Rambling Near the Beginning of a Much-Needed Break

Even though the Cubs experienced a rough go last evening, they have won seven of the last ten, and enter the weekend series against the Mets with a chance to end the first half on a rare, but welcomed, positive note.

Then again, they could get swept. Either way, the second half of this season is going to be very interesting for a team trying to stay out of the gutter. I am hard pressed to remember a last-place team whose fans were this engaged in the goings-on so far along. It is a tribute to the passion or the sick and twisted love of failure.

Well, I fall into both categories. So, with that out of the way, let’s go rambling …

  • Time for a nickname to be established. The leader in the clubhouse seems to be the “The ‘Riz.”
  • I guess I am okay with that, but it seems too obvious. Or “obvi” as your 20-something-year-old girlfriend likes to say. If you are only so lucky.
  • Seriously though, with the knowledge and intellect on this site, we can do better. Throw them at me. Make your mark. Leave your line in the sand. Give me the best nickname you can create! Let’s hear them below.
  • First half awards:
  • - Best Pitcher – Ryan Dempster
  • - Best Hitter – Starlin Castro/Bryan LaHair
  • - Biggest Surprise – Alfonso Soriano
  • Yes, Soriano. Not one of you can tell me you had more faith in Sori than LaHair. Many expected this out of LaHair. Maybe not an All-Star Game appearance, but a productive three months.
  • Soriano is on pace to hit 30 homers with 90 RBI’s. Not one of us expected that. Not one. If you did, give me the link below.
  • And thanks to all of this, we might be able trade him to the American League. Crazier things have happened.
  • As time goes on this Travis Wood trade is looking better and better. Might be time for some of you to publicize how they like their crow.
  • Yes, I enjoy being right 100% of the time.
  • To clarify, the bullet point directly above is totally and utterly sarcastic. There were just a lot of strong words uttered or written about that trade, and it is working out okay.
  • I really liked Sean Marshall, but he is a career left-handed specialist. We got three players back, one who is a possible #4 starter. Not too shabby.
  • Speaking of trading away pitchers … Cashner is back on the DL. There has been a lot of talk about this lately. I respect all opinions, but I said at the time, and still do, I will never, EVER, have a problem trading away a young pitcher with arm trouble.
  • Sveum has got to continually find a way to get Campana in games. Five games a week, minimum. Kid is second in the league in steals and has appeared in only 58 games.
  • He trails Dee Gordon by five bases and has played in 20 fewer games.
  • I ask all of you, why keep Garza? I think the Cubs should trade him. I really do. If you disagree, let me hear why.
  • Trading Garza or not trading Garza is one of just a slew of storylines that will develop and be discussed in the coming days and weeks. Some of what happens the next month may go a long way to shaping this team’s future.

There is a lot to be discussed, and I look forward to it all, so talk, chat, chit-chat, go 101, be a trader or an insider …

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  • Ripsnorter1

    What’s the matter with you? I really want to know why in the Sam Eugene you are not trumpeting the 1st half leader in wins for Your Chicago Cubs: Paul Maholm? He’s got six wins, you know. Or maybe you hadn’t noticed?
    ____________________________________

    Soriano: I expected him to be about what he was last year, which included 88 RBIs. He had 26 HRs. So I don’t see where he has had some super stud year for us.

    2011 slug…..469
    2012 slug….484
    That’s not a lot of difference.

    He was untradeable in 2011, and he’ll be untradeable in 2012. It isn’t his bat. It isn’t even his glove. IT’S THE CONTRACT, XXXXXX!

    If Anthony Rizzo, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Geovanny Soto, Aaron Miles, Joey Gathright, or Hak Ju Lee could hit like Soriano, Cubs’ fans would be shouting for joy.

    That’s right: if Rizzo pulls down a 26 hr, 88 rbi, .269 year in 2013, fans will call him Superman.
    ———————————————

    Garza….had a super second half in 2011. Otherwise he was Paul Maholm. LOOK:

    1st half 2011…..4-7…4.26
    2nd half 2011….6-3…2.45

    2nd half was a #1 starter
    1st half was a #4or #5 starter on a good team

    1st half 2012: 4-7 4.32.
    GARZA HAS BEEN THE SAME #4 STARTER THAT HE WAS IN 2011.

