Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rumors & Winter Ball

A few Saturday afternoon rumor quick hits:
  • Early today, there was talk that a Milton Bradley for Vernon Wells trade was on the way. The Cubs have responded to this rumor by saying that it has no legs at all, and the Cubs have not discussed the possibility of bringing Wells to the North Side.
  • Buster Olney of has mentioned guys like Carlos Silva, Derek Lowe, Gary Matthews Jr., Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand, Oliver Perez, and Dontrelle Willis as bad contracts that the Cubs could acquire in exchange for Milton.
  • Pedro Martinez may retire if the Phillies win the World Series. If not, would the Cubs be interested?
  • Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors discusses where Rich Harden will end up.
  • Ryan Dempster was the only Cubs player that attended the press conference yesterday.
  • The Cubs are planning on petitioning the league to host the 2014 All-Star game to coincide with the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field.
  • Dempster says the players will give Milton Bradley another chance.

This week's Cubs in Winter Ball Report

  • The Mesa Solar Sox are 5-10 in AFL play, 4.5 games back of Phoenix in the AFL East. The Solar Sox are in 3rd (last) in the division, and have the worst record in the league.
  • The MLB Network will air two live AFL games. Daron Sutton and Tony Clark will call the Rising Starts Game at Surprise Stadium on 7:00 CT on Saturday, November 7. Victor Rojas will join Clark to call the AFL Championship game from Scottsdale Stadium on November 21, a Saturday, at 1:30 CT.
  • Starlin Castro is still tearing it up in the AFL. He leads the league in batting average at .419, way ahead of second place Grant Desme at .404.
  • Castro also has 5 RBIs and 2 SB in his 13 AFL games.
  • Welington Castillo has not looked too shabby either. He's showed off above average defense with his catching, and is hitting .357 in 4 games.
  • Josh Vitters is hitting .351 in 9 games.
  • On October 16th, Andrew Cashner allowed 3 ER on 3 hits in 2 innings in his AFL debut. From there, he's improved each outing allowing a run on 3 hits on October 22 and pitching 4 scoreless innings in his last appearance, October 28.
  • John Gaub has gotten in to 5 games, and his ERA is 14.40 allowing 8 ER in just 5 innings.
  • James Russell and Blake Parker, both upcoming relief pitchers, have pitched well. Parker has a 3.86 ERA in 6 games, Russell has a 2.57 in 5 games.
  • Jeff Samardzija was strong yesterday. He picked up his second Mexican Pacific Leauge win as he allowed no runs on 4 hits in 6 innings, and struck out 7. Mexicali won the game 8-1.
  • Jeff's Mexicali team is in 3rd place of 8 teams in their league. They hold a record of 10-8, just two games behind first place Mazatlan.
  • Mexicali is managed by I-Cubs skipper Bobby Dickerson. There are 3 Cubs on the team plus Jeff.
  • Brian Schlitter is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 relief appearances.
  • Brad Snyder, OF, is hitting .338 in 17 games with 3 homers and 17 RBIs.
  • Matt Camp has a .342 batting average with 1 HR and 12 RBIs.
  • Nelson Perez is playing for Toros of the Domican Winter League. He's hitting a stunning .448 in 9 games. Toros has a 7-4 record, tied for first in the league.
  • Marcos Mateo, Cubs' minor league pitcher, allowed 3 runs in 2.1 innings in his only DWL appearance.
  • Andres Blanco is hitting .311 in 14 Venezulan Winter Leauge Games. He has played mostly second base. He has 6 doubles, 2 triples, a homer, and 14 RBIs as well.
  • Robinson Chirinos, who spent most of 2009 with Daytona, has a .467 average playing for the same team as Blanco. Robinson has 3 HRs and 11 RBIs.
  • Larry Suarez is also pitching for Magallanes. He only has gotten into 1 game and did not allow a run. Their team has a record of 13-5, 0.5 games back of Caracas for first place in the VWL.
  • Iowa Cubs lefty J.R. Mathes is pitching for first place Caracas. He has a 1-2 record and a 5.40 earned run average.
  • Jonathan Mota (.350 AVG, 2 RBI), and Luis Rivas (.500 AVG, 2 Games) have also seen some VWL action.
  • All The latest is on the Cubs Farm Updates Twitter.
  • Next Full Winter Ball post: Next Thursday!
  • Don't forget to vote on our minor leaguer related poll! It's on the right sidebar of the blog mainpage.

There were tons of Radio interviews yesterday, I'll work to recap as many as I can throughout the week.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ricketts Press Conference

  • The Opening Statement: "After 3 long years, we're very happy to say, today, the Ricketts family owns the Chicago Cubs. Pete, Todd ,and Laura joined Tom on the stage. They are all brothers and sisters.
  • All of the family members love the team, stadium and city.
  • Tom thanked his parents, the league, the other baseball owners, Bud Selig, Crane Kenney, everyone who works for the Chicago Cubs, advisers that helped them, and most of all the Cubs fans.
  • The family has 3 messages to their fans: 1. We're going to win the World Series. 2. The Cubs are going to do everything they can to improve Wrigley Field and keep Wrigley Field. 3. The family loves the city of Chicago, and they intend to give back to the city and surrounding areas.
  • "There's a lot of work to do, but everyone needs to know we're here for the long term, and we're here to win."
  • Tom thinks having a family owner helps because they have one goal: winning, and they intend to invest in the team, and they can make a long term commitment.
  • In the short term, Tom will be looking at ways to improve a day at Wrigley. He mentioned improving restrooms and food. The bigger picture is to plan for the next year to save Wrigley. It's a big project that will be started soon.
  • They are working on the triangle building.
  • "Saying your going to win the World Series and winning the World Series are two different things. The only way you are going to do it is drafting and developing the right players to give the GM talent coming up every year to help put the best team on the field.
  • Tom plans to have a team every year that will be in the postseason.
  • The Cubs want to have world class Spring Training facilities. The Cubs are going to be open minded and look for the best solution. Wherever they can have the best situation, the Cubs will go. They've talked to Mesa and Naples.
  • Nothing has been finalized, but slight increases on ticket prices and payroll are expected.
  • The minor league system is the real key.
  • August was painful on the field and in the deal. Watching the team on the field was disappointing and difficult for everyone. It is expected to be turned around in 2010.
  • There has been no discussion on PSLs.
  • The Ricketts are excited to get started in making decisions that will give us a winner.
  • There are spots in the stadium where the Cubs can have a sponsor without effecting the fan experience. There will not be a dramatic increase in the amount of signs at Wrigley Field.
  • Tom and his family will be seen around the stadium a lot. They are going to walk around, see folks, and be in the stands.
  • He has not spent a lot of time with Lou, but they strongly believe he is the right guy.
  • Criticism is part of the job.
  • Tom encourages fans talking about the team as long as it doesn't get too personal.
  • Renovation proposals that would force the team to leave Wrigley for a time have not been considered.
  • They are looking for 1-2 more executives.
  • The Ricketts have not considered changing the name of Wrigley Field. That will not be looked at closely.
  • Tom thinks the Cubs have a team that can win the World Series next year.
  • They intend to own the team for a generation.
  • The family will let the manager and the GM do their jobs.
  • Ryne Sandberg and Tom have not spoken yet.
  • If Jim Hendry decides that the Cubs should eat some money on a certain player, then it would be considered seriously by the family.
  • "It's not about how much we're spending, it's about what we're getting for those dollars."
  • Pete says that they will make sure families can still afford to get into Wrigley Field.
  • The previous owners have spent enough dollars to put the right team on the field.
  • "There is not curse. There is no curse. There is no curse. We're not going to put up with that, let's get that behind us."
  • There's a special feeling in the bleachers that is different according to Tom.

It should be an interesting winter!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Night Rumor Updates

With Ricketts taking control of the Cubs, lots of rumors and news notes the past few days. Let's get caught up:
  • The press conference for the Ricketts family to take control will be tomorrow at Wrigley Field. Tom will answer questions from the media for the first time. He is expected to reveal long term and short term plans.
  • Mesa, Arizona is making their pitch to keep Cubs' spring training there. Naples, Florida is also trying to get the Cubs there for spring camp.
  • According to the Sun-Times, the payroll will be in the $143 million range next year. Anyone expecting a dramatic shift in philosophy will be up for a huge letdown.
  • John Lackey, Fernando Rodney, and Chone Figgins are all seeking new homes.
  • TCR takes a look at what they would ask Mr. Ricketts.
  • Paul Sullivan says that the first order of business will be to get rid of Milton Bradley.
  • Bruce Miles thinks the Cubs should pass on Gary Matthews Jr.
  • There is a debate going on as to whether a giant hotel should be placed near Wrigley Field. Would this building take away from Wrigley?
  • Mark DeRosa had his surgery on Monday to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He's a free agent!
  • The Cubs have expressed some interest in Aroldis Chapman according to MLB Trade Rumors.
  • Cubs Convention tickets go on sale November 4 at 10am.
  • TCR thinks Kelvin Escobar makes sense for the Cubs.
  • MLB Trade Rumors' list of bad contracts includes Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano, and Aaron Miles.
  • Orlando Hudson, Miguel Tejada, and J.J. Hardy have been mentioned by as second baseman that could interest the Cubs.
  • Mike Ferrin of XM Radio thinks Tom Ricketts will be a hands on owner.
  • Sam Zell's statement on the sale of the Cubs: "I think the team should be owned by somebody who is local, somebody who is really passionate about baseball," Zell said. "I happen to be local. I'm not passionate about baseball, so I wish them all the best of luck. And maybe we'll break the 101-year curse."

Bruce Levine has been busy! He hosted his "Talkin' Baseball" show on ESPN 1000 Saturday, has been posted on, and had a chat Tuesday. Here's Bruce's latest:

  • Ricketts will tell his baseball people at the Cubs organization meetings next Wednesday that the minor-league system is his number 1 priority.
  • If the Cubs get Chone Figgins, second base would be his main spot, but he is versatile.
  • Vlad Guerrero is not a fit for the Cubs.
  • Trades may be the only vehicle for Jim Hendry to bring new players in.
  • Bruce's sources tell him that the Cubs payroll is going to be the same $140M they had last year.
  • Levine will look at Starlin Castro in the AFL next week.
  • Jeff Baker will be a back-up second baseman, but the Cubs need another middle infielder.
  • If anybody can fix Alfonso Soriano, it's Rudy Jaramillo.
  • Adding Rudy was a good decision for the Cubs.
  • Bruce is high on Figgins.
  • Andrew Cashner could end up with the Cubs by the end of next season.
  • There's a plan in place to upgrade the entire ballpark (Wrigley).
  • He does not see the Cubs going after Chapman. They have zero money to spend on good-looking young pitchers who will get multi-year deals.
  • The Cubs want the fan base to feel like there's a directions where the team will go.
  • Levine gives it a 90% chance that Bradley will be traded.
  • Derrek Lee would love to finish his career a Cub.
  • A one year gamble on a high-energy guy like Orlando Hudson might not be a bad idea.
  • Lou doesn't think Andres Blanco can hit, so Andres will only be a back-up in 2010.
  • Washington is not a fit for Milton Bradley.
  • Levine likes the idea of moving Theriot to second base and adding a short stop.
  • Brining Florida in to the mix for Cubs Spring Training is a ply to get a better offer from Mesa.
  • Fukudome made some nice improvements by using one of his former batting instructors when his mechanics fell apart this season. The problem for Japanese players is the 162-game schedule. There are only a few players like Ichiro and Hideki Matsui who proved they can stay strong throughout an entire major-league season.
  • If the Cubs make any big deals this winter, Sean Marshall could be included.
  • The Cubs have talked to the Blue Jays about a Wells for Bradley trade.
  • Expect a slight raise in ticket prices next season.
  • Hendry is working trades with Tampa Bay and 3-4 other teams about players with big contracts they would like to move.
  • The Blue Jays will be looking to trade Roy Halladay at some point, but "Mr. Chicago Baseball" doesn't know if the Cubs will be involved.
  • A Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell trade has been on the table for 3 weeks.

And now the latest from today's press conference about bringing the Cubs to Naples, Florida:

  • Craig Bouchard, the chief executive officer of the club, met the media today at the Naples Bath & Tennis Club. About 30 people were there.
  • The Cubs bring in about $52 million a year of revenue for Mesa, and they want that money to go to Collier County.
  • Site selection would need to be 120 continuous acres for a 15,000 seat stadium, batting cages, pitching mounds, and a 4,000-space parking lot.
  • The stadium would be an 11-month operation.
  • Inside Naples city is out of the question.
  • There is no anticipation of getting into a bidding process.
  • "We're going to put our best foot out there and if we're the best, we'll win, and if we're not, we'll lose," Bouchard said.
  • There are no cost estimates and no time lines yet.
  • This type of decision will not be rushed.
  • The most significant hurdle is the history in Arizona.
  • Craig hopes to have a proposal to the Cubs within the next six months.
  • Three land parcels have been identified as possible locations, they will not be named yet.

Tomorrow at 11 CT Ricketts will meet the media at Wrigley Field for the first time. The press conference will be broadcast live on WGN and CSN Chicago. I'll have a full recap of the days events posted sometime tomorrow night. Also, since there is so much going on in the Cubs world, we will hold off this week's winter ball updates until the weekend.

That's it (I know a lot!), for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Radio/TV Recaps

Theriot with Kap

Last night on WGN Radio, Ryan Theriot chatted with David Kaplan.
  • They talked about Theriot's first big league hit and AB. Ryan was asked (by Dusty Baker) to bunt a guy from second to third in his first big league at bat. He did not get the bunt down, and got his first big league hit the next day.
  • Theriot discussed the strange info in the personal section of his Wikipedia article.
  • Ryan's wife got a new dog this weekend. He was not pleased.
  • A caller asked him if he read James Lee Burke. Theriot says he reads Dr. Seuss and other children's books.
  • He hasn't talked with Rudy, Jim, or Lou since the season ended.
  • Theriot is excited about working with Jaramillo.
  • Little Girl, Ryan's Dog, started barking in the background during the interview.
  • Kap and Ryan discussed the LSU Tigers football season for a while.
  • Theriot grandfather may appear on Sports Central next week.

Kerry Wood Joined Waddle & Silvy Monday

  • Kerry and Sara Wood are hosting a big function on November 19. Check it out!
  • Kerry summed up his year as "sub-par". The Indians are rebuilding now, and things are going to get better.
  • He said it wasn't hard at all for him to adjust to Cleveland. Their organization made him feel at home right away.
  • Wood had a rough weekend at Wrigley Field, but it was easy for him to get over.
  • He fully expected the Cubs to win in 2009, but they never took off.
  • Kerry understood and was expecting that he would not be back in 2009. He enjoyed the summer of 2008 because he had a feeling it would be his last as a Cub.
  • He doesn't plan to go to management and ask to be moved somewhere where he can win. "I'm just not that type of guy."
  • This next year is going to be a learning year for most of the guys on the Tribe.
  • Silvy asked if players are treated different based on race at Wrigley Field. Kerry has seen the mail that some of his black teammates and Dusty got, and said that he never got any mail like that.
  • Woody says that Chicago is not a hard place to play, but it's not an easy place to play. Playing in Chicago is not for everyone.
  • He thinks Ricketts will be a good owner for the team.
  • Kerry is friends with guys on both Chicago teams, the Cubs and White Sox.
  • When asked if it's possible for him to end his career in a Cub uniform he said, "Never say never."

Kerry was with David Kaplan in studio on Chicago Tribune Live:

  • The Indians had the right mix of guys, but they didn't get it done the first few months of the year, and the organization decided to rebuild.
  • Kerry understands why he is no longer a Cub, but "the Mark DeRosa thing is still hard for me to understand."
  • He has played on teams that have good chemistry, but just have a hard time winning games. However, usually good chemistry and winning go hand and hand.
  • The American League games seem a lot longer than the N.L. games. If Wood was 100% healthy, he would rather start then close.
  • Wood loves the moments and the relationships that you build playing pro baseball.
  • The "20 K Game" was a lot, almost too much too soon for your 5th start in the big leagues. The first 3-4 weeks after it happened, you had to take a step back and limit some of the media stuff.
  • Kerry doesn't buy the Billy Goat stuff. He says that it's just bad luck and bad teams. Playing so many day games wears on guys and makes the year seem long.
  • The Woods are expecting their 3rd child soon.

Tom Ricketts will be formally introduced at a press conference Friday at Wrigley Field on WGN & CLTV at 11am CT.

More rumors, recaps, and news tomorrow!

Deal's Done & Spring Training News

The Ricketts family finally has officially closed the deal to buy the Chicago Cubs. The Ricketts take control of the team, Wrigley Field, and 25% of Comcast Sportsnet.

The team has been for sale since before the start of the 2007 season. I'm very glad to finally see the deal done!! had a nice Timeline of Cubs ownership.

Here's the Paul Sullivan write up that broke the story.

Friday will be the press conference at Wrigley Field, where we will get our first look at Ricketts' plans for the team this offseason, next year, and beyond. Tom is expected to be in Mesa for the organizational meetings in November. What move will be Tom's first as Cubs owner? We'll find out soon enough. Now that this 2.5 year saga is coming to a close, we can focus on winning a World Series.

According to the Naples Daily News, the groups trying to bring the Cubs' spring training to Naples have scheduled a press conference for Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Naples Tennis Club. “The Chicago Cubs are exploring Naples, Florida, as a potential spring training venue and have been working with Chicago-based Esmark and Naples-based Fifth Avenue Advisors in that regard,” Cubs CEO Crane Kenney confirmed in a statement. “Our site visits and discussions confirm that Collier County has a number of suitable locations for a world-class spring training facility.” Check out!

And according to the Tribune, the Cubs are exploring a move to Naples. They could build a 120-acre facility for the Cubs that includes a miniature version of Wrigley Field!

A few other notes:
  • Heyman says the Mets have no interest in Bradley.
  • Rajai Davis, Jeremy Hermida, and Kelly Johnson are 3 potential offseason targets according to the Cubs Reporter.
  • Kerry Wood had a very interesting interview with Waddle & Silvy on ESPN 1000. I will post a recap along with other radio recaps tomorrow.
  • Tuesday, November 19, 2009 Kerry Wood will join Children's Memorial Hospital as they celebrate the inaugural Champions for Children's event.
  • "We'd have to see. Again, Chicago's my home. I had a great time here, but right now, I'm an Indian, and I'll go to Spring Training trying to help them win," Wood told Kap on Sports Central tonight.

It should be a fun week! I'll keep you posted throughout!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Numbers Breakdown: Milton Bradley

Last winter, when I started the blogging in December, the first poll I put up on the blog was What left handled hitting outfielder should the Cubs go after? The choices were Bradley, Dunn, Ibanez, or Abreu, all of whom the Cubs were interested in at the time of the poll. I can't recall which of the sluggers received the most votes in the poll, but we know which one Jim Hendry voted for. Let's take a look at the numbers comparing Bradley's 2009 season to that of the other 3 choices.

Home Runs
Bradley- 12
Dunn- 38
Ibanez- 34
Abreu- 15

Bradley's Rank: 4

Batting Average
Bradley- .257
Dunn- .267
Ibanez- .272
Abreu- .293

Bradley's Rank: 4

Bradley- 40
Dunn- 105
Ibanez- 93
Abreu- 103

Bradley's Rank: 4

Bradley- .378
Dunn- .398
Ibanez- .347
Abreu- .390

Bradley's Rank: 3

So even without considering how negative of an impact Milton was in the clubhouse, his suspensions, and blunders, the other three candidates were clearly miles (not Aaron) ahead of him. And the Numbers don't lie.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some Changes Here at Everything Cubs Blog

For this offseason, we're going to add a few elements to our blog! We will continue to have Cubs posts each and every day all offseason long!

Link List
On the right sidebar of our mainpage, I've added a link list full of all the best Chicago Cubs websites! There are a lot of great sites over there, and I encourage everyone to check them all out! Any other sites you'd like to see there? Just comment or email!

New Poll
We finally have a new poll up! The question: What Cubs prospect are you most excited about?

A) Brett Jackson
B) Starlin Castro
C) Josh Vitters
D) Andrew Cashner
E) Other

My Cubs Farm Updates Twitter is now on the sidebar! Remember, the Cubs Farm Updates Twitter always has the latest from Winter Ball in the offseason and the Cubs Farm clubs during the summer.

Share It
You can share my site on your Facebook or Twitter!
Tags are back on posts! I will be labeling our posts once again!

Radio Recaps
In the offseason, we cover a LOT of radio and TV recaps! I'm sure you've noticed we've started them back up!

