Happy Two Thousand Eleven!

Happy New from everyone at the CCO!

Another year over and a new one just begun … it is hard to believe it is 2011. With the calendar turning over once again, it means a new baseball season is just around the corner. Here are a few numbers to put into perspective on just how close it is to the 2011 season … 13, 44, 57 and 90.

As in 13 days until the 26th Cubs Convention, 44 days until pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park, 57 days until the Cubs’ Cactus League opener against the Oakland A’s at HoHoKam Park and 90 days before the first pitch of the 2011 season at Wrigley Field.

While the play on the field was less than desirable, and worse than many predicted, for a majority of the 2010 campaign, it was a great year at the CCO. From the Cubs Convention to Spring Training to the daily grind of the season, we had a blast.

I tip my cap to all of the readers and commenters you guys fuel the site on a daily basis. The CCO set new highs in hits, unique visitors and return visitors on weekly and monthly basis throughout the year.

I send out my thanks to Brian, Brandon, Patrick, Shaun and Tom for all of your hard work and contributions to the site in 2010 … and to my buddy Jim that helps me keep the site online.

It is hard to believe, and I’m very thankful for the fact, the CCO enters its sixth calendar year today, with our seventh season of covering Cubs’ baseball just around the bend.

What’s in store for 2011? We will just have to wait and see … it’s too bad the Gray’s Sports Almanac expired in the year 2000.

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
-T.S. Eliot

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and prosperous Two Thousand Eleven. It’s Time to Make It Happen … Eamus Catuli!

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver
  • http://www.facebook.com/joespencerdistrictg JoeS_Henderson

    HAPPY NEW YEAR NEIL! And the same to everyone else in the CCO family! Here’s to another great yeat of news, chat, and banter on the greatest Cubs Blog out there…the CCO!!!

  • Ken Hubbs

    Thanks to you, Neil, your ‘staff’, and to all of the posters who combine to make this the best Cub’s site on the planet. While we worry, to put it mildly, about what the front office might do, we love the sport, our players, and we love to laugh, cheer, moan, and commiserate with our fellow fans. Some of my fondest Cub memories are of running into a bunch of die-hards in a bar after a road game in Cincinnati or St. Louis, and how I look forward to my first spring training! Whether it’s our favorite players, from my Dad’s Frank Baumholtz to
    my current crop of Dempster, Wood, Byrd, and Colvin, or a long list of great ‘homey’ announcers, or to train rides to Wrigley with boyhood friends – well,
    to paraphrase James Earl Jones in that great documentary, Field of Dreams – there was always baseball. Hmmm, all those great memories and not one WS appearance. Go figure. I wouldn’t trade my team and my fellow fans for any other in baseball, and that includes that team back east with those 20 something championships. Can’t drink anymore, so it must be the Kool-Aid.
    Here’s to a great 2011 and more memories. Happy New Year, everyone.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Well put Ken Happy New Year and happy New Year to everybody at the CCO!

      THANKS NEIL! It’s my pleasure, and it’s a lot of fun!

      Ron Santo you will be missed in 2011 and for years to come!

      It’s new year time for a fresh batch of Kool-Aid! As Ronnie always said THIS IS THE YEAR!!!! Anything is possible!
      Even if the Cubs fail miserably(which a lot of people are predicting), I am still excited about another year of Cubs Baseball! I can’t wait to see what our prospects do this year, and how our young guys like Castro, Colvin, Cashner, DeWitt, and Barney do.
      I can’t wait to see Castro and Byrd make highlight reel defensive plays on the field. Watching Marmol strike out the side in the 9th. Hearing Pat Hughes say it’s well hit, it back, it’s deep, it’s gotta chance GONE! A 3 Run shot by Tyler Colvin off of Zack Greinke, and the Cubs Lead 7-2!
      I can’t wait to see Brett Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer and Robinson Chirinos playing with the big league club.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZHTMAIGK4MF65LJQK54NZL62JI Jim

    Happy New Year to all of Cub Nation!

  • roseyc

    Happy new Neil to the best Cubs site and the best Cubs fans and here’s to the Cubs performing miracles this year

  • Tony

    Happy New Year to all of CCO!

    It is really hard to start a year that you feel has no chance to see a competitive Cubs team. I would love to see the stars align, and we get comeback seasons from our aging core.

    I hope that another player hits his way onto the team in ST (and this time they actually play him, out of the gate).

    I hope our pitching staff, can be as solid as last year, and that a young Andrew Cashner, can excel in the starting role (if he could bring a friend with, to do the same, that would be nice.)

    I hope Quade was the best choice (even though I am still mad, about Ryno).

    I hope production, determines playing time, not the size of a contract.

    I hope for JH to be fired…there really is no hope for him.

    I hope for the Ricketts, to have had a plan and that we actually can start to see what it is…soon.

    I hope, more than anything, to see a competive Cubs team, year after year, that one day, gets to celebrate a World Series Championship, with all of its faithful.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You really nailed the truth when you said, “My hope for Jim Clueless is that he’d get fired…there really is no hope for him.” “Hopeless Jim Clueless.” Right on!

      I expect him to be rehired by P.K. Ricketts . . . . Happy New Year! LOL

  • Ripsnorter1

    Happy New Year to Neil and all the CCO readers and commenters!

