The Daily CCO: Cubs Win a Road Series

The Cubs had a good weekend in Philadelphia. Travis Wood tossed a gem Sunday afternoon and led the way to the Cubs first winning series on the road since last September in Cincinnati (Sept. 9-11). The Cubs were 0-9-3 in the 12 previous series outside of Wrigley Field. With the exception of another dud from Edwin Jackson, the pitching staff performed well against the Phillies. Jake Arrieta tossed seven innings of shutout ball Friday night and Travis Wood threw eight scoreless innings Sunday afternoon. And with Hector Rondon unavailable, Neil Ramirez picked up two saves.

The Cubs also ended a losing skid in Philadelphia that dated back to the 2001 season. Prior to this weekend, the Cubs had not won a series in Philly since ’01 and were 0-8-2 in the ten series at Citizens Bank Park.

The Cubs road trip continues Monday night in Miami and wraps up Wednesday morning with an 11:40am CDT first pitch. Once the series with the Marlins is completed, the Cubs will return to a more balanced home-road schedule. Wednesday ends a run of the Cubs playing 29 of 40 games outside of Wrigley Field.

Mike Olt

Mike Olt hit his 10th home run of the season Saturday and has become a part-time player as his first taste of the big leagues has become all or nothing. Olt has more home runs (10) than singles (9) and leads NL rookies in home runs and RBI.

The Cubs appear to be willing to let him work things out in the majors, and not in the minors. Olt is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

Mike Olt has shown improvement, defensively at third base, and has made several excellent plays while at times showing limited range. Olt is batting .152/.232/.379 with 22 hits (10 home runs, three doubles), 14 walks and 60 strikeouts in 145 at bats (53 games).

Rick Renteria would like to see Olt make adjustments to his two-strike approach. And the Cubs skipper will continue to play him against pitchers he feels Olt matches up well against.

Jose Veras

The Houston Astros signed Jose Veras to a minor league contract Sunday. Veras reportedly did not want to leave Houston last year in the first place. Veras will report to the Astros’ complex in Kissimmee Monday. Once Veras is ready to pitch again, he will report to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The Cubs released Veras last week (June 10) after he was designated for assignment on June 3.

Jose Veras signed a $4 million contract ($3.85 million for 2014 season; $150,000 buyout on club option for 2015) with the Cubs in the off-season and did not pitch to expectations.

Minor News and Notes

The Cubs are in no rush with Arodys Vizcaino according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. Patrick Mooney pointed out what has been reported here, the front office has Vizcaino on a three-day throwing schedule. Until he is pitching on back-to-back days, he will not be called up. Vizcaino could still be added to the active roster when rosters expand in September.

Kris Bryant went 1-for-4 with a walk and a RBI Sunday. Bryant extended his hitting streak to 10 games and has reached base safely in each of his last 20 games.

Javier Baez hit his 10th longball Sunday as part of a 2-for-4, two RBI day at the plate that included two stolen bases. Baez is hitting .222/275/.489 in June (13 games) with one double, one triple and three home runs.

Kyle Schwarber went yard Sunday night and is 7-for-11 in three games with two home runs and one walk. Schwarber was Boise’s DH Sunday after catching his first two games. Click Here for Video of Schwarber’s second longball.

One of the names that have been connected to the Cubs in a possible deal for Jeff Samardzija completed his first minor league rehab start Sunday. Dylan Bundy allowed one run on five hits in five innings. Bundy threw 65 pitches.

Kyle Hendricks picked up his seventh win Sunday and is tied for the league lead in pitchers’ wins in the PCL.

This Day In Cubstory

1995 – Cardinals traded Todd Zeile and cash to the Cubs for Francisco Morales, Paul Torres and Mike Morgan

1993 – Cubs signed free agent Brendan Donnelly

1993 – The 100th anniversary of Cracker Jack was celebrated at Wrigley Field. Cracker Jack was introduced at the Chicago World Fair in 1893

1981 – William Wrigley announced the sale of the Cubs to the Tribune Company for $20.5 million, ending 66-year ownership by the Wrigley family

1977 – Kerry Wood, born

1958 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dick Ellsworth

1958 – Dick Ellsworth made his Cubs debut by pitching the Cubs to a 1-0 win over the White Sox at the Boys Benefit game at Comiskey Park

1954 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dick Drott

1927 – Cubs won their 12th consecutive game by beating the Phillies 7-2 behind Hal Carlson at Wrigley Field. The Phillies traded Carlson to the Cubs nine days earlier for infielder Jimmy Cooney

1884 – Due to inflammation in his right index finger, Larry Corcoran pitched both left-handed and right-handed in a game against the Bisons. The right-hander threw four innings alternating throwing arms before finishing the game at shortstop. The White Stockings (Cubs) lost 20-9.

