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wrigley bleachersBaseball injuries can certainly damage a season. It’s possible, though remote, that losing a single, particular player for the season could wipe out any hopes of competitiveness. But nothing is like basketball, where there are just five starters on whom to primarily rely. And if one goes down – the best one – the pall that covers the season is incredibly black. I don’t really know boo about the NBA, so hopefully the Bulls can find a way to succeed even without Derrick Rose. They kinda did last year, right?

  • USA Today, by way of BaseballParks.com, has been ranking each of the 30 MLB ballparks, and the rankings just reached number one. The ballpark? You know that it’s Wrigley Field. After an era of construction that saw 23 new ballparks debut since 1990, and even after a century of deterioration that has left concrete susceptible to shuffling itself loose, Wrigley Field is still the jewel of MLB. It boggles my mind that some folks aren’t completely on board with the renovation plan, which will not only increase the amenities (and basic utilities) for fans, but will keep the best ballpark in baseball operational for decades more. Moving to a cement paradise in the suburbs? Please. Wrigley Field is a one-of-a-kind, and I am eagerly awaiting the renovation getting underway.
  • PNC Park in Pittsburgh, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Kauffman Stadium, and Fenway Park round out the top five, in that order, by the way. U.S. Cellular Field was 25, and the O.co Coliseum (Oakland) and Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay) predictably come at the bottom.
  • Ernie Banks’ nickname is Mr. Cub. In the pantheon of radio mistakes, repeatedly noting that he played for the Chicago White Sox is a biggy. Come on, NPR. Also, you can toast Mr. CUB’s Presidential Medal of Freedom on December 3. Details here.
  • Carrie Muskat answers questions, and reminds us that, holy smokes, the Cubs really don’t have an obvious leadoff option for 2014 (yet). If we had to choose from the roster as currently constructed, I suppose I’d probably go with Ryan Sweeney. Mostly because whatever.
  • This FanGraphs article is why the confluence of math and baseball is just a fantastic thing. Ever wonder whether there’s an impact on batters when they’ve just faced R.A. Dickey’s knuckler, and then have to face a “normal” reliever? Or starter the next day? Well, it turns out there’s a huge impact.
  • bbmoney

    Of course Wrigley is number one. I’m also glad to see PNC get some love, great park which is well worth the visit.

    • Hookers or Cake

      Yep, people bitch about Chicago politics and rooftop owners, but Wrigley is still a great bucket list type draw.
      I live in Miami and while Marlins Park is actually a pretty nice baseball field, it blares stupid f-ing music, ads, batter intro, and canned “Everybody clap your hands” type stuff all game long.
      Even Fenway, which is a lot nicer park in many ways than Wrigley does batter intro music and some other annoying crap.
      The weird unique thing about Wrigley is it sounds like a baseball game. There is nothing but the PA, organ, the crowd, and baseball. I’m sure the jumbotron will change all that, but I hope they keep the noise to a minimum.

      • Jono

        the reason people bitch about the rooftop owners and chicago politics is because wrigley is so awesome. We don’t like seeing it fall apart, it deserves to get fixed. And since the city won’t help pay for it, the cubs need the extra revenue to make it happen. Ricketts just spent hundreds of millions acquiring the team and field. It’s not see easy to basically double that investment a few years later.

      • cubmig

        What fans and visitors will be saying many years after Wrigley undergoes it’s own renovation:

        “and while [Wrigley]…is actually a pretty nice baseball field, it blares stupid f-ing music, ads, batter intro, and canned “Everybody clap your hands” type stuff all game long.”

        Thanks Hookers or Cake.

    • Spriggs

      Nice to see we’re #1 at something… I am also glad to see PNC get the love. The second best place in the world to watch the greatest game!

  • Jono

    The bulls were built last year knowing Rose would be out. Not the case this year.

    • beerhelps

      Exactly right. Hopefully they can trade Deng soon and blow this thing up.

