs with 44 doubles and a .380 on-base percentage.
Alfonso Soriano, .280, 29 HRs, 75 RBIs
Kosuke Fukudome, .257, 10 HRs, 58 RBIs
Reed Johnson, .303, 6 HRs, 50 RBIs
Felix Pie, .287, 10 HRs, 55 RBIs (Triple-A)
The Cubs head into the offseason again unsure about center field. Johnson made a positive impact and Jim Edmonds (19 homers, 49 RBIs with Cubs) did better than expected. Pie starred in the Minors but hasn’t been able to make the transition. He is still young. Soriano is signed through 2014, Fukudome through 2011. Fukudome batted .217 after the All-Star break, and one option the team may consider is adding a Japanese hitting coach.
RHP Carlos Zambrano, 14-6, 3.91 ERA, 188 2/3 IP, 130 K’s
LHP Ted Lilly, 17-9, 4.09 ERA, 204 2/3 IP, 184 K’s
RHP Rich Harden, 5-1, 1.77 ERA, 71 IP, 89 K’s (Cubs)
RHP Jason Marquis, 11-9, 4.53 ERA, 167 IP, 91 K’s
LHP Sean Marshall, 3-5, 3.86 ERA, 65 1/3 IP, 58 K’s
Dempster earned the Game 1 start in the NLDS after winning a career-high 17 games. A wild card in the mix is lefty Rich Hill, who won 11 games and led the team in strikeouts in 2007. Hill struggled with his control and back problems in ’08. Another option to be considered is right-hander Angel Guzman.
RHP Carlos Marmol, 2-4, 2.68 ERA, 82 Gs, 114 K’s
LHP Neal Cotts, 0-2, 4.29 ERA, 50 Gs
RHP Michael Wuertz, 1-1, 3.63 ERA, 45 Gs (Triple-A)
RHP Jeff Samardzija, 1-0, 2.28 ERA, 26 Gs (Cubs)
RHP Chad Gaudin, 9-5, 4.40 ERA, 50 Gs (Cubs/A’s)
RHP Kevin Hart, 2-2, 6.51 ERA, 21 Gs (Cubs)
If the Cubs don’t re-sign Wood, who had 34 saves in his first season as a closer, then Marmol would likely get the job with Samardzija as the No. 1 setup man.”
PROSE AND IVY THOUGHTS:
As for the free-agents: How do you not figure out a way to keep Ryan Dempster? As far as I’m concerned he’s one of the most valuable pitchers in the game right now. 17 wins in his first year back in a starting rotation, which could have been higher if the Cubs didn’t blow a couple of those games for him late…and I guy who is comfortable pitching late in a game if need be in the postseason. Some may feel Dempster jinxed us this year with his predictions in the Spring, but I’d rather have a confident pitcher who can follow it up and performs well in Wrigley, than some unknown Wrigley-untested potential bum with a big name. I say keep Dempster…and Wood. Sure he’s a heart attack across the board for Cubs fans and is extremely injury prone. But, with Marmol in the set up role, its hard to find a better 1-2 punch late in the game. Unless of course they feel like spending for K-Rod. Then Marmol K-Rod may send us to 161-1 next year (I don’t want to get ridiculous of course).
As for those eligible for arbitration: Goodbye everyone! Except Reed Johnson. I say keep Johnson, lose Edmonds and try to find a strong left-handed swinging center-fielder to start for us, keeping Soriano in left and Fukudome in right. Fukudome went South come the second half of the season, but I have a feeling that was just first year exhaustion and will get better as we go on. His defense is impeccable too. Having him on the team as a first option RF and Derosa around to back him up when the lumber goes silent is a situation I’m okay with.
Club options: Harden is going to be our leader in wins next year. That’s how I feel about Harden’s potential in a full season as a Cub so I’m thrilled the Cubs picked up his option. Blanco? I don’t know. He’s fine as a back up. $3M isn’t that much for a back up catcher so I suppose I’m fine with keeping him. Not sure who else we’d get to back up the extremely talented Soto. Thoughts anyone? I’d pick up the option unless anyone has any better ideas?
The rotation: I would leave our rotation as is however I would switch out Marquis for Marshall as our fifth starter. This of course would require re-signing Demp.
The bullpen: Get rid of Cotts, Weurtz and Gaudin. See what that money can get us elsewhere. Love Marmol in the set up role of course and is the perfect go to guy if Wood can’t handle the closing job or gets injured. If that’s the case, I agree with Muskat: give Samardzija a shot in the setup role and see what happens.
Clearly a left-handed heavy swinging bat is needed. Maybe that requires signing a rightfielder who’s a lefty and moving Fukudome to center with Reed Johnson as the fourth fielder and Pie close on everyone’s heels again? I’m a huge Pie fan and like the kid’s potential, but I have a feeling we’re looking at 2010 for his first complete season as a starting CF for the Cubs. Hendry might end up having $118 million dollars to play with this off-season. That’s the same number he had last winter and he followed that up with a repeat title in the Central.
Same spending amount sounds great. How about greater results? (RIGHT OFF!) Wait ’til next year! Go Cubs Go!