Countdown to the Convention
The Countdown to the 2010 Cubs Convention has stared on our homepage! We will have full coverage as we lead up to the Convention!

We'll try to stick to this each week as much as possible throughout November and December.

  • Sun.: Numbers Breakdowns
  • Mon./Fri.: Rumor Roundups, Radio Recaps
  • Tues.: Cubs Reviews/Puzzles/Trivia Day
  • Wed.: Getting to Know the Cubs
  • Thurs.: Cubs in Winter Ball Reports
  • Everyday: Rumors, News, and More

Email me with your thoughts at

Jim Hendry on Talking Baseball, Ricketts to meet Media

Jim Hendry join Bruce Levine and Jonathan Hood this morning on ESPN Radio 1000 on Talking Baseball.

  • The Cubs are very excited that they have who they fell is the best hitting coach in the game.
  • Jim is happy to have Larry Rothschild as his pitching coach.
  • Rudy instills a lot of confidence in players.
  • The Rickets family loves baseball, they love Chicago, and they love the Cubs. Hendry thinks Ricketts is interested in doing the best thing for this organization for decades to come.
  • When Hood asked what disappointed him most about 2009, Hendry said it was the fact that they didn't get into the playoffs.
  • The expectations for the Cubs have been raised, and that's what the they wanted.
  • Jim expects the Cubs to be back in playoff contention next year.
  • As of now, Bradley is still a Cub. Once the organization meetings start, they will start to make those decisions.
  • To lump everything on one player (Milton) is unfair.
  • Jim has always been against instant replay for more than just boundary calls, however now he would lean towards doing what it takes to get the calls right.

After the Hendry interview, Bruce Levine said that Milton Bradley will not be back.

According to Bruce, the Cubs will be owned by the Ricketts Family and run by Tom Ricketts. The Cubs will close the final transition some time next week. The plan is for Ricketts to meet with the media and team advertisers by next Friday. At that time, it is assumed that Tom will also unveil his plan for the future.

More later...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Afternoon Rumor Roundup

Let's Start with a few Radio Recaps

Rudy Jaramillo, the new Cubs hitting coach, was on Chicago Tribune Live with David Kaplan and company.

  • Rudy says that the Cubs did the same thing as the Rangers this year as they went the other way after a great 2008 offensive season.
  • He will be doing his homework this offseason about the players.
  • When Sullivan said that Rudy is expected to turn this team around quickly, Rudy said, "That's my job."
  • Jaramillo says this was the place he wanted to be, and he is blessed that it worked out.
  • He came here to get it done, whatever it takes.
  • Rudy says that Alfonso Soriano has always swung a big bat, and that is not the problem with him. He noticed that Alfonso's lower half needs some work.
  • It depends on the situation whether the Cubs will be swinging at the first pitches a lot, or taking the ball.
  • Texas led the league in seeing pitches last year.
  • "I like to play the game... Moving the guys over, bunting, hit and run."

Next Todd Hollandsworth joined Kap, Sully, Casey Johnson, and Mark Carmen:

  • Todd thinks Rudy is a great addition. Jaramillo is about bringing confidence, playing the mental game, and finding ways to build success. That's just what the Cubs need.
  • Holly says Rudy is not a loud person, but he gets the job done.
  • Paul asked if this guy could do something with Milton. Todd says that Rudy is fantastic at bringing confidence and changing swings. However, he doesn't think that Bradley is going to come back.
  • Rudy is the best, but there is not a lot of attachment between him and Bradley.
  • Jaramillo can't hit for these guys, but he can help.
  • Todd thinks Alfonso Soriano will be helped the most by Rudy.
  • Too many of the Cubs hitters fell into pot holes for a long period of time, and the hitting coach should have stepped in last year.

Ricketts Family's Wish List

David Kaplan noted last week on Chicago Tribune live that the Ricketts family will trade Bradley first, then possibly add another outfielder. Kap bets that the Cubs will be more family friendly once Tom takes over.

Second Base

When asked about the Cubs signing Mark DeRosa because he was such a popular player, Carrie Muskat of said, "If they signed players because they were popular, Mark Grace would still be starting at first. Never say never, but keep in mind, DeRosa will be 35, he'll be coming off wrist surgery and a .250 season in which he posted a .319 on-base percentage and struck out 121 times. DeRosa would love the chance to work again with new Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo again." Jeff Baker is the front runner to start at second next year according to Carrie.

Coaching Staff

The Cubs have signed Rudy Jaramillo to come in and help the Cubs hitting, and one other coach that is out that could really be a factor is pitching coach Dave Duncan. If any coach could really help this team, it would be Duncan. There has been lots of speculation on Duncan coming to the Cubs, but the team has already said that they will bring back to the rest of the coaching staff. Larry Rothschild is a good friend of Jim Hendry's and Lou's, so if the Cubs do part ways with him it will have to be ownership's decision.

Cubs Interested Chapman

Both the Cubs and White Sox are interested in Aroldis Chapman according to Chapman is a Cuban prospect who will arrive in New York to start a series of meetings with several GMs. He will likely demand a contract worth $40-$60MM.

Shocking Interest in Bradley

According to Ken Rosenthal, multiple teams are in contact with the Cubs about outfielder Milton Bradley. On source even said, "You would be shocked at the the level of interest." The Cubs are confident that they can pull of a trade for Milton. Jim Hendry says that the Rudy Jaramillo hiring has nothing to do with Milton Bradley.

Hawpe Not Being Shopped

Brad Hawpe may have been a fit for the Cubs, but the Rockies officials have denied that they are going to shop him.

Kelly Johnson a Fit?

Rob G. from the Cubs Reporter speculates that Kelly Johnson could be a Cub offseason target.

Rudy & Jim on Sports Central

Rudy Jaramillo and Jim Hendry joined David Kaplan on Sports Central last night for some Cubs talk. Rudy first:

  • Jarmillo is still in town, enjoying himself.
  • It was Rudy's choice to leave Texas.
  • He has always been interested in the Cubs.
  • Chicago is a great baseball town, the fans are great, and Rudy wanted to be a part of this organization.
  • He is going to do everything he can to win these kids over quick.
  • Jaramillo wants to get it done in a short amount of time.
  • Rudy is happy to have this opportunity. Jim Hendry has been outstanding.

Then Jim Hendry:

  • 30 different guys have called Rudy the best in the business according to Kaplan.
  • Jim thinks that Jaramillo reputation is outstanding and speaks for itself.
  • The players that have played under Rudy love him and respect him, as do his peers like coaches and managers.
  • Other hitting coaches have called Jaramillo off the charts.
  • The Cubs were having some meetings last week at Fitch Park to start the offseason plan, and during last Wednesdays' meeting it was announced that Jaramillo was not going back to Texas. The next morning, Jim got permission to talk to Rudy.
  • This is Jim's life and job, so nobody gets more frustrated then him.
  • The 2009 season never went how the Cubs expected it to.
  • Last offseason, the Cubs felt they made the Cubs better. 95% of people picked the Cubs to win the division. However, the Cubs didn't factor in all the guys that wouldn't swing the bat well.
  • August 7th the Cubs were tied for first place, but then things went south.
  • Jim didn't feel gloom and doom until early September.
  • It felt like the Cubs were 20 games out, even though it was just a few. Kap and Jim agree that the Cubs never really felt like they were going to the postseason this year.
  • The expectations were so high in 2009, that when the Cubs weren't playing great the disappointment was great.
  • Rudy and Jim didn't talk a lot of Milton Bradley on the telephone.
  • Bradley seemed to be going on the upswing, but it just didn't work out last year.
  • The Cubs knew there was some risk in signing Milton, but they took a calculated gamble. They thought the middle of the order was solid.
  • The team is looking forward to having Tom Ricketts on board, and that is coming soon. It doesn't sound like they will start making moves until Ricketts takes over.
  • Jim would like the Cubs to get a little better offensively. They would like to get a little faster, but they have a lot of in-house lead-off man candidates.
  • Starlin Castro, "Is really good." Hendry is a big fan of the AFL and other instructional leagues.
  • Castro is one of the premier guys in the industry, but the Cubs are not going to put a lot of pressure on the young man. Jim said, "Hopefully he'll be here sometime in 2010. Rudy will have a big hand in deciding when he's ready."
  • Hendry thinks the Ricketts family wants to own the Cubs for a long time. Jim is looking forward to getting to know Tom.
  • "I know we're going to be having a press conference here in the near future at Wrigley field. I think Tom is going to be a part of the organizational meetings in November," the Cubs GM said.

Scales to AAA

The Cubs have sent Bobby Scales to Iowa. The Cubs 40-man roster is now at 38. Is there a move on the way?

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Latest From the Cubs in Winter Ball

Castro Tearing it Up
Cubs short stop prospect Starlin Castro has really opened some eyes in the Arizona Fall League. Posts all over the internet in the past week read headlines like Starlin a Future Star? or Castro looks Sharp in Arizona. The fact of the matter is that Castro has been doing this for some time now. He's hitting .522 with 4 RBIs for the Mesa Solar Sox in 7 games. This season, making the jump from Daytona to Class AA Tennessee proved to be no problem, as he hit .288 in 31 games for the Smokies after hitting .302 in 96 games with the D-Cubs. Next year, on March 24, this kid will turn 20 years old. He's earning himself an invite to Spring Training, and if he produces there we could see him at AAA and even become a part of the Cubs bench in 2010 or 2011.

Castillo the Next Cubs Catcher?
If Geovany Soto has another down season, I don't think the Cubs are going to be as patient with the young backstop this time around. If Geo is not hitting by June or July, Koyie Hill will get most of the catching duties the rest of the season. And if the Cubs decide to in a different direction in 2011, then Welington Castillo could be the answer. Castillo is hitting .455 in just 3 games with Mesa, and already has a home run in just 11 ABs. Welington spent the entire year at AA, and if this guy can get his bat going (hit just .232 in 95 games), we know he can catch at the big league level in the near future.

The Shark in Mexico
Jeff Samardzija was hit hard a little bit in his last outing as he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits. However, none of the runs were earned, so his ERA stays at 1.38 in 3 Games. He is not the lone Cub on Mexicalli, as he is joined by farmhands Brian Schlitter, Matt Camp, and Brad Snyder. Camp has done a lot of lead-off hitting and plays center field. He is hitting .378 with a homer, 7 RBIs, and 6 SB so far in 10 MPL games. Brad Snyder, another outfielder, has been hitting clean up and is batting .297, 2 HR, 7 RBI. He missed a lot of the 2009 season with a wrist injury, but after coming back he hit .278 with 14 HR and 44 RBIs in 69 games at AAA-Iowa.

