Rambling While Waiting on the Future to Begin

In a week that saw the Cubs come close to claiming half of the BP Cup, many other things were happening. Is Dempster hurt or is Theo just keeping him healthy for the impending trade? Can LaHair really play the outfield? Is Soriano as quality of a person and player as he seems? What can the Cubs get for Garza?

All of these questions are swirling around the minds of Cubs fans, but the most discussed topic is that of a left-handed first baseman. When will he make his debut? Soon, folks, very, very soon.

  • Randy Wells is really taking his opportunities to start very, very seriously.
  • Geez, how bad can you be? Maybe he should go back to staying out until 4 am the night before a start. Something has to work, right?
  • If Soriano is traded, I hope Cubs fans can forget the salary and remember the guy who always tried as hard as he could. It was not his fault someone offered him $136 million.
  • Did he underperform? Without a friggin’ doubt in the world. I’m just saying. But he should look pretty attractive to an AL team in need of hitting; especially knowing the Cubs are going to eat most of the contract.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha was selected for the Futures Game. That is a pretty darn big deal, and cool on him.
  • Tony Campana leads the Majors with 24 stolen bases. When was the last time a Chicago Cub led the league in steals in late June?
  • Seriously, I am asking because I have no idea. Ced Landrum couldn’t hit so it wasn’t him.
  • DeJesus has struggled as of late, but his OBP is still 100 points higher than his batting average, and he is a quality outfielder who will be seeing plenty of time in center very soon.
  • I have to say that this has been a good signing through the first three months of the season. So please, go and disagree away. I always love reading your thoughts.
  • The “Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish on Dry Ice” bet is still available. I will bet no more than two people that Almora will, hands down, sign with the Cubs. If you honestly believe he won’t, then take me up on this. The loser has to ship a frozen Lou’s pizza to the winner.
  • Trust me, Lou’s provides this service. It’s not my first rodeo.
  • I have heard and read a lot of talk from people who truly believe he won’t sign. I cannot fathom him not signing. I figured this would be a fun thing for us and something to track until the deadline.
  • BRING IT!!
  • Is Demp hurt or is McThoyer taking injury out of the equation during trade talks? Personally, I think it is the latter.
  • If that injury helped him pitch the way he did the last three starts, then, um, he should always have that injury.
  • On August 1st, are Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Alfonso Soriano all gone? Or does anyone stay? Personally, I think they are all headed elsewhere. If anyone stays, it’s Garza, but teams get so desperate, they give up too much.
  • And the Cubs need to pounce on “too much.”
  • Speaking of Garza, props where props are due, Chris Archer had a great MLB debut last night. Again, good on him.
  • Also remember, Jeff Pico pitched a 4-hit shutout for his MLB Debut.
  • There is a long way to go until that trade can be fully vetted.
  • Castro is tied for 5th in MLB with 86 hits. Boy, does he hack at it, but no reason to change his approach now. It is truly fun to watch.
  • Two out of three from the Pale Hose was entertaining, but staving off 100 losses is going to be tough. Here’s hoping they can right the ship enough to keep it in the 90s.

As the impending and rumored arrival of Anthony Rizzo swirls around, I implore you to keep an open mind. The kid has the talent, let’s just hope he can put it all together in the next 12 months. I hope all are well. I hope someone takes me up on the Malnati’s and I hope the Cubs win two of next three.

Here’s to the weekend.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Ripsnorter1

    I remember the good old days when we had Davey Lopes and Ryan Sandberg. Sandberg stole 54 bases under Lopes tutelage, while Lopes himself had 47 SB in just 275 AB.

    Now that was fun.

  • Cubs 31

    With changes coming by August 1 and especially by next year, I will need a scorecard to tell who the players are.  Pat Pieper, we miss you.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    the only thing i disagree with is lose as many as possible i want to draft 1, 31, 61, and 91 next year. four out of the top 100 thats how atlanta won all those division titles. people forget how much the braves sucked before they went on that run.

    • cc002600

      Keep Garza

      Add 1 or 2 FA starting pitchers in the winter. There are some decent ones out there.

      If not, get ready for about 3-4 more years like this.


