2/9/10 Geaux Saints

GM Jim Hendry had a great time at the Super Bowl in Miami even though his team, the Colts, lost to the Saints, who are the favorite team of assistant GM Randy Bush.

“We didn’t really bet anything,” Hendry said. “I bought a coat with ‘Super Bowl’ and both [teams’] helmets on it. I bought it Saturday. If I won, I was going to keep the coat. If the Colts lost, I was going to give it to Randy. I dropped it off on his desk this morning.”

— Carrie Muskat


Oh how CUUUUUUUTE!!! Jim Hendy is such a kidder!!
What a funny guy…SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad he’s our General Manager, why with wit like that why would any of us Cubs fans want a COMPETANT General Manager???
Happy, happy, joy, joy…so cuddly!!! PUHlease, somebody get me a brown bag I’m gonna wretch. Sometimes, Carrie I can’t help but think you type stuff like that just to get a chuckle outta me….don’t change a thing, reading between the lines is what gets me through the Hendry “Off” (his rocker) season

Joey, you’re like a broken record. Could you please pick a new tune once in awhile?? I get it, you want Hendry fired because you think he’s incompetent and you make some good points. I, however, would love to hear something new about the Cubs, come from you.

Oh how CUUUUUUUTE!!! Jim Hendy is such a kidder!!
What a funny guy…SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad he’s our General Manager, why with wit like that why would any of us Cubs fans want a COMPETANT General Manager???
Happy, happy, joy, joy…so cuddly!!! PUHlease, somebody get me a brown bag I’m gonna wretch. Sometimes, Carrie I can’t help but think you type stuff like that just to get a chuckle outta me….don’t change a thing, reading between the lines is what gets me through the Hendry “Off” (his rocker) season.

That is pretty much what I feel like I read in your posts. None the less, nicely done. Didn’t see that coming. (head shake)

pman, good enough. I’ll try my best to refrain from beating the “Hendry is STILL our GM” dead horse…I’LL TRY… Even I realize it’s pretty much futile to keep venting about Hendry’s lackluster performance as a GM and handler of his employer’s money. So, I’ll TRY to move on and deal with the hand dealt… like the players on the team and how the Cubs can go forward (if at all). Such as Nady, he is supposed to add quite a bit of offense to this team but I must question how will that offense see it’s way into the line up? Is he an every day right fielder with Fukodome getting the bum’s door? Fukodome back in center at Byrd’s expense? Does Nady remain a half-time or part-time player? And if so, how does the team reap his offense if he is not getting 400 to 500 AB’s? He’s an “insurance” policy in the event of Fukodome failing? We already know Fukodome is an offensive failure but his contract, like Soriano’s leaves him as the everyday rightfielder as I don’t think he’ll ride the bench…do you? What do you think pman? And all that IF Nady responds well from his second surgery, plus he’s no centerfielder so he’s limited to right and maybe first base? Regardless of who the GM is, there seems to be a prevailing amount of questions and too little answers.

Joey, I think that if Soriano or Fukudome struggle for an extended period of time again that Lou will begin to run Nady and Fuld out instead. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nady in left, Byrd in center and Nady in right by the all start break. I doubt it’ll happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me either. I think the message is being sent to those two that they are on a short leash despite their contracts. Having said that, I don’t see the reason for being so worried about this team. I have more hope for them than last years team. It will come down to health. If key players like big Z, Ramirez, Lee and Dempster stay healthy this season, I definitely see them making the playoffs by either winning the division or the wild card. There is even an outside chance of them having one of the best years in the history of the franchise if they stay healthy. Granted, it’s a pretty small chance, but the talent is there. Like anything, it’ll take the stars aligning just right but the potential is there. I also would have done things a lot differently than Hendry as I was a huge proponent of bringing in some of the young stars the year that Soriano was signed, but despite that huge mistake there is no mistaking the fact that this team has a lot of potential. Whether they will ever realize that potential…definitely remains to be seen. I hope….

oops…I said nady twice. I’d see Fuld in right or center and then Byrd in right. Either this year or next Fuld will earn a starting spot in the outfield.

pman, who knows….if anybody is capable of a blunder the size of signing TWO Xavier Nadys when only one actually exists, it would be Hendry. C’mon…I couldn’t resist THAT dig, you left the door wide open my friend! Back to reality, I am worried about the Cubs because IF we get past the big IF of key players returning to health (which I, like you are hoping for) we still are a somewhat defensively challenged team. Soriano is bad, Byrd is just average, Fukodome is very good, Theriot is below average, Revolving door at 2b is just that, Lee is very good, Soto is average at best, Ramirez though very good may still be “different” because of last year’s injury. I think this team will be hardpressed to maintain a commanding lead in the NL Central and will be at the very least seriously challenged by St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Cincinnatti not to mention the even more talented teams from other divisions should they take the wild card or division title. You see, we need to look directly to the challenge of getting past the teams between us and the World Series, nothing short of that. And the 2010 Cubs I think are lacking what’s needed to surpass those teams not just the NL Central teams.

