Checking on the Cubs … While Waiting on Theo

Day four of the Theo Watch … In case you haven’t heard, the Cubs asked the Red Sox for permission to talk to Theo Epstein earlier this week … and since Tuesday, just about all of the Cubs news and rumors have centered around the Red Sox current general manager.

Speculation in the mainstream media has run amuck since the news leaked Tuesday that Tom Ricketts asked for permission to talk with Epstein about an opening in their front office. Some feel Epstein will end up on the North Side of Chicago and the other half believe Epstein will stay in Beantown. As Bruce Levine pointed out Thursday, with Yom Kippur beginning on Friday night, any news or announcement concerning Epstein will be made prior to the beginning of the Jewish Holiday … or will wait until next week.

Regardless of what happens the rumors of Theo Epstein possibly taking over the baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs has made the first week without actual games fly by.

Here’s what been going on while waiting on Theo …

Tom Ricketts on Fox Business Network
Tom Ricketts recently spoke with Fox Business Network. Here are excerpts from that interview sent to the CCO from Fox Business Network.

Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Neil Cavuto about the past season’s performance and rumors that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein will join the team next season. When asked about the rumors, Ricketts said, “I don’t know; there’s a lot of good candidates out there. We’re going to talk to a handful of them and I’m sure we’ll come up with the right fit for the team.” He also said, “It was a disappointing season for everyone, but, we’re going to get some new leadership.”

On if Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein will join the Chicago Cubs:
“I don’t know; there’s a lot of good candidates out there. We’re going to talk to a handful of them and I’m sure we’ll come up with the right fit for the team. Ultimately it will be the decision of myself and my family. Obviously we didn’t get it done on the field this year. It was a disappointing season for everyone, but, we’re going to get some new leadership.”

On if he was disappointed with the past season’s performance:
“Going to both this season and last season, we thought we had a team that would perform better than it turned out to perform. You can’t go back in time, you look forward, we have a lot of good things to build on and we’ll get there.”

On what it will take to stimulate the economy:
“It comes down to when that confidence in the economy comes back. It’s just a matter of time; we have to keep optimistic. If you’re going to incent long term-behavior, you need long-term incentives. When you look at short-term incentives, it doesn’t really get them to hire and invest.”

On how crucial it will be this playoff season for the team with strong financial resources to survive:
“I think that’s out the window at this point. Traditionally, teams that have a little bit more financial resources may be more consistent at getting to the playoffs but once you’re there anything can happen and there’s a good mix this year.”

On who he will root for in the playoffs:
“I don’t root for anyone; it’s hard to enjoy them now that we’re not in it.”

Arizona Fall League
Several of the Cubs top prospects are playing fall ball out in Arizona. The Arizona Fall League kicked of its season this week.

Andrew Cashner is expected to make his first appearance on Saturday while Trey McNutt is slated to start for the Mesa Solar Sox on Friday afternoon.

Josh Vitters had a big Opening Day, a quiet second and a solid third for the Solar Sox … all while playing first base. Vitters is listed as an outfielder on the Solar Sox’s roster but has played first base so far. Vitters was 2-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI on Opening Day. After a 0-for-4 performance in the second game, Vitters drove in a pair in a 2-for-4 afternoon on Thursday.

Junior Lake has played short and third and was 3-for-4 on Wednesday, reportedly with a mammoth home run. Lake was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in game one and was 0-for-5 on Thursday. Lake has committed two errors … one at short and one at third.

D.J. LeMahieu has struggled in his first three games … 2-for-11 with two walks, two runs scored and a RBI.

Chris Carpenter lit up the radar gun (100 MPH) on Wednesday and pitched two shutout innings. Marcus Hatley surrendered a run on three hits in 1 1/3 innings out of the pen on Tuesday.

Roster Moves
The Cubs designated Justin Berg and Brian Schlitter for assignment last Thursday … and outrighted the right-handed relievers to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday. Justin Berg is not expected to pitch next season while rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery and Brian Schlitter’s status for 2012 is unknown at this time.

In Other News … and Rumors
Bob Brenly spoke his mind about Aramis Ramirez … and did not pull any punches. Brenly described Ramirez as a “numbers gatherer” whose “defense has fallen off the face of the earth.”

The Cubs are expected to exercise their part of Ramirez’s mutual option for next season. Ramirez is expected to decline his part and become a free agent. If those two scenarios play out, the Cubs will be off the hook for the $2 million buyout on the option and they will receive draft pick compensation if Ramirez takes his talents to another team

Click here for the full report on Brenly’s comments as well as the podcast from the Waddle and Silvy Show (ESPN 1000).

According to a report from the Sun-Times, C.J. Wilson may just be what the Cubs crave … but the bright one suggests the Cubs will not try to sign the free-spirited southpaw. Wilson could command has much as five years and $100 million if the Rangers let him walk. Wilson has not ruled out signing with the Cubs.

And last but not least … The White Sox surprised just about everyone in the game by naming Robin Ventura their new manager on Thursday. Could there be two managers in Chicago next year sporting the number 23?

Well, there’s the first update of the Cubs off-season … and I’m sticking to it.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." - Dale Carnegie

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  • J Daniel

    Probably no news is good news for the Cubs, I guess.  I would assume that if the Red Sox were not going to grant permission it would have been done already and have been done right away.  They knew this was coming.  Is there negotiating going on already as far as possible compensation?  Or is it the Red Sox are just taking their sweet time?  

  • Tony_Hall

    This off season is going to be more action packed than the regular season…not that that should be to hard, as there was very little action going on at Wrigley this year.

  • Tony_Hall

    You have to love BB.  Speaks his mind, tells it like it is.

  • cubs1967

    either the red sox will let him interview or not…………decide.

    friedman and cashman are free now too…………let’s go tommyboy.

    and any discussion about castro or garza or jackson for theo………..forgetaboutit!!

    • Tony_Hall

      Did you ever think that maybe everything is being done privately!  They have decided and it is happening behind the scenes, as Ricketts said it would.  If the decision was to not let Theo talk to the Cubs, it would already have been announced.  

      No one but reporters, looking for hits on their article are saying Castro, Garza or Jackson.

      • cubs1967

        really…….privately……..in the internet/social media era this will be quiet??

        not sure what island you and the skipper & Mrs. Howell are living on…..but this well get out…….it already did and they only asked permission.

        come on Tony!!………

        • Tony_Hall

          I’m sorry what did you say…I was busy reading up on the surprise naming of Robin Ventura as the Chicago American League Ball Club, White Sox, that play out of Major League Baseball, that are in one of the largest media markets in the United States of America, center of the universe for all media…that’s what island I am living on.

          C’mon Man!

          • Last_ginger

            Tony has you on this one

  • Cloycub13

    OK, so the Sox go out and hire a guy who played for them who has 0 managerial experience. 0! The Cubs make their Hall of Fame Icon manage in the minors, ride the buses and then when it finally comes time…they say seeya! What the hell!

    Bring me a GM, I do not care if it is Theo, Friedman, Cashman, Ng, Cherington… do not, I repeat DO NOT give up a damn thing to get him/her with the exception of a AAAA player or a low minor league prospect… any person who believes that the Cubs should give up any player of any value needs to be examined by a trained professional. Castro people, REALLY??? Offer the new GM the presidents chair as we know the goon sitting in that right now is a total buffoon and reportedly has been told to stay the hell away from baseball operations all together.

