Daniel Bard in Winter Ball Before the Tender Decision and Other Bullets

daniel bard red soxThe Dodgers stayed alive yesterday with a bunch of homers (Cardinals lead the NLCS 3-2), and the Tigers tied up the ALCS at two by whoopin’ the Red Sox.

  • Cubs reliever Daniel Bard – the waiver pick-up from the Red Sox who didn’t actually pitch with the Cubs – will pitch in the Puerto Rican Winter League for Los Criollos de Caguas, per the team. The team’s report – with some assistance from Google Translate – suggests that Bard is throwing well in Instructional League right now, and his control problems are behind him. The benefit for Bard here is obvious, as he’ll have an opportunity to pitch competitively and try and get his career back on track, while simultaneously making up some innings he lost to injury this year. The benefit to the Cubs is also considerable: the league begins play on November 1, which means the Cubs will have a month of action on which to judge Bard before making a decision on whether to tender him a contract for 2014 (the deadline is December 2). Bard made $1.86 million in 2013, and, although he didn’t do anything to improve his stock, he’d likely get about the same amount in arbitration next year (because guys simply don’t get reductions in arbitration, even though a 20% reduction is permitted). The Cubs will have to decide if he’s worth that amount going into 2014, assuming they aren’t able to work out a deal in advance of the tender deadline, which would be ideal.
  • CSN Chicago, noting that Dave Martinez will be in for an interview today for the Cubs’ managerial gig, writes about the state of second base in the Cubs’ organization. You already know the animating question: how long can the Cubs continue with Darwin Barney as the starter at second base? He’s cheap, he’s a defensive wonder, and he’s great in the clubhouse … but he was a black hole at the plate last year.
  • A report out of Texas has the Rangers down to four candidates for their open bench coach position, with (former?) Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk one of the finalists. As you may recall, the Cubs didn’t exactly fire their whole coaching staff just yet, even though manager Dale Sveum was fired. Instead, the Cubs essentially told the coaches they were free to date other people right now while they figure out the managerial situation. Once that’s settled, they’ll figure out the coaching staff, which could include some guys coming back on the recommendation of the front office (most frequently, you hear pitching coach Chris Bosio and first base/outfield coach Dave McKay).
  • The Kane County Cougars have partnered with Google to offer a virtual tour of their ballpark, interior and exterior. The Cougars are believed to be the first minor league team to take Google up on its offer to do a “Street View”-like tour of their facilities. Neat.
  • Yahoo ranked the top 7 ballparks with the best food, and Wrigley Field – which had long been maligned for its thin offering of options – ranked second in baseball, behind only Citi Field … and Yankee Stadium, in a tie. Doesn’t that mean Wrigley Field is number three? Although I don’t doubt the food at Wrigley is better every year, color me a little suspicious about a list like this that pretty much features only the largest cities.
  • Chicago-flavored vodka? Okey dokey.

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

227 responses to “Daniel Bard in Winter Ball Before the Tender Decision and Other Bullets”

  1. C. Steadman

    i hope daniel bard can recover from his case of the yips and be a solid reliever for the cubs…glad they have some good pieces to work from this year…closer is still a ? with Strop most likely the closer but not a proven guy yet…he has the stuff to do it though

  2. MichiganGoat

    I already can’t stand or tolerate Vodka (there’s a reason why communism looked good in Russia – VODKA) but add to it Chicago? Oh my that has got to be horrible. Meat packing flavor?

    1. Fishin Phil

      A little bit of the Chicago River in every bottle. Blech!!!!

      1. chrisfchi

        Green in color(like our river) and flavored like Chicago politics, a lil BS in every bottle

    2. Brains
      1. MichiganGoat

        1-This has nothing to do with the comment I posted… but I’d expect nothing less from you
        2-So you are “THISing” the same pathetic Chicken Little tantrum that we see on here every single day. (Boo hoo no Girardi, EJax sucks, we lost too many games, ME MAD AND ANGRY)
        3-You actually thought this needed to be shared
        4-Oh wait that is exactly what you do
        5-Have a great morning enjoy

        1. Brains

          You’re conflating me with other people, I’ve never posted about Girardi. I post about public relations snake oil sales that are supposed to replace real baseball activities.

        2. Randy

          So we are not allowed to post anything unless it has to do w/ the post.

    3. fromthemitten

      The Brooklyn flavored Vodka tastes a whole lot better than Brooklyn smells

  3. Canadian Cubs Fan

    Wow, if the Cardinals end up blowing a 3-1 lead for the 2nd year in a row, Yadier Molina will really have to wear it. Two GIDP’s early in the game totally changed the complexion.

    Also, I love that a couple ESPN writers penned that “Zack Greinke threw a gem” yesterday. If Molina had done what he and the rest of the dead birds did all season long, Zack would have been gone by the 5th and the Dodgers might be toast. So far both series have been exciting, even though I told myself I wouldn’t watch any of the NLCS.

    Here’s hoping Dave Martinez interview’s well and that Daniel Bard really has ditched his control issues.

    1. Blackhawks1963

      Yadier Molina is playing on one leg right now. If not for the playoffs he would be undergoing knee surgery and be on the DL for a couple months. Cut the guy some slack. He’s the best all around catcher in baseball, owner of two World Series Championships and one of the veteran leaders of that club. Molina on one leg is still better than most catchers.

      1. Canadian Cubs Fan

        Fair enough. There are a lot of guys playing seriously hurt right now. I imagine if you asked Molina about yesterday, he wouldn’t cut himself any slack. He would say he shouldn’t have been trying to pull an outside pitch, and going with it like he’s done all season.

      2. Randy

        I will take a pass on giving any Cardinal SLACK. Will Molina ask for slack. Nope

      3. Cubbie Blues

        So is Cabrera. What’s your point and why would anyone here cut neck tattoo any slack?

      4. hansman

        “Cut the guy some slack.”


        1. ssckelley

          ^ this

          I give NO slack to any Cardinals. Go Dodgers! (pukes)

          1. On The Farm

            Especially the great and all mighty Yadier Molina. He is so great he should be able to play with no legs and no arms and still win the gold glove, possibly be in the running for MVP.

            1. wvcubsfan

              how would he be running for anything in that condition

          2. cubmig

            Yeah…..Give them shit….NO slack.

