Rambling from the Precipice of a New Beginning

I am catching everyone a bit off-guard here on Thursday, but it is always good to change things up a little bit, right? Just like the Cubs are going to need to change things up more than a little bit when it comes to their 2012 roster.

So, in that vain, the CCO proudly brings you a Thursday edition of Ramblings. However, we ask you not to get confused and pull a Dwight K. Schrute. It is only Thursday. Don’t go thinking tomorrow is Saturday because you got drunk with your laser-tag buddies last night.

And if you do not watch The Office, I apologize for the brain-cramp that paragraph just induced.

So, let’s get going and starting rambling, and maybe even start talking about next year a little bit.

  • The 2012 schedule was released Wednesday. It looks like MLB is getting even more creative as we play the American League Central and the Red Sox. Hmmm.
  • There is normally a deviation for the Sox, just a different color of hose.
  • Sorry, that joke was a lot better in my head.
  • Bryan LaHair should get some playing time next year. And he should also get some playing time this month. I think we can all agree on that.
  • He is still not the first-bagger of the future.
  • .309 average with 192 hits, 21 SB’s, 9 homers and 60+ RBI.
  • Man, those numbers get me excited. It is almost so good, it cannot be fake, right? Please tell me he is for real. PLEASE!
  • Tony Campana is averaging a stolen base for every six at bats. Based on a full-time top of the order hitter, that projects to over 100 swipes in a season. Man, if he could only hit.
  • That is still darn impressive speed. I will say it. I was wrong. Give me the crow, and a whole wheelbarrow of salt.
  • It really appears that Carlos Zambrano is gone forever. For reals gone. Forever ever. For EVA EVA!!
  • Is anyone else going to laugh when Aram’s new team expects a .300 average, 10+ homers, and 40 RBI’s by June? Yea, that should be fun to watch unfold.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I will always like Aramis. However, his 2011 year-end numbers are so ridiculously misleading.
  • Hey Geo, you better starting learning how to pull the splinters out of your rear because unless something drastic happens, you are looking at back-up status for quite some time.
  • For Tyler’s sake, I think Camp Colvin should add a whole lot more batting practice than years past.
  • Keep pumping those muscles, but big muscles don’t do all that good if you cannot connect with the ball.
  • I will be curious to see if Jeff Samardzija is given a shot at the starting rotation. He has given up less than 60 hits in over 80 innings of work, yielding a batting average under .200. I would say he has had a very nice comeback year.
  • Hey, can you guys help me out, I cannot see too well, is that the 2009 Randy Wells over there?
  • It sure is amazing what happens when games do not matter. It really is.
  • One year, $1 million for another go with Kerry is fine by me.
  • Walt Jocketty? No, thanks.
  • Is Billy Beane going to ride into Chicago with a high-paying job and on the heels of a Hollywood success? I hope not.
  • And, to clarify, I have nothing against the new movie.
  • So, with all that said, I am sure every one of you has even more to say. So, let’s hear it. Put it out. Let’s get it going.

Mercifully, there are only a few more weeks left. It is almost over. And then it will be on to 2012. And, with that, even so much more to discuss.

Until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is drama with an endless run and an ever-changing cast." - Joe Garagiola
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  • Tony_Hall

    He is for real, and will only get better.

    Lahair might not be the 1B of the future, but he is more than adequate to play in September, to see if we don’t get Pujols or Fielder, IF, he can cover 1B next year…heck even LF next year.  If we were loaded for a playoff run, I would think differently, but we are not once again.

    • cc002600

      they are not going after Pujols and Fielder ……I will be shocked if they don’t re-sign Pena.

      Ricketts loves the guy.

      I would just go with LaHair….what do you have to lose ?

      also, I’m hearing Ricketts wants to target starting pitching, which is smart.

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree, that I I don’t think they will go after Pujols, Fielder may depend on the GM.  I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Pena back either.

        I was all set to go with Lahair this year, so why not do it next year.

  • Tony_Hall

    Soto if a perfect example of why the Cubs failed over the JH era.  Not seeing from Season 2, that he was not a stud catcher, and was a defensive liability, caused them not to trade him, when his value was High.  Instead the new GM, like with so many  other players, will have to trade players, when their value is LOW.  This is what may be frustrating for many of us, is we may have to keep some players, and play them, to try to change that, and trade them when their value is going back up.  A new GM, is going to need time to move out the rest of the wreckage, unless he does a total dumping of the current mess.

    • studio179

      Don’t get me started on why the Cubs should have delt Soto when his value was high. I said so then and it is frustrating that this team had chances to get a few quality guys back with the right deals with guys like Soto and Marmol. 

  • Tony_Hall

    Walt Jockety, Tony LaRussa, in Cubbie Blue, I think not.  But as has been known for awhile now on the CCO (too bad some writers don’t come here to get their information!!) LaRussa, will not ever manage the Cubs, not because of Cardinal Red, but White Sox, black and white and respect for Jerry Reinsdorff.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Did ya’ll notice how quickly Arizona turned things around? 

    2011….87-63 so far; set to win the West and maybe even Ace the Brewers out of the #2 slot in the playoffs.

    2010….65-97That 2010 team had the 4th WORST bullpen in MLB history. Hmmmmmm.

    Kevin Towers took over as GM last July. The Arizona owners were smart enough to fire their GM and management team mid-season. The didn’t want to continue with an abysmal record ad infinitum. Unwilling to create and sustain a culture of failure in the organization, they hired Towers and he went to work and turned things around. And at $53 million for 2011, they aren’t breaking the bank. That’s the 25th highest in MLB. Or in other words, they are the 5th lowest. 

    How did he do it?
    Well, for one thing, he got rid of Aaron Heilman…..

