lance-berkman-cardinals-championsDoing some visiting today, friends and family, so I’ll be in and out. There’s more to discuss on the managerial search, but I’m going to save my thoughts for when I’ve got a little more time (tomorrow) to crystalize them. Feel free to discuss in the comments today, though, if you’d like.

  • The Red Sox are your ALCS champions, having beaten the Tigers last night in the longest nine inning game ever (probably – it was almost four hours) last night. I’m already dreading this World Series for a number of reasons, and the ensuing narratives are probably the greatest ones. The Cardinals do it the right way. The Red Sox showed you can turn it around in a year, as long as you’ve got the right front office. Crap like that. It’s still going to be very easy to root for the Red Sox, though.
  • CSN Chicago continues its tour through the Cubs’ various positions organization-wide, and is currently reviewing third base. It’s a deep, high-impact crop, including Kris Bryant, Mike Olt, Christian Villanueva, and Jeimer Candelario (among others). Remember when it was Josh Vitters and a whole lot of nothing?
  • Jorge Soler’s rust continues to show in the AFL, with another 1-4 performance yesterday. I definitely wouldn’t count myself as worried, though. Wes Darvill was 0-4, and each of Matt Loosen and Lendy Castillo threw scoreless innings (Loosen struck out two).
  • Keith Law was unimpressed by the stuff he saw from Armando Rivero in the AFL, but caveats that, given Rivero’s long layoff coming into this season (the Cubs signed him earlier this year after he defected last year, and he got in very limited action in the second half), an uptick in stuff in the Spring wouldn’t be a surprise. Also, if Rivero was striking out everyone he faced last year with sub-par stuff, I’d hate to see what he could do with good stuff.
  • Wow – Cincinnati is doing that thing that Chicago used to be so very good at: shredding a player after the season as a precursor to said player being dumped. Here’s an example piece tearing Brandon Phillips apart, mostly for good reasons. It’s a reminder that, sometimes, the post-season shredding was justified … even if it doesn’t help you get good value for your damaged merchandise.
  • daveyrosello

    Bears, ugh.

    • DarthHater

      Here you go, Brett. BN definitely needs a Bears page. 😛

    • someday…2015?

      Horrible officiating. Blatant holds don’t get called and a defensive hold gets called on us late. Horrible call on onside kick offsides. The field goal that was called no good should have been called good.(invisible/metaphorical goal post rule) All those injuries were truly the killer though. I’ve never seen a team so depleted of their best players… Good game but disappointing in the end. Thank god for the bye, time to get healthy.

      • Professor Snarks

        I’ll agree that the injuries are concerning. If they are all serious, we will be on Bear draft pick watch.

      • YourResidentJag

        Call on the onside kick killed the Bears but that field goal should have be made.

        • #1lahairfan

          That was a terrible call once you look at it carefully.

          • someday…2015?

            Truly. The non holding calls where the ones really pissing me off. The Redskins O-line was tackling the Bears defense on every play and it never got called… Must of been one of those cases where the Refs told the teams pre-game they weren’t going to call any holding…(except on the Bears D in the 4th quarter!!!)

            • #1lahairfan

              I totally agree. Don’t even get me started man.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              I was more bothered by the shots to the head they were taking before they finally called them. Hall tried to kill our sliding QB and just glanced him but still should have been called.

              Then after a Bear got a call for hands to the face, the next two plays featured Washington players jamming the facemasks up.

              I thought the offsides on the onside kick was the right call, but was close.

              • someday…2015?

                Thanks for reminding me about that McCown head shot. I was just starting to forgive and forget lol.

            • toby

              According to Adam Schefter, the Bears will resign Jordan Palmer and Cutler will have an MRI on his injuring groin. Adam Jahns, the Bears beat writer from the Sun-Times agreed with me on Twitter about how the bye week for Chicago cannot come at a better time for Cutler and the Bears considering how many are banged up. If the MRI comes back, mostly positive, the groin injury will be a problem for Jay considering that he can make plays with his scrambling ability which as been vastly underrated by some.

    • #1lahairfan

      On the bright side I was very impressed by McCown today. When a backup has a game like this, it’s flat out embarrassing if you don’t win.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        If McCown gets a couple more chances and performs like he did it will hurt Jays chances of getting the mega-deal he wants. I really think a lot of q-backs could succeed w/ all the targets the Bears have on offense. 2 excellent receivers (plus other good pieces), and excellent blocking/receiving tight end and and excellent receiving RB make the QB look good (and an improving offensive line).

        Jay has had a good year so far (the first year I have been really happy with his performance, but w/ so many holes to fill on defense I would rather see some of that money redistributed to the Safety and tackle positions next year. Peppers might be about done too. The are spending way too much money on him for his performance so far this year….and Melton is probably gone too (not gonna spend big on his ruined knee).