      • Darrell Nugent

        Cubs may sign Garza, but not at his agents asking price of 15-17 million per year for 5 years !   the White sox messed up the pitching market when they signed Danks for 5 years and a ton of money ! Thank You Kenny Williams !

  • Redlarczykg

    Has anyone noticed that Brooks Raley is doing well in AAA.  He was once considered a major prospect a few years ago,  I looks from his stats that he may have had a Rich Hill event, where he can now better locate his pitches. 

    I wonder if Tom U has any insight as to Raley’s progress?

    • cubtex

      I saw him pitch on Wed. He threw very well!  I looked at his stats and he kind of has a good game bad game pattern going on. He doesn’t have Rich Hill’s stuff. Raley will only occasionally hit 90 mph. He keeps the ball down and doesn’t walk too many hitters. He is from Texas(having pitched at A&M) so I think he was extra motivated when I saw him pitch.

      • cc002600

         So what was your impression of Vitters ?

        • cubtex

          He got the day off but I have seen him play a couple of times. Very quick hands and he is starting to hit with more power. I think he has a good chance to be a productive mlb player.

          • cc002600

             You know, if he keeps his current pace through rest of year, we’re looking at maybe 20 HR, 70 RBI, .280 BA….I know he need to walk more, but that ain’t too shabby. especially for a guy considered young for AAA

            Good deal. Thx

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    A little video of last night’s Hawks’ win


    • Tom U

      It was an exciting win to listen to late night. Great to see the highlights.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    David Bote– Cubs 18th rd signed today. He was a freshman SS at Neosho CC

  • Ripsnorter1

    Bruce Levine says that the O’s want Dempster and would be willing to take Soriano. He further said that the Cubs would be willing to pay 90% of Soriano’s contract.

    • Zonk

      Throw in Marmol, and you got a deal!

      • CubsChitChat

         Marmol is being looked at by the Giants.

    • CubsChitChat

      I heard that rumor…..but it was Maholm & Soriano earlier…..really, i don’t care who gets who…as long we rid of bad contracts and get prospects back to build on……

      Neil should know that the Cubs are not rebuilding…it is more of a “New” foundation & design from the bottom to the top…….the Future began with Theo & Co. last year as they took over…..the upcoming trades are just part of building the New Cubs Empire….from the farm system, the scouts, the coaches, the players, the front office……Cubs will have a new tv deal which they will control similar like the Yankees have……money will be coming in…….Wrigley will be fixed up…..new players who want to win……………..of all people, Neil should know this……and one day…..Theo will tell Neil this message…'” I am Your Father “…….with Tom Ricketts as the old man who put everything together……..

      Start the Star Wars Theme Music…….

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Why are you bringing me into this?

        • CubsChitChat

          I am trying to put together the 2013 Cubs season ad together so I can sell it to the Ricketts….The 2013 Chicago Cubs – The Empire Begins! …..we can dress Neil in Cubs gear with a blue cape as one of their loyal fans…..standing on top of the roof of Wrigley Field holding a bat towards the sky……with the sun shinning on you Neil….Star Wars Music playing….the Angels have their Monkey….the Cubs have Neil.

          Vote Yes or No to see this happen!

          • RynoTiger

            I vote Yes, but only if I can be on that roof too.  I fell in love with the Chicago Cubs in 1984 and have never looked back on that committement.

            Forever bleed Cubbie blue! :)

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            So basically you brought me into this for the exact reason I thought. Thanks.

          • John_CC

             Because Mr.Chattypants is a nut case with nothing better to do than babble away into the ether?  That’s what I thought too!

    • John_CC

       Dempster doesn’t want to go to Baltimore.  They have as much chance of getting into the playoffs as the Cubs do.

      • BosephHeyden

         You forget:  there are TWO wild card spots this year.  And, right now, the Orioles are the second best team in the AL East, which is a position that is a lock to get one of those two (the third place AL East team, which is likely why the second WC spot was created, is probably getting the second, and third in the AL East is what the O’s are on pace to get).

        I’d venture a guess that there wouldn’t even be talks with Baltimore had Dempster not approved them, not to mention that a one game playoff to get into the actual playoffs is a better shot than the Cubs will have for the next two years.

