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Theo and Jed’s Excellent Adventure

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment

      Dale Sveum was named the Head coach of the Chicago Cubs today, as Theo was hinting on Wednesday that the closer was in the game for the managerial job, meaning it was almost complete.  The presser will be tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. and I’m pretty excited to wake up early on my only day to sleep in to watch the final press conference for the time being, unless Prince Fielder, or Albert Pujols are on their way to the north side.

I like the hire in Dale Sveum, unlike most people who don’t like that he doesn’t have the experience, well neither does Alomar, or Mckanin.  Alomar was said to not be in the running anymore after he told Theo and co. that he did not believe in the stats side of business, and that the old school way is the way to go.  Sveum on the other hand likes the way that stats is taking over the game, and that it is the new way to do business in building a team.  It also helps that Sveum receives praise from Terry Francona, and Theo as he was the 3rd base coach for the World Series Red Sox team in 2004.  Sveum is a players coach, many like him in the Brewers organization, where he has been the hitting coach this past season, he also took over for Ned Yost when he was fired in 2008, and led the Brewers to a playoff run the last part of September, but ended up losing in the first round to the Phillies.

One thing that Sveum might be able to bring to the Cubs is not just being such highly regarded by others in the front office, but he might be able to convince Prince Fielder over to the North side of town.  Since Sveum has been his hitting coach, he probably knows Fielder’s swing inside and out, after the press conference tomorrow, Theo and Jed will probably sit with Dale and go over the possibility of bringing Fielder over here.  It’s going to be interesting to see what is going to happen now that the manager is finally in place, we might see some moves get done sooner rather than later.  Let Theo and Jed’s Excellent Adventure begin!!!

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The New Cubs Culture is Underway

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod are well underway in running things differently here on the North Side of Chicago.  Mike Quade was told yesterday that he would not return as manager of the Cubs.  This is not shocking at all to anybody who follows the Cubs closely, Quade was not ready to become a big league manager, keeping pitchers in too long, not putting the right pitcher in the right situation, and not pinch-hitting the right person.  His decisions made you think that anybody could run this team better than he could.  Anyways here is a list of my top candidates to fill in to this new Cubs managerial role, and have a good time knowing that there is good people in the front office running things  The List is as follows:

Terry Francona-  Nothing would excite me more than get the Beatles even more reunited with Jed, Theo, and Jason already reuniting here in Chicago.  Theo said today to the media that Tito would not need an interview for the job here for the Cubs, since they are already familiar with each other.  The only questions that linger is are they both over the collapse that happened to Boston in October, and are they ready to get back together.  Those are the only two possible things that would keep Theo from hiring Terry again, also Tito might want to stay in the broadcast booth for a year, and take some time off.

Mike Maddux- Maddux is a pitchers dream to work with, he’s built one of the best rotations in the league, getting C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, and Alexi Ogando.  He’s worked with these guys over the past couple of seasons, and has worked with them to become one of the most feared rotations in the league.  Maddux is also appealing to me because he’s worked in the NL Central before with the Brewers also as their pitching coach, and there could be a slight chance he asks Greg Maddux his brother to be the pitching coach.

 

 

Joe Maddon-  Maddon is probably one of my favorite managers in the game today, he is such a players coach, he knows when to push the right buttons, and he gives the players hope of winning everyday they go to the ballpark.  He seems to be a guy that Theo would want to run the ball club everyday, although he is still under contract their still might be a way to get him.  The Rays have the second lowest payroll in the game, year in and year out for the past 4 seasons, Joe Maddon has carried them to winning seasons, and put in a winning culture in Tampa Bay.

Dale Sveum-  I’ve heard nothing but good things about Dale since the manager job has opened here in Chicago.  I remember when he took over as the interim manager a couple of years ago for the Brewers for the last part of the season.  He is supposed to be another locker room guy, who can be loose off of the field, but serious when it’s game time.  Also Sveum was part of the Red Sox organization in 2004, 2005, when the Beatles were running things in Boston, so there is some familiarity.

 

These are probably my top four right now to take over for Mike Quade, there is also of course other candidates that are being thrown around out there such as Sandy Alomar Jr. Dave Martinez, and Pete Mackanin.  Let me know what you think about my list, and who you think should be the new coach of the Cubs.

