The Chicago Cubs week that was and more Cubs stuff

cubs-girl

After a crazy Cubs week, full of news and groundbreaking signings like those of Trever Miller and Matt Tolbert combined with another eye-opening list of prospects from BA that no one has ever thought of before, it is hard just to catch one’s breath.

Can you sense the sarcasm? Good, because I am laying it on pretty thick.

And as I am typing this, word breaks across the wire that the Cubs landed themselves and 18-year-old Cuban prodigy. I am pretty sure that I had something to with that by typing the opening paragraph at the precise time I did. You are welcome.

And I digress, it has been rather quiet so new prospect lists are a good way to create conversation and discussion and debate. Who is the Cubs best prospect? I have no idea. That is as honest as I can be.

So, let’s shake it up with some ramblings on a Friday. And I sure hope this can create some good banter to get the Super weekend started.

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2010 MLB Mock Draft 2.0 (6-2-10)

Bryce Harper

With the 2010 MLB draft just five days away, it’s time for the second version of its mock up, complete with a few changes big and small.

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

Mauer Keeps it Small Market, Gives Fielder Fans Hope

By: Melissa S. Wollering

Prince Fielder and Joe Mauer are two very different MLB players.  The one thing they could have in common—a desire to buck the trend of big market baseball and stay with their respective clubs, steering clear of the free agent market free-for-all. 

If Joe Mauer’s eight-year $184 million deal Sunday sounded a lot like Mark Teixeira’s, your memory serves you correctly. As Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio walked around Maryvale Ballpark in Arizona Monday, his checkbook was probably burning a hole in his pocket. But before he pulls out his pen, Mark knows three things matter when it comes to Fielder: Milwaukee’s ability to cough up a comparable chunk of coin, the projected long-term success of the ballclub and the returning talent on its roster. [Read more…]

DOUCHEBRACKET REGIONAL SEMI-FINALS PETER CHRISTIAN REGIONAL

By Peter Christian

 Welcome to the d-bag bracket, a tournament deciding the most insufferable douchebags in all of sports. Please feel free to comment as much as possible, because your feedback will help determine who advances to the Final Four.

#9 Jay Mariotti vs. #12 Rick Reilly

The two once hyped sports writers who have fallen on hard times as they lost touch with their industry and their audience. Mariotti’s whiny bitchiness on Around the Horn coupled with his quitting of the Chicago Sun-Times is sure to be a tough match-up for Reilly’s moaning about the internet blogosphere and complete unwillingness to progress his writing style. However, douchey pictures of Reilly floating around the internet may be the “X” “Y” and “Z” factors in this match made in heaven face-off.

How they got here:

Mariotti beat #8 seed Kelvin Sampson in the first round rather easily due to Sampson really trying to hide from the spotlight. Sampson’s past transgressions against the storied Indiana basketball program was able to keep him competitive in the first half, but Mariotti put Sampson away by yelling loudly about sports topics that no one really argues about. In the second round, Mariotti jumped all over the OKC NBA Franchise (who made easy work of Pac-Man Jones in the first round due to Jones’ inability to make it rain with quarters and dime-bags) by using borderline slanderous and libelous statements about more than half of the OKC roster. In the end, Mariotti won the douchey match-up in the paint against Clay Bennett by hypocritically calling Bennett out for jumping from a sinking ship.

 

Rick Reilly was the perfect #12 seed hitting their stride at the right time and getting the match-up of a #5 seed (Mike Pereira) who peaked in mid-January. Reilly’s terrible writing and public attacks of sports blogs was way too much for the NFL Chief of Officiating Pereira’s defense of the officials terrible calls, even if they went against him. Ralph Macchio was even overheard saying early in the first half, “this is going to be a bloodbath!”

Reilly’s second round match-up was very emotional as he was forced to compete against one of Reilly’s favorite people to talk about. Tim Tebow repeated over and over about how he was going to use God’s will to lift himself up to victory, however Reilly’s holier than thou writing style was finally able to put Tebow in his place as he won in OT.

#3 Scott Boras vs. #7 A-Rod

Yes it is client vs. agent in this Sweet 16 match-up. Boras and A-Rod are both completely comfortable in showing off their lack of a soul. Boras v. A-Rod is guaranteed to be one of those events that will be talked about in years to come. Laettner’s shot against Kentucky will have nothing on this match-up. Boras’ ability to self-serve and manipulate everyone around him will be the keys to Boras moving around. A-Rod will have to prove that he can take control of a situation, while continuing his lack of any sense of judgment in order to take down his chief negotiator.

