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Ryan Braun had a simple response when asked by USA Today to respond to the news that he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs: “It’s B.S.” That’s it. Of course, the matter remains under appeal, and Braun probably can’t say much. But, for a guy who carries this clean cut, nice dude image, either offer a complete thought, or say nothing at all. Just a thought.

  • Richard Justice, who usually covers the Astros, offers a defense of Braun. I don’t know that I agree with Justice’s “Braun deserves the benefit of the doubt” (call me jaded and reactionary, but I just can’t give any player the benefit of the doubt anymore), but it’s a compelling piece. A high point: It just makes no sense that he would risk his good name when he has been blessed with enough gifts to do great things. He’s also part of a generation of players that has been tested for steroids since the first day they signed professional contracts. He’s a smart guy. He has seen the damage done to players who’ve tested positive. For him to use a banned substance would be to do more harm than good. I have trouble believing he did that. I may be proven wrong, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it.” Decent argument.
  • Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are attempting to build a roster better equipped to handle the schizophrenic nature of Wrigley Field, which requires small-ball early in the year and when the wind is blowing in, and could stand to have some power in the Summer months and when the wind is blowing out. So what exactly does that mean? Pitching and defense. You can’t change the elements, and some offensive players only go one way (small or big). But pitching and defense remains a constant. To that end, the Cubs upgraded the defense by adding David DeJesus and Ian Stewart – though the upgrades are largely by virtue of the players they replace, rather than their own defensive prowess. So, Theo and Jed: how about that pitching part?
  • Brewers writer Mike Hunt (real name) is a total … well, let’s just say he’s not nice. A recent article about the Brewers’ pursuit of Aramis Ramirez contained this thoroughly unnecessary pearl: “Meanwhile, it’s taken this long in the column to mention that Ramirez was a longtime Cub, like that matters. It won’t take him long to adjust to an organization dedicated to winning and the comfort of its players in a modern environment. Chances are, he would be pleased about a warm roof over his head, 21st-century conveniences and ownership that has a clue. He would like and respect the manager. He would bring no personal baggage to a largely issueless clubhouse. He would no doubt enjoy a place where success is a higher priority than selling a dumpy, old tourist trap repackaged as charm.” What in the hell does that Glenn-Beckish-lowest-common-denominator-overplayed-bashing have to do with anything? Mike Hunt is apparently bitter. Mike Hunt is also clearly jealous. Mike Hunt is a smelly, old curmudgeon who can’t celebrate his own team’s success.
  • Casey Coleman, who unsuccessfully filled in as a starter last year at various times, hopes he gets another chance in 2012. “I had been struggling the first part of the year because I wasn’t prepared to be a starter,” said Coleman of early 2011. “I had nine innings of big-league camp but you can’t predict two injuries to your rotation. It’s tough facing big-league lineups early in the year when you’re really not ready endurance-wise. I was going from one inning at a time in spring training. There’s no excuses, because when they give you that opportunity in the big leagues you need to go out there and perform.” As bad as Coleman was in the bigs, he was excellent at AAA last year (in a very, very hitter’s friendly league). Still just 24, Coleman could carve out a future as a back-end starter. That said, it’s hard to see the Cubs going into 2012 looking at him as anything more than depth.
  • In light of the new television contract with Fox Sports, which pays the Angels some $150 million annually (and, which, in turn, afford the Angels the luxury of committing more than $300 million to Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson on Thursday), the subject of the Chicago Cubs’ TV revenues will come into the spotlight in the coming months, I’d reckon. Because the Cubs’ current TV deals with CSN Chicago and WGN were negotiated back when the Tribune was in charge (who owned by the Cubs and WGN), there are reasons that those deals are depressed, relative to market value. My understanding is that those deals – which net the Cubs in the ballpark of just $50 million per year – don’t expire for several more years. The Ricketts family was keenly aware of this issue when they bought the team, knowing that, down the road, a huge new revenue stream (i.e., a Cubs network, or, at a minimum, a better TV deal) would come into the picture. Until then, though, the Cubs will be behind the 8-ball vis a vis teams like the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, and many other teams (even the Rangers, for example, recently inked a deal that brings in more than $80 million per year). I’m not sure why this subject hasn’t been getting more play in the media, but I’d say it’s time to do some digging: exactly how much are the Cubs getting, from what sources, and exactly how long are the Cubs currently committed? Maybe I’ll do some digging myself.
  • Speaking of that Pujols contract, a report says Pujols is committed to working for the Angels for another 10 years as a “consultant.” That means it’s possible Pujols won’t be able to return to the Cardinals as an ambassador until 2032, when he’s 51 years old. What a total slap in the face to Cardinals fans. Dear media: stop trying to convince everyone that the decision wasn’t all about the money. It so, so, so was.
  • Mayor1969

