Tagged: Kerry Wood

Theo & Jed Hit a Homer!

This is a simple post.  Just one quick topic.  The Theo & Jed show have brought Kerry Wood back to the Cubs.  Smart move guys!!!!  Cubs fans want someone like Wood on the team.  Fans of other teams may not understand how much love many Cubs fans have for Wood, but there is no doubt that he is probably the best liked player on the team currently. 
So, with that said, Theo & Jed hit a homerun getting Woody back.  If he were to go anywhere I would have wanted him in Cincinnati.  I like what the Reds have to offer in 2012.  But thank God he is still a Cub!

WISH LIST STUFF

Here is my old list.

1.  Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization.

2.  Hire a quality manager.  We hired Dale Sveum.

3. Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.

4.  Go after Prince Fielder.  Sounds like it may happen. We may even go after Pujols.

5.  Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later)  Does not appear likely.

6.  Trade Carlos Zambrano.  (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)

7.  Trade Alfonso Soriano.  Sounds like this could happen.

8.  Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs.  Might happen.

9.  Strengthen the pitching staff

And here is my new and improved wish list.

1.  Sign Prince Fielder.  He could be the center piece to build around.

2.  Trade Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins.

3.  Trade Alfonso Soriano to any AL team that will take him!

4.  Sign Kerry Wood.

5.  Sign either Paul Maholm or Edwin Jackson.  We need pitching depth.

6.  Wipe the slate clean, don’t sign Prince, trade Soriano & Zambrano.  Then trade Matt Garza to the Reds or Rangers in a huge deal.  Follow that up by trading away Marlon Byrd, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells too.

Whatever direction the Cubs decide to go I hope they start making moves soon.  I just want to know what to expect for the next couple of seasons under Theo and Co..

UPDATING MY WISH LIST

At the beginning of November I created my wish list for the Cubs this off-season.  Here it is and along with a few changes.

1.  Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization.

2.  Hire a quality manager.  We hired Dale Sveum.

3. Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.

4.  Go after Prince Fielder.  Sounds like it may happen. We may even go after Pujols.

5.  Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later)  Does not appear likely.

6.  Trade Carlos Zambrano.  (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)

7.  Trade Alfonso Soriano.  Sounds like this could happen.

8.  Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs.  Might happen.

9.  Strengthen the pitching staff

So two of my wish’s have already been rejected.  However, the Cubs may pursue Pujols or Fielder which is a good thing.

HOT STOVE SEASON HAS BEGUN! PLUS, MY NEW WISH LIST FOR THIS OFF-SEASON

Okay, the Cubs have been busy over the last month.  Theo Epstein has been brought in as President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs and he has gotten Jed Hoyer, from the Padres, as the new GM.  Theo also landed Jason McLeod as the Director of Scouting and Player Development.  These three amigos are tasked with turning a century of losing into a championship contender on a yearly basis.  That is an enormous challenge!

Theo and crew has already started by “releasing” Mike Quade from his position as manager of the Cubs.  Theo then called up Ryne Sandberg and notified him immediately that he would not be considered for the newly vacated managerial position.  I think that was a good thing to do.  Don’t lead Ryno on and let him believe he has a chance at the job like happened last year.  However, I do hope Theo is able to get Sandberg back into a Cub uniform as a major league coach or minor league manager.  I’ve read that the Cardinals are interested in him and that would just kill me.  If he took over for the Cards in 2012 and won a World Series……..well, it wouldn’t be a good thing for me.

Anyway, before I worry too much about this worst case scenario, I have to remind myself that Theo realizes knows what he’s doing.

The search for a new manager is underway and I have a feeling that Theo will make a wise and educated choice.

Here is my wishlist for this off-season.

1.  Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization.

2.  Hire a quality manager.

3. Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.

4.  Go after Prince Fielder

5.  Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later)

6.  Trade Carlos Zambrano.  (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)

7.  Trade Alfonso Soriano

8.  Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs.

9.  Strengthen the pitching staff

My goal over my next few posts will be to address all 9 of these items on my personal wishlist.  I will also add new ideas to my list when I can come up with something feasible.  I look forward to the HOT STOVE season and I plan on blogging about it as much as I can.

DOWN ON QUADE

Well, I must admit that I am embarrassed by the Cubs performance this season and especially over the last week or so.  We’ve lost 7 in a row including being swept at home by the Astros and on the road against our Arch rivals.   Two of those losses were extra inning games ended by walk off home runs by Albert Pujols.  Anyway, we aren’t playing very good baseball as a whole and it’s obvious.