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Quote of the Day

"You can be a kid for as long as you want when you play baseball." - Cal Ripken Jr.
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  • Tony_H

    Cubs see parts of the plan come together!

    http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/beating-phillies-cubs-see-parts-plan-come-together

    Great line! “But you saw signs of progress on a sunny, 80-degree afternoon in South Philly, and it didn’t even involve Googling videos of Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber.”

    And something that relates to some of my posts from the weekend about the Phillies. “The Phillies had Marlon Byrd batting cleanup, Ronny Cedeno playing third base and Cliff Lee resting his elbow on the disabled list. This roster has too many players on the wrong side of 30 getting paid for past performance. They’ll always have the 2008 World Series, but now they’re paying the price of going for it.”

    • cubtex

      And the Cubs lineup yesterday consisted of AAAA Luis Valbuena leading off, AAAA Ruggiano batting 2nd, AAAA Ryan Sweeney hitting 5th. .211 Schierholtz batting 6th with .192 Barney and .053 Whiteside finishing off this bright of a future lineup. Can’t wait! The pieces are in place and the future is soooo bright I wear my Cubbie sunglasses to work day and night!

      • Tony_H

        At what does a player stop being a AAAA player and is a major league role player? Because Luis Valbuena is definitely not a AAAA player. Ruggiano and Sweeney have both had success and spent more than a year or two in the majors as well. To me, a 4A player is one who can’t stay in the majors for even a year let alone two, but when sent back to AAA puts up above average numbers.

        • Richard Hood

          I think that CT used the 4A tag a little to liberally. In all fairness he should have said 20-25 man on the roster Ruggiano,Valbuena and Sweeney. These guys are not starters on a competitive team and they are playing out of their depth by being out there every day.

          • Tony_H

            I agree. But Ruggiano and Sweeney are not playing everyday, really Valbuena hasn’t been playing everyday either as he sits against most of the time against LH’s.

          • Richard Hood

            The long side of a platoon is not a back up. Sweeney would be out there most days if he was healthy like he was to begin the year.
            Now Valbuena has done well in the long side roll so far this year but I can not forget his splits the second half of last year. He was exposed badly by being in the line up too much and until he shows me different over a full season I am expecting the plunge to start again come July.

          • Tony_H

            Not a back-up, but also not a full time starter. Sweeney was healthy to start the year and was on the bench most of the time.

            I hope they sell high on Valbuena, but it wouldn’t surprise if he has a few year run of being a productive player against RH’s.

          • cubtex

            Look at Valbuena’s number from the 2nd half of last year. Sell high? Seriously? What do you think his value is? He is a fringe mlb player. Doesn’t hit well or run well and average defensively.

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

            He’s improved over last year. Until he tanks give him credit. He’s playing very well.

          • cubtex

            as I pointed out. Look at his numbers in May last year. One month or a month and a half don’t make the year.

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

            Nope but you can just assume either. Give him credit for what he’s doing now. He’s improved each season about 1/3rd. So why can’t that continue this year.

            He may falter a bit but he is absolutely a big leaguer. Ruggiano is too, at least in a platoon.

          • cubtex

            no he hasn’t. he has gotten worse each season. look again. He can’t hit.

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

            He sure is now. You can cheer against him all you want but he’s proving you wrong.

          • Tony_H

            BA – 219-218-284
            OBP – 310-331-382
            SLG – 340-378-460
            OPS – 650-708-843

            I don’t know about you Board but those numbers all look to be improving to me.

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

            Pretty steady improvement. And he’s got two more years at least to presume hell continue to get better. He’s obviously a hat worker and coach able.

            He’ll have had a nice career when it’s all said and done.

          • cubtex

            sorry I was wrong. The improvement is shocking

            2010 .193
            2011 .209
            2012 .219
            2013 .218

            If that isn’t a borderline all star…..I don’t know who is

          • Tony_H

            So 1960′s you are!