    I don’t know what he will net–if the Cubs can even trade him. I certainly do not want to deal him off for a handful of garbage. For me, it is “wait and see.”

    _________________________________

    The Mets are a bad team with a R.A. Dickey going 12-1 in the first half.

    If the Cubs had a starter going 12-1, say, a CHRIS VOLSTAD, instead of his current 0-20 streak, what would we look like in the standings?

    We’d look like the Mets…a bad team with a 12-1 starter.

    • Dnuge44

      Garza’s agent has asked for the moom, some reports as much as $16 per year for 5-6 years, fact is he is not worth it and by the way he is pitching now he is not worth what he is getting paid this year !
      Garza needs to go and we get what we can for him & then move on ! he has disappointed to many of us.

      • rick

        right garza isn’t worth 16 cents

  • John G

    As far as nicknames go, I think it has to be Ratso Rizzo. We just hope he doesn’t end up like the original Ratso Rizzo, peeing in his pants and dying on a bus to Miami.
    “I’m walking here, I’m walking here….”

  • John G

    Don’t necessarily want to inject politics here, but I just read this lead in to an article on Yahoo. And we are rambling, after all.
    “The last time a presidential election was held in which neither ticket included a former military service member, the Chicago Cubs had just played in the World Series, Al Capone was furnishing his prison cell, and a gallon of gas cost a dime.
    For the first time in decades, it could happen again. (And we’re not talking about a winning season for the Cubbies.)”

  • cubtex

    Garza called his first half pitching “Crapshow”. Lol!!!!! I am sure the trade talk and not being extended messed with him a little. I think where the Cubs are at……the should trade him. But I do love Garza’s attitude and he truly cares!

  • T-Sizzle

    You have to keep Garza. We have have no starting depth. We can barely fill in for Dempster.

    • cubtex

      Love Garza……but they are several years away. Trey McNutt is not stepping up this year. They have noone else in the minors who can be more than a #5. If they can deal Garza for a near mlb ready top of rotation starter and maybe another future #3 or #4 with another position prospect…….you got to deal him. And if you trade Dempster for another near mlb pitching prospect…..you can start building for 2014.

      • cc002600

        nobody is trading a top of the rotation starter that is almost MLB ready. Teams are hoarding their top prospects like gold.

        Keep Garza and add on to the rotation in free agency.

        This division is so pitiful you could easily compete next year with a couple good moves.

        I mean the Buccos are first place for cryin out loud !! Come on.

        Is there any team in the NL Central that you fear ? Why do we have to wait 4 more years to compete, waiting for pitching prospects to develop ? plus, there’s no guarantee that they will be any good. So ludicrous.

        • cubtex

          Teams do it all the time. The Giants did it last year for 2 months of Beltran. The White Sox have done it several times…..Gio Gonzales, Daniel Hudson etc. If a team has a chance to make the playoffs by adding a Garza……they will give up top prospects. The Cubs need more than Garza. They need 3 more starting pitchers for next year. If they can add one apiece for Dempster and Garza and develop another 1 or 2 in the minors who could be ready for 2014…they would be better off.

          • cc002600

            Daniel Hudson is a “top of the rotation starter” ? Yikes.

            He had a good year last year, this year his ERA is 7+. Wouldn’t call him a stud by any stretch. #3 pitcher at best.

            Gio is a nice pitcher. an Ace ? yea, maybe.

            Well, we’ll see

            I’d rather keep the sure thing than try and trade for prospects, which usually don’t pan out. Prospects are suspects until proven otherwise. and MORE times than not, they turn into suspects, ESPECIALLY pitchers.

            Garza is young and durable. Not easy to find that combo.

    • J Daniel

      Which is why they have to move him – for the right deal of course. They are still at least 2 years – 2014 – from competing. They need to get as many possible pieces as they can. It really shows the terrible job that JH did in building for the future.

    • John_CC

      A-Rizzle?

