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You know what’s a stupid sporting event? The Pro Bowl. No hits. No rushing the quarterback. No coverage. No attempt at all to play a real game. It’s almost as farcical as the NBA All-Star Game. I’m not saying I like that MLB’s All-Star Game “counts” (home field advantage in the World Series), but I do like that that it remotely resembles an actual game.

  • Bud Selig has said the added Wild Cards (and one-game Wild Card playoff round) will be implemented in time for the 2012 season, but apparently he hasn’t quite cleared it with the players. “The 2012 season was not designed to accommodate an extra round of playoffs,” Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association, told USA Today. “We’re having discussions to see if it can work. We’ll decide in the next month or so if we’re able to do it.” The issue is that, because the 2012 schedule is already set, and the World Series can start only so late, there is a smushed period between the end of the season and the World Series in which you have to fit the the playoffs, plus the added Wild Card games, plus any added tiebreakers. Selig still thinks it will happen.
  • There are five groups still in the bidding to get the Los Angeles Dodgers, and all have submitted bids over $1.5 billion according to Bob Nightengale. I understand that there are reasons that the Dodgers might net more than the Cubs – the market is a little better for extra revenue, the economy is a little better now, Wrigley had serious expenses looming, etc., etc. – but the Ricketts family got the Cubs for $845 million. I mean … you can’t tell me you’d rather have the Dodgers at *twice* the price.
  • There’s nothing new to report with respect to the compensation owed to the Padres for hiring Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod, but I thought it worth reminding you that, yeah, that’s still out there. Given the professional respect between Tom Ricketts and Padres’ owner Jeff Moorad, and given Moorad’s private preference to elevate Josh Byrnes to GM, I think the compensation going to Boston will be stronger.
  • Cubs’ bench coach Jamie Quirk was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, together with, among others, former Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds. I’m pretty sure Edmonds decided to go in wearing a Cubs hat.
  • BN’er Oswego Chris takes a look at why the Cubs’ farm system rankings matter, and concludes that the vast majority of teams who’ve won it all had a farm system that ranked in the top 10 at least a couple times in the half decade prior. The Cubs’ system is creeping up toward the top 10, but isn’t quite there.
  • Former Cub Aramis Ramirez offered some thoughts to Milwaukee’s Tom Haudricourt on his place with his new team. “It went well,” Ramirez of a trip to a Lakers/Bucks game with some of his new teammates. “I met some of the players. I’m new here, so I have to do more with the guys. It was nice. I’ll do my best to fit in. This is an exciting team …. I try to lead by example. Show up ready to play every day and play the game as hard as you can. The young players will learn from that. They will play hard and try to win. That’s the key – try to get Ws and just lead by example.” I’m kind of agnostic on Ramirez as a Brewer – I’ll neither be rooting for him, nor against him. I don’t want him to do well against the Cubs, of course, but I still have nice memories of Aramis, his (possible but not confirmed) refusal to accept a trade to help the Cubs in 2011 notwithstanding.
  • (Any ‘It’s Always Sunny’ fans? If so, you probably understand the picture.)
  • Fishin Phil

    ” Show up ready to play every day and play the game as hard as you can.”

    Who are you? And what have you done with Aramis Ramirez???

    • cubs4life

      not to mention “lead by example”

  • GocubsGo14

    Completely agree Phil, I was gonna leave a similar comment but you hit the nail on the head.

  • Edwin

    Any day where the first thing I get to see on the internets is a picture of Charlie is a great day in my book. Thanks Brett.

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m hoping Brett can share with us his knowledge of Bird Law, can he compete with Charlie.

  • Brian

    Love the Charlie Kelly pic. Almost spit my coffee out at work. Sunny and Cubs news is the way to start a Monday.

  • rocky8263

    If Braun isn’t guilty , indoor ball for Ramirez in the spring, and the starting pitching you gotta kinda be happy to be a Brewers fan.

    • Bric

      The real question is what happened to Casey McGehee? Other than the pronunciation of his name changing I always wondered where the bat speed and power suddenly came from when he went from an average player in the Cubs’ minors to a power guy on the Brewers. Now that Braun got pinched I don’t wonder so much.

  • RICH

    the only example ramirez led was being lazy and selfcentered. he only cared about has stats. good riddins

    • DocWimsey

      What evidence at all exists of ARam being lazy? We do not see the effort in baseball: that’s in the weight rooms, the video rooms and the batting cages. ARam created a ton of runs for the Cubs while he played here, and was easily the most potent 3rd baseman at least since Cey and more probably since Santo.