        • someday…2015?

          I agree with everything you just said. Safety and DT need some serious upgrades.

          I like Jay but he clearly isn’t durable. Broken thumb, concussion, sprained knee, strained groin(hopefully) ect… Next years QB crop coming out of the draft is deep. That may influence their decision on Jay as well.

          I liked Bostic today. Once the kid develops some instincts he’s going to become a very special player.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Instincts? First couple defensive plays he was disrupting the play 4 yds deep on runs. Dude has excellent instincts. He was in the right spot the whole game. We just aren’t very good defensively against a mediocre offensive team. That game pissed me off. DT and Corner needs most of the upgrades. The only reason the safety was visible was because our front was awful today. When he is the man stopping the run every other play, that is on the line. Trestman is obviously an offensive genius, but our defense has to get a whole hell of a lot better before we can compete.

            • someday…2015?

              I don’t think Bostic has great instincts yet. He had a nice day but he was out of place on way too many plays. I think he just happens to be extremely athletic, fast and strong which allows him to make those big time plays. As Briggs has said in the past he may not be as fast as he used to be but his instincts and football smarts have heightened immensely. I see the same thing happening with Bostic.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              Safety is a serious weakness for this team, but Tillman had a terrible day and just stopped running on one of those touchdowns. He might have had another INT if he just kept running.

        • toby

          I doubt that any success McCown has this year is going to be the deciding factor on Cutler’s future. It may solidify his place as the back-up heading into next year. Bears management has seen what Cutler can do with a better offensive line and another weapon on offense. The question is whether or not the Bears use the franchise tag on Cutler (I’m leaning yes), but it depends on both parties agreeing on a long-term contract for Cutler. For once, Bears might go into the offseason and the draft looking at upgrading an aging defense.
          The most and biggest concerns will be on what direction they go on defense. Peppers lack of production does not justify the 18 million dollar cap hit on the Bears next year. The Bears might want to add that cap number on top of the 42 million dollars in cap room next year (Cutler might take up about 10-15 million of that cap room even if he is franchised) The decision to let Henry Melton play out his franchise tag contract looks better and better. Melton’s medicals might be the deciding factor on whether or not the Bears bring him back and risk Melton being Tommie Harris 2.0. Defensive tackle is the one area where they will focus much of the offseason and the high end of the draft. Corner is the other position where the Bears might also be looking as Tillman is not getting any younger, but he still has plenty of football in him. A 2 year with a option year might not be out of the question.

          • turn two

            Haha only problem with this post is that despite having a great d for so long, outside of the last year or two the bears have continued to draft d every year and sign big defensive free agents. Its not a “for once”situation.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            I think it will effect the size of his contract. If a so-so quarterback (McCown) can have very good success w/ the talented offense that surrounds him, it shows that a lot of Cutler’s success has to do w/ everyone else being so good. With the crummy O-line (and below average receivers) he has had for years Cutler never really flourished. Now he has pretty much everything a quarterback could hope for, but his replacement may do just as well as he did (though I won’t be surprised if McCown hits some bumps soon).

  • TOOT

    Bet Cutler doesn’t have a “groin” injury when he goes to bed.

  • Die hard

    Barney for Sandoval given latter agrees to have weight incentives in contract

    • BWA

      hahaha this one is great.

  • TheRiot2

    I don’t see much in the comments today about the Red Sox vs. Cardinals World Series.Too set the record straight,Go Red Sox or any other team matching up against the Cardinals at any time,did I mention I absolutely hate the Cardinals.

  • TheRiot2

    To ClevelandCubsFan

    ” I hear Lou Piniella is available….”

    I think he has a lifetime endorsement deal with Sominex,no acting skills needed,all they have to do is wake him when the cameras stop rolling.

    • ClevelandCubsFan


  • Jason Powers

    2014 Cubs WILL set a milestone:

    On their 24th loss, the Cubs will have racked up 10,000 Franchise losses.

    The Phillies and Braves have been more futile, Phillies crossed that mark several years ago, but in less total time.

    The CUBS are 1ST ALL TIME in franchise games…So there is that.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      I thought they had already reached 10,000 wins some time ago, so overall at least they are over .500 (or feel free to correct me if I am mistaken).

      • Eternal Pessimist

        I guess I just needed to go to the attached site to show it…so WAY TO GO CUBS!

      • Jason Powers

        You are right…

        Yep, the Cubs still are over .500 as a franchise. Up until are 1938, the Cubs had a pretty good hold on the leader board in a number of categories. (Being around since NL inception helped.)

    • MichiganGoat

      Didn’t realize that the Cubs and Braves are the only teams (according to that link) that have been around since 1876. That’s impressive plus the Braves have been in multiple states so the Cubs are the only team that has stayed in the same city since 1876.

