Rambling While the Mercury is Dropping

The day of thanks is upon us. The stockings are itching, the gravy is flowing, and the cold wind is blowing.

As winter settles in on the greatest city in the world, Chicagoans prepare for their first cold blast in close to two years. Skipping winter last year was nice, but I doubt Al Gore can work his magic for the second straight year.

While the air gets crisp, I still sit here dwelling on RISP … and hoping the Cubs find an answer. The thermostat may be dropping, but the stove is rising. So let’s take some time this Friday and get into it.

And in a first, I brought a friend along for the wild rambling ride. Neil jumped aboard with a few of his thoughts as well. They are better than mine, but I will take credit for them. So let’s go.

  • As the tax money of five “potential” Blue Jays blows in the wind, we wait for Ryan Dempster to awake and nix the trade.
  • “Wait, I don’t have say over all trades?”
  • “No, Ryan. Only those proposed that could greatly improve the Cubs.”
  • Can you imagine Crane Kenney just standing there screaming, “NO, I want my hot dog stand right here! Not there. Here! It will be so much better. I want my hot dog here!!”
  • Credit ESPN Chicago’s Jon Greenberg for sarcastically mentioning Crane’s “schooner” in a tweet earlier this week. That really got me good. Well done, sir.
  • What do you think Starlin Castro is doing right this very minute? I know, I have no idea either. It kind of makes me laugh.
  • Mark Buehrle is going to have trouble getting all of his guns across the border. He cannot be a very happy man right now.
  • You know, minus the fact that he is a multi-millionaire and plays a kid’s game for a living.
  • Any press is good press, right? So, how in the world is Ozzie not in Toronto for an interview right now? I mean, that would just be friggin’ fantastic!
  • Did you see Garza’s tweet? At least he is not too happy about being able to pitch again.
  • Now, I ask you, what is Samardzija worth? He isn’t that young anymore. What kind of numbers are we looking at? I honestly have no idea where it starts and/or where it ends.
  • He will be 28 in January, and has ONE “pretty decent” year as a starter. He is in the beginning of his prime (in baseball years) so four years and something. I don’t even know what something is anymore.
  • Do you think the Cubs could acquire Nolasco for less than they received for him? I do.
  • Has anyone told Giancarlo about Taylor Street? We could help him get back to his roots while he helps give the ballhawks on Waveland something to do.
  • We all know it has been a while since that group has been busy.
  • Cubs fans, Dioner Navarro! Why do I think that will not be as a big of a deal at CubsCon as the re-signing of Kerry Wood was? Just a hunch, I guess.
  • Didn’t Dioner Navarro and Matt Garza throw some jabs a few years ago?
  • Heck, while they are at it, why don’t we get Zambrano back to ref the impending dugout melee. It would be a nice opportunity for him to give back to the team and the fans, and hopefully spare the Gatorade cooler another unfair blast.
  • I have a friend that wore a thong to the Bears/Texans game last Sunday. I told him not to do that ever again.
  • That is only because they lost. Think about his grief if they had won. He would be screwed.
  • I love when I read trade ideas. Go ahead and get rid of Starlin because you have Baez. I wish the world would wake up and realize that not one prospect can be trusted until he proves it.
  • It reminds me of discussions my friends have about college football recruits.
  • “No, the unproven guy from a random high school in central Indiana is going to be SO much better than the guy currently scoring multiple touchdowns a game!”
  • Speaking of Baez, the Mesa Solar Sox finished the AFL with a 10-20-2 record. With Baez at short, Mesa was 3-8 and 0-3 with him at third when Baez did not play the Solar Sox were 7-9-2.
  • Mike Trout was drafted only a few spots before B-Jax. Prospects are suspects until proven otherwise.
  • I ask you all this: What do you expect from Rizzo in 2013? What numbers will make you happy? I think that is a good conversation piece. That and feel free to rip all of my other points.

So, I leave you with that. 26 disjointed, yet somehow related thoughts. It is Friday, Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and things are going to get fun very soon. Let’s have some good conversation.

Finally, when the news winds down in January, there will not be a lot to discuss in a rambling form. For those veteran readers, you know I used to write columns. If there is an idea or argument or topic you would like me or anyone here at the CCO to address, please let us know. I am more than happy to get down to the BRASS TACKS and nail it. So, don’t hesitate to bring it.

And until next time … Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

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  • J Daniel

    I would agree with Vivid … .280/400/600, 20-25 homers, 80 plus rbi, and some defense. A lot depends on who else is in the line up. Still a long way to go …

  • Tony_Hall

    280/350/450 with 25 HR’s 90 RBI’s, would be fine for next year for Rizzo.

    But what is his ceiling if he advances.
    300/360/550 with 30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s

    • Brp921

      I think your right in the ballpark Tony. I think he’s capable of more in a good year or maybe as he gets more into his prime, but about right for an average year right now.

    • Rational Logic

      Lower limit I’d put at 260, 20 HR’s and 80RBI. Upper limit would have to be 290 with 30 HR and 120 RBI. I’d be very pleased with anything greater than 275, 25 HR, and 100RBI – I think that’s reasonable.

  • Tony_Hall

    You make a good point on prospects, and why the system needs to have depth at every position to produce quality major league players. In the past, we had a few guys who were given all the hype and when they failed, there was no one behind them. Now we have prospects in front of and behind the players that are getting all the hype. If Baez doesn’t work, we have others that can play SS or 3B, that make make it to the majors before him and even after him.

    You can’t put the hopes of a franchise on any one prospect. Their is strength in numbers.