        • John_CC

           I know that there are TWO wildcards this year. The second one earns a one game playoff.  I stand by my contention that the Orioles do not stand a chance to contend for the playoffs.  The Rays are far better team, and the Blue Jays are too. 

          Doesn’t even matter, and I don’t know but I would guess Demp would like to go to a team that would also lock him up for another year or two after this one. I don’t think that team is Baltimore.

          Finally, while the Orioles are a far better team than the Cubs, the reality, they have about as much chance of making the playoffs as the Cubs do.

  • Zonk

    Here is my mid-season, post-draft top 10 prospects.  I could easily be wrong.  Discuss:

    1.  Anthony Rizzo
    2.  Javier Baez
    3.  Albert Almora
    4.  Jorge Soler
    5.  Junior Lake
    6.  Matt Szczur
    7.  Josh Vitters
    8. Dillon Maples
    9.  Brett Jackson
    10.  Paul Blackburn

    I rank Vitters ahead of B-Jax now; Vitters is doing decently, and B-Jax is regressing a bit.  Vitters is younger than B-Jax.

    • CubsChitChat

      Need to add more pitching prospects…….real fast…..

    • cubtex

      No Gerardo Concepcion?  Just kidding

      • Zonk

        He’s on my Cubs top 100 prospects list, for sure

        • Ripsnorter1

          He made my top 275 Cubs’ prospects list.

          • cubtex

            Dodgers just signed Onelki Garcia their 3rd round pick for 384K. Lefthanded pitcher 90-93 who most international scouts rank as a better prospect than Concepcion. What did we pay for Concepcion again? Lol

    • Zonk

      Yeah, Trey McNutt is gone.  Maples and Blackburn are on just based on draft positioning.  But in terms of actual minor league performance, the pitching cupboard is VERY bare right now.  This is a big problem for the Cubs.

      • CubsChitChat

        Fukudome got let go by the White Sox…lets go get him…oh wait a minute, we had him one time….and sucked back then………..anyone know the next United flight to Japan?.

        • John_CC

           Slow day at the office?  I thought you were a big shot lawyer or something.

          • CubsChitChat

             its Friday!……money can be made on any day…….and how are you doing?……it is a great day in Chicago…….just stay away from those Flash mobs…..they hate Yuppies, and other groups they walk up and down the Gold Coast.

    • DWalker

      I hadn’t until the other day realized just how much B-Jax was really struggling, concerning. I’ve been starting to take a lot more interest in Candelario and Kirk myself. The more I read on Candelario, the more interested I get.

  • RynoTiger

    wow Brian…I was thinking of ordering a Malnati’s pizza and seeing how it traveled to AZ and if it still tasted great in the desert. 

    i was thinking how nice it would be to have a slice or two as I kneel before the alter I recently completed. i have several pictures and cardboard cut outs of Theo and Jed with scented candles surrounding them. i usually spend about 30 minutes at the alter when I get up in the morning and before I go to be.  after each session i feel blessed and confident.

    • CubsChitChat

      Keeping Garza and paying him $16million plus a year is not in Theo plans of his version of what the Cubs need to be….save the money on the future….and tell Garza that Scott Boras and his client (Soriano) took all the Cubs money.

    • John G

      Does it look like Pedro Cerrano’s locker? Maybe with an AllState logo above it?

      • RynoTiger

        just a little bit.  i’ve placed monk robes on the cutouts of Theo and Jed.  I often have ceremonial music playing..something peaceful and meditative..like monk chanting etc.

        as a Theo worshipper I find it’s important to pay my respects.

      • BosephHeyden

         Offer them cigars and rum.  Maybe then they’ll start winning games.

  • paulcatanese

    Another platoon lineup tonight, boring, good chance to catch up on my reading. Have fun everybody.

  • Anthony

    Kindly read the BA link after the post. Take it with the context that you were a former player, current player, or up and coming player and NOT as a Fan of a struggling team.

    This is MLB, and how they think, where their priorities lie, and what they value. They are in the business of entertainment, attracting your disposable dollars for over-priced costs of attendance and concessions, providing you the best Show your money can buy.

    It isn’t about the game, not about winning, and it has nothing to do with America and Americana.