      • Jono

        I kind of like that idea, as painful as it is. The only problem with that is Thibs might not stick around for it, and he’s one of (if not the best) coaches in the NBA. But it’s still probably worth it because the NBA is all about having star players. They had an MVP and Thibs yet still couldn’t get to the finals. I’d rather have two (or three) star players and an above average coach

        • beerhelps

          Agreed

      • cavemencubbie

        Yeah I doubt Rose ever comes back.

      • Spriggs

        Yep. Time to admit they cannot seriously compete with their current roster. They cannot match the energy or the bench of other teams. Probably not a playoff team without Rose. They are seriously at the point where Dunleavy was their go to guy last night at the end of the game when trying to come back. He might not even be in the league next year.

  • Drew

    Yes, a BASEBALL park. Doesn’t have a Ferris Wheel, doesn’t have a Merry-Go-Round. Just Pure Day Baseball.

    Let’s Play 2!

    44 years old, live in Michigan but the CUBS were the only team that I could come home to everyday and catch the last few innings on WGN. Yes, I love the CUBS, I love the Tradition of Wrigley. My First ballgame was @ Tiger Stadium and it was fantastic but It felt like the game was being played in a cavern. Huge high walls, couldn’t even see out of the park. Then a few years later when I walked into Wrigley, heaven. I love the feel of Comerica Park, much more than the old Tiger Stadium. It feels like Wrigley but I HATE that when I go there with my kids, they want to go to go on the rides. . . that is Not what going to a ballgame is about.

    Thanks for RESTORING WRIGLEY. Now, let’s continue to RESTORE the CUBS. Get Beyond the collapse of 1984. Get beyond the collapse 2003. Get back to the W.S. for the first time since 1945 and end the 105+ year championship drought!

  • Edwin

    NPR will stop at nothing to further their pro-White Sox agenda.

    • hansman

      Dang south-wing radicals.

    • D-Rock

      At the expense of our tax dollars…

      • Edwin

        Ha, yeah. I want my $.03 back!

  • Edwin

    Wow, they only ranked Miller Park 20th? I really like Miller Park. Plenty of space to tailgate before the game, it’s comfy, lots of concession options, great views all over the park. I’m not the biggest fan of the way that those retractable roofs look, but I’ll admit it’s very nice to be able to not have to deal with bad weather. I’m not sure what they’re judging the stadiums on, but most lists I’ve seen like this have Miller fairly close to the top.

    • J.L.

      They’re probably taking into account that that’s where Ryan Braun plays half of his games.

    • cavemencubbie

      The same way they rate politicians.

  • Aaron

    Miller Park in Milwaukee has no personality. It looks like a giant mall inside. Bernie Brewer is the only thing unique about this place. Absolute terrible lighting making it difficult to see the ball in play, even if you have good seats. #20 ranking is well deserved.

    • Rich

      completely agree about Miller park..it is so bland…and take that slide out of the outfield..

  • Jon

    Yeah the bulls don’t need to try and succeed without Rose, what they need is to tank and get in the 2014 lottery

    • willis

      Yep. This is one of those drafts that even if you fall into the 4th or 5th pick, you can still get a franchise difference maker. So much talent out there. If there was a year to tank, it’s now.

  • CubFan Paul

    2014 lineup

    CF Lake
    2B Watkins
    SS Castro
    1B Rizzo
    3B Olt
    RF Schierholtz
    LF Sweeney
    C Castillo
    P

    • J.L.

      If Watkins is our starting second baseman I may chop my arm off.

      • Kyle

        Dude, he’s a *prospect*. We have to give him 600 major league at-bats to “see what he can do”!

        • noisesquared

          Or they could give Barney another 600AB to see if he can rebound, maybe get back to a .600OPS…

        • hansman

          Nah, Dale ruined him last year by not playing him much. He is toast.

      • Jono

        prove it

    • Hee Seop Chode

      I choose to wait until spring training to completely freak out about the lineup.

      • CubFan Paul

        Who’s freaking out?

        In another lost year for a high draft pick I’m fine with that lineup. Maybe trade Schierholtz and plug in another OF

        • Jono

          Sometimes when I’m bored, I write out 2015 lineups. Maybe I’m in a constent state of freak out, though

          • Jono

            constant

    • hansman

      So you are saying the FO does absolutely NOTHING on the offensive side of the ball this winter? Is your rotation some combination of guys on the current 40 man roster?

