Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pie called up? My Ramblings!

According to the many rumors on message boards and several sources of mine, Pie will be in Chicago tomorrow in a cubs uniform. This move is a result of Murton, Ward, or Floyd going to the DL. Floyd has said that he is sure he will be able to play tomorrow, he was scratched today because of an oblique strain. Ward's injury is unknown if he has one, he may have tweaked something when he pinched hit today. Murton is bothered with a sore lower back and also was scratched today. He was able to pinch hit but only in an emergency.
Pie was lifted today from the Iowa Cubs lineup for "unknown" reasons. It would be great to see him back on the ML team, cuz this team needs a spark plug and I think Pie would be the answer. He is a young, exciting, talented CF who should play everyday in center and he should start in CF everyday for the Chicago Cubs!


Ok guys bear with me through this! I'm going to rant a little bit here.

What is with the medicore play and players on this team? We have players fighting each other, players dropping routine flyballs, striking out on 2 bad balls and then looking at the third strike right down the middle of the plate, leaving bases loaded with only one out when a F*&k*^ng flyball would have scored one run. My nephew could get the damn job done! Besides some surprising play by Koyie Hill( who surprised me how well of a defensive catcher he is), Aram hitting the ball real well, and the regular good play by Dlee, you really cant say this team is improving at all. You have an absolute terrible bullpen besides a few guys, you trot out a guy who is batting .247 with 2hrs and a OBP of .302 and keeping your young stud who is batting .389 with 4hr and a .443 OBP in Iowa. Who actually makes these decisions?

Here is a list of players who need to be released or dealt!

- My number one is J.Jones, he cant throw the ball 15 feet without bouncing it. He terrible numbers! Either release him or trade him for a pair of used baseball socks! Pie deserves to play CF for the Chicago Cubs not Jones!

- Will Ohman, everytime I see him take the mound I say OH MAN because you know he is either gonna walk the guys he faces or give up a base hit on a 0-2 count! He needs to be gone also

- I hate to say it but Matt Murton. I thought this kid has promise but he is not an everyday outfielder. You could get some good relief help for him or maybe trade him for a young outfielder. How bout packaging him and a couple of relievers for Wily Mo Pena. He has raw power and would would be a perfect platoon in RF with Floyd. On Mlbtraderumors they say the Sox are willing to part with him for a top reliever, maybe a couple of mediocre relievers would do it like Howry and Eyre?

- Scott Eyre, you need to trade him or let him go. He is ineffective, he is this years Mike Remlinger.

- Bobby Howry, he hasn't done terrible but lets see who you can get for him if you cant get anything for him might as well as hold on to him. He hasn't pitched bad.

- Izzy. He hasn't played good defense or offense. Trade or release him please and play Theriot everyday at SS.

Please Lou and Jim do this for me and the rest of the cubs fans!

Carlos and Barrett say there sorry and get fined, Lou finally blows up!

