Wednesday, November 30

You Have Reached the Summer of My Discontent


In what surely is another small step towards the erasure of Jose Macias from the 40-man roster, the Cubs have reportedly signed IF/OF/RP/MAN utility dude John Mabry from the St. Louis Cardinals, pending a physical. His contract is modest (1 year, $1 million), and it seems like an absolute steal considering Jose "PacMan" Macias gobbled his way through $1.6 million last season.

Mabry can play average ball just about anywhere. He filled in admirably for the Cards through several injuries, although his offense was far below his career line:

.240 BA, .295 OBP, .407 SLG
.269 BA, .325 OBP, .412 SLG

That being said, he can play both corner infield spots and both corner outfield spots. I hope that he's used primarily as a spot-start guy or as a PH (he's not a good career PH, as my man Mabry needs time to warm his bat, man), but in Dusty's trusty hands, who the fuck knows.

So, we've apparently wrapped up our third low-key signing of the off-season, and in relatively short time too. Our bullpen is sorted, our bench is a lot more stable (Neifi and Mabry will do the job in that department), and now all we're waiting for is the big gap-filling FAs to pad out our starting lineup.

In retrospect, this was probably the best way to do things: fill in the small, easier part first, and then figure out what money/trade bait is left to get the big names in the door. It's also a lot more straightforward to bring in major players when you show them that there's a clear structure in place that is committed to winning (well, at least trying to win), and I think all our small holes have been filled.

Now, we should have 3 major priorities:
1. Center Field
2. Right Field
3. Shortstop

(the lead-off issue should hopefully be addressed in fulfilling one of those 3 needs, don't forget)

So let's see it Hendry! I hear rumblings that Furcal could make a decision as early as Tuesday of next week, and I've also been hearing/reading that the Cubs are looking at volatile OF Milton Bradley (temperamental, but reaching the peak of his career), which I may comment on at a later time. But hey, at least it's another player to add to the mix.

Bradley, Giles, Furcal, Pierre..... who can say?

Thursday, November 24

The Cubs strike Again!

Sleeping with the (former) enemy

Well, the Cubs have struck once more, signing former Indians/White Sox middle reliever Bobby Howry to a 3-year, $12 million deal. Our relief/bullpen corps is now set, and funnily enough, it's not so dire.

Despite having poked run at Scott "ADHD" Eyre for a while, with the addition of Howry, another early-30s middle-reliever, our bridge to Dempster appears pretty complete. Ohman/Wuertz/Novoa/Wellemeyer/Williamson (I doubt we'll carry them all) in the 6th and 7th innings, Eyre/Howry to set-up in the 8th, and then Dump in the final stanza.

Howry is also coming off the best year of his career (like Mr. Ritalin), so who knows what to expect. It was reasonably sensible to get bullpen depth to augment a struggling relief corps, and now we're showing at least some logic in providing enough depth so if someone like Wood gets hurt in the 4th, we're not waving the white flag and bringing in a dope like Remlinger or our 5th starter to get us into the late innings. Plus, another thing I didn't think about is that we're paying Eyre and Howry about the same amount in '06 that we'd be paying one chubby, aging RF in Jeromy Burnitz. That ain't so grim, in retrospect.

So now all our of attention absolutely positively has to shift to the offense, with CF, RF, and SS our major points of concern. Our lead-off questions will be addressed in filling one of those slots (the Florida Fire-Sales will cough up Pierre to some lucky club, hopefully ours, in their Wal-Mart "Everything must Go!!!"), and then we'll hopefully have a competitive team next season. It's worrying to see Omar Minaya go delirious with money in Queens, but I'm sure they'll find a way to falter. Wagner and Delgado doth not a team make.

Howry's Stats
79 G, 73 IP
7-4, 3 SV, 2.47 ERA
0.89 WHIP, .191 BAA, 5.92 K/9, 3.00 K/BB
434 G, 460 1/3 IP
25-26, 3.58 ERA
.235 BAA, 7.64 K/9, 2.33 K/BB

He's actually a decent pickup, but I hope this isn't as good as it gets for our off-season dealing. I expect we'll trade Hot Rod Todd Walker, for which we'll get something reasonable in return, and this is my current dream line-up as I envision it happening:

C Barrett
1B D. Lee
2B Cedeno
SS Furcal
3B A. Ramirez
LF Murton
CF Pierre
RF Giles?/Pie

SP Prior
SP Wood/Williams
SP Maddux
SP Zambrano
SP Rusch

RP Williamson
RP Ohman
RP Novoa
RP Wuertz
RP Eyre
RP Howry
CP Dempster

That ain't bad at all.

