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Month: March 2011

Lukewarm Stove: Sigh, Another Michael Young Rumor

I never get tired of rumors. I really don’t. That’s why they’re such a big part of this site – I love reading about them as much as I love discussing them. So I’ll never stiff you on a rumor that I’ve heard or read about. That said, I’m growing a bit weary of the […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 3, A’s 1 – March 23, 2011

When is a win not a win? I think you know where this is going… So Carlos Silva decided to have his best Spring outing at the worst possible time. Six innings, just three hits, one earned, and three Ks. Does that win him the fifth starter spot? Eh. When combined with Andrew Cashner’s inability […]

The Third Cut: Maine, Wellemeyer, Berg, and Guzman

Today the Chicago Cubs started making meaningful cuts from the Spring roster, and the cut included at least one surprise. Lefty reliever Scott Maine, once considered the favorite to be the third (if not fourth) lefty out of the pen, was sent to AAA Iowa where he’ll try to work his way into a mid-season […]


Why the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Will Suck

Editor’s Note: Yes, it’s that time of year again – the time for us to settle back into our protective bubble where the Chicago Cubs are destined for greatness, and every other team in the National League Central is bound for spectacular failure. If you’d care to check out last year’s fare: St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati […]

God’s Wrath Watch: Aramis Ramirez Has Got a Fever

And the prescription is more cowbell. But seriously, Chicago Cubs’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez hasn’t played since Friday and has been dealing with a 102-degree fever. He relaxed this weekend, and looks like he’s ready to play again, perhaps as early as today. After taking a few days off, Ramirez showed up at the park […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 1, Dodgers 2 – March 22, 2011

The Cubs are now 10-16 on the Spring, which, in isolation, means very little. A number of the core players – Zambrano, Dempster, Wells, Castro, Byrd, among others – have been lights out, and a number of the fringe roster types have struggled. How much does a 10-16 record, therefore, truly reflect the competency of […]

Angel Guzman is a Really Positive, Inspiring Guy

I won’t go back over the sad story that is Angel Guzman’s professional baseball career. In short: limitless talent that was, in fact, limited by injuries. But Guzman is still trying to come back, and he’s got an incredible attitude about the whole thing. The latest setback was a shredded shoulder, requiring a delicate surgery […]


A Number of Roster Decisions Are Expected Today

According to multiple reports, and according to Mike Quade, himself, today Chicago Cubs management – presumably Quade, GM Jim Hendry, Assistant GM Randy Bush, and probably Assistant (to the) GM Greg Maddux – will meet to discuss and pare down the team’s Spring roster, which stands at 39 (40 if you count Angel Guzman, who […]

Only Two Days Left: Enter the BN Opening Day Contest to Win $50

This is a reminder that you’re running out of time to enter the Bleacher Nation Opening Day Contest, which could land you a $50 gift certificate to CubWorld.com. All you’ve got to do is “Like” Bleacher Nation on Facebook, and guess the Cubs’ Opening Day lineup and starting rotation as of Opening Day on this […]

Jeff Baker Wants to Be the Full-Time Starter at Second Base

Coming into Spring Training, few things were assumed. But one locked-down assumption was that second base would feature a platoon between Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker. DeWitt, a lefty, would start against right-handed pitchers, and Baker, a righty (who destroys lefty pitching), would start against left-handed pitchers. Done and done. But then DeWitt struggled to […]

Reed Johnson and Darwin Barney Being Schooled by Rudy Jaramillo

Based on Spring performances as well as non-performance-related factors (options remaining, organizational development issues, etc.), Darwin Barney is the current favorite to land the last infield roster spot, and Reed Johnson is the favorite to nab the fifth outfielder spot. And, if you’re looking for additional roster tea leaves to read, you might take note […]


Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 3, Giants 2 – March 20, 2011

Today’s game was light on the roster competitors, but one guy really stood out. Randy Wells was not only excellent today, but he was excellent after some troubles in the first inning. If you’ll recall Wells’ troubles last year, they were almost exclusively early – so this was a good sign. He’s officially (ok, well, not […]

Write a Ridiculous Letter, Get Published in the Chicago Tribune

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know how a newsroom works. I don’t know how story ideas are created, vetted, and assigned. I don’t know the process of writing a news article. I don’t know the pressures of a deadline. And I also don’t know how letters to the editor are […]

Lukewarm Stove: Mike Quade Suggests Cubs Will Pass on Luis Castillo

Former Mets second baseman Luis Castillo, released a couple days ago, is free to sign with another team starting today (for the ML minimum of $414,000). A few reports had the Chicago Cubs as one of many teams that would give Castillo a look, but (thankfully) manager Mike Quade has generally squashed the Cubs’ connection […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 4, Padres 14 – March 19, 2011

Another day, another run total in the (four)teens. For the opponent. Matt Garza had very little going for him today – he nibbled just off the edge of the plate, and when he came back into the zone he got hit. Hard. For what it’s worth, he says the mound in Peoria (where he pitched […]

Carlos Silva: Rotation or Bust?

Buried among the notes about Carlos Silva’s crappy outing yesterday (and the Cubs’ overall poor performance), Mike Quade let something that may be pretty important slip: “I think, right now, we look at [Silva] as a starter,” Quade said yesterday. “That’s the only way we look at him. I think he could [pitch out ofthe […]


Lukewarm Stove: Cubs Reportedly Interested in Luis Castillo

Today, the New York Mets did what teams like the Chicago Cubs generally lack the balls to do: they released a guy, despite his multimillion dollar contract, because he simply wasn’t worth a roster spot. The guy in question was second baseman Luis Castillo, who is owed $6 million in the final year of his […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 13, Reds 14 – March 18, 2011

It was a pitching optional Friday as two of the Cubs’ three Carloses (Zambrano and Silva) conspired to suck a duck against the Reds. At least the offense scored 13… Carlos Silva’s goose has gotta be cooked, no? After Big Z gave up the first six runs to the Reds, Silva gave up the remaining […]

Darwin Barney and Reed Johnson “Pulling Away” in Bench Competition?

At present, 11 of the 13 positional spots on the Chicago Cubs’ 25-man roster are locked in (assuming the immovable object that is Koyie Hill is the backup catcher), leaving a handful of players competing to be the fifth outfielder and the middle infield backup. Specifically, Reed Johnson and Fernando Perez are fighting to be […]

Back End of the Cubs’ Rotation Shaping Up

Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, and Matt Garza will start the first three games of the Chicago Cubs’ season, but, so far, the Cubs have not announced which two pitchers would follow them in the rotation. Randy Wells has been in the Cubs’ rotation the last two seasons and has done nothing – seriously, nothing – […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 5, A’s 6 – March 17, 2011

The Cubs blew a two-run 9th inning lead to lose to the A’s today, and I’ve got a smile on my face. Why? Because it’s Spring Training, folks. It sucks that it was Sean Marshall who blew it, but he’ll be fine. On to the stuff that matters… John Grabow returned to action after more […]

Carlos Pena is the Most Positive Guy Ever

The Chicago Cubs didn’t quite know what they’d be getting from new first baseman Carlos Pena when they signed him. He’s just two years removed from some dominant seasons, but last year, his OPS dipped substantially, and he hit under .200. But Pena says he was dealing with foot issues last year, and he’s now […]