The Cubs Off-Season Report – Extra Innings

Some Cubs Rumors….Some Cubs News….plus a Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

The biggest news on Thursday was Ken Rosenthal’s article about Miguel Tejada and Mark Prior (scroll down). The CCO tries to report as much credible news as possible, just not ‘what we hear’. Anything coming from Ken Rosenthal is credible. This story has legs, I just wonder how much of it will happen.

There were other ex-Cubs in the news on Thursday. Rondell White signed with the Minnesota Twins, Mark Bellhorn signed with the San Diego Padres and Matt Lawton admitted using steroids. According to several reports Lawton admitted to taking horse steroids in September 2005 because he got desperate and wanted to make a playoff roster. A late report on XM said Lawton signed a 1-year deal with the Mariners.

Here is some interesting tidbits that I have kept notes on over the past couple of months….enjoy!!!

“Watch him hit, and you think of Edgar Martinez. Disciplined, can run (4.5/40) and is a third- or fourth-place hitter in the major leagues.” – Peter Gammons – discussing Cubs Left Fielder Matt Murton.

Peter Pasquerelli said in November before the Winter Meetings that there is a lot of pressure on General Managers to sign the players who they have targeted for their clubs. Most of the free agent signings during the 2000 Winter Meetings are no longer with those teams and Manny Ramirez wants out of Boston. He said the Mets have committed $256 million dollars on players after the signing of Pedro Martinez last off-season.

The CCO received a comment a few months back and asked what Dick Pole, the bench coach for the Cubs actually does. As far as what Pole actually does, I am not sure….but this is what a bench coach is supposed to do according to Buck Martinez and Larry Bowa. A bench coach is used to bounce scenarios off of and the bench coach should have a good relationship with the manager. Some of their responsibilities are to keep the lineup straight and to remind the manager of certain situations on the field that the manager may have missed. According to Bowa, a good bench coach is very important to the manager and teams success.

We have all read the recent entry on concerning the progress Ronny Cedeno has had while playing in Venezuela this winter (article). Here is another update from the Sporting News during the Winter Meeting: “INF Ronny Cedeno is making a smooth adjustment to second while playing for Aragua in Venezuela this winter in hopes of securing a spot in the 2006 starting lineup. A natural shortstop, Cedeno needs to get used to reversing his moves and throws from the right side of the infield. He was impressing Cubs brass who have seen him.” Keep hitting Ronny!!!

According to Larry Bowa when asked about all of the moves this off-season: ‘On paper a team is only good for Fantasy Baseball. Every team has to play 162 games.’

(Before the Winter Meetings) Paul White from USAToday Sports said teams are overpaying in years, not dollars. Teams should look at front-loading contracts so there is not so much to trade when the player is no longer effective.

(After the Winter Meetings) Jeff Erickson said the ‘smart teams will find the bargains’.

In 2005, the Cubs relievers posted a combined 21-27 record with a 4.24 ERA and blew 19 save opportunities. In 2004, the Cubs bullpen had a 28-22 record with a 4.03 ERA and 24 blown saves.

There were VERY good ideas on ‘If You Were the Cubs GM….’ post on Thursday (scroll down), if you have anything to add or have yet to say what YOU would do….leave your ideas….you never know who is reading.

Check back this weekend for Another View of A Kerry Wood Sighting. Remember to check in with the CCO over the Holidays for your updated Cubs News, if it happens you will be able to read about your Cubbies here.

From everyone at Chicago Cubs Online….Happy Holidays!!!

Well, that’s the news and I’m sticking to it!!

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney