Rambling While Imagining Big Things for the Cubs in 2011

It might not be Friday morning, but that is not going to stop me from rambling my face off about all things Cubs and Spring Training. A lot has happened at Camp Quade over the past few weeks, so it is time to dive into it all.

So, without further ado … let’s ramble:

  • First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to ex-Cubs Luis Salazar and his family. I hope he is okay and recovers as quickly as possible.
  • So, let me now get this straight … Carlos Silva is relying on Carlos Zambrano for anger issues. Oh … yeah … this has got “great idea” written all over it.
  • This relationship reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live commercial “Bad Idea Jeans.” Because that is what it is … “Bad Idea Jeans.”
  • So, um, Matty G., how about you stop scaring the living “you-know-what” out of me and my fellow Cubs fans? Okay. Cool. We have a deal?
  • Seriously, dude, it is not really funny.
  • I have Adonis DNA.
  • I am not LOL’ing of LMAO’ing. Okay? Quit it.
  • Do you remember when you were young and your parents or guardians had the conversation with you about “guilt by association?” Someone explained to you that you might be innocent or in the right, but if you associate with the wrong person or a group of shady people, others will assume you are doing bad things.
  • Yea, I think someone needs to have that talk with Marlon Byrd.
  • I don’t care if it’s all legal. It is a terrible idea. Just wait until Byrd hits 20 homeruns by the end of May and is batting .330. That should really draw the ire of the Haughs, Tellendars, and Morriseys.
  • And hitting .650 in Spring Training doesn’t help.
  • Is there a more likeable person on the Cubs than Ryan Dempster? Seriously, he is just great.
  • I have tiger blood.
  • If you haven’t seen his “Chris Farley impression” on Baseball Tonight, search high and low on the interwebs and be sure to watch it. Absolutely fantastic stuff. (Ed. note: or scroll down for the Dempster video)
  • I am sappy and sentimental. Very much so. My friends make fun of me a lot for it. Some females even make fun of me for it. But if you are not emotionally happy that Kerry Wood is back, there is no Cub blue in your heart or soul.
  • I was kidding. No one has ever made fun of me for being sappy or sentimental. I am a tough, awesome guy.
  • WINNING.
  • So when does Mt. Saint Zambrano erupt? What month? Anyone want to put a date on it? Let me know your thoughts below. I will say June 29th.
  • Seriously, you know it is going to happen, so you should go on the record with a guess below. It will be a fun CCO game. So, let’s play.
  • Alfonso Soriano said he feels great and might play beyond this contract.
  • Yep, and Brooklyn Decker just said she is leaving Andy Roddick for me.
  • Also, I no longer enjoy cheese, television, TiVo, beer or thongs. (ESPN scribe Rick Reilly deserves credit for first writing about some of the things on this list of favorites.)
  • Unless he is hitting above .290 and the Cubs are contending, there is absolutely no reason Fukudome should be starting over Colvin by the All-Star game.
  • I hope Castro’s start this spring will carry over the regular season. He has the most at-bats on the team and a .400 avg.
  • Still #WINNING.

Well, that is it for today. I hope you enjoyed and look forward to hearing everyone thoughts on Zambrano’s first breakdown and all other things Cubs.

For those partaking, please be safe while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day weekend in wherever you may be.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!


Ryan Dempster with his best Chris Farley

Quote of the Day

"Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice." - Bob Proctor
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  • Dorasaga
  • Bryan

    “The Cubs (4-8) are last in the majors with a 7.46 spring ERA, and have allowed 94 runs. That’s 36 more than the defending National League Central champ Reds, and 54 more than the Cardinals, who lost ace Adam Wainwright to Tommy John surgery.”

    Even those drinking major gulps of Cubs Kool-aid can’t be thrilled with those numbers…all for $130m+ in payroll. Thank you Jim Hendry.

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

      At least Dempster can make us laugh and forget about those gaudy numbers “on a steady diet of government cheese, living in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!” Classic

    • Chadwick7376

      dude..its spring training…who cares..those numbers dont mean anything

  • Cloycub13

    OK I’ll bite-Z is gonna snap…why? Not because he has some unforseen issues, not because the anger management did not work, not because he is channeling his inner Nuke Laloush and seeing through his eyelids, not because Carlos Silva made him do it, and not because he sucks, or will have a bad year. Big Z will snap because at some point, he will be damn nasty, lights out even, coming in as a stopper after a extended losing streak, giving some semblance of hope to a pitiful start to the season, he will do all of this and the spectacular array of diamond 8 that Hendry has created will IMPLODE….blown assignments, misplays, errors, drops, and on top of all of that they will not give him any run support for 3 straight starts… yep Z will blow up at that point… Punch Koyie Hill in the face, get him traded to the Padres for prospects, Quade will channel his inner Lou and ream the hell out of an umpire and the Cubs will surprise everyone and eek out the division, catching Milwaukee at the very end…

    Wait….awwe crap there goes that dimentia again… that was 2007…woops.

    I am in full support of Big Z, aka Z, aka Mount St Zambrano, aka Carlos, aka boom boom Z…and I think his blow up will be beneficial to the team.

    If I had to make a choice…. May 23rd….Just kidding, that’s an off day… I’ll go with 5/12/2011 against the Cards. And if my math is right, that should be a start for our #2 ace, gatorade a$$ kicking champion.

    Go Cubs.