  • CubsScout

    I like this Brian guy…..he must get a kick out of the names that I use by using them all together at the end of his story…….I also had no trouble trading away Cashner …he was a Kerry Wood Part Deux…..and Marshall will have his best pitching years with the Cubs when all is said and done…..especially if he is pitching for Dusty Baker now……..by the end of the year, many will say that Travis Wood was the best pitcher for the Cubs in 2012…….MVP for the Cubs has to be second baseman Barney…..the guy made nice plays and saved many runs on his fielding alone……one cannot pick out a nickname out of thin air for a player……Rizzo has to be known for a special trait or action to get that name……and has to come from his team mates….it is like a stupid 80′s movie comedy where a young girl cheerleader asked a big strong player why does his team mates call him “Meat”?…….Rizzo is Italian, so has to be a respected nick name…..and lets rule out the following names…..

    The Big Tuna
    The Rizz Kid
    Sweet Swinging Tony
    The Pisano
    The Don
    Ice Pick
    The Producer
    Tony the Razor
    Tony No Thumbs
    Teflon Tony
    The Fixer
    Capo

    Can Soriano get traded?…..if some team really believe they can win, and need a DH who was a playoff vet like Soraino, they will trade for him…..but if the Cubs are paying for 90% of the contract, we need one near ready MLB prospect in return………

    Once Dempster and Garza is gone, who is left?….no worries….we still have Travis, and Jeff, …..Volstad…OMG you say, but I still believe in this kid….it is all a mind thing now with Volstad…………plus two or three pitchers from the Garza / Dempster trades……I also believe that Junior Lake will be traded…….

    and finally Brian….most of the “guys” ( and I use that term loosely) here do not have a “20-something girlfriend”……

    and if you know any “20 year old type” girls Brian, bring a few with you and I meet you at Wrigley and we will party with them after a Cubs game!

  • paulcatanese

    With the results of last night, look for Sveum to go back to platooning the lineup. Thats a mistake. He has genuine 3-4-5
    power hitters in a row, and whether they hit leftys or not, he has to realize its the threat that it could happen, not the belief that it wont. Just the idea that it could would alter the mentality of the opposing team.
    All opposing teams have to do is scout around for any kind of lefty in their system and start them against the Cubs and that stupid platoon takes the field and is locked in for another loss, no bench to help out, their all left handed hitters and with Sveum they wil stay on the bench.
    Rizzo appears to be the new Guru of the Cubs, Castro is slumping, and may not turn it around, mental blocks are hard to break. The fact that the hitters in front of him and behind him are doing better than he (at the present time) just adds to his woes,
    He was (and still is) the premire hitter in the lineup, but needs to get his head on straight to be effective. How long that takes is anyones guess.

  • CubsScout

    Rumor out of Detriot this morning ….

    Garza & Barney for Jacob Turner, Nick Castellanos, and Drew Smyly

    • cubtex

      That is not enough imo. If you are giving up Barney as well…..the Cubs should get back one other top prospect.

      • Chuck OD

        I have to disagree with you regarding Tony Campana. I’m not sure why he is on this team. Yes he is a great story and you have to be a heartless SOB not to root for him but he is not the future. He would be great as the last man off the bench on a good team. He’s kind of the Devin Hester of MLB. In other words a one trick pony. If he could learn to bunt like Bret Butler and take some walks I would change my mind. Until then I’d rather have someone who could drive the ball. Couple of guys down in Iowa need to get hot and give the cubs a more viable option off the bench.

        • John_CC

          I agree. Base stealing is fun to watch, but that is all. He is far more valuable coming off the bench in tight games to pinch run or bunt and then run all the way around the bases. He is a below average CF that runs fast.

        • paulcatanese

          So you would rather have someone that hits fly balls that travel 300 feet and are caught, or when they do get on, can’t run? Bunts as well as ground ball singles show up in the box score the next day as the same. Except most that Campana does to get on base ususally turns out to be an extra base.

        • BosephHeyden

          Where is this “He’s not the future” talk coming from? He just turned 26, so he’s still fairly young and can still improve. I don’t get what Cubs fans think their prospects are supposed to be, like our entire team is going to be full of 24 year olds that can hit 30 homeruns, steal 30 bases, and hit over .290. Even with him not starting, he’s still a .272 hitter, which, by baseball standards, is still a bit above average (and like I said, he’s not starting (or really even hitting), so that average isn’t going to get the chance to go up). And even with the fact he’s being used purely to pinch run, he’s third in the league in steals and has a 90% success rate.

