Ryan Dempster said it “felt awesome” to throw 128 pitches last night – the most he’s thrown in 10 years. Manager Mike Quade says he’ll consider shortening Dempster’s next outing to make up for the Herculean total this time around.

  • Meanwhile, in the other dugout, Dusty Baker removed a young pitcher, who was pitching a gem, after just 91 pitches. Dusty also agreed that it would be the young pitcher’s last start of the year, so that he could rest up for next season. Clearly I inadvertently slipped into a wormhole before yesterday’s game, and emerged in another universe where Mark Prior is on his way to his sixth straight Cy Young Award, and Carlos Zambrano is ready to take the ball in tonight’s crucial stretch game, looking to take his ERA under 3.00.
  • Bruce Levine offers a rundown of the Aramis Ramirez contract situation, and suggests that the Cubs offer him two-years and $25 million (with a $15 million option – which is kind of stupid, as no one is going to want a rapidly-declining, 36-year-old Ramirez for $15 million. If there’s buyout money attached to that option, just include it up front, and stay the pageantry of a big-money option). If Ramirez, today, said he would take two years and $25 million, I think the Cubs might be best served taking him up on that. Obviously it would be better if that number tended toward $20 million, but I doubt he takes that much less than he could get on the open market.
  • If the Cubs don’t bring Aramis Ramirez back, sources say the Cincinnati Reds will consider offering him a lucrative deal. Quick! Get the Reds on the schedule for April and May!
  • Speaking of the schedule: A source says the Chicago Cubs’ 2012 schedule has recently been revised to feature a visit from the Boston Red Sox. You’ll note that the Cubs played the AL East in Interleague this year (including the Red Sox), so it’s a bit odd that the Sawx would be on the schedule again next year. Before you get too excited about realignment and the related, necessary expansion of interleague play (i.e., if it was in place for the 2012 season, the Cubs might well be playing a bunch of additional AL teams), keep in mind that, because the six-team structure in the NL Central, a couple teams will have to play other AL teams regardless of the realignment question. That’s probably all this is – and it’s a blessing and a curse for the Cubs: the Red Sox are a nice draw, but they’re always good. The Cubs’ full 2012 schedule should be released on Thursday.
  • Mike Quade says Bryan LaHair’s emergence is taking starts away from Tyler Colvin, not Carlos Pena or Alfonso Soriano. Keep on trucking, Mike.
  • Ryan Dempster is the Cubs’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes contributions on and off the field.
  • Fishin Phil

    • Mike Quade says Bryan LaHair’s emergence is taking starts away from Tyler Colvin, not Carlos Pena or Alfonso Soriano. Keep on trucking, Mike.

    I seriously wonder how many lead paint chips that man ate as a child.

    • Mike Quade


  • Ari Gold

    When Quade gets fired by the new GM, it would be hilarious if they told him it was because he didn’t play the young kids when they were out of the race.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I would smile.

  • Toosh

    How can the 2012 schedule be released before they know if there’ll be realignment or not?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I assume that they have to get the schedule out there soon for planning purposes, but since the new CBA isn’t set, they can’t assume realignment will happen for 2012. If it does, they’ll just scramble to re-do the schedule.

      • hansman1982

        or they would have realignment take place in 2013

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Right – I was responding only to what could happen if they still wanted to realign in 2012.

  • die hard

    Will never forgive Baker for ruining Prior…..are you suggesting Red Sox coming here because has been leaked their GM or asst GM (and Mgr perhaps?) coming here and would provide lots of interest?….nice rumor started about Reds by Ramirez agent….Colvin better on defense than LaHair and if allowed to play 25 consecutive games would over that span get confidence and timing back…maybe he should play winter ball…Appears Quade treating kids like he may have been treated as player because if not now then when do you let them all play everyday?