Joey, From top to bottom I believe the Cubs have as much talent as any team in the National League with the possible exception of the Phillies. What the Cubs are missing is that one guy who will consistently perform well and at times he will almost carry the team on his back. If nobody steps up in this type of role, the best I think they can hope for this season is to make the playoffs, but like you said we can always hope for more.
I also think you’re wrong about Milwaukee as I don’t seem them having enough pitching, but I think you’re right about St. Louis and Cincinnati being being good. The Astros might be a tough win this season as well. Having so many tough division games could be a problem for a team struggling to have a winning swagger or it could help to form them like my “overachieving” Hawkeye football team this past season. Hopefully we’ll look back on this year and say, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!”

pman, the additions of Randy Wolf, Doug Davis, LaTroy Hawkins to the already up and comining Yovani Gallardo and Manny Para plus the veteran presence of jeff Suppan and David Bush make the Brewers at least as much a contender as the Cubs. Plus, they have added Carlos Gomez to center field which I think was a smarter move than adding a Marlon Byrd (and I kind of like Byrd…) as Gomez has more speed and gives them a good lead off possibility, right? I put the Brewers and Cubs in the same boat, looking up at the Cardinals with the Reds breathing down their neck. I also think the Cards have the edge on the Cubs’ top to bottom talent just by having Holiday and Pujols as a one-two killer combo in the batting order (same for Braun/Fielder?), better than Lee and Ramirez at this stage of their careers. I think if you go positon (I mean the starting 9) by positon the Cubs may fall short next to the talent of the Cards and Brewers. The Brewers may be on the verge of having another home-grown player (Alcides Escobar, SS) come up from the ranks and solidify yet another positon and add to the offense. So where is Starlin Castro for the Cubs? If he isn’t better than the middle infield options already on the Cubs big league squad than how good can he be? It’s not like he has to beat out Derek Jeter for a spot. I’m letting the chips fall whery they may this season and at best will enjoy a few surprises here and there but am looking more forward to the middle of the season, the trade deadline etc. to see how this team will start taking form for 2011.

Joey, you make a good point about the Brewers, I had forgotten about Wolf and Davis has been a Cub killer so with their offense and a really solid rotation they do look better than the Cubs on paper. I’m not as sold on the Cards this year as you are. I think they will miss Piniero a great deal, though they do have the best pitching coach in the game so I’m sure he’ll transform some average guy into a 15 game winner, again. All in all I would say that your analysis is correct, though I hate to admit it. I do think that Blanco would be a better fit as SS this season to allow Castro time to mature physically and emotionally at the AA and/or AAA level. Who knows, maybe Blanco will develop into a fine young SS and then they can use him or Castro as trade bate?? I agree that next year should be better, but if Lee can have another great year and Ramirez does what he does when he’s healthy, then there is hope for this year too. I hate it when there are so many “ifs” in one sentence!

Awwww, c’mon pman, it doesn’t sting THAT much to admit I’m right does it? After all, I agree with you, there ARE too many ifs to feel confident about 2010, but we can keep the faith that something almost miraculous can still happen. That pitcher you’re talking about with the Cards will probably be Rich Hill (with our luck…). So I am still sold on the Cards until LaRussa or Duncan fall flat on their faces.
Keeping the faith alive is always what us Cubs fan do, and until the regime has a complete turnover we’ll need more faith than ever, I guess.

Joey, YES it DOES take that much to admit you might be right! I think it’ll be a three horse race in the central with no clear favorite at this point. The truth of the matter is, I don’t think anybody will be able to compete with the Phillies as they look amazing from top to bottom. If they have a major weakness, then I’m not seeing it! They look plain scary. I’d rather play the Yankees than the Philles. To compete or even beat them in a 5 or 7 game series would take a miracle! On a side note, against my better judgement, I’m rooting for Hill. I just hope he sucks when pitching against the Cubs.

