I am a Rambling, Rambling Cubs Fan!

As you can tell by the headline, it is Friday and it is time to ramble. Let the thoughts flow, let it all hang out, let it go. And trust me, I have been snowed in for 48 hours and I am starting to feel it. I need to get out. And I did that by traversing to the Allstate Arena and watching the Fighting Irish defeat DePaul on the hardwood.

But, I digress. So let’s do this. Ramble on!

  • Picking up where I left off last week, the Groundhog says Spring is near. I think Punxsutawney Phil must have not seen the 24 inches of freaking snow in Chicago.
  • So, the Cubs are giving good ole Luis Montanez another shot. The only person has been given more “second chances” than him is Charlie Sheen.
  • I want to take Matt Garza and Carlos Zambrano out for drinks, get them liquored up and then start a fight …
  • No, I don’t really want to do that.
  • Okay, yes, I totally want that to happen.
  • Are the Brewers really going to win the NL Central? Really? Really?
  • I can’t allow that to happen. The Packers are already playing in the Super Bowl. I don’t want to experience a sports landscape where Wisconsin is superior.
  • I mean, it’s not fair. They already have the cheese thing going for them. What else do they need?
  • Seriously, have you ever been to the Mars Cheese Castle. It’s awesome. Actually, Belinda Carlisle said it best, “Heaven is a place on earth.” And that place is the Mars Cheese Castle.
  • Ryan Dempster is going to have a big year. I can just feel it now. He is going to be huge. I have nothing to back this up. It is just a feeling.
  • I think one of the most underrated aspects of Kerry’s return is his impact in the clubhouse. With him and Dempster, I really think there is going to be great chemistry and leadership.
  • Soriano hits 30 jacks. I just think that is what will happen.
  • Fukudome is going to hit .365 in April.
  • I know I slipped his name in there earlier, but whoa, Charlie Sheen. It’s really not funny anymore. Help yourself, bud. Or let someone help you.
  • Things I wonder: Did Mike Quade get a super-awesome new place or is he still living in the same place as last year?
  • I would bet that it is the same or similar as last year.
  • I am going to the Kentucky Derby this year. Any hotel recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • Friday Night Lights is one of the best shows on television. I have DirecTV so I have been watching the final season before it is on NBC. I have one more episode left. Words don’t properly describe my sadness. What idiot is not renewing this show? Why is it not coming back? In an age where 90% of TV shows are idiotic crap, this fantastic piece of art is leaving. Sad.
  • So, if you have never seen it, I suggest “Netflixing” it all starting with the first season. Just phenomenal stuff.
  • Wow. Sorry for that. That deserves a “How do you really feel about it” type of question.
  • Well, I have rambled for close to 600 words, and really, there is nothing of substance. But I leave you with this: If you have never been, go to the Mars Cheese Castle, and when you get back, watch an episode of Friday Nights Lights, then tip a beer to the thought of me starting fights so I can watch Garza and Z smash on people.

Okay, folks. That is all for now. I will let you get back to whatever it was that you were doing. Sorry for making you stupid today.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!

Quote of the Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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  • Tony_Hall

    I think you have had too much Cheese at the Mars Cheese Castle…30 jacks for Soriano…not happening. If he played all 162 games, he would do that, but between injuries and playing the hot hand (that is going to happen finally…right), he won’t get enough AB’s to hit 30. I say 22, IF, he says healthy most of the year.

    I love 2 1/2 Men, but you are right, get some help already!

  • Tony_Hall

    I hope that everyone has stayed safe, through this blizzard. Remember its not over, and some roads are still in bad shape.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Aaron,
    You can quit your lovesick blues for Lastings Milledge. The ChiSox signed him last night to take hitting lessons from Adam Dunn. And that contract was a minor league contract. Hmmmmmmmm. Looks like you could have had him for the same price as .. .er, ah,. ..um … Reed Johnson.

    Keeeeeeeeeeenny ain’t stupid.

    • Tony_Hall

      Wow, does that put it in its place.