Thanks to

CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano shouldered the blame for the dugout skirmish with Michael Barrett that escalated into a fight in the clubhouse and resulted in six stitches in the catcher's lip and fines for both players.
"It's all my fault, that's all I can say," Zambrano said Saturday. "I feel bad for that because I have to be in control of myself. I was frustrated, we had a little discussion and it went into a fight. Like I said, It's all my fault."
Barrett was not in the lineup Saturday, and his face was scratched and puffy from the fight. However, he was available to play.
Neither player had talked to each other before meeting with the media Saturday.
"I told them to let this thing cool off for a day or two, and then we'll get them both in my office and we'll talk," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who issued the fines. "We'll either get this thing done [Sunday] or for sure in Milwaukee on Monday."
"We're definitely on the same page," Barrett said. "Things happen. Things are unfortunate. We had our differences yesterday. Today we're on the same page and we're ready to play."
In the fifth inning of Friday's game against the Atlanta Braves, a run scored on a combination passed ball and throwing error by Barrett. The Braves would eventually score five runs that inning. When the inning ended, Zambrano confronted Barrett in the dugout, and the pitcher pointed to his own head. There was a shoving match, and the players had to be separated.
Zambrano was escorted into the clubhouse and Barrett was supposed to stay in the game. But he went into the clubhouse, too, where the two were involved in a fight. Barrett had to go to a local hospital for treatment.
"I told him, 'Are you out of your mind?' That was what I told him," Zambrano said of his message to Barrett when he pointed to his head.
However, that was all either player would reveal about the fracas.
"Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," Zambrano said. "I don't have to say what happened in the clubhouse."
Why did Barrett go into the clubhouse?
"Everybody wants to know that," Barrett said. "I've known Carlos for 3 1/2 years. Carlos and I have had differences in the past and we've always come together. We've had it out on the mound, we've had it out in the dugout before. That's what teammates do sometimes.
"I went down in the clubhouse to talk through things because [the dugout incident] came unexpected," he said. "I wanted to clear my mind, clear my head, so I could go out and concentrate and focus on the game.
"I underestimated what he was going through," Barrett said. "I love Carlos. I know he feels the same about me. I never thought it would've came to that, but we move on."
Zambrano is an emotional player, as is Barrett, as evidenced by his run-in last year with White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
"This is something that happened, was spontaneous, wasn't planned, wasn't premeditated," Piniella said. "It was just frustrations that built up. Just let it go, and forget about it. The only thing we don't want is any continuation because if that's the case, we're going to have to suspend these players and we don't want to do that."
Zambrano's next start is scheduled for Wednesday in Milwaukee. Piniella said Koyie Hill, who was added to the roster Friday because Henry Blanco has a herniated disc, will likely catch Zambrano, and not Barrett.
The Cubs have not played up to expectations this season, and Zambrano's actions were believed to be more out of frustration than anger at Barrett.
"Me, personally, I think it happened because Zambrano and I are so close," Barrett said. "I think of Zambrano as a brother. You have sibling rivalry. I grew up with an older brother, and we had our differences, and we had it out a time or two. At the end of the day, we shook it off, we hugged one another and loved one another."
Zambrano said he has a good relationship with Barrett, and that before the White Sox series in May, Barrett helped him with a family problem.
"I appreciated that," Zambrano said.
Was there a crossup on the signs, which resulted in Barrett missing the pitch?
"All the things that happened in the clubhouse, on the field, what I told Michael, guys, I'm sorry, I can't tell you," Zambrano said. "It's not fair for him, it's not fair for me. It's too many distractions, it's too many bad things that happened. If I open my mouth and say something bad, it's going to be worse. I don't want this to be worse. I want this to be resolved."
Both players felt the incident could make the team stronger.
"We'll learn from this," Barrett said. "The one thing we'll learn from this is that we will no longer fight ourselves, and that by fighting together and playing baseball and focusing on the right things will make us stronger.
"A character guy like Zambrano, a passionate guy like he is, a passionate guy like I am, it just happened to get really heated," Barrett said. "Zambrano knows how I feel about him. He knows how much I care about him and how much I care about the game."
Anger management isn't the answer. Piniella wasn't even sure what that was. In all of his years as a manager and player, including his stints with the volatile New York Yankees and manager Billy Martin, anger management was never brought up.
"I think the only person who can control my emotions is God," Zambrano said. "I have to build my relationship with God and make it stronger. He's the only one who can control me. I come from a family, and my dad is like I am. I think it's in my blood."
Zambrano did slap and shove Barrett in the dugout. It was uncertain whether he threw any hard rights at the catcher in the clubhouse.
"They weren't all jabs, I can tell you that," Piniella said. "Look, these things happen. You don't want them to happen but they do happen. They happen on other teams. This is not peculiar just to the Chicago Cubs. In the heat of battle things do happen.
"The important thing is we learn from this and there's no continuation," he said. "Does it help or hurt? I'd rather have a little wildfire than no fire at all. You don't want to see teammates fight. There was some emotion shown. The important thing here is that nobody was seriously hurt."