First, I loved reading your comments guys. Nice bickering, haha

On to my real points, and that is the pathetic Brewers. Now, I may be biased as a Cubs fan living in Wisconsin, but I honestly don’t see how you (Joey) can give any credit to the Brewers pitching staff. Gallardo is the best of the whole bunch and he is still way to unproven. You say that Parra is up and coming, but he isn’t as good as Gallardo and I wouldn’t trust him either. Doug Davis as a good addition? Are you kidding me? And Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush as veteran leaders? If you mean leading the league in highest ERA, then yes. Wolf hasn’t ever put together a really solid season, so at best he will perform about as well as Jason Marquis when he was a Cub. The Crew has ONE pitcher who is worth his weight in cow manure, and that is their world-class closer in Hoffman. They can win games with their fire power only if their pitching doesn’t absolutely suck, which it probably will. Our pitching staff, arm-for-arm, dominates theirs without a doubt in my mind (and many of my Brewers fan friends’ as well.)
I agree with the approach the Cubs are taking to Castro right now. He’s still VERY young. Bring him up too early, a la Patterson and Pie, and his talent will be wasted by high expectations and he will be shipped to the Orioles and our old buddy MacPhail.
Carlos Gomez was a good acquisition by the Brewers, but I am actually a big Marlon fan. He had a solid year last year, and played well when Hamilton was down, which was when he really needed to.
Ramirez is an RBI machine and we all know that. If he stays healthy and has a good 1-2-3 in front of him, he’ll drive in close to 150 without a problem. The latter part of that IF is a big one, because his success is directly linked to Theriot, Fukudome and Lee at the top. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Fukudome, Byrd and Lee 1-2-3 with Theriot in the 7 spot, but thats just me. Soto looks like he’ll come back and play like an all-star again, giving Soriano and, consequently, Ramirez, some much needed protection.
I am one of the many fans who would have loved to see Orlando Hudson suiting up at second this year, but if the organization has faith in Blanco and Fontenot at the spot, then I’ll trust it just to save costs.
This team isn’t perfect, but I still like our rotation more than any other in the NL Central and I like our 3-4-5’s potential (A BIG IF!) just as much as the rest of the league.

Still too many big “IF’S” for my taste. ESPECIALLY our pitching staff.

I didn’t say Davis was a good addition, I said adding him along with the other players I mentioned makes the Brewers as much a contender as the Cubs. All I’m trying to say is the Cubs are not the dominant team in the NL Central and I wouldn’t be surprised if all teams but the Pirates give the Cubs a run for their money. And until Pujols, Holliday and Wrainnwright (excuse the spelling?) turn into the Cardinal’s version of Soriano, Fukodome and Zambrano I think the Cards are THE team to beat. And what does being a big Marlon fan have to do with the fact that the Brewers acquired a better center feilder/lead-off man? I like Marlon too, in fact much better than I like either Fukodome, Soriano, or Bradley (gag.). Still, Hendry didn’t exactly fill the glaring hole of a very good centerfielder and lead-off man with the addition of Byrd. He certainly improved from last year’s abysmal Bradley signing but once you hit bottom like that most anything will be considered an improvement. Obviously I hope I’m wrong and we leave the Brewers and all your Brewer buddies in the dust. Hope and Change, Hope and Change….One day we can all sit back and laugh at our petty differences and comments AS WE GO NUTS CELEBRATING THE BIGGEST EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND……CUBS WIN!!! CUBS WIN!!! CUBS WIN!!!

Haha, I forgot to finish my thought on Byrd. I think he fills the hole Hendry was trying to fill: center field. He wasn’t looking for a leadoff hitter, which is why he fits as well as Gomez would have. I’m not sure about their arms, respectively, but they can both hit a decent average with some pop at times, and they play center. If Hendry had been looking for a leadoff hitter, this would have been a bad choice. I like Gomez more, because I think we need a better leadoff hitter than Theriot, but if you look at what Hendry was looking to fill, he did his job.

I think you’re wrong about the Brewers pitching staff being a gagg there beemer. I don’t think they’re better than the Cubs, but they certainly aren’t worthless. Davis is a Cub killer as well. However the biggest thing they have going for them is their offensive power and consistency. I’m really excited, however, about Jarmillo’s approach for the Cubs to have more of an offensive swagger. Hopefully that’ll put them over the edge and help them to consistently put pressure on the opposing pitchers.

beemer, what positions Hendry is looking to fill and the positions he SHOULD be looking to fill are two different things. I agree, he did fill the position he was looking to fill which was somebody better than Fukodome in centerfield, better than the Bradley train wreck…another bold move by Hendry. When you set your own bar low enough by signing players like Soriano, Bradley, & Fukodome it sure makes it easier to bring in better people to fill the holes you created in the first place. I’m glad to hear you at least consider Gomez a better pick up as he would have filled the two glaring holes and not just the one. pman, I agree that the Brewers starting staff may not be quite as good as the Cubs but with Zambrano being either hot or cold and Lilly missing a month or so and Wells being a sophomore we don’t have much breathing room don’t you think?

