Rambling About All Things To Be Thankful For … With the Cubs, That Is

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!!

Before I get goofy, giddy and grandiose, I want to take a moment and be serious.

Thank you to all of the Faithful. Thank you for coming to this site daily, reading, writing, sharing your thoughts and engaging in witty, intelligent, interesting and sometime contentious banter.

Neil is the lifeblood and the leader, but the readers are every bit as important.

So, here at the CCO, we THANK YOU for your continued patronage of this great site and hope that wherever you are, you are safe and loved.

So, with that said, let’s get to rambling and being thankful.

  • I am thankful that Tom Ricketts is doing what he said he would do. It is so refreshing and promising.
  • I am thankful for Theo Epstein. I still cannot fathom that he is the President of Baseball Operations for the CHICAGO CUBS.
  • Dale Sveum … obviously we cannot judge at this point. However, when slews of colleagues endlessly rave about your communication skills, especially with young players, seems like a good idea at this point.
  • If you disagree, let us know.
  • I am thankful that Epstein is going to let Kerry finish his career in Chicago. Classy move.
  • Then again, Wood has earned a two-year contract. When that ends, he will have pitched in the Bigs for 15 years.
  • Who would have thunk his career would have lasted this long 10 years ago?
  • I am thankful for Starlin Castro.
  • My bold prediction: Matt Garza will not be on the Cubs next season.
  • I believe Theo will trade him … unless he signs Prince. Which I do not see happening, but then again, I am not good at the prediction thing.
  • If I were, I would live in Vegas and make millions.
  • I am thankful for a real, true “Baseball Operations” department. The Cubs have an actual “Baseball department.”
  • I mean, people have job titles, and there is someone to perform each job, not a handful to multi-task 365 days a year.
  • I mentioned the season-ticket holder conference call with baseball management recently. During that call, Jed Hoyer said they are working 18-hour days. I like that. I like it a lot.
  • Whether or not this is normal in front offices, I do not know, but it is good to hear nonetheless.
  • I am thankful for a new CBA. No matter what I agree or disagree with, I am glad there is labor peace.
  • I am thankful for Pat Hughes. (This is directly from Neil, but I am thankful as well.)
  • I am thankful that Alfonso Soriano will play like he is 25 again next season.
  • “Some say I am a dreamer …”
  • I am thankful that of Jackson, Vitters, Lake and Szczur, at least two will play in our outfield for ten years.
  • “Back to reality, oh, there goes gravity …”
  • I am thankful for the fact that I actually have long-term hope in the Cubs. Not a one-season, out of nowhere, 1989 all over again thing, but real, sustained excellence.
  • We are going to take a break from the “WTF Game.” We are playing the “I am thankful for” game.
  • So, let us know below, what are you thankful for?

On this great holiday, I wish you the greatest Thanksgiving full of everything you want, whatever it is.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did." - Mark Twain

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  • frustrated

    Thank you for providing your readers with the wealth of information on your site.  I love the stuff that you post because so much is not to be found easilly anywhere else.

  • Tony_Hall

    I am thankful for a place for all of us Cub faithful, to be able to discuss our favorite team. We all have different opinions, and can discuss them, and sometimes change others opinions, sometimes we have to agree to disagree and time will tell.  The collection of knowledgeable people on this site is second to none, and if you want to know what is going on with any part of the Chicago Cubs or any of their farm systems, this is the place.

    Thank-you to Neil for this great site, to Brian for your ramblings, and Tom for his minor league reports.  Thank-you to all that post and discuss regularly or just come to this site to read, there are far too many to mention, but one day we will all be celebrating our team winning the World Series.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone at the CCO!

    • Mozob

      Ditto!

    • cubtex

      Well said Tony……And I still say the Garza deal was a good trade for the Cubs!  :)

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, but now only if he stays and is not moved. That wouldnt make too much sense to me. And on another note, what do you guys have for dinner today? Roast Armodillo, Texas style?