          • cubtex

            can’t hit in the 60′s or today.

          • cubtex

            Saber= Looking for other things to justify keeping crappy players in the majors.

          • Tony_H

            That’s right AVG/HR/RBI’s is all you need to look at to judge a baseball player. Even Topps has gone away from just showing those numbers on the back of baseball cards.

          • cubtex

            so 3 for 10 is not a good judge of a player anymore? Should we teach kids in little league to take strikes and work the count? It’s ridiculous. No wonder the talent level in baseball is diminishing each year. They need to call strikes again and make players swing the bat.

          • Tony_H

            Is this a good player?

            290 AVG
            23 HR’s
            80 RBI’s

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

            Saber = winning World Series since the turn of the century.

          • Tony_H

            I have never known anyone that thinks that players can’t improve as much as you do. He is obviously playing better this year. His approach at the plate has always been good, but it is starting to turn into more offense, not just a high OBP. I do believe he is at his high point, but not sure I buy that he is going to fall off a cliff. By being able to play 2B and 3B, plus with some power in that bat, I would think there is more than a few teams who could use a guy like Valbuena as their utility infielder.

          • cubtex

            and Bryan LaHair had as effortless power to left center as anyone in the game :)

          • Tony_H

            What so much hate for players? Seriously, I think you enjoy knocking down major league baseball players, who have had great careers in baseball and have now made it to the show. If the guys doesn’t come up and make the All-Star team in his rookie year, you don’t like them or think they will ever improve.

          • cubtex

            Fielding a team filled with fringe mlb players is wrong for a team like Chicago. Cmon dude. Eli Whiteside,John Baker,Valbuena,Ruggiano,Sweeney,Schierholtz. I think every one of those players have been cut. They are borderline mlb players and I will not watch this team as long as Theo is throwing that crap out there.

          • Tony_H

            Then don’t watch, but if you are not watching how can you be so sure that a player like Valbuena hasn’t improved as much as his number show that he has been doing.

          • cubtex

            I don’t watch. I have seen his swing and his ability as well as look at stats. He is brutal.

          • Tony_H

            Exactly, no chance he could improve, so why watch what he is currently doing. But yet, teams send scouts to watch players every day. Why don’t they just watch the videos from previous seasons?

          • cubtex

            hahaha. yep. teams are sending their best scouts to monitor the progress of one Luis Valbuena and getting their list together of top propspects to entice the Cubs to deal him to them.It will be an all out bidding war!

          • Tony_H

            Teams are scouting the Cubs and I would think their best scouts would be going where ever they have the best chance to make a trade.

          • Tony_H

            And that wasn’t what I said about Lahair, you are twisting it.

          • cubtex

            the plunge started with the 0-4 yesterday and he will be around the .200 mark when it is all said and done

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

            I don’t see how anybody right now can call Valbuena a 4A player. He’s a borderline all-star in limited duty. And he has improved each year so what he’s doing isn’t really a surprise.

            Ruggiano is hitting the ball and his average is creeping up. Sweeney I don’t care for but he was playing great before his injury last season.

            I just don’t see them as 4a. Maybe not starters on a great team but they are serviceable. And Valbuena could play anywhere. Mis OBP is great. Lots of contending teams will be offering the Cubs trades for him.

          • cubtex

            really Rider? you are going to continue with that borderline all star talk????

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

            Numbers don’t lie. You may not like them but they are true.

          • Tony_H

            Dee Gordon 274/321/386/708
            Daniel Murphy 299/357/420/777
            Scotter Gennett 296/335/437/772
            Brandon Phillips 277/309/400/709
            Anthony Rendon 267/326/447/773
            Chase Utley 303/361/482/843
            Neil Walker 280/353/452/805

            Luis Valbuena 284/382/460/843

            Seems like Valbuena is tied with Chase Utlley for highest OBP, 2nd in SLG, 1st in OBP.

          • cubtex

            yea. Valbuena has more upside and talent than any of those players. What the hell are the Nats doing with Rendon when they could have Valbuena?

          • Tony_H

            You always change the subject when you are shown to be wrong. This has nothing to do with upside. It was too show you a snapshot in time where the 2B of the NL are in reference to this years All-Star game.

            Should the All-Stars be given to the player with the most upside?

          • cubtex

            of course. Can a fringe mlb player have a good 1st half.? Wasn’t it a disgrace for Bryan LaHair to be in the all star game?