Mesa Solar Sox
The Mesa Solar Sox team includes farm hands from the Cubs as well as the Angels, Marlins, Twins, and Red Sox this year. They have gotten off to a little bit of a slow start, as they are 3-5, in last place in the AFL East. Phoenix is 6-2 and second place Scottsdale is just ahead of Mesa at 4-4. Besides Castillo and Castro, there are a few other Cubs playing in the AFL:
  • Josh Vitters: .400 AVG, 5 games, 2 RBIs.
  • Andrew Cashner: 0-1, 13.50 ERA, 1 Games
  • John Gaub: 1-0, 9.00 ERA, 2 Games
  • Blake Parker: 3.60 ERA in 3 Games
  • James Russell: 0-1, 3.60 ERA in 3 Games
  • Brian Schlitter: 5.14 ERA, 3 Saves in 7 Games

Blanco Getting Some Work in

Cubs shortstop Andres Blanco has hopes of becoming a everyday player for the Cubs in the near future. He was a key piece to the bench for much of 2009, and could be right back in that role in 2010. If Fontenot, Baker, or Theriot have an injury or struggle, he will find himself getting a lot of playing time. Blanco is in Venezuela playing for Magallanes. In 8 games he's hitting .265 with 7 RBIs. He's been playing mostly second base, which makes me wonder if that is because that is the open spot on his team or if it is because the Cubs want to see if he can play second everyday. Will Blanco have a chance to win a starting job in Spring Training?

Other VWL Updates

  • J.R. Mathes is 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in 3 starts for Caracas.
  • Jonathan Mota is hitting .350 in 7 games for Aragua.

Perez in DWL

The Dominican Winter League has gotten underway, and so far the only Cub to get into game action was Nelson Perez, who's hitting .500 in 3 ABs for Toros so far. This season, the left handed hitting outfielder hit .251 in 120 games for Peoria with 11 home runs and 65 RBIs. According to different DWL rosters, guys like Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramriez, Esmalin Caridad, Alfonso Soriano, and more are listed to play. However, we have not seen any of these guys in game action yet or heard about them playing from any other Cubs sources.

Remember, Cubs Farm Updates Twitter has daily updates. We will be posting every Thursday all offseason long to let you know what's up in Winter Ball.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Official: Jaramillo to the Cubs

Rudy Jaramillo, one of the top hitting coaches in baseball, has officially signed with the Cubs. Jaramillo will join Lou Piniella's staff in 2009. Rudy will be the first new Cubs coach (besides interim Von Joshua) since Piniella & Company in 2007. "Rudy Jaramillo is widely regarded as the premiere hitting instructor in the game," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said in a statement. "The addition of Rudy to our franchise is a strong statement from our new owners, the Ricketts family, and we thank them for allowing us to move quickly to fill this important role with the best in the business."

The deal is for 3 years $2.42 million. Will Rudy get Alfonso Soriano back to crushing the ball? Will Milton Bradley remain a Cub to reunite with his old hitting coach in Jaramillo?

The move is a good one for the Cubs, but the players must get the job done. It is going to take more then a hitting coach to turn that offense around, we need production!

I'll keep you posted on this story if any news breaks, and I will have radio recaps added to this post or in a new post later so stay tuned!

Updated with Radio Recaps

A few unrelated radio recaps! Alex Gibney was on Sports Central with David Kaplan to talk about his upcoming documentary on Steve Bartmen:
  • Alex is part of an ESPN project. He has been assigned the cover the Steve Bartmen incident.
  • Alex actually grew up in Boston, where they have felt the same pain that Cubs fans feel before their World Series win in '04.
  • Gibney says, "It's always more than one thing." However, when Alou didn't catch the ball on that night, it was the turning point in the game according to many Cubs fans.
  • There were a lot of fans who went for the ball, but Steve was the one who became the scapegoat because he touched it.
  • Slowly but surely people start pointing at Steve, and things went crazy.
  • Alex says that Bartman unnerved everyone, and then the team fell apart. But was Steve the turning of the screw?
  • It's been 6 years since the Steve Bartman incident! October 14 marked the anniversary.
  • Gibney, as a Red Sox fan, compared the Bartman situation to the Bill Buckner situation.
  • The expectation for the Cubs is that they are going to win.
  • The first caller that Kap took added that he now feels bad for the guy.
  • Tom, the second caller, was impressed with the way Dusty Baker handled the thing. Dusty didn't blame Bartmen.
  • Gibney doesn't think the player blamed Steve at all.
  • The 3rd caller, Betsy, pointed out the Alou's reaction that focused the stadium at Bartmen.
  • Kap and Steve wonder what Steve was listening to when he was escorted out with the headphones still on.
  • Many callers feels sorry for Steve.
  • Kap is surprised that this is still a hot topic 6 years later.
  • If the Cubs win the World Series, this will disappear.

Much more tomorrow!

Jaramillo to Become Highest Paid Hitting Coach in the Game

Updated on Wednesday at 6:30 AM: The Cubs could complete the signing of Jaramillo as early as today. According to a report from, the Cubs will hire the former Rangers hitting coach. Jarmamillo worked with Soriano and Bradley when they were with the Rangers, and his signing could decrease the likelihood of Bradley being traded.

Jaramillo on the Way
The Cubs are close to signing Rudy Jaramillo, as week talked about for the last week or so. Gordon Wittenmyer reports that the Cubs could announce the hiring of Rudy by the end of the week.

Jon Heyman from SI says the Jaramillo could become the highest-paid hitting coach in Cubs history. He turned down the Rangers offer last week and is expected to sign a multiyear deal for about $800,000 per year. The hopes are that Rudy will help Alfonso Soriano.

If any news breaks on this story in the next couple days, I'll update on this post (0r on a new post if he is signed).

Cubs 2009 Playoff Tickets on Sale!
According to an email send by StudHub, Cubs playoff tickets are available at their website:

"Be there alongside your Chicago Cubs as they chase baseball immortality," the e-mail said. "Go to StubHub, where you'll find a fantastic selection of tickets to every playoff game -- so you experience the championship chase live and in person."

According to the Sun-Times, this was due to an email glitch. It was sent to fans promoting several teams not in the postseason including the Mets and Cubs. Follow-up emails will be sent to every person that received the e-mail to let them know (as if they don't already) that this was a mistake, the Cubs are not in the postseason.

Koyie Hill's Wish
A noteworthy blurb from Carrie Muskat's blog.

Cubs catcher Koyie Hill is throwing a party on Dec. 5 in Wichita, KS, to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas. Cubs players past and present such as Ryan Dempster, Ryan Theriot, Randy Wells, and Rick Sutcliffe, plus other big leaguers will take part in the event at the Hartman Arena. There will be a silent auction, followed by a Tracy Byrd Concert, and then a live auction. The VIP tables are nearly sold out, and Hill wanted people who have shown interest to know that proxies will be available and phone numbers as well on the Big Wish Kansas website closer to the Dec. 5 date.
Anyone interested in more information should go to:

That's it for now!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cubs Offseason Schedule

Once the World Series is over, Major League Baseball offseason will really get going. Here's a list of import Cubs dates:

  • Late Oct./Early Nov.- Tom Ricketts is expected to take control of the Cubs
  • Early November- Organizational Meetings in Mesa
  • Nov. 4 10am: Cubs Convention weekend passes go on sale at
  • Nov. 9: MLB Network Offseason Shows Start
  • Nov. 20: Reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels filed.
  • Dec. 1: Last date for former Club to offer salary arbitration to receive compensation
  • Dec. 7-10: Winter Meetings, Indianapolis
  • Dec. 10: Rule 5 Draft
  • Dec. 12 Tender Deadline
  • Jan. 15-17: 25th Annual Cubs Convention

Expected dates based on last years':

  • Nov. 1: Players file for Free Agency
  • Nov. 10-20: MLB Awards (MVP, Cy Young, ect.) announced
  • Dec. 3: Cubs announce Spring Training Schedule
  • Dec. 17: Minor League Coaching Staff Changes
  • Dec. 18: Cubs Announce Caravan Tour
  • Jan. 9: Spring Training Broadcast Schedule Released
  • Jan. 11: Cubs Convention Complete Schedule and List of Attendees Released
  • Jan. 12-13: Cubs Caravan
  • Jan. 20: Cubs make Spring Training Invites
  • Feb. 14: Pitchers & Catchers Report
  • Feb. 16: Broadcast Schedule for Reg. Season
  • Feb. 20: Tickets go on Sale

So, this winter promises to be a thrilling one, and I'll continue to have daily posts and all the latest updates here on Everything Cubs Blogs. We'll have special coverage of the winter meetings in December, Cubs Convention in January, and Spring Training in February! But for the next two months, it's all about looking forward, looking back, and the Hot Stove!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Numbers Breakdown: Mark DeRosa VS Jeff Baker

This year, when the Cubs acquired Jeff Baker via a trade with the Rockies, Baker kind of filled the void left by the Mark DeRosa trade last December. Baker played all over the field, hit great, and played the game the right way, as did DeRo. Let's compare Jeff's 2009 season with the Cubs to Mark's with the Cardinals. Baker played 69 games with the Cubs, and Mark played in 68 games with St. Louis.

Batting Average
Baker- .228
DeRosa- .250
Point Baker

Home Runs
Baker- 4
DeRosa- 10
Point DeRosa

Baker- 21
DeRosa- 28
Point DeRosa

Baker- .362
DeRosa- .291
Point Baker

Clubhouse- Tie
Versatility- Tie

So Jeff Baker may not be Mark DeRosa, but he's pretty close.

And the number don't lie!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cubs seek to Spring Complex, So Long So, and More

Thanks to Bleed Cubbie Blue for this one, the Cubs have rejected HoHoKam Park's renovation plan. They are seeking a new facility in Mesa according to Spring Training Online.

City officials are abandoning the talk of the HoHoKam renovation in favor of a new field. The new facilities will most likely be on the west side closer to the airport. The Cubs can unite Fitch Park with HoHoKam, so that they don't have to train at one facility and play game at another. However, I don't see how they will be able to not use a second park, because it is needed for Minor Leauge Spring Training, the Arizona Instructional League, and extended Spring Training.

