Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cubs Bolster Simulated Rotation with Wade Miller

Jim Hendry washed down a krispy kreme with 3 shots of Jack Daniels, shouted "what the hell," and signed RHP Wade Miller to a 1 year 1 million dollar contract with incentives yesterday. Miller also demanded that the Cubs provide him with his own personal simulated catcher.
Way to go Jim. Seriously, nice move...I guess. It's a gamble that the cubs can certainly afford to make considering their budget and pitching depth, but I would be much more excited if it wasn't for the words frayed labrum.

This move could give the Cubs excellent depth in the rotation. The Cubs now have 7-8 starters to choose from: Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Maddux, Rusch, Williams, Miller, and Hill/Guzman, and they may very well need every last one of them, since about half of these guys are huge injury risks. If the staff somehow manages to stay healthy, then Hendry has the flexibility to deal some pitching during the season, hopefully for a bat.

Wade Miller has a long history of injuries, (back neck, elbow, shoulder, shoulder...) and has spent nearly half his career on the DL, which is perhaps why he felt most comfortable joining the Cubs. He'll fit right in, though the Cubs may need to get a bigger hot tub.

"We are going to be great friends" said Kerry Wood, who looks forward to having a new hot tub buddy, "it's always good to have a little friendly competition for the job as the ace of the simulated rotation."

But serioisly, I like this move. This is a low risk/high reward deal, or as my friend Matt more accurately described it, low cost, high injury risk, high reward deal. Many experts attribute Miller's injury problems to his poor mechanics, which he's unlikely to change at age 29. But if healthy, poor mechanics or not, Miller is an excellent pitcher. He may not be quite be an ace, but he's a quality pitcher with a very good fastball and nasty slider who would make a fantastic #4 starter for the Cubs. But realistically, we should expect zero from him given his injury issues. He's just comming off labrum surgery, which is never a good sign. The likelyhood of a full recovery is not very good, unless your name is Matt Morris or Chris Carpenter. Miller opted to avoid surgery prior to last season, but was shut down by the Red Sox because of shoulder problems mid-season. He then went through with the surgery to repair his rotator cuff and frayed labrum. The Cubs hope he will be ready to pitch in Mid-May, but that's optimisic. Don't get your hopes up, but he's not a bad guy to have stashed on the 40 man roster.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Welcome Bad Kermit

BDCBP is proud to announce our newest member, Bad Kermit.
You may know him from Fire Dusty Baker or Cubs Colored Glasses, and we are happy to have him aboard.

Welcome.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Prior Traded for Tejada

CHICAGO—A much-publicized trade rumor finally came to fruition Friday when ten-year-old Jason Billington of Evanston, Illinois traded his near-mint condition Topps 2002 Mark Prior rookie card to twelve-year-old Baltimore resident, Phillip Ramone. Billington received in exchange a faded and dog-eared Miguel Tejada 2005 Studio Portraits Donruss Zenith card. Rumors swirled that the card may have also had a coffee stain on the back of it.

Said Ramone of the trade, “Since I started my collection, I’ve been going down my list of cards saying, ‘Got him. Got him. Got him. Got him.’ Every time I got to Prior, though, I had to say, ‘Need him.’ It bugged me that he was a ‘need him.’”

Ramone plans to put the card in his display case next to his vibrating Leo Mazzone card. He says that he will leave five spaces open around it for Prior’s ‘Cy Young’ cards.”

When Ramone was asked if the Prior card was his favorite in his collection, he said, “It’s probably number two. You know that card where the guy has ‘@$#! FACE’ written on the bottom of his bat? It’s going to take one great card to beat that one.”

Billington was similarly happy with the acquisition. “Oh, yeah. I’m pumped about the trade,” Billington said. “At first, Phillip was asking for my Rich Hill rookie card, but I have that one in a hermeneutically-sealed safe in my attic. No one, and I mean NO ONE is going to touch my Rich Hill, or Dicky Bump, as I like to call him.”

Fans of Billington’s collection were outraged at the trade. Billington’s father, Tom, when reached for comment, said, “That kid is retarded.”

Billington’s best friend, Mark Williams, was equally dismayed. “Man, I don’t know what that stupid [Billington] is thinking sometimes. Did you know he paid ten dollars for his fricking Glendon Rusch card? Ten dollars! He could have actually purchased the life of Neifi Perez for that!”

Billington has been known to be careless with his cards, as Williams explained, “Man, I found his Todd Walker mint condition rookie card sitting at the bottom of an old shoe box. Under some blankets. At the back of his closet. Which is at the bottom of the deepest, darkest part of Lake Michigan.”

Cubs manager Dusty Baker, having nothing better to do in the offseason than lament the release of Jose Macias and look forward to the inevitable resigning of a 42-year-old Jose Macias, commented on the trade. “Dude, man, I used to collect baseball cards. You know what I used to do? I used to cut out my face from pictures and paste it on Hank [Aaron]’s card. Man, you ever eat paste? Boy, I put on a lot of pounds from eating paste.”

Does Dusty still have his collection? “Well, man, I ruined most of my cards of black players. They got all faded from leaving them out in the sun for too long.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Coreyole

Corey Patterson was mercifully traded to the Baltimore Orioles for two forgettable minor leagers. Once a prospect who was touted as the next Ken Griffey Junior, Corey will be lucky if he sees regular playing time in Baltimore. He will be competing for a job with the formidable Luis Matos. I wish him well, I really do. I hope he can figure things out... somewhere else.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No, I said a Marquis Player, not Marquis THE player.

The French triumvarate is now complete : Marquis, Jacque and Pierre. The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a deal with geriatric outfielder Marquis Grissom. (pictured right) This might sound bad at first, but this is not worth getting upset about (at least not yet). It's only a minor league contract, and a pretty low risk signing. The only real risk is, that Dusty will misuse Grissom and give him Murton's job as the everyday left fielder. But I don't see that happening.
Contrary to popular belief, Grissom never played under Dusty. He joined the Giants the year Dusty left San Fransisco. Still, he has all the makings of a Dustyguy: He is old, he is a former gold glove winner, he has (had) good speed, he strikes out a ton and doesn't walk and clog up the bases, and he's supposedly a good clubhouse guy who brings vetertan leadership He's just the type of player that Baker likes to have around. I can live with that.
The big question here for me is does Marquis really have anything left in the tank at this point in his career?
If Grissom is healthy, (a big if) this just might work out nicely for the Cubs. As a platoon partner for Jacque Jones, the grand Marquis is not a terrible option at all. Grissom has hit lefties very well over his career. If he has a comeback year, he and Jones would make a reasonably productive right field combination. Even if Grissom only starts against some lefties which is probably what will happen, it should be an improvement over 158 games of Jacque. At the very least he's a better use of a roster spot than Jose Macias.

On a semi related note, i'm curious to see what kind of impact the leagues new amphetamine policies have next year. I heard both Steve Stone and Will Carroll talking about how many players are much more dependent on amphetamines than we like to think. Many haven't played a game with out "greenies" (sorry I'm not hip to the lingo) for years. Not much has been written about this issue in the mainstream media, but it's very likely that teams are going to depend more on their bench players to step up and spell players who would otherwise have relied on popping some pills to make it thorough the season. I'm not calling out anyone in particular, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs, who play the most day games in the league, might be especially impacted by the amphetamine ban.
This might have something to do with the Cubs plan to get younger and more athletic this year.
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Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie Augie!

The Cubs also signed Michael Restovich and former Cub fan favorite Auggie Ojeda to minor league deals...