    People can defend Braun all they want. But who was the last guy busted on a PED test who was vindicated?

    Answer…NOBODY. He’s as guilty as the rest.

  • Oswego Chris

    I would offer this counter arguement to why Braun is probably guilty….

    The MLB has absolutely no upside in this coming out…in fact the Emperor would do all in his powers(including the dreaded Sith lightening…which Jedi’s cannot do) to keep this from leaking until they were absolutely certain….to the contrary, it is a huge black eye on a sport just starting to put this stuff in the rear-view…throw in the fact that this is the best player on the Emperor’s team….and it makes no sense that it would come out unless it has some teeth…..

    if this was a rogue outside the lines ESPN report then the MLB would be issuing a statement about “letting it play-out, or getting all of the facts”…too much smoke, and too much to lose for the Emperor…

     

     

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That is, indeed, a strong counterargument. MLB must believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that Braun is guilty. That doesn’t mean he IS guilty, but it means MLB is absolutely convinced.

    • Internet Random

      Well said.

      Let me add that, to anyone with a cursory understanding of the science involved, it’s a foregone conclusion that Braun consumed a banned substance. Couple that with the fact that his spokesperson as much as admitted it.

      As I understand it, pretty much the only successful defense he can put on is to show that somebody was slipping PEDs, without Braun’s knowledge, into something that he was consuming—something that one would reasonably expect not to contain PEDs… we’re talking something like oatmeal off the shelf from the grocer, not some powder from a nutrition guru who says, “Don’t worry, this stuff is clean”. Oh, and it can’t make the oatmeal taste or smell “off”.

      Again, it’s possible that Braun is innocent, but the chances are so remote as to be practically negligible.

    • Ogyu

      “Sith lightening?” Maybe that’s what happened to Sammy Sosa’s skin?

  • Stinky Pete

    “Mike Hunt is a smelly,”

    Haha. Best writing you have done. Seriously. That is beautiful.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The mature adult in me says that it was a total coincidence, and/or I have no idea what you mean…

      The eternal teenager in me says, “haha, I know!”

    • BPaoni

      Sounds like Mike Hunt is in need of a bath and a good shave.

    • http://twitter.com/hurricanswag26 Ryne Blaising

      It’s funny how Mike Hunt writes all that stuff about how great the Brewers are and how they are winners?!? I deal with this all the time being around Brewers fans at my school trying to talk stuff about the Cubs, but I just remnd them of this 0 World Series, and I am younger only 24 but let’s look at it this way. I am a lifelong Cubs fan as all of us are and I have seen the Cubs in the playoffs 4 times! Once as the wild card and three times as NL Central champs!! Brewers oh yeah one wild card and one NL Central title. Also dont they call Miller Park Wrigley North cuz more Cubs fans go to the games then Brewers fans? But this Mike guy is right on point.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Wait….there is ACTUALLY someone with the name mike hunt? Seriously? LMFAO!!!

    • Ron Swanson

      And we’re surprised he’s bitter?