    Hire one Ryne Sandberg to manage. See AZ to find out what a hard nosed, gritty, fundamentally sound manager can give you. See Lehigh Valley’s records prior to Mr. Sandberg’s arrival and tell me how this guys is not ready yet… tell me please! Many said that last year, asked for Quade and asked me and others to give him a chance… Are you happy now???

    -Let Ramirez walk, take the picks and move on. Done and Done.
    -Trade Zambrano to Florida, let him and Ozzie enjoy the new digs and the bed that they so desparately want to make for each other (Tampering anyone???!!!)
    -Trade Soriano and all but 5mil per season to any AL team willing to pay a 25-30HR 260 hitting 75 RBI DH 5 Mil a year, explain to me how that is unreasonable.

    Geesh, all of this GM junk and Brewer Mania here in Madison is making me punchy today. Sorry about that. I just hope and pray that the Ricketts don’t screw this up! Give me a reason to wear my Cub Blue with pride.

    Lastly, I did not post earlier this week, but I will echo the sentiments of all on here. Great Work Neil!!!! It is going to be a busy and hopefully inspiring offseason.

    Go Cubs!

    • Cloycub13

      Sounds like we are very, very close to getting an answer on this Theo deal.

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree, I think it will come out as either

        A)  We are keeping Theo, he was never going anywhere

        B)  Theo being announced as the Cubs President of Baseball Operations

        • cubtex

          Are there any other options?

          • Tony_Hall

            Not that I see.  I don’t see them coming out and saying we offered the job to Theo, but we couldn’t agree on compensation.  Or we offered the job to Theo and he turned us down.  Or Theo saying the clubs worked out a compensation to the Red Sox for me, but the Cubs decided not to offer me the job. They will use one of the above as a answer, depending on the outcome.

    • Tony_Hall

      Cloy – I agree with you on all points.

      But would you sign Soriano to a 3 year $15M deal, this off season?  I didn’t think so. It is not about fair, it is about leverage.

      • Cloycub13

        You make a great point in offering Soriano 3 years 15 mil. I have to concede on that point. Would I offer him one or two years at 5 mil, and I am an AL team with no other options at DH… probably. I have a few Yankee fans and friends and they all feel that we as Cub fans undervalue Soriano grossly. Personally I think they are nuts. But I think moving him, Rami and Z change the culture of this team dramatically.

        No I do not want to throw Rami under the bus ala BB, but I think his days in a Cub uni are over. He has been one of the more exciting players we have had in my time of watching this team and filled a gaping void at 3rd, but a new style and regime and concept needs to occur at Wrigley and it needs to start now.

        • Tony_Hall

          Then they can have him.  The Yankees though, wouldn’t take him, as they are wanting to open up the DH spot, to rotate their own aging vets into, to try to make them last through their contracts.

    • Gramps

      I agree with you on getting a GM. Get any one of the ones you mentioned and it would be OK with me but with one stipulation: HIRE SANDBERG! I don’t want Francona or anyone else. I could not stand another year with Quade at the helm and feel that Ryno is the best candidate. I really feel he is the key to getting the Cubs on the right track. He is a no-nonsense manager that has played the game the right way and am sure that is the way he will bring along all the young players in the system.

      • cubtex

        And it would be a HUGE PR move! They desperately need that after this year.

    • Tno13

      I too would like to see Sandberg get a chance this year, but Ryno was not the team first guy as a player that he now demands from his players. Ryno was the ideal number 3 hitter fir most of his career (and Grace was more of a #2) yet Ryno refused to move from the more comfortable spot.
      We saw and criticized the same from Sosa and Soriano in later years, but they wanted to stay in pressure spots (lead-off and cleanup) while Ryno wanted a softer spot.
      He would also have a hard time getting on slow starters given his early season stats.
      He’s a changed man in many ways and I applaud him and support his candidacy, but his background as a player was not ideal.

      • Cloycub13

        I hear this alot and I can’t say that I buy it. I have read “Second to Home”, I watched his HOF induction speech, I have met the man, I have heard many many quotes from many many baseball people who say that he was nothing but an exceptional player and person. See the comments coming out of the Phillies Organization regarding him.

        Personally I would like to see evidence of this as, not only you, but others have cited stories similar. I personally have never seen anything close to this and am shocked each time it comes up.

        No personal slight against you, I have never seen it.  

        • Tno13

          Cloy   He absolutely was an exceptional player, and I do want to see him get a shot at managing this team. Zimmer was the manager that tried to move him down to the 3 spot. There was no huge controversy. He was asked on a couple occasions by the media why he wasn’t hitting 3rd, and Zimmer would reply that 2nd was where he was most comfortable.

      • Tony_Hall

        Why would he have a hard time getting on someone just because something was a part of the game he struggled with when he played.  Doesn’t make any sense.  If anything, he can relate to it better and be even more helpful to that player, as he dealt with that aspect during his career.  

        As far as where he batted, who knows what would have been different if we knew as much then as we do today.  But I don’t see him as a person, who would not bat where ever he was in the lineup.

      • Tony_Hall

        He batted 5436 times in the 2 hole and  3,846 times in the other spots.  Sure doesn’t sound like he fought all that hard to stay in the 2 hole.

        • Tno13

          I think if you look at the numbers when he was in his prime as a run producer he batted 2nd. I believe those AB’s could have been more productive from the 3 spot.
          I agree with you that he’s a qualified guy now based on what he’s been through and what he’s learned. 

          • Tony_Hall

            1985 – 428 in 2 hole   243 in 3 hole
            1986 – 297 in 2 hole 380 in 3 hole

            Those were 2 years right after winning the MVP award…pretty prime years
             
            You can look them up yourself, instead of guessing.

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/sandbry01.shtml

          • Tno13

            Thanks for the advice Tony! I was totally guessing. Your chastising will make me a better person. I think if you had just left it with the first two paragraphs I may have missed the message.
            Still can’t figure out how to find the batting order stats in baseball reference, but I’m going to keep working on it.
            Meanwhile, as I mentioned to Cloy above, I was sloppily referring to the Grace/Sandberg/Zimmer era.

          • Tony_Hall

            You told me to look at the numbers in his prime (something you obviously did not do), and it disproved your point once again.  It was obvious you were taking a shot at a beloved Hall of Fame Cub, hopefully our next manager, without even checking the facts.  

            State opinions all you want, but if you are going to state facts, at least check them first.

          • Tno13

            So I take it when I clarified the era I was referring to, you could not find facts to belittle my recollection of events 20 years ago.

          • Tony_Hall

            When you clarified the era?   You were talking about Sandberg, from the beginning.  There were no more facts to show, as you were wrong already.

            Recollection sounds even more like guessing.  Next time you state facts, just check them out first.  If you state a negative comment about Sandberg on here as your opinion, you will probably hear it, but if you try to state a negative fact, you better at least have the data to back it up.  