  4. Pete LaCock

    Concerning Darwin Barney “He’s cheap, he’s a defensive wonder, and he’s great in the clubhouse …”

    Also great attributes for a utility infielder.

    1. Blackhawks1963

      Darwin Barney is a utility infielder who has been forced by circumstances to play way more than he should during the building program. Ditto Luis Valbuena. I don’t get why people rip Barney. He’s a good ballplayer, but it’s not his fault that he has had to play virtually everyday.

      1. ColoCubFan

        Just as soon as the Cubs come up with a good fielding, good hitting second baseman, Barney will probably be a throw-in on a trade to somebody who needs a good bench guy.

        1. ssckelley

          You have some coming up through the system. I am still not ready to toss Watkins on the crap heap, you still have Alcantara and Baez coming up. If anything the Cubs can use Valbuena and/or Murphy until one of the young prospects is ready to take over.

    2. Brian Peters

      Peter Marshall

  5. Curt

    I really like 99% of what’s done on here Brett but a bears site added to this one say it ain’t so no da bears lol plz, I’m a dolphins/Vikings fan like over drinking and drugs Brett just say no .

    1. ssckelley

      Pfffft, you are whining like a clown fan.

      DAH BEARS!

      1. C. Steadman

        hey…I’m a ISU fan…

        1. ssckelley

          OMW, being a clown fan and a Cub fan is not a good mix.

          1. C. Steadman

            i think you mean clone fan** haha….and yeah very stressful…at least bball has been competitive…I’m also a Bulls and Bears fan so I can still watch a decent football team and D-Rose is back so i still have excitement in my sports world

    2. C. Steadman

      i think it will have a separate section so it wont be all up in the face of non-Bear, Cub fans…at least thats what it sounded like to me…i dont think the bears posts will be mixed in with the Cubs ones

    3. CubbieBubba

      i like the sound of over drinking.

  6. Brian Peters

    Football of all kinds SUCKS!

    1. C. Steadman

      are you an American??

  7. On The Farm

    More Chicago content on this site = win for Brett. As if I don’t spend enough time on BN as it is, now with Bears discussions going on… Thanks a lot Ace.

    1. ssckelley

      I agree, I have attempted to try Bears sites out and could not get into it. Using this type of format, get a writer who digs for info like Brett does, posts frequently with a similar bullet style, and he could have a real winner. I love the fact that I do not have to dig through forums to find good posts from people that are knowledgeable. Here we get a good blog with easy to read bullets (I hate walls of text), a snap shot of comments on the right hand side (this is the real difference maker), and usually some fun debates in the comments section. You give me this on a Bears site and I am all over it.

      As a Hawkeye fan I wish Jon Miller did this on his site, the problem is he does not post enough blogs to keep the conversations going.

      1. On The Farm

        Not sure on Brett’s college affiliation, but his home state Buckeyes will be in Iowa in early February. Maybe he could journey out watch a good basketball game and hire Miller to do a Hawkeye’s section for the site. Most of the students at the University of Iowa are from Chicago anyway.Seems like that could be an untapped market.

        1. ssckelley

          Jeez, you HAD to bring up the Buckeyes. We are going to get our asses handed to us on Saturday.

          But interesting idea, Brett you might want to pursue this. Miller is a damn good writer and has one heck of a following. The big fan base Iowa has in Chicago is a big reason why they agreed to play Northern Illinois in Soldier Field last year. I know a number of Hawk fans read this site, this blog has been brought up a number of times on Hawk forums.

          1. On The Farm

            Not an expert on running a website, but I am not sure if Brett can see a breakdown of where the hits are coming from from IP Addresses? I mean it would have to be a big Iowa following on this board to make it economically feasible. The only thing you could really hope for is that enough Chicago people went to Iowa to be Iowa football fans. Another thing to be thankful for is that Illinois is bad at football so its not like it gives the residents of Chicago a team ever worth watching.

            Obviously this would hinge on how successful adding a NFL blogger. I can’t see why it wouldn’t be a success, but if a professional football team doesn’t work a college additional probably wouldn’t work. I am pretty excited and hope the Bears experiment is a big success.

  8. Spoda17

    It seems like sometimes (I think it is becoming more common) when we disagree on a topic we feel compelled to disagree and also insult the person we are disagreeing with… I’m all about a good debate, even if it is based on opinion and not all facts… But I will admit I get a little tire of the personal jabs in the midst of a rebuttal post.

    Let the trolls be trolls and ignore their posts… but for the most part most of us are here everyday and opine quite often. We will disagree more than we agree…

    Just my two cents.

    1. Funn Dave

      Yes yes yes.

  9. Indy57

    Gettting Bard right sets up the bullpen well for 2014. One can foresee Strop, Bard, Russell, Parker, Villanueva and Rondon as the core of the pen with Grimm, Chang-Yong Lim, Rivera, Zych, Cervenka, Vizciano and Mateo (healthy?) in the mix during ST and to provide depth during the season. It alleviates the necessity to go FA and allows them to focus their dollars on Tanaka and a potential position player with a stick. Let’s hope the Bard gets straightened out. A positive outcome should project to a better start in April and May.

    1. C. Steadman

      i’d like the Cubs to carry 2 LH-RP so hopefully Rosscup and Rusin(if he loses out on a starting gig) also get some looks or even Raley

  10. Chris

    Well that Yahoo list was a complete waste of time…

  11. Napercal

    Unless Bard is unable to recover ffrom his injury, dropping less than $2 million to bring him back seems like a no brainer. that’s far less than they committed to that Japanese reliever who had no track record and was a bust this year.

  12. cavemencubbie

    I’m with Brian. Football should be banned. As a father, I wouldn’t want to have my sons play football, with the possibility of having them spend the majority of their lives as cripples from knee injuries, or mentally confused by concussion. Sure every sports activity has injuries but none with the number and severity of football. It’s just not worth the risk to bow before the football gods and the numb nuts who think football equates with being an American.

    1. Brains

      let the man develop his business model! it’s what allows for cranks like me and michigangoat to spar after a long day.

    2. Jon

      You just lost your man card.

