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Wrigleyville 23 - A Chicago Cubs blog
USA Today Columnist: Hendry Among Worst GMs
Written by wrigleyville   
Friday, 15 January 2010

Fantasy baseball writer and baseball editor Steve Gardner of USA Today suggests that Jim Hendry may be one of the five worst general managers in baseball, citing only the signings of Aaron Miles, Milton Bradley and Marlon Byrd.

Three free-agent signings does not a GM make. To fully decide, I direct you to Another Cubs Blog to see how Hendry has done over the years.

Ryan Theriot Has A Good Idea
Written by wrigleyville   
Friday, 15 January 2010

The shortstop wants the Cubs to sign Ben Sheets:

"That'd be great," Theriot said. "I think we all know what Ben can do on the field, a dominating shutdown pitcher. When he's right, there's not many guys that are better. But from a clubhouse standpoint, (he's a) very intricate, nice fellow, and brings kind of a different feel to the clubhouse.

"(He's) someone I would welcome with open arms, not because I've known him for a long time, but he of brings a 'Scott Eyre feel' to the clubhouse- a light, funny, 'keep everyone on their toes' type of feeling."

Wait - did he really say "fellow"? Why not "chap" or "ol' chap"? Or describing Sheets as "dashing"?

Paul Sullivan's Milton Bradley Obsession
Written by wrigleyville   
Thursday, 14 January 2010

In an otherwise uneventful preview of the Cubs Convention, Paul Sullivan's obsession with Milton Bradley seeps out yet again:

Sunday The Essence of Being a Cub, 9 a.m.

Milton Bradley is no longer around to give his unique view on Cubness, but according to the program, Koyie Hill, Jeff Baker and John Grabow will explain the "significant differences between being a Cub and being a member of any other team." Other than the history of losing, naturally.

Sullivan's season with Bradley apparently impacted him in deep, dark and disturbing ways.

The Chicago Tribune Has A Problem
Written by wrigleyville   
Thursday, 14 January 2010

Based on an interview that Carlos Zambrano did on the Waddle & Silvy Show, the Chicago Tribune had a choice of what angle to cover - one that shed light on his views of staying with the team after weeks of rumors he was on the block or one that allowed them to work in bogeyman Milton Bradley.

There was this:

"I want to finish my career here, and I want to be a Cub forever," Zambrano said.

While some players have had trouble playing in front of the championship-starved fans in Wrigley Field, Zambrano said he's learned to love the atmosphere.

"For me, it's the best place to play," he said. "The fans have the right to boo, or do whatever they want. At some point, I didn't understand that.

"One time I got booed by the fans two or three years ago, the first time it happened to me. I had seen it happen to other people. I realized they have the right to boo. They pay to see a good game, and basically they pay our salary. They don't want to see bad plays. At least we have to play good. They're expecting from us good things."

Or this:

(click "read more" for the full article)

Z Has Better Manners Than Golden Boy
Written by wrigleyville   
Thursday, 14 January 2010

Here's how Jeff Samardzija handles questions about Milton Bradley:

"When you're on each others' side and everyone is on the same page, it means a lot," Samardzija said. "It makes going out and playing the game a whole lot easier."

Here's how Carlos Zambrano handles questions about Milton Bradley:

"For me, he was good in the clubhouse," Zambrano said. "He was a little moody ... sometimes a little strange, but he was good.

"Sometimes the only bad problem for me was he talked to the media and said things he didn't have to say, sometimes like me. I wish him good luck in Seattle and hopefully he can do good."

In short, Z has better manners than Samardzija.

By the way, the headline on the Trib story about Z's comments? "Big Z on Bradley: 'Sometimes a little strange'"

Jeff Samardzija Sure Is Chatty
Written by wrigleyville   
Thursday, 14 January 2010

We noted Jeff Samardzija's thoughts on Milton Bradley yesterday. Today, he weighs in on college football coaching moves:

Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, the former Notre Dame football star, said he was sorry to see Charlie Weis fired but understood the move. Samardzija also took a shot at new USC coach Lane Kiffin.

''It's just unfortunate. I really liked [Weis],'' Samardzija said. ''But hopefully [Brian] Kelly brings some good talent with him, even though there's already some there, and they win a bunch of games and then we can start talking about how much USC [stinks] now since they don't have a good coach.''

As a reminder, Jeff Samardzija knows poor performances after managing a 7.53 ERA last season.

Jeff Samardzija Takes Swipe At Bradley
Written by wrigleyville   
Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Paul Sullivan loves to write about Milton Bradley. His latest gives Jeff Samardzija a chance to kick his former teammate:

Milton Who? A radio reporter asked pitcher Jeff Samardzija the importance of adding a good clubhouse guy to the mix.

"As opposed to what?" Samardzija said with a laugh. "Who are you implying?"

The reporter obviously was referring to Bradley, a clubhouse distraction in '09. 

"When you're on each others' side and everyone is on the same page, it means a lot," Samardzija said. "It makes going out and playing the game a whole lot easier."

Know what else makes playing baseball easier? Having a pitcher who can manage better than a 7.53 ERA or 1.760 WHIP.

Then again, it was probably very difficult to pitch with that angry man patrolling right field. So distracting for Jeff's delicate sensibilities.

(In the linked story, Sullivan also reports that the Cubs are taking a look at Jermaine Dye.)

The Tale Of Carlos Beltran's Knee And Twitter
Written by wrigleyville   
Wednesday, 13 January 2010

While I love Twitter and enjoy following baseball writers (at least those who will let me), this is a perfect example of why Tweeting as you are reporting on a fluid story may be a bad idea:

nyp_joelsherman (9:33 p.m.) Trying to get 2d confirmation, but hear that Beltran had microfracture knee surgery today without #Mets permission

Holy cats. That seems like a problem. A big one. Microfracture knee surgery is all the rage these days, but still has a recovery time of at least four months. And without permission, to boot? I'd like to hear more about Carlos Beltran and his broken knee.

(click "read more" below for the full article)

Lou Has The Answers For 2010
Written by wrigleyville   
Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Well, this seem easy:

"If we can win 83 baseball games with all the problems we had last year and all the injuries on top of it -- we lost 10 to 12 players for more than 30 days [in 2009], and that's unbelievable," Piniella said. "But if we can win 83 games with all those problems and all those injuries and we stay relatively healthy this year, we can add another eight, 10 wins and get to the postseason and win in the postseason."

He has a point here: All of those injuries can't happen again. Right? Right??

But that may be partially offset by the fact that, you know, they probably got a little worse during the offseason.

Peter Gammons Is A Bitter Old Man
Written by wrigleyville   
Tuesday, 12 January 2010

When we last checked in with Peter Gammons, he was needlessly smearing an 87-year-old widow on national television because she had promoted a catchy slogan a quarter century ago urging people to say no to drugs. That horrible bitch.

Now, Gammons is settling in on Twitter and proving himself to be equally splenetic when it comes to anyone who differs from his world view (read: Republicans). And, judging by his Tweets, the copy editors at the Boston Globe earned their money over the years:

January 12: McGwire may get Canseco his "Houseboys of Orange County" reality show. Jose/Palin:2 who didn't know there are 2 Koreas. omy

January 12: No terrorist attack @ Norwwod. Airport today. Scott Brown keeping burbs safe

January 9: International terror expert Scott brown's resume:no El Quaeda attacks on the Norwood Zairpo

January 9: Nowood Airport.

(click "read more" below for full story)

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