    • Brp921

      I agree with everything you said except the part about Zambrano. I hope the new GM would have the kahoona’s to not eat any money in a trade of Zambrano’s contract and if no one will trade for him even up, then put him at the end of the bullpen bench and make him sit there day in and day out. The new GM should tell him that they tried their best to trade him, but no one wants to give up any kind of value or pay a big salary to someone who throws his teammates under the bus and is a cancer to his team. Tell him he’s just flat out not worth a red cent to other teams so he’s sitting in the spot he’s earned, and if he doesn’t like it he can retire like he said he was going to, I think his ego is to big to put himself through that much humiliation and he would retire, or forfeit salary, to be traded. In any case the Cubs would be drawing a line in the sand that says they will no longer put up with that type of behavior. I think this would be money well spent. We all sure know how much money has been spent foolishly.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    John Henry and Larry Lucchino met with the Boston media this morning. I re-tweeted several of the highlights, I recommend all to read the CCO’s twitter feed. Lots of good info …

    http://twitter.com/#!/TheCCO

  • Tony Spumoni

    I see Theo staying in Boston, Friedman staying in Tampa, and Cashman staying in NYC.  

    That leaves Pat Gillick as the remaining top tier candidate.  He’s available and said he’d be interested.  Make him President of Baseball Operations, let him bring in a GM and Field Manager and get this thing on track.

    Everything Pat Gillick has said to date about the Cubs, the Ricketts, etc. has been spot on. 

    • Aaron

      Tony,

      Please enlighten me RE: Gillick

      From what I understand, the only quote he’s made regarding the Cubs is that he would not become GM. To my knowledge, he hasn’t said anything else.

      • Tony Spumoni

        Good morning Aaron,

        Here are two off the top of my head (paraphrasing, of course):
        – The Ricketts family paid over $800 million for the Cubs, they can do what they want.
        – Ryne Sandberg has done a great job managing in the minor leagues and deserves a major league shot. 

        • Tony_Hall

          What part of that says he wants to come to work for the Cubs?

          • Tony Spumoni

            Hi Tony,

            Pat Gillick is on record saying that, although he is very happy being a consultant with the Phillies, he would consider a position with another team at a “higher than GM” level. 

            Of course you remember this, it was back a few weeks when the newspapers were reporting that Ricketts and Gillick had been in contact, and then both Pat Gillick and Tom Ricketts were publicly distancing themselves from those reports.

            Do you have some information (like a quote for the record) that Pat Gillick is absolutely disinterested in a “president” position with the Cubs?  

          • Tony_Hall

            Pat Gillick has never stated he would be interested in a job with the Cubs.

            I don’t believe I need to show a quote that says he isn’t interested, when you haven’t provided one that says he is interested. 

          • Tony Spumoni

            You’re right, Tony.  You don’t have to do anything.  It’s a free country.

          • Tony_Hall

            Gillick never has stated an interest in coming to the Cubs, but he is also a smart guy, and never stated he is not interested.  He basically has said nothing, and yet reporters run with it anyway.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is what you are basing your information on.

            http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/6792956/sources-pat-gillick-open-talking-chicago-cubs-role-team

            “If I did anything else, it would have to be something in a presidency role that would interest me,” Gillick told the Sun-Times. “As far as an advisory or consultant job, I’ve got a great deal in Philadelphia. There would be no reason for me to go any other place in an advisory or consultant role. We’re in first place. I like it here. The people are great to me. If something came up where it would be above the GM position, I would think about it.”

            Not sure how that quote, makes you think he is interested in coming to the Cubs. 

          • Tony Spumoni

            Hi Tony,

            Thanks for providing the quote.  I’ve read it, and reread it, and reread it again.  I can’t find any indication that Mr. Gillick would not be interested in coming to the Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            No problem.  Since you have read it, reread it again and again, and come to the conclusion that Pat Gillick is interested in coming to the Cubs, if offered, then you are now qualified to become a sports reporter, and write articles that have captions like this “Pat Gillick is interested in Cubs job”, based on that quote.  

            And we wonder how rumors get started…

          • Tony Spumoni

            Thanks for the advice, Tony.  I’ll get right on it.

          • cubtex

            Tony, do you honestly think Sandberg would turn down a managerial job?

          • cubtex

            My fault…I thought you were talking about Sandberg….not Gillick

          • Tony_Hall

            I was wondering what you were thinking…

          • cubtex

            so does my wife :)

  • Aaron

     Neil,

    I’m not sure I understand what Henry and Lucchino were even saying…sounded like they were speaking with a bunch of platitudes.

    If the Cubs have to give up anything of value to get Epstein (just saw a tweet from this site over in the margin with someone purporting to know what’s going on, saying that Cubs will send Brett Jackson to the Red Sox for Epstein)….given the fact no top prospect as EVER been sent to a team for a non-player, should tell you just how dumb the Cubs are if they do this.

    The only thing that could salvage it, would be if the Cubs received Lars Anderson or Reddick in return. If they don’t receive another prospect back, as EVERY other team has done in the past with trades like that, then they are indeed, the DUMBEST franchise in the history of baseball…..especially considering they could have Theo 2.0 in Cherington for NO compensation.

    • cubs1967

      agreed!!…….jackson/garza/castro stay……..the rest they can have-but really try friedman or cashman or thad levine or cherington for nothing……U don’t trade on-field talent for execs.

      (unless you are dan bernstein of the Score who says you trade castro for epstien becuz he is worth 300M……..really—–the city council and the state of illinois—both bankrupt and corrupt—will just give the cubs 300M if they hire epstein………..wtf?)

      this is SOOOOO Cubs…….stop the drama…….sooner RIcketts gets it done the sooner the mgr can be hired and this be overwith……it’s really not that hard if you have an experienced baseball president…….er—uh–nevermind…..Cubs don’t have that…….Kenny is too busy making macroni templates.

      • Tony_Hall

        Ricketts isn’t actually, creating any drama, reporters are doing it.  He is conducting a private search for an employee.  Reporters are speculating at what is going on, and you are taking it as real.

        • Boots

          I agree. This is all manufactured. They haven’t said anything about anything. 

        • cubs1967

          let’s remember that Hendry was fired in July so this is really month 3 of the search……….

          it’s real that the season has been over with for over a week and there has not been even 1 interview………..so keep telling me that MLB, NBA, NFL or any other sport is a private search and we’ll turn off this site plus ESPN or any of the others since sports are a private matter.

          dude………really??

          • Tony_Hall

            Really!

            Speaking of JH being fired.  That was kept quiet for how long?

            Ricketts has stated he likes to do these type of things in private.  I am sure he tells anyone he is talking to the same thing.  Therefore the silence.  

            By your theory, Ricketts has asked for permission to speak to Epstein, and not talked to anyone else.  No one.  If that is the case, if Ricketts is hanging out and not conducting any interviews or searches, etc, then he is totally incompetent.  Of course I find this highly unlikely, and you only believe this, because we don’t get a play by play of what he is doing to find a GM.  He told us he wouldn’t do that, and now that he is doing what he said, you don’t like it.

  • cubtex

    Watching the Tigers beat the Yanks last night furthered the thought that anything can happen when you get in the playoffs. The Tigers turned it around in 1 year and so did the Brewers. You do not have to have a team that can beat every team in the National League on opening day. This thinking that just making the playoffs isn’t good enough…..the goal is to win a world series. Absoulutely! But look who were a big part of the win for the Tigers last night….Doug Fister and Delmon Young(both midseason pickups) The Cards are playing game 5 against the mighty Phils because of Edwin Jackson(mid season pickup) The Cubs do not need to go in full blown rebuilding mode. Improve the starting rotation,sign a free agent or two(Cuddyer,E Jackson etc.) make a couple of key trades and go compete. This thinking that you have to have a WS team on opening day is just not true.

    • Aaron

      I totally understand what you’re saying, but all of the playoff teams besides the D’Backs could’ve been called prior to this season….for a MAJOR reason—they had PLAYOFF caliber rosters prior to the season even starting.