    3. C. Steadman

      and thats your right as a father to not want ur kids to play…but a majority of Americans love football and so do their kids so just because you and Brian dont like football doesnt mean you have to call for a ban on it

    4. Blublud

      Both my sons play tackle football and both are damn good. My 13 year got a concussion this pass year. Was it from running the ball up the middle? Was from getting lit up on a pass route? Was from trying to lay a kid out from his CB position? No. It was from getting undercut doind a basketball game and hitting his head on the floor. My oldest has been playing football for 9 years, 7 tackle and my youngest is in his first year of tackle and 3 years total, and I have yet tocome close to eexperiencing one football injury. Yet my oldest injured himself multiple times playing basketball.

      1. ssckelley

        So you need one of your kids to get hurt to prove to you that football is dangerous? None of these studies and examples matters to you because your kids have not gotten hurt playing football.

        makes sense………

        1. wvcubsfan

          I think his point was that injuries can happen any time doing anything, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a “contact sport” for a participant to incur a significant injury.

  13. cubsfan4life

    Hi Brett, I think it is a great idea to add a Chicago Bears section to Bleacher Nation. If you can find a good Bears writer, then it will be successful. Since most of your readers are true Chicago sports fans, maybe you should also consider adding sections for the Bulls and our Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. I think the Bulls and Blackhawks could both win a championship this season. This could be a great year to be a Chicago sports fan. Go Cubs !!! Go Bears !!! Go Bulls !!! Go Blackhawks !!!

    1. LWeb23

      Baby steps…

  14. Jon

    First off, the long term affects such as crippling injuries and brain trauma, for the most part(not entirely) occur at the NFL level. I’m sure if you asked many of these players, would they trade not only the glory, but also the financial resources it brought them and their family, they make that deal anytime.

    Secondly, pop warner, high school, and college football has brought uncountable benefits to millions of high school boys throughout the years. For how many youth, has football kept them off the street and out of trouble? How many athletes attended college on a football scholarship(those that could have never afforded college). STFU with this “ban football” crap.

    1. C. Steadman


    2. TWC

      “STFU with this “ban football” crap.”

      Way to engage the topic in such a non-adversarial manner! The way you and several other folks regularly bemoan how you feel your viewpoints are regularly marginalized, your lack of openness on this topic is duly noted.

      1. C. Steadman

        to be fair the other guy called us “numb nuts”…

        1. TWC

          No, he said that those that equate liking football with being American are “numb nuts”. And he’s not wrong.

          1. Blublud

            So if you agree with him, he right. But if you don’t, he can’t use certain words to explain his feelings.

            I can’t think of any other sport that would associate a person with being American then football.

            1. TC

              Uhhh baseball?

              But you’re missing the point. By equating liking football with being American, you 1) exclude a lot of people around the globe who love the game and 2) call those who don’t like a game that is likely directly responsible for horrible future brain problems for its players “Un-American”, which is wrong

              1. Blublud

                Uh, no. When I think of baseball, I think world wide sport. When I think of Football, I think America. Please tell me how many leagues are the worldwide. How many players go overseas to play football. They may be a handful, if that. But nothing like baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, tennis, track and field, polo or any other sport I think of that is played world wide.

                1. Funn Dave

                  Baseball has always been the quintissential American sport. Yes football has overtaken it in popularity and is currently more exclusive to the country, but you can’t change history.

                  1. TWC

                    Football is a whole ton more marketable than baseball. The 10-fold increase in the number of games dilutes interest, I’ll bet (though those people are, of course, utter fools).

            2. hansman

              “I can’t think of any other sport that would associate a person with being American then football.”

              I thought being American was that you could identify yourself pretty much any way you wanted (unless you are a Commie, then STFU).

              There are plenty of non-Americans who are passionate about American football. Conversely, you can love football but hate America.

              1. Blublud

                I didn’t say if you are not a fan, you are not American. But there is no sport more associated with being an American sport then football. Se my other explanation above.

          2. C. Steadman

            i certainly equate being an American with football…im not sayin you’re less of an american if you dont like it(i was joking with Brian up above) but when people think Canada the sport they think is hockey…rest of the world mainly soccer…America -> football…its the biggest sport in this country and is a billion dollar industry, its certainly hard not to equate football and America…it is afterall officially “American football”

      2. Jon

        That phrase was of course preceded of two paragraphs citing the positive benefits the sport has brought millions of individuals. And of course I don’t criticize anyone if they chose not to partake in a sport, I just hate when people suggest taking away something for everyone. Projecting their views down everyone throats.

        But far being for a douchenozzle like yourself to consider that and just pick apart one phrase. That’s all you seem to do on here.

        1. TC

          Nah you’re way off, man.

          If you had just explained everything you did before that final line, you’d be engaging in a reasonable discussion. But when you end it like you did, you frame your entire argument as “Im right, you’re wrong, let’s stop talking about it because you’re dumb for disagreeing.” It completely destroys reasonable discussion and makes people on the other side of the discussion much less likely to see your points as valid

        2. mjhurdle

          “I just hate when people suggest taking away something for everyone. Projecting their views down everyone throats.”

          how to you reconcile this with your statement that anyone that doesn’t share your view on the matter needs to “STFU”? seems an awful lot like you projecting your view down everyone’s throats…

          1. Jon

            No saying “ban football” is ignorant and forcing their views on people and worthy of STFU.

            High school football is no more dangerous then other sports and is positive outlet for millions of kids. Fine, don’t play it or let your kids play it. But don’t pursue an agenda to take it away from people. That’s ignorant. Bottom line.

            1. mjhurdle

              thats your opinion. bottom line.
              and because you feel strongly about it, everyone who disagrees is now ‘ignorant’.

              1. Jon

                No, you just don’t get it. People can not like the game of football and distance them selves from it, fine. But people that want to “Ban Football” are taking a RIGHT away from others.

                This isn’t that hard.

                1. mjhurdle

                  Now football is a human right?

                  1. On The Farm

                    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

                    From the Deceleration of Independence. If pursuing football makes you happy, it is a human right.

                    1. mjhurdle

                      i see what you are saying, but with that definition murder, rape, theft, etc are all human rights too if it makes someone happy.

                    2. TWC

                      Yeah, well, if sitting naked in a lawn chair in the middle of Main Street with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and an AK-47 in the other makes me happy, well, damnit, that’s my right, huh?