      • CubFan Paul

        agree 100% Doc ..Ian Freakin Stewart is at 3B and will probably bat 5th or 6th not CleanUp

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        A lot of the criticism of Ramirez being lazy came from his defense. It seemed like he took longer to start after a ground ball and moved slower in pursuit of it than any third baseman I can remember. Rightly or wrongly, that was often interpreted as laziness.

        More likely he just wasn’t very good at playing defense.

        • DocWimsey

          Exactly. Getting a good jump on the ball is a combination of footwork and reading the ball off of the bat. It’s trained reflex: you just do it. Or, in ARams (or Jeters or any number of infielders who get awful jumps on the ball), you don’t because you cannot.

          ARam’s range was never great, but it clearly decreased a bit over the last couple of seasons. That was senescence, not indolence.

        • CubFan Paul

          i interpret it as he’s getting Old. hell, i’m 30 and cant do half the sh*t i did when i was 25yrs old. people will remember ramirez warmly if 3B becomes a black hole again like it was before Ramirez and after santo

          • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

            It’s possible that third will be a black hole again, but I sort of doubt it. If Ian Stewart fails (sorry Kyle… When Ian Stewart fails), Vitters will get a chance.

            If Vitters fails, Lake will get a chance.

            If Lake fails, Amaya will get a chance.

            If Amaya fails, Baez will get a chance.

            If Baez fails, Candelario will get a chance.

            If Candelario fails, the Cubs can still try Geiger, Cerda, or anyone they have drafted in the three years or so it will take for all of this to play out.

            I’m guessing, though, that the position won’t get past Baez. Baez may ultimately get moved by Candelario – we’ll get a better read on both of them this season – but I doubt the position is problem once that crew arrives. I’m not sure it will even get to Baez. Vitters or Lake either one could lock it up for quite awhile.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              Unfortunately, VItters is the only one of the bunch that is close to MLB ready, with Baez being at least 3 seasons away.

            • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

              I think Vitters has a decent chance of sticking…while he doesn’t walk much he also doesn’t K much either and had an 11% K rate last year in a healthy season that didn’t include a promotion.
              His glove isn’t what you would hope, but I think he has a chance of becoming a .280/.330/.450 type player who can put up 20 homers and 25 doubles in good years and a .260/.300/.400 line in terrible years. Not great, but certainly not a black hole.

            • sdcoddi

              “It’s possible that third will be a black hole again, but I sort of doubt it. If Ian Stewart fails (sorry Kyle… When Ian Stewart fails), Vitters will get a chance.

              If Vitters fails, Lake will get a chance.

              If Lake fails, Amaya will get a chance.

              If Amaya fails, Baez will get a chance.

              If Baez fails, Candelario will get a chance.

              If Candelario fails, the Cubs can still try Geiger, Cerda, or anyone they have drafted in the three years or so it will take for all of this to play out.”

              Isn’t this the definition of a black hole at 3b…to go through so many people b/c they didn’t pan out? didn’t the Cubs go through about 50 players at 3b between santo and aramis? I think aramis is a solid player who played passable defense and will be missed until the cubs get the one great prospect who takes over. hopefully that won’t be too long from now.

              • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

                Nope. Within three seasons, third base will be settled. It could easily be settled as soon as next season. That’s not much of a black hole, especially when you compare it to the gap between Santo and Ramirez. Also, the Cubs won’t have to bring in endless candidates from the outside to try to patch it together, like they did third prior to Ramirez.

                The bigger void on the roster, one that has been there for years, is at second base. If any spot on the roster deserves the black hole label, I think it would be second. The only internal candidate on the horizon that could plug the hole at second is Logan Watkins, and he is still at least a year and a half way.

            • ferrets_bueller

              Ugh…the Ian Stewart hate still drives me nuts.  Dude still has a decent chance to be a very good player.

          • rcleven

            I never was a Ramirez fan. With his ole style of defense.
            How come no body seems to remember one of the better third basemen Between Santo & Aram.

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Bill_Madlock

  • KidCubbie

    I thought Concepcion was suppose to sign with somebody over the weekend. Has anybody heard anything about that?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No – his agent said he might sign over the weekend, but was more likely to sign this week.

