Wednesday, December 29, 2004

New Year is coming

Well, many of us would liek to forget the 2004 Chicago Cubs. It was a team that was real up and down all year. The one good thing is the fact we finished over .500 for the second straight year. At least we were in the race until the end, but where does this leave us for the 2005 ball club.

The rotation looks set with

The key here is health. Both Wood and Prior missed time last season with trips to the DL. Maybe this is because the Cubs did not have a qualified trainer. Muddux was bad early and much better after May. Zambrano has become the Ace of the staff, but will his arm hold up? Losing Matt Clement will hurt, but will Rusch be able to keep up his great 2004 numbers? Not a good bet. After rebounding from a 1-12, 6.42 ERA in 2003, he put up a 6-2 record with a 3.47 ERA in 2004. Reverting to his old numbers seem likely, but if he has turned the page, then the Cubs have a true bargin.


Barrett had a career year last season, so expect a slip, but if hits .275 I would be fine with that. The rest of the infield is pretty solid. Having Walker and Nomar up the middle helps for a full season of work. Ramirez is coming off back-to-back great years, and he is looking like a he is well on his way for a great career. Lee put up another solid year with good defense. This might be the best combined hitting infield in the league.

Hollandsworth/Dubois/Kelton/somebody else

The only spot where the Cubs seem to be uncertain is in the outfield. It looked like Sosa was out the door, but I just have a feeling he is still going to be around. Patterson put up better numbers in 2004 than 2002 (His Last full season), but down from his 2003 first half stats. He seems to be making progress, but 2005 will tell the tale.


The bullpen looks the almost the same, but gone is Mercker and it looks like either Borowski, Hawkins or Dempster will close in 2005. If Big Joe is back to form, then I am ok with it, but if he is getting hit again, then it might be time to go get somebody. I would think something will happen here, maybe a trade.

I will try and post when there is something to talk about.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I'll try not to lose to much sleep

I realize that everyone on this green earth has some comment about this baseball, BALCO, steroids thing and I am so sick of hearing people who have no idea what they are talking about spouting off at the mouth about the issue. If ESPN wasnt such a commericalized ad hound then they might actually say what they really know. I would love to hear Reynolds and Kruk say what they wanted to say if they would not lose advertising dollars. I can hear baseball tonight now...
KRUK: so Herold, (spit) Giambi sais he juiced up (spit) whatya think about that?

HEROLD: well shit John, you remember that fool tried to get me to shoot him up after that interview last year.

KRUK: (spit) well I remember the old Phillies days when me and Darren used to have give Mitch his shots. I kept telling that guy, the juice was why he couldnt throw strikes but the wouldn't listen. I like my shots in the ass, how bout you?

HEROLD: nah, fool, I like mine in the thigh, you know us homies cant be putting shit in our ass's.
I like to imagine that is how it would go. You know why? Because that is how it would go. I have been there. I deal with college athletes everyday and know a third of them are juicing right now at a Division I baseball program. When I was a senior in high school I juiced up to boost my own recruitment. Recruiters would actually ask if you were juicing when no one was around. They would say things like, "so what are you doing to put on weight?" and I would say, "working out really hard". And then they might say, "well you know working out just isnt enough for most people" and I would say, "yeah, I know, I am going the extra mile though" and they would say "good, thats real good". These things happen people and I dont know why we pretend they dont. Say what you want about Jose Canseco and his book, the man had the balls to tell the truth. No amount of juice can make you hit a baseball on the sweet spot. End of story. Dont believe the media lies they tell you. I dont condone drugs in anyway, and actually spoke at several combines to promote working out the right way, but let me say this: My penis didnt shrink, I'm not scarred on my face, and my health is perfect, (except for the little gut my wife thinks is cute). Steroids dont kill you when used the right way, and I can assure you that these guys are using them the correct way. Lets get to the bottom of it...Steroids along with other drug use is a victimless crime. It is illegal for no reason. What is the governement conncerned with what Johnny smokes in his own house if he isn't hurting anyone else? Lets try to stop the rapers and murderers from walking the streets on probation. 6-10 of current inmates in the prison system are there for victimless crimes, while rapists are walking the streets on parole because of prison overcrowding. Half of our police forces are being used in the "war on drugs" while people are murdered every hour. Dwell on that while you watch the government spend a million bucks investigating BALCO and your daughter walks to school without a policeman on the corner.
Im done.
I'll out do myself yet.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Today, Tomorrow and This Day in History

Tomorrow we will find out who was offered arbitration and who the Cubs let go for sure. This morning it looks like Moises Alou is hurt that he did get offered a contract. Well, Big Mo you didn't so move on. It is anybody's guess who the Cubs have in left field next year, but do not count out Cliff Floyd.

