Cubs Off-Day News and Notes

The roster shuffle continued on Monday when the Cubs claimed outfielder Thomas Neal off waivers from the New York Yankees. Neal was hitting .325/.391/.411 with 17 doubles and two home runs in 72 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to be designated for assignment by the Yankees to make room on the roster for Curtis Granderson. Neal hit .329/.393/.430 against lefties.

Thomas Neal was ranked in the top 100 prospects in the game prior to the 2010 season by Baseball America. Neal can play all three spots in the outfield and is expected to be added to the Cubs 25-man roster prior to Tuesday’s opener in Philadelphia.

The Cubs have been carrying 13 pitchers on the active roster since Alfonso Soriano was traded to the Yankees. The Cubs are expected to send out a reliever to make room for Thomas Neal.

To make room on the roster for Thomas Neal, Rafael Dolis was transferred to the 60-day DL. Dolis was placed on the 15-day DL on June 1 with a right forearm strain. The Cubs now have six players on the 60-day DL.

Junior Lake

According to a report from Jesse Rogers, unless Junior Lake “falls off the shelf” the left field job is Lake’s to lose come next spring. But that is next year and Rogers reported on Sunday that Dale Sveum is not ruling out playing Lake at third base this season.

Cody Ransom is not hitting and Luis Valbuena is on the DL with a right oblique strain that could keep him out until September according to Keith Moreland. Sveum admitted the Cubs do not have many options for third base right now and said that they would talk about Lake playing third base.

Ryne Sandberg

Ryne Sandberg spoke with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia about facing his former team for the first time at the big league level. Sandberg spoke openly about the organization’s decision to hire Mike Quade and the fact he would not be offered a position on Quade’s staff.

Sandberg said he was in “limbo” after the Cubs did not hire him as the big league manager or appoint him to Quade’s staff. The Cubs lack of communication with Sandberg gave the Phillies an opportunity to interview him for their Triple-A managerial opening. Sandberg was hired and, as Jim Salisbury reported, said goodbye to the Cubs.

Sandberg told Jim Salisbury that being hired by the Phillies “has been a blessing” because Sandberg said the Cubs were not going to give him a chance to work his way back to the big leagues.

Full Report from CSN Philadephia

Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano returned to Chicago with the Yankees on Monday and spoke with the media for the first time since he was traded to the Bronx. Soriano said he was on the phone with Welington Castillo on the way to the Cell and remains in touch with his former Cubs teammates.

Soriano mentioned he would not mind returning to the Cubs, or Yankees, as a coach once his playing days are over.

Cubs TV Contracts

The Cubs are expected to turn their attention to their TV contracts in the near future according to a report from the Tribune.

The Cubs and negotiations with WGN are expected to “heat up” because while the team’s contract runs through the 2022 season, the Cubs have an opt out following the 2014 season they are expected to exercise.

According to Ed Sherman, the Cubs contract with WGN is $20 million for the 70 games televised on the Cubs’ long-time network. Those games are now believed to be worth at least $80 million per year. The Cubs are under contract with Comcast SportsNet through the 2019 season.

Neither WGN nor the Cubs were willing to comment because “at this point, it is really complicated” and “no option has been eliminated” according to Sherman’s report.

Sherman explained “there is a provision in the contract that allows WGN to extend the Cubs rights by paying fair market value” but the problem is that fair value is “difficult to determine because there isn’t a comparable arrangement in baseball.” The big TV contracts that are being handed out are cable deals and WGN operates as a free, over-the-air signal in Chicago.

The Cubs have been dropping hints for several years they would like to start their own network. But that cannot happen until the contract with Comcast SportsNet expires following the 2019 season. Sherman said the Cubs could extend their deal with WGN for five more seasons so both contracts expire at the same time.

Full Report from the Tribune

Stan Kasten

The Dodgers’ president spoke with the Chicago media last weekend. Stan Kasten, who built the Atlanta Braves, likes how Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are going about building the organization.

Stan Kasten from ESPN Chicago:

“I love what they’re doing. I love how they’re going about it. In the early years in Atlanta we added another minor league teams. We needed a place for 10 more pitchers to pitch. Branch Rickey said this in the ‘30s. It’s quality out of quantity. If I have twice as many players as you, I’m going to graduate twice as many players as you.”

News and Notes

Paul Sullivan covered his last game as the Cubs’ beat reporter for the Tribune on Sunday … and Darwin Barney conducted the exit interview with Sully.