      • Jason Powers

        The Cubs had numerous names: Colts, White Stockings. But the franchise existed since Al Spalding came from Boston. (The Bostonian connection runs deep.)

        1st interleague trade was made by the Cubs and Boston.

        • MichiganGoat

          Yeah I knew but really thought more teams than two were consecutively playing since 1876.

      • daveyrosello

        Cincinnati? I thought the Cubs (“White Stockings”) and Reds (“Redlegs”) were the two original teams from 1876.

        • MichiganGoat

          Acording to BR the Reds were not playing for two years btwn 1880-1882

          • Jason Powers

            The early history of baseball is filled with gamblers, franchise collapse, league rivalries, owners having 2 or 3 teams under their control (in the same league)…Keeping up with who did what, takes a more patient man than I am usually to sort it all out.

            Not like many care who won the 1890 Player’s League. Or that the National League lost more money than the first Socialist League did.

            Baseball reference and Sean Lahman at least do justice to both.
            Peter Morris is an excellent source too.

        • Jason Powers

          Boston Red Stockings, Hartford Blues, St. Louis Brown Stockings, Cincinnati Reds(Redlegs), Louisville Grays, New York Mutuals, Philadelphia Athletics, and the Chicago White Stockings…

          Stockings were popular determination of team name then.

          Giants for a long time typically meant Black Ball team. Cuban X-Giants…

      • Jason Powers

        November 21, 1959: Jim Marshall traded by the Chicago Cubs with Dave Hillman to the Boston Red Sox for Dick Gernert.

        • Spriggs

          All those guys are still alive

    • Brains

      Theo’s plan is to double that number by 2017.

      • Jason Powers

        I’d take 90 wins in the 2015 season. It is doable.

        2014: 81.
        2015: 90.
        2016: 90+

        • Jason P

          A lot of pieces would have to fall in the right way for us to be an 81 win team on paper going into next year. Even if we get Tanaka, the offense will still be beyond awful.

    • Jamie

      24 losses? A season of 139-23 would stave that off until 2015.

      • Jason Powers

        Maybe if we put the 1927 Yankees with the 1975 Reds, supplement with the 1963 Dodgers (Koufax, Drysdale, Perranoski) and the remaining 2013 Cubs would be able to do 139-23 in 2014. (If you could time travel back to get them in the present tense.)

        Johnny Bench
        Pat Collins
        Lou Gehrig
        Tony Perez
        Joe Morgan
        Dave Concepcion
        Pete Rose
        George Foster
        Babe Ruth
        Earle Combs
        Bob Meusel
        Nate Schierholtz – Bench
        Starlin Castro – Bench
        Anthony Rizzo – Bench

        Sandy Koufax
        Don Drysdale
        Waite Hoyt
        Herb Pennock
        Urban Shocker
        Jeff Samardzija – MR
        Travis Wood -MR
        Ron Perranoski
        Rawly Eastwick
        Wilcy Moore

        I am being generous including those 5 Cubs. But I wouldn’t need them to swing a bat or throw a pitch with that talent…Score 1050 Runs; allow about 550. Still probably come up short of 139 wins.

        But it would be amusing to put the Cards in their place….;)

        • Jamie

          Damn! So when are you interviewing w/ Jed and Theo?

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    They have a lot of work to do to get to .500. Closing and the first 3 hitters having a war closer 7 or 8 is a place to start. I don’t think they are far in terms of SP, but the everyday lineup is one the worst, if not the worst since the Wrigley era. Don’t get me wrong, think with an strong offseason on some luck in the minors it is possible, but it wouldn’t take much if they don’t do anything to end up losing a 100 games again either. The starting point is always to get to .500, and if Theo doesn’t make a strong effort to do that in year 3, it will be a huge disappointment.

    • Jason Powers

      I agree.

      I’ve lobbied (here) for various FAs.

      I will be surprise if they open up the pocketbook much beyond 75-80M in total for ALL FA signings. So 3 signings at about 25M per at best.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I agree with that. I can see them trading Castillo either in larger deal for Price or Gonzalez. Not that I’m advising either, but think they may well do that and put 12M in a LH FA cathcer. Add to that a top of the order OF and you have spent 35M of that. I was thinking more in terms of 40-50M this year, but who knows. I see them going hard after Ellsbury. I see them getting two maybe, but have no issue with that number. i guess I just don’t know if they will be able to get 3 guys out of this FA market who are worth that.

  • Brains

    This Cards in the World Series without Pujols and Red Sox from last to first thing is making me crazy! Chicago baseball culture is so pitiful sometimes.

    • Jimbotron

      But think of the money their owners wasted along the way!

      • Brains

        Yeah those organizations spent money, which is unacceptable if the most important player on the team is the owner’s profits. Our fans have gotten really deranged about their baseball priorities since Theo took over.