      • CubFan Paul

        “So you are saying the FO does absolutely NOTHING on the offensive side of the ball this winter?”

        I’m not saying anything. I made a lineup out of the incumbent players based on Brett picking Sweeney as his leadoff man

        “Is your rotation some combination of guys on the current 40 man roster?”

        I’m expecting a trade or two. Or Phil Hughes. The Cubs have let it be known that they have an opening in the rotation so something will definitely get done there more so than the lineup

      • Funn Dave

        I think it makes more sense to compose a roster of incumbents than to make a roster peppered with FA’s and be disappointed when we don’t sign them.

    • Hookers or Cake

      I think you’d see Valbuena before Watkins. And I still think they add an outfield bat.
      I’d be happy if we added Nelson Cruz. Maybe 2 years $30?

      • CubFan Paul

        “I think you’d see Valbuena before Watkins”

        Why?

        • willis

          I agree, Valbuena will be the starting 2B if it isn’t Barney. I’m fine with that and that is the only thing in the original posted lineup I can say I’d change. Olt as the 5th hitter…lord have mercy. And no, I don’t think the cubs do anything on the offensive side of the ball or add any pieces. I think whatever money they don’t have will go to a pitcher (one starter, one reliever, one TJ recovery who isn’t scheduled to pitch until August or later), plus they’ll save a little when they dump Shark.

          • CubFan Paul

            “Valbuena will be the starting 2B if it isn’t Barney”

            Again, why? Watkins is the ML ready prospect (my reason why) and Valbuena is the arbitration eligible .220 hitting utility man.

            • willis

              Defensively Watkins is a little better, but offensively I believe they like Valbuena because of his OBP and having a little more pop. Not saying it’s right, just saying that’s what I expect to happen if Olt wins the 3B job out of spring training.

              • CubFan Paul

                “Defensively Watkins is a little better”

                By most accounts Valbuena is the better middle infielder.

                “offensively I believe they like Valbuena because of his OBP”

                Sveum is gone (hopefully his Luis boner has gone down)

                “Valbuena…having a little more pop”

                Luis slugged .340 & .378 the last 2 years/198 games. Watkins slugged .400 between AA & AAA with an OBP of .360

                • willis

                  Yeah he did that in AA and AAA and never got much of a chance, for one reason or another, to do much of anything last year and when he played he didn’t show too much until the end. Again, I’m not saying I agree with it, but Valbuena has shown patience and pop at the major league level. He by all means isn’t a good 2B or a good 3B on a decent team, but on a team that is punting for awhile, he’s probably seen as the best in house option.

                  I wouldn’t mind seeing Watkins, because at this point I don’t care what the lineup is.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    We have different definitions of “pop” and “best in house option”

  • mvander524

    Brett or anyone, who are potential cheap options at leadoff outside of the orginization in free agents or possible trade options? I recall reading Denard Span might be avaliable as a cheap trade option.

    • Funn Dave

      Span would be great.

      • On The Farm

        Included in the Shark trade? Would Scheirholtz make any sense included in that deal? I am blanking who they have for OF other than Harper and Werth.

        • Funn Dave

          Couldn’t hurt. Given the way last season turned out, I bed they’d be willing to take a gamble.

  • Sect209Row15

    Yep. Bulls wont tank under Thibs but they need to try and win lottery for Jabari Parker. Local kid at Duke. Going to be the best one day. Sure am glad I sold all my season tickets for the Bulls. Ticket prices dropped 50%.

    • Jono

      Maybe the NBA will fix the lottery for Chicago again.

  • jon

    I was thinking about this the other day, many of us from Chicago are Cubs, Bull, & Bears fans. Sure we have the Hawks, but the Cubs immediate future looks bleak, so does the Bulls and the Bears(with that awful D) SUre we have the Hawks, but everything else, awful. Theo and Jed OWE it to us to not just tank away another season and at least try this year.

