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Starlin Castro is at 199 hits, which gives us all a reason to watch the games (thin, though it may be). String it out, kid.

  • Mike Quade says he expects to be managing the Cubs in 2012. ‘‘Why would I [believe that I’ll be gone next year]? We’re going to play today, and I’m going to be back. There’s no other way to look at it …. I’m not going to wax nostalgic. I plan to be back, and I plan to do a good job next year.” Make your “back… in the stands?” jokes here. But, what was Quade supposed to say? He’s got one more year on his contract.
  • In the same breath, Quade says he’s not sure he sees Carlos Zambrano back with the Cubs. “He is a good pitcher, and you know we miss that,” Quade said. “But the situation dictated how we handled it. After what took place, it needed to be addressed, and it was …. I don’t know that [Zambrano would fit back with the Cubs]. That’s a tough question for me to answer. Will he fit in? I’d like his arm back, but it would be tough for him to come back. If he did, so be it. That’s out of my hands. I’m not calling the shot. [Chairman Tom Ricketts] was on record as to what he said.” Ricketts said he didn’t expect Zambrano back.
  • Arizona Instructional ball is about to get under way, and there are a huge number of interesting names participating, including top Dominican prospects Jeimer Candelario and Carlos Penalver. A number of prospects will be playing professional ball for the first time, including 16-year-old international bonus babies (kids who got a huge signing bonus) Mark Malave and Luis Acosta, as well as overslot draft picks Dillon Maples and Shawon Dunston, Jr. Other top picks, including first rounder Javier Baez and second rounder Dan Vogelbach will also participate. The Cub Reporter has the full list.
  • Derrick Goold goes to great lengths to construct a tortured defense of Ryan Theriot as a successful starting shortstop this year, despite the fact that the Cardinals had to go out and trade for Rafael Furcal just so they could replace Theriot at short. And, yet, this organization is consistently better than the Cubs. Sigh.
  • Jayson Stark polled a handful of executives about where top free agents Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Jose Reyes will land next year – Cardinals, Nationals, and Giants, respectively.
  • Keith Moreland says he had an unbelievable first year teaming up with Pat Hughes in the Cubs’ radio booth. Good for him (genuinely) – it was pretty believable for the rest of us.
  • Once again, the Cubs topped 3 million in paid attendance this season, even if just 2/3 of that number actually showed up to the games.
  • A great article from Ken Rosenthal (he’s so much better in print than in person) on the evolution and current status of ‘Moneyball’ concepts. Really interesting read.
  • Fishin Phil

    ‘Derrick Goold goes to great lengths to construct a tortured defense of Ryan Theriot as a successful starting shortstop this year, despite the fact that the Cardinals had to go out and trade for Rafael Furcal just so they could replace Theriot at short. And, yet, this organization is consistently better than the Cubs. Sigh.”

     

    I’ll say this for Theriot, he is scrappy!

    • TWC

      Nah, he’s just an asshole.

      • CubFan Paul

        His mullett rocked..

  • die hard

    Mr. Quade is a nice guy…but he inherited a spoiled overpaid under achieving team…and he may have been sandbagged by our pitching coach going to New York when he could have been good transition resource…may have avoided injuries to Wells and Cashner at outset with former pitching coach…..head case Zambrano didnt help…. April/May cold and rain didn’t help….so starting out he fell behind and went south from there….if he comes back next year with a vote of confidence from Ricketts, then he should agree to play more small ball including forcing vets to move runners to 2nd base by bunting or hit and run….must agree to emphasize defense…. must agree to require all to not swing until one strike so as to encourage more walks….etc….and no more fake tantrums to be thrown out of ball game…

    • TWC

      Hahahaha… “if he comes back next year”… hahahahaha.  die hard’s going to be begging Ace for more nudity in the Series She-View long before Quade returns to the helm of this team.

       

      • Toosh

        It sure would be nice to see Ricketts continue to do the GMs job and fire Quade ASAP.

  • Dan0mite

    Castro’s pursuit for his 200th hit isn’t the only reason to watch the Card’s series this weekend. The Cardinals are only 1.5 games back on the wild card. If the Cubs can kick them around a bit they could do some serious damage to their playoff hopes.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very good point, Dan.

  • Toosh

    Excellent point. I can hardly wait until those whiners are eliminated.

  • rocky8263

    Brett, do you really believe one million paid tickets wet unused? One million? Cmon.

  • RY

    please drug test qball immediately, he actually thinks he will be back?? brett please say there is no chance in hell he is back running this team next year!!!!!!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’d put the chances at Zambrano pitching for the Cubs next season at about six times that of Quade returning to manage. Does that help allay your fears?