          • Tony_H

            So Rendon should be on the All-Star game because he has “potential” to be a real All-Star in future years, even if he isn’t really one now. Now that’s logical?!

          • cubtex

            do you think it was right for LaHair to be in the game? Now that’s even more logical

          • Tony_H

            Why not answer the question? Lahair made the team but had already proved he wasn’t worthy before the announcement was made. To me that is a flaw in the system and if a vet like Brandon Phillips makes it over a more deserving young guy with just 3 months in the big leagues, fine, but another young guy just because he has potential, no way.

          • cubtex

            Luis Valbuena has 50 hits. 50. He is on pace for low 100′s. Phillips has 72 and plays everyday and is a gold glove. You are right. Valbuena should go ahead of Phillps

          • Tony_H

            You don’t read well. I never said Valbuena should be an All-Star. Board said he was a borderline All-
            Star and you said that was ridiculous. I didn’t know where he stood but knowing his numbers figured he was a borderline All-Star and the numbers more than back it up.

            I would go Utley and Neil Walker personally.

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

            If that’s not a AAAA player I don’t know what is!

            See Tex, you lost all credibility with me when you calle te Rizzo trade a “blunder.” It shows you just detest Theo. You don’t want any of his acquisitions to succeed and you force your views into that paradigm. I know you like the Cubs. But you’re willing to cut of the nose to spite the face to prove yourself right that Theo doesn’t know what he’s doing and all his moves are amateurish.

            That’s what I don’t understand. Why you have to be right? I’ve heard it said before by pretty wise people. “I can be right, or I can be happy.” You may over time prove everyone that supports this incarnation of te Cubs wrong. But for now you are only right about 1/3rd of the time.

            I like you buddy. And I look forward to the day we can both cheer for the team. But you post negative after negative comment and twist anything they do that is positive into a negative. God forbid Theo make a right move. You’d have to acknowledge it. Maybe I’m too far to the opposite side. But il admit he’s done a few things I don’t like. But from day one, you didn’t like the Marshall trade, the Rizzo trade, the Dempster trade. And each one has turned out well for the Cubs. When will you come start giving Theo a little bit of te benefit of the doubt? He’s got two rings and brought a championship to the second longest loser in baseball. Then he came here and has built our system into a powerhouse in 3 seasons. Were on the verge. You have to decide whats more important. Being a part of te turnaround, or being right.

          • cubtex

            Look at their record under Theo and explain to me again on how “great” a job they are doing? If you get a kick out of watching Luis Valbuena and Justin Ruggiano be part of a 90 plus loss team….more power to you. I expect a hell of a lot more. It is like I tell some of my salespeople….you can make excuses on why other people are more successful than you….or you can do something about it . Excuse after excuse. 1. The farm system was sooo bad. 2. Rooftops. 3. Poor Facilitlies 4. No TV Revenue.
            But don’t worry Rider. Theo has 2 rings and he had built the Red Sox from the ground up just like he is doing now and has always been frugal with a low payroll.. Wait……never mind.

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

            Hes building a franchise for sustained greatness. Not a one or two year 80 game winner. I’m fine with that. It takes time to take a cellar dweller and make them into a mammoth. And there are challenges that he’s overcoming.

          • John_CC

            You really do not “listen” at all. Active listening is a skill, and I know because I’m not very good at a lot of the time either. But I do know that formulating you rebuttal or what you will say next to someone while they are talking is a really bad communication habit. It would be considered disrespectful.

          • cubtex

            What? I can’t hear what you are saying

          • TheWrongGuy

            No.
            cubtex like a lil’ baby they need to see things now not in the future. he can only see things maybe a week in advance. Sorry to call someone out. I apologize for this. It just seems very obvious to me. Everyone wants to see now and not in the future, as far as the Cubs MLB roster is concerned.

          • cubtex

            yea. I see the giant leaps they have taken in 3 years

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

            Farm system worst to first and on the verge of spitting out some potentially fantastic players. This team will be grown internally an augmented externally. Not the other way around. That’s how sustained greatness is achieved

          • Denver Mike

            Tex regularly points out that he runs his own business, so I’m a bit surprised some of this isn’t more obvious. He has apparently never had to train or groom an employee before, and prefers to pay higher salaries for experienced staff that other companies have let go.