There is very little chance of the Cubs moving to Florida, but the Cubs are playing cities against each other for the best deal.

A few more Cub Notes on an October Saturday night:
  • So Taguchi has been released by the Cubs, so the Cubs 40-man is at 39. This move has many Cubs fans saying so what?
  • The Cubs also activated Chad Fox and Alfonso Soriano from the 15-day DL. Teams must have their 40-man roster finalized by November 20.
  • Thanks to Chicago Cubs Online- Jon Heyman says Billy Wagner is a possibility for the Cubs this winter.
  • The Cubs will interview Rudy Jaramillo early next week.
  • Most moves will most likely wait until after Tom Ricketts is officially the owner of the Cubs.
  • Neal Cotts isn't sure if the Cubs will non-tender him according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Tomorrow we'll have a Numbers Breakdown and Monday I will have the Cubs Offseason Schedule for you. In addition, I'll keep you posted on all Cubs Rumors and News as always.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Night Tidbits

  • Today the Cubs have gotten permission from the Texas Rangers to talk to former Rangers' hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo about filling the Cubs hitting coach vacancy.
  • According to David Kaplan, the Cubs are closing in on signing Jaramillo, and some sources say that it should be official sometime near the start of November.
  • Neal Cotts in looking to make a comeback in 2010 according to Carrie Muskat. He spend most of the year on the minor league DL due to Tommy John surgery.
  • Former Cub pitching coach Larry Janson has passed away.
  • Bruce Miles says that the Cubs are still discussing a possible trade for Bradley, but no deal is imminent.
  • Check out the CCO Suggestion Box for the Ricketts Family.
  • Angel Guzman has started to rehab in Mesa. He was shut down at the end of the season with a tricept issue.

The Latest from Winter Ball:

  • Thomas Diamond will start Saturday in the final Arizona Instructional League game, then he will join the Mexicali league to get some more work in. He hopes to be starting again by next season.
  • The Cubs will send 8 prospects to their academy in the Domincan Republic for 4 weeks. The guys include Rebel Ridling, Ryan Flaherty, DJ LeMahieu, Logan Watkins, Brett Jackson, Matt Cerda, Sergio Burruel, and Kyler Burke.
  • Jeff Samardzija pitched in Mexico last night. He allowed just 1 run on 6 hits with 4 Ks in 6 inning of work in Mexicali's 3-1 win over Mochis. Matt Camp went 2-5, Brad Snyder went 0-3 with a walk, and Brian Schlitter tossed a scoreless inning in the game.
  • The Mesa Solar Sox lost to Surprise 7-3 today. Starlin Castro, who's off to a good start in the AFL, went 3-4. Josh Vitter went 0-3. Andrew Cashner was hit with the loss in his first Arizona Fall League start. He allowed 3 runs in 2 innings.
  • Check out my list of all the guys that are on Rosters of Winter League teams!
  • Check out my Cubs Farm Updates Twitter for the latest on the Cubs minor league clubs, as well as all the Cubs playing in Winter Leagues.

And now, the newest addition to our Winter League Reports: The Dominican Winter League! Opening Day is today for the DWL. Here is the list of Cubs on Rosters:

  • Rafael Dolis- Pitcher, Estrellas
  • Marcos Mateo- Pitcher Estrellas
  • Alfonso Soriano- OF, Listed on roster of Estrellas
  • Jeffry Atigua- Pitcher, Toros
  • Alberto Cabrera- Pitcher, Toros
  • Manolin De Leon- Pitcher, Toros
  • Jose Pina- Pitcher, Toros
  • Jose Made- 2B, Toros
  • Nelson Perez- OF, Toros
  • Esmalin Caridad- Pitcher, Licey
  • Aramis Ramirez- 3B, Licey

These rosters are still very unofficial and not complete!

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rudy Jaramillo as Hitting Coach?

In addition to looking to add some new players this offseason, the Cubs are hunting for a hitting coach after Jim Hendry announced at the end of the season that Von Joshua will not return.

Cubs minor league coaches Ryne Sandberg and Dave Keller were the first names to come to mind, but according to Jon Heyman, the Cubs are in contact with Rudy Jaramillo about the open hitting coach position. It's believed that he's likely to take the gig!

Rudolpho, better known as Rudy, has been on the Texas Rangers coaching staff since 1994, but he did not take the 1 year contract that Texas offered him according to reports. Before his coaching career, Jaramillo was a minor league outfielder from 1973-76 in the Rangers organization. In 2003 he was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, in 2005 Baseball American named him the Major League Coach of the Year, and in 2008 he was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame Pioneer Award.

Jaramillo coached Alfonso Soriano in 2004 and 2005, and Milton Bradleys' hitting coach in 2008.

Don't forget to check out my first Cubs Winter Ball report of the offseason. In addition, last night I did an update on Cubs Rumors and Notes!

I'll keep you posted on this story!

Cubs in Winter Ball

While the Chicago Cubs take the winter off, many Cubs prospects are getting work in playing in winter leagues such as the Arizona Fall League, Venezuelan Winter League, Mexican Pacific League, DR Winter Ball, and Puerto Rican winter ball.

For our first week of taking a look at the Cubs playing in the Winter Leagues, let's take a look at the list of all Cubs listed on Winter Ball Rosters.

Arizona Fall League- Mesa Solar Sox
Andrew Cashner- P
John Gaub- P
Blake Parker- P
James Russell- P
Welington Castillo- C
Starlin Castro- SS
Josh Vitters- 3B

Mexican Winter League- Mexicali
Bobby Dickerson- Cubs minor league manager, manager of Mexicali
Jeff Samardzija- P
Brian Schlitter- P
Matt Camp- CF
Brad Snyder- RF

Venezuelan Winter League
J.R. Mathes- Caracas, Pitcher
Marwin Gonzalez- Caracas, Short Stop
Robert Hernandez- Magallanes, Pitcher
Robinson Chirinos- Magallanes, Catcher
Luis Rivas- Magallanes, Short Stop
Andres Blanco, Magallanes, Infield
Leopoldo Sanchez- Lara, 3B
Jhon Rodrigez- Margarita, Pitcher
Jonathan Mota- Aragua, SS
Eduardo Figueroa- Caribes, Pitcher
Carlos E. Rojas- Caribes, Pitcher
Jose Guevara- Caribes, Catcher
George Matheus- Caribes, 3B

Every Thursday throughout the winter, I'll update their stats in our Winter Ball Report. To check out daily updates from the winter leagues, check out my Twitter, Cubs Farm Updates!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Night Quick Hits

  • The Cubs management will meet in Mesa for the annual organizational meetings at the start of November. The Rickets Family is expected to have taken over control of the team by then, and Tom Rickets could attend the meetings.
  • The Cubs were listed as one of the favorites to land Chone Figgins. The speedy utility man would fill the voids of both lead-off man, and versatile player on defense. Bruce Levine says Figgins could be looking for a 4 year deal.
  • Dusty Baker's job may not be safe with the Reds, and the Cubs are still searching for a hitting coach. Any takers for Dusty returning to the Cubs staff???.... Anyone?...
  • The Cubs could try to work out a deal with Detriot where they would receive righty Jeremy Bonderman in return.
  • Jake Fox could be traded this winter. Paul Sullivan even says that Jake, "has no future with the Cubs".
  • Fox could be a key piece in a trade with an AL club.
  • Another guy that the Cubs could try to move this winter is Aaron Heilman.
  • Mike Fontenot might be done as a Cubs according to Chicago Cubs Online. Andres Blanco and Koyie Hill, however, are safe.
  • According to Hot Stove Cubbies, the Cubbies could be interested in Tim Hudson.
  • MLB Daily Dish says the Cubs have some level of interest in outfielder Johnny Damon.
  • Muskat mentioned in her Inbox that the "We Believe" movies release has been delayed until Spring.
  • Phil Rodgers thinks Rudy Jaramillo, who turned down a one-year offer from the Rangers to return as hitting coach, would be a good fit for the Cubs.
  • Andrew Baggarly reports that we could see a Rowand for Bradley deal this winter.
  • The Rickets family is looking forward to leading the Cubs to a championship.

Last week, the "Former Cubs Curse" Predicted the first round of the MLB playoffs.

The Curse didn't work out too well, as the team with more former Cubs won in 3 of the 4 Division Series. In the LCS the Cubs Curse predictions would be: Dodgers (1) over Phillies (4), and the Angels (1) over the Yankees (2).

We'll have our first Winter Leagues update tomorrow!

That's it for now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Cubbie Fun&Games: 10-13-09

Every Tuesday throughout the offseason, we'll change things up a little bit here on Everything Cubs to bring you a little Cub-related fun to spice up Tuesday, usually one of the most boring days of the week.

Cross Word Puzzle
Each Tuesday, we'll have either some type of Cubs puzzle or game, or I'll have a review of a Cub related product, such as a move, book, or CD.

Today, we start with a Cubs Crossword Puzzle, click for the link. All the answers are names of former/current Cub hitters. If your a fan of Crossword Puzzles, print out and enjoy. The answers will be included next week.

Cubs Trivia

This week's Cubs trivia Question is:

This Chicago franchise has a storied history. They began in the National Association before the National League even existed. What was the franchise's first team name?
A) Marlins
B) Blue Shoes
C) Wranglers
D) White Stockings
Comment with your answers, the correct answer will be posted next Tuesday.

Picture Matching




Match the letter of the picture of the 1908 Cubs infield to their names!
1. Johnny Evers ___
2. Frank Chance___
3. Joe Tinker___

Cubbie Birthdays
The former Cubs that have their Birthdays this week:
Mike Capel
George Frazier
Bryan Hickerson
Damian Miller
Charlie Silvera

Joe Girardi
Art Shamsky

Juan Cruz
Bill Henry
Don Robertson

Rodney Scott
Kurt Seiberg

Allen Ripley
Don Young

Brock Davis
Lance Dickerson
Mike Perez
Vic Roznovsky
Dave Veres

Link of the Week
On Sunday night on WGN Radio, the Nick D. Show played the best clips from Pat Hughes and Ron Santo this season.

Email Answers, Comments, Questions, and Suggestions to

That's it for this it for this week, More Cubs stuff later...

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Cubs Contract Situations

Let's start our offseason preview with the Cubs Roster Info!

