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Cubbies Going Hog Wild… November 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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Yes, thats right sports fans. The Cubs are spending money….and lots of it.

The question is, is it money well spent?

Here are the key transactions so far:

Alfonso Soriano (IF, OF) – 8 years, $136 million (5th largest deal in MLB history)

Mark DeRosa (IF, OF) – 3 years, $13 million

Re-signed Aramis Ramirez (3B) – 5 years, $75 million

Re-signed Kerry Wood (SP/RP) – 1 year, $1.75 million

Re-signed Wade Miller (SP) – 1 year, $1.5 million

Re-signed Henry Blanco (C) – 2 years, $5.25 million

Acquired (LHP/RP) Neal Cotts from the White Sox in exchange for RP David Aardsma and Minor-leaguer Carlos Vasquez

The Breakdown:

The re-signing of Ramirez, Wood, Miller, and Blanco is fine with me. I think Ramirez is slightly overpaid at $15 million per year. That’s more than Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Carlos Beltran, Eric Chavez, and a cast of other better players get paid. But hey, if they lose him, they’d really be hurting for power in their lineup; so I guess I can see the reasoning.

I also think they are overpaying DeRosa, a career utility man, a little much.

This Soriano move is going to mark the Cub franchise for years to come. Hopefully, for them, in a good way. With memories of Cub’s past, I won’t hold my breath just yet. I sure hope they can live with his AWFUL defense in return for 40 homers and 20-40 stolen bases. To me, offense has never been the Cub’s problem. Recently it’s been pitching and defense. These moves don’t seem to address any of these concerns so far, unless they just plan to win games by softball scores of 12-10, 16-14, etc.

Cotts was awesome in 2005, but in 2006 his ERA was worse than Aardsma’s.

Supposedly the Cubs are still looking to strengthen their rotation this off-season. However, I’m guessing they aren’t players in the big name free agent pitchers, hence the Soriano signing. Plus, all the really smart teams like the Mets, Yankees, and Redsox are gobbling up the pitching as fast as possible. They’ve got $25 million (1/4 of their 2006 payroll) already wrapped up in the first six players I just listed above. Unless they’re going to exceed the luxury tax limit, I don’t see a whole lot of pitching help coming their way. My bet is they can’t find enough starting pitching so Wood ends up back in the rotation; again. And we all know how that story goes.

I could talk about this until I’m blue in the face, but that wouldn’t be any fun; so why don’t you offer up some opinions…

MLB Hot Stove: Edition #1 November 13, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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Well, the Cubbies resigned Aramis Ramirez to a 5-yr deal worth $73 million and they also resigned Kerry Wood to a 1 year deal worth $1.75 million with bonuses that could make it worth $6 million.

Here’s the full article. 

Personally, I think Ramirez is one of the least clutch players in the NL.  He’s the A-Rod of the national league in my eyes.  He hits all sorts of home runs when it doesn’t matter, but strikes out when it does matter.  That said, the guy is a good player and I wouldn’t mind having him on my team.   Another thing that bothers me is that he can get real lazy at times.  I’m sure Pinella will like that.

Wood mystifies me.  I’m surprised the Cubs didn’t give him more of a base salary.  They’ve had Kerry Wood fever for so many years now, I’m surprised they didn’t pony up more money.  Even though I don’t like this signing, I think they should trade him while he’s got some value left, it might work out IF he stays healthy and IF he actually pitches out of the bullpen.  Good relievers are consistent and Kerry Wood is anything but that, so we’ll see how well he pans out in the bullpen.

Let me know what you think about these signings….

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS – 2006 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS October 27, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the World Champions of baseball!!!

2006 World Series October 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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St Louis Cardinals vs Detroit Tigers

A third meeting of these teams in the world series (1934, 1968). The Cards won in 34′ and the Tigers in 68′.

I want the Cardinals to win the series, but they are banged up and I’m not sure if their outstanding pitching performance in the NLCS will carry over to the Series.

I also think Detroit is a team of destiny, two years removed from a 119 loss season (1 away from a MLB record), and with the way they played this year they reminded me of the Red Sox in 04′ and the White Sox of 05′. I’m not sure there is any team that can stop them.

My heart predicts the Cardinals in 6.

My brain predicts the Tigers in 6.

Sports will often tug at your heart, even when it comes to making picks, bets, predictions, etc.

This time, I’m going with my brain….and hoping my brain is wrong….

PS: In case you couldn’t tell; that IS a Tigers pick in 6, but deep down, I’m hoping I’m wrong….

NLCS Game 7 October 18, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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That’s right, for the fourth year in a row.  Tomorrow night the Cardinals and Mets will finish the series at Shea Stadium in New York.
Thoughts, predictions, etc?