Sorry if this is disjointed -- it's Thanksgiving (even though I'm a limey, I'm on this bandwagon of holiday fun) and I'm already drinking. Now that's something I'm thankful for -- it's not even noon!

Happy Thanksgiving all, more next monday about Howry and our plans.

Friday, November 18

Breaking Hearts and Holding Games

The Clement-style beard returneth to Wrigley

Move over Wellemeyer, the Cubs have a new heartthrob hunk in town! Not only that, now we need to give him a nickname!

- Scott "The Eyre Up There"
- Scott "Fresh" Eyre
- Scott "Jane" Eyre
- Scott "Double Double D'Eyre"
- Scott "Panic and Desp'Eyre"

In the dead of night yesterday, as if to avoid the spotlight or any sort of wider, more incisive scrutiny, the Cubs bagged FA Lefty reliever Scott Eyre, formerly of the SF Giants and *spit* White Sox.

So now Will Ohman has come company in the bullpen!

Who is this guy? Let's review:

408 G, 480 IP, 18-25, 4 SV
4.52 ERA, .264 BAA, 1.53 WHIP

Not entirely remarkable, but we can work with it. It's obvious how we'll use him, and it won't be an entirely unfamiliar role either: he's our new LOOGY! The low-ish IP numbers over that many games suggests that he's that dude who comes in for one batter or one out, and if he gets the job done, he leaves the game, and if he doesn't, he still leaves the game. It's definitely nice to have options in the bullpen, even more so considering that we're shallower than Joan & Melissa Rivers in our bullpen at the moment. We did need a free agent to shove in there, but did we get the right guy?

86 G, 68 1/3 IP, 2-2
2.63 ERA, .200 BAA, 1.08 WHIP

Wow, those numbers are awesome! However, they're definitely the anomaly stats given the path of his career. His season ERA has almost always been on the high side of 4 (in 2001 he pitched only 16 2/3 IP with an ERA of 3.45, and in 2003 he pitched 53 2/3 innings at a 3.32 ERA clip), and those hits/walks totals are a little troubling. In 2002 he was diagnosed with ADD, and has struggled with that ever since, but every scouting report and analysis suggests that he has regained a lot of that focus on the mound, not rushing his pitches or his motions and finding more success as a result.

Not only that, but his 2005 salary was around $1.5 million, and we signed him to a 2-year, $11 million contract. Bear in mind that we signed Glendon Rusch, our 5th starter/whipping boy/does-whatever-we-need-him-to guy, to a 2-year, $4 million contract! That has to smart!

Bottom line is that this guy may well turn out to be alright, despite those surprisingly low 2005 numbers compared to his career in the majors. We could be getting him at the right time for his career, and maybe we could hope to see something similar from him in 2006, but it's quite clear that we overpaid for him considering what we're getting in return. He had a great '05 campaign, and his price/value shot through the roof with the Cubs being the last checkbook standing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what he does, but I hope that this doesn't burn an $11 million hole in our other off-season FA courtships. The shopping list is far from empty, and I hope the club piggy bank is far from empty too.

Thursday, November 10

Look, some news! Wait, not really!

The Sun-Times has awoken from a non-news slumber with this gem:

"Cubs finally put lead-off man on front burner"

It smacks of intrigue, excitement, and terrible obvious-ness. That's right, obvious-ness. It is the 2006 Cubs priority, and look for Furcal's house to be inundated with bouquets and chocolates over the next few days.

In all fairness, the article does bring up a couple of sad sack facts that are painful to read: the Cubs were the 2nd worst team when it came to lead-off BA, batting an NL-worse .245. Only the Texas Rangers with their .243 BA were worse.

Who had a crack at leading off last season?

Jerry Hairston Jr. - 76 games
306 AB, .265 BA, .344 OBP, 43 R, 8 SB, 8 CS as lead-off man

Corey Patterson - 29 games
128 AB, .211 BA, .263 OBP, 4 R, 5 SB, CS

Neifi Perez - 26 games
114 AB, .254 BA, .263 OBP, 11 R, SB, 2 CS

Jose Macias - 8 games
35 AB, .229 BA, .270 OBP, 3 R, SB, CS

Matt Murton - 2 games
10 AB, .300 BA, .364 OBP, 2 R

Ryan Theriot - 2 games
9 AB, .111 BA, .111 OBP, 2 R

(Matt Lawton, 18 games, and Jody Gerut, 1 game, also tried lead-off, but who cares about their stats? They're not with us anymore, so I left them out.)

It all amounts, as the Sun-Times could not possibly fail to recognize, to a gigantic problem. Our leadoff guys scored 83 runs this season, second-worst to the Dodgers (81), and it meant that our first innings were terrible - of the 699 runs we scored this season, 58 came in the first, while our opponents scored 89 in their first inning against us. It meant that far too often our rotation was chasing games, playing from behind, and that alone contributed to plenty o' losses on the ol' scoresheet. The only table that group should be setting is at Thanksgiving (groan).

So, with this being said, and the collective hunger in Cubdom for that lead-off position, who could play it this year? Consider that money is no object, and that our front office is acting without the duress of idiocy. Wait, scratch that.


1. Rafael Furcal, SS - Braves


Blah, blah, blah. I've prattled on about this speedster for ages, as has the rest of the CBA. Next!

Pros: Fast (stole 46 bases in 2005). Scored a lot of runs (100). Friends with Neifi Perez. Shares an agent with Neifi Perez (Paul Kinzer).
Cons: May have shared women with Neifi Perez. Has been on the wrong side of the law (2 DUIs), but then again, we need a loose cannon in the dugout. Price might also be a touch high, considering the shallow FA pool this offseason, and if the Mets get involved, we'll have to open the checkbook.


2. Juan Pierre, OF - Marlins


He's fast, he's young, he's coming off a down year that will affect his overall price tag. Had stellar back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004 (2003: .305 BA, .361 OBP, 100 R, 65 SB//2004: .326 BA, .374 OBP, 100 R, 45 SB), and despite a slight drop in 2005 production, he is there for the taking. Apparently, allegedly, the Marlins have offered us a trade already for Pierre: JP for Corey Patterson and Rich Hill/other good pitching prospect. We've already given them one All-Star SP (Dontrelle Willis), so what's another between friends?

Pros: Fast, young, aggressive, adaptable. Would fill an empty CF spot and lead-off all in one swoop. Could do well in Wrigley. Cheaper than he would have been in 2004, for sure. Can grow a sweet moustache if necessary. The Marlins want CP, supposedly. What more could be better?

Cons: The Cubs won't want to give up Rich Hill. This trade won't happen.


3. Corey Patterson, CF - Cubs



Pros: He's.... already.... ours? Could..... have..... improved..... swing?

Cons: He's Corey Patterson. Don't make me go any further.


4. Elroy Jetson, RF - Outer Space


Pros: Young, versatile. Has played in difficult environments, used to thin air.

Cons: A touch naive on defense, especially back on the warning track. Slightly underdeveloped in the power category.


5. Fast Eddie


Pros: The name says it all.

Cons: Still plays "like the olden days." Not in touch with today's game.


6. Air Bud (Circa "Seventh Inning Fetch"), CF - Angels


Pros: Unbelievable range in the outfield. Career 1.000 FPCT is just the trick in windy, spacious Wrigley. Has that magic about him that makes him a playmaker. Looks good in blue.

Cons: Light on power. Might not be a friend of the groundskeeper come late-August.


At the end of the day, whether this is old news or not, it's something. Who would you like to see in the lead-off slot?

Tuesday, November 8

Neifi turns two

Neifi's happy. I'll be happy once the guy to his left is gone.

As Lazlo pointed out, the Cubs have resigned Neifi Perez to a 2-year deal which makes him a Cub until the end of the 2007 season. With Nomar filing for free agency, it looks more and more unlikely that he'll come back (Good! Send him to the West Coast!) so we grabbed back the cheaper SS of the two.

But what will this ultimately mean?

Neifi has said countless times, in person and in print, that "any way I can help them [the Cubs] out, I'll help them out." This is the perfect sentiment for a 32-year-old, career .270 BA/.301 OBP/.380 SLG hitter. His defensive range is solid, and he did show flashes of excellence last year.

However, it makes me worried that now we've re-signed him, Dusty will work him into the everyday lineup at the expense of Cedeno. Neifi is great 2B/SS/3B cover, and he works well as a PH for the most part, but he should not be playing everyday, but if Nomar does depart, I'm afraid that Baker will panic and use him on a full-time basis.

This is not smart. Why?

