Archive - Dec 2008

A Cub Fans Guide to Blackhawks Hockey

A funny thing happened on the way to the NHL Winter Classic:

The Blackhawks got good. Very good.

As a result, the spectacle that John McDonough begged his league to bring to Wrigley to help him reanimate a recently dead franchise has turned into something else:

A signficant matchup between the Detroit Red Wings, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and the Blackhawks, the Wings' closest divisional pursuers, one of the league's youngest, highest scoring, and most dynamic clubs.

In case you have been too busy following the Cubs' off-season exploits to pay attention to the Blackhawks--or, more likely, if you have never paid attention to the Hawks--here is a Cubs baseball/Blackhawks hockey translator just for you.

Hendry on XM Radio

Jim Hendry was on XM radio with Rob Dibble and his co-host...Stern something or other. The completely uninteresting highlights:

  • trading DeRosa was the toughest trade he ever made 
  • too right-handed
  • Fontenot and Miles at second base
  • No talks at all with Baltimore for "the player" (Brian Roberts)
  • couple of deals expected over the next few weeks, in 7-10 days they expect to add a left-handed hitting outfielder
  • seems content with the bullpen, Lou and Rothschild will figure out the closer between Gregg and Marmol in spring training
  • not going to the hockey game, currently visitng his brother in Louisiana
  • Soriano's just streaky, not worried about his playoff performance or wilting under the pressure
  • Sale completed within next month he hears
  • Payroll is set until new owner is named, had to move money to add money
  • humorous bit about not caring what the Yankees spend and he's spent plenty on his part and if he didn't, he probably would have been fired by now.

No mention of the Jason Marquis trade, but you have to assume it's one of those deals expected over the next few weeks.

On another note, this Stern fella sounds like a bigger idiot than Rob Dibble, which I didn't think was possible. He keeps harping about Brian Roberts and just called Mike Fontenot a "punch and judy" hitter.

Dr. Hecht's simulcast after the jump...

Cubs Trade Mark DeRosa

Bruce Levine of ESPN1000 is reporting that the Cubs have traded Mark DeRosa and the $5.5M on his contract for 2009 to the Cleveland Indians for three minor-leaguers, RHP Jeff Stevens, LHP John Gaub and RHP Chris Archer.

You have to think a trade, let's say for a certain pitcher from San Diego whom I dare not speak his name, is possibly forthcoming.

I'll try and get some info on the prospects in a bit.


UPDATE #1: Link from espn.com, although I think they have a typo on John "Caub".


UPDATE #2: I poked around a bit and none of the three prospects showed up on Baseball America's recent top 10 Indians' prospect list or John Sickels Top 20. In other words, this deal only makes sense if they're all headed to another city, let's call it San Diego, to give them the quantity of pitchers and players that they wanted in that trade for that certain pitcher, whom we'll refer to as J.P.

Scouting reports and biographies that I could piece together on the prospects after the jump....

December 30th

Gone to the Eternal Confines: 2008 Cub Obits

Update: Loyal TCR reader Jacos points out my glaring omission of Bobby Murcer from the obit list. I think I scooted right past his name on the list of 2008 baseball deaths because I will always think of him as a New York Yankee despite his time with the Cubs and Giants, just like I will always think of Billy Williams as a Cub, despite his time with the Athletics. For the record, Murcer was acquired in trade from San Francisco for Bill Madlock in 1977 then traded back to the Yankees in June of 1979. In his two and a half years with the Cubs, Murcer had a couple of okay seasons--including 27 HR and 89 RBI in '77.


 

In the year just past, eight more men with various ties to our beloved Cubs left this world without seeing a World Series championship find its way to the North Side.

R.I.P. to you all, gentlemen...

 

John Buzhardt
(Died 6/15/08 at age 71 in Prosperity, South Carolina)

A right-hander signed by the Cubs as an amateur in 1954, Buzhardt pitched for the team in September of 1958 and all of 1959. In his two seasons in Cubbie blue, Buzhardt went 7-5, bouncing between starting and relief roles. The highlight of his Cub career was in June of '59, when Buzhardt threw a complete game, one-hit shutout at the Phillies. In addition to pitching for the Cubs, Buzhardt played for the Phillies, White Sox, Orioles, and Astros, ending his career in 1968 with a record of 71-96.

 

Don Cardwell (Died 1/14/08 at age 72 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

Two days after being traded to the Cubs by the Phillies in 1960, Cardwell no-hit the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. If you haven't seen the grainy black & white footage from the WGN broadcast that day, you should.

December 29th

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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 14 hours 10 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 14 hours 52 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 15 hours 3 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 15 hours 10 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 15 hours 13 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 15 hours 24 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 15 hours 30 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 15 hours 46 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 15 hours 46 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 18 hours 38 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 21 hours 10 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 21 hours 43 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 21 hours 44 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 23 hours 42 min ago view