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Posts Tagged ‘Cubs’

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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

Epstein To the Cubs?? Cubs fans have hope

October 4, 2011 Leave a comment

This is the man  many want to see including myself running the day-to-day operations of the Cubs, not only does it give us hope that the 104 year curse can come to an end in the near future, but he might be able to build a dynasty here in Chicago.  Look at what he did with the Red Sox, they weren’t winning anytime soon before Epstein took over as General Manager.  He brought in all the key pieces of the 2004 World Series Champions, Keith Foulke, Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez, Dave Roberts, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Mark Bellhorn, Bill Mueller (two former Cubs before joining the Red Sox), Johnny Damon, and Kevin Millar.  Not only was that team good, that team had character and chemistry.  Being down 3 games to none to the ever hated Yankees, they made the miraculous comeback we all know about, then the rest was history.

I don’t see how that can’t happen here in Chicago with some of the pieces we already have here, don’t get me wrong we have a long way to go to get into contention but it can be done with the right moves.  The one key part I love about the Cubs moving forward are the prospects and the young kids we have in the system, and already on the ball club.  Starlin Castro is an absolute monster, and will become a household name around the MLB in no time, has to work on his defense but that’s the least of my worries.  We need to resign Aramis after that season he had this year, producing like he did 3 or 4 years ago.  We have Bryan Lahair who had an extraordinary year in Triple A for the Iowa Cubs, and was hitting .300 at the end of September with the Cubs.  Either give him a shot in Right field or if we don’t sign a big named first baseman, stick him there.  I love Tony Campana, I wish he was more able to swing the bat, his speed is ridiculous, and haven’t seen anything like it on the cubs since Kenny Lofton in 2003.  Campana or Lahair starting in Left Field next year could happen if Soriano’s contract is eaten up but I don’t see that happening. Then there’s Brett Jackson, he is supposed to be the next big thing in Center Field for us, and would love to see him up sooner rather than later.  Supposed to develop all 5 tools, and has a chance of being a good major league player.

As for the pitching rotation we are a mess, Matt Garza is the no doubt number 1 pitcher of this staff, I knew he was going to be after we gave up 3 key prospects for him to the Rays.  Then after that is a mess, with Randy Wells who I still have faith in becoming a solid number 3 guy, Ryan Dempster who is a free agent, Don’t know if he’ll be back, Andrew Cashner will most likely be back in the roation if there are no set backs with his injury, and I hate to say it but right now it looks like Samardizja will have another shot at getting in the rotation.  The bullpen is not as worrying to me as many people think that it’s so bad, we have a young Chris Carpenter who throws extremely hard, the experience in the majors this year will help him in the long run, Sean Marshall of course was our best pitcher in the bullpen as expected, Carlos Marmol hopefully can get back on track next year after this horrible year, and Kerry Wood might or might not be back depending on the new management.

After looking through the whole club Pitching is my biggest concern and I think that has to be addressed first before you look at position players.  The potential free agents I would love them see go after is C.J. Wilson, who is a phenomenal Lefty for the Texas Rangers, Edwin Jackson wouldn’t be a bad add not costing too much money, I don’t think CC Sabathia would come here so I’ll dream about that one, and Javier Vazquez is out there also. I would love to see them go after Johnny Damon who can still hit for power and average, doesn’t have the speed that he used to, but would be a great clubhouse guy.   Now for the Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols discussions, I don’t think we should even worry about Pujols, he will be on the decline of his career in no time, and why would we over pay a guy who has the phenomenal numbers over his career, that won’t put up those same numbers when he’s 38.  Fielder is the right choice out of those two, he is young still in his upper twenties, he is sub par at defense which still I am not worried about, he is the Left handed power bat the Cubs have been looking for the last 5 years, pay that man his money and have a deadly top of the order lineup is what we’ll get here in Chicago.

So if the Cubs are smart we will bring along Epstein, Fire Quade, bring in a new manager, and let the free agent frenzy begin here in the Windy City.