        • cubtex

          And to you and your family! I enjoyed our banter as well Paul. No armadillo. Traditional turkey with some of our family favorites. Daughter came home from army to celebrate and my son just gave his verbal commitment to run cross country and track for a Div. 1 school. I have alot to be thankful for! Enjoy the day with all those White Castle sliders!!!!!

          • paulcatanese

            Thats really special that youre Daughter made it home and congratulations on youre son to a Div 1 school. Hate to bust youre bubble on his scholorship but like me, its still going to cost bucks to him for all the incidentals, I never heard so many excuses to “send some bucks Dad”, its fun though and you will enjoy it. Happy for you.

          • cubtex

            Yes I know but to have a good school pay for tuition and room and to fulfill a dream of running and traveling all over the country is priceless! I did the same with baseball and those were some of my best memories. It is cool to have your son be able to have those same memories.

          • paulcatanese

            The best part is watching you’re son compete, in my wildest dreams I could not imagine the thrill. got to see both compete at Tulane and in the Superdome,and the other in Las Vegas(course that one cost a little more).

          • cubtex

            Tulane was heavily recruiting my son too. He did not want any part of that Louisiana humidity. It is a very good school. I look forward to watching him compete against some of the best athletes in the world! You must have enjoyed that.

    • paulcatanese

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family, it’s been a pleasure going back and forth with you.

  • J Daniel

    I am thankful, as many others are, that it appears that there is finally a long term plan on the north side.  As I have stated before, it may or may not work, but it is a plan.  Ricketts obviously knew what he wanted, knew what he was doing, and went and did it.

    Just a couple of thoughts – who know has leverage on the compensation for Theo?  Does it really matter?  The Sox will get a player or 2, so what.  The Cubs actually have a top notch front office now and if it cost them a couple of players it was a great move!  My question to those that would differ with that would be – would you prefer those players to remain with the Cubs and have the same front office set up?  Compensation would have been needed for Friedman as well.  As far as all of the others such as Hahn, Coletti, . . . you can have them.  This front office will recoup quickly whatever it is they eventually give up.

    I believe as well that Garza will not be with the Cubs next year.  He is good, and had a really good year in spite of the mess.  But, top starting pitching will bring a good haul in exchange, just ask the Marlins.  Theo and the boys don’t care at this point what was given up to get him but are concerned with building continual success.  There will be teams that will pony up a good package for him.  If the Rangers lose their ace, they are an option.  The Yankees need starting pitching, as well as any other team that thinks they will be in contention.

    The Cubs are not going to be in contention next year, we all know that.  The Cub kool-aid in us thinks that if the Cards lose Pujols and the Brewers lose Fielder than maybe they can win the division.  That has been the narrow sightedness of the Cubs for years.  Looking for the lightning in a bottle – quick get lucky option.

    How about making as many good trades as possible now with the eye on 2-3 seasons from now – with a core that will be good for years?  Just a thought that they obviously have.

    So, the guys that can bring the most are Garza, Soto, Marmol, Dempster, Z (at the trade deadline if . . . ).  Throw in a couple of sandwich picks for Aram and Pena, along with Jason McCloud drafting, and a couple of good FA signings, – that is the plan for long term sustained success.  

    So, I am thankful for all of the excitement that will be coming to the North Side Baseball Franchise.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I guess I’ll disagree with you politely across the board.

      1. I do not want to give up anything for Theo–K.Hill would be the ultimate limit of my compensation to the Sox.
      2. Of course the Cubs can be competitive in 2012. They could have been so in 2011 with a REAL management team. So I am not prepared to sell out 2012–no sirrreeeee.

      3. Garza: I am not ready to deal him away unless I were to be blown away with the compensation. Sometimes teams will trade away more to get a ML starter than they receive. I’d do that, ala the Mark Langston trade, in which Randy Johnson was one of the pitchers thrown in for him. Or the Jake “El Busto” Peavy trade, in which the Padres received more that Mr. El Busto gave to the White Sox. Otherwise, he stays.