 

Lets Get a Move On

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Red Sox Owner John Henry

OK enough is enough already with the Theo Epstein compensation talks.  It’s been about a week since I wrote about him coming to the Cubs, agreeing to the 5 year deal.  Since that time absolutely nothing new has happened except the Red Sox asking for ridiculous players for return.  Do they really think were going to give up Brett Jackson who stole 73 bases last year? Our ace pitcher of the future in Matt Garza?  Now I know whyTheo Epstein wants to get out of Boston,  just because they know Epstein is already out there trying to sulk as much as they can out of us.  John Henry is to me is absolutely crazy from the stories I’ve heard, and for the players he;s asking for thus far.  Tom Rickettsis showing that he’s not going to budge in this deal, because he knows the Cubs have the upper hand in this.  Epstein wasn’t supposed to come this early, are search for a GM was supposed to happen over the Winter, the fact that he agreed so early is why all of this compensation talks is going on.  The Cubs hold the upper hand in this because we have time, since this is done so early we can wait in the wings and wait until the Red Sox cave in to givingup just a couple of prospects.

Trey McNutt is said to be eyed by the Red Sox, he had an off-year last year due to blister problems most of the year.  He ended up with a 4.55 ERA over 91 innings last year, striking out 65 and walking 39.  McNutt was drafted in the 32nd round, and has turned out to be way better than the position he was drafted at.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on his numbers last year due to the blister problem, because his numbers in 2010 was a 2.48 ERA in 25 starts, striking out 132 in 116 innings, while only walking 37.  He could be in line to challenge Samardizja and Cashner next year for a spot in the starting rotation so It’ll be interesting to see if Ricketts pulls the trigger on this deal.  I, myself wouldn’t mind trading McNutt just to get this deal done, since I have total faith in Theo to get even better prospects than McNutt over time.  The deals of Jackson and Garza are never going to happen so all the Cubs fans out there should not worry.  Let’s hope this gets done shortly after the World Series ends, since it looks like it won’t get done by tonight.

Categories: MLB

One Step Closer for Cubs, Two Steps for Theo Epstein

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

The news has finally broke that Theo Epstein is coming to the Chicago Cubs, with a deal of 5 years, around 20 million.  The deal has not been finalized yet since the Rickett’s are trying to get him a title for his duties.  The one thing Theo wanted to happen was that he wanted full control of the team, as he didn’t have full control in Boston.  Tom Ricketts wanted to find a GM who could take control of this team, and was a winner.  No one has been proven more a winner than the man of Theo Epstein.  He turned the Red Sox around right when he got the job in 2002, to almost making the World Series in 2003, to winning it in 2004, and 2007.  Although the collapse this September was completely not his fault, since the clubhouse had no chemistry from what it sounds like, he understands what it means to be a winner, and a contender.  This is what the Cubs have been missing for a while here, over paid players all around this club, and hopefully Theo can figure out some way to get us out of this hole.

I love this situation because Theo is left with a lot to do here, the only real pieces we have in place is Starlin Castro at short, Matt Garza is our ace, and there is not much else in place at this moment.  I am looking forward to what he does with this team, he’s going to have enough money to go after the big free agents such as Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, and C.J. Wilson.  If he pulls the trigger on those deals remains to be seen, he needs to resign Aramis somehow, fill the hole at first base, clean up the mess in the outfield, and find some decent pitching in the bullpen and the rotation.  I’m not worried because I have all the faith in the world in Theo to do the job, as he has been my idol for quite sometime.  He is every young sports fans idol if they want to become a GM one day, and I can say the same for me.

Who will be the Manager?

Now the question next that needs to be answered is who will become Theo’s manager to lead this ball club next year which finished a disappointing 71-91.  There is no way that Epstein will be keeping Mike Quade as manager, as many wouldn’t have even put him as a manager, unlike Jim Hendry (which is why he got fired).  If it was my decision I would finally love to see Ryne Sandberg get his chance to manage here in Chicago, where he has wanted too for a while now.  After Hendry saying that Sandberg wasn’t ready for the big leagues yet it probably was gonna keep away Sandberg until he left, but now that Epstein is here, I believe he is number 1 on his list.  Epstein tried to get Sandberg to coach at Pawtucket last year, the triple A affiliate of the Red Sox, but Ryne ultimately went to go coach with the Leigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Phillies triple A affiliate.  Sandberg had a great reputation as a player, and now has it as a coach, all he has done in managing is win.  Sandberg in 5 season’s in the minor leagues, 2 in Triple A, 1 in double A, and 2 in single A, he has a combined record of 364-341, which is a .516 winning percentage.  Now some people may not think that is good, but he was never able to be with a team for more than two years, what that record shows is what he did right away, and that was win.  This is what the Cubs need is to win right away to get every game to sell out again like it was in 2007 and 2008.