  • Brp921

    Since today is a rambling day I have a question to pose to anyone who here who would like to reply. I was watching Mike and Mike in the morning and they were taking about the AL MVP with some sports writers. The jist of the conversation centered around how the GM’s around the league felt like Mike Trout should be the winner hands down, but since Detroit made the playoffs it gave the sportswriters an out so they could vote for Cabrerra. My question is: do any of you feel that Mike Trout deserved the award over Miguel Cabrra? My opinion is NO WAY! Mike Trout may well be the next premier player in baseball but Cabrerra beat him in home runs RBI’s and average. Plus he won the triple crown.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

      I would have voted for Trout. Similar numbers but more stolen bases and better defensively at his position.

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

        You win the triple crown, go to the world series – you get to be MVP. I think it’s pretty simple. If he didn’t win the MVP I think that would have been the more unlikely event than him having won the triple crown.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

          The MVP voting was conducted before the post-season started.

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

            Still. You win the triple crown you are the MVP. I’m curious if there has ever been a triple crown winner who wasn’t the MVP. It’s only my opinion, and Trout had an epic year, but I don’t even really think it’s a discussion.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

            Ted Williams twice, Lou Gehrig and Chuck Klein once.

          • Brp921

            Did you happen to check who beat them out and what kind of year they had Ray? I must say I’m surprised there was that many. Was it DiMaggio that beat Williams? I know when Williams hit .400 DiMaggio won because of the hitting streak.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

            DiMaggio beat Williams in ’47, Gordon in ’42. Hubbell beat Klein in ’33 and Cochrane beat Gehrig in ’34.

          • Tony_Hall

            Remember when the pitcher who had the most wins, use to win the Cy Young….

    • Tony_Hall

      The Angels had the best record in baseball from the day that Trout came up to the majors. Yet were well under 500 prior…that says quite a bit. Let alone how far ahead Trout was in WAR. It can be argued that Cabrera should have been 3rd….actually it has been.

      http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/law_keith/id/8634729/mike-trout-clear-choice-miguel-cabrera-al-mvp-nl-picture-cloudy-mlb

      http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/30872/al

      Trout should have won hands down, as it is not just a hitting award, that would be the Silver Slugger.

      • John_CC

        Good point…about not being a hitting award. But I do not think that WAR alone should decide.

        • Tony_Hall

          From an offensive only point of view, you can still argue Trout had a better year. When you add in defense and baserunning, Trout pulls away. WAR just shows the results of all the other info, very clearly.

    • John_CC

      I think it is a worthy discussion. Trout had a completely amazing year. His hitting metrics put him right next to Miggy, but he plays a premier position and at a very high level. He was probably the best player in baseball last year, imo.

      But I still lean toward Miggy and the old fashioned Triple Crown argument. To win the crown is simply and amazing feat in the contemporary game. Miggy is probably the best pure hitter in baseball, and he carried his team.

      So it comes down to the semantics argument, what does the most valuable player mean? The best all-around player? Or the player that meant the most to his team and was the single most valuable player in getting the team to the post-season? The Angles did not make the post season and that hurt Trout’s case.

      • Tony_Hall

        “But the story says Cabrera hit one more home run than Curtis Granderson and Josh Hamilton and won the batting title over Trout by .004 points. “

        • John_CC

          I don’t know what story you are quoting, but I will respond that it is not about the single HR or the slight BA margin, or the number of RBI above the next best…it is the sum of the three.

          Actually, pointing out that Granderson was only 1 HR shy, and Trout was only thousandths of a point off the BA accentuates the gravity of doing it all in the same season. There are always players that excel in certain hitting areas; AVG, OBP, power, ect. But rarely does a hitter put it all together.

          I know that you understand the feat that it is in today’s game to lead in all three of those stat categories, as old and antiquated as they are, it happens so rarely that raises the trifecta of HR, BA, RBI to a special place.

          I guess I’m just still old-school enough. Plus I just love Miggy!

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry, from my post below this. It actually shows how little difference there really is in leading any category, and how the sum of ALL parts is more important.

            The part that makes me defend Trout is that the Angels were a mess when he was called up and from that day they were the BEST in all of Baseball. That to me is the Most Valuable Player argument to a T.

          • John_CC

            That’s the most impressive stat I’ve heard.

          • Tony_Hall

            They were 81-58 after he was called up.

            The Tigers won 88 games all year (74 Losses), one less than the Angels who played in a much tougher division.

            The Tigers division had only 1 other team above 500 and the rest of their division had a record of 291-357 (449)

            The rest of the Angels division had a record of 262-224 (539)

          • Brp921

            Good point.

          • Tom U

            Josh Vitters debuting for Leons de Caracas at third base tonight.

      • paulcatanese

        Then again John, you are correct, triple crown cannot be denied.

  • Vivid_Reality

    A .300/.400./600 line would make me happy but I’d settle for a .280 average with 20 homers and good defense at first.

  • Tony_Hall

    HIs OBP was 342 last year and his slg was 463, yet you won’t be happy unless he improves by 60 pts for OBP and over 100 pts on his slugging….tough crowd.

  • cubs1967

    if you compare Rizzo’s stats to Lahair; they are about the same from last yr. Same at-bats, etc. So assuming Rizzo is not gonna fall off a cliff stat wise like Lahair did; Rizzo in 2013 should put up .285-25-90 plus assuming Soriano is around; otherwise no need to pitch to him or Castro.

  • Vivid_Reality

    /Sarcasm