    • Jono

      -1

    • TWC

      “Theo and Jed OWE it to us…”

      No, they don’t. They don’t owe you anything.

      • Jono

        +1

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’ve been going to Wrigley since 1977 and honesty compels me to say the place is a dump. And worst of all it’s always been a bizarre attraction to the ballpark as opposed of actual winning. Hene the Luvable Loser tag that makes us the laughingstock of all of professional sports. Take that mindset and the middle age losers wearing their 37 pieces of Cub flair (to include at least six references to Ron Santo) and flush it down the toilet for good.

    • jon

      with you 100% on this one !

    • 1060Ivy

      Much like Fenway was a dump with too much bad mojo prior which they were considering tearing down in the late 90s. Then new ownership arrived, spent money on the ballpark – and the team. Now, no one considers leaving it.

    • Dave

      i agree 100%. I want the product on the field to be the main priority.
      Unfortunatley there are way too many Wrigley fans and ownership has made the Wrigley experience the main draw.
      Its a lot easier to sell the atmosphere to these folks than it is to put forth the effort to build a winner.

  • MichaelD

    I could understand if “White Sox” was just a slip of the tongue but combining it with the President’s favorite team means that some thought went into it.

    Apparently he knew Banks played for a Chicago team and searched for Chicago baseball and the White Sox came up. I find that surprising. I just googled “Chicago baseball team” and the first 11 results were all Cubs or generally about Chicago or Illinois baseball teams. The White Sox official site first came up at 12.

  • ssckelley

    It is weird how Theo has changed the thinking of some Chicagoans. Yesterday on the Score I listened to suggestions of the Bulls blowing up the team to build for the future in a way similar to what the Cubs FO did. Which I think is crazy for the Bulls to do, anytime you have the talent to get into the playoffs you should do it. Once in the playoffs anything can happen and I think it would be a shame for the Bulls to blow up the team since DRose is out for the year. Unless it gets to a point where it is obvious this team cannot make the playoffs. They did lose to the lowly Utah Jazz last night (their 2nd win of the year) so perhaps that is route to go.

    • jon

      There is no point in comparing baseball and basketball. In basketball, you can get caught in a proverbial “basketball hell”. That’s essentially being good enough to to just sneak in the playoffs, but never good enough to contend. The downside is you always draft in the middle rounds and never have a chance to get a superstar. In the NBA draft, it’s rare a superstar is found outside of the top 5. Sure there are exceptions, but few and far between.

      Full blown tanking is really the only way to rebuild in the NBA. Comparisons to baseball are not applicable, at all.

      • ssckelley

        Well I should add a big reason why they seen value in doing that is because of how deep next years draft is supposed to be. The Bulls have their own first round pick along with Charlotte’s.

        Perhaps they can trade Deng to acquire another pick. If they don’t they will still be a playoff team, it will not take much for Chicago to get into the playoffs in the East.

    • Funn Dave

      I am 100% anti-tanking, regarless of the circumstances. However, in terms of anything being possible once you get to the playoffs, I don’t think that’s necessarily as true in basketball as it is in baseball. Look at the Bucks last year: was there anyone in his or her right mind that thought they stood even the slightest chance against Miami in the playoffs?

      • jon

        I’m 100% pro tanking. The Spurs tanked and got Tim Duncan. Just sneaking in the playoffs is absolutely useless in basketball. Anything is NOT possible in the NBA playoffs. 7-8 seeds never win the title.

        • Funn Dave

          If you only care about acquiring stars and winning titles at some vague future date, then yes, tanking is for you. If you care more about the game of basketball itself & you don’t have to have the absolute best players to be able to enjoy it, then tanking ruins an otherwise perfectly good season.

        • Blublud

          The Spurs absolutely did not tank to get Tim Duncan. Boston had the worse record that year. The year before they drafted Duncan, David Robinson got hurt and missed most of the season. They still only had the 10th worse record that year, but thanks to the lottery (something baseball should look into) they were still able to get the #1pick. Saying they tanked to acquire Tim Duncan is absolutely false.