He's a long way removed from being that everyday guy.
In 2005, his best months were April (.368 BA, .403 OBP, 11 R, 12 RBI) and August (.347 BA, .388 OBP). Why? Because those were the months in which he played the least (68 ABs and 75 ABs respectively).

In every other month where his ABs were considerably higher, a natural occurrence if playing every day, his numbers were dreadful:

108 AB, .259 BA, .283 OBP, 11 R
109 AB, .229 BA, .248 OBP
103 AB, .233 BA, .245 OBP
102 AB, .255 BA, .274 OBP

Neifi's notoriously streaky; when he's hot, he's unstoppable and when he's cold, he's abyssmal. Playing him everyday, as tempting as it may be for Dusty considering that he's part of the Veterans Club (aka "favourites in the dugout"), will be detrimental to this team, and I guess we'll find out soon enough based on how hard we chase Rafael Furcal to fill the SS hole.

The last time he played more games than he did in 2005 (154) was way back in 2000 (162 for Colorado), coincidentally the year he won the NL Gold Glove.

It's time for him to serve in the role for which he is best suited in the Cubs organization: serious depth on our bench. Having exercised our option on Todd Walker (maybe to use him as trade material, and the Indians might make another run on him), a ready young guy in Cedeno, and an expected run on acquiring Rafael Furcal, the Cubs will go from shallow to deep at those infield spots.

Thankfully, Neifi is ecstatic to be a Cub again, and he is one of the more unselfish guys you'll see around. This won't be a problem at all for Neifi or for the Cubs on the whole, depending on Dusty's managing of the situation in 2006.

Monday, November 7

Pass me my Checkbook

227_Wellemeyer.Todd_w has a story about Kerry Wood's latest charity event on the horizon. Wood is a top-notch philanthropist, and his upcoming shindig on November 12 promises to be no exception. During the day, he and his wife will host a bowling tournament benefit for Children's Memorial Hospital, accompanied by Mark Prior (he'd better bowl lefty), Dempster, Ryno, Mark "The Desert Drunk" Grace, and Matt Clement. There's an auction up for grabs too, with a good selection of memorabilia available at the right price.

In the evening, they're hosting a "celebrity bartending event" (keep Grace away, please) at Le Passage, a swanky club on the Gold Coast side of town. Aside from the usual fundraising, where celebrities compete for tips while pouring the drinks, there is another auction, where the main prize is an evening with Todd Wellemeyer at Le Passage.

Imagine that: a chance to dine with our favorite middle reliever. What would you ask him?

Q. How was co-ed life at Bellarmine (KY) College?
Q. Will you pitch better than your career 6.19 ERA next season?
Q. What music do you listen to on that long drive between Chi-town and Iowa?

I'm not poking fun at the charity aspect of it all, because deep down, it's all for a good cause. However, I would like to know what the winning bid is for that dinner & drinks session. Is dinner included in the prize, or would you end up going dutch with TW? I wonder if Todd picks up checks like he picks up runners on base.

Brief Football Interlude

The weekend is done, and so are Wisconsin's hopes for a Big Ten title. Thanks for playing, you truly were tremendous competitors. But how about the NFL?

First off, every team who were supposed to win actually did. This never happens. No major upsets, no wins against the run of form; just flat-out win after win for the favorite.

The Week in 150 Words or Less

Atlanta 17, Miami 10
Vick Sr. can throw? Doubles Frerotte's output, team wins by a TD.

Detroit 14, Minnesota 27
Brad Johnson is boring, game had me snoring. Edinger looks like Fievel from an American Tail.

Oakland 23, Kansas City 27
LJ: worshipped at PSU. In KC, the love affair continues.

Tennessee 14, Cleveland 20
Who makes this schedule? Oh, and Dennis Northcutt is still alive and well, doing his best 2002 impression.

Carolina 34, Tampa Bay 14
Chris Simms throwing 42 times? The main ingredient in a recipe for defeat.

Cincinnati 21, Baltimore 9
Tab Perry scored a TD. I used to love drinking Tab.

Houston 14, Jacksonville 21
Another horrible game. Leftwich does just enough.

San Diego 31, NY Jets 26
The one man show does it again, Bolts still make Bollinger look like Bradshaw.

Chicago 20, New Orleans 17
The 2nd game this weekend decided by a Nittany Lion. Gould bangs the GW FG like Matt Leinart bangs the entire USC female student body. Everyone's happy.

Seattle 33, Arizona 19
Shaun Alexander: just push play.