    I have to say that I love the CCO. I really enjoy mixing it up with the likes of all of you commenters. My prayer/wish for each one of you is that 2011 will be a great year in every way.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Derek Lee is now a Baltimore Oriole. Good Luck to him he is a classy player and one of my favorites in recent years!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Hey Patrick … at least Brian Roberts is finally his second baseman.

  • The Maven

    Happy New Year to everyone at CCO! We may not always agree on everything, but we all agree on one thing. All of us would like to see the Cubs with a World Series trophy!

  • paulcatanese

    Happy New Year to everyone on the site. I’m looking forward to about 100 HR between Sori,Rami,Pena, and Colvin make a difference to counter the stikeouts they will have. I don’t think it will and the young guys need to play and develop this year,now. I hope Colvin will improve on his strike zone, the others,no chance they will. It is un-real that they will “career” years to get it done. Bad habits are hard to get rid of. Still full of hope though.

  • GrantJones7

    Everybody at CCO thanks for all the updates and great articals

  • MikeT_2008

    Thanks for all you do Neil, I know I speak for everyone on here when I say that, you give us all the info we crave year round and you give honest assesments of all parts of the Cubs which I really appreciate. Happy New Year to everyone and maybe this is finally this is the “next year” we’ve all been waiting for.

  • jey518

    Happy New Year everyone! I read daily but only post occasionally. Everyone is doing a fantastic job with the site, it’s my favorite on the web. All the hard work is appreciated. Keep up the good work guys.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Thanks guys for all of the kind words … Happy New Year to everyone!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

    cco’ers rock! Go Neil and Crew! Thanks for not only being the CCO president, but also a client! The site is like family, I really feel at home here. Keep it Rollin’

    Good things for 2011 guys…let’s make the best of it here.

  • Steven Petty

    Happy New Year All. Interesting thought. I was reading today that the Cubs may be in a bidding war for Prince Fielder next year? WOW!!! How could would that be? 2011 is the year!! 2010 is in the rear view mirror!! GO CUBS!

  • Aaron

    I still think that the Cubs need to go after some of the young bats still left on the FA market…especially outfielders. Judging by Colvin’s minor league stats (granted, he did only recently bulk up)…and while I became a fan of the guy last year, I just think that he’s due for an extreme sophomore slump….worse than we saw with Soto, considering Colvin just barely hit over .250 last year.

    I believe we should, at the very least, entertain the idea of bringing Hermida, Milledge, and Chris Carter along for Spring Training, and go from there. I also believe we need to move both Fukudome and Byrd, and not doing so could set this franchise back even more, and I know it sounds crazy, but that’s NOT an exaggeration. Fukudome doesn’t belong on this team. Byrd declined BIG TIME late last year. Soriano is aging big time…and worst of all, Colvin is headed for a big time sophomore slump, and will disappoint many Cubs fans out there, including myself.

    The way I see it, if we can at the very least unload Fukudome, we’d likely have the following position players:

    C-Soto, Hill (I still can’t believe he was tendered a contract)
    2B-DeWitt, Baker
    SS-Castro, Barney
    *That, potentially leaves 2 openings in the OF. Hermida, Carter, and Milledge would be EXCELLENT fallback options to have there, considering Jackson is probably a year away, Guyer will likely start at Iowa, and outside of those 2, there’s really nobody worth considering or near MLB ready for that matter. I’d probably go with Carter (who can also play 1B), and Milledge (who could take over for Byrd)

    But Hendry isn’t smart at all, and has absolutely no idea how to build a winner.

    • BillyFinT

      Aaron, Don’t forget that the Cubs still has 41 players on a 40-man roster. You would need to move TWO in order to clear space for signing one of Hermida or Carter.

      I would rather just DFA Baker, assign Barney (got 3 options left), than moving Fukudome. That is until July 31, when the REAL trade opportunity for the competitors arrive, THEN the Cubs should trade Fukudome, and ARam (if DLee would do it, sure ARam will, for that “$1M assignment bonus if traded,” as written in his clause), and clean house. Maybe fire Jim Hendry along the way. I don’t dislike him, but the man has been here too long. It’s time to CHANGE.

      Just saying. I don’t think the Cubs care at this point of their season. The signing of Pena was all they need to band-aid this wretched lineup… Again, how many days until 2013?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Dorasaga … good point on the 40-man roster. I still have not seen/heard about the move after they signed Kerry Wood. A couple of years ago I would look at it as the official roster on Cubs.com just wasn’t updated around the holidays … used to happen quite a bit.

        But since Twitter exploded and all of the social media, there has been nothing mentioned. One of two things has happened. Either Kerry Wood’s paperwork has not been turned in and they are waiting to do so … or a player has been removed from the 40-man that know one knows about.

        • BillyFinT

          Thanks, Neil. That’s a possibility, and it makes me feel a little better. I remember MLB.com (cubs.com, managed under the MLB.com system) updates rather quickly. All the rumors confirmed by a news report (signed) are usually updated the following day, if not the same day, on the roster page. I do remember mlb.com needed to pull one out from the roster of certain team (recently, not the Cubs) because the contract was blown (not passing a physical or something).

          But Jim Hendry had done it before. Remember that one time he forgot to submit the papers for a draftee (was it for Cashner?) he signed, and the Cubs was fined?

          C’est la vie, my friend.

  • nick_ss

    Happy Belated New Years to all CCO’ers!! Neil and Company you do a great job!!