          Ultimately, though, you can’t develop if you don’t play, and if he isn’t going to get starts, he won’t be able to show anyone whether or not he can hit constantly. On a better team, he’s probably an appreciated, often-utilized piece. On the Cubs, he’s just another minor leaguer brought up and not utilized properly.

          • John_CC

            Sorry, but a .270 BA and .300 OBP is not acceptable for a lead-off hitter. It just isn’t. 26 is young to us, but not in the game of baseball. 26-29 are the prime, peak years for most ballplayers.

            Look, I like Campana and love watching him play during this dismal season. But he just is not an ML starting OFer. His OBP is .308 and his SLG% is .305!! The only way a .270 BA could be tolerated for a leadoff hitter is if he could get on base with more regularity.

            In 153 ML games he has 321 plate appearances, his slash line is: .265/.305/.303 — that is not close to the average ML starter. He has walked all of 16 times.

            He is a “weapon” off the bench. That is all. As for the talk of the future, the farm is stacked with OF prospects a the moment.

          • BosephHeyden

            Okay, so it’s the midway point in the season, I have to ask: how long are we going to watch this team and keep saying “they’re rebuilding, so they’ll get better”? As of right now, the Cubs are tied with the worst record in the majors. But even more, if you look at this team, it’s pretty much the exact same team we had last year, except we upgraded at catcher for the better part of the season, we swapped out Zambrano with an awful pitcher, we let go a third baseman that didn’t start hitting until mid-July anyways, and we traded off our best bullpen guy in a move that, realistically, hasn’t really affected us this year (not once has there been a moment where the Cubs have lost and I looked back and said “Boy, if we still had Sean Marshall, we would have won that game!”).

            This team, on paper, should be at least two or three games better than we were last year. We’ve upgrade one outfield position and first base from last year (twice), and our bullpen has better guys in it than we did last year. Yet, right now we’ve lost four more games than we did at this point last year. With a staff that is identical at most positions and upgraded at all but one of the changed positions (third, and, again, that’s not even a change that mattered until about mid-July), we should have 36 wins. And we don’t.

            So when do we look at this team and start saying that the system they have in place isn’t working? This isn’t like changing the Constitution overnight and making everyone relearn the laws of the land. This is baseball, and there’s really only two ways to play it: good or bad. These guys on this team are in the major leagues, which means learning a new system for a game that isn’t all that complicated should take them all of Spring Training. What’s more, the only changes that have been noticeable on this team are purely defensive related and, outside of run-of-the-mill errors like dropped balls or bad throws, I haven’t once seen or heard of a situation where one of the shifts was pulled off incorrectly and lead to a run.

            At some point in time, Cubs fans are going to have to start letting the organization know they don’t have ten years to do what the Pirates did. This is a major market team with a World Series drought, and lack of prospects aside, it shouldn’t take anymore than three years to create a perennial playoff contender, yet it shouldn’t take more than a YEAR to create a team better than last year’s.

          • paulcatanese

            Rest my case with todays lineup.
            RF Johnson
            SS Barney
            1B Rizzo
            LF Soriono
            2B Baker
            C Soto
            CF Mather
            3B Valbuena
            Platoon,platoon,platoon, this lineup should put fear in the hearts
            of the Mets.

          • BosephHeyden

            Until they’ve traded away pieces to necessitate this type of lineup, the outfield should always be Soriano/DeJesus/LaHair unless one of those three needs a day off. The infield should always be Valbuena/Castro/Barney/Rizzo unless one of those four needs a day off. And the catcher should be Clevenger, unless he needs a day off.

            Far as I can tell, only one guy is getting the day off with this lineup (Castro). And this just answered the question to me as to why this team is doing worse than we did last year: for all his faults with not being able to create a sensible lineup, at the very least Quade didn’t platoon guys (rather, he just wouldn’t play the deserving ones).

          • paulcatanese

            Agree with you all the way, cannot fathom why Sveum does this sort of thing, its as if he immediatly pushes the panic button when facing a lefty ,just re-enforces another lefty being saved to face the Cubs.
            I never knew there were so many leftys in the league.The regular lineup that has been put together while not earth shaking is not all that bad, but when in and out with it puts them in a position to fail.
            And if I recall when the Theo era started they were stockpiling left handed hitters.
            While I like leftys it did put them in the position where they were one-sided on the field. But this is kind of contradictory to bring leftys in only to sit them and go back to the guys that were here last year.
            The only right handed hitter they brought in if I remember correctly was Mather.
            Just hard to figure what direction the Cubs are going.