      Yankees-offense wasn’t the question…starting pitching was with injuries. The Yankees and Red Sox were the top dogs in the division. The Rays might’ve surprised everyone at the end, but they had a very good rotation

      Rays-(see above)

      Tigers-who else would’ve won the division? Tigers were actually favored at the start, and the Indians came out of nowhere. If you had said Indians, then it would’ve been a surprise, but the Tigers were clearly the most loaded team in the division. Sure, making the trades for Fister and Young helped…but they already were good enough to make the playoffs.

      Rangers-Aside from the Angels, the Rangers literally faced no competition and were the odds on favorite to repeat in the division anyway.

      Phillies-Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt…oh, and Howard and Utley….enough said!

      Cardinals-any LaRussa managed team is in the race…this was no surprise…at least to me

      Brewers-they had the bats already, but after acquiring Greinke and Marcum, they were the clear frontrunners in the division

      D’Backs-only surprise to me. I thought the Giants or Rockies would’ve taken the division

      The key with all of these teams is that a vast majority of them made their major moves that propelled them to the postseason prior to the start of the season. Moves like the Rangers getting pen help were done at the deadline, and will likely serve them well in the playoffs. The Cardinals were the only one that made major changes like getting Furcal and Jackson that likely propelled them to the playoffs (they wouldn’t have made it without them)….which brings me to my point.

      Yes, you don’t win divisions in April, May, or even June….but you CAN lose them. If you don’t start with a solid nucleus, you’ll be too far behind to make trades at the deadline that could land you in the playoffs. And if you’re already a playoff caliber team  and you make significant deadline deals, then it will likely propel you further in the playoffs. Does that make sense?

      • cubtex

        Yes, makes sense but my point was to throw in the towel for next year on Oct. 7th. Yes, the Cubs have a huge uphill climb…but it can be turned around in a year. The Cardinals lost Wainwright at the start of the year and they have a chance to beat the Phillies today to advance to the National League Championship. I just don’t like this talk about it taking 2 or 3 years. IMO…….you should try to win a division EVERY year.

        • paulcatanese

           Agree with everything that is being said about GM’s, no giving up of players ,etc. But what I would like to throw out and really cannot find an answer for is among the two highest payrolls in baseball, Yankees and Red Sox, one didnt make it to the playoffs and the other knocked out in the first round, then again the Cubs with an almost equal playroll goes nowhere. And the Cubs are anxious to grab the GM’s of these failed teams and bring one of them here. They( the Cubs could make the playoffs) next year as well as anyone else in the Central. I just dont see all of the fuss and wanting to give. these guys the moon to come here.

  • John G

    After reading this article in the Detroit News, I am convinced that just getting the right GM, or hiring Sandberg, or drafting the right players, or picking up the right free agents is not the answer. The answer is ALL of the above.

    http://detnews.com/article/20111007/OPINION03/110070398/Tigers–tense-victory-is-payback-for-past-heartbreaks

    “Thursday night belonged to Dombrowski, a president and general manager who pulled the lever on the players and deals that have delivered the Tigers to the World Series semifinals.
    It belonged to players who not during one game or road-weary night this season played at less than full-throttle.
    It belonged to a manager, Jim Leyland, who might someday say this season was the most satisfying he has known in 40 years of skippering baseball teams.
    It was a personal trophy for an owner, Mike Ilitch, who has paid the freight for the stars who burned so brightly again Thursday and toppled the mighty Yankees.
    And it was a night for fans who also endured that unbearable defeat two autumns ago and who this year beat down the turnstiles at Comerica Park to the tune of 2.64 million ticket-buyers. They might be worrying non-stop about jobs and college tuition and this month’s rent, but they manage to love a baseball team and support it with dollars they somehow find.”

    The cubs need to do all these things. And it’s going to take another year or two, but they need to get it right. This is the chance to start anew.

    BTW – I am all in for the Tigers. They deserve it and the city of Detroit deserves it. I hope the Lions go all the way too. Except I hope they lose on Monday night.
    From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20111007/OPINION03/110070398/Tigers–tense-victory-is-payback-for-past-heartbreaks#ixzz1a7K2Q3Yo

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with you John, have been pulling for the Tigers also,true fans there, as money has to be tight for all of them there. And Dombrowski, former Cub, not sure but I think so.

  • paulcatanese

    From what I have been reading about the search for a GM the market out there implies at least to me that the Cubs are desparate for a top line person to turn it around. The feeling that I get is they all think the Cub franchise is a joke, owned by incompetent people and are willing to pay anything for a GM. From what I have been observing I am beginning to think they are right, The demands of these people to “bail” out the Cubs are becoming unreal. It appears that they are willing to hold the Cubs to the wall for their services. I’m not holding my breath but I expect that Giradi will also come into the picture now that the Yankees have lost. I dont see that happening, but will be out there along with Sandberg.  

  • Tony_Hall

    A Boston perspective – seems like they feel he is going.

    http://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2011/10/it_sounds_like_we_had_better_r.html

    “These things are best kept private. I don’t think people would want their career decisions (publicly) discussed,” Lucchino said.

    Like everything with this story, the Castro swap has been nothing but media speculation so far.

    • cubtex

      I am really starting to think the Cubs are going to be that dumb and give up a good prospect or 2 for Theo. I really hope it is Theo who declines the Cubs overtures and stays with Boston because I am not getting a good feeling about this.

      • J Daniel

        Why?  Prospects?  They have had prospects for 103 years!  I am not saying give up one of the top guys, mind you.  No to Jackson, Castro, and so on.  But, they can have a couple class A guy that may or may not be good later.

        Sounds to me, unless something weird happens, Theo will be announced soon.

      • Tony_Hall

        I believe they will give up something, but I don’t believe it will be a top prospect.  Then again, so many on here saying don’t give up a top prospect, are the same ones that say they are just prospects, (ex. in the Garza trade) and that until they have made it at the major league level, they are just suspects. 

        So which is it?  Are prospects worth having or are they just to be used to get proven talent?   As we know most prospects fail anyway…

        I know you don’t like Theo, but would it be ok to give up a prospect for Friedman (I know he is not under contract)? 

        I also believe that in deals like this, you need to slowly work your counterpart down, from their lofty wants.  They may have started with a, pie in the sky request, but as you talk about other aspects, you can get them to buy into the deal and what it would do for them (move Cherington into the GM role) to the point, that they would like to see it happen, and then come down from their demands.

        Any way we look at it, it is being done very privately, and we will know what ever they want us to know, after the fact.

        • cubtex

          Prospects for a proven pitcher like Garza??…Hell yes! Prospects for an overhyped…overrated gm??……Hell no! That is the difference!
          The Cubs don’t need to get Theo. I can think of a dozen other gm names that I would rather see the Cubs get who wouldn’t require any compensation.

          • Tony_Hall

            You didn’t answer my question.  Would you give up a prospect for Friedman, or for anyone, IF you thought this was the right guy.

          • cubtex

            No!

          • cubtex

            Let me rephrase that….If it was a mid prospect then yes, but not the names I am hearing for Theo….Brett Jackson or Castro. I wouldn’t do it for Javier Baez or Vitters either. It would have to be like Chirinos or Guyer(something like that)

          • Tony_Hall

            Ah, so you would agree to players to be exchanged.  

            Of course no one would agree to those players.  It’s just hype and speculating going on.

