Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Quick Hits: Time for the Convention, CTL Recaps, and More

The Cubs Convention starts tonight at 5:30 with the Opening Ceremonies!

Len Kasper was on Chicago Tribune Live with David Kaplan on Tuesday:

  • The top of the rotation is good with Dempster and Zambrano.
  • Kasper would like to think that Randy Wells will avoid the sophomore slump.
  • Anything you get from Carlos Silva is gravy.
  • Ben Sheets is intriguing and one of the best in the league if he's healthy.
  • The Lilly injury is a little troubling.
  • Kasper thinks Marlon Byrd will be fine. Defensively he's good in center, his bat is fine, and by all accounts he's a great guy in the clubhouse.
  • The theme for this team going into Spring Training is guys needing bounce back years. Len listed Soto, Soriano, and Ramirez as guys that need to come back strong.
  • Hendry may not have that much money left to spend, but there's still a lot of guys out there looking for work that you may be able to sign for cheap.
  • Starlin Castro may be on the way, and that would allow the Cubs to move Theriot to short.
  • Ben Sheets is "very smart pitcher" with a "bulldog mentality".
  • Sheets doesn't have the long history of arm trouble like Harden has.

Koyie Hill chatted with the guys on CTL on Wednesday:

  • Hill expects the Cubs fans to be there for them win, lose, or draw.
  • The guys are looking forward to Spring Training.
  • Adding Greg Maddux to the team will help everyone, not just pitchers.
  • "There's so much information you can get from anyone with that much experience," Hill said of Greg.
  • The only thing that Koyie thinks was disappointing about the 2009 season was the health of the team.
  • The strength of the Cubs is still their starting pitching.
  • Koyie called the Cubs' staff "a treat to work with".
  • Going on the Cubs Caravan is a treat for the players. The players get inspired by the people at the hospitals, schools, and Boys and Girls clubs.

Ryan Theriot was Thursday's guest on the program:

  • Theriot is very excited to get to Spring Training.
  • Ryan enjoys coaching kids in the batting cage.
  • He is excited about bringing Rudy Jaramillo and Marlon Byrd into the Cubs' clubhouse.
  • Last year the Cubs had a great club, and things would have been different had they stayed healthy.
  • Taking one guy away and adding one guy can make a big difference.
  • Theriot thinks Ben Sheets would be a great add to the clubhouse. Ryan would welcome Ben with open arms.
  • The Matt Holiday signing surprised Ryan.
  • Chris Carpenter is tough to face for a hitter.
  • Kaplan thinks the biggest mistake in the 2008 playoffs was not getting Ted Lilly a start.
  • Ryan is comfortable playing second base. If Castro comes up to the big leagues, Theriot would be willing to move.
  • Theriot played left field during the Cubs 2007 Opening Day game.
  • Last year on the first day of Spring Training, a bunch of guys were eating some food at a table together in the clubhouse, but Milton Bradley chose to eat in the corner by himself. From that point forward, the Cubs knew Bradley was a bit of a loner.
  • "It wasn't a great fit for either side," Ryan said of Milton.
  • Theriot thinks that Jeff Samardzija has a big time arm, Marshall is consistent, and Gorzelanny did a good job last year. That mix should be enough for the back end of the starting 5.
  • Phil Rogers points out that Ted Lilly could be one of those guys that's most appreciated when he's gone.
  • Lilly has played through injuries that nobody knew about. The players appreciate when I guy gives everything he has.
  • When asked who the Cubs team leader was, Ryan didn't hesitate in answering "D-Lee."
  • Theriot called Lee a silent force, and says he takes the term "lead by example" to another level.
  • Knowing that he will be the lead-off man going into Spring Training will change his approach this spring.
  • Leading off fits Ryan a little better.
  • Theriot likes to just "go". He has a problem conserving enegery.
  • The Cubs team has the ability to steal bases.
  • Ryan thinks this could be a big break out year for Mike Fontenot.

Frankie O. from Harry Caray's restaurant came on the show and listed 5 reasons the Cubs will win the World Series:

  • 5. Ricketts family ownership
  • 4. Mark McGwire's admission
  • 3. Harry Caray's Restaurant
  • 2. No More Milton
  • 1. Because Next Year is Here

Time for me to head out to the Hilton for this weekend's Cubs Convention! I'll have my laptop with me, so I'll be blogging from the Convention throughout the weekend. Email at if you have any questions or comments!

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