  • Bazfan1234

    In regards to the TV network/deal, I truely hope that they consider what the nationwide presence WGN has done for the Cubs. As a NC Cub’s fan, it is getting harder and harder to watch the Cubs on TV now that more games are on CSN. There is no way I would be a Cubs fan if it wasn’t for WGN and that is probably true for most Cubs fans outside of Illinois. I know there is always MLB Extra Innings and MLB.com (I normally purchase one of the two), but most casual fans would never even think about purchasing either one of them.

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

      The sad reality is that WGN and the Cubs will eventually be no more. WGN can’t compete with the big market sport networks (CSN, Fox) and eventually the Cubs will have their own network. One can only hope that the new Cubs network will be picked up by local cable distributors (and it wil,l I have the YES network) and America can once again see every Cubs game (although won’t “blackout” rules still apply). It will be a sad day when the Cubs and WGN are divorced but it will happen.

      • MoneyBoy

        Michigan – One major reason WGN becomes less and less a factor is the increasing number of night games … and WGN has it’s “priceless” shows that they prefer … apparently … to baseball.

        • miggy80

          This was the biggest bullet in the post!! How many people missed that the fact the Angels were able to sign the contracts they did was because of the TV contract they signed. It’s too bad that WGN will probably have to split ways with the cubs. Thats how I got to know Mr. Kotter and the Sweat hogs! Plus I can say I’ve been watching Oprah longing than your mom because of WGN. This is America and money talks and the Cubs will be getting paid when they get to negotiate their own deal.

  • Oswego Chris

    also “Mike Hunt” is really a writer for the Brewers?(he got called down to the office a few times when I was in high school)…who else is on the writing staff?

    Hugh G. Rection?

    Haywood Jablome?

    Harry P. Ness?

    Give me a break?  One division title and the Brewers are the perfect organization…

     

     

     

    • MC2

      I really thought you were going to go with “He got called down on the carpet”… …

       

    • R.I.P. Santo

      his wife “Sharin Peters” left him

  • Mike Foster

    People with bright shiny new gazillion dollar stadiums will ALWAYS mock Wrigley….because they can never BE Wrigley. And why is it that when a new stadium IS built these days they ALL have a brick wall behind the plate? Who are they trying to copy? Could it be WRIGLEY FIELD!!!!!!!!! And notice how these new stadiums have moved the stands closer to the playing field. Again who could they be imitating? WRIGLEY FIELD, I rest my case.

    • Pat

      Mike, almost every stadium has/had a brick wall behind the plate. That’s hardly something unique to Wrigley. Now f other tems started putting brick walls in the field of play (which is still one of the most bizarre decisions ever made), you might be on to something.

  • Alex

    Hey Brett,

    I thought that Pujols was going for a money grab myself until I read this post at HardballTalk.com.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/11/cardinals-strategy-in-pujols-talks-was-odd-maybe-insulting/

    Hey, whatevs.. He’s no longer in the NL Central.

    • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

      In terms of money the apparent difference in contracts was in the realm of 10%. And if it was just $, there were the Marlins reportedly offering 275.

      I don’t think it’s the money as money. Rather the money represents how a club values a player. Pujols felt undervalued by St. Louis. The GM he signed with before was gone. The manager he grew up under was gone. And the current GM was offering 5/130? Seriously?

      Why commit for ten years to a company that doesn’t give evidence that they want you, or rather that is willing to low-ball you after you’ve already signed team-friendly contracts?

  • ISU Birds

    Mike Hunt……………..lol I feel 16 again.

  • goatbusters

    Was just reading MLB hotstove, sounds like the rangers are in the front runners for darvish. I can’t say that I’m angry, I would hate to see the cubs put a ton of cash into a pitcher that could end up being a flop. How many Japanese players actually pan out when they come to the states?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wouldn’t get too concerned yet – it’s a blind auction, and there can be only one winner, and that team will be the frontrunner. The basis for calling the Rangers the front runner is because they’ve scouted him a lot. Shrug. Every team has scouted him.