CHICAGO -- Rich Hill ran too far. Angel Pagan didn't slide far enough. And, Lou Piniella may have stepped on an umpire's toes while giving Cub fans what they've been waiting for since he was hired -- a bona fide hat-throwing argument with an umpire.
Friday's fracas between Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano was just a warmup act.
Hill struck out six and hit an RBI double but it wasn't enough, as rookie Yunel Escobar hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth and Andruw Jones added a solo homer in the ninth to give the Atlanta Braves a 5-3 victory over the Cubs on Saturday. The loss was Chicago's sixth in a row, a season high, and was highlighted by Piniella's first ejection of the season.
The Cubs manager went nose to nose with third-base umpire Mark Wegner, kicking dirt on his shoes and booting his own cap twice.
"It's good to have a manager like that," said Chicago's Alfonso Soriano, who hit a solo homer in the fifth. "I think he does a great job. He shows the players he has frustrations, too. I like a manager like that. He makes me want to come back tomorrow and makes me want to play hard for him."
The fireworks came after Pagan doubled to lead off the eighth against Rafael Soriano and tried to get to third on a passed ball by Atlanta's Jason Saltalamacchia. The catcher recovered in time to throw Pagan out at third, although Pagan and third-base coach Mike Quade disagreed. So did Piniella who ran onto the field to argue, which brought the crowd of 40,290 to its feet and, for some reason, prompted bleacher fans to throw garbage onto the field.
"The umpire was correct," Piniella said after the game. "The guy was out. I was going to argue if he was out, safe or whatever, it didn't make a bit of difference."
"He's been calm," Pagan said of Piniella. "I thought he was going to stay that way the whole year."
But was Pagan safe or out?
"I thought I was safe," Pagan said. "I was trying to be aggressive and make something happen for the team.
"From the angle, [the umpire] only saw the left hand," he said. "If you only see the left hand, I'm out. If you see the right hand, that hand was in front of my left, so it was there first."
Crew chief Bruce Froemming said Piniella kicked Wegner.
"He made physical contact with the third-base umpire," Froemming told a pool reporter. "He made physical contact with his foot, and he kicked dirt on [Wegner] several times, and the rest was show-and-tell.
"The whole world saw what he did," Froemming said. "It was a terrible display of disrespect and [the MLB office in] New York will be called immediately, and we'll take it from there."
"Froemming said that?" Piniella said. "He's wrong. The league office can look at the film. I kicked some dirt on a guy and that was it."
Froemming pulled Piniella away from the argument.
"We were trying to get him to save him some problems," Froemming said. "And he just wouldn't stop."
Hill may have been trying too hard. The lefty gave up three runs, one earned, on four hits over seven innings. He's been working on his hitting all week after getting pulled early in his last start for a pinch-hitter. Now, he needs to work on his baserunning.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth the Cubs trailing, 3-1, Koyie Hill singled off Braves starter Chuck James. Rich Hill then doubled to right, put his head down and tried to get to third. He slid head-first but was out on a 9-4-5 relay.
"When I was rounding second, I was overly aggressive and made a mistake and messed up," the pitcher said. "When I turned, I looked and saw the ball was at the wall and [Jeff Francoeur] was still getting to the wall. I thought I had a shot at third. I thought it would be a better than average shot at third. I'll learn from it and move on."
The run did score, and the crowd gave Hill a standing ovation. The Cubs have scuffled on the field -- and in the dugout between teammates -- and his race around the bases brought the focus back to the game.
"I've talked to him about it," Piniella said, "and told him, 'How many times have you heard don't make the third out at third base?' He'd heard it. He got caught up in the moment."
It was Hill's second career double and second RBI this year. He also drove in a run when he drew a bases-loaded walk on May 5 against Washington.
"It's fun," Hill said of his hit. "You get dirty, you get to play the game as a pitcher. But it all comes down to you've got to win. If that run cost us the game, it was stupid."
Hill also made a mental mistake in the Braves' half of the fourth. Martin Prado walked to lead off and Escobar was safe when Hill fielded Escobar's ball, then turned and tried to throw to second. The throw hit Prado. Hill should've thrown to first. Edgar Renteria hit an RBI double, another run scored on Jones' groundout, and one out later, Matt Diaz hit an RBI double to make it 3-0.
Escobar, making his Major League debut, hit a two-out RBI double in the Atlanta eighth off Will Ohman for the game-winner, and the Cubs' bullpen now is a combined 4-14. Jones connected in the ninth off Michael Wuertz.
"Everybody's trying too hard," Soriano said. "As soon as we win the first game, everybody will be fine."
The Cubs have made their share of blunders.
"We made some mistakes again," Piniella said about the game. "I'm not going to talk about that anymore."
What's left to talk about?
"Hopefully we can go out and win some baseball games," Piniella said.