      4. I am looking at 2012, 2013, 2014, and every year as a year to be competitive. Jim Qlueless failed because he did not realize that it takes POWER to score runs. He considered Joey Gathright, singles hitter, to be an equal to Jim Edmonds, home run hitter. STUPID!!!!  He considered Aaron Miles, singles hitter, to be an equal to Mark DeRosa, home run hitter. STUPID!!!!  Theo–I should hope–isn’t that stupid. We shall see, of course.

      • daverj

        The only way the Cubs are competitive in 2012 is if Epstein makes the same mistakes as Hendry and signs Fielder and others to bad long term contracts.  Epstein’s too smart for that.  If the team is run well for the long term, the Cubs won’t be competitive for a couple years.

        • paulcatanese

          Have enjoyed your’e comments and replys, hope it all continues. Have a great Holiday.

        • Ripsnorter1

          We shall see. My feeling is that the Cubs will be over .500 in 2012–and this prognosis without even seeing the roster just yet….: )

          Have a good Thanksgiving!

      • paulcatanese

        Ah Rip, my favorite player Aaron Miles, cannot believe he’s still around, had to be one of the worst the Cubs ever had.Enjoy your’e KFC.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Yeah, Paul…..you old die hard Cubs’ fan!  LOL

          Don’t bash ole Aaron Miles too hard…..I’ll tell you why:  He outperformed Mr. Marlon Eugene Byrd in 2011.

          Aaron Miles’ stats:.275 BA  3 HR 45 RBI…..314 OBP….454 AB…25 BB…49 k

          Mr. Marlon Byrd
          .276 BA….9 HR….35 RBI…..324 OBP…25 BB….446 AB…78 k

          You can see they hit within .001 of each other in BA…..
          But Aaron Miles out-RBI’d Mr. Byrd 45 to 35.
          Walks were exactly the same. 

          How about hitting in the clutch?
          Miles with RISP: .312 BA…..385 OBP….
          Miles with Runners on:  .385 BA…..409 OBP

          Byrd with RISP: .198….252 OBP
          Byrd with Runners On: .235 BA……285 OBP

          Well, we see why the Cubs would be better off batting Miles in the #3 holes instead of Marlon Byrd.
          Paul, that Miles trade, along with Jake Fox for Jeff Gray, may go down as one of Hendry’s worst trades ever!   LOL

          • paulcatanese

            Damn, I knew we should have held on to Miles.

      • Coolpdxcubsfan

        Thanks Rip, for all your posts. You have had me laughing, crying and or seething this year (mostly laughing). I love the way you stir the pot. K. Hill for Theo indeed hahaha. They probably would give us a few players not to have to take K. Hill.
        Anyhow, have a great holiday.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Coolpdxcubsfan: 

          Thank you for this post. I am glad someone reads ‘em. :)
          We had a nice holiday: KFC, Southern Fried Corn, fried apples, ham hock and beans. Peach pie for dessert. Now that’s living!  LOL

          God bless,

          • paulcatanese

            That sounded like a great dinner, We do ham hock and beans almost once every five six weeks, fried apples, havent tried those, but have fried green tomato’s whenever we can get them.

    • paulcatanese

      Happy Holiday’s, but hope you are wrong about Garza, too young to be moved.

    • David

      Soo, Our new manager signed on for 2012 to fail!

      Guess again!

  • Schwimmer

    To:  Neil
    I wrote about the fact that the rules of ARBITRATION — allow for the team to NOT have to sign the player (e.g. PENA) “just because they went to Arbitration.”  They could release the player in Spring Training.

    You replied.  But I wasn’t clear on your answer.  So, let me ask you (or anyone else on this web site) to respond to my comments/questions?

    1.  First of all, I cannot believe that a player accepts Arbitration unless he knows that the team really wants him.  After all, the GM and THEO are in constant communication with AGENTS (like Scott Boras) about an upcoming Arbitration with their client.

    2.  So, if THEO’s plan is to offer Arbitration to PENA to get a “draft pick,” and, with a clear understanding that he really has no interest in signing PENA — I am quite sure that he would communicate this to Scott Boras.  And, he would have this discussion prior to the actual Arbitration.