          • John_CC

            Well, it hasn’t even been a year for the new management, so I guess you will have to just wait it out. Rebuilding does take longer than 6 months.

            Speaking of Zambrano, he is back to the pitcher we remember from the past couple seasons. I haven’t watched him so I don’t what his on-the-field antics are, but he has been getting hit all over, walking batters at an alarming rate and his Ks are down too. 51:71 BB:K after his solid start. The guy has not pitched consistently for a full season since 2008. He’s cooked. Yes, Volstads sucks – there really is not other way to call it. Maybe he can pitch out of the bullpen someday. Which is still better than having Zambino around.

          • triple

            I think your outlook at this is very impatient. The front office has had all but 4 months (ST included) to evaluate what is in the organization. The first big improvement is the coaching and defense. The ballplayers we have obviously have taken to the instruction that are receiving and it has greatly changed the way we look on the field. Case in point: Soriano! Look at the young guys: Castro and Barney are becoming an above average up the middle infield defense. Valbuena is another new acquisition that is playing solid D (even Stewart was playing good D). Rizzo is already showing he fields 1st base very well. W. Castillo still needs some work behind the plate, but Clevanger seams to do okay. DeJesus is a plus, LaHair has some learning to do but I think he’s capable (plus I wonder if he will be traded anyway), and I already mentioned Soriano’s improvement. This defense will help to improve pitching, which unfortunately we lack that depth in all levels of this organization so this may take a year or two, but at least w/ a good defense behind our pitchers we can buy a little time.

            Yes the offense has many holes, however there is some help that isn’t that far off. I think one thing that is gonna happen now with McThoyer is that good solid offensive players won’t get promoted unless they are playing great defense as well. This will not weaken our defense, but should make should contribute improvement to the offense. A prospect who can provide plus power and plus BA and run production probably will not be held to as high a standard on defense, but I’m sure they will be taught to field their position at least an average level. Whenever these prospects are promoted to the MLB club, it will be because they will be ready and can contribute to a winning team.

            I liked Hendry, but he was too old school and the whole organizational blueprint was that of a dinosaur. Now with new players getting drafted and coming in and being taught the same way to play ball from day 1, they will know exactly what is expected the entire way through the system and this structure will help them improve faster and the best of them will rise to the top much faster and be ready to play on the MLB team. And I don’t mind the patience of not bringing up Vitters or other close prospects because failure at the major league level will only lower their confidence. It looks to me like Hoyer learned alot with how he handled Rizzo last year and he can use that experience with our future prospects. Now if we were in contention, maybe a prospect would be rushed a little more, but that won’t be the case this year, or probably next, but I’m enjoying watching the Cubs play the game the right way, way more than I have over the last couple decades.

            My point is, I’ve watched this team play pathetically over the last 30 years, and at times looked like we had a couple good shots, but the reality is that we never really did (the ’03 team got us so heartbreakingly close, but we still had holes – defense and high strikeouts. And I can’t even discuss the ’84 team because that is almost too unexplainable). Anyway, to hear Sveum preach about throwing strikes, question why certain pitchers are shaking off their catchers, and teaching fundamentals about defense and bunting (although that still needs work), and hitting with RISP is a breath of fresh air over Dusty, Lou, and Quade saying how “we just got beat” and “sometimes you gotta tip your cap to the opposing pitcher” is a crock of sh!t and I like the accountability that Sveum has held his players to this year. I think it is a serious step in the right direction.

          • BosephHeyden

            But here’s the thing: they might have only had 4 months of hands-on experience to work with this team, but if Theo wasn’t getting reports on these guys before he took the job, he failed. If Hoyer and MacLeod didn’t have any info on this team before we obtained them, they failed. And I’d tolerate this failure more if it was a bunch of young guys learning. But it isn’t. This is the same team as last year, minus a few pieces that should have zero impact on this team.