 

How they got here:

Boras scored the blow-out of the Regional in the first round by taking down #14 seed Bob Stoops. Boras was at his best in undermining the morals of all in attendance by convincing them that winning wasn’t as important as making the more money than you are worth is. Stoops was in shambles once he realized that he would much rather be aligned with Boras rather than against him. Boras also made easy work of the mental midget that was #11 seed Brad Childress. Although, Chili quickly caught on to Boras’ “winning isn’t important” method, Chili was left in the dust when Boras was making the fans pay for their tickets twice so that he could receive more of the gate receipts.

A-Rod struggled in his 1st round match-up against #10 seeded Ed Hochuli mostly because A-Rod was trying to pose provocatively with Ed’s biceps. However, late in the game, because of a terrible rule loophole, Ed cooked his own goose by blowing the whistle too early, which allowed A-Rod to continue talking about him being young, naïve and stupid. Ed apologized profusely after the call, even saying that if he could he would take the call back but that the rules in their current form just don’t allow it. His actual remorse allowed A-Rod to move on. #2 Seeded Roger Goodell (who took down financial moron Gary Bettman in round one by explaining revenue sharing, parity and an actual salary cap) was ahead of A-Rod for most of their second round match-up by continually making decisions that were considered to be anti-fun. However A-Rod was able to advance on a last second miracle when he pretended to kiss himself in a mirror to tie the game and then win by faking a serious hip injury so that he wouldn’t get booed at Yankee Stadium.

Twins Pitchers, Catchers and Grounds Crew Reporting

By David Palmer

With pitchers and catcher officially reporting to spring training in the next couple of days, the Twins go to war with basically the same roster they had to finish last year.  The biggest acquisition we made was hiring a groundskeeper for Target Field.

Before Twins General Manager Bill Smith came around, Terry Ryan was widely known as one of the league’s best and smartest.  I have raked on the Twins front office quite a bit this off-season, but for good reason.  Trades and free agents continue to slip through our fingers for no particular reason.  We are like the Troy Williamson of professional franchises.  As Peter Christian has mentioned before, Bill Smith might possibly be the worst negotiator of all time.  I would love to hear the phone conversation between Bill Smith and Scott Boras in negotiations for Joe Crede.  It probably goes something like this:

Smith: Hey Satan, it’s Bill Smith.

Boras: Umm, Who?

Smith: You know, GM for the Minnesota Twins.  Any chance of coming down on the Crede price?

Boras: Minnesota has a baseball team?

Smith: How is his back doing?

Boras: He’ll be fine, and we’re only asking for $7 million for 1 year.

Smith: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa there Scotty, who do you think we are, the Yankees?

Boras: Sorry Bill, that’s the best we can do.  I’ve got to go, there are some orphanages that I have to burn down.

Smith: Okie dokie, before you go, do you have any free agent pitchers over the age of 40 that we could sign?

Boras: No, but I hear Scott Erickson wants to come out of retirement.

Smith: NICE! Do you have his number?

It might be the biggest negotiating mismatch since the US purchased Alaska from Russia for 2 cents an acre in 1867. 

You will be hearing a lot about the Twins bullpen over the next six weeks, and rightfully so- they sucked ass last year.  If Guerrier can’t regain his 2007 form and Mijares doesn’t pan out, we are in serious trouble.  No fear though, Luis Ayala brings his 5.71 ERA from the Mets to our ‘pen.  That should straighten things out.  Hopefully he can bring some of that great Met karma with him too.

On a lighter note, as I mentioned before, we just picked up our second groundskeeper in franchise history; the great Larry DiVito was hired to head the crew at Target Field in 2010.  For those who haven’t followed Larry’s career in depth, he was head groundskeeper for the Nationals the past three seasons.  He cut his teeth as a groundskeeper in Rhode Island for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.

This is where he first learned his craft under the tutelage of the legendary Dino Caparelli. Things didn’t come easy at first for Larry.  He struggled with the fortune and fame of groundskeeper apprentice.  Fast women, a faster buzz (from mixing Vicodin and laundry detergent), and high-stakes games of cribbage consumed his nights.  But, it all caught up to him on August 2nd 1999.  During a day game between Pawtucket and Scranton, DiVito ran naked onto the field with some sort of spray screaming, “the dung beetles are everywhere, we’ve got to get rid of the dung beetles!”   He was checked into rehab the next day.

This is where he became a born-again Christian and vowed to never touch laundry detergent again.   Ok, I obviously made that whole behind-the-music type of story up, but if Larry can keep the infield grass a little longer, Gomez might have 150 bunt hits in 2010.  Brett Butler, who had 41 bunt hits in 1992, holds the MLB record.  That is well within reach for Gomez.  He led the majors with 30 last year, on turf I might add.  The left side of the infield at Target Field should be a marshland.

This is one of the best times of year because this is when hope springs eternal for all major league squads; everyone thinks they have a chance, even the Brewers.  The weather is thawing a little bit, and baseball can seriously be discussed for the next 8 months.   I couldn’t be happier, World Series here we come.