Signed (through at least 2010)
Milton Bradley- 2011
Ryan Dempster- 2011, player option for '12
Kosuke Fukudome- 2011
Derrek Lee- 2010
Ted Lilly- 2010
Aaron Miles- 2010
Aramis Ramirez- 2010, player option for 2011, vesting mutual option for 2012, and club option for 2012 & '13
Jeff Samardzija- 2011, club option for '12 & '13
Alfonso Soriano- 2014
Carlos Zambrano- 2012, condition option for '13

Free Agents
Kevin Gregg
John Grabow
Rich Harden
Reed Johnson
Chad Fox

Elgible For Arbitration
Jeff Baker
Neal Cotts
Mike Fontenot
Tom Gorzelanny
Angel Guzman
Aaron Heilman
Koyie Hill
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Ryan Theriot

0-3 Men (unsigned but under Cubs' control because they have less than 3 year big league service time)
Mitch Atkins
Andres Blanco
Jake Fox
Sam Fuld
Marcos Mateo
Bobby Scales
Geovany Soto
Justing Berg
Esmalin Caridad
Thomas Diamond
Micah Hoffpauir
David Patton
Jeff Stevens
Randy Wells

Out of Minor Leauge Options:
Jeff Baker
Andres Blanco
Neal Cotts
Jake Fox
Tom Gorzelanny
Angel Guzman
Koyie Hill
Geovany Soto
NOTE: Bradley, Dempster, Heilman, Lee, Lilly, Miles, Ramirez, Soriano, Taguchi, and Zambrano have accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time, so they cannot be optioned to the minors without their permission even if they have options remaining

Minor League FA
Austin Bibens-Dirkx
Matt Craig
Robinson Chirinos
Doug Deeds
Casey Fossum
John-Ford Griffin
Mark Johnson
Vince Perkins
Jose Pina
Luis Rivas
Brad Snyder
Nate Spears

Minor Leaugers Elgible for Selection in Rule 5 Draft
Franciso Acosta
James Adduci
Todd Blackford
Alberto Cabrera
Matt Camp
Russ Canzler
Marco Carrillo
Julio Castillo
Welington Castillo
Steve Clevenger
Thomas Diamond
Rafael Dolis
Arturo Florentino
John Gaub
Roberto Hernandez
Dylan Johnson
Blake Lalli
Jose Landsford
Alessandro Maestri
JR Mathes
Mario Mecedes
Matt Matulia
Jonathan Mota
Billy Muldowney
Jake Muyco
Dionis Nunez
Jeremy Papelbon
Blake Parker
Andres Quezada
Mark Reed
Gregory Reinhard
Chris Robinson
Jayson Ruhlman
Tomas Sanchez
Migueal Sierra
Alvaro Sosa
NOTE: If a player on this list is added to an MLB 40-man roster by 11/20/09, the player is not eligible for selection in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft. Also, any MLB or minor league free-agent signed (or re-signed) to a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection.
Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors, The Cub Reporter, Vineline, and Cotts Baseball Contracts for info.

We'll take a look at MLB Free Agents later in the week...

The 2009 Cubbie Awards

Before we get to this year's awards, let's take a look at a few stats and splits from the Cubs 2009 season:

Record: 83-78
Place: 2nd
GB: 7.5
Days in First: 11 (days a team played as was in first at the end of the day)
Last in First: Aug. 5
Biggest Lead: 0.5 Games on July 30
Farthest Behind: 11.5 Games on Sept. 9
Most Games Over .500: 9 (last on Aug. 4)
Most Games Under .500: 2 (last on Jun. 30)
Longest Winning Streak: 5 (May 10-16 & July 22-27)
Longest Losing Streak: 8 (May 17-25)
Most Runs Allowed: 15 on Aug. 25
Most Runs Scored: 17 on Aug. 14
Longest Game (inn.): 14 on June 7
Times Shutout by Opponent: 12
Times Opponent Shutout: 8
Runs Scored: 707
Runs Allowed: 672
Home Record: 46-34
Road Record: 37-44
First Half: 43-43
Second Half: 40-35
9 Inning Games: 72-71
Extra Innings: 9-7
Shortened Games: 2-0
One Run Games: 16-22
Blowouts (5+ runs): 24-22
Interleague Games: 6-9

Month-by-Month Record:
April: 10-11
May: 15-13
June: 11-14
July: 18-9
August: 11-17
September: 17-12
October: 1-2

And now, the 2009 Cubbie Awards:
MVP: Derrek Lee (runner up- Ryan Theriot)
Cy Young: Ted Lilly
Rookie of the Year: Randy Wells
Gold Glove: Sam Fuld
Most Under-Rated: Jeff Baker
Midseason Call-up: Tyler Colvin
Comeback Player of the Year: Angel Guzman/Koyie Hill
Bench Guy of the Year: Jake Fox
Bullpen Arm: Carlos Marmol
Biggest Comeback: Interleague Game at Wrigley in June against the Indians, Cubs come back after being down by 7 runs
Biggest Hit: Alfonso Soriano's Opening Day lead-off homer
Best Pitched Game: Carlos Zambrano's Complete Game shutout @SF on September 25.

Your thoughts? Email me at or comment!

Vote on the Cubs "All Time 9" on!

More later...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cubs Sale, Blog Update, and More

Check out an interesting piece from a David Kaplan's blog:
This week look for the Cubs to go into bankruptcy for a period of about 24 hours. The "pre-packaged" bankruptcy will clear the franchise of any previous claims relating to the Tribune Company's bankruptcy filing. Once the franchise emerges from the bankruptcy procedure there will be a 10 day cooling off period for the banks that are financing the deal before they have to fund the transaction. Look for the sale to finally close on the 29th or 30th and a major press conference to be held that day that is sure to gain incredible media attention.

Looking forward to the press conference at the end of the month!

Not too much new info this weekend as far as Cubs Rumors are concerned, but I'm looking forward to a very fun and interesting offseason of following and blogging on the Cubs.

Here is our schedule for this week:
  • Monday AM: Cubbie Awards
  • Mon./Tues./Wed. PM: Rumor and News Updates; Radio Recaps, Cubs Contract Situation, The Cubs in Winter Ball
  • Tuesday AM: Cubs Fun & Games
  • Wednesday: Getting to Know the Cubs
  • Thursday: Cubs in Winter ball Stats
  • Friday: Offseason Events Schedule

And, don't forget to check out our first Number's Breakdown of the 2009 offseason!

That's it for now, I'll have a full week ahead on the blog!

Numbers Breakdown: Kosuke of 2008 VS Kosuke of 2009

In 2008, the main disappointment of the Chicago Cubs season was newly sign Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukdume, who didn't live up to the expectations. This year, Kosuke struggles were not talked about near as much because the Cubs had bigger problems. However, did Kosuke do better in 2009 than 2008? Let's take a look at our numbers, in our first Numbers Breakdown of the 2009-2010 offseason!

Check out our Google Spreadsheet that includes a graph of Kouske's numbers!

2008- 58
2009- 54
Point 2008.

2008- 10
2009- 11
Point 2009.

Batting Average:
2008- .257
2009- .259
Point 2009

2008- .359
2009- .375
Point 2009

2008- 12
Point 2008

2008- .379
2009- .421
Point 2009

Fielding %:
2008- .981
Point 2009

So this year did Kosuke did do a little better, but really not that much. All the areas were close, and some 2008 even won. The only reason Fukudome's struggles did not receive the same attention in 2009 was because most of the other Cubs hitters were producing even less that he was!

And remember...
The numbers don't lie!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Rumor Roundup

Let's start off this Rumor Roundup with a few Radio Recaps!

Bob Brenly was on Waddle and Silvy on Thursday:
  • Bob only laughed when he was asked to say some bad things about the Cardinals while broadcasting their playoff games.
  • Brenly summarized this Cub season by saying that it was, "A fundamentally unsound ballclub. When they don't slug, they don't when."
  • Soto brought a new definition to a "Sophomore Slump" this year.
  • Bob says that he's been around some real bad apples over his career, but he thinks Bradley took the trophy for the most negative effect one player has ever made on a clubhouse that Bob's seen.
  • The Cubs can change the position they are in. Lou has the players respect and he can go in to Spring Training and tell the players that things are going to be different. Lou needs to make it clear from day 1 that the Cubs will do everything they possibly can next year.
  • Bob doesn't think it does any good to run out onto the field to kick dirt on the umpires or anything else to do that as a manger.
  • When Lou speaks, Bob thinks the Cubs listen.

Friday, Ryan Theriot joined Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000:

  • Ryan is enjoying some football so far this offseason. Ryan's LSU Tigers are doing good and the Bears are doing well.
  • Ryan is going to go to the LSU game this weekend with White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski, whom Theriot has built a friendship with.
  • "I haven't talked to Milton (Bradley) in a while."
  • Ryan thinks it made it difficult to win with all the injuries to their key players this season.
  • He just wants to be out on the field, he doesn't care where he hits in the lineup or where he plays on the field. However, Theriot doesn't like to move around to different position in the lineup throughout the season.
  • Losing a few good chemistry and clubhouse guys like Jason Marquis, Mark DeRosa, and Kerry Wood did hurt this team.
  • Theriot says he enjoys Chicago and it "kind of get to him a little bit" when guys like Bradley complain about the city and the game of baseball. Ryan feels "lucky" to play for the Cubs.
  • He gets the feeling that most of Theriot's teammates feel the same way about Milton as he does.
  • Ryan said that Milton Bradley was only happy during the season when he won a hand of cards on the plane.

Todd Hollandsworth on Sports Central with David Kaplan

  • Todd finds it hard to believe that it's always everybody else's fault besides Milton Bradley. Todd and Kap made the point that everywhere Bradley goes there's issues.
  • Bradley had a track record before he even came to the Cubs, but Ron Washington, the Rangers manager, convinced the Cubs that Milton would be a positive influence on the Cubs. Todd feels bad for Ron for sticking his head out for Milton.
  • Kap asked Todd to speak on 2004. There were a lot of crazy things going on that year, but in Todd's 12 years in the big leagues he feels that no matter what, you have to get it done on the field. Hollandsworth says that you still have to do your job, you can't isolate guys, make negative comments, and make it clear that you don't like somebody.
  • For the good of the team, you have to find away to co-exist.
  • Todd and Kap agree that it doesn't matter if the Cubs get a left handed bat or a right handed bat, you need guys that can hit. Holly thinks you tie your hands more if you try to have a left handed hitter that you run out there everyday. He didn't really feel that the lack of left handed hitting was the problem last year.
  • Jason Marquis and Mark DeRosa both traded by the Cubs last year, are in the postseason. Does that say something?