pman, I think Lee and or Ramirez are the closet we have for counting on solid years based on track records and no knock to either they but are now at the point of their career that injuries become more probable than possible. Soriano?
Bad defensive track record and hot/cold offensive track record. Byrd? His “break out” year was last year but is it a track record? No. Fukodome? A no offense, good defense track record equals “let’s get Nady just in case”, not exactly a ringing endorsement. Theriot? Decent track record at best but nothing to get excited about. Fontenot/Baker? Inconsistent track record, grabbing at straws. Soto? Kind of similar to Byrd. I actually have more confidence in Byrd picking up the offense in 2010 than anybody else. He seems to be young and athletic enough and showed real good promise during his short career, he’s just not the dynamo fielder or lead-off man I think the Cubs NEED and have been lacking under Hendry’s tenure. I just feel Hendry puts a little too much stock in offensive prowess and not enough in other aspects of the game such as speed, defense and lead-off prowess…but I digress and am coming ever-so-close to breaking another record (pman)!!!

I agree that there isn’t much breathing room, but like the rest of the roster, there is a ton of potential. The problem with most of the Cubs roster is a lack of proven reliable performance. There isn’t one player on the entire team that going into the season we assume will be in the All Star Game or will be contending for the Cy Young award. There are a lot of guys who should be in that conversation every year, but none of them are able to consistently perform to that level. The Cubs might have five or six guys at the All Star Game or they might have one again… That’s what makes the team this year exciting and it’s what could make them disappointing as well. In short, I’m just not sure what to expect, but there certainly is plenty of reason to hope for a good year!

Carrie-who would have thought “Geaux Saints” would have had such legs?!?!???? Nice job tying the Superbowl to your Cubs blog…it got us all the way to spring training!!

I agree that there are certain players that seem to have a knack for destroying the Cubs (I.E: Carlos Lee) but I find it hard to imagine Davis as being one of those. I actually find it hard to believe that any player can really be a great against just one team in particular. We also haven’t faced Davis really for a couple years while he was in AZ. I still argue that the Brewers staff is severely lacking and, as I’ve said before, by die-hard crew fans agree. It is better than last year, but still not daunting. (Now the Reds… that staff could be scary.
And joey, I totally agree: Hendry SHOULD have been looking for a new leadoff guy. But he wasn’t, so he did what he WAS doing. So, saying that Hendry was wrong, I agree with. But lets not knock Byrd. He has good upside (as has been mentioned) and he should be more reliable than Parker Brothers… I mean, Milton Bradley.
Basically, I agree with pman… this year has huge potential to please and huge potential to disappoint. I am leaning towards pleasing, but that is because I am a Cubs fan; eternal optimism is all I have to bank on!

Beemer, I believe the Cubs faced Davis twice last year and lost to him both times??? (Is that correct Carrie??) I know in the last couple of years the Cubs have done a very bad job of being patient against guys who don’t have a great fast ball, but try to sneak slower pitches by the batters and Davis is that kind of pitcher. He seems to be extremely successful against the Cubs despite the fact that they tend to be patient at the plate and pick their pitches to hit. I don’t get it, but I’m pretty sure I’m right about Davis being a Cub killer the last couple of years and I think that played a part in the Brewers signing him. Hopefully Jaramillo will be able to turn that trend around.

Davis has a 9-6 record and 3.20 ERA in his career vs. the Cubs, and yes, he did beat them twice in 2009: April 29, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 7 K; and again Oct. 4, 8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 5 K.

I stand corrected on the recent times we’ve faced him.🙂
pman, you raise an excellent point about the patience that we lack at the plate with guys like Davis. My real point is that Davis doesn’t scare me. He’s got two years in his career with records over .500, each year by only one game. His ERA is respectable, but we should beat .500 pitchers, and we will need to to win this division.

Beemer, I don’t think I ever knocked Byrd, just the opposite, I believe I stated I like Byrd better than Soriano, Fukodome and Bradley (DON’T forget…..the gag!). I am however knocking Hendry (sorry pman) for going about his continual quest for outfielders the wrong way. If he only started out by acquiring Byrd a few years back instead of Soriano, Fukodome and Bradley the Cubs would be better off both fiscally and productivley. I like Byrd and am glad he is a Cub even now. He can only help the team but not in the best way and the most needed way that being a centerfielder and a lead-off hittter. What choice do we have but to give Hendry the benefit of the doubt, he’s still the GM and maybe he can clear a roster spot by dumping Soriano, move Byrd to left and go get a lead-off centerfielder? Do you think (I know…not gonna happen but..) the Cubs would be better off with left to right: Byrd, Fuld and Fukodome?

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