Baseball Diamond News

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cubs Squeeze!!!!!!!!!!

I am watching the game on my couch and had to write this, WOW. The Cubs put on a squeeze play and it WORKED!!!! Fundamentals!!!!! That is what it will take to stay competitive without Derek Lee. That and great starting performances like Sean Marshall had tonight. As this is being written Sean Marshall was just pinch hit for. I might have let him bat and start the 8th inning with someone in the pen ready and take him out after he let on 1 more batter, but at a 100 pitchers through 7 and no runs given up and only 2 hits.

As I speak about fundamentals Hairston gets picked off first. Oh well.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Williams Sent down Guzman recalled.

According to Rotoworld, the Cubs have recalled pitcher Angel Guzman and sent down Jerome Williams. I am not sure I agree with this move as Angel has been hit hard his last 2 starts after throwing a gem in the first start. Also Williams has had only one real bad start this year and probably should be given at least 1 more start, but it looks like that won't happen. I assume that Guzman steps in as the 5th starter/long reliever, but there has been nothing I can find to collaborate this.

NOTE: The Cubs announcers have also just announced the transaction and now shown Angel Guzman in the pen.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sponsoring Matt Murton

When I write an article and use a players name I link it to the webiste The Baseball Cube and for ten dollars a year someone can sponsor a player. I figured as much as I use the website I should give them a donation, so I decided to sponsor Cubs OF Matt Murton, hopefully he does well as I have him on my IBL team and I'd like the Cubs not to have to find a new LF.

Thoughts on Hendry

I haven’t said anything since the extension for Jim Hendry, but now I am going to say something. At the time I was not happy with the deal and nothing that has happened lately has made me change my mind (though nothing has enforced my decision either). No GM could be ready for the injury to Derek Lee, but now is the time for Hendry to show he deserved his extension. If the Cubs are to stay competitive they need to find a replacement for Lee for the next 2-3 months because I think the Cubs should prepare for the worst case scenario just to be prepared.

I have to say I am happy that soon after Hendry did sign his contract he got Lee signed to a nice extension (as I stated earlier couldn’t foresee the arm injury) and hasn’t signed Baker to an extension. Though the latter might happen, but if Hendry is smart he will wait and see what Baker and the Cubs do (and anything short of a WS appearance I think Baker shouldn’t be rehired).

Another coach I have voiced displeasure with and will again is pitching coach Larry Rothschild. The Cub’s starting rotation has been awful, minus what Greg Maddux has done as he has been superb. Zambrano hasn’t been himself, Glendon Rusch below average, Jermoe Williams not good, and Sean Marshall has done an average job The bullpen’s ERA for the most part has been decent, but as with the starters are walking too many batters which then end up leading to longer innings and then runs. Plus when a pitcher is struggling it seems that Larry always waits 2 batters too long to go to the mound and talk to the pitcher when it is obvious that the pitcher needs a minute break to gather himself.

IBL: Chicago Cougars

This is IBL's opening week and my team should be in contention for a playoff spot this season. I need to improve at RP, 3b and CF. I can get by on what I have at 3b, but a upgrade in CF and a RP that doesn't walk players are definately needed for me. Below is my team, the ones with the * are on the active roster to start the year. I plan to get my low usage players usage early this year, so if I need to make a run at end of year, I can field my best players.

1 * CHN Barrett -- 1st Round 00 (#1)
2 CHN Cedeno -- 2nd Round 06
3 * CHN Murton -- 1st Round 06
4 * CHN Patterson -- 1st Round 01 (#6)
5 * CLE Belliard -- Trade CAJ 1/05
6 * DET Inge -- Trade HAG 12/05
7 DET Ordonez -- Trade MAD 12/02
8 * DET Young -- Trade HAG 9/05
9 * FLA Conine -- Trade CAP 1/05
10 * LAN PerezA. -- 3rd Round 06
11 * MIL Fielder -- 1st Round 06
12 * MIN Redmond -- Trade WMS 8/05
13 OAK Johnson -- 2nd Round 06
14 * SD Giles -- Trade PHI 12/98
15 SF Alfonzo -- Trade MCN 3/99
16 * TB Hollins -- Free Agent 03/06
17 * TB Lee -- [UC05] 1st Round 99 (#3)
18 * TB Lugo -- Trade COL 1/05
19 * TEX Mench -- Trade CAJ 1/05
20 WAS Sledge -- 3rd Round 05

21 BAL Bedard -- 4th Round 05
22 CHN Hill -- 5th Round 06
23 * CHN Wuertz -- Trade SPO 4/05
24 * CHN Zambrano -- 1st Round 03 (#22)
25 COL Francis -- 1st Round 05 (#18)
26 * HOU Oswalt -- 1st Round 02 (#3)
27 MIL Helling -- 3rd Round 06
28 OAK Cruz -- 1st Round 02 (#16)
29 * OAK Haren -- 2nd Round 04
30 * OAK Witasick -- Trade POR 12/05
31 * PIT Gonzalez -- 1st Round 05 (#21)
32 * SEA Mateo -- Trade WMS 1/04
33 * SF Benitez -- Trade CSP 7/02
34 * TEX Benoit -- Trade HAG 9/05
35 * TEX Cordero -- 3rd Round 03

A picture of my other dog Carl

My wife told me to put a picture of my other dog Carl up so he is not jealous.

Newer Look for webpage

I changed the look of this blog today as the Brown color was ugly and not real fun to look at. Hopefully people will enjoy this more. Leave me feedback, any would be appreciated. Also fixed the problem that any comments that were being made weren't being posted.

Some thoughts on moves Cubs should make.