Brenly Talkin' Managerial Jobs

Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly has had talks with teams about a return to managing according to a report for the Chicago Tribune. Bob says he had informal talks with Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, who worked in the D'back front office when Brenly was the Arizona manager. Other manerial openings include Cleveland and Houston. Bob could wait until the Cubs job comes open next winter, "It's the ballclub I'm most familiar with. It's a lucrative job, and I know there are a lot of people who would like to have a chance. I love what I'm doing."

Cubs Spring Training on the Move?

An Indian tribe in Arizona is making their pitch to be the Cubs next Spring Training site. They want Cub camp moved from Mesa to an area south of Phoenix. Mesa is marketing overall sites near the city's eastern edge, which could allow the Cubs to build a larger stadium and practice facilities there. Two Flordia cities are also interested in the club, including Naples.

No More Bad Contracts

Gordon Wittenmyer has made a few good points about what Jim Hendry should do this offseason:

  • Avoid more long-term deals with free agents.
  • Don't let Milton Bradley disrupt the offseason, too.
  • Try to add some good outfield defense.
  • Sign Chone Figgins.
  • Listen to offers for Carlos Zambrano.

Rays Interested in Bradley?

There were reports on Thursday that said the Rays and Cubs were talking Milton Bradley. The Cubs were pushing Tampa Bay to make a quick deal according to Chris De Luca, and Pat Burrell was listed as a possible return. However, Buster Olney said yesterday that this deal getting worked out is a long shot. The Blue Jays and Padres are both possible fits for Bradley, however the Padres have yet to name their new GM, and the Jays just got a new GM in Alex Anthopoulos.

Samardzija in Mexico

Last night, Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 4 innings of work for Mexicali in the Mexican Winter League. His team lost 13-4. Cubs minor leaguer Matt Camp went 3-4 in the game, hitting leadoff and playing center field. Brad Snyder went 1-4 and Brian Schlitter gave up 4 runs on 3 hits for Mexicali. They are managed by Iowa Cubs skipper Bobby Dickerson. More on the first week of "Winter Ball" later this week!

Cubs Report Cards

Please check out my 2009 Cubs Report Cards and give me your thoughts!

There's been plenty to talk (and blog) about so far this offseason for the Cubs! Our full offseason preview and the 2009 Cubbie Awards are still on the way in the coming week...

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

2009 Cubs Report Cards

It's time for my 2009 Chicago Cubs end of the year report cards!

Ryan Theriot: B
Geovany Soto: D+
Mike Fontenot: F
Alfonso Soriano: D-
Milton Bradley: C-
Kosuke Fukudome: C
Jeff Baker: A
Derrek Lee: A
Micah Hoffpauir: C-
Koyie Hill: B
Aaron Miles: F
Aramis Ramirez: C+ (injuries)
Sam Fuld: A
Tyler Colvin: B
Reed Johnson: C+
Jake Fox: B
Andres Blanco: A-

The Pitchers-
Ryan Dempster: C+
Ted Lilly: A
Randy Wells: A-
Carlos Zambrano: C
Rich Harden: C-
Carlos Marmol: B
Kevin Gregg: D
Aaron Heilman: D+
Angel Guzman: A-
Jeff Samardzija: C
Jeff Stevens: C
Esmalin Caridad: B
David Patton: D
Tom Gorzelanny: C+
John Grabow: A-
Sean Marshall: B

To check out how the "Grades" have changed since the middle of the year, check out the midterm report cards.

More posts to come this weekend including a rumor roundup! Monday, I'll have my 2009 Cubbie Awards!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bruce Levine on Waddle And Silvy

Bruce Levine was on Waddle and Silvy earlier this week to wrap up the Chicago baseball season:

* It is going to be a busy offseason for both teams according to Bruce. The Cubs will be looking for trades more so than free agents.
* Chone Figgings is not the answer to the Cubs problems.
* Levine thinks Ryan Dempster performed great considering what was happening with his daughter off the field. He does think that Ryan was effected by this early in the season.
* Dempster may not be as great as '08 next year, but he definitely will pitch better than the start of '09. Demp also could not be as much of a leader this year because he didn't have the energy.
* Marmol saved the last 11 in a row. Bruce thinks he was at the top of his game at the end of this season.
*Carlos will be the Cubs closer going into 2010. Grabow will be a setup man, assuming the Cubs resign him. They are working on a 2-year deal with the lefty Grabow.
* Esmalin Caridad is going to work on a breaking ball in the offseason.
* Bruce thinks the Cubs will look for an extra bullpen arm.
* Levine says thank most likely Rich Harden will not return to the Cubs.

More Cubs posts on the way this weekend... keep checking back!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

10-8-09 Rumor Roundup

No Major Turn Over
The Cubs will not have a major turn over, but they will get a touch-up job this offseason according to The Cubs have 4 guys who are free agents: Kevin Gregg, John Grabow, Reed Johnson, and Rich Harden; and 10 players eligible for arbitration: Neal Cotts, Tom Grozelanny, Angel Guzman, Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Koyie Hill, Jeff Baker, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, and So Taguchi.

FA Update
Whether the Cubs resign Rich Harden and Reed Johnson will depend on how much they're looking for. The Cubs are expected to bring Grabow back as a lefty set-up man, and Kevin Gregg will most likely have a new home in 2010.

Sandberg Will Not Become Hitting Coach
After Sunday's season finale, Jim Hendry announced that Von Joshua will not return as the Cubs hitting coach next season. Dave Keller, the Cubs' minor league roving hitting instructor, will be interviewed for the job, but Ryne Sandberg will not. The Cubs want Ryno to manage another season at AA.

Leading Off
Jim Hendry will be on the lookout for a leadoff man according to Carrie Muskat. If Hendry does not add a #1 hitter, then Lou will use either Ryan Theriot or Kosuke there.

Player of the Month
Cubs First Baseman Derrek Lee has been named the NL Player of the Month for the month of September. Lee led the majors in Batting Average at .386 this past month. He also had 9 homers, 23 RBIs, a .795 SLG%, and a .500 OBP. The last time Lee won the player of the month was April 2005.

Bradley is the Priority
On the top of Jim Hendry's list for this winter is moving outfielder Milton Bradley, according to Gordon Wittenmyer. After that on Jim's list is re-signing Grabow, likely re-signing Reed Johnson, hiring a new hitting coach, and seeking at least one more hitter from the outside. Teams interested in Bradley include the Padres and Blue Jays.

Z to Stay
Carlos Zambrano is not on the list of guys that may be moved this season. He will not be asked to waive his no-trade clause and won't be shopped this winter, even though there was some speculation about this during the season.

Sale Gets OK
As most of you know, the sale of the Chicago Cubs has finally been approved and should be done by the end of the month. Check out my post from yesterday!

Bruce Levine Radio Recap will be posted this afternoon!

As always, I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Former Cub Curse?

According to the Former Cubs Curse, in the postseason the team with teams with the most former Cubs will lose to the teams with the fewest. Time for the "Former Cubs Curse" Division Series predictions!

Let's start by taking a look at the list of former Cubs on each team.

Minnesota Twins:
Brendan Harris

New York Yankees:
Chad Gaudin
Jerry Hairstin Jr.

Boston Red Sox:
Joey Gathright

LA Angels:
Gary Matthews Jr.

St. Louis Cardinals:
Todd Wellemyer
Mark DeRosa

LA Dodgers:
Juan Pierre

Philadelphia Phillies:
Scott Eyre
Paul Bako
Matt Stairs
Jamie Moyer (DL)

Colorado Rockies:
Jason Marquis

So the DS Cubs Curse Predictions:
Rockies (1) over Phillies (4)
Dodgers (1) over Cardinals (2)
Twins (1) over Yankees (2)
Red Sox (1) over Angels (1)~ Tiebreaker goes by total games player with Cubs. (Team with less wins)

After the Division Series are complete, I'll have a post show how accurate this "Curse" is, the curse's LCS predictions, and how the former Cubs did in the LDS.

Sale Approved!

Finally! The sale of the Cubs has been approved by Major League Baseball. The vote was unanimous to transfer the Cubs to the Ricketts family after a conference-call vote with the 29 other clubs yesterday.

The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Let's hope that the sale being done will allow the Cubs to make some moves this winter to better their ballclub. It should be interesting to see how active Ricketts wants to be.

David Kaplan brings us the following quotes:
"The Ricketts family is honored to have received the approval of Major League Baseball owners today. This is a major step forward, but the transaction is not yet complete," Tom Ricketts said.

Bud Selig's thoughts: "We're extremely pleased that the sales process is drawing to a close," said Selig "and we are confident that the Ricketts family will be great owners and custodians of the Chicago Cubs. All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful to the Tribune Company for their years of stewardship of this proud and historic franchise."

The process of the sale has been drawn out over three seasons. Gordon Wittenmyer says that we shouldn't expect a sudden payroll jump, it's more likely that Ricketts will be cautious.

In the next day or two, I'll post a Rumors/News Update as well as a post about the "Former Cub Postseason Curse."

But that's it for now, I'll keep you posted on the sale and Everything Cubs!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Look at My Pre-Season Predictions

On April 5, I made 15 Bold predictions about the 2009 Cubs season. Let's see how I did:

1) Carlos Zambrano will throw a perfect game. WRONG, didn't really come close.

2) The Cubs will have three 20 game winners: Z, Demp, and Lilly. WRONG; The Cubs had zero 20 game winners. Dempster had 11, Lilly had 12, and Zambrano had just 9.

3) The Cubs will have three guys that hit 30 homers: Rami, Sori, and DLee. WRONG: Lee was the only Cubs to reach the 30 mark at 35: Ramirez had just 15 and Soriano had 20.

4)Kosuke will be the comeback player of the year. WRONG: Fukudome hit just .259 this season, nothing to write home about.

5)Alfonso Soriano will become the 16th player in MLB history, and the first since 2003, to hit 4 HR in one game. WRONG: Did he even hit 4 homers the whole season?

6) Rich Harden will have a 20 K game. WRONG: Harden had 11 strikeouts against the Marlins on July 31 and that was the most he sent down in one game this year.

7) Ryan Theriot will win the batting title. WRONG: Theriot's .284 average put him at 29th in the NL.

8) Mike Fontenot will be the team MVP. WRONG!!: Fontenot hit just .236.