      Young guy, with lots of upside, or old guy with little upside, same roster invite and cost……….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PBHBYUJCQF7ANNELZQQGLFSODY Papi Lubricante

    What’s the over under on Pena’s jacks this year? 27 – what you thank? How about over under on wins for Garza? 13? – maybe more?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    You got to love a good dose of Brain Droppings.

    I think if Dempster has a good to great first half then he will be a Yankee by the Allstar break.

    I think that if we can get 25 HR and 80 RBI’s from Soriano then we consider it a win. Not thinking that is likely but again it is in the realm.

    If there is a Gatorade cooler at said bar with Zambrano and Garza then I want to see the video. Z can kill a Gatorade machine like no ones business.

    I am not as sold on Milwakee as alot of people are. I think that they got better but still have a questionable bullpen. Are they 14 games better ? I do not know. That is why we play the game as Herm Edwards says.

    I could see Fukudome actually hitting .350 or so in April then .250 in May, .200 in June and July, .250 in august, .300 in September when we are out of it.

    • studio179

      I hope you are wrong about Fukudome. If he is hitting .300 in September with the Cubs it better be no more than from 3 ABs. I would like to think Fukudome is moved before September…maybe Byrd, too. This is assuming Jackson is ready.

      • paulcatanese

        You will see Fuko in RF,Byrd in CF and Colvin in LF to start the season. When Jackson is ready(I assume early year) and it will be Byrd that is moved and Jackson in CF.Tha would be the most solid move,defensivly,I would hope thats the case.

        • studio179

          Your thoughts are interesting on the Soriano situation by leaving him on the bench for any length of time to start the year. That would be bold on Quade’s part. I do agree there is a better chance Byrd is moved over Fukudome in July or August. While Quade managed the team late last year, he was not officially the manager. I think Quade gives Soriano a clean slate. Benching Sori to start the year…I don’t know.

          • paulcatanese

            You are right in the part about Soriono. Actually I really like the guy as a person,good teamate supportive. Just cannot justify his defense and swing at the plate. What I should have said is that outfield would be our best defense,not offense and I do think that Soriono will not be moved in a trade because of contract obligations.This was mostly wishful thinking on my part.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      I could definitely see Soriano with 25 HR and 80 rbi, he had 24 hr and 79 rbi last year, I think he can do it.

  • cubtex

    The Rangers are exploring trades for Michael Young again! He would be a great fit for the Cubs but they would need to dump some salaries. The Cubs have had some discussions already with the Rangers concerning Chris Davis. How about DeWitt, Rafael Dolis and Fukodome for Michael Young,Cash(a big portion of Young’s contract) and Chris Davis? How about a lineup of………..Castro ss
    Young 2b
    Byrd CF
    Pena 1B
    Ramirez 3B
    Colvin RF
    Soriano LF
    Soto C

    Now that looks like a much more solid lineup than they are now!

    • Aaron

      Nice thinking and VERY logical trade. With Feiz likely ticketed for the rotation, they’ll need another flamethrower, and with the slow footed Cruz, they need a better defensive OF, especially when they give Hamilton a rest or allow him to DH. They also have budget issues and need to unload Young.

      The Cubs have a logjam in OF, depth in pitching, and a deficiency at 2B as well as a sufficient back-up 3B (which Baker is NOT).

      If ARAM departs via FA, we’d have a replacement who is known as a MUCH better teammate. The downside? Young is signed for 3 more yrs for huge money, taking him to age 37 at $12 million/yr. That might prohibit us from offering big money to AGON, Fielder, or Pujols for our hole at 1B. So while Fukudome and Young next year would essentially be a wash….we wouldn’t save anything the 2 yrs thereafter. Would Young be worth the salary at that point? Almost certainly not.

      But he’s versatile, having played SS, 3B, and 2B, so it might make sense if the Rangers picked up about $3 million/yr of his salary. Davis would solve our depth issue at 1B, and getting rid of Fukudome allows us to bring Jackson along.