          • http://comicsandcardsupplies.com cms0101

            Exactly. It was Boston that tried to tank. That’s why the lottery is in place in the NBA. It prevents tanking teams from being guaranteed anything more than the 4th pick.

      • ssckelley

        No, but Miami is the exception not the rule. We have seen the #8 seed take down a #1 see in the playoffs. Besides if the Bulls continue the course without DRose I am fairly certain they can get a much better seed than the #8. The East is extremely top heavy with the Pacers and the Heat, it is possible a team with a losing record can get the 4 seed.

        • jon

          Get the #4 seed and then do what? Win a round and get their assed kicked by the Heat or Pacers. The Bulls aren’t winning shit without Rose.

          TANK TANK TANK!

          • ssckelley

            But it is going to take a LOT of tanking to be so bad to be out of the playoffs. The East is really bad and it will not take many wins to get into the playoffs. It also could cost the Bulls Thibs as I cannot see him being on board for tanking. IMO, any Bulls rebuild needs to involve Thibs.

            • jon

              I think Thibbs is an excellent in-game coach, but in terms of long term outlook, he can never seem to see the forest through the trees.

              • Jono

                yeah, thibs (or any coach) is not worth more than a player who can put the team on his back.

            • Pat

              Tanking in basketball doesn’t guarantee anything. Having the worst record is no guarantee of the top pick. Plus, even without Rose the Bulls aren’t nearly bad enough to even end up in the lottery.

              • Jono

                the way i see it, the lottery system supports the tanking idea because it means that bulls don’t have to be a bottom 5 team to get a top 5 pick. For the bulls, tanking is the difference between being in or out of the lottery.

              • Jono

                …and of course the bulls without rose aren’t bad enough to make the lottery. That’s the entire reason why the idea of tanking is being discussed

                • jon

                  Last year, not only was the team built with the idea Rose wouldn’t be there to start the year, in the back of the players minds, they always thought he would return in March/April for the home stretch.

                  I think this year is completely different. Just listening to this team, they sound deflated. You move Deng, and some more depth and they completely fall apart (crosses fingers)

                  • Jono

                    exactly. Maybe the NBA will fix the lottery for the Bulls again! (also crossing fingers)

              • ssckelley

                Pat you are right that the lottery does not guarantee anything but the idea of taking was presented on the Score because of how deep next years draft is going to be. Evidently even drafting 10-15 will get the Bulls a good player, which is where they hope Charlotte’s pick ends up (it is a protected top 10 I think). The Bulls could come away with 2 pretty good players out of next years draft, along with Mirotic the Bulls could be in good shape next season.

          • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

            Their are 5 legitimate superstars in next years NBA draft. Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Smart, and Gordon. The Bulls will have Charlottes pick(10-12) + their own pick. They also have Nikola Mirotic who is the best European basketball player in the world. He should come to the states next year. I’m on board with a full on tank if it means the Bulls get a top 5 pick… With a tank job and a top 5 pick the Bulls lineup could look like…

            PG – Rose
            SG – Butler
            SF – Jabari Parker(my preference)
            PF – Mirotic
            C – Noah

            Not bad.

            • jon

              This ^

            • ssckelley

              Mirotic looks like the real deal, with the Bulls still owning his rights the rebuild will be a quick one if DRose can make his way back. But the question is can they find anyone to take Boozer, he is signed through next season.

              • jon

                They can amnesty Boozer if they want.

              • Jono

                could the bulls use amnesty for Boozer? If they could trade him and get his salary off their books, great. But if not, amnesty might be an option

                • ssckelley

                  I don’t think amnesty is an option for Boozer, there is no reason to pay him 16.8 million to sit at home just to save money on luxury tax. Assuming they do not bring Deng back that is 14 million off the books along with Hinrich (4 million). Mirotic will probably cost the Bulls around 5 million to sign him away from Europe and the 2 first round picks are locked in contracts.

            • Blublud

              That Charlotte pick is protected til 2016, so don’t really count on that pick until then. By that time, charlotte could be good and that pick could be worth less as a late rounder.

        • Jono

          An 8 seed beating a 1 seed is so rare that it’s an historic event.