  • goatbusters

    This is true. I still wonder if we should pursue him. I would, however, wager a BN thong that theo comes from a completely different angle. I’m intrigued by his moves to date. I look at it like he is making a WS cake. The ingredients are lackluster by themselves, but when brought together it could end up being pretty impressive.

  • Section 409 Row 2

    I believe it is not until 2019 when the Cubs can have their own television network. Brett- If I shouldn’t share this link please remove, but I think it shows a good view of the Cubs future finances.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jo-cubsanalysis091609

    • MoneyBoy

      Thank you for providing that link – it was a very interesting article … and I missed it when it came out.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Really great find, 409. So, it looks like the guess was pretty close – that article as the total media revenue at about $70 million, but that includes $28 million from MLB’s national package, and $5 million from radio. Obviously, it was a few years ago, but I doubt it’s increased much since then. That means the Cubs’ TV take from their own TV deals is as little as $35 to $40 million. That’s abysmal.

    • Alex

      Great article Section 409 Row 2,

      It’s both informative and depressing regarding the TV Rights deal.

      I wonder if Crane Kenney was involved in negotiating these deals when he was president of the Cubs when the Tribune ran the team. If not, I wonder who did.

      • Pat

        Kenney was the guy in charge at the time, so he would have been involved in signing off on it. To be fair, his own golden parachute deal was probably contingent on signing off on that one. If he had argued the deal still would have been signed by someone else.

  • Guancous

    Mike Hunt is bitter because he told the brunt of bullying once his
    friend Ichabod Prentiss Freely moved out of town.

  • ferrets_bueller
  • Ron

    I agree with your sentiment on Mike Hunt, he is a douch, but why bring Glenn Beck into it? I understand he is a little doomsdayish but that federal reserve….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s not political – just saying it bombastic, over-the-top commentary.

      • Ron

        I know, you do a really good job at keeping that stuff out of here.

  • EQ76

    Ben Dover thinks Mike Hunt is a douche bag!

  • http://Bleachernation Bric

    I like Hunt’s comment about a “largely issueless” clubhouse best. I understand that a lot of people are saying that Braun’s issues are bad for the sport, Milwaukee, and the Brewers so we shouldn’t gloat. But then I read comments like this clueless douche’s and remember why the Brewer fans and media are a bunch of classless losers who think they’re better than everybody else. And the I laugh my ass off.

  • hansman1982

    It truly is amazing that our neighbors to the north and south, whom have had much more success in the past few years, insist on constantly bashing and defecating on the Cubs.  Get a grip people, when the Cubs succeed I am NOT going to give two hoots about Mike Hunt’s monthly hemmorage over the boys in blue.

  • Bren

    Now theyre saying it was a “prohibited” substance, not a “performance enhancer”….interesting, was he doing salvia with Miley Cyrus?

    • Internet Random

      What source?  What I’ve read is saying synthetic testosterone, which is a performance enhancer and a prohibited substance.  The terms are not mutually exclusive.

  • MightyBear

    I read somewhere the current cubs tv contract expires in 2016 and that Ricketts started working on a Cubs network much like the Yankees yes when he first took over the cubs two years ago. They estimated the cubs revenue would quadruple with the new tv network. For those worried about wgn (like me, Im in the Houston, TX area), the new cubs network would be picked up by most cable and satellite operators (much like the Big Ten Network). Personally, I can’t wait because the Cubs will be able to do their Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies imitation and still be able to put more into the farm system, facilities, etc.

    Sorry I didn’t see the link up there that said 2019 is when the Cubs can start their own network. I thought I saw where they could opt out in 2016 but I could be mistaken.

  • Jewish Mother

    Not to come to the defense of Albert Pujols (but here I go anyway). Exactly how is he slapping the Cardinals fans in the face? The organization didn’t want to pay him (and astutely so), Pujols wanted to be paid what he wasn’t during the best years of his career, it’s his last contract. What is the problem?