I still don’t understand Mike Quade and his lineup.  I believe that Aramis Ramirez needs to bat third.  That gives us our best chance to drive in runs in my opinion.  I know he’s not producing all the well this season, but part of that is due to having little protection in the lineup.

Quade baffled me early in the season when he platooned Fukudome and Colvin in right field.  Both are left handed batters and he let Fukudome play against right handed pitchers and Colvin against left handed pitchers.

Quade frustrated me when he kept batting Marlon Byrd in the three hole.  I think Byrd is better suited to hit 1st, 2nd or 5th in the lineup.  He’s never been known to be a great run producer.  That’s usually who you want batting third…..a run producer!

Quade has also aggravated me with the handling of our starting rotation early in the season.  There was a stretch where he kept leaving starters in too long and not trusting the bullpen setup of Wood, Marshall and Marmol.

I guess I am taking out a bit of my frustrations on our new manager and I know it’s the players who play the games.  But he’s setting the lineups, making the pitching changes and is in charge of this team.  I know that he’s competitive, but I think he’s going to have a long summer.

CONTINGENCY PLAN

With the way the Cubs are playing this season, I think it’s okay to talk about a contingency plan.  Let me explain.  I am not saying that we are throwing in the towel by any means.  However, if another 6-8 weeks go by and we continue to lose more than we win, it may be necessary to start trading players and their contracts.

I think the list of guys that we could put on the trade market is a big one with some good players.  Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome and Ryan Dempster being among the biggest names.  I would love for us to be able to move Alfonso Soriano and his huge salary as well, but that would be really difficult.  By potentially moving Byrd and Fukudome we would be opening up spots in our outfield for younger players such as Tyler Colvin, Tony Campana and Brett Jackson.

I would hate to trade Ryan Dempster, but I could see him help a team win a pennant and possibly the World Series.  He just turned 34 a couple of weeks ago and is a great competitor and leader.  I could also see the Cubs trading Randy Wells too.  I don’t think Carlos Zambrano will be traded.  I see him as one of the cornerstone players that the Cubs hope to build a championship caliber team around.

Our bullpen is relatively young with the exception of Kerry Wood and John Grabow.  I want to keep Wood for multiple reasons.  It’s already evident, that he will give the Cubs a home town discount and it’s good to have a veteran leader in the bullpen.

The Cubs are going to have a chance to sign a big name or two this upcoming off season.  Whether it’s Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or someone else, the Cubs have a ton of money that they will be able to spend after this season is over.  I look for them to go on a spending spree!

Finally, we have Aramis Ramirez who could also be traded.  I don’t want to lose him, but he’s being pitched around a lot this season with little protection in the lineup.  His power numbers are suffering due to this.  In the right lineup, I think he would return to form and help any team win.

When it’s all said and done, I don’t want the Cubs to be sellers.  I won’t us to be buyers!  I want us competing for the division title and a spot in the post season in 2011.  I still think if our team is able to start winning.  I still believe we can win the NL Central.  A lot must go right, but it’s not impossible!

SOME GOOD STUFF

Wow, I’m upset that I wasn’t able to stay up for the entire game last night.  I fell asleep somewhere in the bottom of the 7th inning.  When you get up at 5:00AM everyday, those late night games are a struggle to watch.  But I did get to see Carlos Pena smash his first homer.  I hope that opens up the flood gates and he starts ripping them on a regular basis like he’s capable of. 

Another good thing I’ve been seeing lately is the hitting of Geovany Soto.  The catcher is only hitting .239, but he’s hit 4 doubles in the last 3 games and is hitting the ball hard and taking it to right field.  If he keeps hitting the way he has lately I think his average and power numbers will increase greatly for the month of May.  
Finally, Ryan Dempster did not get the win last night.  Yet, he looked great!!!  He pitched 7 strong innings giving up only 1 run against Ethier, Kemp and the Dodgers.  Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless 8th inning for the win and Marmol got the save.  Niether Wood nor Marmol walked anyone or even gave up a hit.  The Cubs also played good defensively not making any errors.  That’s the perfect recipe for winning ballgames.  Let’s hope this continues!
One last thing I forgot to mention.  Jeff Samardzija is putting together a solid season.  He has 2 wins, 1 hold and a 2.45 ERA in 18.1 innings pitched.  He still needs to cut down on his walks, but he has been more than effective and hasn’t given up a run since April 12th against the Houston Astros.  
Overall, I am starting to get excited again.  We are finally starting to look like a team that can win more than we lose.