          • Tony_H

            Not much development going on in that company! Perform immediately, no excuses or your fired!

          • John_CC

            Even then you’re not safe!

          • cubtex

            don’t work for me if you are running scared.

          • cubtex

            Produce or Vamoose! I don’t need slackers or excuse makers

          • Tony_H

            Like I said no development going on in your company.

          • cubtex

            haha. come over to my operations and I will give you a tour. Life has been good to me because I expect greatness out of myself and the people who work for me. I am 51. I can retire today if I wanted to. I didn’t make excuses on why it should take 6 or 7 years to build my company from scratch to have sustained success. I guess that is why I am so appalled with this plan. Excuses are for losers in my book!

          • Tony_H

            Most companies take years to build up. Sounds like you fell in a pile of $h!t and came out smelling like a rose.

            Most would call that lucky. Good for you!

          • cubtex

            Luck is the residue of hard work. You should try that. Maybe one day you can spend all day on a blog and have employees make money for you.

          • Richard Hood

            Some of us try and do that through our blog’s CT but that does not mean we do not work hard. I bet Neil and the guys here work just as hard at what they do.

          • cubtex

            of course Richard. I am not knocking anyone but I don’t appreciate anyone taking a shot at my accomplishments or what I achieved as a business owner. It was not directed at you or any hard working person who wakes up everyday and makes a living. I worked my a## off to get where I am at.

          • Richard Hood

            I get that but it looked a lot like a shot at guys that are trying to build through a new medium getting looked down on by an “Old School” business owner.

          • Tony_H

            I am sure you did. But you made it seem like it happened very quickly and that you look down on anyone who would take 6-7 years to build up a business for varying reasons. As if there is something wrong with building a business over time.

          • cubtex

            nobody builds a business for short term success. I didn’t put restrictions on anyone to limit their payroll or quality of life. The Cubs are purposely failing in the short term and that is a fact.

          • Tony_H

            So you spent more than your company could afford each year to build your company up. Sounds like you were well funded then.

            You call it failing, but others see it as succeeding. Maybe you aren’t looking in the right areas.

            Pessimistic view point vs Optimistic view point

          • Richard Hood

            When you are expanding or building you NEVER look to make a profit the first year. The idea that the Cubs did and do (even if it just to service the debt) should have made every member of the fan base want to puke. I really believed when Rickets said that every dime was going back into operations he meant the actual team and not the Debt agreement.I imagine if he would have been more clear on what he meant with that statement guys like CT would have given him a little more slack.

          • Tony_H

            Not like this was a start-up, they do have a lot of revenue and there is no reason they should ever run a deficit on any season, unless they are spending money from previous years.

          • Richard Hood

            But with future signed contracts and the Debt agreement is that not what they were doing when Rickett bought the club?

          • Tony_H

            Not sure I understand what you saying?

          • Richard Hood

            When you look at who was signed long term in 2010/2011 and how much they were spending on payroll till this year from then (Soriano, Marmol, Zambrano) you could say that they were knowing that they were in the negative. Then you throw in the Debt agreement (which is against the bylaws of MLB by the way) and they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only way to get ROI is to cut the crap out of payroll and find other revenue streams. IF Ricketts would have been honest with the fan base at that point instead of using political double talk he would have probably been given the benefit of the doubt by the Cubs fans that now do not believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

          • Tony_H

            Show me the political double talk and not sure that you can speak for all Cub fans saying they don’t believe him anymore.

            I believe Theo and Tom both told us what they were going to do, most just didn’t understand.

          • Richard Hood

            When he said that every penny of the gross income from the Cubs was going back into the Club and he was talking about servicing the Debt that was a Half Truth because no one knew about the screwing the operations people got at the hands of Zell yet.

          • Tony_H

            I am pretty sure that was known, the exact number maybe not. It was a complete truth that the family is NOT going to be taking money out of the Cubs. That is what he said and it is true. Actually as a family they keep investing more money into the Wrigleville community.

          • Richard Hood

            Who bought the Cubs in actuality? Was it the Rickett family or the Ricket Family trust? Because the Family trust is where the money came from and when I am talking about servicing the debt agreement it was between Zell/Tribune and the Trust. Meaning every dime that is servicing it is actually going into the pocket of the trust which is going into the pocket of the family. So by your own admission you just said that what Ricketts said was double speak.