                    3. On The Farm

                      “i see what you are saying, but with that definition murder, rape, theft, etc are all human rights too if it makes someone happy.”

                      Wrong, the definition of Liberty is that you have the right to control your own actions. If you steal, murder, rape you are infringing on another person’s right of life or their liberty. In football you sign a waiver acknowledging the risks you take by stepping on the field. You sign no such waiver when you are getting murdered, raped, or being robbed. This was a bad comparison.

                    4. mjhurdle


                    5. Kyle

                      Besides the fact that the Declaration of Independence has no force of law, that’s also a completely untenable definition.

                    6. mjhurdle

                      “This was a bad comparison.”

                      not really, as a parent you are making the decision for a minor that is not capable of understanding the dangers of his decision to play football.
                      just as with crime, you are placing your desire and opinions over those of the other. but it is ok, because it is football, and my 7 year old says he doesn’t care about the dangers.

                    7. On The Farm

                      “not really, as a parent you are making the decision for a minor that is not capable of understanding the dangers of his decision to play football.
                      just as with crime, you are placing your desire and opinions over those of the other. but it is ok, because it is football, and my 7 year old says he doesn’t care about the dangers.”

                      I take it you didn’t read my other response to you. I have no problem if you don’t want your children to play football. That is your right. But for you to take away football from my children, that is wrong. I am just arguing that banning the sport is wrong. Not that liking football is American, not that everyone should play the sport. Just that people should have the right to play football, and it shouldn’t be taken away because some people deem it dangerous. Drinking is dangerous and causes brain damage, yet it is legal to 21 year olds. And as an adult you can make the decision to drink it. I think you should be able to sit down with your kids and have a discussion with them in middle school, high school whatever, and reach a conclusion best for them. I am not telling you how to raise your kid, but I think it is a parents decision, but the child should be able to make their opinion in the matter known as well.

                    8. TWC

                      Do you not see the irony if your acceptance of the current *ban* on underage drinking (in place to protect the health and safety of children) versus a ban on youth football (to protect the health and safety of children)?

                    9. mjhurdle

                      i understand what you are saying, but my point is that simply saying “it is a right” is not enough if it is proven that football causes significant risks to a child’s health and development.
                      It is not your right to say “i want my kids to play football, dam the consequences down the road.”
                      Now, i dont think the level of proof is there yet (and maybe it never is). But if it did, i would be for banning football. Or if that is too harsh, we dont ban it, but charge anyone that lets their kids play with child endangerment :)

                    10. On The Farm

                      “Do you not see the irony if your acceptance of the current *ban* on underage drinking (in place to protect the health and safety of children) versus a ban on youth football (to protect the health and safety of children)?”

                      No I don’t in the State of Wisconsin you can drink at a bar if you are under the age of 21 provided you are with your parent. If it is a mutual decision you both make and that is how you want to raise your child that is your decision. I drank underage and I like to think I am a pretty good citizen. I have a job, pay my taxes, I volunteer. What point am I making here? I am just saying there is no perfect way to raise a child. My parents let me drink underage and play football and I think I turned out just fine.

                      If a parent and child can reach a mutual decision, that is their choice. I shouldn’t be subject to what someone else thinks.

                    11. On The Farm

                      “It is not your right to say “i want my kids to play football, dam the consequences down the road.””

                      Maybe I am coming off as I will force my children to play football. Not at all. I am just saying that if my kid wants to play, and I am okay with, I really see no reason to ban the sport. Football taught me a lot of lessons when I was in high school and my football coach was someone I really admired and looked to as a role model. There are positives of football so I just don’t see the problem if parents let their kid play the sport it shouldn’t be a big deal. That should be a family decision, not a political decision erasing it from our lives completely.

                    12. TWC

                      FWIW, I’m not advocating a ban on football. Even though I’m a relatively mild fan nowadays, I played from 6th grade into high school and have some good memories from that time. I agree that the decision to allow your child to play football should be a mutual one.

                      I do strongly object to the vilification of the (Quixotic) quest to ban football as “unAmerican”, just as I object to the “it’s my god-given American RIGHT to play football, dammit!” crowd.

                  2. hansman

                    It’s Amendment to the Constitution.

                    “The right of the people to engage in sportal activities, to ensure the definition of “American” is well endowed, shall not be infringed”

                2. TWC

                  Sports are a privilege, not a right.

                  1. Eternal Pessimist

                    Privilege is a privilege, not a right.

            2. TC

              “High school football is no more dangerous then other sports”

              This is likely going to be proven *EXTREMELY* wrong in the upcoming decades

              1. T C

                Actually, no, you are aggressively and outrageously wrong. How many other high school sports have a body count this year?

                1. hansman

                  I think the easiest way to make football less dangerous would be to remove the facemask from helmets or mandate 1-bar facemasks.

                  See how many guys lead with their head then.

                  1. Blublud

                    Its actually been proven, or at least I believe I read that helmets have cause more concussions. Let just go back to padded leather and do away with helmets all together.

                    1. TC

                      LOL go back to padded leather and hundreds and hundreds of skull fractures and deaths every year! that makes sense!

                    2. Blublud

                      Actually not. The article stated that the beefed up pads, and helmets were actually causing the injuries. The shell of a helmet is hard and causes much more damage. If you take the padding out of the helmet, and cover it with leather instead of a hard shell, you would get the same protection, with less impact damage because of the lack of the hard shell. I can’t find the article, but I’m still searching. It CLAIMED to have been based off of scientific research.

                    3. TC

                      I don’t think that would make a damn bit of difference. Concussions are caused by the brain rocking around inside the skull. This is usually caused by a hit rapidly changing the momentum of the body, and the brain slamming up against the inside of the skull because it is “floating” and not directly attached to the skull itself.

                      As they say, you cannot pad the inside of your skull, and that’s the only way to prevent concussions without massively changing and slowing down the game

                    4. hansman

                      “LOL go back to padded leather and hundreds and hundreds of skull fractures and deaths every year! that makes sense!”

                      That’s why you just remove the facemask, or greatly reduce it. A couple of guys getting their face torn up will change tackling greatly.