Cubs Brawl, a low day in cubs history.

Micheal Barrett got in another altercation today but it just so happens it was with his battery mate Carlos Zambrano. The cubs frustrated with there play lately took it to another level in the dugout.
This incident started in the 5th when Micheal and Z got crossed up and Barrett didn't catch the ball then threw it away trying to nab the runner at third. So the runner on 2nd ended up scoring on a pass ball and error on Barrett. After the inning Z told Barrett to get his head in the game and Barrett responded by pointing at the scoreboard and saying " I'm not the one who gave up 13 hits." Carlos then slapped Micheal and received a split lip, the fight was then broken up by coaches but the fight still continued where cameras were not tapping.
Down in the locker room the scuffle continued. ESPN reports that Barrett went to the hospital with 2 black eyes and a split lip. He also reportedly also had his head rammed into a locker. No word on what happened with Carlos.
Z and Barrett were sent home and will be dealt with and punished tomorrow.
Lou and Lee had something to say about fights-

"This is not the first time players have fought on a team," Piniella said. "When I was with the Yankees, it seemed like it happened a lot. It shouldn't happen; it really shouldn't. You should concentrate your energies and your efforts on the opposing team. Sometimes things do flare up and they get out of hand."
"Fights are going to happen," Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee said. "It's not uncommon. I wish it wouldn't have happened in the dugout. I wish they would've brought it back here or in the tunnel if they wanted to fight. That's not our concern. Our concern is we need to play better baseball."

Lou had more to say-

"You don't want to see people fight one another on the team," Piniella said. "At the same time, you don't like to see some of the silliness that's going on the field. I only have so many players I can play. It's about time some of them started to play like Major Leaguers or [we] get somebody in here who can catch the [darn] ball or run the bases properly."

To me it sounds like Lou is sick of the sloppy play of some players on the team( ie Barrett and Murton) it also sounds like he is sick of trotting out these same players that are not doing anything but hurting the team. Look for some moves to be made soon to show Lou and the fans that the cubs are doing everything in there power to make this team better. The only way to do that is to cut the dead weight( fans know what players those are!)

Well all I can say about this incident is it is inexcusable and both should do a public apology to each other, the team, managers, cubs fans, and baseball fans all together. That kind of childish, selfish, behavior belongs out of site in the clubhouse, if anywhere. Not in the plain site of kids who look up to you ball players as there role models. There wearing your jerseys, there pulling for your contract extension, they come to see you pitch or catch or just watch you put on that blue pinstripe uniform and represent the cubs in a classy way. And today Z and Micheal did the exact opposite of what a ML player should do. Its time to grow up, its time to worry about winning damn games and not egos and blaming one another. Its time to join together as a team and get through this! They can either go two ways with this incident, either continue to fall apart or you can raise above this and become the Cubs that us fans love. The only thing can turn around this team is the players on it, and until they start playing like a team, and looking like a team the will be simply know as the lovable losers on the north side!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Miller done in Chicago? Cubs watching Yanks very closely?

According to many sources,Miller, who is on the disabled list with back spasms, is expected to sit down with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry either today or Wednesday to discuss his future with the club. The 30-year-old Miller could retire or be released.

This was a low risk move in signing him to a small deal and I thought it was a brilliant one at the time. It just seems he will be another ill fated pitcher who the cubs took a gamble on and it didn't pan out.

Now the cubs are still trying to find there 5th starter. Guzman has moved to the pen, Miller looks to be gone, Prior had season ending surgery, and now we are on to Marshall. Marshall hasn't looked to bad so far. But in my opinion we need a veteran 5th starter( we should have never traded Maddux for Izzy, then this wouldn't have been a problem).

The cubs also have to find out what to do with the pen? What to do with the overcrowded outfield? The 5th starter? And there situation at SS. All these need to be addressed soon by Hendry and Lou. We have been fortunate to be just 5 games out of 1st with the way we have been playing, now is the time to upgrade and set stuff in stone instead of hoping it will work itself out!