    MLB does not like college players, and when they are forced to buy them out with Bonus money, they hate it. They would prefer to strike gold in their Dominican Camps cattle stock versus dealing with US Born kids. Theo Epstein is Commandante #1

    He really is striving for the “Chicago Cubans” Epstein hates American born players, hates college kids that are as smart as him academically because they also possess baseball skills while he thrived in Momma’s basement on an Apple computer, NERD.

    This is Pro baseball at its finest. And these scouts should be ashamed of themselves MEAT HUNTING and bastardizing themselves for a crappy paycheck.


    f.EM, aLL


  • Aaron


    Can you get a price on the pizza for me? The “boss” might not be happy with me if it’s more than $40.

    Also, very funny commentary on Wells…even though it was brief

    Ha is being selected solely because he’s “international” (meaning outside of North/Latin America. He took a step back this year, and it’s unfortunate. 

    You’re right about Soriano too….but as someone already said, if you look at his averages from team to team, he’s basically the same guy he’s always been, which, is NOT worth the contract he received. It was ALWAYS my position on Hendry that he was a fool, where he nearly always signed/re-signed free agents coming off career years from Burnitz to Dempster, ARAM, Lee, Miles, Bradley, Soriano, etc., he just never seemed to learn, and I am glad we’re finally done with him. It was difficult watching a broken record play out year after year with him.

    DeJesus might’ve turned out alright with his OBP and the fact he works so many deep counts, but the fact remains, he has ZERO power/RBI skills, and he’s playing RF. IF the Cubs signed him for CF only, then I’d say he’s just fine.

    As for your question about Campana….the last guy the Cubs had that led the league in SB this far into the season was Juan Pierre if I remember correctly.

    With Dempster, I originally was thinking conspiracy, but that’s really not his style. I don’t believe he’d ever go along with that. Yes, it could be out of respect for him, and what he’s meant to the organization, and to give him extra time to get his personal things in order with his house, family, and studying the trade proposals, but when a starting pitcher isn’t playing…even in a situation like this, it’s not really a good sign. Pitchers need work to keep sharp, and this isn’t helping his trade value, I can assure you that. Again, I could be wrong, and it is a conspiracy to protect him from injury, but that seems highly unlikely.

    All 3 of those guys are gone, by the way….Add Baker, Maholm, Johnson, and Wells (if they can find a taker) to that list. I also believe DeJesus is gone if he can improve his average, and Soto has a chance to go for the same reason, otherwise they’ll wait until the offseason to deal him in hopes the market improves for him.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The way I see it concerning the Anthony Rizzo Sweepstakes…..
    #1 Soriano is going NOWHERE. Let me say it again, only much louder: SORIANO IS GOING NOWHERE. Why not? Because nobody on the planet wants the $54 million dollar liability. Sure, Team Theo could eat the entire $54 million, and accept a DFA’d player in return, but I doubt that even Team Theo has that much gall. 

    THERE. I DID IT. I gave Team Theo credit for something. A thimble full of gall. And that’s more than he has for baseball acumen.

    #2 Johnson stays. He’s earned it. He’s going nowhere.

    #3 Mather stays. He hasn’t earned it, but he’ll stay anyway. They don’t want to lose his glove at 3B….

    #4 Campana stays. He’s earned it. And even Team Theo isn’t that stupid, are they? ARE THEY? ARE THEY????????

    #5 So, the loser is…………

    (Drum Roll, please)……………..

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now going to announce the ultimate loser in the Anthony Rizzo Sweepstakes……..[besides you, the fan]…………

    “Aaron’s favorite player……

    picked off the Oakland Athletics scrap heap………….

    Hitting .152 (after hitting .319 in the Offensively Inflated PCL)…………………………

    Adrian Cardenas!!!!”

    [much applause]

    “Let the strikeouts begin!”

  • Aaron

     The unfortunate thing about Cardenas is that he hasn’t had any opportunity. I hardly consider 3-4 AB’s per week sufficient. Do you? Especially after playing everyday in the minors?

    Hell, DeWitt got more of an opportunity than Cardenas, AND WE ALREADY KNEW WHAT HE WAS CAPABLE OF

  • Redlarczykg

    Soriano may not be going anywhere, but withhis sore knees you could patoon Sori against lefties and LaHair agianst righties, with both being a power guy off the bench, 

  • Tony_Hall

    Don’t tell me you are starting to re-post your posts, or did the exact same thought hit you 2 days in a row :)

  • Ripsnorter1

    Yeah, sure. 


