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Month: March 2011

Spring Numbers Won’t Change the Top of the Order

As we’ve discussed, you always have to take Spring Training numbers with a grain of salt. You never know exactly what veterans are doing with their Spring time – maybe they’re working on particular pitches, focusing on defense, or working on taking pitches at the plate. Sure, when a guy is actively competing for a […]

Opening Day Contest: Want to Win $50?

We don’t have enough fun around these parts. For the most part, you can blame the Cubs’ performance. But, hey. It’s a new season and, at least for Opening Day, we can have some fun trying to figure out what the Cubs’ Opening Day lineup will be, and what the rotation will look like as […]

Why the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers 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 […]

Rotation and Bullpen Tidbits

There remains an active competition in camp for the fifth starter spot, and at least two bullpen spots. I say only the fifth starter spot because, by most accounts (including my own for months), Randy Wells has locked down the fourth starter spot. But the fifth spot and the complete makeup of the bullpen remain […]


The Second Cut is the Deepest: Cubs Send 18 Packing

In what was technically the second cut of the Spring, the Chicago Cubs today shuffled loose 18 players, bringing the Spring roster down to 40. Among the cuts were pitching prospects Jay Jackson, Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter, Alberto Cabrera, Kyle Smit and Rafael Dolis. Though all have potentially promising futures, none were expected to break […]

Can’t Wait: Bartman Documentary to Premier at Tribeca Film Festival

Get ready to be equal parts annoyed and miserable. Next month, the long-awaited documentary about Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS and the infamous Bartman incident will premier at the Tribeca Film Festival after months of delay. Originally slated for release on October 26 – in tandem with the World Series and as part of ESPN’s 30 […]

More Michael Young Rumors

This weekend, the Boston Globe suggested that the Chicago Cubs continued look at disgruntled Ranger Michael Young as a possible trade target, believing that Young would be an upgrade at second base over the anticipated Blake DeWitt/Jeff Baker platoon. I said then and will reiterate now: trading for Young is both highly unlikely and highly […]

God’s Wrath Watch: A Myriad of Minor Injuries

The Chicago Cubs (you better knock on some wood) have had a relatively healthy Spring, particularly for their most important players. Starlin Castro’s bruised leg – which is not considered serious in any way – is the lone exception. Otherwise, the injuries have been to non-essential folks and guys trying to make the roster; and […]


Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 3, Mariners 5 – March 14, 2011

Matt Garza had his first decent outing of the Spring, though it was still far from sparkling: two walks and three hits in four innings, one earned, and three Ks. Solid, but not great… Reed Johnson went hitless again, dropping his Spring average to .138. Fernando Perez has an option left, so you’d have to […]

Braden Looper: 25-Man Roster or Bust

Non-roster invitee Braden Looper does not intend to head to the minor leagues or another team if he doesn’t make the Chicago Cubs. And that’s not because he’s stubborn or prideful – he’s just decided that he’ll either play for the Cubs this year or he’ll go home and be with his family. “Baseball’s extremely […]

God’s Sigh of Relief Watch: Starlin Castro OK

If there is one player the Chicago Cubs cannot afford to lose this year – for a variety of reasons, some performance-related, and some attendance-related – it’s probably shortstop Starlin Castro. Not only is Castro a unique talent and tearing the cover off the ball this Spring, the Cubs don’t have much in the way […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 7 and 4, Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3

In case the title is unclear (I’m not saying it’s intentionally obtuse because it tickles me, but I’m not not saying it), the Cubs swept their split squad games today against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers. Carlos Zambrano had another solid outing, Starlin Castro continues to destroy the ball, and Koyie Hill went back to his […]

The Yankees and Nationals Have Been Scouting Carlos Silva

At this point, no one but Chicago Cubs management is hoping Carlos Silva makes the team’s rotation. And no one (perhaps but Cubs management) expects him to, either. That’s why it’s not particularly surprising to learn that teams have been showing up at Silva’s Spring starts to see how he looks. Specifically, the New York […]


Another Michael Young to the Chicago Cubs Rumor

It wasn’t too long ago that it seemed all Michael Young trade rumors were put to bed. He’s due $48 million over the next three years, and the Rangers have been unwilling to eat much of that sum in order to move Young – which is the only way they’ll find a taker. Well, the […]

Cubs Clearly Want Jeff Samardzija to Succeed

Not that the Cubs would wish failure on any of their players, but the team’s effort to push Jeff Samardzija to success this Spring has been obvious and, at times, painful. He regularly pitches the 9th inning of Spring Training games, where he faces a cadre of minor leaguers, and is subjected to little criticism when he […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 6 and 8, Reds 7 and 9

A couple of one-run losses to the Reds – get ’em out of your system in the Spring, boys. The bigger news? Koyie Hill had his first hit of the Spring! That double was easily worth $850,000… Carlos Silva dropped another deuce, this time to the tune of four earned runs in five innings of […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 4, White Sox 3 – March 11, 2011

Beating the White Sox feels good even when it’s completely meaningless. Ryan Dempster was superb for five shutout innings, and each reliever kept the shutout intact until… Jeff Samardzija gave up three earned runs, including a two-run homer to Pirate cast-off Lastings Milledge. Once again, Samardzija was pitching the 9th inning, which he has in […]

The First Cut is the Shallowest: Caridad, Gaub Out

Though he’d suggested he wouldn’t make any cuts for another week or two, today Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade gave the axe to two young relievers, neither of whom was expected to make the bullpen. Lefty John Gaub, one of three the Cubs got from the Indians in the Mark DeRosa trade, once again failed to impress, and will […]


Did Randy Wells Just Nail Down a Rotation Spot?

Randy Wells hasn’t given up an earned run this Spring, and yesterday he mowed down the Indians, going four innings, giving up just one hit and one walk. Has he finally done enough to end the farce that is the requirement that he “compete” for a rotation spot? Neither Mike Quade nor Wells will say, […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 2, Indians 1 – March 10, 2011

What the heck is this? A pitcher’s duel? In Spring Training? Brett Jackson momentarily stepped outside of his struggling self to slap a two-out, game-winning single in the bottom of the 9th, vaulting the Cubs to a rare win. You may have seen (and by “may” I mean “better”) the Cubs 4th and 5th starters […]

Blake DeWitt is Not Guaranteed the Second Base Job

While it has been assumed by most that, since he was acquired last year in the Ted Lilly trade, Blake DeWitt was *the* Chicago Cubs’ second baseman until further notice, I suspected that he could find himself in a bit of a battle this Spring with infielder Jeff Baker and possibly an up-and-comer like Darwin […]

God’s Wrath Watch: John Grabow Has a Sore Shoulder

For many, learning that John Grabow has been struck down with an injury would be a sign of God’s benevolence, not his wrath. But Grabow is a part of this team – like it or not – so good health is better than bad. Fortunately, Grabow doesn’t have a serious injury. Already coming off knee […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 4, Royals 13 – March 9, 2011

In coachspeak: “Look, winning Spring Training games isn’t everything. But eventually, you’d like to start winning some. And moreover, you’d like to stop getting shit-stomped.” Matt Garza didn’t have it today, though most of the damage was done while he was relying solely on his fastball. Marlon Byrd continues to rake, though, so at least […]

Why the 2011 Houston Astros 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 […]