Lukewarm Stove: Soriano, Marmol, Castillo, Crawford, Wolf

Nine days left before the trade season pretty much shuts down for a couple months.

  • As we get closer to the August 31 waiver trade deadline, the odds that the Cubs will be able to find that perfect fit deal for Alfonso Soriano are ever diminished. And a perfect fit is what it’s going to take for him to accept a deal, according to Soriano. ‘‘Only six weeks left. I don’t think so,’’ Soriano said of a trade this year. ‘‘It would have to be the perfect scenario. It would have to be a [near-certain] playoff team and be like the Giants, losing Melky [Cabrera to a 50-game drug suspension for a deal to come up]. A team would have to lose somebody important in their lineup to look for somebody.’’ Hey, wait! That DID happen! To the Giants! Remember? Ah … crud. Soriano already said no to that one.
  • And, according to Nick Cafardo, the front office isn’t too thrilled about it. Specifically, Cafardo reports that “front office personnel are somewhat disappointed” that Soriano won’t accept a deal to the Giants. Shrug. I’m sure they are more than “somewhat” disappointed, but I doubt they’re, like, actively mad at Soriano. He’s wielding his rights, and he’s been pretty upfront about what he was willing to do (and not do).
  • In the meantime, at least Soriano remains an extremely positive influence on Starlin Castro. Here are Soriano’s thoughts on Castro getting paaaaaid: “I just talked to him to love the game and work hard to get better, because money is good, but it doesn’t make you better. You have to keep working hard and get better every day. Always the money is there if you play hard and play good. I talked to him to keep doing what you’re doing, working hard and playing hard. Don’t worry about the money, because the money will come if you work hard and you’re a good player and if you believe in yourself. But you have to put the baseball first and the money second.” Sure, it’s a little easier to say that stuff when you’ve landed your $120+ million contract, but it’s still the right message.
  • As for the other most-tradable Cub, Carlos Marmol, there has been a total lack of rumors out there featuring his name. And he’s plenty pleased about it. “That’s good,” Marmol said plainly to the Sun-Times. “I don’t want to go anywhere.” Nothing like being the closer on a team that gives you approximately three save opportunities in a month, right? Totally makes sense.
  • Bruce Levine chatted this week and offered his thoughts: (1) Alfonso Soriano isn’t going to be traded before the end of August; (2) Dale Sveum is safe through next season; (3) folks believe Welington Castillo has the bat and the arm to be a long-term starter at catcher, but they question his “baseball IQ as a catcher”; (4) trading Brett Jackson for Carl Crawford and a bunch of cash is not rational; (5) Carlos Marmol could draw some trade interest in the offseason, but he makes a ton of money ($9.8 million in 2013) for what he is on a good team, which is a setup man; and (6) the Cubs will be looking for pitchers like Paul Maholm (one/two-year deal, not too expensive, hopefully tradable) in the offseason.
  • The Brewers have released Randy Wolf, who just turned 36. The lefty has been solid for a decade, save for this season, when he was pretty terrible (73 ERA+, 4.74 FIP; though his K/BB was around his career mark, his BABIP was unusually high, his HR/9 was a bit up, and his LOB% was unusually low – all marks of a guy was a bit unlucky). Would the Cubs take a look on the thinking that they could see what he’s got left in the tank for a possible cheap-o deal in 2013? Given the expectation that the Cubs will not be “going for it” in 2013, and will be trying instead to snap up bounce-back candidates, I think I’d be in favor of trying to grab Wolf now. See how he looks, and see how open he is to sticking in Chicago for pennies. Who knows, though? Maybe he’s hoping a contender takes a chance on him (not bloody likely), or maybe he is adamant about going to free agency. I doubt anything happens here, but it’s interesting.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

134 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Soriano, Marmol, Castillo, Crawford, Wolf”

  1. RY

    cubs have no gamers, just a bunch of complacent happy to be where they are guys, where nobobdy expects them to win so its all good to them. if soriano and marmol or any other actually did go somewhere they would be expected to perform consistently and no cub wants that!

    1. cccubfan

      I have to disagree with that. I have seen some good play from a team that no one expects to go anywhere. Are we ready to tackle the Yankees or Rangers, no but look at the big picture ahead….It’s hard to do but in the long run we’ll look back on this season one day and laugh at the way we thought….Growing pains my friend growing pains…..

    2. baldtaxguy

      Soriano has earned the right to be where he wants to be. I don’t agree with it, but he’s has it. Cubs can still fire him, but yeah, he’s as motivated to pick up and move as any other worker would be within 2 years from retirement.

      Marmol, I suspect, is lazy, and probably would be a stronger performer in a different enviornment. Probably part of the sales pitch.