Lou Piniella… October 16, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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is the new manager of the Cubbies!

I’m pretty surprised by this move. I thought for sure they were going to jump all over Joe Girardi.

I wasn’t a huge Joe Girardi fan (or a fan of Sweet Lou), and I’m not sure the manager is the problem in Chicago.

The Cubs just don’t have a lot of great players, and you can’t win with minimal talent. They need to quit relying on Prior and Wood and they’ll be much better off. I’ll predict right now, that Aramis Ramirez will be traded by the All-Star Break, because Lou won’t put up with his laziness. Also, I think Jim Hendry is the most overrated GM in the game. He’s fleeced the Pirates on two occassions and other than that he’s made very few moves worth noting.
Feel free to drop your opinions on this new hire by the Cubbies…

Bonds to be indicted? July 12, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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That’s the word I’ve been hearing. Supposedly on “perjury and tax evasion charges”.

Here’s the ESPN story:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2516737

What do you think about this? Are you happy? Upset?

All-Star Fever: Home Run Derby July 10, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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Okay, here’s the participants in tonight’s Home Run Derby; my favorite event of the All-Star Break:

National League

Miguel Cabrera – Florida Marlins – Bats: R
David Wright – NY Mets – Bats: R
Lance Berkman – Houston Astros – Bats: Both, will be hitting R for the derby
Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies – Bats: L

American League

Miguel Tejada – Baltimore Orioles – Bats: R
Troy Glaus – Toronto Blue Jays – Bats: R
David Ortiz – Boston Red Sox – Bats: L
Jermaine Dye – Chicago White Sox – Bats: R

The derby and all-star game are being held in Pittsburgh at PNC Park where the Pirates play ball. The dimensions of the park are LF Line – 325, LF Alley – 389, CF – 399, RF Alley – 375, RF Line – 320. Looking at the dimensions tell you it slightly favors a left-handed hitter. The derby always favors a streaky hitter; not always the best overall hitter.

With that said, there are only 2 guys hitting lefty (Howard & Ortiz) tonight and they are probably the two streakiest (is that even a word) hitters in the derby. None of the right-handed guys are extremely good HR hitters so I’m not leaning that direction. Tejada would be the 1 righty I’d even think about picking, because he’s been in the derby before and has won it also.

Here are my picks: NL: Howard, AL: Ortiz, Winner: Howard – I’m going with the young stud to pull this one out.

ESPN has a pretty cool feature called the Homerun Derby Tracker…Check it out here if you can’t make it to a TV.

Let me know your picks for the Derby…

Let’s get started…. July 5, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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Let’s get started with a sports related post that should spark some interest…the Chicago Cubs.

Their wonderful GM Jim Hendry (I’m being totally sarcastic by the way) is quoted in the Trib as saying:

“I’m evaluating everything,” Hendry said. “When you’re having this kind of a year . . . I’m evaluating all situations. When you’re 20-plus games below .500 . . . we certainly want to give us a chance to see if we can make a run here before the break, see if we can do well the rest of the week. I’ll spend a lot of time over the break [evaluating], not just the way the [coaching] situation is, but also with our own players….” (click here for the entire article)

Sounds like Dusty and his band of merry managers/coaches is on the chopping block. A few weeks ago and even a few days ago on the Score (670AM), Hendry was backing his guy Dusty all the way. I can’t figure out Jim Hendry. I’ve never understood why so many people have put this guy on some pedestal. He’s never made any significant moves to improve the Cubs. Well I take that back…He made one good move, the Derek Lee deal which wasn’t even a deal but a no-brainer free agent signing at a time when most every other team had a first basemen with D. Lee’s stats.

Hendry has robbed the Pirates blind on at least one occasion. I think you Cub fans will remember that wonderful year of 2003 when the Cubs acquired Ramirez and Lofton in a deal for strike out king Jose Hernandez and two minor league players. Gee, that was a difficult deal to pull off when the Pirates were practically giving players away that year. I also believe he made at least one other deal with them after that.

In my opinion, Hendry is as much to blame for the Cubs woes as Dusty; maybe even more than Dusty. He signs the players Dusty gets to use everyday. Hendry was also smart enough (again more sarcasm) to rely on Prior and Wood for 60+ starts this season; when he knew coming in to spring training they would both start the season on the DL! Which left him with Zambrano (the staff ace since the 03′ season), Maddux (who’s in his 40’s), and a bunch of scrubs or rookies.

What do you Cubs fans think? Is this mess Hendry’s fault, Baker’s, or just the Organization as a whole? Can it be fixed this year? Or do you start trading players and work on next year?

Let me hear what you have to say…