                    5. TC

                      Hansman, I mean this in the most respectful way possible, but did you ever play football? It’s really, really difficult to hit people without your head getting involved one way or another. I can’t even imagine how a 32 trap might work without someone’s head getting mashed up here or there

                    6. Blublud

                      I disagree TC. I coached rec ball for kids, and the first thing we taught the kids is how to tackle with their heads up without using them. You tackle with your head up, leading with your chest or shoulder, and as soon as you make contact, you wrap up and drive through the body. If a player is using their head in any way to make a tackle, then they are using improper form.

                    7. hansman

                      Oh, I know that it would dramatically alter the way the game is played. It’s a choice, though. Either the NFL and their fans is going to have to live with their players becoming senile old farts at a rate higher than the average athelete or they are going to have to radically alter the game.

                      In addition, fans are going to have to live with the fact that by loving the huge hit, they are condoning behaviour that causes long term health risks.

                      Then the question becomes, how smart are we as a society that loves having our 8-12-year olds play tackle football knowing how fragile a developing mind is?

                      Think of it this way, baseball would be a ton more exciting for the average fan by using aluminum bats. Why don’t they use aluminum (besides the fact it’s just always been wood), because it is far too dangerous.

              2. mjhurdle

                or even now
                ““In younger players who are not as muscular, the neck muscles supporting the head may not be as strong, which can worsen the effect of head injuries,” said top-rated Long Island pediatric neurologist Dr. Robin Smith. “The short-term consequences include post-concussion syndrome — significant, persistent and often disabling headaches which can be difficult to treat. Other problems include difficulty with concentration, which impacts their academic performance and mood; sleep difficulties with anxiety and even depression. These can persist for weeks or even months.””

          2. Blublud

            Because anyone who wants to ban football should STFU and in my opinion get the fuck out of America. If you don’t wanna play it, don’t play It, but to suggest banning it is just stupid.

            Now we shoupd ban that stupid ass Roger Goddell for ruining the game.

            1. bbmoney

              Anyone who disagrees with me should shut the fuck up and leave America.

              That’s what America is all about.

              What the fuck. This is just outstanding stuff people.

              1. terenceman

                That’s what you get for engaging one of the worst repeat commenters on BN.

                1. Blublud

                  Actually, I think my view is more realistic. People who don’t like things think banning it is the best answer. Thats just stupid. Banning something that is a choice and has no effect on anyone else is stupid. And you my friend can shut the fuck up youeself.

                  1. TWC

                    “People who don’t like things think banning it is the best answer.”

                    Yeah. We should just focus on your preferred method of tolerating dissent which is to force those who disagree with you out of the country.

                    1. Blublud

                      Never said force them out. I said if they don’t like it, they should leave. Basicly, these guys are acting like these stupid conservative that I must admit, recieved a lot of my votes this past election. We don’t like your opinions on the other side, so we are going to shut down the whole government. Its the same as saying we don’t like football, so we are going to take it from everyone. Its just a stupid stance to have.

                      Stop trying to force your beliefs down everybody else’s throat. If you don’t like it, fine. Dont associate yourself with it.

                  2. CubsFaninMS

                    Although I question the effectiveness of your delivery method, I do agree that banning football is a rather ridiculous concept. If Miley Cyrus can twerk on stage on TV like a harlot, if Barack Obama can fundamentally shift the ownership of GM from its shareholders to the Autoworkers Union during its government bankruptcy, if Donald Trump can walk around in public with his birdnest-fro… then football should be accepted as a competetive sport and, obviously, legal.

              2. Blublud

                Actually that’s my point. If you don’t like it, don’t like it. But to suggest banning it is very un-American. Its no different then the stupid politicians in the early 90′s that tried to ban rap. If you don’t wanna listen to it, turn the radio, don’t by the music and don’t listen to it. If you don’t want your kids playing, fine. But don’t take it away from my kids.

                1. hansman

                  Actually, it is incredibly American to ban things that are known harmful. Then again, it is also incredibly American to ban things just because enough folks convinced someone to ban it.

                  1. Blublud

                    If it harms someone else with them having any say so. Football, while possibly being harmful, is not something force upon an individual, unless by an overbearing parent. If I get hit by another person and get a concussion, I knew it was a possibility before I step on the field. I don’t hear people calling for a ban of boxing. Continuously get punched in the head has to be worse, right.

                    1. hansman

                      It’s bad, sure, and most reasonable people aren’t calling for a full on ban on football.

                      Now, I wouldn’t mind a ban on tackle football under a certain age. Just not necessary.

                    2. ssckelley

                      It is weird but studies have shown the impact of football hits are worse on a brain than a boxers punch to the face.

                    3. fraze

                      Actually, boxing used to be a high school sport in this country. However, it was banned.

                      If the government does not take steps to ban youth football, high schools will start voluntarily dropping it once the lawsuits start rolling in.

                    4. Blublud

                      Right. Anyone who voluntarily plays football, then files a lawsuit, should be beat until they get a concussion. That’s like smoking cigarettes and then filing a lawsuit once you get cancer.

                    5. fraze

                      I’m not saying it is right or wrong for people to sue, but they will. School districts are already hurting for money, the last thing they can afford are class-action lawsuits. People will claim that they assumed the sport was safe because the schools are promoting it.

                      I would imagine that within 5-10 years, high school football will not exist. The next step will probably be the formation of football ‘clubs’ that have lengthy waivers to eliminate legal action.

                      For me, I am personally keeping my son out of the sport, even though it would probably be his best fit. The reports coming out lately concerning concussions and, more importantly, CTE, have been nothing short of terrifying.

                    6. Blublud

                      If your son wants to play, I hope you have a change of heart. Its more disturbing that you would keep him from something he wants to do. And I really doubt high school football will ever end. It would be a huge mistake. I grew up in the projects, and I can tell you I stay out of trouble because I was always at some kind of sports pratice growing. Sports also helped me form my mentality that hard work and determination will get you where you need to be in life. I learned this more on the football field then the baseball field, despite being better at baseball. Football is more then just a sport. Sports in general are bigger the the actual sport.