Terry Francona is also a possibility, but not likely since they just had the break-up in Boston.  I would look to see that Francona will take some time off managing if he doesn’t get a job that he likes, and will probably stay in the announcing booth for the year.

Is next year here yet?

With all this news surrounding Cubs, I’m sure most fans are anxious for this MLB postseason to get over with, so the winter meeting’s can start, and free agency begin.  I know I’m already looking forward to next year, which usually doesn’t happen until around Christmas time when Fantasy Football ends.  This year Christmas has come early with all of this news, and I cannot wait for Theo to start making moves in the Cubs organization.

Weekend Recap

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

This weekend we saw a lot of action in sport’s and I will try to get an overview on what happened this Columbus Day weekend.

Fantasy NFL

Standouts-

Victor Cruz- If it wasn’t for the miraculous one-handed tipped ball he caught for a long touchdown he wouldn’t have had such eye-popping numbers, but because of the catch he had a great fantasy day for owners who were brave enough to start him.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis- Who saw this day coming? Not many people would’ve predicted that Green-Ellis would rush for 136 yards and 2 TD’s especially when most thought Stevan Ridley would steal some looks from him.

Ben Roethlisberger- Seemingly playing on a bad right ankle, Ben still was able to throw for 5 TD’s against a good Titans defense, we knew Ben was great, but this performance was on another level.

Jimmy Graham-  This man is a match-up nightmare for defenses with his size and athleticism, reminds me of a lankier Tony Gonzalez.  He is probably the best tight end in the game right now, and many people don’t even know about him.

Duds-

Philip Rivers- Rivers continues to let down fantasy owners who most likely spent a high draft pick on him expecting high yardage games, and lots of TD’s.  Rivers has been nothing but mediocre, and he should have had better numbers than 250 pass yards, and a touchdown against the Broncos.

Josh Freeman- Probably the worst performance of his career, throwing for only 187 yards and 2 interceptions.  In my league he only put up a whopping 3 points, which is an awful day for many who thought he was going to be a top 10 QB by the end of the year.

Isaac Redman- Many thought he was slated to have a huge game with Rashard Mendenhall out against the Titans, but it was Jonathan Dwyer who took the spotlight from Redman who rushed for 107 yards, to Redman’s 49 yards.

Darren McFadden- Only 51 rushing yards against the Texans defense is a shocker to most McFadden owners, he looked like he could run all over any defense he goes against.

Larry Fitzgerald- In a ppr league Fitz had a 10 point game, which is alright but most would think he would be able to put up more against a Vikings defense, especially when they were getting blown out most of the game.

Dallas Clark- Clark was featured in my Sit Em this week, and proved me right.  He had only 1 catch for 7 yards, showing how much of a difference Peyton Manning makes on his favorite Tight End.

MLB

– My worst nightmare just keeps getting worse and worse every time I see the Brewers and Cards play.  Last night was no exception when I saw the Brewers just pile on the Home runs against the Cardinals and Jaime Garcia.  I would love the Brewers to get out of the Playoffs already so that the Cubs can focus on getting Prince Fielder for next year.  For now I’m going to have to live through another Wisconsin team going deep into the playoffs. Oh joy…

– The Rangers took game 1 against the Tigers in a boring rain delayed game, that most probably didn’t bother watching on Saturday night.  C.J. Wilson came back after the long rain delay then started getting rocked by the Tigers, then another rain delay ensued and Alexi Ogando came in a shut the door on the Tigers,  Going up 1-0, with Game 2 tonight in Arlington.

Blackhawks

– The Blackhawks split the season opening home and home against the Dallas stars Friday and Saturday night.  They lost Friday 2-1, Nick Leddy scored the only Hawks goal with only 13 seconds left in the 3rd period, they had there scoring chances on Friday but they couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.  Saturday with the return of Dave Bolland, the Hawks were played some inspired hockey in front of the United Center crowd.  Bolland (2), Toews, Brunette, and Sharp all scored in the 5-2 win against the Stars backup goalie Andrew Raycroft.  Their next scheduled game is Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets formally known as the Atlanta Thrashers.