          • Tony_H

            The debt service is on the money that was borrowed. The Ricketts put up a good chunk of cash in the deal, but had to stay at a certain debt level per Sam Zell for Tribune to avoid the capital gains taxes. The debt level is $580M meaing the Ricketts paid $265M in cash. I can’t say I have ever seen who carries the debt on the $580M, but whoever it is is going to collect interest. If you have info that shows that it is the Ricketts family trust, I would love to see it. I also thought I had read that the Ricketts were prepared to pay cash, but Zell wouldn’t allow it. If you have more info on the debt, please post it.

          • Richard Hood

            The stuff I was stating was on Bleacher Nation a long time ago. I have a terrific memory at times so I knew I had seen it and was not just making crap up but I took me a bit to remember where.

            http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/04/26/yeah-ricketts-family-debt-service-payments-are-probably-coming-out-of-cubs-revenue/

            There is also another financial article linked in it that will tell you all of the tid bits of the agreement with Zell like who/what where and how’s but this is the overview you wanted I think.

          • Tony_H

            I have read this article. But I don’t believe any of the debt has ever been confirmed. Also, their are rules on loaning money and how it is classified. If they borrowed money from the Ricketts family trust, they would have to make interest payments. Now unless you know what they do with that money or what they will do in 2019 when the deal moves to the next level, can anyone truly know how this is structured.

          • Richard Hood

            It is next to impossible to know for a fact any of this until after the IRS investigation into Zell and the Tribune is done and public next year. Because the threat of being charged with interfering with a federal investigation is very real no reporter will touch it. Time will tell on this one.

          • Tony_H

            I think we will learn more in fall of 2019 based on how they dissolve the partnership. Very complicated deal, let alone very complicated article to follow.

          • Tony_H

            I believe since the Ricketts were willing to pay cash in 2009, that in 2019 when the 10 year deal is over with the Zell forced partnership, that they Ricketts will pay off the debt from the purchase. They may still be carrying the debt from the Wrigley rehab though.

          • Richard Hood

            That is probably a good possibility or they could flip the Cubs at that point for about 2 times the value they paid for it (at current value).

          • Tony_H

            I haven’t seen anything in their moves that gives any reason to believe they don’t plan to be the owners of the Cubs for a long time like they told us.

          • Richard Hood

            I agree that there has been nothing to say that they will sell. I was just stating the the return on their investment at this point (before new TV deals and the renovations) will be HUGE and it will only sky rocket after those things are in the books as well.

          • Tony_H

            Are you saying I didn’t work hard to build up my business’s?

          • cubtex

            got to run. got another tee time with some other lucky business owners who fell into a pile of sh## at our country club. All these lucky bast### who all fell into the same pile of sh##. Have a good rest of the day.

          • cc002600

            Does the great Andre Cashner have an excuse as to why he’s never pitched more than 175 innings in one year and has grandtotal of 17 wins in his illustrious HOF career, while pitching in the greatest pitchers park ever built ? :-)

          • Richard Hood

            I have a feeling that the end results on that trade are going to be swinging back and forth on who won for a long time. A lot like the Rick Sutcliff trade was before it.

          • Denver Mike

            I personally don’t feel the need to tout my own professional accomplishments in a forum where I come to talk about baseball, but I can assure you based on where I’ve come from to where I am today, at 34 no less, I’m not jealous.

            I will say that it seems like you’ve built a pretty nice life for yourself, and you deserve to enjoy it. Maybe if you stopped trying to convince everyone how smart you were, more people would enjoy being a part of it.

          • Richard Hood

            Minnesota, St Louis, Pittsburg and Minnesota all have claim for the first spot as well. Lets just say top 5 to make sure we are not accused of hyperbole.

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

            Worst to first is more of a colloquial saying. You could put the Red Sox in there as well. Many would argue the Cubs are the best so I don’t think hyperbole is really an argument. But I see your point.

          • GaryLeeT

            Too late, I just did.

          • GaryLeeT

            16th (not worst) to 2nd is nothing to crow about. Especially when a monkey could pick the low hanging fruit like the college player of the year. Besides, the farm system is still propped up by some Hendry picks as well. How can you talk about CT losing credibility, when you constantly exaggerate accomplishments, and forecasts for achievement?

          • Richard Hood

            So are you saying that the Astro’s front office are monkeys?