                    7. C. Steadman

                      also if football is banned, then all the $$ flow that gets flooded into charities by the NFL(whether players, coaches, or organizations themselves) will be lost as well…i would imagine the NFL is the leadin sport for charity work based on all the commercials…or they just “brag” more

                    8. fraze

                      “Its more disturbing that you would keep him from something he wants to do.”

                      Really? I hardly think my choice as a parent to not let my son play a violent sport is disturbing. I hope your sons come away with their experience unscathed, because the majority do not. Studies now show that almost everyone comes away with brain injuries, whether they receive a concussion or not.

                      Also, the notion that football is the best place for boys to become men and learn life lessons is crazy. There are many team sports that can install these virtues, as well as other activities outside of sports. I do not disagree that football can have many good aspects to it, but at what cost?

    3. hansman

      “First off, the long term affects such as crippling injuries and brain trauma, for the most part(not entirely) occur at the NFL level.”

      There are tons of studies that indicate concussions in childhood have a pretty serious effect. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of 50-60-70 year olds running around having played tackle football at 8 years old to see what kind of impact it has had.

      “I’m sure if you asked many of these players, would they trade not only the glory, but also the financial resources it brought them and their family, they make that deal anytime.”

      Um, only recently have players been paid anything decent and most of the ones you can ask, haven’t had their life, yet, destroyed by these injuries.

      “Secondly, pop warner, high school, and college football has brought uncountable benefits to millions of high school boys throughout the years. For how many youth, has football kept them off the street and out of trouble?”

      And how many others were meant to feel inferior because they couldn’t compete in football? How many others got into just as much trouble by the “fame” brought about by their success in football?

      “How many athletes attended college on a football scholarship(those that could have never afforded college).”

      I love the “could never have afforded college” myth. In today’s day and age, nothing could be further than the truth. Now, do they have an advantage over those of us who worked 2-3 jobs through college and took out massive amounts of student loans to pay for it, yes. But that is a whole different topic.

      “STFU with this “ban football” crap.”

      Ahhh, I see.

      1. Jon

        Sounds like you are hating on athletes that get scholarships. Sour grapes.

        #fwiw, I am the most un-athletic person in the word, but I am happy for the kids that do get scholarships. Good for them.

        1. hansman

          I don’t hate on them at all. More power to you and grab that opportunity by the horns and enjoy the ride.

          Now, do they need to be paid on top of that?

          1. Blublud

            If the sport they play generates millions or billions of dollars, you damn right, they should be paid. College sports are not played by aamateurs.

      2. Kyle

        And don’t forget, this isn’t just about concussions anymore. There’s beginning to be information surfacing that makes it appear that repeated jarring blows to the body, such as tackles or line play, can do brain damage even without a concussion.

        1. TC

          ^This is a big point. Also need to consider research beginning to suggest that children’s brains, because they arent fully developed, are even more susceptible to problems like this

          1. TWC

            “children’s brains, because they arent fully developed, are even more susceptible to problems like this”

            This being the most critical point, in my opinion. And this is where a parent is obligated to use their authority for the best interests of the child, “dictator” or not.

            1. Blublud

              Right. The best interest of my child is not taking something they love away from them because some guy decides to blow his brains out, or some other guy can’t walk well.

              1. TWC

                Way not to be selfish, Jay.

    4. cubfanincardinalland

      I played college football, and some of my best moments in my life were on a football field. It really brings the best out of you. But make no mistake, it is a brutal game. I am 58, my right knee is toast, I can’t walk without a limp. Can’t really run anymore, have to ride a bike for any exercise. All because some punk clipped me a long time ago. Another thing that really gets messed up in football are your hands. I have bad arthritis in both of my thumbs, I know it is from football. Fortunately, I never had any problem with concussions, but I did see stars several times after collisions. My sons played in high school, and I was always a nervous wreck watching them.

    5. MichiganGoat

      Okay I’m just going to jump into this discussion about sports and schools and give my two cents as a teacher. This week we had budget meetings, parent teacher conferences, and finished up the hell that is standardized testing. This week I was told that our departments won’t be getting new books for 7th year in row, computers won’t up updated for the 5th year in a row, but football and basketball gets new uniforms and supplies after getting new stuff two years ago. Yet my paycheck and job is tied to student achievement not sports records and I’ve got nearly forty kids crammed into a classroom and they have to share textbooks, can’t take them home, and I have to buy my own paper to make copies and when toner runs out I’ll have to buy my own copies. I’m not saying sports shouldn’t be part of schools but when we can’t afford the teachers and supplies to teach our children but can afford the expense of sports programs we have a problem. There is no easy solution but if we keep cutting everything in education but continuing to fund sports (and yes sports feel cuts and they are operating thin) we have to seriously reconsider what is important in our schools.

      Okay rant done, enjoy your evening.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Btw this is me on a different computer and mistyped the email address

  15. Jon

    In reality the worst is overbearing parents. Statements like “I’m never letting my kid play football” are just as bad as saying “You’re going to play football and like it”

    You are not Stalin, you are a parent. Introduce your kids to a variety of sports and extra-curriculars, but ultimately let THEM make the decision on what they want to pursue.

    1. mjhurdle

      i disagree completely. As a parent, part of your job is to prevent your kids from doing things that might cause damage, either short term or long.
      I respect a parents right to make that decision for themselves (to an extent, obvious exceptions apply (drugs, alcohol, etc)), however my kids will not play football beyond the flag football level.

      1. On The Farm

        That’s fair that you don’t want your kids to play the sport. However, I do agree with those who say if parents want their kids to play, and the kids want to play that is their decision. I never expirenced any physical problems from playing football when I was in school, and my brother had a minor concussion his junior year, and that didn’t stop him from playing. FYI neither of us were very good, we were just there for the enjoyment of playing the sport. To try and take that away by banning the sport is wrong and is forcing your views on everyone else (I am not saying you mjhurdle are suggesting we ban it), but other that are crossing a line.

        If your kids don’t play that is your decision, but this is America were we are entitlement to the pursuit of happiness. If football makes you happy, there is no right to ban it.

        1. ssckelley

          But as more and more comes out from all the research being done of the effects of playing football and the risk of head injuries we are going to see more parents like mjhurdle keep their kids from playing it. I personally have 2 boys and my youngest loves football and has shown some good abilities at a young age, coaches fight over taking him when drafting teams but the stuff I am reading about this makes me question how far do I let this go and let him keep playing. The problem is you can take all the precautions you want to try and make the sport more safe but there really is no reasonable way to protect the brain from the impact of the hits you can take on a football field.