            What’s more, their approach right now is just dumb. No team has ever put together a winning season with a platoon system, yet the Cubs keep running it out there, and half of the platoon continuously fails. Eight games into the platoon system, Sveum should have had the common sense to see “Okay, this isn’t working, let’s see if our lefties can hit left-handed pitching.” But he’s not. He keeps trying to push a square peg into a circle hole. If you push it hard enough, it works, but it fails a lot more than it succeeds, which is exactly what’s happening. What’s more, the players in the lefty-pitching platoon don’t actually require any in-depth scouting to see what they have. If Theo, Hoyer, or MacLeod didn’t know what Reed Johnson was going to bring to the table, they should have been fired from their last job. The guys we NEED to be evaluating: LaHair, Clevenger, Campana…they’re getting sat constantly because they’re left handed hitters and HISTORY, not stats, favors righties versus lefties. But it is especially maddening because Dale Sveum got this job because he was a hitting coach for Milwaukee, and, more importantly, Prince Fielder, a heavy-set left handed hitter who had a natural homerun swing that could crush lefties AND righties.

            Basically, they’re losing, which was to be expected, but they’re losing the wrong way: with established veteran players that shouldn’t need a lot of scouting to determine whether or not they’re a part of this team’s future. Mather is a utility man, they should treat him as such. Reed Johnson is a pinch hitter/late inning replacement outfielder, they should treat him as such. Geovany Soto is a broken catcher whose best days are behind him and would benefit from less AB’s, they should treat him as such.

            I’m all for waiting if progress is being made. But it isn’t. Castro and Barney are the players we thought they would be this year. Rizzo is getting started now that we’re out of it and have control an extra year as we expected. Those were expectations that have been met, not exceeded. Clevenger is collecting dust on the bench. We can’t establish whether Campana is a fourth outfielder or fifth outfielder. LaHair is an All-Star by will of the fans alone, in spite of continuously being sat and never being allowed to face lefty STARTERS. And we’re trying to force a utility man into the role of “prospect” with Valbuena.

            Losing 100 games with this team is inexcusable. Losing 100 games with a team that is giving Major League experience to young players set to be a part of the team’s long-term future is more acceptable. They just need to lose…acceptably.

          • triple

            Yeah I see what you are saying, but like I say, there has been improvements in the play with what we have, even if it hasn’t translated into more wins. Our record is a product of 2 glaring weaknesses: 1- our relief pitching which has shown improvement (although Marmol did have a lapse today), and 2 – poor hitting with RISP. If anything, that just shows the poor state we were in before the new upper management got here. They obviously waited till Rizzo surely was ready, and look at the impact he is making in the lineup. I think part of the strategy is to put a team out that will be bad enough to ensure another top pick in the draft, all while properly building and stocking the farm system for the future. And that’s probably why were’ not seeing more prospects coming up, as there really is no reason to waste their service years. Like I said I think they are protecting guys like Vitters until they really show that they are ready. And for Camapana, LaHair, and Clevenger, I do think Clevenger deserves some more playing time, but I do believe the protection of LaHair against LH pitching is about keeping his stock as high as possible for a future trade. And I don’t think Campana has the skills to be an everyday player. If scouts around the league thought he had what it takes, wouldn’t there be teams that want him? The fact is, he may be the fastest guy in the league, but without the skill set to take walks, bunt better, and hit the ball more on the ground (or line drives) he will never bat over .270 or have an OBP over .320 which is not deserving of being a starter, especially at the top of the order. I think Campy’s strength is as a late inning PR/defensive replacement. Or he may make a good 9th hitter in the AL. And I believe Soto won’t be a Cub for much longer so Clevenger will get more playing time.

            As far as Baker and Johnson (who magically helped the Cubs win today), they won’t return next year. They both do an okay job coming off the bench and there’s no reason to have other prospects coming up to sit on the bench anyway, they need to be playing everyday and working on their weaknesses in AA and AAA instead of losing confidence at the big league level.

            Yeah, it sucks that the Cubs will flirt with losing 100 games, but really what’s the difference between losing 100 or 85-90 games? It’s still crap! But the difference is losing a 100 games will get you a top pick, compared to a 10th-15th pick. A MLB team full of prospects will go through big losing streaks and while some players thrive, others will fail, and then we still will have an incomplete team in a couple years, and all of a sudden they’d have to ante up big money to keep the good players around because they won’t have a capable replacement waiting in the wings.