NY Giants 24, San Francisco 9
Brandon Jacobs: 5 rush, 3 yards, 2 TD. Brilliant.

Pittsburgh 20, Green Bay 10

Philadelphia 10, Washington 17
T.O. absent, Eagles nascent. Makes no difference thanks to Portis and co.

Friday, November 4

Weekend Plans

I have several things to do this weekend, including watching Penn State take on Wisconsin for the Big Ten lead, but a late addition to my schedule is Adam Greenberg's diary.


Yes, Adam "I got drilled in the head with my 1st Major League at-bat and spent time on the DL" Greenberg. Well, he's playing winter ball in Venezuela (I bet Murton hates his guts, getting stuck in Mesa), and asked him to keep a diary. Let me tell you, it's riveting stuff. He talks about TV and subtitles, Pepsi, and his hunts for fast food chains in Latin America.

Rest assured I will curl up on the chaise longue with a nice chilled glass of Pinot Grigio and drink in every word. My weekend is looking up.

Greenberg's Diario (

The Past Week in Cubs Prospects

Thanks to, we have a wonderful image of how all our favorite China Doll, delicate prospects have fared recently for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.

P Angel Guzman -- 1-2, 3.86 ERA
10 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K last week

SS Buck Coats -- .304
2-6, 2 BB, R last week

P John Koronka -- 0.00 ERA
Removed from the team for personal reasons, having thrown 13 scoreless innings in the AFL to date.

2B Eric Patterson -- .273
2-12 (.167), 4 K, CS in only steal attempt last week

OF Matt Murton -- .321
6-26 (.231), 2 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI last week

1B Brandon Sing -- .288
2-10, RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, SB last week

All of this is meaningless, but there's really little other news to talk about! Go prospects, go! Maybe someday, someone will play you at the Major League level! Eat my shorts, Sabermetrics!

Thursday, November 3

2006 -- Start Shitting your Pants Early

If Corey reacted to breaking balls the same way he reacted to hecklers and naysayers, maybe his OBP would be higher

The 2006 schedule has been tentatively announced, and like the Cubs' offseason so far, it shows that we're not here to fuck around. Despite all the talk I've seen from Harold Reynolds so far (his 3 NL teams to watch in 2006: the Pirates, the Brewers, and the Astros) about virtually everyone else in the NL Central, our schedule has put in place what we need: a good kick to the solar plexus in April.

2 series against the Cardinals, a home set against the Marlins and a trip to a probably-retooled Dodgers. Along with the usual showdowns with Milwaukee and Cincinnati, April is no bullshit any more.

There's 2 series with the Pale Hose in the mix before the All-Star Break, and the only other nasty stretch comes in the fortnight following the ASG: home and away to the Mets, the Astros at home, away to the Nationals and home to the Cardinals again. Pass me the Tums, that might be our death rattle if we're especially unlucky.

In fairness, Harold Reynolds is not the only one I've heard ramble about the rest of the NL Central. Lots of pontificators reckon that the young gun styles of the Brewers and Pirates might help them launch an attack on St. Louis, so here's hoping that if that's true, we're not left behind in the mix.

Why would people think that Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are more threatening now? Could it be that as soon as their postseason aspirations were cut short, they let themselves lose a few more games by playing a lot of prospects everyday? The Pirates let SPs Paul Maholm (3-1, 2.18 ERA) and Zach Duke (8-2, 1.81 ERA) loose on the league, while C Ryan Doumit (.255, 6 HR, 35 RBI in 75 games), 1B Brad Eldred (12 HR, 27 RBI in 55 games), and OF Nate McLouth (.257 in 41 games) got some much-needed experience before 2006 rolls around. Granted, these are not incendiary numbers, but at least they're all ready to form a nucleus in '06.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee is looking more ominous. Their pitching still suuucks (although Jorge De La Rosa and Jose Capellan are shaping into reasonable relievers), but 1B Prince Fielder and 2B Rickie Weeks, both of whom are YOUNGER THAN ME, are going to be nasty next season. They got their licks in 2005, but both performed well, and their success gives the Brewers a lot more freedom in this offeason. Now, guys like Lyle Overbay, a vet with some value, can be used as leverage to upgrade positions in-depth, and there's no cause for concern.