 

 

 

 

Thursday Night Recap/ Friday night outlook

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Well thank god I’m not a gambler, because I said I couldn’t think of someone worse to put out there than Doug Fister for the Tigers, and what do you know he gets the W and moves the Tigers on to the ALCS against the Texas Rangers.  Detroit were led by back to back homeruns in the first inning by Don Kelly, and Delmon Young.  Young mostly known for his altercation with the umpire, where he threw his bat at him during a minor league game, is slowly becoming the Cody Ross of this year’s playoffs.  He tied a Tigers postseason series record with 3 homeruns in the ALDS.  He was pulled in the middle of the game because of a strained oblique in which he said he’ll try to be ready for Saturday if not they do have some depth in the outfield with Ryan Raburn, and Brennan Boesch.

Jim Leyland looked like a genius for not putting in Verlander, which I thought from the beginning they were gonna save him for the ALCS, that is very promising for the Tigers having Verlander most likely available for 3 games out of the 7 coming up.  Jose Valverde stayed perfect again for not blowing a save all year, playoffs or regular season, and I was kind of surprised he didn’t have a bigger celebration after striking out Alex Rodriguez to end the game.

NHL

The NHL season got underway with the Flyers topping the reigning Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins 2-1, Roberto Luongo didn’t help his cause in Vancouver by having a save percentage below .900 and letting up 3 goals, and eventually losing in a shootout 4-3.  Look for Corey Schneider to take over sometime during this season for the Canucks.

Friday night Previews

– The Chicago Blackhawks take on the Dallas Stars in their regular season opener, the Stars have a new coach in Glen Gulutzan, look for them to play with a passion tonight in Dallas.  I think Jonathan Toews will have his club ready for this one, and look to dominate the first two games of the season as the clubs also play each other in Chicago tomorrow night, in a home and home series.

–  The two NLDS game 5’s are tonight with the Cardinals vs Phillies, and Brewers vs. Diamondbacks.  I would love for both teams on the NL Central to lose tonight so I don’t have to hear all next year when the Cubs face either the Brewers, or Cardinals and they make it to the World Series.  I look for Roy Halladay to pitch the complete game tonight against the Cards, and look for Ian Kennedy to throw a gem tonight in Milwaukee, the young stud doesn’t lose two in a row quite often after going 21-4 this season.

– I will have my Start em and Sit em tonight posted later tonight for Week 5 of this NFL Season, and will have my predictions for all the games this weekend. 

Categories: Fantasy, MLB, NFL, NHL

And the new White Sox manager is….. Robin Ventura??

October 6, 2011 2 comments

Kenny Williams took no time in naming his new manager, non other than former player Robin Ventura.  This is the second manager in a row to be a former Sock, a good 3rd baseman, and famous for getting be up by Nolan Ryan as seen to the left.  How quickly Kenny Williams did this is a shock to me, there were way better candidates than Ventura, who has no coaching experience at all, such as Sandy Alomar Jr, Terry Francona, and Davey Martinez.  Robin is gonna be a different manager than most Sox fans are used to seeing, after 8 seasons of Ozzie Guillen as the manager, I believe Ventura will be more laid back, and more one on one with the players.

Kenny Williams wanted Ventura for his leadership ability, his character, and his Baseball knowledge.  Will this though be enough for Ventura to turn around a ball club who didn’t even come close to their expectations during the season.  What will he do with the man who had more strikeouts than his batting average total in Adam Dunn, what can he do with Gordon Beckham who has not developed yet that people thought he would be at by now, and what will guys think of someone who has no experience coaching?  The strong point for this team is the pitching going into next year, building on a great season by Phil Humber, and new closer Sergio Santos.   I personally don’t like the decision knowing that there were way better qualified coaches out there, that had high interest in the Sox.  Keeping it in the family I guess is the motto for Kenny Williams, and company.

We already knew Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen were on the hot seat, but if the Ventura signing doesn’t work out like he wanted over the next two or so seasons, I would look for Jerry Reinsdorf to look for someone else in the GM position.  With this move look for Terry Francona to the Cubs speculation grow over the next month or two, and lets see what Ventura’s motto is during his press conference.

 

Categories: MLB