      You think all other Cubs find comfort career-wise with this year’s team performance?

  2. Ben (BG2383)

    It wouldn’t make sense or be productive for them to be mad at Soriano when he made it clear the only West coast team he would consider was Dodgers. He said that a while ago, so it isn’t like he has changed his stance. Maybe someone will want him this offseason. The good news (I guess) is that the 2nd pick is clearly the Cubs to lose now!

  3. rbreeze

    Hi Brett!
    Great job as always. I don’t see any trades happening in August with the Cubs. The final 6 weeks or so of this season will be painful but necessary for the growth of some of these kids and maybe a weeding out of who the FO keeps and who they release or trade away. The FO will have its work cut out for them during the off season. We need to stay the course. 2014/2015 should be much better years.

  4. EQ76

    “Nothing like being the closer on a team that gives you approximately three save opportunities in a month, right? Totally makes sense.”

    at first I laughed at this comment… then I realized how sad that point is.

    1. mr.mac

      Easy work if you can get it.

  5. MoneyBoy

    Interesting on Wolf, Brett. Milwaukee isn’t going anywhere and maybe they’re giving some kids a shot for the last 6 wks.

    If they Cubs really do plan to run Raley and Rusin out there in September then maybe not. If they shut down Shark that leaves Raley, Rusin, Germano, Wood and Boom-Boom! The only ‘value’ in Boom-Boom is getting us as close as possible to the Astros – there are six games left with them, just as there are with the Rox.

  6. ottoCub

    Great summary, Brett. I agree with you about Randy Wolf. I would like to see the Cubs take a chance on him. Up until this year he’s been a mediocre, but consistent pitcher who eats up innings. This seems to me the kind of pitcher you’d want in the rotation while re-building. He could provide some late season innings this year, and help rest Samardzija through the month of September.

    Next year, see how he pitches in the Spring and keep him or not. If he can put together a decent bounce-back year next year, the Cubs could move him (like Paul Maholm) for prospects. If he doesn’t bounce back, it’s not much of a loss. The primary reason I could see not signing him would be that he takes innings away from the younger pitchers the Cubs want to look at this year.

  7. Stu

    Theo is cleaning out the transition pieces.

    1) LaHair will be in Japan next year.
    2) Garza will be traded by next year trade deadline.
    3) Marmol will be gone with most of salary taken.
    4) Soriano same.
    5) Low salary free agents signed with the idea of flipping at trade deadline.

    The question that is not answered by most is what are people paying to see? If the future is in Class A ball, why are people paying to see players who are going to be gone?

    Do Diehards consider it some civic duty to pay silly prices to watch a bad AAA team play?

    I have an analogy that might sink home. Suppose I open a restaurant and promise that the food will be good in 2 years. I serve you TV dinners for $50 a plate with “beautiful” atmosphere. When you complain, I tell you that this is part of a bigger picture to have a really great restaurant in 2015. I also tell you that I am developing great chefs in “other” smaller restaurants that will help us in 2015. I then ask you to purchase very expensive “season” tickets for the right to eat my TV dinners for $50.

    Remember, it is an optional purchase.

    1. ottoCub

      Suppose that restaurant has been open your whole life, and has been your favorite restaurant since you were a kid. You love the restaurant because of the people, the atmosphere, and the fun you have when you are there (you don’t love the restaurant because of the food).

      The owners tell all of their loyal customers that they have had difficult financial times and need to step back from good meals for a couple years, and they share their plan to save costs and develop great chefs. The people, atmosphere, and fun will remain during those years… only the meals will be less tasty. And in a few years, the meals might be great.

      I would stay with the restaurant : pay the prices, enjoy the people, enjoy the fun, and get excited about the future!

      1. Scotti

        The 2002 fans of this restaurant didn’t pay top dollar and yet they still stayed away. Half a million plus didn’t buy tickets and that is, in today’s dollars, $25 million in gate alone (gate is pure profit). Likely another $15-25 million in beer and other concessions (apx 80% profit). Ad buys double that hit (ad buy losses take 100% from profit). $75-100 million in losses if they don’t start competing soon.

      2. Goatbuster

        You also have to take into account the loss of future customers. It may be possible to keep the old customers happy with that explanation, but you can’t lure too many new people in with the promise of a great meal to come while having them dine on tv dinners.

        1. Scotti

          Future custom will come if (when) they win. I’ m more concerned about the ecconomical damage done to this model (and the cost to the product on the field).

          1. hansman1982

            If not winning is going to draw Cubs fans away, how in the hell do we have a fan base let alone one of the largest fan bases?