Theo Epstein likes the improvements Arismendy Alcantara has made this season.

Two more Daytona Cubs games were cancelled on Monday due to rain. Since July 12, the D-Cubs have had three doubleheaders and seven games postponed. Six games have been cancelled and will not be made up … and Daytona has dealt with six hours and 22 minutes worth or rain delays.

Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, a RBI and a stolen base on Monday. Baez is 12-for-41 over his last 10 games with three doubles, three home runs, seven walks and 14 strikeouts (.293/.396/.585/.981).

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory." - Arthur Golden
Share on Fancred
  • calicub

    Hello all, its been a while since i’ve been able to post anything meaningful to this site, so here it is.

    I would be disappointed if the Cubs decided to drop WGN for the sake of money. There is nothing greater than turning on the TV and being able to watch a Cubs game, knowing that everywhere across the country fellow Cubs fans from every state are watching along with you. I know for my part, I probably wouldn’t have become a Cubs fan without WGN. That being said I’d be first in line to sign up for a Cubs network!

    Congratulations to the MLB on bringing down the hammer on the scores of cheaters defiling the game I love. Its fantastic to see such a broad sweeping stroke to send a message to all of these guys, many of whom have lied straight to our faces, bet their lives they had nevertouched the stuff, and ruin careers of other officials because they were to selfish to man up to their own short comings. However i think its time to extend the amount of time suspended without pay. Half a season would be a start, but a full would be even better. 50 games is a slap in the face to fans and players alike. Fans who have paid their hard earned money to buy tickets and merchandise emblazened with the names of cheaters and fraud. Players who have worked tirelessly and honestly to become great only to be surpassed by liers and downright scoundrels.

    • calicub

      Also, if Junior Lake can play nearly every position on the field, I see no reason he shouldn’t be playing everyday. Heck with his arm stick him on the bump and watch him throw fire!

    • Brp921

      I’ve always believed that the Cubs have drawn so many fans, while not winning, because of guys like me who were not raised in Chicago but were able to watch them on WGN and become diehard Cub fans. We grew up and would take our families to a game a couple times a year. Take all the fans like me from around a 200 mile radius of Chicago and add the people who live in the city and it adds up to 3 million fans a year for a losing team. When Comcast got involved my local cable didn’t carry them. it carried Cincinnati and St. Louis. At that point I wondered if the Cubs would end up losing fans in the long run. That is the main reason I switched to satellite. I’m all for the Cub’s to have their own station so they can make the money that other big market teams do and remain or become competitive, I just hope when they do they some how keep themselves available to the whole market like WGN did in the past.
      I also agree with you calicub on the PED suspensions, they are not long enough and Braun should receive the same penalty A-Rod got and be stripped of the MVP.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I kind of feel sorry for A-Rod on some level. Think about all the accolades and money players got in the late 90′s early 2000′s for hitting HR’s and providing offense. Baseball revered this era and pretty much encouraged cheating so all these players could make tens of millions of dollars. Then when MLB got caught with so many guys using PED’s they did an about face and “cleaned up” the game. Now guys like A-Rod who were the face of baseball are being shunned and pushed out for doing what they thought baseball wanted. I think MLB needs to be called out more for this than they are. They’ll get away with the steroid era and all the players they encouraged we’ll take the blame. Not fair.

        • Brp921

          I absolutely agree about the powers that be in baseball are as much to blame. Baseball popularity was down after the strike. Bud Selig turned his head and let it go because all the excitement was bringing back all the fans. He should also be held accountable. He has been allowed to let it happen and then blame just the players. However A-rod and Braun and some others are being penalized, as I understand it, for violations that have occured much after the steroid scandal of the nineties. Braun’s PED violations were during his MVP year.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I know and understand that, but Doug Glanville was on Mike and Mike this morning and said he didn’t really blame any of them for using because of the nature of the game and success. He was talking about insecure a lot of these players are and feel that once they do them, they can’t do without and don’t trust their abilities to succeed. He also said that once players are known as users to not reward them for it. Glanville pointed out him and Fernando Vina had similar numbers, but Vina got a longer more lucrative contract as a former user, where Glanville did not. It’s a complicated issue and I think MLB has to take a hard look at all the issues and not sweep it under the rug.