          • GaryLeeT

            Yes. Cardinals and Braves? No.

          • Tony_H

            Jeff Luhnow is the GM of the Astros and came from St. Louis. He is a pretty sharp guy and very good baseball man.

          • GaryLeeT

            And my opinion could change if the Astros stay on top while they pick 30th a few years in a row.

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

            The biggest boost to our system has come not at the top, but via depth from trades and signings. The top picks hav been nice butte difference is elsewhere. And the eye test tells us the rise in rankings is absokuteky something to crow about.

            I may exaggerate predictions and may have lost some credibility there. But I don’t exaggerate accomplishments. And I don’t let bias creep into my analysis of the past like calling every trade bad and rizzo in particular a “blunder.”

          • GaryLeeT

            I judge the farm system by the talent it produces, or is traded for, and then produces wins at the Major league level. That, should be the true, and final measure of success, but so far, there is ZERO evidence to support the notion, that anything has changed over the last 4 years.

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

            3 years isn’t long enough to develop players. But we have brought up Rondon, Grimm, Ramiirez, Lake and Valbuena. Not a finished product but in 3 seasons it’s not too bad considering what we started with.

          • Richard Hood

            I assume you meant Valbuena and he was not brought up by us in a long shot.

          • GaryLeeT

            “3 years isn’t long enough to develop players.”

            Right. So why congratulate Theo on a job well done when there is nothing to base it on? Where are the wins? The only measure that counts.

          • GaryLeeT

            “cubtex like a lil’ baby”

            I have lots of metaphors for jerks who think name calling makes them look important, or smart.

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

            “Jerks”. You just were the pot calling the kettle black.

          • GaryLeeT

            Zooooooom.

          • Richard Hood

            Keep in mind that with Valbuena it is all about sample size. He has hit for the last 6 weeks to a clip of .390 to get his numbers that high. If/when he cools off guys like Utley will still be the cream of the crop.

          • Tony_H

            I agree.

          • Richard Hood

            You seem to forget that last year Valbuena was a waiver wire pick up after ST. He is a known commodity. Is he having a good year? Yes. Is he still a back up that can pound righties if used in the proper situation? YES! Lets not get above our selves with the respect towards what Valbuena has accomplished the last month to 6 weeks. He had a good streak like this last year as well then hit the skids.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Very true. The Phillies built this team the opposite of what Theo is trying to do. To many high priced old guys being paid for past performances. Though Marlon Byrd putting together a nice season – 261 avg, 10 HR’s, 38 RBI, 30 Runs.

      • cubtex

        Big market teams don’t have the luxury of tanking and doing a small market rebuild. Oh wait….there is one big market team.

        • Tony_H

          Don’t have the luxury, but can put out old veteran teams that lose lots of games, that have no future or current chance of being successful for their fans.

      • Tony_H

        Exact opposite and is what the Cubs did when they tried to keep going for it for 2 years after they should have started rebuilding.

        • BigJonLilJon

          I agree partly… I think they were also trying to build the value of the team for the sale.

          • Tony_H

            Agreed, but the last 2 seasons of JH was after the sale and I wish they would have started going younger then, versus going for it 2 more times with that core. It wouldn’t have been this painful of a rebuilding phase.

          • GaryLeeT

            He did not “go for it” he “hoped for it” No impact players were added in Hendry’s final year.

          • Tony_H

            Carlos Pena was added and he used 3 seasons to pay him his 2011 salary.

          • GaryLeeT

            Like I said, no impact players were added.

        • GaryLeeT

          They were already dismantling the team in Hendry’s last year.

          • Tony_H

            Added Carlos Pena that year and yes he did some trading before he was fired, but if you remember he was already fired and I doubt he would have traded those guys if he was sticking around.

          • Tony_H

            I can’t believe I had to look it up but he made the Garza trade going into his last season. Yeah, he was already dismantling the team.

          • GaryLeeT

            You know darn well I was talking about adding FAs. However, wasn’t it Garza that brought in Theo’s treasure trove of players?

          • Tony_H

            Adding players is adding players. I call Pena and Garza trying to win for the next season.

          • GaryLeeT

            No, that’s called trying to win enough games to save your job. “Going for it” would have taken a lot more moves than that, and he knew it.

          • Tony_H

            Call it what you like, he was not dismantling anything and was trying to improve the team for the short term.