          1. Blublud

            To me, sports are everything. I don’t force sports on my kids, but they feel the same. Honestly, if I told my oldest son that there is a chance you may die on the football field today, and asked him if he still wanted to play, his answer would be yes. I would support that answer and deal with the consequences when something happens. You only live once, and trying to hold on to life forever is just crazy. Live and let live. If Hermit and live a shelled life, fine. Meanwhile, I will be somewhere skiing rough mountians, riding the scariest roller coasters, bungy jumping, pushing my motorcycle as much as I can, and any other thrill or dangerous shit I can fine, and my sons will still be playing football.

            1. ssckelley

              I understand that, and when kids get older they should be able to make some of their own decisions. But at a younger age us parents have more say and control over what the child does, basically I am feeding his desire to play football when he gets to high school by allowing it now. He is at an age where he cannot understand the risks involved.

            2. Randy

              And my guess is you will have a shortened life.

              1. Randy

                sorry, replying to Blublud

              2. Blublud

                And if I do none of these things, I still might have a short life. I have been living this way for 32 years, and I have done alright.

                1. ssckelley

                  Great attitude, it hasn’t killed you yet so keep on doing it.

                  1. Blublud

                    Nah. I’m only here for a short time anyway. I enjoy my life. I have a very free spirit. I’m not going to let the threat of being injured or killed keep me from experiencing something that I wish to experience. About the only thrill I won’t try is drugs.

        2. TC

          “If _____ makes you happy, there is no right to ban it.”

          I can think of about 5000 things I can put in that blank that make it untrue

          Also, there’s the issue of humans being incredibly poor at planning for the future. Thing X may make you happy now, but you may regret that decision 20-50 years down the road. If we know that there’s a blind spot for people thinking such a thing, society takes the measures to reduce/ban the action to prevent harm that people can’t properly valuate.

          (Also, while Im happy that you’re not injured from playing, many people find themselves with serious bodily harm from playing the game)

          1. On The Farm

            “Also, there’s the issue of humans being incredibly poor at planning for the future. Thing X may make you happy now, but you may regret that decision 20-50 years down the road.”

            Well that is them problem really. Its just like people who poorly plan financially. I shouldn’t feel bad for people that don’t know how to budget, and would rather spend their money in the present, rather than save it for the future. That is part of growing up.

            “(Also, while Im happy that you’re not injured from playing, many people find themselves with serious bodily harm from playing the game)”

            The only thing I was trying to say here is that my family had a good experience with football. I know that doesn’t automatically mean my son will have the same luck, but if I decide that its okay for my son to play and I sign the waiver acknowledging the consequences the blame is on me. There are plenty of coaches, school guidance counselors available to have a discussion with you on the meaning of signing that paper for people who may not know what they are signing. That’s what they get paid to do.

    2. TC

      “In reality, the worst is overbearing parents. Statements like “I’m never letting my kid do drugs and eat tons of unhealthy food” are just as bad as saying “you’re drink this bottle of liquor and you’re going to like it”

      You are not Stalin, you are a parent. Introduce your kids to a variety of lifestyles, both healthy and unhealthy, but ultimately let THEM make the decision on what they want to pursue”

    3. TWC

      “In reality the worst is overbearing parents. Statements like “I’m never letting my kid do blow” are just as bad as saying “You’re going to snort this rail and like it””

      What’s the difference between your statement and this one?

      “You are not Stalin, you are a parent. Introduce your kids to a variety of sports and extra-curriculars, but ultimately let THEM make the decision on what they want to pursue.”

      I suspect you’re not a parent.

      1. Jon

        Comparing “drug use” to “playing sports” just proves what a fucking moron you are.

        1. TWC

          So that’s your analysis? How is my role as a parent who may or may not want to keep his child away from football any different that a parent who wants to keep his child away from cocaine? Millions of people across this country have experimented with both and have had no ill effects. What’s the difference?

          Oh, and by the way, thanks for keeping the discussion high-brow.

          1. C. Steadman

            ones a banned drug while the other is a legal sport…i do think that is a huge difference and can be called comparing an apple to an orange

            1. hansman

              Ok, change cocaine with tobacco.

              1. TWC

                Or, depending on where you live, marijuana.

                1. hansman

                  Nah, marijuana has actual medical benefits.

                  1. TWC

                    That’s what I keep saying!

              2. C. Steadman

                i think tobacco is a good comparision…both are legal to use/play, both have damaging effects…but people dont get second hand concussions haha unless you’re a Jaguars fan and bang your head against a wall every Sunday

                1. hansman

                  No, but folks do have to deal with the second hand effects of the concussions and brain injury.

                  1. C. Steadman

                    another reason why tobacco and football are good comparisons and using/playing either are at your own risk

    4. hansman

      “You are not Stalin, you are a parent.”

      Apparently you mis-read the job description about being a parent. It actually fits pretty close to the job description with being a dictator.

      From the “New International Dictator Procedure”:

      “2. Lie, cheat, steal, bribe and do anything necessary to ensure that your peasants do not lie, cheat, steal, bribe or do anything else you think would undermine your power.”

      Just replace peasants with children.

      1. TWC


      2. Frankfort Dave


      3. wvcubsfan

        Where did you find that job description? I know I looked everywhere and couldn’t find anything so I had to learn it all OJT. Granted the education I was afforded before I took the job (thanks Dad) sure gave me a very good understandings of the basics and concepts.

    5. Kyle

      That’s a terrible way to frame parental power. What the hell kind of parent doesn’t think it’s his duty to keep his child from doing dangerous things?

      “I don’t want to be a dictator son, so while I strongly suggest you don’t drink, that drain cleaner, it would be just as wrong of me to forbid you from doing so.”

      1. Frankfort Dave

        Watch TLC and you will see plenty of parents abdicating their responsibilities as parents.

        1. TWC

          I think one of the best parenting decisions I ever made was to sell our TV at a garage sale when my son was 4 months old.* That was 7+ years ago and we’ve never looked back. I don’t think I could bear to watch TLC for more than a minute or two.