    3.  And, of course, Boras would tell his client, PENA about what THEO said.  Therefore, why on earth would PENA “accept” Arbitration?  What would be the point?

    Please let me know what you think?  And, if you agree with me — that it very likely that THEO has made his intentions about PENA known to Boras?  And, therefore, we CUB fans do not have to worry that PENA will “shock” the CUBS by accepting Arbitration.

    Isn’t that how the whole Arbitration issue would go down…if PENA chose to accept Arbitration?

    I am 100% against PENA being a Chicago CUB.  He is not worth $10, $12 or $13 M.  

    I would love to see the CUBS find a way to sign FIELDER.  Or, if not — give LaHAIR a chance to play 1st base.

    • J Daniel

      Many agents, especially Boras, are scumbags!  They are in it only to get the most money for his client, regardless of the situation.  That is how/why a guy like Werth ends up with the Nationals.  Why on earth would you go there if you have any interest in winning, unless it is only for max dollars.

      Therefore, if Boras searches the market and CAN’T find a better dollar amount, he will accept arbitration for Pena.  Boras does not really care if/how the client fits into plans.

      Players hire Boras knowing he is going to make them MAX dollars.

      If Pena/Boras decides on arbitration both teams will submit a dollar amount for the salary for the next season.  Each side presents their case on why the player is worth the dollars they are offering and then the judge determines EITHER the club offer or the player offer, no in between.

      So it is a bit of a gamble on both sides and the current market has a lot to do with which number is decided on.

      So BOTH Pena and Aram could possibly be back in a Cub uniform next season.  I don’t think either will be but you can’t rule it out.

      In Pena’s case, it depends on if he is going to get an offer of $12-13 million a year for a couple of years from another team.  If he does not, he will accept arbitration, be back with the Cubs, and try to maximize his value for the next off season.

      In Aram’s case, he will probably receive a 2-3 year offer from somebody, thus making more money and will take the offer.  In arbitration, he might receive a $15 million for 1 season with the Cubs but then be a year older.  He might receive a 2 year $30 million or a 3 year $40 million from someone and then accept that offer – which one would you take?

      • Dorasaga

        I thank you for the objective comments. But I don’t agree with the agents being scumbags. There are three parties involved in offseason baseball business, and only the Player and the Club leave their signatures on one contract. One offers and the other takes it. They decide to sign or not.

        With his age and his faltering since 2009, it’ll be a stretch that Pena “wins” the arbitration and earn $12-13 M (boy, I hate that word). He will sign somewhere else. Happy Thanksgiving.

        • paulcatanese

          Happy Holidays to you. Wish I were in Oberamagau with the family right now, that would be great.

          • Dorasaga

            You inspired me to save up for a London trip sometime in two years. I’ve never been to England. It will be interesting to visit the peasant-hero, Lord Nelson, and then listen to avante-garde in West End. Maybe I’ll spot a Cubs fan.

            Happy Holiday!

          • paulcatanese

            Spent a week there in 1956 to play an Air Force team, only played them once so had time to look around. Didnt care for warm beer. The city at that time reminded me a lot of Chicago. Dont miss the changing of the guard at the Palace.Lots to see.

          • Dorasaga

            Not directly related to your games (between American counterparts, I guess), but I recall that these Englishmen had an active baseball league. In fact, they won the first few IBAF World Cup. On further research:

            http://www.ibaf.org/en/tournament/baseball-world-cup/faf4ffe6-b5f3-4913-851c-d4dcf7b9927d

            I always wonder what went wrong, and then baseball died in England.

          • paulcatanese

            No doubt in my mind that the British found Baseball too dull in comparison to Cricket, add to that the class of the sport, not as much to be “sporty” about. Plus Rugby (mans game) and Soccer International game.
            Go to Yahoo,plug in Italian Baseball 1982 Jack Catanese, or anything their under his name, or Paul. Google, Zach Catanese, Brandon Catanese and check it out, Az State,Oregon State football, think you will find it interesting.