      • CubFan Paul

        but we’re screwed if big Z doesnt accept the trade/waive his NTC right? if he doesn’t like the team willing to trade for him because of location or whatever Ricketts/the new GM can’t force him to go ..the option i havn’t seen mentioned anywhere is him sitting down with Ricketts, the new GM & new manager and deciding to stay & finish his one year because he doesn’t want to leave (even tho Z said he’d possibly accept a trade if they didnt want him) ..i think its 50/50 that he’ll be back

        • TWC

          He’ll be traded or released.  He won’t pitch for the Cubs again.

          • CubFan Paul

            T-Dub, you don’t think Z will be on his best behavior next year during his contract year? I do. he has no choice but to behave if he wants a major league paycheck. He’s still relatively young & could get a 3yr/$30million deal somewhere else after next season if he’s a “changed man”

            • TWC

              He was a “changed man” THIS year, ‘member?  While I’m skeptical about the “contract year effect”, next year will be Z’s contract year wherever he’s playing.

              • CubFan Paul

                your right, he’s a “changed man” every year, this year moreso because of the forced anger management. ..but i don’t think he’ll accept a trade just to be a dick and to prove us wrong

                the contract year effect always works ..i remember milton Bradley’s last year in Texas and someone stupid enough to give him 3yrs/$30mil

                • TWC

                  RE the contract year, these are worth a read (they’re safe, just shortened).

                  http://bit.ly/ispqmX

                  http://bit.ly/iIQ5u0

                  • JulioZuleta

                    I say if he doesn’t accept the trade, stick him in the Iowa bullpen as a long reliever. He has done enough damage to his reputation that I’m not quite sure he would have a slam dunk case on any potential grievance he filed. A few weeks of riding busses and pitching to the Bobby Scales’s of the world will have him begging for a trade/buyout.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Veterans can’t be sent to Iowa/minors without their consent ..Z has the team by the short hairs and he knows it and will probably only accept a trade to a contender, but i doubt a contender would want his issuses.. i can’t imagine Ricketts eating $18mil to make him a free agent because of the Soriano buyout of $54mil/trade

                      rock & a hard place

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      We can’t force him to Iowa, he’s out of options, if he doesn’t accept a trade or if the Cubs can’t find trade he’ll just get released. Just like Silva was released before this reason, Silva was offered a AAA assignment but was released when he refused the assignment.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Yeah I guess, I thought there was a way around that in certain situations, basically to protect teams in circumstances like this. If not, players can just act like this until they get released, still get paid, and then sign with the team of their choosing. I know it is almost never used, but I seem to remember there being some loop hole type clause that allows it. Could be wrong though.

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      Jinx… Another thing to realize is that teams know that the Cubs will release him if they can’t trade him and why trade if you can get him for the league min.

                  • Mike Foster

                    Great links TWC. Here’s the quote that jumps out for me.

                    “As recent baseball research has found (and by recent, I mean the last 35-40 years), a player’s prime typically lies within the age-25 to 29 range. ”

                    Of course, to maximize the benefit, that would mean you’d have to actually play players when they are that age.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I try to remind people of that fact whenever I get a chance – it’s particularly true for position players.

          • Toosh

            Yup.

  • Mike Foster

    I could almost trade any victory over the Cards this weekend for one simple thing….a beaning. Yeah, I know, never gone to happen. Sad. So, here’s to kicking some Redbird this weekend, can’t wait.

  • Toosh

    Save the beaning for next season. Knock ‘em out of the postseason this year.

  • jstraw

    I don’t recall that the whole question of whether or not Zambrano abrogated his contract when he announced his retirement has been settled. Has it been settled?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nope – MLB decided to kick the can into the offseason. His hearing will be sometime after the season ends, but I don’t think anyone knows exactly when. The retirement part is an almost certain loser – mostly they’ll be fighting about whether the Cubs have to pay him for those 30 days he was suspended (i.e., were they justified in “disqualifying” him).

  • Caleb

    Good for Keith. The Pat and Ron show was a huge part of my love affair with the Cubs for a long time, and losing Ronnie was a devastating blow. I’ll never listen to the Cubs without missing him, nor try to compare anyone else filling his shoes.

    That being said, I think Keith has done a great job. Listening to him and Pat develop a new rapport, a new relationship, has been entertaining and enjoyable. Keith has a lot going for him, and it seems like there is good chemistry in the broadcast team. I wish him lots of continued success!

    Going to the game tomorrow (hoping to see Castro’s 200th!), and planning on tipping one back for Ronnie. Then ma

  • Caleb

    Okay, that thought apparently trailed off in some keyboard ramblings. “Then ma?”???

    This keyboard is possessed.

    Or, maybe I’ll just tip on back for mom, too. She’s pretty good shit.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ll tip one back for both of them.

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