    That fact alone precludes any more ABs than he’s been getting.

     I will say this in his favor:Of his 5 hits, all 5 are doubles.

  • Dorasaga

    No. He needs 3-4 games of start. That’s why I believe it’ll serve the team better (in a, again, rebuild mode!) if they “rotate” sitting players (even Castro; I don’t know if they are trying to give him a record of consecutive starts or not), and fit the young players to start in as many positions as possible.

    The management has been doing so with Mather. But I wonder maybe Sveum has no say here. After all, he has a young career and is new to the system. I believe by the end of season, we’ll see how he really wants the team be built. A lot of changes happened already. Bullpen and baserunning.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Jeff Pico….he loved the Atlanta Braves….3 starts…3 wins…1 CG Shutout…career ERA vs Atlanta….0.00 in 35 IP……

  • Aaron

    I agree with this….it’d keep Soriano fresh, which is certainly a plus (that’s assuming you can’t trade him as a DH to the AL)

  • Ripsnorter1

    He sure could. A $19 million dollar platoon OF against LHP. 

    Look at this OF….

    LF= Soriano vs LHP
           LaHair vs RHP

    CF=Campana/Johnson platoon

    RF=DeJesus/Mather platoon

  • cubs1967

    he also “loved” Sandberg’s wife.

  • CubsChitChat

    Expect a Rizzo call up when LaHair gets traded to the A’s, Giants or Pirates in the near future……why will Lahair get traded?…..his outfield skills are questionable, he has trade value, he will be too old for the Cubs future, and the Cubs can’t move Soriano.

  • CubsChitChat

    Cindy Sandberg loved many Cub players……I have first hand knowledge of what made Sandberg retire early…….Cindy broke Ryno’s heart.

  • Dorasaga

    What’s the story?

  • SomeGuy27

    Apropos of nothing but did anyone see Jacob Turner’s debut with the Tigers yesterday?  I only saw the last two or three hitters he faced.  Announcers were impressed overall–looked like he was overthrowing his breaking stuff on what little I saw.  

    I normally don’t do this because it turns into a flame war but here’s the question; anyone have thoughts on packaging Garza & Soriano (eating his salary) for Turner, Porcello and a mid to upper level position prospect?  With a possibility of another player or two going each way to round it out.  We need youth they need proven starter and right handed power bat.

    Let the feeding frenzy begin…

  • cc002600

    so you are willing to wait until 2017 or 2018 to see them contend again ?

  • cubs1967

    dejesus is showing a negative UZR of 5.6 and a WAR of 0.3; no power and no speed.  i love how the theo worshipers think he’s a great RF becuz of his high pitch count; who cares. he’s a 4th OF at best.  look at all the RF in the NL, other than Bogesuvic from the ‘Stros or Tabata from the Bucs; he’s the worst.

  • SomeGuy27

    Don’t think it would take that long we are replacing one arm with two and porcello has won 14 gms twice in three years and Soriano is replacible.

  • Dorasaga

    Interestingly, fangraphs shows his WAR at 0.3, bottom six currently. His -5.6 uzr and bad baserunning (esp. all the caught-stealing) really hurt him. He does hit a .327 woba (OPS adjusted to league n ballpark), which sits close to league average.

  • J Daniel

    I like Theo but would agree with you about DeJesus. I would say they were NOT going to win this year, he was a good pick up, and might be a #4 next year.

  • Zonk

    They also show Darwin Barney as a top-20 position player in the NL in WAR.  The defensive WAR ratings are not credible at this stage, IMO, unless you think Darwin Barney is an all-star.  I don’t.

  • Vivid_Reality

     Garza and Soriano are worth significantly more than that, epecially with eating Fonzi’s contract. Throw in Smyly and Castellanos, then were talking.

  • cc002600

     Here’s my point.
    I think too many people have this unrealistic expectation that the likes of Soler, Almora, Baez are going to ride to the rescue and make this team a contender by 2015.

    These guys are 18-19 years old. That ain’t gonna happen.  You’re looking at 3-4 years minimum before they reach the majors.

