Rambling about Chains and Links and Cubbies

As they say, a chain is only is strong as its weakest link, and you can only judge a team by its most recent game.

If we are using that logic, well then look out for the explosive offensive of the 2011 Chicago Cubs.

And then, as Eminem says, “Snap back to reality … ”

The present-day Cubs can easily be compared to present-day Detroit. Most people are rooting for both to win, to get better, to succeed, yet both find themselves in dire straits.

Sure, Tom Ricketts might like to say otherwise about the Cubs, as would any executive or politician say about Detroit, especially those in the auto industry.

But, whatever … we are Cubs’ fans, and the Chicago Cubs just won three out of four from the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Oh my, what is going on …

“Dogs and Cats living together! Mass hysteria.”

So, with all that nonsense out of the way, how about we go rambling. Does that sound good, folks?

Let’s do it …

  • I can’t see too well, but did the Cubs really score 12 runs?!?! Wow.
  • Hey, we are going to see Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit at Wrigley Field! Wait, did something happen. Is that not going to take place this weekend?
  • Hey, Crane, remember when the holy water and séance went over like a ton of bricks? Yea, you said you wouldn’t do anything like that again.
  • You must have a memory like a 32-year-old stoner because those stupid goat t-shirts are pretty much the exact same thing.
  • Give Ricketts credit where credit is due … those shirts should not be worn in front of fans, especially children.
  • Yes, I know I am the master of the obvious, but that needed to be said. At least, I felt like I had to say something.
  • Hey, Soriano and Pena went yard in the same game. This is just how Hendry drew it up.
  • Too bad that was a very bad idea for a drawing. At least a winning drawing.
  • Still like the Pena signing. Perfect for one year. I will argue that with anyone.
  • However, I am playing golf today, so I will not be available to argue. Rain check?
  • For all of those that hated what Ricketts had to say about Hendry and Quade …
  • Have you ever heard of the proverbial “Vote of Confidence?” It never ends well for those being subjected to said vote.
  • Don’t get too hung up on it. I put very little, if any stock in it. And I have a lot of stock. Some call it stocky, to be exact.
  • Sean Marshall is really good. Really darn good. I hope we can agree on that one.
  • Here is an old joke, but it fits here:
  • Does John Grabow where a mask when he cashes his check? Man, Jimmy, that was a pretty bad one. A very bad one.
  • Starlin. Has a first name ever been so appropriate? Let’s just revel in this kid. A lone bright spot in a dark sky these days.
  • Brad Snyder cleared waivers. So, let’s realize that no other team was all that high on the kid. Some of our young kids can be good, but Snyder’s ships has sailed.
  • If he hits 30 homers next season, I will be his biggest fan. Also, I will tell you I predicted it. I am that smart.
  • It is the middle of June and Kosuke is hitting .301. I will end on that.

I hope that was nominally enjoyable. If not, I will come harder next week.

Let’s have a heyday with the comments below.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." - George Burns
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  • xaxinho

    fuke is good. Just not as good as his contract. but what a joke… I will change the name and tell the same joke at work.

  • Tony_Hall

    Good rant!  Of course it is always easier after taking 3 of 4 from the Brewers.

    I will end with this about Fukudome

    Even as he bats 301 for the year…

    April 383 – 486 – 400
    May 247 – 389 – 342
    June 250 – 321 – 438

    His average is plummeting, he is getting on base, but even half way through June, you can see that is going down as well.

    He is what we thought he was. 

  • Raykoenig

    Not counting this year’s stats, Berkman would have been a better sign than Pena. Why? Simple. He knows the pitchers in the division and the league better than Pena and he would have signed for less.

    • Larry Schwimmer

      I agree that Berkman would have been a much better signing for the CUBS.  But the reality is that he preferred to play for the CARDINALS.  I understand that the CUBS were willing to even pay him a bit more.  And, he wasn’t interested.   I don’t blame him. 

      But the biggest mistake of the year for the CUBS was not sending over enough prospects to have made the trade for Adrian Gonzalez.  He WAS the player that the CUBS let get away.  He was  a perfect fit as a left-handed hitter, great defense.  He could have hit 40 hrs…120 runs and batted .290.

      What a shame!

      That’s why when you watch great GMs like the one in BOSTON…they see a player they know they must have and they do whatever it takes to get him.

      And, Gonzalez really wanted to play for the CUBS.  Instead, they wasted $10 million on PENA!

      Hendry has very bad judgment about talent and who to sign and trade for.  That’s the reality that we live with as CUB fans.

      • cubtex

        The Cubs didn’t have the payroll flexibility to add AGON. Did u see how creative Hendry had to be to sign Pena? The Red Sox have a $160,000 payroll which allows the boy wonder to sign the Carl Crawfords,John Lackeys, JD Drew, etc to bad contracts and not get any flack. The Cubs will have money to spend next year and hpoefully they can trade some other bigger contracts to free up even more money.

        • cubtex

          $160,000,000…. :)

      • JW

        The Cubs didn’t have the prospects (that they were willing to trade) to get AGON. Rizzo and Kelly were far superior than anything in the Cubs deal.

    • ldsteam2011

      The Cubs did offer Berkman more money than the Cardinals did.  Berkman thought he had a better chance of winning with the Cardinals.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!