I have some ideas I would like to pass on to my readers. For the inconsistency of the lineup, 5th starter, and pen, there sure haven't been alot of rumors bouncing around for a team that is only 5 games out of first. I have some ideas why-

1. The cubs are merely waiting for the situations to work themselves out and like the team how it is.

2. The cubs are waiting for the market to identify its buyers and sellers because believe it or not its still early.

3. There isn't a market for the players we have yet.

4. Instead of piecing off this team bit by bit, they want to do a mega deal by the deadline.

5. They just don't know what to do yet.

Personally I think it could be any one of these. But here is my personal belief. I think the Cubs are watching the Yankee situation very closely. The yanks are currently tied for last and 13.5 back of the first place Sox. They are also 7.5 back in the Wild Card. Now if the Yankees don't get the spark they need from Clemens and don't start winning, they will become sellers for the first time in a long time. The Yanks have alot of players who have bloated contracts that they would love to unload, not to mention getting something for Arod( if the Yanks don't make the playoffs Arod will opt out so the Yanks will get permission to trade him and you will see Arod in another uniform this year). The other players that could most likely get delt are Bobby Abreu, who is owed 15 million this year and has an team option of 16 million with a 2 million buyout, Mariano Rivera, he is owed 10.5 million this year and is a free agent next year. Look for him to hit the market or retire. Its unlikely the Yanks deal him but not impossible. Kei Igawa, a disappointment this year and is in the minors currently. He will be definitely traded even tho his contract is only 20 mill over the next 5 years including this one. They will try to get some value for him.

Others that could be bait are Farnsworth, Pettite, etc... There are alot of players that could be delt by the Yanks but thats only if they dont make the playoffs.

I personally would take any of these players! It of course has to get to this point before we start really analysing the situation. But wouldn't it be great to have Abreu and Arod in cubbie blue? I think so!!!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mets and Pads could look for outfield help? Call Nats about Lopez!

So with Brian Giles and Shawn Green both heading to the DL, both teams need some outfield help whether it is a right or left handed bat. There are not to many teams out there who have a surplus of outfielders but the cubs sure do. Another thing the cubs need is bullpen help in which the Mets and Pads have alot of good relievers to part with.

The Padres were trying to unload there good relief man Scott Linebrink earlier this year for Rowand. The deal then fell through and the Pads are now stuck with an aging outfield and there best OF now on the DL. This would make a good partner for the cubs. The outfielders that I see expendable are Jones and/or Murton. Floyd is a valuable player who can come off the bench and he is a fan favorite and is doing pretty well this year. So I don't see why a Murton for Linebrink or Jones for Linbrink trade would be unrealistic. After doing this you call up Pie and let the kid play everyday and center and have Pagan be a bench guy along with Jones or Murton( which ever one doesn't get delt).

The Mets have a different situation on there hands, they lose there everyday RF Shawn Green with a foot injury and he could be back in less than a month or longer. They do have some young guys who can fill the roll but the Mets are in a tough division and rather rely on Veterans or at least players with ML experience. Now the Mets have some relievers I love. Here is a list of guys that I think would be ideal for the cubs and could be had in my opinion.

Pedro Feliciano- Would take more than just Jones or Murton but if we packaged some of out struggling reliever he could be had I think but it is pry a long shot.

Aaron Heilman- God I love this guy! He could be a starter or reliever and could be tough to get from the Mets. Why not package Jones, Cotts, and Eyre to get him? That might still not be enough but it is at least worth a call.

Joe Smith- A great sub marine pitcher also hard to get but gotta at least put the call in.

Aaron Sele- Another guy who could be a long or short reliever or even a starter.

Any one of these pitchers would help the cubs and I think since the Mets are desperate for OF help we could get one of these relievers for Jones or Murton.

One more thing. Does anybody think we need an upgrade at SS? I certainly do, Izzy hasn't been hitting or playing good defense at all this year. Here is the SS I would like to see on the cubs and possibly could be had for the right combo of players.

Felipe Lopez- I have always loved this guy. He can steal you 40 bases, play incredible defense and hit for power. Not to mention his lifetime .331 OBP isnt bad. I would love to see him hitting 2nd and playing SS for the cubs.

And if all else fails I say release Izzy or trade him for something( bucket of balls) and have Theriot play at SS everyday and call up Fontenot.