          • cubtex

            If I thought there was a clear number 1 guy I wanted. There are several GM candidates this year.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree.  But I really have no problem with giving up a prospect or two (depending on who they are, but that can be negotiated), to get Theo, if that is who Ricketts chooses.

            Watching the Brewers/Diamondbacks…what a game.

          • Tony_Hall

            See how negotiations work.  You started at no way, and now you would consider a mid level prospect.  Maybe tomorrow it could be 2 mid level prospects, etc.

        • cubtex

          “I also believe that in deals like this,you need to slowly work your counterpart down,from their lofty wants.”

          Deals like this? The Red Sox have Epstein under contract for another year. They set the price and the Cubs either say yes or walk. Plain and simple.

          • Tony_Hall

            You really think so.  If that was the case this would be over by now.

            Either they are going to let him talk or not…right.

            The reason we haven’t heard, the Red Sox say, he isn’t going anywhere, is there is negotiations going on between Theo and the Cubs, and the Red Sox and the Cubs.  

            The Red Sox could say we want xyz player, and the Cubs could offer back another.  There are negotiations in every deal.

          • texcubnut

            Tony, I have no problem with compensation or negotiating a deal for a GM, but let’s not lose track of the most important thing………getting the ‘right man’. Let’s not forget who we just got rid of. No GM is perfect. That being said, I wish the cubs would ask permission of the Rangers to talk to Jon Daniels. Ouside of the Danks trade and the A. Gonzales trade, he’s been damn near perfect. I doubt he would have interest in the Cubs but it’s the offseason and I can dream can’t I ? But I agree with you on compensation for the right man.

          • Tony_Hall

            Daniels isn’t going anywhere, but has done a very good job, and the Rangers organization and their fans are being rewarded with a great ball club.

            #1 is getting the right guy.  For some one here, they think there are many that can be the guy, just pick one and hire them.  I believe there are many that are qualified, but it will take the right personality and outlook on the game and life, to be able to survive as the Cubs GM (JH already used up all of the 9 lives).  If one guy stands out as the best, then I have no problem if they need to compensate that organization.  

            I firmly believe that Theo is deciding if he wants to make a move, and the Red Sox are trying to figure out what they will accept in compensation.  The end result, could be Theo stays in Boston, and they announce that it was never anything that was given much thought.

          • texcubnut

            Totall agree. You are correct about Daniels. Like I said, I can dream.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here you go – an article talking about great a job Daniels as done.  Sorry it’s Phil Rogers.

            http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/ct-spt-1009-rogers-rangers–20111009,0,665703.column

          • texcubnut

            Thanks, Tony. Rogers got this one right. You know what they say about the blind squirrel…..

  • Tom U

    Trey McNutt pitched 3 scoreless innings for Mesa. Josh Vitters 1-3. LeMahieu with a run scored. 2-2 against Salt River in the 6th.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL – Friday results: Trey McNutt tossed 3 perfect innings to start game (32 pitches, 20 strikes); Josh Vitters (1B): 1-for-4; DJ LeMahieu (3B): 0-for-4,R; Marcus Hatley: 1R, 1H, BB, K in 1.1 IP, took the loss.

  • Tony_Hall

    Congrats to the Brewers for representing the NL Central in the NLCS.

    Great game.

    Can the Cardinals make it a sweep for the NL Central?

    • paulcatanese

      Like it Tony,you were right a great game, and one half of the Central has advanced. Your’e buddy must be going nuts.

      • Tony_Hall

        I don’t have a problem rooting for the Brewers, as I would like to see them have their year, as they are at such a disadvantage, keeping their good young players.  The Cardinals, to complete the NL Central sweep, is a different story.  I can say, Brewers/Cardinals would be cool, but I usually find myself rooting against the Cardinals, in the middle of a play.  

        • paulcatanese

          I too would pull for the Brewers and have since the Cubs were out of it,(actually that would have been the end of April) but would like it if the Central was represented in the Series, like to see Brewers and Detroit.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Tony LaRussa is a great manager, in my book. The Cards have been to the post-season 9 times since 2000. That’s more than Dusty or Don or Lou or……

          • Tony_Hall

            Totally agree.

            Every year we say, the Cardinals have nothing after their big names, yet Larussa and Duncan make that team competitive and usually to the playoffs.  

          • texcubnut

            Agree. This year they did it without their ace, Adam Wainwright.You have to respect that.

    • John G

      Am I the only one that thought they were a bit classless after the game? They sure dissed the interview babe. Pretty rude. I understand that they were in the heat of the moment but, as professionals, they have to have a more gracious way of declining the interview. Especially Nyjer Morgan. I don’t ever want him on my team.

      • paulcatanese

        No John youre not the only one, Nyler Morgan is a jerk, has been all year,and the Monster grab, whatever they call it, between that and the Tomahawk chop drives me up a wall. I still dont know what that guy contributes anyway.

        • cubtex

          Did u see that play by Furcal in the 8th? He made 27 errors and 31 his first 2 years as a starting shortstop. When you have tools like that you don’t move then to 3rd. Theriot would have had no chance on that play. And just like some of the plays Castro can make….Barney has no chance on them as well.

          • paulcatanese

            Yeah, I saw it, but the Cardinals need a third baseman, probably move him over there for next year.

          • cubtex

            I couldn’t let a day slide where we couldn’t have a Starlin Castro debate :)

          • paulcatanese

            Getting to the ball was great, but getting up and throwing him out was fantastic. On the bad side looked like Howard may have pulled his tendon in his ankle on the last play.

          • John G

            He’ll have time to recover before the next game.

          • paulcatanese

            I like that one John.

          • Tony_Hall

            He’s having an MRI on it.  It probably has been an issue for awhile, and just reagravated it.

          • Dorasaga

            Howard has been ridiculous. He looks like a clown. Not simply because of what he did, or couldn’t. All players got their cold and hot streaks. But his worth. He got twenty tens of millions per year kicking in 2012, for four years.

            He’ll turn 32. Sometimes, I shake my head on these owners who spent money on bad talents, or more like bad timing to throw in the gold over a career… especially when these same owners later complained about not having the money to spend.

            Yeah, Ricketts, don’t become another McClown or MacFail or the Hendrym Syndrome.

  • paulcatanese

    Aram was surprised by the criticism? Just proves he wasnt around for most of the year.

    • Tony_Hall

      It also could be Qluelessness that rubbed off on him.

  • Aaron

    Here’s a question for everyone…

    If Jim Hendry was so valuable, respected, and highly thought of in the world of MLB….then why is he not even in conversations for ANY GM job right now?Right now, the Red Sox (if Epstein leaves), Angels, and Orioles will be looking for GM’s besides the Cubs. Hendry’s name hasn’t come up once in ANY discussion. And he just lost one of his advocates in the game with MacFailed stepping down from the O’s, so….

    • John G

      That’s absolutely not true Aaron. My grandson’s little league sent Hendry a letter asking him if he would be their GM.

      • Dorasaga

        Well played, John, well played…

    • carmelo

      Never heard Ventura’s name in any conversations about Sox job—–sometimes things are done out of the public eye.

    • Tony Spumoni

      Along those same lines, I haven’t heard any teams offering prospects or All-Star players or anyone else for a chance to talk to Mike Quade about becoming their field manager next year.  Doesn’t seem to be much demand for Mr. Quade.

    • J Daniel

      Are you in on the conversations that the other teams are having?