          • Brp921

            I agree baseball needs to look at all the issues but I don’t think there’s any acceptable excuse. The players know it is against the rules. When caught they shouldn’t even be able to appeal. The suspensions should be lengthy enough to dissuade use. Pete Rose was banned for life when nothing he did had any effect on the game (though it could have). The use of PED’s has shattered records that maybe would not have even been broken. They have possibly raised the standards of entering the hall of fame to where someone deserving, who played the game the right way may not get in.

          • 07GreyDigger

            All very good points. But I disagree on the not being able to appeal. That’s what the union is for. What if at your job, they had “evidence” you cheated on your work, would you want them to be able to fire you without hearing your side of the story?

          • Brp921

            It depends on the offense. Let’s say a company had a zero tolerance drug policy. Regardless of your stance on drugs, pro or con, if you accept that job and you and are aware of the policy and violate it, should you get another chance or have the right to appeal it?

          • 07GreyDigger

            Depending on the circumstance, yes. What if you were taking something for medical reasons and it showed up on your test? And you got fired for it with no chance to defend? I understand it’s a rare occurrence (and also the Ryan Braun defense, but he got caught later anyway), but you can’t just make it black and white when most things are grey.

          • Brp921

            They have a drug policy where I work and if you test positive they break it down to exactly what was found and if you have a prescription then it does not count as a violation. I believe that to b pretty standard. In baseball I’m sure they would be specifying that the positive test would be specifically for PED’s

          • 07GreyDigger

            Works for me. But I agree that a zero tolerance policy has worked so far especially now that the players union is on board.

        • John_CC

          Yes, the 1990s and early aughts were crap-show of “enhanced” cheaters.

          The guys that lie into the camera – into OUR faces – with great self-righteous indignation will receive ZERO pity from me. Palmerio, Braun, Clemens, Bonds, ARod…no way.

          McGwire and Pettitte at least had the courage, self respect and respect for the game to admit their failures. I thought that ARod did as well when he admitted to using in 2000-2003 seasons with his reasoning being as you are discussing – peer pressure, money, pressure to “keep up” with everyone else you see doing it.

          But bald face liars get no sympathy from me.

    • The Dude Abides

      It’s all about the Benjamin’s, we need the cash to bankroll the team as players develop and others become available.
      Hard to argue that WGN played a big part in folks becoming fans but look at that Dodger TV deal and you get an idea of what is possible with a good TV deal.

  • K_Gripp

    At this pace it seems like its reasonable to think that we would see Javier Baez at Wrigley Field at some point in 2014. He hits at every level.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I agree he hits at every level but he also strikes out at an alarming rate. I really don’t see him at Wrigley till September 2014 call-up at best. That will only happen if he lowers his strikeout rate.

      • John_CC

        I’m not going to make predictions on his arrival (though I would lean toward Sept if at all in ’14) but while Javy is hitting at every level he also is improving his approach. The hitting instructor is working hard on pitch recognition with his, feeding him piles of breaking balls out the pitching machine.

        http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/08/cubs-minors-recap-candelario-hrs-concepcion-takes-the-mound-again/
        “Javier Baez had a nice start at the plate, taking a pitch on the outside corner and ripping it into the RF-CF in his first AB, then had a nice AB with a man on 3rd and one out. Marlins prospect Justin Nicolino tried to get him to chase with some borderline pitches but instead of getting himself out in an eager attempt to drive in the run, Baez took the walk. It’s yet another reason to be encouraged by Baez’s growing maturity at the plate. Baez also singled and stole his 4th base. Baez is hitting .252/.317/.591 and has an 8.7% walk rate in his 126 AA plate appearances. That would be above average at the MLB level. His walk rate for the season is 7%, which is still a solid number, slightly below average but acceptable given the rest of his game. If Baez still has an issue, its that contact rate, which is nearly one K for every 3 PAs, but he doesn’t have an issue with his swing, so the hope is that better pitch selection can help him improve on that.”

        • K_Gripp

          I think it is incredibly difficult to improve plate discipline once a player is playing professional baseball. Guys like Baez and Castro are always going to be aggressive free swingers. I think you can make adjustments and see marginal gains but on the whole I think the player is who he is when he gets drafted. The Cubs FO has started to draft players that fit into their plan but I dont see any fruit in trying to change players mid-professional career. The FO will have to make a decision on Baez and Castro should they let them be and accept the good with the bad or should they trade them away for someone who fits the new mold. I think the Cubs will stick with Baez despite his K rate and has he matures as a hitter he will see marginal gains in plate discipline numbers. Same with Castro. Let him hit!