            1. Scotti

              The Cubs have never–never–charged top dollar for tickets and consistantly lost while filling the stadium. In ’02 the Cubs were nowhere near top dollar, had a decent year in ’01 and STILL couldn’t sellout. They had half a million seats left unfilled.

              The Cubs have a great fanbase because kids grew up on free day games on WGN all throughout the nation. They now have fewer day games and fewer games on WGN. Kids also have many, many other things to do. The team now needs to WIN to keep their base or folk will move on. Just ask Aesop–you can kill the Golden Goose.

              1. HuskerCub

                I have to agree with Scotti. We went to two Cubs v. Cardinals games at the end of July (both days sunny and in the mid 80s) and there were plenty of empty seats, even in the bleachers. I am not sure the FO can wait too long to put a better product on the field without losing substantial revenue in the near term. Once (if) they start winning again, I think fans will come back fairly quickly, but if they do not make some significant moves this off season, attendance may drop significantly next season.

              2. DocPeterWimsey

                Your memory of the ’02 season is way off. After the Cubs success in ’01 and with predictions of repeated success in ’02, the Cubs were a very tough ticket in ’02. (Injuries, bad luck and the fact that the team played a little above it’s capacities in ’01 soon changed all of that.) I was able to get tickets to only a couple of games that year: games simply were sold out.

                The team belly-flopped and people ate a lot of tickets: but getting them was tough.

                That being said, it was nowhere near as tough as ’04 or ’05, when tickets were pretty much sold out before the season started. ’04 was very frustrating for me: I had tickets to the famous Friday Rainout on the 3rd to last game of the season, for which there was no makeup game; so, I had to exchange the tickets for ’04 tickets. And that created a big problem: all of the games were sold out in March. I spent many hours on phones trying to get $200+ in refunds until I finally got somebody who would actually verify that there were no tickets left on sale!

                1. Scotti

                  My “memory” is data provided by ESPN and BaseballReference dot com. The team was 7th in the NL. This really isn’t rocket science but it does run counter to a commonly held myth sooooo.

                  1. DocPeterWimsey

                    sorry, but the ’02 Cubs were a tough ticket. Again, not as tough as the ’04 or ’05 Cubs, but I simply was not able to attend more than a couple of games in ’02 because of the large number of sellouts. (The numbers you quote show an average of 30K per game, which can make it really tough to get tickets for a lot of good games at a place the size of Wrigley.)

                    It is very possible that people actually showing up at the park dropped after August or so: I do not have any exact memory of that.

                    Again, it was not as bad as ’04: that year literally sold out before the season even began. (Part of that was legalized scalping with ticket brokers, but getting tickets through them was tough.) Indeed, ’04 was the first year of my adult life (22 years at that point) where I did not attend a game at Wrigley: I simply could not get tickets again until 2006.

                    1. Scotti

                      Doc, I’ll let the facts speak for themselves.

              3. hansman1982

                oh..so 1 season saved us…

                my larger point was that the Cubs have sucked for far more years than not. Growing up I had no access to WGN yet I am a Cubs fan…the lure of the Cubs is more powerful than you may imagine. Will attendance drop next year and in 2014…yes…will we still draw more than a successful White Sox team…absolutely.

                1. Tommy

                  I’m with hansman on this one. My day is 88 years old and he’s never quit watching or caring and he’s been through a pretty freakin’ long drought I’d say. I’ve been through my fair share, as well, but nothing compared to him.

                  The Cubs home games are still filling over 89% capacity this year. Most teams would kill for that kind of attendance.

                  1. Scotti

                    Tommy, that 89% number is NOT attendence. That is ticket sales. Those tickets were sold PRIOR to the first game played (when folks were speculating on what wounderous free agents Theo was going to sign). Attendence is well down this year and it will drop more next year. Ad buys have already fallen and, with lower attendence, so have consessions.

                    I’m 45, I’ll never quit caring. But the FACT is that attendence drops when the team does poorly and, in today’s money, 500k in attendence = $75-100 million.

                    1. Pat

                      At an average of $50 per ticket, 500k in attendance is 25 million, not 75 – 100. Pus the non selling seats are usually the cheapest ones, the better seats going to season ticket holders, so it’s not even that much

                    2. Scotti

                      Pat, in your Wrigley Field do they eat? In your Wrigley Field do they drink beer? In your Wrigley Field do they buy jerseys and t-shirts? In your Wrigley Field do they sell ad buys on WGN, CLTV, GN Radio and in the stadium itself? I covered this in detail elsewhere in this thread.

                      Also, the cheapest seats still buy beer, etc. and they still represent “looks” at the ads. The biggest overall hit is to the ad buys. So a guy pays a few bucks less for a seat. He still pays the same for beer, etc. $75-100 million is a conservative number that doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that the team would have to start lowering prices on certain tickets and beers.