      Overall….I like it….nice suggestion, as it makes good sense for both teams

      • Ripsnorter1

        Pujols has asked the Cards for $300 million. P.K.Ricketts won’t pay that much, will he? I WOULD NOT.

        • Tony_Hall

          Asking and receiving are 2 different things.

          Pujols should just ask for 50% ownership of the team upon retirement (I know there are rules against those type of things), since he has about as much chance of getting that as $300 million. But remember, when trying to get your price, you need to raise the level in the other person head, so that over a long negotiations, they can start to get comforatble with the real asking price, even to the point they might feel good about giving a $200+ million dollar contract to Pujols.

          I just don’t think they will agree before the deadline and this will play out next fall……

        • Keller

          I hope the Cards go for it and get tied down to a $30 mil/yr commitment on him. Pujols would be crazy to settle for less than $30 mil/year given the A-Rod and Howard contracts (or just a really swell guy-a la Cliff Lee). I don’t think Pujols will end up a Cub or should end up a Cub at that price, but Ricketts should act in ways that suggest the Cubs might go after him. . .which he’s already doing (Pena for one year). I have to think this will put more pressure on STL to put up the big money. Although. . ..it makes me smile to think how enraged the average Cards fan would be to lose Pujols to the Cubs! I’ve already heard several say they’d stop going to games (I don’t believe them, but management would have an irate fan base on their hands). Whaa ha ha ha.

          • studio179

            I like your idea of letting the Cards think the Cubs are lurking in the Pujols hunt…true or not. The Yankees and Red Sox play those head games with each other all the time. Let ‘em sweat!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ya’ll want to talk Brewers vs Cubs for 2011–okay, here’s some cannon fodder for you.

    Starting Rotation: who is better, Cubs or Brewers?
    1. Zambrano vs. Greinke…verdict: Greinke. More consistant. Lower WHIP.
    2. Dempster vs. Gallardo…verdict: Equals. 15-12 vs. 14-7
    3. Garza vs. Marcum…verdict: Marcum 1.15 WHIP vs Garza’s 1.25
    4. Wells vs. Wolfe…verdict: equals
    5. ??? vs. Narveson: …verdict: 12-9 4.99 for Narveson beats Samardzija, beats Silva, Cashner probably won’t win 12 games, Wellemeyer?

    Summary: the Brewers starting rotation is every bit as good as the Cubs, and maybe even slightly better.

    Bullpen:
    Marmol vs. Axford: Axford had a 2.48 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, saved 24 of 27 games. He was pretty good. Marmol was 38 saves in 43 tries; 1.18 WHIP, and an ERA of 2.55. . Axford is pretty good. And he doesn’t walk the entire world. Stat wise–we are talking equals for 2010. Axford k’d 76 in 58 innings. Marmol fanned 138k in 77 IP. Fantastic K rate for Marmol. But Axford was no slouch, either. Pretty equal.

    Marshall vs. Saito: 2.65 vs. 2.83 ERA. Saito had a fantastic WHIP of 1.07. Pretty equal here, too.

    Wood vs. Braddock: 3.13 ERA vs. 2.94 pretty equal . . . .

    Grabow vs. Hawkins: I hate them both. But Hawkins has been better over his entire career. However Hawkins is getting up there in age . . . . EQUALS.

    Samardzija vs. Loe: this one is easy–LOE wins hands down. 2.78 ERA, 1.18 WHIP. If you don’t know Samardzija stinks, just check out his fantastic ERA of 8.38.

    CONCLUSION: the starting staffs are near equals, with the nod perhaps even going to the Brewers, and their bullpen is deeper and more solid.

    The Brewers have a far more productive lineup than the Cubs.

    LOOKOUT CUBBIES.

    • paulcatanese

      Like Yogi Berra would say”Dejavu,all over again”.

  • studio179

    Reports indicated the Rangers were in on Dollis for the Davis talks earlier, so it is fair to assume his name. Just wondering why the Rangers would want Fukudome or DeWitt though.

