Baseball Diamond News

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pinella announces Spring training opening lineup

Today Lou announced his starting lineup for the first game of spring training and it had Matt Murton in LF. Hopefully he shows Lou this is the right decision and can win the starting job out of spring training. Lou is also batting him second which I think will be a good spot for him, but I also hope that he doesn’t press too much and it hurt his OBP.

People that have been reading this blog, know that I am high on Murton and think he has one of the best hitting strokes on the team. He may never be a major power hitter, but he should always be able to get on base and hit the ball in the gap a lot for many doubles. His defense has improved, though that is not saying much, but it is now tolerable and hopefully this spring he can work on his fundamentals and improve some more.

One name in the lineup I hope is changed by opening day is Izturis. I am hoping that Cedeno can beat him out at SS as offensively I still think Ronny has more potential than Cesar has and defensively though Izturis might have more range, I don't think there is too much drop off.

The Lineup is as following:

Soriano CF, Murton LF, Lee 1b, Ramirez 3b, Barrett C, Jones RF, DeRosa 2b, Izturis SS, Marquis P

Ron Santo

I was hoping to look online today and see that Ron Santo finally got into the Hall of Fame, but as I said I was hoping. I knew that he wouldn’t because the Veteran’s Committee is a joke and should be overhauled. I say this not because of just Ron Santo, but since the last overhaul to the committee there has not been anyone voted in. If they are not going to vote anyone in (and some of these gentlemen deserve to be in), then why have them?

It was nice though to see that he is getting closer to getting in and maybe after the next vote he can get in. I don’t know what else he has to do, his numbers for his era and for a 3b are some of the best out there. The fact that he did it with diabetes in that time is another incredible achievement. He may not be the greatest announcer (as in getting what is going on in game), but he is one of the greatest ambassasdor’s for the game and hopefully next time the Committee will see that. I haven’t read any reactions of his yet (if there are any out), but I am sure he will be disappointed, but at the same time keeping going on. His love for the Cubs and baseball is something that almost no other Cub fan can ever achieve and I hope, no I know, this won’t break Ron’s spirits.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cubs Tickets

I woke up today a little late and completely forgot that the evening before I went to Wrigley Field to get a wristband to get tickets for the upcoming. It hit me about 1 hour after being up and I saw a blue wristband on my left wrist. I then checked online and realized that I was less than 800 away from the number that was drawn. I then rushed to get my baby ready and we headed over to Wrigley.

I am glad to say that once again I will be going to opening day at Wrigley. It pretty much an annual tradition for me as I have missed only opening day twice since 1984 and hoping to keep going no matter where I live in the future. This year I might bring my daughter if the weather is warm enough (come on GLOBAL WARMING), but if not I haven’t figured out who I am going with, as I got 4 tickets today for it. I will bring her to some other games this year if she can't make opening day because I broke down and purchased tickets for a few other series. The series' I purchased tickets were verse the White Sox (I figure I can sell them if I can’t make it) series, 2 of the Brewers games, 1 Seattle game, and 2 games for when STL comes in town.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Can you guess how many wins the Cubs will have this year?

I am going to have a competition and it is free to enter. The only people not able to win are anonymous posts, if you don't want to sign up to blogger that is fine, just send it in via email and put in header "Cub's Win Competition".

From now until the first pitch of opening season, I want people to send me how many games they think the Cubs will win. I will have 5 tie breakers in this order.

How many wins for Zambrano?
How many hr's for Soriano?
How many plate appearances for Cliff Floyd?
Who will lead the team in saves?
How many stolen bases will Cubs have as team?

Now for the big question, what is the prize?

It will be a Derek Lee boblehead doll.

So go ahead and get your guesses in.

Cubs trade Jae Kuk Ryu

Today the Cubs trade pitching prospect Jae Kuk Ryu to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for 2 minor leaguers, Andrew Lopez and Gregory Reinhard. If you noticed I didn’t put the word prospects in front of their names for a reason. It is because neither is considered more than a fringe player. I am not sure why the Cubs gave up on Jae Kuk Ryu, but hopefully it doesn’t come back to haunt them. The one thing about Reinhard is that is seems to be a hard thrower, in 195.1 career minor league innings he has 187 strikeouts.

Over the last 3 years neither player the Cubs acquired had been mentioned in Baseball America’s to 10 team prospects or in the team chats. Jim Hendry said the Cubs acquired these guys with Tim Wilken’s influence, well let’s hope Mr. Wilken’s knows something that the rest of the baseball community doesn’t.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I haven't written about my IBL team in a while so I will write a quick note about the Chicago Cougars. Last season I finished on a good winning streak and made the playoffs only to be eliminated in the 1st round 3-1. My team's pitching did not show up for the playoffs and PHI teed off on whoever was pitching, except the game I won, which my starter Benoit threw a 1-hitter.

This off-season I have been busy trading. I traded 2 2nd round picks this year and a 3rd round pick next year to move up to the 7th spot in the draft and took PHI Cole Hamels. Starting pitching is not a need for my team, but I really like his potential and didn't think I should pass on him. Though now I am wishing that maybe I had not pulled the trigger because with one of the picks I traded I probably could draft another SP I like as much as Hamels, though not as MLB ready and I would still have another 2nd rounder to draft a good young prospect this year.
Then I was in major need of a CF to backup and platoon with Corey Patterson, so after discussing many trade opportunities and failing, I finally found one that fit my teams needs and went and pulled the trigger. I received from PAD, ARI Byrnes and PAD#3 (08) for DET Thames. Thames will have a nice card next year, but I already have plenty of left fielders and I also don't think Thames has much of a spot on Detroit's roster after disappearing to the bench during the playoffs and world series. Byrnes crushed lefties, was above average defensively and lastly adds some speed to my team, which is lacking next season.

The pick-by-pick part of draft only got through 1-19 this year, due to CRE putzing around for 3 weeks and delaying the draft. That means the rest of first round will be finished on Monday and the 2nd round done on Wednesday. I have the 2-3 pick in the draft and I am hoping to upgrade my 2b position because Ron Belliard and Todd Walker are not the way to go if you want a contender and both their futures seem pretty short now.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Jeff Samardzija

Finally got my computer back up and running as Dell replaced all the parts but the monitor and hard drive. So here goes some catch-up.

The Cubs signed a 5 year, 10 million dollar major league deal with their 5th round pick Jeff Samardzija on January 19, 2007. There also are club options for the years 2012 and 2013. Samardzija played in Boise and Peoria and did well at both places. He was considered a 1st round draft pick, but teams past on him as most thought his allegiance would be to football and not be sign able. I can also understand why Samardzija took the deal instead of going the football route. His stock was declining and he might not have been a 1st round pick in the NFL draft, and also who wants to catch passes up the middle and get drilled by big NFL players, when you can make 10 million dollars without ever worrying about that again.

Will this investment pan out?

No one can answer that, but if he is as good as advertised or at least 80% as advertised then with the price for starting pitchers these days, then yes he will be worth the investment. If he is just another over-hyped Notre Dame player from Jim Hendry then he might disappear quickly in the minors and make him think about the NFL.

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