                      $25 million IS “much” and $75-100 million is more than much.

                    3. Tommy

                      Well, you may be right, but all I can tell you is the site I checked calls it 2012 MLB attendance (not ticket sales), and it has a note at the bottom talking about gates, so that implies attendance to me, as well.

                      http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

                      There is the link I checked. Like I said, I may be wrong, but I have no indication that this is talking about ticket sales. If you can find something for me that would prove otherwise, I would be interested in seeing it. I am curious about this now.

                    4. Pat

                      Tommy, MLB stopped measuring attendance by turn style count at least a decade ago (I think closer to two decades). Any attendance figures since then are tickets sold.

                2. Scotti

                  I have plenty of understanding of the allure of Cubdom. I also have access to the Interweb (it’s a series of tubes). In that Interweb there are “sites” that have “data”. That data shows that the Cubs DON’T sell out–not even close–when they are losing. Those lost sales (tickets, beer, ad buys, t-shirts, etc.) Have a PROFOUND impact on what the team can spend going forward.

      3. When the Music's Over

        1) The Cubs are not financially insolvent.

        2) If the product quality has severely declined, yet the prices of it continue to go up, the average consumer will seek the next best alternative (assuming they don’t flip to a new team), which is to watch from home. Cubs ownership has to continues to cross its fingers that this doesn’t happen en masse.

        1. Scotti

          People will actually turn off the TV / radio quicker than they will stop coming to games. Ad buys decline right away when the Cubs struggle but ticket sales are already sold. It is always the second year that takes the ticket sales hit. The only hope for next year’s sales is that the Cubs are competitive (folks buying tickets throughout the year like they did in ’03).

          The idea that fans will come out for “fun in the sun” AND pay top dollar is a myth. Never once happened.

          1. hansman1982

            As long as you have a steady stream of 2M season ticket holders willing to pay top dollar – you won’t see much of a reduction of ticket prices.

            1. Scotti

              You miss the point. I could care less about what they charge. It’s what they make. And losing half a million folks in gate each year will mean that they make $75-100 million less each year. Now, ticket prices, beer prices, ad buys, etc. WILL go down way before they lose a million fans but that only deepens my real concern.

              1. Cubbie Blues

                I think you missed this part of it.

                steady stream of 2M season ticket holders willing to pay top dollar

                That equates to not losing half a million folks in gate. If you have gate numbers the rest stays the same. Rickets isn’t dumb he will only charge what the market will bear.

                1. Scotti

                  Wrigley seats 3+ million. I’ve already demonstrated that these Cub fans HAVE stayed away in droves (’02) and that at a time when they were not asking top dollar. That is just historical fact. Regardless of how smart Tom Ricketts is, if he believes in the myth that Cub fans will come regardless of the product on the field (as his father said Tom told him), then he will be smartly surprised to discover that myth ain’t true.

                  1. Cubbie Blues

                    I wasn’t saying that there wouldn’t be a drop at all. The 2 million that Hansman used would not equate to all tickets sold. Not everyone that goes to a game is a season ticket holder. If only 3000 tickets were sold to non-season ticket holders per game that would make up 500k tickets. Look at this year with the road draw the team gets, even with a VERY bad team on the field the Cubs still top the league.

                    1. hansman1982

                      I have read that there are around 25,000 season tickets – 25,000 * 81 = roughly 2M.

                      Now, if they know that attendance is going to go down but season ticket sales will remain flat, the absolutely they will keep ticket prices as high as they think they can get away with to keep the overall money as close to the same as possible.

                      Plus, if I remember correctly, the Cubs have one of the highest taxes on tickets in MLB. That certainly does not help.

                    2. Scotti

                      I’m not sure what isn’t getting through here but… In 2002 the Cubs were a bad team. Their attendance was roughly only 2.5 million. They were only 7th in the NL (16 teams) in attendance. So, off of what they were in 2003 and 2004 the team LOST half a million fans in overall gate. In today’s dollars (ticket, beer, ad, etc. prices) that is a loss of $75-100 million dollars. Say next year’s attendance is in the 2.5 million “ballpark” (very, very real chance of that) and they were magically able to keep ticket, beer, etc. prices the same. That would mean the team would lose $75-100 million.

          2. Flashfire

            2005, 2006, 2007.

            2005 had an actual competitive team just a few miles away — who struggled to draw.

            1. Flashfire

              2007 being the only competitive year there. Damn laptop.

          3. Cubbie Blues

            The idea that fans will come out for “fun in the sun” AND pay top dollar is a myth. Never once happened.

            I do it every year (including this year). Every year I drive from 4 1/2 hours away to watch a team I grew up with and each time I go I bring my wife, kids and sometimes friends. So, I guess your right it has never once happened.