          I could be wrong about not being able to make these changes mid-career and I would be happy to be proved wrong by anyone who has some examples of success.

          • John_CC

            Really? You don’t think that a 20 year old kid in low minors can change their hitting style?

          • K_Gripp

            Plate discipline isn’t a mechanical thing. It’s a mental thing. At this point Javy Baez has probably been an aggressive hitter for the past 13 years. Also its probably in his nature to be aggressive. This is probably one of the characteristics that makes him such a good hitter. I really do believe that trying to instill plate discipline into a player after they are drafted is very difficult and the returns are marginal. Im pretty sure I’ve heard GM’s in organizations where plate discipline is a focus say this as well. They are better off drafting it than trying to teach it. Javy Baez will probably always strikeout more than the league average and walk less than the league average. But I’m sure the FO will be happy to trade that for his power and run production.

          • K_Gripp

            I found an article on this from a few years back. It is a
            good read. I pasted some of the better lines.

            http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=4136793

            “There are a lot of player development people who
            continue to scratch their heads trying to come up with ideas about how their
            hitters can be more selective,” says Keith Lieppman, the farm director for
            the Oakland A’s. “It’s continually evolving to this day.”

            “It’s an incredibly difficult thing to teach at the
            major league level,” says Red Sox assistant GM Ben Cherington.
            “There’s pressure on players in terms of winning, keeping a job and
            earning money. It’s hard to do at any level, but it’s really hard at the major
            league level.

            “As you teach people how to be selective, in many cases
            performance will go down and you’ll see an increase in passivity for hitters.
            It’s hard to be aggressive and patient and selective at the same time.”

            Cherington divides young hitters into three categories. The first consists
            of players who are “wired” to be selective and have the developmental
            background to be successful. Youkilis and Mark
            Teixeira embraced the concept of plate discipline in college, while Yonder
            Alonso, Cincinnati’s first-round draft pick in 2008, was a polished hitter
            coming out of the University of Miami.

            The second group consists of players who also might be
            wired for selectivity, but haven’t been exposed to the philosophy enough to put
            it into practice. Orlando
            Hudson and Jose Reyes
            both made huge strides once they arrived in the majors. Cherington mentions
            Pittsburgh second baseman Freddy
            Sanchez, who’s never been a big walker, but became more particular about
            swinging at strikes as a minor leaguer in the Boston chain.

            The final grouping is made up of players who don’t have the inclination to
            be selective. They’re just not built that way. Corey
            Patterson, Brandon
            Phillips, Yuniesky
            Betancourt and (to this point) Francoeur are members of this fraternity.

            My answer: You try to draft from the first group. You try to
            train the second group. You let the third group play. The debate IMO is whether
            or no Baez is in group 2 or 3.

          • John_CC

            Thanks, that is good stuff and I tend to agree. I read your initial comment as saying that hitters cannot change period, no matter what level.

            I believe the idea as quoted by Cherington that once a player is in the majors it will be very very difficult to change his approach, Castro is a great example.

            But Javy is just 20 and playing at AA and has been coached to be selective for more than a year now, so going back to when he was 19. My point is that is pretty young, basically H.S. aged and he is currently being coached and taught pitch selection in semi-pro ball rather than college. As the article sites players like Teixi, Alonso, and Youk embraced the “concept of discipline” in college, or at the same time in development that Baez is.

            So maybe it is just that I am hoping like hell that Baez “gets it” and from what I’ve read it sounds like he does. Some guys will never be selective, but I don’t think it impossible to teach the concept in the low minors.

            Anyway, thanks for digging up that article. Good stuff.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I agree with John. If a player’s development was over, why have the minors in the first place?

          • K_Gripp

            Show me examples or stats that prove otherwise. Give me an example of a player who came up as an aggressive free swinger and changed into a patient disciplined hitter. Ill look around. Im sure a sabermatrician has stats to prove or disprove my theory.

      • K_Gripp

        Thats when I think we see him too. Late next year. The way he hits though there is chance that the Cubs will have no option but to bring his bat up to the big leagues.

    • daverj

      I could see a post Super 2 date call-up in 2014. We may see him in Wrigley next July. Of course, that is all subject to him continuing to develop at a rapid pace.