    • cubtex

      They want infield depth…hence Eric Young Jr name was mentioned as going from the Rockies in ealier trade discussions. Not sure they would want Fukodome but his contract or similar would need to be dumped. The Rangers would probably want another arm back….maybe Coleman or Jay Jackson. They probably can’t make this work….but I would love to have a professional hitter like Young added.

      • studio179

        Exactly. I’m not sure the Rangers would want Fuk, either. In this post, you are adding another pitcher with Dollis and DeWitt. That is a bit different than your original proposal and I think your offer now becomes better to get the Rangers to bite. Adding Young certainly would better the Cub lineup that can use his abilities.

  • studio179

    Reports indicated the Rangers were in on Dollis for the Davis talks earlier, so it is fair to assume his name. Just wondering why the Rangers would want Fukudome or DeWitt though.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Who is going to jack more taters in 2011?
    Pena or Fielder? 2010–28 vs. 32
    DeWitt or Weeks? 2010–9 vs. 29
    Castro or Betancourt? 1 vs. 16 and 78 RBI
    Aram or McGaHee? 25 hr/83 vs. 23/104 RBI
    Soriano vs. Braun? 24 vs 25
    Byrd vs. Gomez/Dickerson? 12 vs. 10
    Funko/Colvin vs. Hart? 33 vs.31
    Soto vs. LuCroy/Kottaris? 17 vs 14

    These Brewers really have just a weakness at C, and at CF.

    • Tony_Hall

      Fielder
      Weeks
      Betancourt
      ARam
      Braun
      Gomez/Dickerson
      Hart
      Soto….see I do like Soto

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        I think between Colvin and Hart the HR totals could be closer that you think if Colvin plays almost everyday.Last year he hit 20 in 394 PA. Hart hit 31 in 614 PA. So Hart hit 11 more HR in 220 more PA.

        • Tony_Hall

          Yeah that was the only one that I had to flip a coin…

          Seriously, I see Hart around 30 and Colvin to be around 20-25, and Fukudome to kick in 5-6, so flipped a coin.

          If Colvin gets full-time AB’s then, I can see him being closer to 30, but don’t see him hitting one every 19.7 PA’s, like last year.

    • The Maven

      Their major weakness is their defense. The Brewers have enough iron in their gloves to fill several scrapyards!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Rangers shopping Young. Now there’s a guy we could use!

    • The Maven

      During the past season, I proposed a trade with the Rangers with Aramis Ramirez and Michael Young as the principles. With both of their contracts, it would have made sense. Most said it wouldn’t happen because Young was the “face of the franchise”. How things change in a few months. Now, a year later on the contracts and the Rangers signing Adrian Beltre, the trade is undoable (if that is a word). Unless the Cubs could dump Soriano on the Rangers, any other deal would be worse that the Matt Garza deal.

  • The Maven

    Hey Brian, the Cheese Castle is great, but go down the road just a few feet to Bobby Nelson’s. They’re especially known for their sausage. Try the peppered lanjaeger!

    • paulcatanese

      To you and Tony,WHAT is the Cheese Castle?

      • The Maven

        Paul, the Mars cheese castle is a huge store just off the interstate in Kenosha, WI. It has a cheese chop, imported goods, a bar, a deli, a bakery, and a giftshop. Here is a link

        http://www.marscheese.com/

        Bobby Nelson’s is right next door. They don’t have a website.

        • paulcatanese

          Thank you,thank you,thank you,I have seen that on the blog several times and
          wondered what or where it was. Have played ball in Kenosha years ago of
          course.

  • Matt_gregory

    Hey Brian…I share your sentiments on Friday Night Lights. We have watched the show since it started and I, like you, can not believe that someone would not renew this show. It is by far our favorite show on TV…and I really like the 101 channel showing it commercial free.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=13103983&c_id=chc
    on Carlos Pena 35 to 40 HR in more hitter friendly Wrigley Field 100 to 110 RBI interesting??