    Beyond that, the pitching staff isn’t the answer. They have only middle of the pack pitching: 14th in ERA; 11th in quality starts; 12th in WHIP; 17th in Batting Average Against. So it wasn’t the pitching staff……

    But they are slugging the ball: 8th in slugging; 9th in BA.

    Most of all, they play in the NL West where the lousy, hitless Giants and the lousy, hitless Dodgers, and the lousy, hitless Padres play. Now that’s the real answer.

    • paulcatanese

      You can really get the idea of the weakness of the NL west when you see Aron Miles leading them over the past few weeks, that tells it all. Maybe we shuld bring him back,after all he is a vet and would only want three years, no trade clause contract, should fit right in to keep more rookies on the bench.

  • Steve

    Living in Des Moines, I go to quite a few I-Cubs games. I saw Tyler look totally lost at the plate when he was first sent down here, but by the time he was ready to be recalled, he was really squaring the ball up and making good, solid contact almost every AB. His success has always seemed proportional to his playing time, and if he ultimately fails, I blame the organization.

    -LaHair had a monster year down here obviously, and so far he’s hit big-league pitching too. Yeah, he’s almost 29. So what? Maybe we get 3 or 4 good years out of the guy if we give him a chance.

    -There is no reason good enough for Tony Campana to not be getting lots of innings this month. Do I think he’s everyday-center-fielder material? No. But what a weapon his speed can be, if used right. Give the guy some experience.

    -Our catching prospects are intriguing. I don’t know much about Mario Mercedes, but he was here for the I-Cubs’ last home series, and he was hitting everything. I think he’s only 24 too.

    • cc002600

      what was your impression of Clevenger and W. Castillo ?

      • Steve

        I actually didn’t get to see Clevenger in the short time he was here. As for Castillo, he definitely has some “pop” in his bat, he doesn’t appear challenged at all by AAA pitching, just like LaHair. I didn’t see any mental lapses from him. As catchers go, I think he’s a pretty exciting player.  There have been questions about his game-calling but it’s hard to really comment on that part of his game because the pitching was horrible at Iowa this year. The last game I went to was the one where Omaha scored 9 runs in the seventh inning, and that was a pretty good microcosm of the I-Cubs’ pitching woes.

    • Dorasaga

      Are we starting the “Should Colvin start for the Cubs 2012 and beyond” debate, all over again? LOL

      We’ll need to see how Lahair and Bret Jackson fair with more playing time in the Major League, and then find a place (or trade) for Colvin. Because right now, I’m not not seeing much choice on the Big league roster.

      It really has to do with if the outfield prospects pan out (or show more signs of improvement than Colvin), before Colvin can be said to stay or not. He’s not an early first-round draft pick, I’ll say that.

  • paulcatanese

    Worked out pretty good for me last night. Look at the lineup,and if its the same old (pun intended) garbage out there, shut the tv off and go out to dinner and return to the post by Neil, much less stress in my life and saves my tv screen or computer screen from being destroyed with the continual madness that appears nightly under Qua.

  • paulcatanese

    In spite of all to the contrary Campana should be given ample time in the lineup, with his speed and at the leadoff spot it is not all the important to drive runs in with long balls. How does anyone know how he would hit for average if not given the chance? One thing for sure when he gets on its a double, 98% of the time as one pitch later he’s standing on second. He will score a lot of runs,disrupt the defense and pitchers, thats worth a shot.
    And how about a little cheer for Soriono, tying his all time rbi total since becoming a Cub? What would he have done if a little higher in the lineup? That was good enough for fans when he first came over and his defense has never changed (although bad then and bad now) the point being he has produced on a limited basis more runs than Byrd and any other outfielder and ranks right with the efforts of Pena and Aram with rbis ( and those numbers are not gret either) but its wat is here.
    The only others who could surpass all three would be Castro and it looks like LaHair if given a chance. Fire away guys.

  • http://twitter.com/CLubey2B Chris Lubenow

    Is anyone concerned that Aram’s 2012 option must be decided 1 day after the World Series and our incoming GM most likely will not even be interviewed until the day after 1 day after the Fall Classic?  I’m growing more concerned that the 2012 batting order and fielding will look WAAAY too much like Opening Day 2011

    • cubs1967

      the new GM must be here by Oct 15 at the latest………like eveything Tommy does this is being dragged out to the detriment of the team and fans.
      looks at the d’backs; they hired a GM mid-year who used the time to evaluate and in Towers 2nd year they are in the playoffs……..

      remember now; JH was fired in mid-July; so already 2 months have gone by and no one knows if anyone has even been interviewed.
      why???………….cuz there is not a baseball President; like Gillick to run the show; instead TommyCrane is doing it and they have NO idea what to do………..

      so…………..103 yrs and NO championship; what’s a few 3 or 4 months to find a GM………..plus who cares; just let TOmmy Crane extend him; they did for Fleita and perhaps will do the same with Wilken this weekend when they meet………

      somebody cue the Jeopardy song………………

      Alex; yes Mr Ricketts; I’ll take who to hire a GM for $100!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Justin Berg will undergo Tommy John surgery Fri on right elbow.

    • studio179

      I wish the guy well. However, I have seen enough of him.

  • Dorasaga

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/09/logan-morrison-files-grievance-against-marlins.html

    Maybe Zambrano has a case. Or I’m just trying to find something funny out of this boring Cubbie season, thanks to Quade and Company.

    I really want to see how the Cubs rebuild, top to bottom. The “one or two moves from contention” has been a lie and a Tribune marketing tool, inherited for so long, and I’m tired of it.

  • Brp921

    What a joke Quade is:

    http://bleacherreport.com/tb/bbdhC

    Ha!!! He is truly an idiot. How is LaHair going to keep up what he’s done while sitting on the bench genius!

  • ss cubbie

    i want Sandberg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!