    Pujols does not belong to the Cardinals. He’s his own man. And he had no further obligation to them beyond his last contract. He delivered eleven years of tremendous baseball at a relative discount (and was the most important piece in getting them two WS championships), and owes them nothing further. Time to grow up and realize that we as fans do not own these players, and certainly not for their entire lives.

    • Internet Random

      Your problem here is that you’re thinking about this like a rational adult, not like a Cards fan.

    • MightyBear

      I agree with you. The Cardinals have been underpaying Pujols for years. When it came time to pony up, they didn’t, end of story. Pujols is a good guy and he took a good deal that he was able to get. End of story. A lot of people are comparing him to LeBron. This is unfair. LeBron is a spoiled brat that has been getting everything he wants since he was in Jr High. LeBron sucks not because he left Cleveland but the way he went about it. Pujols didn’t have an hour long show on ESPN saying look how great I am now I’m leaving my team for another.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Because he agreed not only to a 10-year deal that will have him play as long for the Angels as he did with the Cards, but he agreed to become the post-playing days “face” of the Angels. We don’t have a great comparison here, because the Cubs haven’t had a player like Pujols (few have), but imagine if Kerry Wood was the best pitching in baseball from 21 to 31, and then signed a 10-year deal with the Yanks, and agreed to be a “consultant” with the team for another 10 years thereafter. Wood doesn’t owe the Cubs anything (if they jerked him around), and he can make his own choice, but you better believe I, as a fan, would feel like I just got kicked in the grapes.

      (And no need to do the “grow up” thing. I can be both an adult and of the belief that players and fans can become attached in ways that transcend the next contract. Fans don’t own the players, but the players certain owe the fans.)

      • Jewish Mother

        I can’t for the life of me figure out why you would feel that way. The basis for this opinion is still that regardless of whether contracts are fulfilled, players continue to owe fans beyond the time they spent with those organizations under those contracts. They don’t, they never will, you’re being selfish. I know, that sounds upside-down, but it is what it is. Players owe fans nothing beyond what they do under contract. It’s none of your business if a beloved player now gone wants to consult with the team he left for after his playing days are done. If you feel kicked in the grapes then I don’t know what to tell you other than to stop oversentimentalizing these people and giving them never-ending emotional requirements. Pujols bears the Cardinals no ill will and they should just say thanks for the memories (and championships) and move on, as disappointing as that is. They especially shouldn’t continue to take offense at what he chooses to do with his days after he is done playing. That is silliness.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          We just disagree, and I have too many responses to give the kind of attention it deserves. The big two that jump into my mind – and make me unable for the life of me to figure out why you feel as you do – are:

          (1) We’re not talking about Kevin Tapani here. “Oversentimentalizing”? One of the greatest players in history? Of freaking course the fans are going to be sentimental about him, and, in particular, his connection to the city – something upon which he’s traded for years. He’s not just an employee. Should he forgo $10s of millions elsewhere to say in St. Louis? Hell no. But is it understandable that fans would feel a personal affront when he does so (particularly when the difference is $220 million versus $254 million)? Sure. Is it reasonable? Maybe not. But then to agree to stick with this new team, to which you have no connection, for the first 10 years after your playing days are over? For a few more million bucks? What can I say? I understand some sadness and sentimentality.

          (2) Players don’t play – and they certainly don’t make hundreds of millions of dollars – without the fans. The very game doesn’t exist without us. To suggest that they owe the fans nothing – be it while they are under contract, or while they’re enjoying the comfiest retirement you can get – is, to me, silliness.

          No hard feelings here. You can’t get where I’m coming from, I can’t get where you’re coming from. Let this be an example of how folks can have discussions around here in a civilized manner, despite vehemently disagreeing with each other.

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

            Nicely done sir, stay classy BleacherNation.