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      Neither did Robin Ventura and he landed a job with bridgeport.

    • Tony_Hall

      His resume, doesn’t get past the HR department.  They keep laughing when they get to his list of FA’s he has signed.

  • paulcatanese

    Clean sweep, the Central Division are in the World Series. What a pitching performance by both.

    • cubtex

      I can never root for the Cardinals and I don’t like all that showboating the Brewers do. I guess I am rooting for an AL team this year!

      • John G

        DETROIT!!!

        I’m hoping for a rematch of 2006 (and 1968, and 1934)
        St. Louis won in 2006 and 1934. Let’s root for Detroit to even it up.

        • paulcatanese

          Well since I wa born in 34 I guess that makes me a Detroit fan.But still getting over the 45 series and the work they did on the Cubs.

      • Tony_Hall

        I will have no problem rooting for the Brewers to beat the Cardinals.  Built in hatred for the Cards.

  • MikeT_2008

    Man a worst case matchup for me in the NLCS. Bad enough that the Cubs won’t be seeing the playoffs anytime soon, but now their two biggest NL rivals are playing for a trip to the World Series while us Cubs fan wonder who our next GM will be. Sometimes I wonder why I still root for the Cubs.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Whatever ANYBODY says:……..

      THE CARDS KNOW HOW TO WIN.
      Since 2000, 9 trips to the playoffs.They are the most prolific NL team of the past 11 years. Better than the Yanks in that regard…….

      HIRE TONY LaRUSSA!

      • MikeT_2008

        Oh no doubting that, the man is one of the best ever. Problem is he couldn’t even win with the roster the Cubs currently have.

        • Tony_Hall

          What makes you say that?  He wins with the Cardinals roster every year.  Yet beginning of most seasons, we look at their roster and say there is not much past their couple of studs.

          • cubtex

            OK. I agree to give LaRussa a little props but to say that he could have won with the Cubs roster this year is ridiculous. PuJols,Holliday Berkman compare that to Pena,ARam and Soraino. No contest. Carpenter,Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook  to Dempster,Garza and ? (Randy Wells,Rodrigo Lopez) again…..no contest. Not just a couple of studs…they play decent defense, and if you look at the entire roster they are WAY more balanced than the Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            I bet he could of been over 500.  Never said that he could win a World Series.

          • cubtex

            The thing with the Cubs is that any other manager besides Quade would have taken Marmol out of the closer role way earlier in the season. I am sure LaRussa would have done that and then..yes they would be at or over .500

          • Tony_Hall

            Just making better day to day decisions could have made the 2011 Cubs 500.

    • Tony_Hall

      Mike, 

      I have had your thoughts in the past.  When the Astros and Cardinals played in the NLCS, I thought I could root for one of them, but ended up always rooting against both team, whenever either did anything good.

      But I now look at it as teams from our division, representing our division.  I think it is cool that the lowly Central has 2 teams in the playoffs, out of 4, and that both eliminated the other divisions, including the “great” team from the East.  

      Now, I will have no problem rooting against the Cardinals, and hope that the Brewers will sweep them.

      Also, a new GM, can bring in the right manager for this team (Ryne Sandberg), make a few smart moves on short term deals in FA, to fill some glaring holes this team has, then this team can be competitive quicker than you think.

      • paulcatanese

        Tony you are right, but what pops into my mind is what Ricketts had said a few days ago that the Cubs could turn this around quickly with just a few  moves. My fear is that in seeing what the Central has done inI as you think the playoffs re inforces what he is saying about just a few moves and dosent make the proper moves ie Baker,Hill, etc, with the roster. I as you think they can turn it around but hope it dosent get put of focus.

        • Tony_Hall

          I’m all for developing our own players, but every year there are some players you can take a 1 year flyer on (for less than $10M), that can help you get competitive and not block the development of your own players.

          • J Daniel

            ABSOLUTELY!!!!

  • Baron_S

    Love me or hate em….

    The Cards have been consistently good, on an average budget — The Tony La Russa – Dave Duncan combo is just about as good as it gets….

  • studio179

    The Phils had 12 more wins in the regular season than the Cards.

    Once again it is proven, just get to postseason. Anything can happen.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You are so right. AND it also shows that it is folly to wait another 15 years to rebuild the Cubs’ minor leagues to it can rebuild the ML roster. IMO the Cubs’ MiL system is in bad shape, with no ML ready players at AA or AAA: pitchers or position players. It will take years to change the culture of the coaches and to accumulate players thru the draft. Meanwhile the ML team suffers another 15 years of pathetic last place or near last place finishes. 

      It is so imperative that the Cubs get a GM with the TALENT EVALUATION SKILLS to accumulate pieces of the puzzle from any source possible. AND his philosophy must be that it requires top of the heap hitters with POWER.
      Look at the Cards: Pujols, Holliday, Berkman–power with high averages–and this year, Molina, Freese, Jay and Craig. The lowest average of them all was .296…..

      Hendry has so bankrupted the Cubs’ ML and MiL systems so thoroughly that it is a very daunting task indeed.

      • Tony_Hall

        It is amazing the destruction that JH did this team.  

        One thing the Cardinals do, is take players other teams have given up on, or no longer think can perform at their previous level.  The reclamation projects on the pitching staff are legendary, but they do it with position players as well.  Player after player, they get the most out of every player, by putting players in positions to succeed, versus putting them in position to fail.  

        People laughed at Berkman in the outfield and that his bat was done.  Yet, he goes to the Cardinals and has a great year.

        • GaryLeeT

          If I remember correctly, the Cubs wanted Berkman (and I wanted him at 1st base), but he refused to play for them. Plus, Berkman had many adventures out there in right.

          • Aaron

            actually, it wasn’t so much that Berkman didn’t want to play for them (he didn’t originally), but it was more about the deferred money. He wanted it now, and Hendry had to get creative just to land Pena….Pena was the back-up plan, no matter how Hendry and the Cubs tried to spin it. He was desperate for a “make good” contract, so he gladly accepted.

            He also wasn’t a fan of returning to the OF, but he took the position in St. Louis, because:
            a) They offered the most money without deferring it
            and
            b) They offered the best chance to win

          • cubs1967

            i’m not sure what berkman’s fangraphs totals were for the OF, but i would think pretty bad plus we’ll see if he can do it again………remember even gary gaetti had a great yr once for the cubs.

    • GaryLeeT

      Just get to post season with an ace and a good #2, or at least two good #2 starters on your staff, then anything can happen. The Cubs went to the post season in 07 and 08 with a #3 (at best) heading their staff…….and we all know how that turned out. 

      • cubtex

        Exactly! You can win a 5 game playoff series with 2 pitchers.

        • texcubnut

          Detroit did it with 1 pitcher

  • Tony_Hall

    The Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Angels, White Sox, Cubs, Mets, Giants, and Twins are eliminated now.

    Those are the Top 9 team payrolls for 2011.

    http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/baseball/mlb/salaries/team

    So much for spending your way to the World Series or even the Championship Series.

    All of the teams that are left, have developed many of their own players.  No matter if you can spend to fill holes or not, you have to develop a good percentage of your team, to be able to be competitive, year after year.

    • cubtex

       First of all…anything can happen in a 5 game series. If you have a stud #1(Detroit,Cards) You can beat a better team in a 5 game series.

      • Tony_Hall

        Exactly!  Spending only makes you competitve (or at least should) Doesn’t guarantee playoff wins.