        • Funn Dave

          Again, I’m with you and I don’t want to see the Bulls punt on the season, but it’ll take at least a good month of some pretty deft basketball by the non-Rose Bulls to convince me that they have a chance against Miami, whom they would inevitably have to play, regardless of seeding.

          • ssckelley

            Honestly, long term I worry more about the Pacers than I do the Heat. I cannot help but wonder how much longer DWade can keep playing at a high level. While the Pacers are young and very talented.

    • Jono

      NBA playoffs don’t fall into the “anything can happen” category. And simply getting into the playoffs isn’t a big deal. Lots of teams get in.

    • Indy57

      Worked for Indy as we were able to land Luck. The right player(s) makes all the difference.

    • MichaelD

      “Once in the playoffs anything can happen …”

      This is true in baseball, football and especially hockey but it is not true in basketball. The NBA has only ever seen one six seed and one four seed ever win an NBA title. Every other title was won by a one, two or three seed.

      • Funn Dave

        Wow. Telling statistic.

    • JulioZuleta

      The suggestion that Theo Epstein has someone influenced Bulls fans to want to tank is preposterous. Tanking has been a thing in the NBA for a long time. It also has been a good thing for a while. I guess it depends on what you want out of your teams. I am an all or nothing guy…I’d take 1 Finals appearance and 9 0-82 years over 10 50-32 and first round exit years, but that’s just me. Losing in the playoffs does nothing for me if progress isn’t being made. Let’s hope the Bulls tank and David Stern pulls a David Stern and rigs the lottery for us again. All that being said, the NBA is the absolute worst.

      • ssckelley

        Preposterous, seriously? I am going to disagree with you on that, if anything it has made the fans of both teams more accepting of the idea. Heck, I have heard some fans suggest the Bears do it.

        • JulioZuleta

          Preposterous. And as other have said, the strategy in baseball does not parallel the strategy in the NBA or NFL. A high draft pick in the NBA or NFL can have an immediate, substantial impact on the professional club. Not the same in baseball. In both the NBA and the NFL, teams can generally make a much quicker turnaround than in baseball. The strategies are not comparable. I for one think the Bulls should tank (not that I care about the NBA), but anyone that claims that the Bulls should tank because the Cubs are rebuilding, or that Theo Epstein has somehow influenced their thinking, is way off.

          • ssckelley

            Again I disagree, and I never said that the Bulls should tank because the Cubs are tanking but fans of both teams are more receptive to it. Since Theo has came on board with the Cubs, the impression I get is more Chicagoan’s are receptive to blowing up teams in order to rebuild. Even your comments suggesting that if the Bulls cannot win the championship then they might as well blow it up, proving my point.

            With or without DRose the Bulls are still considered a playoff team in the East. It would take a heck of a lot of losing in order for the Bulls to put themselves in position to get a top 5 pick. So that player that can have “an immediate, substantial impact” is probably not going to be there regardless what the Bulls do. The East has 2 real good teams and then a bunch of garbage and 6 of those garbage teams will make the playoffs. If the draft is as deep as experts claim then the Bulls having 2 picks 11-20 should still have an impact. Next season the Bulls already have their top 5 pick in the wings in Mirotic.

  • Senor Cub

    Wrigley is #1! You would think they would speed it along, the City knows it’s implications and the lost revenue by dragging this along just like the rooftop owners. The sooner the renovations are completed, the sooner a winning product is put on display, the sooner everyone’s pockets get fatter. Who doesn’t get that!

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  • CubsFanSaxMan

    I LOVE the Dickey effect. I have always wondered why there weren’t more knuckle ball pitchers. Is it any more difficult to throw than any other pitch? I have heard that it is less stressful on the arm, maybe proved by how long (age wise) knuckle ball pitches seem to last. I seem to remember several knuckle ball pitchers when I was a lad (a long time ago). Based on this article every staff should have one!

    • Funn Dave

      Yes, it’s very difficult for pitchers to overcome its inherently erratic nature and pitch with control.