          (*of course, let me be clear: YMMV. I don’t mean to take this tangential conversation off on another tangent.)

  16. Funn Dave

    Wrigley has Love Me Tenders. That makes it #1 in my book.

  17. cavemencubbie

    You’re right Steadman. Banned is a strong word. Many things have been banned (and don’t work) that contribute to the Coliseum of human mendacity, alcohol, prostitution and gambling, most of which are supported by the majority. That said, I don’t think I must support or applaud the media hype of billionaire pimps, who make their money off the bodies of football athletes, or the politicians who spend our money on their free stadiums. That goes as well for the NCAA.

  18. ssckelley

    Back to Barney for a sec. Would teams be interested in trading for Barney? My first thought is if the Cubs can get 2 low level pitching prospects for Campana then you would think a former Gold Glove winner could get as much. But on the other hand Barney produced at a negative WAR this season (-0.5), why would even a good offensive team want that? His hitting this season drug his value into the ground, he may not be expected to hit much but I would expect at least what he produced in 2011 (1.7 WAR) or 2012 (4.8 WAR) to justify being a regular starter in any lineup. If his hitting is fixable and he can return to hitting +.650 OPS then he provides value, even in the Cubs lineup.

    1. Kyle

      Yes, Barney has trade value. I don’t know if we’d want to use it or not, because we aren’t completely sure that the infield is locked down for next year yet.

      1. ssckelley

        Like I said in my last sentence if Barney can go back to the offensive production of 2011 and 2012 then we might want him at 2nd base next year. The Cubs cannot afford to have a spot in their lineup hitting .569 OPS.

      2. macpete22

        We could always sign a guy like Omar Infante for a year or two and trade him when Baez or Alcantara are ready

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          If you sign him you probably paid more than was someone else would, meaning it might be hard to trade (sell) him for the amount you paid to aquire him…and you take on the risk that he is injured/starts to suck. I still think this is the wrong type of aquisition. Don’t pay long contracts on guys you plan to replace with your upcoming minor league talent.

          1. C. Steadman

            that would be true if you sign him and then try to trade him in the same offseason…but at the deadline another teams 2B might be on the DL or Omar is performing well then you can trade him…that is why the Cubs could sign guys and flip them at the deadline for prospects…you run the risk of injury/crappy performance with any player

    2. TC

      If Barney was hitting in the high-600s OPS range, I could see there being a large market for him. As it stands though, can’t see him garnering much of any interest

      1. ssckelley

        Even after last season his career OPS is .628, if that is what other teams look at then he might have value on the trade market.

        1. wvcubsfan

          I think last year was an outlier and the previous two were more the norm. It’s not like he was the only player hitting below his career average last year on this team.

  19. cubfanincardinalland

    The thing that bugs me about Darwin is his approach at the plate is so bad much of the time. There have been plenty of light hitting slick fielding second baseman who have had good careers. But at the plate, they learned to be pesky. Work the counts, foul off pitches and make the pitcher work. Barney does the opposite. Tries to pull the ball way to much, hits the ball in the air to often, instead of working for line drives or hard hit balls through the infield. A short quick stroke, especially with two strikes. He started off last year better, but then reverted back to these bad habits.

    1. wvcubsfan

      Those darn coaches trying to change players batting styles.

  20. North Side Irish

    WGN Radio is opening up their contract to renegotiate with the Cubs due to sagging ratings…not sure how this will impact the TV deal in a couple years. I’m sure WGN would love to tie the two together somehow.


    1. TWC

      I saw that article this morning. I blame Moreland for the sagging ratings.

      1. Eternal Pessimist

        I wonder how much this has to do with trying to lower the cost of the TV contract (make the Cubs broadcasting rights look less valuable so they’ll have a shot at the TV side when it expires).

  21. cubmig

    This is off topic here, but something triggered a google search (must have been about Bard being a possible “keep” which led to pitchers, particularly Justin Grimm, which made me wonder if Justin and Charlie Grimm were/are related)—-whew! All that for wanting to share this find:

    “Grimm died in Scottsdale, Arizona at age 85, from cancer. His widow was granted permission to spread his ashes on Wrigley Field.”

  22. udbrky

    Bison dogs were pretty sweet.

  23. Aaron

    Broadcast sources say WGN is losing significant money on the Cubs broadcasts, with listeners and advertisers tuning out a team that has lost 197 games in the last two years.

    Time to stop losing and start winning. Year #3 of Theo’s master plan will be here before you know it. Buckle up boys.

  24. North Side Irish

    Hooray…more changes to the renovation plans. I like the part about the Cubs not needing city approval to put up more signs or change game times. I don’t like the part that said “Alderman Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward”.


    1. cubfanincardinalland

      More spitting into the wind. Does nothing to solve the dilemma.
      Question, if the Cubs moved from Wrigley Field, would they still be open to the rooftops filing suit with any credibility?

  25. Oswego Chris

    Does anyone else think of Eastbound and Down Season 2 when Kenny is pitching in Mexico for the Charros with this Bard situation? Former closer…of course Kenny is really an amalgam of John Rocker and Mark Wohlers

  26. FastBall

    I personally don’t think we need to trade Barney or Valbuena. I think the new manager needs to sit both of them down and talk to them man to man. Look we have a place for both you guys on this team. We are going to be contending and we feel you both can be solid guys and strong contributors to this team. Are you in? You know this game, your going to play a lot of games and we need you. If the answer is yes. You have a stronger bench and these two guys are still a bridge to the future. If I’m one of those two guys I have accept where I fit and I still want to win the 1st WS in Chicago since Christ was Corporal. You don’t have to be on the field everyday to be a leader on a team. So, I don’t think you make an arbritarial decision about whether a guy is going to be a problem and trade him. Treat him like a man. Have a man to man conversation get your answer. You then know exactly what you is required as next steps. Maybe it’s all positive and there is not next steps. I don’t yank the rug completely out from under a guy who has been here through the hard times and given his personal best. Barney is not a .300 hitter or an offensive game changer. But he has brought this club a gold glove. You don’t crap on that whether you like him or not as a fan. You have to respect the fact he has achieved something 28 other guys didn’t. He has my respect for that especially since he converted to be a 2b from SS.

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