Rambling About the Boys of Spring

Hey there, everybody … it’s Friday and it is time to ramble. Ramble like crazy. Spill my thoughts, go nuts, get excited, say dumb things, regurgitate funny jokes, basically just attempt to entertain you with all insights and thoughts on the Cubs!

We all know I have plenty to say when it is quiet, and there has been a lot going on this week so look out. It is time to unleash the beast.

So here we going rambling …

  • Nope, it is not going to be the first thing I mention, but you sooooo know it is coming
  • There is a joke somewhere in there, but I will avoid it.
  • Marlon Byrd. Really, dude? Of all the trainers in all the land, you have to go choose a convicted felon. Perception is reality, buddy.
  • With that said, I know this came up last year, but again, perception is reality.
  • There is more optimism floating around Cubs Camp than I expected two months ago. And an unthinkable amount more than the end of the season.
  • I am really excited about Carlos Pena. I am not sure what has happened in the past few weeks, but I am really coming around on him.
  • Albert in a CUBS uniform. Let’s make it happen.
  • No, I don’t care how much it costs. I don’t care if it is for 10 years. Just do it. The Cubs have the money. Put up more signs, I don’t care. Do it.
  • I am going to be thickheaded, but I refuse to accept any argument against this.
  • This destroys the morale of our archenemy. It completely annihilates the hearts of their fan base. Folks, I know I am getting ahead of myself, but …
  • The could be the current-day version of “sale of Babe Ruth.” This would be so unbelievable.
  • Words cannot even properly describe what could happen. This would be a seismic shift in power and emotion.
  • Zonk is officially back. Great stuff. I fully support this move. Sutcliffe was my personal preference, but once he was deemed unavailable, I moved right to Moreland.
  • He thoroughly impressed me during his substitute stints, and I think he will make a great partner for Pat. They will form some noticeable and enjoyable chemistry.
  • I like Tyler Colvin getting practice at first. Jeff Baker as the back-up first baseman scared me.
  • Speaking of Baker, he is doing whatever he can to become the very poor man’s version of DeRosa.
  • So, Jeff … where is your version of Heidi? That is the standard. How did you do?
  • To any women reading this: I am not really a pig. I am a great guy. I really am. I am just being jocular. And a jock. And a jerk.
  • Shouldn’t Starlin Castro have reported to camp early? Show he knows he still has to work hard. Show how excited he is to get going. Same with Fukudome.
  • Soriano and Ramirez can report on time. They are vets. But Castro should have been there early.
  • I am not ripping him nor am I really passing judgment. But to my point about perception … he should have reported early.
  • Bring on Pujols. Just do it.
  • Just let me have this moment before reality sets in.
  • Glad to see Soto kept the weight off. I think we will see an improvement this season. Now that he has had a full year to adapt to his new body shape. I really think he will surprise some people.
  • Hey guys, Zambrano is going to keep his mouth shut. Z is going to let his pitching do his talking. Z has control of his emotions.
  • Yea, and I stopped eating cheese.
  • Seriously, Z. This is it. Your last chance. Get it together, big guy.

Well, that is all for now, Faithful. I hope I provided a bit of entertainment for your Friday. Spring Training is here, Opening Day is around the corner. I just love this time of year.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax
  • BillyFinT

    Brian, witty and wicked.

    With Albert, it will be the “Curse of the Prince.” And the Cards fan will make the replica brick facade of Anheiser Busch Stadium into a weeping wall. Sweet.

  • Tony

    First things first…Carlos Pena – I miss interpreted his comments yesterday, I burst out laughing, thinking, what is this guy think he has going, with a 196 avg, but I was wrong, and this guy made me laugh, about the same comment, twice. He has a sense of humor, and, as Brian said, I am coming around on him. I don’t have high expectations for him, which should make it easier for him to impress me.

    • paulcatanese

      Tony,I agree,I dd the same thing.

  • Tony

    Don’t rip on Castro man! He played ball over the winter, and is leaving his home for the next 7-8 months. I don’t EVER fault a player from another country, showing up ON TIME. I am the type of person who shows up 30 minutes early, to most everything. I hate when people show up rightl, when something is suppose to start, or even worse, late. But when these players are going to be away from home for 7, hopefully 8 months, I can’t pass judgement.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      I Agree Tony

      Aramis Ramirez has 2 sons and a wife and they live in the Dominican Republic. I would want to stay with my family as long as I could before reporting, I don’t fault him at all for that.