      • Jewish Mother

        Well, I’m sorry, if you’re going off into transcendence and what not over a bunch of baseball players, then yes, time to grow up. Find something more substantial to believe in.

        By what right do players owe fans beyond their contracts other than your unfair emotional reasons? None I can think of.

        • Internet Random

          Legally, I owe my children very little, e.g., refrain from abusing them, feed them when I can, make some effort to see that they’re not truant for a few years. The law doesn’t require that I love them or care about them.  I don’t have to pick them up when they cry, I don’t have to kiss their boo-boos when they’re hurt.  The law says I don’t owe them any of that.

          But do you really think I don’t owe a little more than that to my children, just because it’s not written up in a contract or a statute?

          • Internet Random

            And note that I’m not saying that the Cards’ fans are Pujols’s children or that the same degree of care is required between them.

            I’m just trying to illustrate that there are times and things that dictate requirements that contracts and statutes don’t.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              And I can understand – even if I don’t agree with – the idea that players are employees under contract, who owe the fans nothing. Some folks feel that way. Mark Prior felt that way. Some fans don’t feel that way, and – maybe this is an unfair emotional response – it kind of stings to be told that an attachment to players beyond their contract is “silly.” That doesn’t strike me as a realistic recognition of what sports are.

              Just a disagreement. It happens. I’ll take intelligent discourse like this, even if it might reveal one of my personality flaws, any day.

              • Jewish Mother

                I never said that one cannot be emotionally attached to players beyond their contract, just the whole “kicked in the balls thing” and taking things so personally if a player doesn’t come running back Prodigal Son style to their original organization once their playing days are over. I love Greg Maddux. Always have always will. Greatest, smartest pitcher I’ve ever seen. And a player who has shown a great deal of feeling towards the Cubs regardless of who he’s been associated with throughout his career. But if the exact thing had occurred with him that just has with Pujols, I wouldn’t feel racked in the balls because of it. No matter who he works for, I will always think he’s one of the best and appreciate the years he gave. He owes me nothing. Pujols owes the Cardinals nothing. He owes the fans nothing. But you know what? Both the fans and Pujols can still feel something for each other without Pujols having to work as a consultant and hobble around Busch Stadium kissing babies and giving autographs until he’s in his 80s. If he were to choose such a thing that would be a cool thing to do, but he doesn’t owe it.

            • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

              Well said sir.

              On one hand, I agree with Jewish Mother – these players should ALWAYS worry about themselves, their careers, their lives WAAAAAY before worrying about the fans, but, on the same token, those two things go hand in hand.  If Pujols were a complete ass and pulled a Nyjer Morgan with the fans he would sell fewer jerseys and wouldnt be getting a $250M contract.

              In the same light, the Cardinals organization has to do what is best for the organization and signing Pujols to such a giant contract wouldn’t be in the best interests.  Time and winning heals all wounds.  Ultimately, all a fan cares about is winning and not getting crapped on in the process.

            • Jewish Mother

              I get that there are situations that call for going beyond agreements and contract–I never argued that–I just don’t agree that this is one of them. Pujols is not a slave to Cardinals fans for the rest of this life just because he made their hearts flutter for eleven years. Why can’t his incredible production be enough? Why can’t all the MVP awards and playoff appearances and championships be enough? Why must he give advice for the decor in Bill DeWitt’s office rather than Arte Moreno’s when he’s in his forties? Why can’t he do what he wants without somebody out there feeling slighted because he didn’t do it in a Cardinal hat? How am I the only one who doesn’t feel this is selfish? Let these guys go. They do not need to be shilling for the organization until their dying breath to fulfill some kind of unspoken, sacrosanct compact with fans, particularly given our fickle, forgetful, not-so-forgiving tendencies. Pujols is a Cardinal hero, and always will be, regardless whether or not he sets foot in Busch Stadium as an employee ever again. And Cardinals fans, after they recover from his departure, should always feel fondly toward him, and their grapes utterly unkicked.