    • cubtex

      The Cubs have as many home grown players on their starting 8 as the Tigers….the difference….the Tigers have better surrounding players and made some key midseason trades! Cubs….Soto, Castro, Barney.  Tigers…..Avila,Don Kelly, Ramon Santiago(I will give them him since he came up with Detroit,went to Seattle and they reaquired him) Advantage????? Cubs! So, not ALL of the teams left did it that way.

      • Tony_Hall

        Verlander…the pitching staff counts too.  Where would Detroit be without Verlander.  Home watching.

        You are right, the Cubs have a base of home grown talent, to build on.

        • cubtex

          Randy Wells…. Just kidding. Where would Detroit be without their bullpen???? That is the key to their team. They have an unbelievable record when leading after 7 innings.
          So
          Joaquin Benoit- Signed FA
          Phil Coke- Aquired trade
          Valverde- Perfect in save attempts.. Aquired

          No one from late inning bullpen home grown! All aquired and that is the key to their team!

          • Tony_Hall

            So, 1 team, is only partially homegrown, that made the playoffs…is that your point.  

          • cubtex

            more than one way to skin a cat is my point. Ideally it is best to do it with homegrown talent, but it can be done the way the Tigers have done it as well. That is why I do not like when anyone says it is a 3 year process etc.

          • studio179

            It very well could be a 3 year process. A lot depends on how much ownership will place into next years payroll. If they can’t move Sori and bring back Pena and go without adding Garza or above quality, then how is this club going to magically turn it around in 1 year? Don’t forget they will be paying to move Z and maybe Sori. What if they do not move Sori. What if they do not upgrade at several positions. Without buying players and adding big dollars, I don’t see this team turning it around in 1 year. Personally, I hope they don’t go that route. But you have to be real on how long it may take. One prime example is the Cubs have no stud starting pitching in their system. If Ricketts decides not to go after top pitching the next year or two, then it will take longer. All I am saying is you can not discount a quicker OR longer turnaround.

          • cubtex

            Remember….they have Siva,Fuko,ARam,Grabow and maybe they can move a little of Z’s money off the books next year. Yes, they need to hit big time this offseason on some players…but it is not out of reach.

          • studio179

            No, not out of reach. Again, I think both scenarios are possible. I just don’t think you can rule either direction out until a new GM is in and Ricketts shows a clear direction for the big club next year. 

    • cc002600

      yea, but being able to spend $170 to 210M makes a huge difference, don’t be so naive to think it doesn’t. Of course, any team with a $90M payroll can win it in any given year.  That’s not the point. That will always be the case, since there are only 2 teams spending $170-200M  a year.  Everyone else is spending way less. 

      But when you can spend that kind of dough every year, your chances are GREATLY improved every year and you can sustain good teams every year. It allows you to keep your all-stars while adding younger pieces, which other teams cannot do.
      Of course you need that good young core to build around. Every team need that. But its not a coincidence that the yankees and redsox win 90+ games every year that’s solely attributable to their farm system. Its spending HUGE money that allows them to be in playoffs in every year, or close to it.

      • Tony_Hall

        Absolutely!  Spending on a Top 10 payroll, should give you an opportunity,every year to make the playoffs (except in the Cubs case)

        • cubtex

          or Mets :) The point is that the Cubs never sustained a top 10 payroll for a decade straight like the Red Sox and Yankees.

          • Tony_Hall

            It’s getting close to 10 years, and it’s not about to turn around.

          • cubtex

            Look at the Cubs payroll from 2002 to 2008. Only the last 3 years have they been a consistent top 6 payroll team.

            2002 12th
            2003 11th
            2004 6th
            2005 8th
            2006 7th
            2007 8th
            2008 8th

            Not as high as you probably thought.

          • Tony_Hall

            I looked it up before I posted.

            2012 will be Year 9 of being in the Top 10…if they are in the Top 10.

            07 and 08 should be higher, but JH used signing bonus’s to lower the 1st pay of players, therefore being pro-rated over the course of their contract.

  • Tony_Hall

    Right here is all you need to read, to know that the Cubs are talking to Theo about a title that is above and/or including the GM title, and the Red Sox about compensation, privately.

    From the article below, Henry on the radio Friday morning.

    Henry mentioned “privacy considerations,” adding “I’m not sure the other team would like that to be made public.” He did concede “there’s a certain protocol, and if someone asks permission for a job that’s not lateral, you give them permission.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-1008-gm-cubs-chicago–20111008,0,7474341.story

  • woody34

    Does anyone else think that Ricketts may have only asked to talk to Epstein to do background on Cherington?  He has to know that Jackson, Castro, and Garza are the only players worth building around at or near the MLB level.  You have to believe he has enough baseball knowledge to know that it makes no sense to trade any of them for an exec position.  I list the top 5 candidates in this order:

    1. Epstein (if it doesn’t cost Garza/Castro/Jackson)
    2. Cherington
    3. Cashman (now that Yankees destroyed again in playoffs)
    4. Friedman
    5. Beane (moneyball movie heightens his popularity to fan base)

  • Dorasaga

    I have a question about this rivalry thing:

    Why do you hate the Cards? or even root against them in any way.

    I’m simply puzzled. The Mets were our division rival for more than twenty years, and they sent Ron Santo and the ’69 Cubs to Neverland.

    It wasn’t like the Card fans mock the fans all the time, either. Unlike the White Sox fans, who’ve been in general, mean to Cub fans. I’ve even heard and read more foul languages from Brewer fans. And isn’t the Crew an equal division rival as do the Cards?

    Just wondering. What’s going wrong with the Cards?

    • Tony_Hall

      I’m thinking this was directed at me.

      Cardinal fans and Cubs fans do not like each other.  Cardinal fans (in my area) very much do, mock Cub fans.  

      The Brewers are hard to hate, as they won’t be able to keep their best players, so you know they will only have short term runs.  Now, if the Cubs face the Brewers in the NLCS, their will be no love lost.

      You need to move back to the States, and live in Chicago for awhile :)

      • Dorasaga

        “You” is a general pronoun. =)

        I was using that term rhetorically. Just anyone can answer me fine.

        Now Tony, since you jumped on this topic and made it personal… I was in St. Louis for more than four years, as you’ve probably known through my private facebook, and Cards fans have been good to me. I wore my Cubs gears (blue-striped shirt and blue cap) to Busch stadium, and there wasn’t much attention but a few curious eye-rolls. I must say there’s a reason why St. Louis was called “baseball’s nicest city.”

        But what do I know? I know to root AGAINST the Suckies, as a reciprocal to White Sox fans who have no appreciation of the Cubs and its history.

        • Tony_Hall

          Maybe around St Louis, but around me, Cardinal fans are extremely arrogant.

          • Coolpdxcubsfan

            Ditto!

          • Dorasaga

            It must be an Illinois thing.

        • Last_ginger

          Most Sox fans came into existence in 2005 and thats all they bloody talk about.

          • Dorasaga

            Yeah, I can imagine why. Decent Sox fans were probably burnt on the Disco Demolition Night and buried under the old Comiskey Park.

  • Mac
    • Tony_Hall

      Another person speculating based on the fact of seeing nothing.

      • Tony Spumoni

        Look who’s talkin’.

        • Tony_Hall

          Do you know the difference between news reporters and bloggers? 