            1. hansman1982

              I have done it three times over the past 5 years…I don’t care if they stink, I’ll do it again in 2014!

            2. Spriggs

              I make the trek to Wrigley Field twice a year from AZ. Once with the immediate family and another to meet up with a few of my siblings. I’ve invested a huge part of my life in the Cubs. I don’t plan to back out. We’ve seen a few different 5 year plans, new traditions, and boy geniuses. We’ve loved it and we’ve hated it. We’ve had fun in the sun and tears as well. But I am looking forward to Wrigley Field and the Cubs – Pirates on September 14, 15 and 16. Way, way, way more than I should perhaps… but I can’t wait.

    2. PJ

      I go to a local cafe regularly even though the food is greasy and the coffee is terrible. But I enjoy my time with a group of friends, down some coffee, and occassionally order some food.
      Going to a game for me is about enjoying watching top notch athletes compete at high levels. I do get frustrated with my favorite team losing so often, but that does not stop me from wanting to watch them play.

    3. Sal T

      Good analogy, but actually, for season ticket holders it is not optional. The waiting list is so long that if you put your name on it, you would not get the opportunity to purchase season tickets for the next 30+ years. My buddy put his name on the waiting list in 1997 and was just chosen this season. I put my name on the list in 2001 and I am still 62,000 behind the front. If you do not purchase tickets when you are chosen, you lose your opportunity and get thrown to the bottom of the list, which is 116,000 and will most likely never be chosen in your lifetime. I had the opportunity to split them with my buddy this season because I my opportunity may not come again until I’m in my 60′s. They basically force you to make a once in a lifetime decision. So, I see it as an investment right now and an opportunity that really can’t pass up.

  8. mudge

    it’s not much fun eating alone.

  9. Kevin

    I would make plans to rebuild the 100 year old restaurant now while the new chefs are in training so in 2 – 3 years both the restaurant and the chefs will be ready to shine.

  10. loyal100more

    id order the salsberry steak, and get the wave going in that place! been eating it all my life and loving it!

    1. ottoCub

      ^ Exactly! Bring on the chicken TV dinner and the Totinos frozen pizza, and let’s have a great time!

  11. Northside Matt

    If the Cubs were a restaurant, they would’ve gone out of business decades ago.

    1. loyal100more

      pretty much

    2. RoughRiider

      Steve Stone knows all about that.

  12. cubmig

    (3) folks believe Welington Castillo has the bat and the arm to be a long-term starter at catcher, but they question his “baseball IQ as a catcher”;

    If anyone can offer what the “baseball IQ” is all about, it would be appreciated.

    1. Chris

      take away the word “baseball”. That’s what he’s lacking.

    2. loyal100more

      the intangables. sorry i cant spell. basically your knowlage of the fine details of the game. as well as the fine details of your position. in castillos case id say things like framing pitches in the strikezone, the ability to call pitches and give his pitchers a better chance to succeed. just being a better field manager as a catcher is expected to be. the things that dont show up on a stat sheet, but make good catchers COMPLETE catchers.

      1. hansman1982

        They are the things that the statheads say don’t exist because there isnt a column on Baseball-Reference for it labelled BIQ or INT+. It is not something that will ever make Campana useful but it would take him from an average defender to a plus defender which would take him from a 6th OF to 4-5 OF type.

        1. Drew7

          “They are the things that the statheads say don’t exist”

          I don’t think its the fact that “statheads” think it doesnt exist, but the fact that those “little things” don’t really make as much of a difference as traditional baseball folks want to believe.

          I could give 2 shits about Castillo being a good “field general” as long as he’s saving runs with his glove and creating them with his bat.

          “It is not something that will ever make Campana useful but it would take him from an below-average defender to a slightly-below-average defender”

          - There. Now I agree with that statement

          1. hansman1982

            It is something you hear about a lot on the fielding side of the ball…a guy is a slower runner but is a plus defender because he gets a good jump or takes good routes to the ball.

            1. Drew7

              “a guy is a slower runner but is a plus defender because he gets a good jump or takes good routes to the ball.”

              That isn’t “baseball IQ”. Getting a good jump on the ball means reading the ball really well off the bat, which is not a trait that is learned – you either have that ability or you don’t.

              1. hansman1982

                I am saying it’s all part of the talent assessment package that relies on scouting and not stats. It is something you can work on and maybe improve slightly, but, as you said, you either have it or you don’t for the most part.

                1. DocPeterWimsey

                  Stats tell you if a guy is a good baserunner. It does not tell you why he is (i.e., how much is good speed and how much is good jump), but that’s sort of moot: however a guy is good at going from 1st to 3rd, he’s good at doing that.