  • RICH

    he is suppose to do what’s best for the game not just for the damn owners . it just cost the fans more money

  • Packman711

    Wild card!

  • die hard

    So its confirmed Hoyer was on the chopping block as we know was true as toTheo…yet Ricketts wanted to risk losing good players instead of waiting one year or even less if either was let go before 2012. It just doesnt make dollars or sense….. Also, Ricketts purchase price for Cubs included debt assumed I believe…. which if true would make purchase price over 1 billion….If Ricketts was shrewed he would approach the losing Dodger bidders and ask them to make an offer that cant be refused before he loses his shirt on the Cubs.

    • JB88

      Wow. That impressively distorts what happened. Hoyer wasn’t on the chopping block. He was under contract and expected back as San Diego’s GM. But the team was being sold and the new owner had a pre-existing relationship with Josh Byrnes from their days in Arizona. It wasn’t like Hoyer was on his way out, only that when the Cubs requested permission for Hoyer and McLeod it was easy for Moorad to say “yes.”

      But you keep beating this drum. Just hope the stick doesn’t bounce back and hit you in the eye.

      • die hard

        dont drink too much of that kool-aid…will give you hallucinations that Ricketts knew what he was doing and was not acting out of desperation which in itself is concerning….his choice is to build team with long medical histories like again today and hope for a miracle cure or rebuild Wrigley…cant do both especially with huge contracts for Theo and Hoyer….and could very well lose two or more good healthy players as compensation!!!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          *minor league contract*

  • CubFan Paul

    i believe the price for the Dodgers is high because of the real estate around the ballpark that Mccourt owns too. he doesnt have to sell the land in the bankruptcy bidding but the new owner(s) and MLB dont want Mccourt as a landlord (because he’ll name his own leasing rate$)

    • die hard

      Dont forget, the Tribune still owns 5% and will have to be bought out…also, the deal included Wrigley which means 1/2 billion will have to spent to upgrade or 2 billion to knock down and rebuild…City under pressure to close Wrigley as being structurally unfit….also, deal only includes 25% of Comcast making them minority owners without control….when you add this all up, they spent almost 1 billion for the right to spend another billion or two…and dont believe what Tribune prints about Cubs as they still have vested interest.

      • Roland Perrelli

        Plus did the Dodgers not get a very lucrative TV deal before all McCourts problems and the Cubs are what 5 years away from a new deal. That would weigh heavily in how much the Fanchise value is worth.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Hey, go buy 5% in a company, walk into the shareholders meeting and try to tell people what is up. You’ll get duct-taped to a chair pretty quick.

        Additionally, I believe 25% is about what the White Sox have as well.

        • rcleven

          %5 will get you a seat on the board tho.

  • Quintz

    Carlos Marmol is clearly a fan of “Mac” and his weight management program.

  • RICH

    the only evidence Doc is watching Aram on the field not running out grounders and he’s starts hitting when the cubs are out of it among other things. have a good day

    • DocWimsey

      Or I don’t consider running out groundballs to be effort. Indeed, most of the time it’s fake hustle: i.e., the sports equivalent of brown nosing. Quite the opposite, I want to see is a lot more jogging: jogging to first on walks, jogging into second on doubles, and jogging around 2nd on HR. (As someone who watches both the Sox and the Cubs, I can tell you that the team that jogs more wins more!)

      As for “when” ARam hit, sorry, but when could he hit that was not after the Cubs were out of it the last couple of seasons? The Cubs were never really contenders in 2010 and 2011: and lot more than a single bat from being contenders. ARam has hit when he wasn’t injured, regardless of the circumstance.

  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

    I’m not a fan of the one game format with the second wild card, but there are aspects of the plan I do like. In particular, I like that the wild card team won’t be able to set up their rotation for the playoffs as easily as a division winner. Winning the division should provide more of an advantage than winning the wild card, and this one game playoffs, by complicating the wild card’s rotations and adding in an extra travel day, does that. It isn’t much, but it is something.

    I also think it’ll add I quite a bit of drama to September. Not long after the new CBA was agreed to I wrote an article in which I looked back over the last five to ten seasons to see if the addition of a second wild card would have added or subtracted excitement. Turns out that about 70% of the time, a second wild card would have added drama to the end of the regular season. I believe I only found three clear cases in which a second wild card would have reduced the drama. 2011 was, of course, one of them.