  • Funn Dave

    “It boggles my mind that some folks aren’t completely on board with the renovation plan, which will not only increase the amenities (and basic utilities) for fans, but will keep the best ballpark in baseball operational for decades more. Moving to a cement paradise in the suburbs? Please. Wrigley Field is a one-of-a-kind, and I am eagerly awaiting the renovation getting underway.”

    Hear, hear.

  • Jim

    I had heard that part of the deal that Obama give Banks the Medal of Freedom is he had to agree that the history books would be rewritten to actually show that Ernie played for the White Sox. He told Ernie that it is not that hard to lie, he does it all the time.

    • hansman

      No matter your political leanings, this is never ok on BN.

      The only news/rumor/leadership bashing/apologizing that is acceptable here is as it relates to the Cubs.

      • Funn Dave

        He’s not talking politics at all. He’s poking fun at the fact that someone involved in this story happens to be a Sox fan, and that person happens to be the president. I understand the desire to avoid political rants, but, jeez, that doesn’t mean you have to throw up red flags every time someone utters the name of a politician.

        • DarthHater

          Right. How could anyone possibly fail to see that it is not the least bit political to say that the President lies all the time?

          • Funn Dave

            Whups didn’t see that last part.

        • On The Farm

          “He’s poking fun at the fact that someone involved in this story happens to be a Sox fan, and that person happens to be the president. ”

          When he did the whole: “He told Ernie that it is not that hard to lie, he does it all the time.” thing it kind of brought politics into the picture.

          If he would have stopped before the lying part it probably would have flown because the president is a Sox fan, but the fact the he said “I lie all the time” changes it into a political dig.

          • hansman

            “If he would have stopped before the lying part it probably would have flown because the president is a Sox fan, but the fact the he said “I lie all the time” changes it into a political dig”

            This.

            • Jon

              It was a harmless joke, but as usual, you’re being a douche and making something out of nohing

              • hansman

                That is CAPTAIN Douche to you.

                • ncsujuri

                  Why is the Pillsbury doughboy riding in the douche canoe???

              • kscubfan

                Don’t think he is the only one, if you are going to post jokes about politics do it on Facebook like everyone else.

            • Jim

              Lighten up. I thought the way I wrote it made it perfectly clear that it was a joke. Politicians lie, that is what they do. Why? Because we can’t handle the truth!

        • hansman

          Unless that politician is doing something that directly impacts the Cubs (i.e. Rahm Emmanuel), there is ZERO reason they need to be mentioned here.

          • ncsujuri

            What if it’s about a politician eating hamburgers?? Hmmmm

  • bbmoney

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/astros-regional-sports-network-awash-in-losses-and-lawsuits/

    One of the reasons I’m concerned, from a Cubs revenue perspective, that the Cubs will miss out on the TV deal ‘bubble’. Not a trend or anything…..yet at least…..but one data point that these deals could be slowing down.

  • MightyBear

    Jacoby Ellsbury will be leading off for the Cubs in 2014 and beyond. Wrigley Field is still the best baseball park in the world. Period.

    • willis

      C’mon, do you really think they are going to trade Shark and possibly Castro just to go out and blow huge money on Ellsbury?

      They are about to dump a very good, fairly young, durable starting pitcher and could be shopping other pieces…it screams shredding, not adding. They’re not going to spend the kind of coin it takes for Ellsbury. I wouldn’t mind seeing it, trust me. But they aren’t going to do it.

      • CubFan Paul

        Theo&Co are trading Shark because he doesn’t want to sign an extension, not because they can’t afford him.

        • willis

          He doesn’t want to sign a cheap extension. I think he’d love to stay with the cubs for the right price, but they aren’t going to pay him what he wants. And probably won’t give him a no trade clause either, which he could be desiring.

          Knowing this, he may just assume be traded seeing that the cubs are punting for awhile yet and won’t pay him what he feels he is worth on the open market. Either way, dumping him signals to me that it’s just another step back in the rebuild, which then tells me they aren’t going to go drop $100 million or whatever on Ellsbury. Why would they?

          • CubFan Paul

            “Why would they”

            Because they have the money (from expiring contracts).