          • Dorasaga

            That’s perhaps the most realistic view of the death of baseball there — superior competition from other British sports. I’ll check into the Italian thing. I used to believe that MLB revived baseball in Italy, but they had a long tradition that went back to Spaldings when he owned the Cubs the turn of Century, before Pearl Harbor and 1941.

          • paulcatanese

            Actually pretty strong over there, and some interesting stories that my son brought back with him. He played for Gosseto Italy. Stories such as removing the head of chickens and throwing them into the dugout, very competetive.

      • daverj

        Some agents may be scumbags but it has nothing to do with getting the most money for their clients.  That is their job!  Boras is an extremely talented negotiator and good at what he does.  I don’t know what kind of a person he is in terms of how he treats people and/or contributes to charities and the community, but I respect him very much professionally as a player agent.

      • paulcatanese

        I dont care how it works out as long as either one does not come back for 2012. I still have that sinking feeling that at least Pena will be back.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      What you mentioned above is more likely to happen than what you asked about yesterday. I did not mean to confuse you but I did not recall a scenario playing out to the extent you mentioned with players the caliber of Ramirez and Pena.

      Here is an example that just happened

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/24/raul-ibanez-agreed-to-decline-phillies-arbitration-offer?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      • Schwimmer

        Thanks Neil.  Never forget we are talking through e-mail.  So, that type of communication is not usually as clear as if we were “sitting down having a beer.” :)   I think you did a good job trying to answer my question.

        My big point was that we should not worry that if PENA accepts Arbitration — that means that we are “stuck with him.”  

        And, my other point was the same as the situation with RAUL IBANEZ.  The TEAM and the PLAYER and the AGENT talk.  I am quite sure that if the CUBS are only offering Arbitration to get a draft pick — they are telling PENA’S AGENT (who is telling the PENA).

        That was my only point.

        By the way:  BORAS’ strategy is to wait until PUJOIS and FIELDER sign in order to get the best deal for PENA.

        Well…I don’t think those players are going to be signed in the next 7 days.
        And, by that time PENA either has accept or decline Arbitration.  So, I don’t think we have to worry about PENA being a CUB…unless that is what THEO wants.

        Re:  AGENTS

        I agree that they are performing a valuable service on the player’s behalf.  Most are very reputable.  A few maybe “scum bags.”

        I don’t like SCOTT BORAS because he has been accused of lying and gross manipulation to UP the contracts he gets for his clients.  For example, when he represented A-ROD to the Texas Rangers.  I’ve heard several sources say that he was able to get Tom Hicks, the Owner of the Rangers, to totally “bid against himself” by telling Hicks that the METS (or, another team) were ready to pay that much for A-ROD.

        Believe me, it well known that BORAS totally “b.s”-ed Tom Hicks.  Hicks made the mistake of wanting A-ROD so bad that he believed anything that BORAS said.

        Of course, you can say that it is the responsibility of the Owners.  And, that it is their fault for making a bad contract.  But I think that certain agents like BORAS do not care about honesty or ethics.  They will say or do anything if it will get their client (and them) more money.  I think Owners deserve to know that agents will live by. 

        Agents should all operate with a “code of ethics.”  If I were an owner, I would be checking back with other owners, on any major trade, to learn if the negotiation I had with the player’s Agent was in “good faith.”

        I am quite sure that all the MLB Owners have SCOTT BORAS’ number.  Tom Hicks was totally taken to the “wood-shed” in over-paying for A-ROD.  So, the owners have learned about Scott Boras’ tactics.  

        And, while the owners have to be careful of “collusion” they have a right to protect themselves from the dis-honest tactics of agents who will make up things just to get more money for his client.

        Having said that — I am always amazed at how multi-millionaires and billionaires — who own teams can be so easily manipulated and lied to.
         

      • paulcatanese

        Happy Holiday to you and the family, did read that post, I assume you mean there is hope that they will be gone.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Pena has 12,000,000 reasons to accept arbitration. He won’t get that much any where else, Boras or no Boras.