                  When you put it together with other stats (e.g., infield hits, stolen bases, etc.) you can probably narrow it down. But, really, does it matter? A guy who goes from 1st to 3rd because of speed is not somehow “inferior” to a guy who does it based on getting a great read and a great jump.

                  It’s the same thing with fielding. “Great route” is the wrong way to think of it: it’s judgement. If you can tell immediately where the ball is going to land, then you can run straight to that spot. Marlon Byrd & Jim Edmonds are two good examples of guys with only average speed who got great reads on balls and thus were able to run to where it was going to land immediately. (I was really good at that in my playing days, myself!) Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams are two examples of guys with good speed who got only average reads on the ball, and thus were able to “outrun” their misjudgement of the ball.

                  Ultimately, why a guy is good really is unimportant: a run scored (or prevented) through good judgement does not count for more than does a run scored (or prevented) through good speed. And the stats can tell you who is good at these things.

    3. Chris

      Seriously, the knock on Castillo has always been he can’t call pitches well and he doesn’t frame pitches well at all. He’s got the rocket arm and pop in his bat, but the minor league coaches were always frustrated with him because he couldn’t/wouldn’t follow instruction well to improve on the things he needs to improve on as an every day catcher. After all, while he can hit a little, he’ll never be Mike Piazza. Gotta be a defensive guy first as a catcher.

      1. loyal100more

        you would think as “nothing special” with the bat, that he’d be open to improving his game in other places it has holes.

        1. clark addison

          Pitches are called from the bench by a lot of clubs. I like Castillo’s arm and bat better than Soto’s or Clevinger’s.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            Yeah, the whole idea of catcher’s “remembering” how to pitch different batters has become very anachronistic. It is both likely and probable that the biggest reason for the drop in offense over the last few years has been the proliferation of heat-zones on individual batters. Now, more than ever before, pitchers can aim for the parts of the strike zone where the batter fares worst. The idea was always around, but in very general ways.

            (I know that a lot of people have attributed the drop in offense to PED testing, but the tripling of 90+ MPH pitchers in the last decade shows that players are not getting weaker.)

  13. loyal100more

    the current climate of the team is NOTHING new to the cub fan… lets not get this twisted. you either bleed cubbie blue, or you dont! this FO has a plan,remember this is YOUR front office so get behind em. every FO before them had a plan and i got behind it as well. though NONE of them ever bore the heavenly fruit, i wouldnt change a thing. i guess what im saying is as a cub fan im used to disappointment, and “we’ll get em next year” is the cub mantra. if your just now figuring that out your a new fan and you might as well move on. being a cub fan is not for the faint at heart , and parental discression is advised.haveing said all that, well get em next year! go cubbies!

    1. Scotti

      Loyal, I’m with you. However, the mantra is now wait until 2015, or 2016 or 2017. Wait until next year is so last year.

      1. loyal100more

        haha yes you are right my friend so bring the hot sauce it makes tv dinners taste better.

        1. Scotti

          Tabasco makes a good chipotle… :-)

  14. Nomar's Left Glove

    Wait… high priced food that isn’t that good, but people love because they are told to love it!?!? Chipotle?

    1. hansman1982

      Avocado’s? Acai berries?

      1. Cubbie Blues

        Avocado is great on sushi and Acai berries is great in Vitamin Water. :P

    2. TWC

      Wait… bitching because someone may like something for reasons that other people don’t understand (and so just assume that those people are being foolish sheep)?

      Are you a Cubs fan, or what?

      Glad you’re comfortable on your perch though.

    3. baldtaxguy

      Wait….Chipolte is high-priced food?

      1. Pat

        Compared to your local taqueria it is. Probably not nearly as good either.

        1. TWC

          There are 5 taquerias/Mexican food establishments within walking distance of my house, and there are (at least) 7 total within a 10 minute drive. A burrito at any of them is gonna run you from $5.50 to $7 (which compares quite well with Chipotlé) and I know for a fact that none of the taquerias give the slightest of cares to “sustainably raised” or organic anything.

          Nevertheless, the closest Chipotlé to my place is, I think, probably 30 minutes by car. But in the three or four times I’ve had it over the last year and a half or so, I’ve never left a Chipotlé disappointed. I can’t say the same about my local hit-or-miss taquerias.

          1. Pat

            Maybe you’re in a more upscale neighborhood than I am. I’d guess within a 10 minute drive I’d could get to 30 minimum ( there is a large Hispanic population in the area). To me , as far as Chipotle, they are what they are, the McDonalds of Mexican food. Not that they are bad, but I find them way overpriced for what you get. Maybe McDonalds, although apt for ownership reasons, isn’t the best example. Make it the TGIF Fridays of Mexican Food.