  • Mike1040

    Enough with the goat already! Shirts, no shirts, who cares. Of course it is bad in front of the family, give it a rest.

  • paulcatanese

    There is no doubt in my mind that JH is having steak and eggs this morning for breakfast with a big smile on his face after the way his “vets” Fukudome,Pena,Soriono and Aram put on a show yesterday. I am sure he feels totaly vindicated in what he has done. But he needs to remember one thing(among others) that one game does not make a season. Quade will go on to continue to destroy the bullpen and the vets will go back to what they do best,nothing, and the season will progress, or digress whichever one prefers. Remember what I had posted before, these guys will all be back in 2012. As long as JH and Quade are, they are.

    • studio179

      Steak and eggs sounds good about now. I hope this does not give Hendry confidence this team is something more.

      • paulcatanese

        I know it really does, and I feel bad about the prediction that I put up there, but I just think its entirely possible with this management, you know the old “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” syndrome.

  • Mozob

    Marshall should be a starter!

  • Aaron

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/4932/with-n-y-in-town-let-big-z-speculation-begin
    Few things of note from article:
    -Yankees scouted Zambrano recently, and it wasn’t advanced scouting for the upcoming series. It was Cashman’s top advisors.
    -Yankees prefer Dempster, but nobody believes the Cubs will trade him
    -Zambrano, contrary to what he’s said in the past, has told friends he’s willing to accept a trade now. *this was in mlbtraderumors website under that heading, not Levine’s article
    -Soriano would welcome a trade, and he had a VERY interesting quote at the bottom of the article

    What does all this mean? Absolutely nothing if you ask me. Top teams routinely send out their scouts to teams out of the race, because they know once the deadline starts approaching, they must know what could be on the market. Teams are likely to be scouting: 
    Zambrano
    *Dempster
    *Wells
    *Marmol
    *Marshall
    Grabow
    *Wood
    *Soto
    Hill
    Pena
    Baker
    DeWitt
    ARAM
    Fukudome
    Johnson
    Byrd (if/when he comes back)
    …..and believe it or not, even Soriano, at least in the Phillies’ case
    *-indicates Cubs are more likely to try to hang onto them

    In Zambrano, Grabow, Pena, ARAM, and Fukudome, the Cubs would likely have to eat some money….though in Pena’s case, I’ve heard several contradictory statements that his bonus was paid up front on last year’s budget, so only $5 million is due this year, and then I’ve heard $5 million this year, and $5 million next January, so I don’t know which is correct. If it’s the former, then the Cubs likely wouldn’t have to include money.

    I would presume that the Cubs would try to get as many high ceiling guys in A-ball or even AA that don’t have to be added to the 40-man for a year or two.

    Therefore, the guys most likely to get the call in the event of trades are:
    McNutt
    Beliveau
    Clevenger/Castillo
    Ridling
    Flaherty
    Moore
    M. Smith
    Spencer
    B. Jackson
    Colvin
    LaHair (both Ridling and LaHair can play LF, just FYI)

    • Gary J

      I’m with you on that call-up list.  Looks about right to me and I think there’s going to be a bunch others that get a cup of coffee at some point.

      I wouldn’t say the scouting means absolutely nothing – at this time of year the scouting begins on certain teams because the word is out early.  They’re going to be sellers.  While other teams wait until closer to the deadline to make the buy/sell/stand decision to see how things play out, other teams are passing the word around to the other squads that they have the white flag up and are willing to deal.
      And I’d say that even if the Cubbies were hovering around .500, they’d still be sellers.  They have a LOAD coming off the books this coming year.  And if they could find a way to unload even more of it in the form of Soriano and Big Z they’ll do it.  Figure it opens the way for a top of the rotation guy and three big bats – but that’s discussion for November :-)

      This is a team that obviously was aiming for this coming off season as a target for a rebuild (and yes – that would indicate that Hendry has a plan)

      So for those of you saying “why isn’t (insert AAA/AA favorite of your choice here) up playing when it’s obvious that (insert expiring or overpriced contract player here) isn’t part of the future of this team?”… they are showcasing their trade bait.  And there could also be an element of delaying the arbitration clock on some guys – but the Super 2 threshold is likely passed – so it’s mostly “hey you teams with a hole in right and within 5 games of first!  Lookie!!!! he almost hit for the cycle!  and look at that arm!!!!”  :-) 

      For the sake of showcasing let’s just ignore that Weeks had no business trying for those extra bases LOL

      So in my eyes scouts = encouraging.  The word is out.  Look for Trader Jim to be moving some pieces… and that’s a good thing.

  • studio179

    Fukudome hitting the ball all over the field and out of the park, going for the cycle and throwing guys out. Imagine if he performed that way more times than not. That game was what we envisioned when he came here and should be closer to the norm. Instead, well…

    I will give him props for yesterdays effort though. He earned it.

    • paulcatanese

      Well, he always has been good with the glove, and yesterday was a career day for him and he did it against some pretty good pitching. I dont know what triggered it but if he were to produce at least half of that on a regular basis he very well command a good return in a trade or even stay on with he Cubs. Either way it would be a win-win for the Cubs.

  • John G

    But can they win on Sunday?

    Happy Father’s Day?