    • paulcatanese

      I would also hope LaHair gets a shot. Happy Holidays.

  • Tony_Hall

    Baseball Prospectus Cubs prospect list.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15574

    • Anthony

      Another journalists opinion?

      • Tony_Hall

        Of course it someone else’s opinion.  Isn’t that all a scouts take on a player is anyway?  Or anyone else that compiles info on a player and gives to someone else?  Just another opinion.  Doesn’t mean it’s not something that’s fun to read and get another take on our players.

        • Anthony

          Well, hoping that some Cubs Prospects in the 21-200 range come to the forefront with not so many warts as 1-20.

          Actually, I feel bad for 21-200 because this journalist then believes they are worse than the following:

          “very poor approach at the plate, theres some funk in his swing, needs to improve on reads and routes”

          “He’s a complete mess at the plate”

          “big-unathletic”

          Then, there are these contradictions:

          “excellent approach at the plate-tremendous amount of swing and miss”

          “excellent hand-eye coordination-rarely took pitches, even bad ones”

          “rarely strikes out-sabotages himself at the plate swinging at far too many bad pitches”

          “big, athletic, toolsy-sloppy defender who needs to improve”

          This was written about the Cubs best prospects. If a player has a funky swing as a top prospect and has trouble on outfield reads, good luck, as that function of outfield play is more a gift than a learned skill.

          Don’t we have some other pretty swings in the 21-200 range that aren’t a complete mess at the plate?

          You can have the greatest approach in the world at the plate, but when that one pitch comes that can be driven, and you don’t deliver the barrel, then you have a flaw.

          So the rookie has excellent hand-eye, yet chose to swing at bad pitches. Is that arrogant, or is the hand-eye overrated?

          You can strike out less but make weak out in other ways as the writer stated. Well, on average, every hitter will make at least 6 outs every ten at bats in some form.

          Toolsy, and sloppy.?

          Here is how these lists work. One writer creates a stir, then the rest start the cut and paste and focus on the same guys over and over, then they sell this stuff?

          Therefore, maybe its time to see what we have in prospects 21-200, the ones who nobody talks about that much. In this case, as in BA, they included 2011 kids, who either signed late and had no pro book yet, and excluded other 2011 kids with little sample size who didn’t light their world on fire yet. Basically, they listed investment kids.

          Time to form the scrub list and do some research. There has to be some guys with good footwork, athletes, good reads and routes, pretty swings, etc etc.

      • paulcatanese

        Happy Holidays Anthony , have enjoyed the posts.

        • Anthony

          same for you paul and all the other baseball folks

    • Ripsnorter1

      It was a great read, even if it was discouraging. 

  • Chuck

    Happy Thanksgiving to all from sunny and 80 degrees here in Fort Myers, FL. I am thankful for such people as Neil, Brian, and Tom. It is also refreshing to see older fans such as myself here.  The CCO has become a major part of my morning routine and checking it throughout the day.  I am thankful that we now have an owner that is running a topnotch organization.  With a topnotch front office, it should become a bit easier to sign free agents.  Players will talk to other players to influence them to play for the Cubs. Their opinions of Theo, Jed, and Dale carry weight in signings. And finally, I am thankful that this coming Cubs Convention should be a gathering of optimism and not depression.  It would be nice if those who post here could have a chance to meet each other..  It is always nice to put a name with a face.  So am very thankful to be looking at a very exciting year in Cubs baseball.  A new chapter and a new era has started.

    • paulcatanese

      And the same to you,it’s 38 degrees and raining here in Northern California(thats sunny california).

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson, Javier Baez and Welington
    Castillo top Baseball Prospectus’ list of top Cubs prospects http://tinyurl.com/7d9ucbe

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Thank you Brian …

    I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving

  • Dorasaga

    I am thankful for baseball and the fact that Chicago has a rich heritage of baseball. I thank all the Cubs fans on this site; our love and ideas for the Cubs game have no limit; we have no boundaries. Enough said. Enjoy your Tofu Turkey and light up towards Spring Training 2012…

  • Tom U

    A Happy Thanksgiving to Neil, Brian, and all of the followers of the CCO!