    And if you keep trading away your best players, like Garza or LaHair, for unproven prospects, how the heck is this team ever going to contend by 2015 or 2016 ?   Someone has to explain that to me.  I just don’t get it.

    When did the Cubs become the Royals ?

  • Zonk

    PS:  Darwin Barney is #6 in the NL, ahead of Matt Kemp, Andre Eithier, Buster Posey, among others.  That would make Darwin Barney the top 2nd baseman in all of baseball

    It’s too early to look at WAR rankings

  • Dorasaga

    I must agree here. The small sample size had been brutal against Dejesus, who’s been a decent outfielder according to my “eye test.” As little as it’s worth right now, I’m sticking with my observation for the time being. :-))

  • CubsChitChat

    You are dreaming…..Tigers will not do that now…..now back to Reality.

  • Ripsnorter1

    You asked, ”
    When did the Cubs become the Royals ?”

    Answer: the moment Team Theo took over. A better question might have been, “When did the Cubs become the Padres?” But the answer is the same.

  • cubtex

    This is why many of us on here are upset at the way team theo is rebuilding. News flash…..they will not buy any high priced free agents for several years. Think 2015 and beyond. They are doing a small market rebuild and the only difference is that the Cubs WILL HAVE the money to keep their players and buy other players so it should work. They didn’t need Theo to do a small market rebuild. Many GM’s could have done as well or better but it is what it is.

  • DWalker

    its the same circular argument over and over. The flip side is how can a team consistantly compete without A) decent supply of major leage possible prospects, B) impact prospects that can turn into  C) cost controlled impact players. Even the Yankees can’t buy championship team entirely.

    Right now, the cubs are woefully short on all all those catagories. They aren’t 1 or 2 free agents away from being a contending team. Can make an argument either way for Garza. LaHair, ideally, does not have a place on the team in 2015 or going forward, unless maybe as a 5th outfielder and back up 1st base. Good guy, works his butt off, got his shot, but his two positions on the field are the two positions where there they are strong in prospects. If he can bring back stronger prospects, why not trade him?

    Is 2015 overly hopeful to compete, maybe. Is it possible, yeah, but probably not with the full slate of top prospects a lot of people are banking on. you probably won’t see Soler, Almora, Blackburn, Johnson or Maples by then. 2015 is going to depend on guys like Jackson and Vitters stepping up.

  • cc002600

     Yes, I hear you.

    But honestly, I don’t see it.

    I think the pressure will be too great from the fans if they keep losing 90+ games every year for the next  3 to 4 years while they don’t even make a real attempt to win.

    It’s easy to sit here and say, oh well its just gonna take 4-6 years…..but i’m sorry, that is a loooooooong time.

    ESPECIALLY when the ticket prices are among the highest in baseball.

    The honeymoon will end quickly if they don’t put a decent product on the field in the next year or 2.

    I have talked to a lot of people who have season tickets, like myself. Trust me, people are not going to keep paying $80-100 a ticket to watch an AAA team. That’s ridiculous.  Especially when you can’t sell them and you end eating them. 

    Most season ticket holders rely on selling some number of games on the secondary market to reduce their the cost.  That secondary market is zilch right now. Trust me, I’ve tried it.  I can’t give away my tickets. LITERALLY.

  • cc002600

     Yes, understand all those points.  but I just think you could put together a decent team in the interim while you wait for the young studs to develop, that could get into the playoffs in what is a horrible division. It wouldn’t take all much, especially when you now have dough to spend. Plus, don’t forget there is an extra Wild card now. 

    But if you keep trading away your best players for a bunch of “maybe’s”  you will be destined to lose 90+ games for the next 5 years.  That’s ridiculous.

  • cc002600


    I’m starting to think you are right.


  • Cubs1944

    I think Barney is doing a nice job at 2B, considering he use to be a SS .

  • Ripsnorter1

    NO, I didn’t re-post my post. What’s happening is that you are reading my mind in advance of my posting. 

    What’s wrong with you?  LOL

  • Ripsnorter1

    These fans have tolerated 104+ years of losing, and they sell out every day.


    Or as P.T.Barnum put it, “there’s a sucker–re: Cub fan–born every minute.”