With Christmas in the rearview mirror and only six days remaining in the year, does Jim Hendry have anything in the works that would allow Twenty-Ten to end on a positive note?
If Jim Hendry keeps to his New Year tradition, it could be an interesting week on the North Side. The Cubs GM has made headlines each of the last two New Year’s Eves … the Mark DeRosa trade in 2008 and agreeing to terms with Marlon Byrd in 2009.
Mike Quade spent a little time with Dave Kaplan on the first show of WGN Sports Night … and from what the Cubs’ new skipper said there is “no chance” Alfonso Soriano will hit leadoff for the Cubs in 2011.
It is the last Sunday of 2010, here is the update including an updated off-season calendar, more from Mike Quade and a few notes from Talkin’ Baseball …
Mike Quade joined Dave Kaplan at the top of the second hour on Thursday night. Quade discussed fishing, shopping for a new fishing boat and of course, the Cubs on the first night of Kaplan’s new show.
Quade is very happy to have Kerry Wood back and said Wood “fell into our lap.” Quade explained that Wood loves Chicago and he wants to pitch for the Cubs. Quade pointed out not only can he help the bullpen but Wood can also handle Wrigley. Quade talked to Wood at Ron Santo’s funeral (and after at Dempster’s function) but he had no indications that Kerry would return … and never thought about the possibility.
Quade said having Wood back is a great Christmas present.
The Cubs have high hopes for Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro. Quade was very blunt and said they are not sure how Castro and Colvin will respond in their second season. He explained that the ‘Sophomore Slump‘ can be real, just ask Geovany Soto. Quade sounded determined to not let Colvin and Castro struggle in their second season in the big leagues.
Kaplan tried to find out what Quade was thinking for a lineup and the Cubs’ skipper would not commit. He said they have several options for leadoff and may base their decision early in the season on match-ups.
Mike Quade said Alfonso Soriano no longer fits in the leadoff spot and he does not see any situation in which Soriano is the Cubs leadoff hitter again. Quade used words such as “no chance” and “will try to avoid at all cost” when Kaplan asked the question about Soriano leading off for the second time.
As for the Cubs Opening Day starter, Quade said Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano are the first two to come to mind. Quade did not commit to which pitcher would take the ball on Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Mike Quade wrapped up the interview by saying the Cubs have a lot to do.
Quade sounded confident, which has become the norm with him, throughout the interview. But he also sounded like he realizes that he and his staff have a lot of work to do when Spring Training begins.
Tidbits from Bruce Levine
As they say, the show must go on … Bruce Levine and Jesse Rogers hosted the ESPNChicago.com Sports Reporters on Christmas morning, with the last hour being dedicated to Talkin’ Baseball. Here are the few bits of info Levine passed along …
- Gary Matthews, Sr. (The Sarge) will also be in the discussion to be Pat Hughes’ new partner.
- Others in the mix include Dave Otto, Rick Sutcliffe and Randy Hundley.
- Levine is hearing and has been told that Rick Sutcliffe really wants the job.
- Levine does not think Mark Grace will leave TV in Arizona for radio in Chicago … plus the Cubs and WGN might not be able to match, or beat, what Grace is making on the TV side calling games for the Diamondbacks.
- The Cubs can trump any decision WGN makes on the Cubs’ new color-man.
- The Cubs are still looking to add a starting pitcher.
- Levine said the Cubs continue to look at Matt Garza but the sentiment is Tampa Bay will hold on to Garza … and could wait to deal him at the trade deadline.
- As for Brandon Webb, the Cubs are still interested … along with the Nationals and one other team. Webb is looking for only a one-year deal. He wants a year to prove he is healthy so he can be a free agent after the year and sign a multi-year deal next off-season.
2010-2011 Off-Season Calendar
- 5 – Cubs Spring Training Single-Game Tickets Go on Sale
- 5 – 15 – Salary arbitration filing period
- (6 – BBWAA Hall of Fame voting announced)
- 14 – 16 – 26th Annual Cubs Convention
- 18 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures
- 1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
- 13 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for pitchers, catchers and injured players
- 15 – End of Waiver Period
- 16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
- 18 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for other players
- 27 – Cactus League Opening Day – Cubs vs. A’s at HoHoKam Park, Mesa
- 1 – Mandatory reporting date to Spring Training for all players
- 2 – 11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
- 14 – Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
- 28 – Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2010 salary
- 29 – Cubs Final Spring Training Game – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, Mesa
- 30 – Cubs’ Intrasquad Game at HoHoKam Park, Mesa
- 30 – All clubs must reduce their active roster to 25 players
- 31 – Opening Day for 2011 Baseball Season
- 1 – Opening Day for Chicago Cubs – Cubs vs. Pirates at Wrigley Field
Will Update Off-Season Calendar throughout winter
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Well, that’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.