    • paulcatanese

      Same to you and the family, make sure the daughter is staying in shape for next season.

  • Gramps

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! I think this is the best I have ever felt about the Cubs. Finally, an ownership that seems committed to winning. I am looking forward to see how this franchise picks itself up and gets to be one of the elite franchises in the league. This is the way it always should have been. Imagine the Cubs being a viable organization instead of the haphazard ways the team has been run for so many years. Thanks also to Neil and the gang for being the best place to get Cubs news. I don’t comment as often as I used to, but I check this site more than a few times a day. Once again, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    • paulcatanese

      Thanks Gramps, and the same to you. I dont think you are as old as you make out to be, but if you are, glad to have the company on the site.

      • Gramps

        I am not old Paul! lol  Will be 69 on 12-7. Been a Cub fan since 1948 when we got our first TV. Those were the days when the Cubs were on 2 TV stations, one with Joe Wilson broadcasting and the other with Jack Brickhouse. And both of them showed only the home games.

        • paulcatanese

          No Gramps, you’re still a kid, but we saw some of the same things from those years, remember the road games of the White Sox, Bob Elson and the ticker tape broadcasts, banging two pieces of wood together to imply the ball hitting the bat? You have a birthday coming up, same date as one of my Grand sons, have a good one.

          • Gramps

            Thanks Paul, a date that is down in infamy…..Dec. 7 —  1941 was Pearl Harbor, the next year Gramps! I remember Bob Elson….he was probably the most boring voice on radio. The Cubs’ announcer in 48 was Bert Wilson and he was a much better announcer than Elson.

          • paulcatanese

            I remember Pearl Harbor, announced at the Capitol Theater on the South side of Chicago. Bob Elson, used to sit right below the broadcasters booth and holler up “how about that” whenever the opposing team got a hit.
            Bert Wilson on the other hand was my favorite, one of the best I have ever listened to. In fact took my portable radio to the games, he was pretty much on the button. Do you remember that the Phillies had a time limit on nignt games? Couldnt start an inning after a certain hour? Some great times.

  • paulcatanese

    Most of all, I am thankful for the site, Neil,Tom, Brian and everyone who posts here, the stress factor (of being a Cub fan) is lower every day as I read about the others and thier thoughts. It’s been another fun year even though the results are still pending,but in the right direction.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      You smooth talker you. Somehow you always say things the way I wish I would have. Have a great holiday Paul, and thanks for the many entertaining, informative and humorous posts. I almost always agree with you and always respect your opinion.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Kerry Wood isn’t anything great, imo. Oh I know he has a special place in the hearts of Cubs’ fans. But he is Mr. Blown Save himself. Yeah, if you want him in middle relief as you are losing 26-0, I think that is okay. But if you want him to pull off a clutch stop, or to shut down the opposition in a close game…..

    FORGETABOUTIT!

    So it is–imo–just another case of a veteran blocking the path of a MiL player coming to the bigs to see what they can do. 

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. Kerry Wood.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      We’re going to have to get you more into the Cubby blue koolaid Rip.
      I agree that KW has really p….d me off a few times, and yes he seems to get too excited in the REAL clutch. BUT, he has a couple of things going for him.
      !. He gives us a home town discount for his slightly inconsistent skills. (he gave up 1.5 million dollars last year, wow!) Give me that chance and see what happens.
      2. He is a real class act in every way. I have never seen him not hustle or try to help however he could in any way possible. (that’s on and off the field)
      3. He has been known to do a great job generally in relief. (Good enough that the hated Yankees really wanted him)(It was nice to screw them, lol)
      4. He will always have a place in my heart for that day with Houston. That is one of my fondest memories in baseball. Thanks Kerry.
      And yes, I know, that is how the old Cubs were, aging vets with declining skills retained for sentimental reasons blah blah blah. I think he is classy enough to retire and take himself out of the game when he sees the end, whenever that is.
      I still like him and will be sad to see him quit. I hope the Cubs keep him in some capacity when he retires.  He certainly represents our class.