9) Kevin Gregg will be a remarkable closer and stay in that role all year long. Wrong: Gregg blew 7 saves and on Aug. 18 he was removed from the closer's role and was replaced by Carlos Marmol.

10) Marmol will have the best team ERA. Angel Guzman finished first in team ERA. Marmol was also behind Grabow, Lilly, and Wells.

11) David Patton will be the NL Rookie of the Year. Wrong: Patton had a 6.83 ERA in 20 games.

12) Jeff Samardzija will be brought up from AAA and stuck in the rotation by the end of the year, and won't leave the Cubs rotation for many years to come. Well Samardijza did end the year in the rotation, but I doubt that he will be a fixture, however this prediction is still alive...

13) Kerry Wood will spend most of the year on the DL. Wrong: He did spend some time on the DL, but not most of the season.

14) Mark DeRosa will destroy the Cubs in the 3-game set with the Indians. WRONG: Mark had just one hit in the series.

15) Milton Bradley will play 140 games in the outfield and lead the team in OBP. WRONG: He played in just 124 games and was 4th on the team in OBP. WRONG: Bradley played in just 124 games and was 4th on the team in OBP.

Well: Zero out of 14! (not counting the Samardzija prediction as right or wrong.)

Next, I did an over/under of each player's last year's stats, starting with home runs.

Name Name: Prediction, CORRECT/WRONG (real amount)
Derrek Lee: Over 20, CORRECT (35 homers)
Ryan Theriot: Over 1, CORRECT (7)
Aramis Ramirez: Over 27, WRONG (15)
Kosuke Fukudome: Same 10, WRONG (11)
Geovany Soto: Under 23, CORRECT (11)
Alfonso Soriano: Over 29, WRONG (20)
Reed Johnson: Under 6, CORRECT (4)
Mike Fontenot: Over 9, EXACTLY 9- WILL NOT COUNT
Carlos Zambrano: Under 4, EXACTLY 4- WILL NOT COUNT
Micah Hoffpauir: Over 2, CORRECT (10)
Koyie Hill: Over 0, CORRECT (2)
Milton Bradley: Over 22, WRONG (12)
Aaron Miles: Under 4, CORRECT (0)
Joey Gathright: Same 0, CORRECT

So in homeruns I was correct 8/12 that counted, that's 66%.

Starting Pitcher Win Totals:
Ryan Dempster: Over 17, WRONG (11)
Ted Lilly: Under 17, CORRECT, 12
Carlos Zambrano: Over 14, WRONG (9)
Rich Harden: Same 10, WRONG (9)
Sean Marshall: Over 3, SAME- WILL NOT COUNT
So just 1 of 4 starting pitchers: 25%.

Batting Averages:
Derrek Lee: Under .291, WRONG (.306)
Ryan Theriot: Over .307, WRONG (.284)
Aramis Ramirez: Over .289, CORRECT (.317)
Kosuke Fukudome: Over .257, CORRECT (.259)
Geovany Soto: Under .285, CORRECT (.218)
Alfonso Soriano: Over .280, WRONG (.241)
Reed Johnson: Under .303, CORRECT (.255)
Mike Fontenot: Under .305, CORRECT (.236)
Carlos Zambrano: Over .337, WRONG (.217)
Micah Hoffpauir: Under .342, CORRECT (.239)
Joey Gathright: Over .254, NO COUNTED, ONLY 14 CUBS GAMES
Milton Bradley: Under .321, CORRECT (.257)
Aaron Miles: Under .317, CORRECT (.185)

So my results were pretty good in batting averages, I got 8/12 for a 66%.

Ryan Dempster: Over 2.96, CORRECT (3.65)
Ted Lilly: Under 4.09, CORRECT (3.10)
Carlos Zambrano: Under 3.91, CORRECT (3.77)
Rich Harden: Over 1.77, CORRECT (4.09)
Sean Marshall: Over 3.86, CORRECT (4.32)
Carlos Marmol: Under 2.86, WRONG (3.41)
Neal Cotts: Around the Same as 4.29, NOT COUNTED
Jeff Samardzija: Over 2.28, CORRECT, (7.53)
Chad Gaudin: Same 6.26, TRADED BEFORE SEASON
Angel Guzman: Under 5.59, CORRECT (2.95)
Aaron Heilman: Under 5.21, CORRECT (4.11)
Kevin Gregg: Under 3.41, WRONG (4.72)
Luis Vizcaino: Over 5.28, NOT COUNTED

On predicting pitchers ERAs, I got 8/10, 80%!

Overall on predicting individual Cubs players stats I got 25/38 right, or 65.8%.

Let's Move on to MLB Divisions and World Series:
NL Central: Cubs WRONG
NL West: Dodgers CORRECT
NL East: Phillies CORRECT
AL Central: Indians WRONG
AL East: Yankees CORRECT
AL West: Angels CORRECT
World Series: Cubs Over Indians WRONG

So I predicted 4/6 divisions correctly for a 66.7%.

You gotta love looking back a pre-season picks!

I'll have a full rumor post up for you sometime tomorrow, and there's a Former Cub Playoff Preview on the way as well!

The Latest From the Rumor Mill

Our first Rumor post of the offseason! Let's get you updated on all the Cubs chatter that has been going as of late...

Joshua Fired
The Cubs fired another hitting coach after yesterday's game. Jim Hendry announced that all of the members of the Cubs coaching staff would return except for hitting coach Von Joshua, who replaced Gerald Perry as the Cubs hitting coach on June 14. Lou Piniella, Matt Sinatro, Larry Rothschild, Matt Sinatro, Mike Quade, Lester Strode, and Ivan DeJesus will all return to the Cubs coaching staff in 2010. Paul Sullvian mentioned Dave Keller, minor league hitting coordinator, and Ryne Sandberg, AA manager, as possible candidates to fill the void, but Jim Hendry has yet to name any names. Von will be offered his position back as a hitting coach in the Cubs farm system.

So Done?
40 year old outfielder So Taguchi started in left for the Cubs yesterday, and according to Gordon Wittenmyer it could be So's last MLB game. However, So is hoping to come back, "I want to try to play again, but I have no idea."

Bradley's a Goner... Right?
According to the latest from Carrie Muskat, Jim Hendry has left the door open for a possible return of Milton Bradley, "Right now, he's still a member of the Cubs. Until people come or go, you have to play the cards you have now. Lou Piniella has been hinting that Bradley is not in the Cubs plans for 2010. The outfielder was suspended for the remainder of the season on September 21st by Hendry because of negative comments he made to the media. Milton could be headed to San Diego or San Fransisco according to some reports. The Royals and Rangers are not interested in Bradley.

The Lefty
John Grabow has made it clear that he wants to return the the Chicago Cubs in 2010. The lefty has begun "preliminary talks" with the Cubs, and says that it's just about finding common ground.

Harden May Not Return
Rich Harden says he'd "like to be here next year, but we'll see what happens." The Cubs have hinted that they may not be interested in bringing Rich back. Jim and Lou have already talked about the possibility of moving either Samardzija or Gorzelanny to the rotation next year in Harden's place.

Gregg Wants to Return... And Close?
Kevin Gregg has also said he wants to return to Chicago next season, but he views himself as a closer. It is unlikely that Kevin will be re-signed, and he certainly will not be the closer if he is.

What About Reed?
The Cubs got a good look at outfielders like Tyler Covlin and Sam Fuld this season, and the young guys played well. Reed Johnson in the mean time, struggled and/or was injured a lot of the season. Reed plays the game the right way, but I'm not sure if he's a fit to return the the Cubs. So far there is no news related to whether the Cubs will re-sign the utility outfielder or not.

Lilly Steps Up
Ted Lilly stepped up and put together a wish list for the 2010 Cubs. He want Reed back and the Cubs to sign Mark DeRosa. Ted, who's normally speaks with his play on the field, said, "I love Mark as a player, a person, a clubhouse guy. I could say he's probably the best teammate I've ever had."

Zambrano to Return
Carlos Zambrano wants the media to stop the trade talk. He has a no-trade clause and has no plans of waiving it this winter. Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, and Ryan Dempster are also expected to return to the Cubs rotation.

Upton a Fit?
Hot Stove Cubbies has been speculating that B.J. Upton could be a fit for the Cubs, and Bob Nightengale reports that Tampa will most likely trade him this offseason. Phil Rodger put together a list of some guys that Hendry could pursue, and Mark DeRosa is on that list. Mike Cameron is another names that has been mentioned by big-league sources.

Radio Recaps!
The popular radio recaps are back for the offseason, and we start today with a few interviews from Saturday's Talkin' Baseball with Bruce Levine and Jonathan Hood on ESPN-1000.

First, the guys checked in with Ryne Sandberg:
*Sandberg said that he is enjoying contributing and helping the Cubs organization in the minor leagues, but managing in the big leagues is "next on his agenda".
*Ryno is enjoying himself and is "getting attached to managing".
* He demands that his minor league players play the game the right way. Sandberg says that developing minor leaguers reminds him of raising kids.
*When asked if he wants to coach with the Cubs or continue to manage at the minor league level next season, Ryne said that that's totally up to the organization. If he is asked to go back to AA for another year, he will.
* Jim Frey and Don Zimmer were two of the managers that he had as a player that influence the way he manages as well as many other coaches, minor league managers, and big league managers.
* Sandberg thinks baserunning and hustle show what kind of a team you have and a character of a team.
* He thinks that some MLB Hall of Famers think they know-it-all, but he felt like there was something to be learned by going down the managerial path.
* Ryne is going to focus on what he's doing, not what Lou is going to do at the end of next season. He did say that being a candidate for the Cubs 2011 managerial job would be great.

Next, Bruce and Jonathan chatted with Carlos Marmol:

* Carlos will happy that he won't have to worry about fighting for the closer's job next year in Spring Training, he can just prepare for the season knowing he will be the Cubs closers.
* Marmol says he have to be more concentrated as a closer then a set-up man.
* He has noticed that the clubhouse is a lot different this year than it was last year.
* Carlos can't put his finger on why the Cubs struggled this season.
* When Bruce suggested that Marmol add a knucle-curve as a third pitch, and Carlos said, "No chance."
* He likes being in Chicago and would like to be here for a long time.
*Marmol loves Lou Piniella and the way he manages. He is grateful for the opportunities Lou has given him.

Later on, I'll take a look at my Pre-Season Predictions!