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Month: March 2011

God Hates Other Teams, Too: Zack Greinke Broke a Rib

The biggest move this offseason in the NL Central, if not all of baseball (I know, I know, Cliff Lee), was the Brewers’ trade for Royal ace Zack Greinke. Combined with the addition of Shaun Marcum, and resident Brewer stud Yovani Gallardo, Greinke gave the Brewers the best rotation in the Central. You know, assuming […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 0, Rockies 4 – March 8, 2011

Does that score haunt you? Indeed, it looks eerily familiar, given the Cubs’ performance over the past few years. Carlos Zambrano was once again solid in the runs column – just one in three innings – but he did give up five hits. Braden Looper also got three innings in, but gave up the other […]

Carlos Silva Doesn’t Want to Talk About the Rotation Competition

Carlos Silva no longer has the inside track on a rotation spot this year. That much is clear after a second consecutive abysmal Spring performance yesterday. What remains unclear is whether the portly starter, who paired a dominant first half with an ineffective and injury-filled second half in 2010, can put it together in the […]

Bud Selig Not a Fan of Marlon Byrd’s Relationship with Victor Conte

Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd is a physical specimen. Look at those guns. You don’t get that way without some serious training, and serious nutritional support – and I don’t meant that euphemistically. Byrd has never been linked to PEDs, and I don’t suspect it now. I think the guy just works really hard, eats […]

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Mike Quade Not Ready to Give Up on Carlos Silva

Even after yesterday’s 8-run, 2-inning effort, Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade says he’s not giving up on pitcher Carlos Silva as a rotation option. Which, frankly, is the right thing to say even if you are giving up on him. But rather than cut the cord on Silva, manager Mike Quade praised his embattled starter […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 14, Angels 13 – March 7, 2011

Clearly I jumped the gun on the whole if-this-was-a-regular-season-game-I-would-have-lost-it thing. So let me say it again: if this was a regular season game, I totally would have lost it. The Cubs came back from a 9-0 deficit, and won in their last at-bat. Carlos Silva probably should have punched someone after the game so that […]

Bleacher Nation Elsewhere on the ‘Net

This is your semi-regular (don’t worry, I will continue to emphasize the “semi”) reminder that there are a couple of other places to follow Bleacher Nation on the ‘net. Specifically, you can get additional content on Facebook and on Twitter. I don’t always post here everything I say there. So, if you don’t follow BN […]

If Randy Wells Doesn’t Make the Rotation, He’s Going to AAA Iowa

I’ve made no secret about my belief that the very notion that Randy Wells is “competing” for a rotation spot is beyond absurd. Even if basing the decision solely on his “bad” 2010 season, advanced metrics suggest Wells one of the top 30 starters in the NL last year, and was better even than new […]

Alfonso Soriano Looking Good Defensively

When Alfonso Soriano shifted to the outfield a few years ago, he struck most as a surprisingly good left fielder. He took some questionable routes, but he had decent range, and a killer arm. But in the last couple years, his routes have gotten worse, his range has been limited, and folks don’t really run […]

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 5 and 0, Dodgers 3, Reds 10

Did you follow that title? The Chicago Cubs split their squad today, and took on the Dodgers and the Reds, winning the former 5-3 and losing the latter 10-0. Second base prospect (specifically, the guy the Cubs hope is the second baseman of the future) DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run, walk-off homer to win the […]

Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano Are Not Leaders

In his short time as manager, Mike Quade has already established that he likes to talk. A lot. As someone who writes about all things Chicago Cubs, having a gregarious manager is definitely a good thing. I find it also a good thing as a fan. But sometimes, the most interesting information will come from […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 9, Padres 4 – March 5, 2011

Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano were the offensive stars today as the Cubs downed the Padres – though the Cubs weren’t exactly facing a murderer’s row of pitchers. Or hitters. Randy Wells held serve in his effort to nail down the rotation spot he’s already earned. He gave up an unearned run on three hits […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 4, Royals 5 – March 4, 2010