            As for the other stuff, “organic” has virtually no meaning in the food sense. Most “organic” foods have 2 to 3 times the pesticides of GMOs. Sustainably raised is equally vague from a food labeling perspective.

            /end political and food commentary

            1. TWC

              I live in California. I’m pleased for you that you can find cheap food that appeals to you.

              You’re quite out of date on your McDonald’s ownership concept, or you haven’t been to a Chipotlé in half a decade or more. After first trying them in the late 90′s, I didn’t go back until about a year and a half ago. It’s a very different place.

              I wish I could find the article I read recently (I thought it was in Wired, but it looks like I was wrong) that profiled Steve Ells the (odd) founder and re-owner after McDonald’s divested itself from Chipotlé in 2006. It’s quite interesting.

              /end political and food commentary

              So that means you’re not going to cite your source for this: “As for the other stuff, “organic” has virtually no meaning in the food sense. Most “organic” foods have 2 to 3 times the pesticides of GMOs”?

              Okay. At least I won’t have to wait behind you in line.

              1. Pat

                You’re correct that I did not realize they had been sold. Perhaps I should give them another try.

                The organic thing is easy enough to look up. GMO foods are designed to not need as much pesticide. It’s not a secret. As far as sustinably raised, there is no legal definition for that, anyone can claim it. This is the first link I found on it, but if you dispute the source there are several others.

                http://www.practicallygreen.com/actions/buy-meat-that-is-locally-grown-using-sustainable-farming-methods

                1. TWC

                  Pat, I was a bit overzealous in my quoting. I only meant to question your claim that “[m]ost ‘organic’ foods have 2 to 3 times the pesticides of GMOs.” I don’t think you provided any evidence of that.

                  I really don’t disagree with the first part, and I didn’t meant to give the impression that I was advocating “ORGANIC ONLY!” Every year we buy a share (usually a quarter) of a steer that’s ranged in the hills south of town here. It’s not “organic” in any label-specific sense (though I know the ranchers and I know that the cows only eat the native pasture grasses that grow there). But it’s quite local, and very, very good meat.

                  We’re very fortunate to live in a place where our growing season is, effectively, 12 months a year. Eighty to ninety percent of our produce either comes from our garden or the local farmer’s market for the majority of the year. I’m far more concerned with giving my money to a neighbor farmer than I am buying organic from the Safeway.

                  1. Tommy

                    TWC – I’m now a fan of yours. I subscribe to your way of thinking on food, and I know it’s completely unrelated to the Cubbies, but it is something I’m pretty passionate about!

                    I avoid GMO as much as possible (though I think it is near impossible) and agree with you on supporting local farmers (hopefully ones that grow or raise organically without paying the government the healthy tax to receive the ‘USDA approved’ organic stamp.

                  2. Drew7

                    Hippie…

              2. Assman22

                Where do you live in Cali? I’m in SF these days….

                1. TWC

                  Half Moon Bay. Only ~35 mins away.

                  1. Assman22

                    Nice! I too agree with your way of thinking towards food. I opened a pizzeria in SF in December using local ingredients and couldn’t be happier. Pizza sucks overall in Cali btw. Just moved here from Chicago 15 months ago and now SF has a solid pizza place that doesn’t rape you on the price :) Working on my next venture as we speak, life is good!

                    1. TWC

                      I agree about the local pizza. It’s a mess. We’ve been making our own pizza for years (my wife makes most of our breadstuffs with a sourdough levain that she started a decade+ ago). Congratulations on the new pizza place, too. What’s it called?

                    2. Toby

                      What the name of your restaurant? Do you serve Italian beef? ( I’m over in the east bay)

  15. Leroy K.

    So is Marmol 3 for 3?

  16. 5412

    I fear lack of baseball IQ means stupid.

    They will call pitches for him but the “instant” decisions like throwing to the right base, or running the bases properly is where it will show.

  17. Tommy

    Good call on Wolf. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a Cubs uniform within the week.

    1. Spriggs

      Wolf doesn’t walk as much, but he does have a much better K rate than Brett Jackson…. oh, you mean sign him as a pitcher? I just had Doug Davis and Ramon Ortiz flashbacks.

    2. baldtaxguy

      Agree. Love to see him also in 2013…perform well…than flipped for a prospect.

  18. cubmig

    To those addressing the “baseball IQ” question on Castillo, thanks. It is of interest to me because majority arguments are made on the basis of stats measuring quantitative skills. Also, I remember Beane’s [movie] comment that getting on base was more important than anything else (chemistry, etc., etc.). I’m trying to understand how his skill with the bat doesn’t fit in in any assessment framing value—–especially in the light of the “glaring” holes in Cubs’ hitting. Any views on this?