  • RickinMSP

    Unlike many on here, I was glad the Cubs didn’t hire Sandberg as manager. I would have put him in a bad position because they were going to be terrible know matter who the manager was and whoever got hired wasn’t going to be around when they become good (including Svuem). I was and still am a bit POed that they didn’t have a job for him on the major league staff or in the system someplace where he could be ready to take over the helm when it was clear they were on the verge of contending and he could be the manager to take to the top Maybe he still can be unless he is the manager in waiting in Philly, though I wouldn’t want that job since that is a team in decline just as the Cubs were in 2009-10.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I thought he didn’t want a job on their staff and only wanted to be manager. I think he only took the Phillies job, because he didn’t get a chance to manage anywhere else.

      I’m glad you said what you said by the way. Yes, he was a great player, but Alan Trammell was a great player and he managed some awful Tigers teams and look who’s he’s managing now.

  • Dorasaga

    My comment after Ryno’s quote here:

    “I still remember the game in late August, we looked across the street and there were two guys on the roof just standing watching the game because they couldn’t get tickets, which was a first for Wrigley Field in a long time. The last two months every seat was sold.
    “I remember seeing those two guys on the roof and thinking, ‘Wow, look at that.’ The next homestand there were 10 people and a barbecue and folding chairs.”

    So from two men standing, there were one bbq stand plus eight more folks. In that one month since 1984, the rooftop has overgrown to become this lustrous, monstrous existence that the Cubs so grossly contracted, and so now, we have this mess.

    Anyway, I praise the Union (MLBPA) and Selig for doing the right thing. It’s a good start. I don’t care what ARod wants to do. He wants to expose his club and the whole baseball, so they can go to hell with him, well, hell with him.

    While we’ve heard suspended players claiming their own foolishness of “wrong judgement,” it’s a nice day of justice. Let’s play two!

  • paulcatanese

    A short look at the PED suspensions. While I don’t know the whole list, as I am sure there are more than have been exposed. The simple fact is that teams have very mixed emotions about their players.
    A-Rod, I don’t care what the Yankees say, they want to rid themselves of his presence and relieve the contract they have with him. They stand to gain millions back from a player (even without the PED’s) has tumbled down in his career and is no where near the player he was. I am sure they do not want to see the appeal process to happen, but it will, and A-Rod will continue to play and collect his dollars.
    If the Yankees were so adamant about cleaning up the game, they would not play him, if only for the principal that they seem to convey. Money.
    And some of the other teams, they are upset that the players they have did not go for the appeal process, but have chosen to accept penalties right now. This impedes the chances of these teams to finish with the hope of post season play. That’s what the owners are upset about, the chance of falling out of the race, the money they stand to save on contracts is small compared to the end result, a chance at a World Series, where big money comes into play.
    Baseball cannot have it both ways, either clean the game up for both, the owners and the players.
    This is only the tip of the iceberg, as these are not the only ones who do PED’s, the others just have not been caught yet, and this is a much more complicated process than anyone can imagine.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I don’t think they cannot play him as the union would draw issue to it and it’s a slippery slope. Either way you’re paying him during the appeal and bad as they have been at third base, playing him minus PED’s has to be better than they have been.

      • paulcatanese

        What you say is true, if not suspended they, (Yankees) have no option but to play him as they are paying him.
        It was a personal wish of mine to see him sit, as he is creating a circus whenever he is around on the field.
        But, there were many fans last night
        looking for autographs before the game.
        There are many who want him out there. All individual opinions and I don’t argue with those.

      • Brp921

        If the Yankees wanted to make a statement they could keep him on the bench. That won’t happen for a couple of reasons, at least. One being they would be left with a short bench and two, A-Rod is right in that their underlying reason is they want to get out of paying him, so if they have to pay him they will play him. As The Dude Abides said about having a Cub TV network it’s all about the Benjamin’s.

    • Dorasaga

      Rodriguez has too much at stake. He’s been implied as “the contact” who sold the Florida brand (biogenesis) of PED-s. There are more people backing him up, because if MLB digs in and catch ARod, his business, then things will go ugly really fast. My estimate is that 8% of pro baseball players use PEDs. Based on previous, exposed positive testing results, around 4%, and we double that. Significant, yet perhaps not enough to shake things up, to propagate the authorities–FBI, MLB–to further investigate and then prosecute the “clean-up.”

      • Dorasaga

        FYI: There are only two clauses, lawful basis, that MLB can use to win the case over ARod, the obstruction of investigation and his conduct violate the “best interest of baseball” (violation of local or fed. laws included in this clause).