Another loss, but another loss that doesn’t really sting. But for a grand slam given up by a pitcher who won’t make the Cubs (after walking three consecutive, I might add), it would have been a fine victory. Against the Royals. In Spring Training. Matt Garza went two scoreless in the midst of getting drilled […]

Carlos Silva Tells a Version of the Fight with Aramis Ramirez

Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva, who wouldn’t speak to the media following Wednesday’s dugout scuffle with teammate Aramis Ramirez, broke his silence today, telling a slightly different version of events than we’d heard from Ramirez, manager Mike Quade, and other Cubs players. And in doing so, he’s clearly backing down from his assertion, just a […]

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Meetings, Meetings Everywhere

The Chicago Cubs have sucked this Spring. There’s just no getting around it. Not only are they 1-4, but they’ve been outscored 42-25, and have committed a mind-boggling 15 errors in those 5 games. It was only a matter of time before the “team meetings” started. I’m not sure that I was prepared for two […]

God’s Wrath Watch: Carlos Zambrano’s Arm is “Tired,” But Probably OK

God’s Wrath makes its first appearance of the  year, but hopefully it’s indicative of the way the rest of the year will go, because God’s Wrath in this instance is mild. Carlos Zambrano went three solid, scoreless innings yesterday, but afterward complained of a “tired arm,” which is dreadedly close to “dead arm,” an affliction […]

Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 7, Rangers 8 – March 3, 2011

Hey, at least the game was moderately competitive and the Cubs made a Spring Training best 1(!) error. Baby steps. Blake DeWitt, whom the Cubs would probably like to see succeed in the leadoff role (because it allows Kosuke Fukudome to ride the pine more often, opening up more starts for Tyler Colvin), went 2-3 […]

Marty Brennaman: Cubs Not Good Enough to Win Division

Cincinnati Reds broadcasters have long had an interesting relationship with the Chicago Cubs. If you watch a Cubs/Reds game with Reds guys calling it – whether it’s Marty or Thom Brennaman or George Grande – you detect two things: (1) the Reds guys work very hard to be fair and even-handed, but (2) they don’t […]

Mike Quade is Clearly Worried About Starlin Castro

If Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has shown anything in his young Major League career, it’s that he can hit, but is subject to lapses in the field. Whether those lapses are physical or mental is yet unclear, but one thing is certain: it’s gotta change. This team will not win anything if they’re not […]

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 5, Brewers 12 – March 2, 2011

Well, the Chicago Cubs were beat down once again – by each other. They lost their Spring Training game, too. Mike Quade will have his first team meeting after yesterday’s debacle. Subjects for discussion will probably include the fight between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez, the insane number of errors in the first four Spring […]

Why the 2011 Cincinnati Reds 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 […]

Spring Training Miscellany

There are a few pieces of Spring Training information for you this morning, none of which was quite substantial enough to merit its own post, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t totally be interested in the following… Tyler Colvin will get his first start at first base on Friday. The Cubs would very much like […]

Spring Training Bullets: Cubs 3, Giants 2 – March 1, 2011

Hooray! The Chicago Cubs aren’t going to lose every single game of the 2011 season! Well, er, probably. I suppose it’s technically still possible. Kosuke Fukudome led off once again, in another sign of things to come. He had one hit in three at bats. Blake DeWitt continues to struggle, in a sign of things […]

Andrew Cashner Has the Inside Track on a Rotation Spot

His Spring debut notwithstanding, Chicago Cubs hurler Andrew Cashner is going to get a very good chance to win one of the last two spots in the rotation. Cashner, 24, was a reliever with the big team last year, but manager Mike Quade has correctly noted that, if Cashner can be a starter, the Cubs […]

Carlos Zambrano: Pinch Hitter

When you carry 12 pitchers – 5 starters and 7 in the pen – your options on the bench become limited rather quickly. With 8 positional starters, you’ve got just 5 guys on the bench, one of whom is a near lock to be a light-hitting back-up catcher. So if your team carries 12 pitchers, […]