  19. J R

    How in the world would Nick Cafardo have any inside info about the Cubs? I would think that turd would be at the bottom of the list of trusted Cubs insiders..

  20. J R

    ‘‘It would have to be the perfect scenario. It would have to be a [near-certain] playoff team and be like the Giants, losing Melky”
    Soriano is a complete moron for saying this. He is clearly clueless.

  21. aCubsFan

    The idea of getting Wolf now is absolutely stupid.

    When a team is attempting to find out what they have in their minor league pitchers, every pitch, every out, every blunder, every inning pitched and every earned run you take away from their development you hurt the Cubs in the long run.

    If you’re going to rebuild, you don’t want the OLD, ineffective and marginal lefty Randy Wolf taking away from the development of the ‘kids.’ It may hurt to watch the kids play, but it is necessary for them to get experience at the major league level.

    Even Sean Marshall was brutal to watch when he first came up and because the Cubs allowed him to struggle he became the pitcher he is today — one of the top relievers in the game today, maybe the best lefty reliever in the game. True, he is on a Reds playoff team.

    The same can be said of James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, as well.

    There will be other pitchers on the market in the off season that are better suited for a rebuilding Cubs team.

    Lastly, signing Wolf now is not the sign of a team that is patiently rebuilding. The suggestion is a sign of a fan base that can’t be patient.

    1. Tommy

      I don’t think anyone suggesting that Wolf be picked up is a sign of impatience. It’s widely accepted that the Cubs do not have a good farm system when it comes to starting pitching, and the current FO has already shown a propensity for picking up players in hopes of getting some good out of them and trading them for prospects. I can personally see them trying to do the same thing with him as they did with Maholm.

      Either way, I agree with developing kids, but let’s be realistic about the potential of the starting pitching options we currently have in the minors and realize that filling out a rotation with them is highly unlikely.

      1. Chris

        I think it probably doesn’t hurt to have a guy like Wolf waiting in AAA in case there are injuries or trades that deplete the rotation. They’ve already used 10-11 starting pitchers this season alone, so it makes sense on some level. And it’s not like there is a ton of ready-made pitching prospects he’d be blocking. I’d definitely rather see Raley, Rusin, Wood, maybe Volstad or Coleman, to go along with Samardzija and Garza next year. But if they move Garza, and maybe Volstad isn’t around next season, you are going to need somebody to come up and eat innings. Germano, McClung, whoever. If a young guy is ready to take his shot at Wrigely, so be it. But there isn’t much above High-A ball right now, as far as starting pitchers go. Wolf is a bum. So is Rodrigo Lopez. But if you’re expecting to make trade deadline moves with Garza and any other performing veteran next year, you definitely need to have a backup plan. You don’t want to burn out young kid too early by jumping him to the majors quickly, especially a pitcher.

        1. aCubsFan

          I’m not saying that the Cubs bring up High A, or AA pitchers to the majors now or even next year if they aren’t ready for the major leagues.

          But, right now for the last 6 weeks there is no reason to sign Wolf. Volsted, Rusin, Raley and others need innings to show if they can pitch in the majors.

          If the Cubs learn now that they can’t so be it, and go sign some short term guys.

          The suggestion that the Cubs sign Wolf now to keep his price down from over the winter or for whatever purpose is a sign of a restless fan base because a.) he’s not going to go down to AAA and b.) he uses up innings for the pitchers they are trying out. The only way a Wolf signing now would be of any value is if the Cubs were to shutdown Jeff Samardzija, but could that be part of the reason why they got Miguel Socolovich today?

  22. Crazyhorse giggles

    The Cubs are so terrible -Is it true that Sevum is not allowed to manage the Cubs ? That Theo hired him because he was the only person willing to let Theo run the team through texting . That Theo is a wonderful manager/ GM / – he is the father of God – let us all bow and praise the mighty – hope the cubs win soon

    1. baldtaxguy

      No, its not true.

    2. TWC

      Oh, it’s TOTALLY true. You’d be able to see the text messages flying through the air if you’d only take off your tin foil hat for a couple minutes.

      1. Professional_High_A

        +5

  23. Crazyhorse season tickets giggles

    I have informed Mr Theo that i am saving my pennies to invest in season ticket . I should have enough pennies saved in about three to four years to go to games again – but i bought my son season ticket to the white sox yep he is having fun I rebuilding it takes a while to collect alot of pennies.

    1. baldtaxguy

      Please share the reply you receive.

  24. Njriv

    Hey Brett, I’ve been meaning to ask you, has your opinion since the beginning of the year of Darwin Barney being the long term answer at second base changed at all? Or do you think he still has to improve his offensive game to be considered?