  • DocWimsey

    “2011 was, of course, one of them.”

    That was, of course, because we basically got the wild card on the last day of the season. Moreover, 3 of the 4 games involved were doozies in their own right.

    The big difference, however, is that last year’s drama was “natural”: by pure luck, both leagues had incredibly close races for the WC in the last week. Will audiences consider it just as exciting when it becomes contrived like this? Part of what made 2011 so exciting (and this is coming from a Sox fan, mind you) was the absolute novelty of it.

    And to this, I honestly do not know.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      For me, the move is less about the last day of the season, and more about the two months leading up to it, in which a couple more fan bases will get to see their team “in the race” than would have been before.

    • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

      Most of what you are saying regarding a second wild card (will fans buy into the contrived excitement) was brought up with the wild card was first introduced. And I believe it was brought up when the leagues split into divisions for the first time way back when.

      So far, the fans don’t seem to care why teams are in contention and races come down to the wire, so long as they do. If baseball went over board and let nearly everyone into the playoffs like the NHL does that could change, I suppose, but we are far from that yet.

      I was skeptical at first, but after going back and looking at past seasons, I am not pretty much convinced that a second wild card will be good for baseball. I even suspect the one game playoff will be one of the most watched games of the season, regardless of who is in it. It’ll be interesting to look back in five years and see.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Its the reason why the Super Bowl has overtaken the World Series, you have one game that decides it all. In the World Series you don’t really have that until games 6 and 7 and there haven’t been many WS that have gone 7 games in the past few years. If anything, I bet the playoffs, and baseball, would be greatly helped by a 1-3-3-5 format.

        • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

          Not sure I can agree with dropping to 3 game series for the divisional round or the LCS round. In a three game series, all you need is two dominate pitchers and a great bullpen. I think the game would become too one sided in favor of pitching in the playoffs. 5 and 7 game series tend to reward more balanced teams, since virtually no one can run four aces out there (poor Phillies…).

  • cubsin

    In addition to extending postseason play even further, a longer wild-card series would leave the three division winners sitting at home for at least three more days (two more games and a travel date). A rainout or second travel day would be even worse. Imagine going into a Division Series where all of your starting pitchers will be going on 7-10 days rest.

  • Frank

    There were years when Ramirez hit well early; but those were a few years ago–maybe another symptom of losing a step with age. And DocWimsey’s right–when were the Cubs “in it” the last couple of years? Ramirez has hit when he wasn’t injured.

  • die hard

    Ricketts choice is to build team with long medical histories like again today and hope for a miracle cure or rebuild Wrigley…cant do both especially with huge contracts for Theo and Hoyer….and could very well lose two or more good healthy players as compensation!!!

  • die hard

    Ricketts choice is to build team with long medical histories like again today and hope for a miracle cure or rebuild Wrigley…cant do both

  • die hard

    Ricketts cant do both and signing today is indication of issue

  • die hard

    Ricketts signing today is another indication of financial issues

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Get off it, die hard. You were doing so well for so long. You can make your point once without the repetitive drama that borders on trolling.

      • King Jeff

        Not to come to his defense or anything, but I’ve been having problems with posts showing up. He might not be trolling, just frustrated.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          No. He’s saying the same thing in response to different comments on different posts (and the outage was pretty much limited to 11am to 1230pm EST).

  • TWC

    Quick!  Somebody hit the reset button on die hard!  He’s gone into kernel panic mode!

    • pakman23

      Lol, Im picturing a smoking robot repeating himself over and over again. Gave me a chuckle.

      • ogyu

        Long medical histories … good healthy players … financial issues … miracle cure … die … hard … rebuild Wrigley … compensation … financial issues … compensation … financial issues … BRETT COORDINATE!

  • NL_Cubs

    “…I try to lead by example. Show up ready to play every day and play the game as hard as you can. The young players will learn from that. They will play hard and try to win. That’s the key – try to get Ws and just lead by example.”

    A-Ram being A-Ram.  He’s pathetic!

     

  • Oliver dehart

    I’m not certain how many has beens our new leaders
    Should sign..I seemed to think they were going young,
    Lately we are going old..maybe wiser but old by baseball
    Standards. How can we give the young talent a shot
    At the rate we are going.
    I’m getting concerned or is it alarmed !!!!!

  • http://havccoils.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/ hvac evaporator coils

    Is it possible that the housing market get higher anytime soon?

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