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/31/source-if-a-rod-doesnt-settle-with-mlb-he-will-be-given-a-lifetime-suspension/

      • 07GreyDigger

        I should hope the FBI has better things to do than to clean up baseball. If anything, Bud Selig’s leadership has to be called into question. With his term set to end, it seems fitting that he finally be called on for being the commissioner that did nothing about steroids until the government stepped in. He ruined his own game and he should have to own up to it.

        • Brp921

          I agree and would like to add that the government involves itself way to much in private business.

        • Dorasaga

          The FBI cannot prosecute unless it involves corrupted officials, other obstruction of federal law, or kids around America died due to PED-usage–they probably happened, but indirectly linked to the inner circles of an owner who was granted a free ballpark down South.

          In any event, I know Selig has always been questioned, but he’s accomplished no other sport authorities had ever dreamed of doing. Good for baseball, and they cannot stop here. They need to prevent future kids to even dare use PEDs.

  • cubtex

    Cubs are coming off a 1-7 homestand. Phillies have lost 13 of 14. Should be a packed stadium in Philadelphia. lol

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Philadelphia has the worst sports fans in all of sports.

    • 07GreyDigger

      That means we’ll get swept.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I don’t know much much on this Thomas Neal guy, but it seems to me that he was behind Lillibridge on the Yankees roster.///which tells me allot….

    Dale wants to play Lake at third base…..I know Vitters is on the DL, Bryant is learning, but would it be better to bring up Olt !…..

    Sandberg might have become manager of the Cubs if he won a World Series with them……just saying…..

    How can anyone bad mouth the Yankees after they took Soriano off our hands!…..and gave back a good prospect in return!….

    Once the Cubs have their own TV network, the free agent money will be there….the new Wrigley Field bleachers ad boards will be pocket money to the Ricketts klan….

    Dodgers President said nothing new to us Cubs fans who heard the same lines from other team’s GM’s and owners…….must be that West Coast delay time…..

    Barney is planning a new career if his batting average does not improve by next season…….

    Alcantara will be playing second base for the Cubs by next July…….

    With all this rain in Florida, I believe it hinders the progress of our minor league players…maybe it is time to look for another drier location for our “A” team ?…….

    Baez is improving at his new minor league level…..but we will not see him until 2015 at Wrigley………

    Andrew Cashner is 3-0 since All Star break……but we still have Trey McNutt !

    • Denver Mike

      Lillibridge was likely kept over Neal due to his versatility to play defense all over the diamond (albeit poorly). Take a closer look at Neal before writing him off. Sure his numbers in a mere 34 MLB at bats aren’t very impressive, but his .301/.431/.579 line in the minors with a ton of doubles shows he likely has some gap power, and his 18% K rate isn’t terrible either.

      I want Lake to stay in the OF and focus on developing, but Olt is no where near ready to be brought up. Viiters/Jackson have looked terrible since their premature call ups last year.

      Since when is Sandberg a guarantee to be manager of the year? Not directing this towards you specifically, but everyone is just in love with the guy like he is the next Joe Torre….and last time I checked winning a WS as a player has zero correlation to success as a skipper.

      You are correct on the TV money, while I think we will spend much more freely long before a new TV deal is signed, it will put a TON of extra money in the Ricketts’ coffers.

      No comment on the Dodgers Prez…but at least the league seems to see the validity in Theo’s approach.

      Barney has peaked IMO, he will be gone sooner rather than later.

      Alcantera will compete out of ST for a 2015 job, but this FO is in no hurry to move guys up.

      Couldn’t agree more on Baez, I seriously doubt we see him next year unless he can cut his K rate in half.

      Casher/McNutt was never a trade-off, Archer/McNutt was.

      Some good thoughts in there, thanks for the read!

  • RickinMSP

    Regarding that Stan Kasten quote, during the Dallas Green years, didn’t the Cubs add a second AA team?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Smokies roster moves: LHP Eric Jokisch actived from DL and will start tonight (8/6); RHP Kevin Rhoderick released from Cubs organization

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

    What about the Cubs signing Ervin Santana? He has a 47% ground ball rate and an ERa under 2. But I read where he is expected to get the 2nd largest contract ever for a pitcher. Is he worth that?

    • Denver Mike

      In short, no. I don’t think it would be worth it anyways. He has had some pretty rough years and I don’t personally think he would be any better than EJax. Then again I have been wrong before!