Today the Cubs are supposed to sign Nomar Garciaparra and Todd Walker one-year deals to stay with the Cubs. I like this because the Cubs get two quality bats and Nomar's glove is not as bad as people make it. As of noon, no deal has been made that I have found. That would only leave wholes for left field, bullpen and other backups.

Everybody knows what happened today on Dec. 7th 1941, or at least they should. I knew somebody one time that did not know the Declaration of Independence was a separate document from the U.S. Constitution, so I guess is it possible that people do not know that Japan Bombed Pearl Harbor. Well, recently I started subscribing to an interesting newsletter from the History Channel. It is called "This Day in History." It gives you looks at all kinds of different events each day and a little bit about them. Pearl Harbor was today's email, but you also get some other good stuff.

From the History Channel:

1787 The First State

In Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.

Less than four months before, the Constitution was signed by 37 of the original 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, and, by the terms of the document, the Constitution would become binding once nine of the former 13 colonies had ratified the document. Delaware led the process, and on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, making federal democracy the law of the land. Government under the U.S. Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789.

1975 Indonesia invades East Timor

Early in the morning, Indonesian forces launch a massive invasion of the former Portuguese half of the island of Timor, which lies near Australia in the Timor Sea.

The Portuguese departed East Timor in August 1975, and Indonesian troops soon began infiltrating the border from Indonesian West Timor. On November 28, the democratically elected government of East Timor, fearing an imminent Indonesian invasion, proclaimed the Democratic Republic of East Timor.

On the morning of December 7, Indonesia responded by initiating a naval bombardment of the city of Dili, followed by landings of paratroopers from the air and of marines on the beaches. On December 10, a second invasion force captured the second largest city, Baucau. Elsewhere, East Timorese resistance continued, but by 1978 the annexation of East Timor by Indonesia was essentially complete.

During the initial years of the Indonesian invasion and occupation, more than 100,000 East Timorese died as a direct result of the conflict. Most of the dead were civilians killed by the military or starved to death in internment camps or while hiding in the hills from the Indonesian military. Small groups of East Timorese guerrillas continued their resistance for decades. In 1996, Jose Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to win independence for East Timor.

Indonesian dictator Suharto, who had ordered the 1975 invasion, was ousted from power in 1998, and East Timorese renewed their calls for independence. In 1999, the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum, leading to bloody attacks by Indonesian militia forces. An Australian-led U.N. peacekeeping force was deployed to stop the violence, and in August 2001 East Timor held its first democratic elections to establish an autonomous government.

1983 First execution by lethal injection

The first execution by lethal injection takes place at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Charles Brooks, Jr., convicted of murdering an auto mechanic, received an intravenous injection of sodium pentathol, the barbiturate that is known as a "truth serum" when administered in lesser doses.

Texas, the national leader in executions, adopted the lethal injection procedure as a more humane method of carrying out its death sentences, as opposed to the standard techniques of death by gas, electrocution, or hanging. During the next decade, 32 states, the federal government, and the U.S. military all took up the lethal injection method.

After several years of practical development, execution authorities adopted a lethal injection procedure in which three separate drugs are injected successively into the convict's bloodstream. The first drug, sodium thiopental, a barbiturate, renders the prisoner unconscious, the next, pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, paralyses the diaphragm and lungs, and the third, potassium chloride, causes cardiac arrest and ensures the prisoner's death.

1988 Earthquake devastates Armenia

In the Soviet Union, an earthquake of a 6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale hits northwestern Armenia, affecting an area 50 miles in diameter. The initial earthquake was followed four minutes later by a powerful 5.8 magnitude aftershock. More than 20 towns and 342 villages were affected, and 58 of them were heavily damaged. Spitak, a major population center, was almost completely destroyed. The earthquake killed more than 25,000 people, injured at least 15,000, and left some 500,000 Armenians homeless. Direct economic losses were estimated at $14 billion. With the USSR nearing economic collapse, rebuilding was slow and ineffective.

I find it odd that Delaware became the first state on this day, but today Pearl Harbor is what everybody thinks about. If you like this sort of thing or watch the History Channel, then this newsletter is for you.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Calm before the storm

There has been little to no good news to talk about in the land of the Cubs. With my job keeping me busy, I have had little to no time for writing on the site. There are few things I think we will see pretty soon.

With December 7th coming on fast, which is the last day for teams to offer arbitration to their players, we will probably know if a couple of guys are coming back. My guess is that Todd Walker and Nomar Garciaparra will either be signed or on their way out of Chicago. I would like to have both back to lineup, but I really think we need at least one of them.

I believe that Sammy Sosa is going to be in right field this season. He is the kind of player that can rebound from his last year and put up good numbers if he can stay healthy. With this being a FA year for him, I expect big numbers. Also there is no way Carlos Beltran will be a Cub. You can forget about it, and start looking for other players. Will Jason Dubois get a chance? Probably not, but I suspect that Jim Hendry will sign a lost risk FA to patrol left field.

More later.