The Baseball Winter Meetings are being held next week in the very place that I got married just four short years ago. No, they’re not being held in the rumpus room at Del Boca Vista, but rather at the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
And to prove that Kermit doesn’t own the exclusive rights to mocking the dumb things that Carrie Muskat writes, I’m going to pick apart the Winter Meetings Preview she wrote for Cubs.com. You remember Cubs.com, the place you can go to buy Cubs Convention passes…all winter long, since they don’t seem likely to ever sell that damn thing out this year.
The Cubs are still searching for Mr. Left.
I see what you did there, and it’s very clever. If you were eight years old. You have things growing in your bun that are older than eight.
The Cubs had high hopes for Kosuke Fukudome when he arrived in 2007, but he hasn’t provided the same pop he did in Japan.
It’s true, Kosuke buys all of the soda that the Cubs stock in the clubhouse. And his kind love to drink some crazy shit.
Milton Bradley was supposed to be the guy in ’09, and he was shipped to the Mariners after one tumultuous season. In the last few years, they’ve tried Jeromy Burnitz, Fred McGriff, Jacque Jones, Hee-Seop Choi, and even Matt Stairs.
Awesome list. Remind me again why Jim Hendry is still picking out players for the Cubs?
Wait a minute, did she list Fred McGriff? That was nine years ago. That’s even older than the stuff growing in her bun.
This offseason, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is once again looking for the perfect left-handed, middle-of-the-order hitter. If he’s a first baseman, that solves two problems.
Those problems, are of course world hunger and the need for another really good Elvis Costello album.
When Derrek Lee joined the Cubs in 2004, Hendry didn’t have to think about a replacement or even a backup first baseman.
We noticed that in 2006 when Lee broke his wrist and we got the tremendous sight of John Mabry, Phil Nevin and Todd Walker playing first base. Good plan.
With Lee gone via trade and backups Xavier Nady (free agency) and Micah Hoffpauir (Japan) off the roster, the Cubs find themselves with a big hole.
How big is that hole, really? Because Lee, Nady and Hoffpauir combined to hit .253 with 20 homers, 75 RBI, 186 strikeouts, 64 walks and an OPS of .720. Somebody call Nevin, because he might actually be able to do that.
Is there a lefty who can fit in the Cubs’ budget? We may find out at the Winter Meetings, which officially begin Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Although many fans and even Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano would like to see Adam Dunn’s big bat in the lineup, the team will likely lean more toward a more economical and defensive infielder.
More economical and defensive? So you mean cheap and glovey? I’ve got just the guy for you! How many m’s in Mientkiewicz?
Starlin Castro is coming off a 27-error rookie season. Not only do the Cubs want a left-handed bat, but someone who can catch the ball. Lee, a three-time Gold Glove winner, spoiled them.
He certainly did spoil them. Without his fabulousness over there at first, why Castro might have made 30 errors, and where would have have left the Cubs? In fifth place? You know, right where they ended up?
The Cubs aren’t limited to thrift store shopping, but do have to be more cost-concious.
I see MLB.com is cutting down, too. They fired everybody who knew how to spell conscious.
They have $103 million committed to players next year, plus Jeff Baker, Koyie Hill, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Tom Gorzelanny, and Geovany Soto are on the arbitration-eligible list. Those six players combined made $6.125 million in 2010. Expect a final ’11 payroll around $130 million.
First base isn’t the only concern. Although the Cubs appear to have plenty of depth pitching-wise, they would like another innings-eating starter and an experienced right-handed reliever.
Love it. The Cubs have pitching depth and limited funds, so they’re going to go out and buy some pitching that won’t be any better than what they’ve already got. But it will be more expensive. I love it when a plan comes together!
Don’t look for Hendry to be waiting in line to court free agent Cliff Lee.
Hendry won’t be courting Cliff Lee, but he’s open to giving Aaron Harang a hand job.
Why more pitching?
You got me. You said they had “plenty of depth pitching-wise.”
There are too many questions regarding the rotation.
Huh? Well do they have depth or no? Because just having bodies doesn’t give you depth…girth maybe, but not depth. And I know you’ve been telling Alan all these years that girth is more important than depth, it’s just not true is it, Carrie? Is it?
Carlos Silva, acquired last December from the Mariners for Bradley, surprised the Cubs with his strong start.
Surprised them with a strong start, then didn’t surprise anybody when he flopped over and beached himself at mid-season.
Will he do it again?
Which, start strong or beach? Probably both.
Randy Wells will be entering his third season, which means no more talk about a sophomore jinx. Will he be more consistent?
No more sophomore jinx for Randy Wells. Now it’s right on to junior suckage.
Lefty Tom Gorzelanny wants to start but may be better suited to a relief role, similar to what Sean Marshall has done. Would he accept that?
You make a great point, Carrie. Last year Gorzelanny had a 4.22 ERA as a starter but only a 1.42 ERA as a reliever. Marshall-esque! Oh, except for the fact that he pitched 130 innings as a starter and six as a reliever. Kind of hard to tell.