          • GaryLeeT

            The dismantling actually started in 2010 with the jettisoning of Piniella, Lilly, Theriot, Fontenot, and Lee, among other cost saving moves.

          • Tony_H

            Theriot and Fontenot, I forgot about their All-Star years. They were traded because the team fell out of contention. Yet replaced in the off-season to make another run at it. Theriot was after the season. Maybe if JH had received anything back that was useful, the rebuild wouldn’t be taking so long. But he received basically nothing back in these deals, as he usually sold low.

          • GaryLeeT

            “Theriot and Fontenot, I forgot about their All-Star years.”
            They are consoling themselves as Cub failures, with their Championship rings from other teams. They were traded, because Ricketts didn’t want to pay their arbitration salaries the next year.

          • Tony_H

            They weren’t worth it and one Starlin Castro more than replaced Theriot and Fontenot and Barney actually outplayed both Theriot and Fontenot in 2011. Those were the extent of JH’s move to get younger, taking arbitration over priced players and changing them in for controlled players. Good moves.

          • triple

            It’s called digging a bigger whole for the next GM to climb out of.

  • Craig York

    Wow I read the headline wrong… I read “cubs win a World Series” lmao

    • BigJonLilJon

      Your beyond needing glasses… maybe cataracts if you saw that headline!!!

      • Craig York

        A little tired this morning haha

  • Pingback: The Daily CCO: Cubs Win a Road Series - Cubs Chronicles

  • texcubnut

    Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn. One of the greatest hitters of our time and a man of real class. I loved the matchups of Greg Maddux and Tony Gwynn. You could see HOF all over both of them.

    • Richard Hood

      ABSOLUTELY and Tony Gwynn’s passing makes me think back to the season that wasn’t. In 1994 he was on his way to being the first man to bat .400 in forever and fell short because of the lockout/strike. I am sorry that he never got that close again. If there was ever a guy that could do it Gwynn was it.

    • Tony_H

      I just saw that, hard to believe. One of the best hitters of all time.

  • Richard Hood

    I have a roster question that I have went looking for an answer for this morning without many legit explanations and I am hoping some of the guys here can help me get my head around.
    When a player goes on the DL (like Rosscup earlier this season) why do it from the major league team and have still gain service time then option them back when they come off the DL? I have seen a number of teams do that lately and it does not make sense for a young player. Is there a procedural rule that I do not know about?

    • Tony_H

      If he is on the major league roster when he needs to go on the DL then he will accumulate service time. If he is in the minors he won’t. But to send a guy to AAA and then immediately DL would be just wrong and I am sure is against the rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tony, is correct to the best of my knowledge. The injury occurred while he was with the big league team.

      I don’t know if you know about this page I set up, but there is a lot of info in here

      http://chicagocubsonline.com/major-league-baseball-transactions-glossary#.U58w2_ldXK0

  • brent carmona

    I’ve always admired luis valbuena. He plays good to great defense at 3rd and 2nd base, hasn’t made a fool of himself off the field, doesn’t make bone headed plays on the field, and most importantly he gives the team good at bats on a consistent basis. It’s great to see him work the count and wait for a pitch that he knows he can drive. That’s the kind of cubs player I want to see on this ball club..that’s my two cents.

    • Richard Hood

      With all this Valbuena love being out there today I thought it was important to look at him a little more in depth because I might just not be seeing something that is important. So you know what I saw that stands out to me? That my initial concept is correct and the difference between last year (when he batted .218) and this year (when he is batting .284) is all about sample size.

      Last year in May he batted .290 then started to stay hot in June but wore down to bat .190 then in July he did the same thing batting .190.

      Lets wait until he shows he can handle the drag of a season and produce before we say how great he is or if he is an All Star. Until he proves he can produce with 400 PA’s then he is what everyone in the league thought he was.

      • Tony_H

        All that was said was that he was a borderline All-Star for 2014.

      • brent carmona

        You make good points, not calling him a savior or anything though. He might fall off the 2nd half like you pointed out but the man plays the front office’s vision of the ‘cub way’ and I like to see that.

  • Bryan

    Just more “classy” debate on CCO today. Can this group ever respect the divergence of opinions (whether in their court or not) without having to have the “last say”. Geez!

    • Tony_H

      Don’t be so hard on Tex and Gary, they were outnumbered and kept swinging at losing arguements.