          This is a place for people to discuss ideas and thoughts.  That is what we do, throw out our opinions.  You threw out your opinion and tried to say it was based on facts.  There were no facts, but you decided to keep defending it based on facts that weren’t there.  All you had to do was say, it was your opinion and that would have been that.  I throw out my opinions, and when appropriate, use facts to back them up, or just state that it is my opinion. You can disagree with my opinion, and we may discuss it.  You may change my opinion, I may change your opinion, or we may agree to disagree.  

          This guy is a news reporter, who has taken the step from nothing and drawn a conclusion.  That is speculating and as a news reporter is just not right. They should report the news and state the facts.

          • Tony Spumoni

            Sez you.

  • Ripsnorter1

    NEWSFLASH!!!
    THE NEW CUBS’ GM HAS JUST LEFT HIS JOB SO THAT NOW HE IS AVAILABLE FOR HIRE…..

    Andy MacFail just quit the Orioles after leading them to their 14th consecutive sub-.500 season…..here’s the article. Tom Ricketts was quoted as saying, “He’s perfect for the job. He assembled winners here before….”

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7073662/andy-macphail-leaving-orioles-president

    • studio179

      Hire Andy again so he can hire Jim again. One big hampster wheel. :)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL – Saturday results: Andrew Cashner: 0R, 0H, K, 1IP;
    Josh Vitters (DH): 3-for-5, RBI; DJ LeMahieu(3B): 2-for-5, RBI, R; Junior Lake(SS): 1-for-3, R, BB; Chris Carpenter: 1R, 1H, BB, 2K, 1IP. Carpenter took loss after Solar Sox could not turn DP in the ninth.

    Cubs Andrew Cashner retired all 3 batters faced in 1st
    appearance in AFL. Cashner struck out one on 13 pitches, 9 strikes

    • bpot92

      It appears Vitters has had a pretty good AFL season so far. Is he getting time at 3b at all though? It seems like only Dh and 1b

      • cubtex

        I have noticed that too! Unfortunately, it seems as if he is playing 1B most of the time. IMO…..he needs to be playing 3B. I’m with you on that!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Vitters has not played at third so far in the AFL. There was talk about him getting time in the outfield but he has not played there either. Vitters has played only first base in the field and spent a game as the DH.

        • J Daniel

          Vitters not playing third is not a good sign, I believe.

        • Tony_Hall

          Neil – Who decides playing time and positions in the AFL?  Do the major league teams, have any say or guidelines for the manager of the AFL team.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            The managers in the AFL make the final decisions but the respective teams of the players give them restrictions on pitchers and the positions they would like the players to see time at during the short season. As for playing time, it is my understanding that is up to the managers.

          • Tony_Hall

            So, does that mean the Cubs instructed them to play Vitters at 1B the most, or just a matter of who is on the team?

            I say this, because I do a fall team, that has kids from 4 or 5 regular season teams, and even though I try to get all the kids to the positions they want, sometimes, its just a matter of the mix of kids I have to play.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Chances are yes the Cubs asked for Vitters to be played at first. Also, remember the Cubs would like to get LeMahieu playing time at third. This is one of the many problems with the team not having a GM right now.

            You are right about the mix of players, at the same time the goal for all of the teams sending players out there is to get playing time. I would imagine there is a lot of communication in order to ensure players are just not out there watching the games.

  • Tony_Hall
    • Demitri

      I dont know if i believe that

    • John G

      Noah Pinzur seeking his 15 minutes of fame and Paul Sullivan more than happy to oblige him.

      • Tony_Hall

        Maybe so, none of us know for sure.  It could have been a way to leak that Theo was in town, it could of been a real look a like, it could be just someones active imagination.  

        Hopefully Monday brings a conclusion to this.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice article by Doug Glanville.  He was a bench player for the 2003 Cubs, who was traded for mid-season. 

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2011/story/_/id/7077713/2011-mlb-playoffs-teams-experience-bitter-end

    • studio179

      That is a good article. You posted about Cardinal fan arrogance earlier. Unfortunately, 2003 reminds me of some of the arrogance my fellow Cub fans had going into games 6 & 7.

    • John G

      WOW!! I had no idea that Doug Glanville was such an excellent writer. Must be that Engineering Degree he has. I once had a professor who always said “If you can’t handle Engineering, just drop out and go to medical school.”

  • paulcatanese

    Trying to change the subject a little. What makes everyone think that Sandberg would accept the manageial job with the Cubs if offered ? After all couldnt Ricketts forced the issue with JH last year? And what happens when he will be offered the Phillie’s job as he certainly will, either now or at least the end of the 2012 season. I think he passe’s on the Cubs and will wait for he Phillies job. He may not want to be spurned or burned twice.I would like to see him with the Cubs, but dont think its a done deal by a long shot.

    • Tony Spumoni

      Paul, I couldn’t agree more.

    • cubtex

      Paul, for someone like Sandberg who has never had a mlb job…. I really doubt he would skip one over(especially to where the fan base loves him here in Chicago). I have said this many times before….If the Cubs offered, he would not walk to sign….he would run.

      • paulcatanese

        Good, I hope he is offered the job. More or less repeating what was on ESPN when they showed Sandberg in the dugout a couple of weeks ago and mentioned he may be the succesor for the Phillies job, but would have to wait th next year out.
        On the other hand Sandberg with the Cubs as manager may move Castro over to third right away, as he’s a pretty smart guy.

    • studio179

      By all accounts, Ryne did not burn any bridges with the Ricketts. He would easily come back to the Cubs to manage.

      • studio179

        Don’t forget Manuel was extended for ’12 & ’13. So Ryno would wait a couple more years for maybe managing the Phillies or come back to the Cubs if offered the job now. He would be back.

        • paulcatanese

          My mistake on Manuel then, I thought ESPN had said just 2012 in the conversation about Sandberg and the Phillies, that being the case,I would not think Sandberg would wait two more years if anything came around. I was also thinking along the lines of a new GM who may not want Sandberg, but that could be PR suicide for a new GM. Lots of scenerios out there.

          • studio179

            It is basically this offseason for Ryno to manage the Cubs or not for a very long time. 

      • paulcatanese

        No, I dont think he (Sandberg) did either, I was thinking more on the lines of Ricketts not overuling Hendry with his choice of Qua,and going with Sandberg instead.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Checking for further confirmation but according to Comcast SportNet New England, the Sox have granted Ricketts permission to speak with Epstein.

    http://www.csnne.com/10/09/11/Epstein-spotted-in-Chicago—-or-was-he/landing_redsox.html?blockID=574594&feedID=3352

  • Tom U

    News for this coming week:

    The Mexican Pacific League will begin play on Tuesday, the Venezuelan League on Wednesday, and the Dominican League on Friday.

    The Australian Baseball League will begin on 11/03/11 and the Puerto Rican League on 11/04/11.

    • Dorasaga

      Are the Cubs sending anyone to play with the Aussies? I have a friend who plays organized baseball there. Maybe I can ask for an autograph.

  • Darrenmcculloch

    Who cares about Theo.  Is the fax machine broke at Cubs headquarters.  I have yet to see a memo about Mike Quade being fired. 

    • studio179

      Ricketts is going to let the new GM take care of the manager’s position. 

      After they upgrade the manager, they can ditch the fax machine. :)

    • Tony_Hall

      Who still uses a fax machine?

  • http://stevenswood.com/ Steve Waugh

    I don’t know; there’s a lot of good candidates out there. We’re going to
    talk to a handful of them and I’m sure we’ll come up with the right fit
    for the team.