    • T C

      die hard, I gotta say, I usually detest your posts, but seriously, you’ve got a couple of good points there. Honestly, your idea that Ramirez’s agents are the ones generating a Ramirez to the Reds rumor is really solid, and I havent really read that anywhere yet. It makes a ton of sense for ramirez to drum up intra-divison interest, and it would put a lot of pressure on the Cubs to act quickly. Also, I personally don’t think it makes a whole ton of sense for the Reds, so it sounds even more like an agent cooking up a rumor…Colvin would absolutely benefit from playing a month straight and absolutely should play winter ball….I hadnt even thought about Quade’s refusal to play the kids being based on a “I had to earn everything and still never played, so these kids are gonna have to prove themselves in super small sample sizes that could make them look like bums” type of bias. Very interesting thought, thanks kind sir

  • Baseballet

    Regarding Quade playing the vets instead of the young players, Ricketts has to share in the blame.  He needed to make it clear to Quade in July that the prospects should get playing time. 

    It’s absurd to let a manager who won’t be back next year determine the direction of the team.  Quade is harming next year’s team by not letting us get an extended look at the rookies/sophmores.  So now we have to go all off season wondering if LaHair is a mirage, or if Colvin might prove to be an everyday player if given an extended tryout?  Of if John Gaub can string together a few good relief appearances? 

    And for what?  So that Pena and Soriano can get to 30 home runs?  So that we can tie the Pirates  for a share of fourth place?

    In addition to letting Quade ride the vets, Ricketts also let the organization stand inert at both trading deadlines when they might have gotten something in return for one or more of their over-thirty players.  Why didn’t he begin the hard job of rebuilding the team?   

    Ricketts’ spending on the draft has me feeling optimistic about Cubs ownership for the first time ever, but his oversight of the team bufuddles.

    • CubFan Paul

      ..do you hear that? ..yea, me neither …CRicketts

  • CUB5

    I shed a *tear* every time I think about what could have been with Wood, Pryor, etc. Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

  • CubFan Paul

    an ideal Ramirez extension that he wouldn’t balk at & friendly on the budget:

    2yrs/$28million with a $6million signing bonus paid in $2million increments Jan ’12, Jan ’13, &Jan 2014

    2012 salary: $12million
    2013 salary: $10million
    and maybe a 2014 CLUB option of $10million with a $1million buyout

    Or make the $6million deferred to January 2014 when the payroll is minuscule or divided it up over Jan 2014 & Jan 2015 (deferred) so that Ramy gets two nice retirement checks when he’s done playing (deferred salary is common with veteran/aging players)

    to avoid another 100 loss-ish season Ramy’s bat has to stay in the lineup next year Or an ‘established’ RBI 3rd baseman has to be traded for, because there’s no guarantee Camp Colvin will give DJ LeMahieu a .500 Slugging Percentage & no new GM will bank on that

  • willis

    God willing, neither Pena nor Soriano are a part of this team next year. But, is this not completely what we have come to expect from Quade? This is a selfish and stubborn decision. And playing LaHair and Colvin in the outfield or one of them at 1B isn’t going to net any worse results than dirt swinging Soriano and sub .200 RISP Pena.

    BTW, it was shown on the broadcast last night that Pena has the worst RISP average in baseball. But he is such a nice guy. Nice #4 hitter and nice $10 millie brah. Jesus.

    • Toosh

      But is he a nicer guy than Hendry? You can never have enough of those.

    • TWC

      Peña is worse than Byrd with RISP?  I’m shocked.  Really.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Byrd is worse, relative to his overall average. Pena’s overall average is so low, though…

  • Steve

    *sigh*…..still???? Let the Prior deal go. Yes, he was mismanaged. But, YES…he was injury prone. He was fragile. He was weak. He, in my opinion, was SOFT. Please, let it go. Baker is a convenient scapegoat, but ultimately, Prior would have went through injuries ANYWHERE. It was in his DNA.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I should have posted a photo from inside my mouth so that you could see where my tongue was. I assumed it was obvious…