The Cubs do have youngsters waiting in the wings in Casey Coleman, Chris Archer and Chris Carpenter
Holy shit, the Cubs got Carpenter! Wow. Why would the Cardinals let him go? What morans! What a coup for the Cubs! We got Carpenter!
(not the Cardinals’ ace, but a 25-year-old right-hander who was a third-round pick in 2008).
The reality is, they will likely start in the Minors in 2011.
Why do you tease us so, Carrie you keyboard vixen you? You tempt us with the future glory of guys like Chris Coleman, Craig Archer and Charley Carpenter (or whatever the hell their names are) and then you pull it out from under us. Sadist!
There was a youth movement in the bullpen, with 12 rookie pitchers utilized in 2010.
Something was moving down there, either some youth or some bowels or both. Any team can use 12 rookie pitchers, not any team can be awesome while doing it. The Cubs, for example, proved they could be terrible while doing it. I’m not sure what your point is, but I do see a knitting needle sticking out of your hair.
There’s also been talk about veteran Kerry Wood returning to the bullpen, but he’s coming off a season in which he was paid $10.5 million.
There has been talk, yes. Twice a week, Bruce Levine walks into a coffee shop in Northbrook, takes off his shirt and regales the quickly departing crowd with tales of Kerry Wood’s returneth to Wrigley Field. Yay verily!
At that price, he’s not in the Cubs’ budget.
No shit. At that price he’s not in anybody’s budget. Honestly, the Indians had to be on crack when they signed him to that contract. He’ll be lucky to make 40 percent of that this year.
Cubs manager Mike Quade knows he’ll have several young faces in the mix when he opens his first Spring Training camp in Mesa, Ariz., this February.
The Cubs depth at cherub is going to be off the fucking charts!
Given a two-year deal after guiding the team to a 24-13 record in the final six weeks, Quade has plenty of energy, a good work ethic and baseball smarts.
Fear not, the Cubs will suck those three things out of him within a week. He’ll be drooling on himself like Preston Gomez by the end of the first homestand.
But right now, he faces the same problem Lou Piniella did at the start of the 2010 season, which is how to find playing time for talented outfielder Tyler Colvin.
Yes, because it’s so hard to find a spot for talent in this lineup.
May I digress for a moment to point out something about “talented outfielder Tyler Colvin?”
He’s just not that fucking talented. He posted a Corey Patterson-like .316 on base average. He struck out 100 times in 358 at bats. Talented is the guy playing shortstop. Average, fungible, run of the mill is Tyler Colvin. He might get better, but he couldn’t get on base in the minors, either. He has nothing in his track record to show that he’ll ever be better than he was last year, and he wasn’t all that great last year.
The Cubs’ first choice is to keep Colvin in the outfield, even though he has played some first base in high school and college.
The Cubs are pretty keen. They’re going to keep the outfielder who’s only played outfield in recent years, in the outfield. Give them as much credit as you can for doing the completely obvious.
They could open the 2011 season with Colvin, Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd trying to squeeze into three spots.
It’s pretty terrible to have four guys to play three spots. Especially since three of them blow.
Soriano, who turns 35 in January, accepted moving to the No. 6 hole and that he needs days off to stay fresh.
Keeping him fresh was a great idea and really worked out well. He was so fresh that he didn’t hit over .245 in any month after May. That kind of freshness needs to be doused with Febreeze.
Byrd also was banged up at the end of the year and may need more breathers.
Too bad you don’t have an extra outfielder.
Colvin could be asked to sub at first, and Quade can then rotate everybody to provide enough at-bats so everyone’s happy and productive.
Knock it off.
It could work.
But it won’t.
But Hendry still needs to find the right lefty.
Repeat pun. And scene.
With the Cubs decision to keep Tyler Colvin on the big league roster, it’s now official. There’s one roster spot left and it’s going to go to either Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir or Sam Fuld.
First off, it’s not going to Hoffpauir, and no matter how much blood Sam Fuld paints over his door tomorrow night, he’s getting passed over. (In a bad way, oh, just go with it…)
So it’s Kevin Millar or Chad Tracy. As Dave Kaplan so eloquently put on his now-defunct radio show last Monday night, “Who cares? It’s the 25th spot on the roster.”
We care Dave. Cubs fans care. We care about that and about keeping our pretty little antiquated ballpark free from jumbotrons, advertisements, rock music and the World Series.
Huh? Never mind.
The 25th spot on the roster, is, of course important, because that guy is going to play, and it would be nice if he didn’t completely suck. This isn’t like the 117th guy on a college football home team roster. You only get 25 guys in baseball, and you end up having to use all them.
Now here’s the biggest problem I have with the choice between Millar and Tracy. I think the choice is obvious. In fact, I can’t believe that a team that really wants to pretend they have a chance to contend this year would even have to think twice about which guy to keep.