            Getting value for a short term asset (Samardzija) has nothing to do with the leadoff problem (Ellsbury)

            • willis

              I’m just curious, and surely not trying to argue, but what makes you so sure they have money to spend on FAs, especially ones that will cost as much as Ellsbury. Everything we’ve heard or read has spoken to the contrary, to the point that they were back peddling on spending money on EJax last season.

              I’d much rather believe that money is not an issue here. So if you can lead me to that light, I’d greatly appreciate it.

              • CubFan Paul

                “what makes you so sure they have money to spend on FAs..such as Ellsbury”

                As I said above @12.59pm, there’s open payroll space. Enough to sign two Ellsbury. The payroll has been capped at $105Mish so there’s plenty of room for any signing from this market.

                “Everything we’ve heard or read has spoken to the contrary”

                False. The Front Office leaked to the local media that they have enough for one ‘impact free agent’ a couple of weeks ago. I took it as common sense because of the low payroll obligations going forward.

                “to the point that they were back peddling on spending money on EJax”

                Theo ‘backpedaled’ on that signing to a stupid fan who probably knew/knows nothing about rebuilding/team building/baseball economics. Had the fan asked a smarter question (not “EJax sucks. Why did you waste $52M?), he/she would of have gotten a smarter answer.

                “I’d much rather believe that money is not an issue here”

                Money is only an issue if they want to go beyond the payroll/budget limitations (Tanaka)

      • MightyBear

        They’re not trading Castro unless its part of a package that blows them away. Castro isn’t going to be traded. Barring something really unusual, he will be the starting shortstop for the Cubs in 2014

        • ncsujuri

          You won’t be able to make the same statement come the middle of the year or next offseason if Starlin has rebounded and Baez continues to tear up the minors. I agree they won’t move him with his value decreased but if it comes back up and they have a ready replacement in Javy, you better believe they’d flip him.

          • CubFan Paul

            “and they have a ready replacement in Javy, you better believe they’d flip him”

            Or the more realistic option: Move Javy to second base or center field instead of creating another hole in the lineup

            • Mick

              I’d rather Alcantara at 2B, Javy at SS, and Castro on another club. Trading Castro for anything would be an addition by subtraction, I’m just down on us actually getting anything decent in return. Let’s pray he has a good season next year to make him movable next offseason.

              • CubFan Paul

                So promote a kid and trade away the cost controlled veteran who’s locked in cheap until his prime.

                • cub2014

                  trading castro this off season would
                  be very dumb

                • cub2014

                  i believe in 2019 we will owe castro
                  around 11mil. if he comes back to
                  his historical numbers he will be an
                  absolute steal then

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Three team deal with Bulls, Celtics, and Rockets – Noah and Teague to Celtics, Rondo and Mohammed to Rockets, Asik and Lin to Bulls.
    Then trade Deng and Bulls # 1 pick in 2014 to Sixers for Evan Turner and Hawes.
    Starting lineup is Lin at PG, Turner at SG, Asik at C, Butler at SF and Boozer at PF with a bench of Hinrich , Gibson, Dunleavy, Hawes, and Snell.

  • FullCountTommy

    Why would the Bulls do this??? If they were smart they would trade Deng, Boozer, and maybe even Noah and go into full rebuild

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      They can still amnesty Boozer at end of year. Turner is on the last year of his deal and if you do not want to extend him then let him go, but he is a guy who can create his own shot and is averaging over 20 per game this year. Asik is a better C than Noah and without the injury history. Lin replaces the scoring we miss from losing Rose again and only has one more year on his deal. Hawes offers a better option as a stretch 4 or a decent backup C and is certainly an upgrade over Mohammed. He also is on the last year of his deal.

    • ssckelley

      Deng is the only one the Bulls might be able to get something back in value. Just the fact that Deng is a free agent next season has value, it frees up cap room to go after free agents.

      The Bulls are not going to get anything worth while for Boozer and the NBA does not allow teams to simply shed salary, if he was in the last year of his contract then it is a different story (see Deng).

      But I think Noah is a valuable piece going forward, even in a rebuild mode, top of the line centers are very hard to find.

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