    • Tom U

      I would much rather have Castro take a “baseball vacation” after playing 9 out of the last 12 months than burning out by the end of the season.

  • Tony


    I have posted arguments for and against, showing both sides of this, larger than life decision.

    Pujols is going to give the Cardinals, one last chance to sign him, but he is going to test the waters, and see what else is out there.

    For another team to sign Pujols, they must know, that they have a farm system, ready to go, and start producing, major league players. It will handcuff all but the Yankees, payroll for years to come, and you better be able to keep the flow of players, in the 0-3 and 3-6 year range turning, so that you don’t have to go to FA, to fill your roster.

    Do I think the Cubs have the system to do it? YES
    Do I think JH could ever handle running a team, with that style? NO

    Simple – Fire JH, Sign Pujols…or don’t. I don’t get paid to make this decision, and it will keep many an owner and GM up at night, just thinking about the joy of having him in your lineup, and the agony of the pressure to win, NOW, and have to do it without any payroll flexibility.

    • cubtex

      Pujols will NEVER see free agency! He will be signed before any teams will be able to talk to him.

      • Tony

        That is your opinion, and mine is he will. You are right until you are wrong, I am wrong, until I am right. Only time will tell, which one is right, but I just can’t imagine, he would wait this long and not, at least have his agent see what else is out there.

        I give it a 90% chance (at this point) that he stays with the Cardinals, but still believe he will do so, after filing for FA.

  • Cloycub13

    Brian, solid as always!

    Albert….Albert…Albert…Does it royally F the game up with ever increasing salaries yeppers. For reference, my little baseball fact calendar has an amazing factoid for y’all today…”2/6/1958 39 year old Ted Williams signed a one year deal with Boston, The reported figure was between $135,000 and $150,000> Either total made Ted the highest paid player in history”…..Let that sink in for a bit…….got it…….HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!! If Albert gets his 30mil and gets 600 AB’s a season… that is 50,000 PER AT BAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Moving on…
    Pena- I actually liked the signing right away….And am optimistic that he can post 30-40 dingers…(Who slipped me that blue beverage????)

    Garza- Please also note that I liked this trade right away as well. Was not happy about the price… Happy about the acquisition.

    Wood- Hell YEAH!!!!!!!

    Castro- It’s cool, Tony put it best…He played most of the Winter, is leaving home, and is 20. He will be fine.

    Dewitt-Baker-Fuky—There is your lead-off platton for your 2011 Cubs…Hurry please Mr. Jackson….Please Hurry!!!

    And finally–Z is in shape and healthy and ready to live up to his promise….Keep your head on the sunny side of your back side bro and avoid sticking it back into any orifices and you will be fine…there is no pressure,,,you have 2 other guys that are going to be solid in Garza and Demp….and do not be surprised at all if Cashner has a solid 1st season in the rotation!

    Ummmmmm–I have to admit that it has been so long since I saw a Heidi Derosa Reference that when I read Brians line about Baker’s version I did not think smoking hotty… I imagine Baker in pigtails running around the mountains and interrupting playoff games in the NFL….Disturbing…. Thanks for that Brian.

    • paulcatanese

      Hey,I don’t think you are sipping the blue stuff on Pena,he very well could hit that many dingers. It’s what happens in between that concerns me. If his strikeouts can be cut back he will be a total success. One thing,didn’t he have a total 85-90 hits for the season? That would mean 40HR would be half his hit total for the year. I thik those figures are somewhere near correct,not really a stat man,I could be wrong but close.

  • Richard Hood

    I just have one opinion on Pujols at this point and then I will never mention it again. The Cards are going to resign him. It is going to be more money than they can afford and it will cost them being competitive for the length of the contract. But man between now and then it is going to be fun to stick it the the Cardfans a little bit and make them squirm.

    The idea of them playing against Albert is almost as fun as actually signing him. The pic from yesterday caused quite a stir in the land of Red and Whine. It was worth every curse word I got thrown at me when I sent it to all my Cardsfan family and friends.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Ya know, the Cubs COULD sign him. We’ve got this penchant for signing aging vets just as they fall off a cliff. (Cf. Alfonso Soriano; Little Milty Eugene Bradley; Danny Jackson). He could be the next ALbert “Don’t call me Joey” Belle.