I wish the Cubs had been a little more like this towards the end of 2005. Dusty's comments about "putting a team on the field that gives us the best chance to win" was, in the context it was said, absolute bullshit. He misunderestimates the Wrigley fanbase, and that alone should have been enough to maybe show him the door. Fans would be turning up to see the stars of tomorrow whether we lose or not, and they certainly would be happier in doing that than showing up to watch us lose while putting shite like Macias and Grieve and Corey in the regular lineup. How that gives us the best chance to win is beyond me. It's short-sighted, and we lost a good month of letting prospects show us (and other MLB teams) just what they were capable of, all the while prepping them for a full season of battle in 2006.

After all, let's say that the approach we took, the narrow-minded decision to field below-average "vets" gave us 8, even 10 extra wins over the course of August and September. What, if anything, did those wins get us? Respect? Surely not. The postseason? Couldn't be more wrong.

So Murton and Cedeno are "ready". That is definitely a good thing, but if we'd had more balls in that last 6 weeks once A-Ram was hurt (and we chose not to rush him back because of our record, so if we're able to do that, why not go that extra yard and call up more guys?), we could be in a much better position now. The gaps we are making a priority to fill could be a lot more stable. We could be making trades/offers in the months to come that offer us depth, not an immediate, big-salary fix-it to hide a deeper problem.

Fingers fucking crossed, lads, fingers fucking crossed. Our problems are only just beginning. We could be talking about a full, solid lineup instead of having question marks every other position. Lead-off? Center Field? Right Field? Relief?

I bet we have 3 or 4 guys who could fill all those positions pronto, if we'd had more balls.

The schedule for 2006 is tentative, and so is our starting lineup. Let's see which gets set first.

2006 Tentative Schedule

PS. I did hear from credible sources that Nomar will not be returning in 2006. That is a good thing. Discuss.

PPS. What are we to do with our lineup?


Kudos to Maddux and D-Lee for snagging NL Gold Gloves yesterday. It's Greg's 15th and Derrek's 2nd. Hey, some gold in the trophy case is better than none, right?

Wednesday, November 2

Top 5 Guys I want from FA (from those who have filed so far)

Rondell White, OF
Jeff Weaver, SP
Kevin Millwood, SP
Jamie Moyer, SP
Keiichi Yabu, RP

Why? I dunno. They have good ERA for castoff pitchers, reasonable WHIP. Yabu is young and cheap, and Rondell White can knock in some runs while fielding reasonably (.364 BA with RISP in 2005). I feel like we need a good #4/#5 SP for our rotation, although on paper we have it covered:

Mark Prior
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano
Jerome Williams
Glendon Rusch
Greg Maddux (please come back for one more year)
Rich Hill
Sergio Mitre

I don't think that the 8 of them will be in the rotation come Opening Day. Wood and Prior love the DL, and Hill/Mitre/Williams could all be quite useful trade bait in any kind of package deal we figure out. That being said, both Jon Garland and Dontrelle Willis have been those "trade bait" guys in recent years, and look at those magnificent bastards now. So, who can say. Nevertheless, if we have a proven guy in the 4 or 5 slot, we don't need to spend all season playing pitcher yo-yo with Iowa and West Tenn.

Of course I'd rather see some big names, so let's see what happens. I read in some Chi-town rag that Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno had "earned" starting spots for next year, although I, like Desipio, hope that's not a euphemism for "sitting on the bench while some older, less talented guys take the field."

At least we have some forward vision in not picking up an admittedly ABSURD $7 MILLION OPTION for Jeromy Burnitz. Whether we use that money for good or evil, remains to be seen.

Guys like Furcal and Damon and Brian Giles will be flooding the market, and I bet that them and any other of the "big names" will not end up in Cubbie Blue. There are a lot of sharks with big bank balances out there looking for glory, like the Mets, Yanks, Red Sox, Phillies, and just about any other "nearly" team with some money in the kitty. Goddamn, I hope Hendry gets just enough rope to buy some guys as well as hang himself with.


It's been another couple of weeks. Apologies.

The World Series is over, thank g-d. The White Sox won it all, deservedly, although it doesn't change the fact that I hate A.J. Pierzynski. A lot.

Interesting news I read today concerned poor old Matt Lawton. Apparently, according to a lot of sources (with Deadspin leading the charge), he tested positive for steroids during the postseason. MLB is keeping quiet until the appeals process is over, but hey, the guy got caught. He's perhaps the most boring Yankee to have been caught (I wish it had been Sheffield, or Aaron Small), but hey, it still happened.

He had recently filed for FA, and we did have him on our roster for 19 or so gloriously anonymous games, and now this. Poor Bastard.