      • paulcatanese

        Well one thing for sure, no one can say Wood is not a Cub. I sincerely hope he does not carry his career beyond what it should be, then again I agree that he will be the first one to hang it up when the time comes.
        Have a great Holiday.

  • texcubnut

    I would like to take a moment and thank Neil, Tom, Brian and all the posters @ the CCO and to wish all of you a peaceful and pleasant Thanksgiving. I am most grateful and thankful to have a place like this to enjoy my cubby-time.

    • paulcatanese

      Enjoy your’e posts and Cubtex, seems you guys from Texas are not all that bad, Have a great Holiday.

      • cubtex

        I wasn’t born in Texas Paul…..but I got here as soon as I could. 75 degrees and sunny on Thanksgiving in Austin is too hard to pass up.

        • paulcatanese

           know, you were from Chicago, but wish you were here 38 degrees and rain,but I got all those taped games to watch, Campana over and over, all day.

          • cubtex

            Lol. You are great Paul!!!

      • texcubnut

        Thank you for the kind words, Paul. Like cubtex, I wasn’t born here but got here as quick as I could and it’s a wonderful place to make a home even though I do miss the midwest except December to March. Maybe some Thanksgiving in the not too distant future, we’ll all be thankful for a Cubs world championship…..What am I saying? Thankful? Hell, we’ll be out of our minds celebrating. Maybe then, we can all get together, put a face to all these wonderful people here, and raise a glass to the Cubs and all those who are no longer with us to celebrate, i.e. Ron, Harry, and ( rest in peace) Jim K.

  • Agustinrexach

    Feliz dia de accion de gracias a todos! saludos a Neil y Abby + wonder dog!

  • Anthony

    Made some comments below relating to another journalists Top 20 list. Mentioned that I would like some opinions and thoughts about prospects not on the lists, called them 21-200, and will start with some “veterans”, and I don’t care much for draft round bias, so

    Greg Rohan, was a college star. Played short-season in 2009, did OK but small sample plus metal to wood transition. First full season 2010 with a line of .282/.335/.396, solid improvement, then for 2011 between Peoria and Daytona, .323/.378/.478, solid numbers, improvement year to year, basically the guy can hit.

    Michael Burgess, basically the same player he was when his career started, a .230 hitter with the standard power to K ratio, but no imrpovement leading me to believe he was ‘maxed-out” from Day 1.

    Nelson Perez, looks like at each level, starts slow, struggles, then makes improvement the 2nd time around. Appears to sell out for power evidenced by the high K rate.

    Abner Abreu has a book like a younger version of Perez? Like the power and EBH, high K rate, and wondering if both are “half-a-plate” type hitters? Found this on him:

    “He is often over-aggressive at the plate and gets himself out where he is pulling off pitches and not staying on them like he should be which results in a lot of strikeouts and poorly hit balls. He needs to continue to work on staying within himself and let things come naturally instead of over-swinging and trying to show his incredible raw power. He has a tendency to get too geared up for the fastball, which makes him very susceptible to offspeed pitches. He needs to do a better job of recognizing pitches and show that he can hit offspeed stuff, and his two strike approach needs a lot of work.” ( A Guesser?)

    Justin Bour, Power, and a very acceptable K rate for a big man. His 2010 and 2011 were very consistent, and he is in a huge group of first baseman types in the system. Doesn’t need to prove anything else in A ball, and should start at AA TENN. If he remains consistent and has AA success, where does a guy like this fit?

    Richard Jones, showed his power early on, and put it all together at the plate in 2011, another slugger at the clogged first base position. Where does he fit? Guessing he will be Daytona’s first baseman unless he leapfrogs, but Bour may be blocking him.

  • xaxinho

    Thank you for your ramblings every friday