  • paulcatanese

    Brian,good post and you have proved what I have had all my life. To be a true Cub fan you must have a great sense of HUMOR and roll with the punches,you do it well.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2M4WLECPTZYYRH2MZH3HW6IDU John G

    The whole Pujols thing is a pipe dream. First of all there are going to be 20+ teams lusting after that stud. If he doesn’t stay home in St Louis the only team with enough money to sign him would be the Federal Government and we all know which team the current president roots for. Even if Tom ricketts could come up with that kind of cash, he would have to shed so much that he would be fielding a AA team behind Mr. Pujols. I’m not sure that Albert would go for that. And the same holds true for any team that comes up with that much bling, except maybe the Yankees or BoSox, and even they would have to think twice about it. IMHO he stays home and gives them the mother of all hometown discounts, maybe $50MM a year for 10 years with a minority ownership in the team as well.

  • cc002600

    Puljols for 10 years @ 30M / YR = STUPID.

    NO WAY I do that.

    • Ripsnorter1

      It says RIGHT HERE that I don’t want PUJOLS!

      Here’s how it would work:
      Pujols get his $300 million.
      Pujols get injured in ST his first year with the Cubs, but plays with the injury. His numbers are way off: .242 21 HR 67 RBI in 459 AB. The fans boo him like Milton Bradley and Sorry-oh-no. Cubs pay Pujols for the next nine years as his steriod-free numbers plummet into Mario-Mendoza-Koyie-Hill oblivion. Stupid Cubs’ “faithful” continue to expect Cubs to win the division each year with a lineup of:

      Mr. .196 (now hitting .146 as he ages).

      Jim Clueless continues to guide this merry ship with “good clubhouse guys.”

  • GrantJones7

    Well at my school theres a group of kids convnced that

    1. the Cardinals are going to trade Albert to the Cubs, BUT only if we throw Aramis in with Zambrano

    2. The Tigers are going to release Cabera and were going to turn him into our 3rd basemen, you know, since Alberts at first

    3. And that the Yankees are going to trade/release CC

    Hmm, now we know why Cubs fans are looked at like they are sometimes!

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Just say no to Pujols.
    You can get a younger Prince Fielder and have over 10 million left over a year that could go towards an ace pitcher, adding more money into scouting, a new 3b (maybe Jose Bautista if he proves that last year was not a fluke), or a new 2b take your pick. No one player is worth 30 plus million a year and especially not for 10 years when he starts those 10 years at 32!!!

    Think about that if Jose Bautista proves that last year wasn’t a fluke and the Cubs signed him and Fielder, we would have 2 guys with 40 Home Run power that would be sweet. and for probably only a couple million more than Pujols wants for one year.

    • Tony

      Bautista signed for 5 years – $64M, I think just yesterday.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        oh that sucks scratch that.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    A couple people at work today told me that Fergie Jenkins, and a couple Ex-Bears are going to be in my town this weekend for the new Menards grand opening, I’m going to go down there and try to get my picture taken with them. I have a picture of Ernie Banks holding me when I was a baby. He was at the grand opening of a tv and appliance store and my parents took my brother, sisters and me down to see him. 17 years later, while I worked at Rock River Country Club Banks was there for a charity golf tournament and I got the picture autographed.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    For anybody who wants to see Darwin Barney in a movie go rent “Calvin Marshall”. It’s a pretty decent movie, not great, not spectacular, but decent, and entertaining. It’s a babeball movie. Here’s a trailer from youtube if you pay close attention you will see Darwin Barney in it a couple of times.
    Barney only has like 6 or 7 lines and you will see him probably 5 or 6 times in the movie.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I forgot to post the link for the trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPo_AkwQAPA&NR=1

    • BillyFinT

      Yeah, Barney appeared at the very start and around 1:10 for that double-play practice. I must say he’s a handsome chap in this film, at least. I mistakenly identified him as half Cantonese, but FYI, somewhere I read he’s 1/4 Korean (on wiki?).

      • paulcatanese

        Hey,did you mis-spell my name? Kidding you,but several hundred times people have spelled it that way.I was confused because I am a handsome chap also. At least thats what the Zoo keeper out here said.