  • GaryLeeT

    I say Quade goes Elia and gets fired, before Zambrano loses it. Say, by July 22

  • Joshuawechsler

    Does anyone think Matt Camp or Scott Moore are even being considered to make the team. They are both having a good spring training and offer good utility left handed bats. Camp can play almost anywhere (including 2B) and has speed and could lead off. Moore has has power potential and has played 2B in both the major and minor leagues in addition to 1B and 3B (I believe he was drafted as a SS)

    • Aaron

      Not even close. Neil would have to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Camp was on the 40-man roster for a short period of time a year or two ago, and was removed. Once that happens, it usually means that unless you just come out “guns a blazin'”, you’ll never get a shot again with that ballclub. Camp is versatile, yes, but will be 27 yrs old in May, and has a career .269 avg over the course of 5 minor league seasons, and has no power whatsoever. He has speed, but not great speed. He averages about 20 SB. He can play 2B, SS, 3B, and all OF positions.

      Given the choice between Ojeda and Camp, I’d choose Camp every time. But the choice appears to be either Ojeda or Barney at this point, and you must remember that someone has to be released if Ojeda AND Reed Johnson make the team, as neither are on the 40-man roster. The Cubs roster currently stands at 39. The other thing complicating matters is the fact that they’ll likely go with Wellemeyer or Looper….and perhaps even both. That means that 3 players would need DFA’d from the 40-man. Likely candidates include: Max Ramirez, who is out of options, and pitchers such as Berg, Diamond, Silva, Gaub, and Kyle Smit, who have been dreadful this spring. So, potentially 6 spots would be opened up.

      Scott Moore doesn’t have a prayer of making the team either. In fact, the only way I can see Moore or Camp making the team is if Ojeda gets hurt, or stops hitting altogether, and Baker gets hurt. Moore and Camp would be back-ups at 3B, 2B, and 1B, positions Baker currently fills. Camp can also play SS, but it doesn’t appear the Cubs are giving him a look at that position.

      But like I said, I wouldn’t mind seeing Camp make the team at all, despite his lackluster minor league numbers. I just can’t stand Ojeda, who seems to have dirty pictures of Hendry or something, just like Neifi Perez must’ve had. Ojeda couldn’t hit a lick in the minors, and couldn’t hit a lick in MLB either, and what makes matters worse for Ojeda is he doesn’t even have near the speed that Camp has (which isn’t much to begin with).

      The major problem I see with the Cubs is what’s plagued them in recent years ever since they got rid of Mark DeRosa, they haven’t had a legitimate everyday 2B, and before him, it was Mark Grudzielanek in 2003 and 2004.

      Right now, they have 3 back-ups projected to be on the 2011 roster at 2B: DeWitt, Baker, and either Barney or Ojeda.

      I believe the Cubs were extremely short-sighted in not giving DJ LeMahieu the opportunity to break camp with the big league team. He’s really the only legitimate everyday 2B the Cubs have in the entire organization (including big leagues).

      The guys that are most deserving of making the team are: Clevenger (I’m not saying him based on 2 hits in 3 ABs, but mostly because he’s earned it over his minor league career has a .300+career hitter)/M. Ramirez/W. Castillo at catcher and Fernando Perez for the OF vacancy. As for the back-up IF position, nobody has really stood out. I guess you could say Bobby Scales has stood out offensively with a .375 avg, and .545 OBP, but I don’t believe there’s a snowball’s chance in hell he makes it. Outside of him, Barney, who has a .313 avg and .313 OBP has done alright.

      Given the opportunity to make the right call, Jim Hendry will choose the wrong path 9 times out of 10…that much you can be assured of.

      As previously mentioned, he will go with Wellemeyer and/or Looper for the pen or 5th starter’s role. The rotation will be: Dempster, Z, Garza, Wells, and Wellemeyer.

      The pen will be: Marmol, Wood, Marshall, Grabow (might start season on DL), Maine, Samardzija, Looper *if Grabow is on DL, and Cashner

      C-Soto, Hill
      1B-Pena
      2B-DeWitt, Ojeda
      SS-Castro
      3B-ARAM, Baker
      LF-Soriano
      CF-Byrd, Johnson
      RF-Fukudome, Colvin

      If someone thinks otherwise, I’d love to hear what they think, but from all we’ve heard through the media in interviews with Hendry, Quade, and even Randy Bush, that appears to be the route the team takes. It might’ve been a different story if Perez or Brett Jackson were hitting over .500 right now, or if one of the back-up IF candidates like Camp or Moore were hitting close to that as well, but I honestly think management believes that when the stats are fairly close (meaning if a veteran is hitting .250 and a younger guy is hitting .315), they’ll choose the veteran every single time, because of “experience”.

      Additionally, it appears that Koyie Hill could go 0-for-40 in Spring Training (currently 0-for-14), and he might not have a single caught stealing in Spring Training, and would still make the team given his experience with the pitchers. It defies all logic, doesn’t it? But….it’s the Cubs…what do you expect?

  • paulcatanese

    Bryan,good post. Love the comparison on big Z and tutoring Silva,as I said the day before “The blind leading the blind”. Maybe they can fight each other and both get deleted at the same time.

  • Joshuawechsler

    Aaron-

    I agree with your assessment. I really hate the idea of Ojeda, Hill, and RJ making the team. Ojeda and Hill can’t hit and Hill’s defense is awful. RJ’s skill seem to be waning, FP’s switch hitting and speed are better for a utility outfielder but he has an option left.

    I think it would be ideal to give a guy like Camp a chance. (He actually got passed over being added to the 40-man roster a couple years back)

    Ryan Freel had a ~ .270 average in the minors before getting a real shot at MLB at age 27 and turned out to be a good super util guy/leadoff hitter albeit with more speed (closest comparison I could think of)

    I realize Moore has absolutely no chance and is just insurance, but I was more of the opinion that he could hit .500 in the spring and unless he showed a ridiculous amount of power would still have no shot at the team.

    I am praying the Silva gets DFA’d, which along with Max Ramirez would open up 2 spots, likely for RJ and Wellemeyer along with the current possible open spot for Looper. I don’t think they will keep Ojeda.