          • paulcatanese

            Again a very good article, you and Boseph have made very valid points, and it seems that you guys are talking about apples and oranges. Both have excellent points and well written.

          • paulcatanese

            Very good article, and I agree with all of it.
            Better players brought in could have made a real difference this year period.

      • Aaron

        Don’t believe any of his posts…he never has sources. Check out mlbtr…Morosi said they scouted him but talks aren’t even serious. Until we have sources that aren’t individual opinions on here or come fr bleachernation then it’s really much ado about nothing

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        You do realize that offer basically has the tigers 3 top prospects in it already. There probably isnt a better 3b prospect then Castellanos in baseball. Smyly and Turner are both on the brink of being ML ready. Both have had a taste of it so far and are adjusting. Turner didnt have any major arm issues, think it was more just soreness. He has pitched fine since. But this offer if it is true should be taken any day of the week and twice on Sunday because we definitely couldnt get better from anyone else except maybe the Blue Jays. And their top Sp prospects are not ML ready.

      • John G

        Smyly is starting tonight. (I’ll be there). If a trade was made, he wouldn’t be starting tonight.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I’d do that in a heartbeat…

    • gary3411

      DONE! We won’t get that much though I don’t believe.

    • John_CC

      Didn’t Turner have some shoulder issues this spring? Or am I thinking of someone else?

      • Aaron

        John…you are correct

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Anthony “Puttin on the” Rizzo

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Italianesque nicknames:
      1 – As an homage to Super Mario Brothers “The Plumber,” because he fixes the leaks.
      2 – Or “The Big Wopper.”
      If you remember 2LiveCrew… “My 7 Rizzos”

      • paulcatanese

        While sure you are posting in good faith, I am sure number 2 would not go over with people of Italian Heritage.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I didn’t really think of that but you may be right Paul. I had an Italian friend in high school that called himself “The Wopper,” so I never really associated it with offense. I’m not very easily offended so I don’t always catch that type of thing.

          Apologies to any Italians that found it offensive…

          • paulcatanese

            Not so sure it apllies to the younger generation, but the oldtimers would find it
            offensive. Times change, and my post wasn’t meant to be a putdown and I know how you posted it, no sweat.

        • SanibelChuck

          Many people do not know why Wopper or wop is offensive to those of Italian heritage. It is an acronym for “With Out Passport” During the height of Italian immigration to the United States, many entered without a passport; hence wop. If I am wrong, Paul, let me know.

  • cubs1967

    RizzOMG…..that I like.
    marshall is not a specialist……..where’d that come from? he has 2.5 yrs of mid 2.00′s ERA, 5.7 WAR since 2010, and near 200 IP; not a specialist. let’s see at year end where t wood ends up…….
    Soriano is trying to improve his D, by most accounts he has, he is running out more balls, everyone likes to see that, but his stats are near identical to past few years……a great DH; too bad Uncle Bud can’t figure out NO OTHER sport; not even competitive water polo or badminton or even “hot dog’ Eating contests; use different rules except our national pasttime. Why??
    if garza goes and so does demp, plus smardz will be shut down around 160 IP; unless the suspects coming back are ready or near-ready SP; seeing more of wells and volstad is surely gonna make 50 wins a challenge……..think hard team theo on moving garza. real hard.

    • John_CC

      I was quite surprised last night when Len pointed out that Soriano has ZERO errors in LF this season. And considering he is getting to a lot more balls than in the past it is even more impressive. Also 5 put outs. On paper, he is a good LFer this year!

      • paulcatanese

        I knew that John, looked it up, but didnt believe it, so I didnt post it.

  • paulcatanese

    Nickname for Rizzo? When a hitter continually squares the bat up, no need for one, you just call him Mr. Rizzo.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      How about “Fats?” He puts the fat part of the bat on the ball, he’s a large man, and “Fats” Rizzo just has a ring to it. Plus it’s one syllable…always a plus for a nickname.

  • GaryLeeT

    Rizzo’s nickname should be Grease, or Betty.

  • adtsunami

    New nickname for Anthony Rizzo… ToZo!

    Anthony Rizzo = Tony Rizzo = ToZo