              Again, the Cardinals made the right move for their organization long-term, and Pujols made the right move for himself and his family. Disappointment and hurt is to be expected, but it shouldn’t develop into long-standing bitterness, and certainly not over who he’s consulting for.

              Anyhow, no offense meant Brett, apologies for the “grow up” stuff. I am probably a bit too sensitive the other way on these sorts of matters. I will rein this in on future posts.

    • Wilbur

      From a Catholic Dad, I agree totally

    • oso

      The Cardinals are a business and as such their first duty is to remain solvent and competitive. I presume their business model could not accommodate Pujols’ demands and meet their business obligations together. Pujols for his part plays baseball for money. Most of us demand compensation for our labors that are commensurate with market value. That is all that Pujols did. Neither side could overcome the fiscal physics involved, there’s really no one to blame.

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        I agree from Pujols’ side of things. I’m not sure I agree with the idea that the Cards’ could not have paid more.

        Two teams out-bid the Cardinals. Why is he more valuable to these other teams than to the Cardinals, for whom Albert should have been a legacy player? It seems just as likely to me that the Cards’ GM played chicken with Albert. They counted on him having a sense of loyalty to the organization, even as they showed little loyalty to him.

  • cubfan
    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ll be rounding up all the Prince Fielder reports soon. Most are just guesses.

  • cubfan

    if it is true hes clearly just bitter Prince would rather be in Chicago with the best fans in the country. We fill Miller Park with Cubs fans every summer and i think i speak for all cubs fans when i say enjoy having Aramis Ramirez Milwaukee. Noone denies he can hit, but he is lazy, a bad defender and just not a winner.

  • Jeffy

    You said “Mike Hunt”……heheuhuhuhu

  • tex134

    Quick question Brett, I realize that alot of GMs don’t have good working relationships with Scott Boras. Do you have any information on Theo and Jed’s track record dealing with Boras?

    • Dave

      Theo and Boras hooked up on the Daisuke deal, J.D. Drew, Adrian Beltre and Jason Varitek.  Looks like Jed hasn’t had any contract dealings with Boras.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I think Mike Hunt could use a tampon.

  • Grant

    Mike Hunt is truely a keHunt..

  • Kyle

    With regards to Wrigley Field, I’m a big believer that they key is not just defense but *infield* defense.

    In the OF, the short power alleys don’t leave a lot of room for outfielders to show their stuff. You can get away with less range out there, although a good arm is still quite useful.

    But wind blowing in or out, a ground ball is a ground ball.

    I’m not sure the moves we’ve made have set us up that well to improve our infield defense. Well, at least not make it a strength of the team.

    Stewart is a defensive improvement over Ramirez, but he’s still not much better than average defensively.

    Castro is a wild card. He has the tools to be a plus defender at SS. It’s just a matter of waiting to see if he grows into the position or not. My bet is that he will.

    Barney is an excellent defensive 2b, but I don’t know if they can put up with his bat there forever. I can live with him, but I don’t know if Theo agrees.

    1b we don’t know yet, but it’s hard to image we’ll be getting a better defensive 1b than Pena.

  • Coal

    The OF skill is pretty darn important, too, at Wrigley – not so much in terms of speed or range – but playing the tricky wind, the (pretty awful) sun field in right field late in games, the funny bounces in the corners, the ivy. So the outfield skill/defense requirement is a lot more about discipline, really staying “in” the game – communication, situational stuff, and making some tough plays that don’t look tough, but are. As much as I hated the Fukudome’s helicopter swing, he was absolutely incredible in right field. I think Wrigely is a pretty easy place to look bad in the outfield if you aren’t fundamentally sound. Just ask #12.

  • Dale

    As for Braun…it shows that there is still a problem in MLB with performance enhancing drugs….those guys that one year are skin and bones and the next year built like a truck…not to say names but there are players that obviously juiced up the past couple of years

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