The Cubs need to send down pitchers Will Ohman and David Aardsma and call up Rich Hill and sign a body off the free agent pile or acquire a cheap replacement and place Mark Prior on the 60 day DL. Then insert Hill into rotation and put Rusch back into pen as swing man. Or they can just put Williams back in the pen and keep Rusch in the rotation. I am not high on either of the pitchers, but it all depends if the Cubs want 2 lefties in the rotation or not. This then lets Ohman work out his problems down in the minors and also lets Aardsma get some more innings in as he has been getting hit hard since being recalled.
I wish I had a list in front of me who was available as free agents, I know Jose Macias is one, but by no means do I want him back. I know Erubiel Durazo and Carlos Pena were free agents a little while ago, but both had been signed to minor league deals as of a couple days ago. Maybe the Cubs could work a deal for one of them, neither are great replacements, but Durazo not too far removed from hitting well (though his defense sucks) and Pena got hot at end of year for Detroit so maybe he could excel in a Cub uniform. Also available might be ex-Cubs Eric Hinske in Toronto or Hee Seop Choi in Boston (though he is on the DL at the moment, but rehabbing in Pawtucket). I wouldn’t mind seeing Choi back in Wrigley field as the fans liked rooting for him and I still think he become a usable 1st baseman.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Steroids in baseball: Should ESPN shoulder some blame?

Why doesn't anyone ever come out and put some of the blame of steroids in baseball on ESPN? And if they have put some blame there, then why hasn’t more of a fuss been made about it? Now I am not saying that ESPN went out and gave or even told these players to take steroids, but look at all the SportsCenter's and what highlights they loved to show, HOME RUNS and radar gun readings.

They were all over the McGuire and Sosa chase to beat 61 and when Bonds went on to break McGuire's record they were all over that too. Most of the highlights in the late 90's and turn of this century were home runs. It didn’t matter who hit the home runs it what was shown for highlights. At times it seemed that ESPN cared more about telling me who hit the home runs than who won the game.

Then there is what was shown about the pitchers. Unless they threw a shutout, perfect game or a no-hitter most of the highlights shown of the pitchers were mostly that of the radar gun, when they would hit 98, 99, 100 or 101 mph. How do you think some of these guys added 5 mph to their fastball over 1 year? You didn't have to be good, but as long as you threw the ball hard you could get on ESPN and some how you would get some recognition of how great your arm is.
Now I have no statistical proof, but I am willing to bet there is some correlation between the two. How many times did ESPN play the Nike commercial with Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux saying,” Chicks dig the long ball."? SportsCenter plays a big part in player’s lives and helping promote themselves and getting recognized for when their next contract up.

Former pitching coach dies.

Former pitching coach Oscar Acosta died Wedsnday night in a car crash in the Dominican Republic. My condeloncences go out to the family. Back at the time of his firing the Cubs pitching staff vehimetly disagreed with the desicion. He then went to the Rangers for a short period and had been managing the Gulf Coast Yankees for the past three years.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Well Derek Lee broke two bones in his wrist and could be out 8-10 weeks. This is a major blow to the Cubs chances of doing much of anything this season. He is the heart of this team and now that he is out it is up to some to take up that slack, and it looks like Todd Walker will be starting at 1b. Hopefully he can continue hitting, but replacing Lee's bat with Nefi Perez or Hairston is going to be very painful.

Cubs Thoughts

Sorry haven’t been around. Been swamped with a bunch of stuff and have been meaning to write.

First: Let’s hope that the injury to Derek Lee is not serious and he can comeback soon and not be too affected by the collision. At first it looked like he might be seriously injured (still might be), but then he seemed to be showing less pain and more of just a discomfort look on his face.

Also Scott Eyre bruised his knee on the same play by diving for the ball and had to leave the game. He is listed day-to-day and hopefully he can comeback as Will Ohman has been nothing shy of awful out of the pen this season.

Since my last article, the Cubs also lost Angel Pagan for a minimum of a few weeks with a partially torn tendon. The Cubs then called up pitcher David Aardsma to replace him, whom was awful in his debut as a Cub last night. I think the Cubs need to send him and Ohman back to the minors, bring back up Michael Wuertz and transfer one of Prior, Wood or Miller to the 60-day disabled list and either sign a 5th OF for the mean time or put Michael Restovich (who is lighting up AAA) on the 40-man roster and promote him to the big league club.

Another thing bothering me is the Cubs never throw strikes when they should and always walk people in the worst situations. This has been a problem the last couple of seasons and I think that something needs to be done to resolve this. Either put more work in between appearances or Larry Rothschild needs to start preaching a new philosophy. I am working on another article that will address the Cubs pitchers walks and should be finished this weekend.

Dog's Birthday

Today my dog Butkus (English Mastiff) turns 2. Happy Birthday Butkus.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nice start

I have been swamped the past week with work, school and then after the Cubs home opener I had to drive to Dayton, OH for my fantasy baseball draft (which I will talk about when I get back), but I am writing a brief note so people know I haven't forgotten about them.

The Cubs currently are 3-1 and besides too many errors for my liking they are doing well. I like the fact that Dusty Baker is being more aggressive on the bases (helps to have more speed) and as far as I know on opening day he even called for the squeeze play by Pierre that went foul. Matt Murton made a heck of a throw to double off a guy at first from the warning track, but seconds before he almost fell down and didn't make the catch. I hope that improves his footwork out there, but that arm looks nice. Also Derek Lee is starting off hot hitting the ball a ton into the win on Friday and then again today. I have to admit though that I didn't get to see today's games, except for highlights as I was in the middle of my baseball draft while the game was going and unfortunately no TV’s are allowed during our draft.

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