Saturday, June 21, 2008
It's June 21st, the Summer Solstice (or whatever that is called). Saturday is the longest day of the year, so I figured I could spare a little extra time to post a few game notes and thoughts. I also have to discuss something that bothers me like crazy, and I want to know how you feel about it.
The Cubs are "celebrating" 100 years since they last won a World Series championship this season. It is being made a big deal. The Cubs have forever been known as the Loveable Cubs, and they have that Curse of the Billy Goat, Bartman and all that. I read a lot of baseball articles online and the Cubs are also frequently discussed on sports shows. Apparently the general consensus is that the Cubs are America's team. Everyone wants them to win this year. Everyone, that is, except for me! I don't want them to win the World Series.
Why would I want that? I really think the only time in my lifetime that I have liked the Cubs was back in the Jerome Walton/Dwight Smith Era! But why are these Cubs so loveable? Why is everyone cheering for them? Why does everyone hate the Yankees?
What? Why did I just mention the Yankees? Well, the Yankees are hated for two reasons, 1.) they spend a crazy amount of money and 2.) they have been very successful for the last dozen years and really since acquiring Babe Ruth. Well, what have the Chicago Cubs done in the last couple of years in an attempt to win? That's right, they have spent a lot like the Yankees! In 2000, their Opening Day payroll was $62 million. They were at $118 million to start the 2008 season. Who is making the money?
Carlos Zambrano is making $15 million this year, the first of a five year, $91 million deal. I don't mind this so much because he came up through the Cubs system.
Aramis Ramirez is making $14 million this year as part of a five year, $75 million deal.
Alfonso Soriano is only making $13 million this year, the second year of an eight year, $136 million contract. In 2007 and 2008, he makes relatively small amounts, but he will make $16 million in 2009, and $18 million each year from 2010 to 2014. Crazy!
Derrek Lee is making $13 million. He will make that same amount for two more years as part of his five year, $65 million contract.
Ted Lilly, a solid #3 or #4 starter signed a four year, $40 million before last season. He will make only $12 million in 2007 and 2008, so he is about to get really spendy too!
Kosuke Fukodome came to the US from Japan and the Cubs gave him four years and $48 million.
Ryan Dempster (3 years, $15.5 million), Jason Marquis (3 years, $21 million), Mark Derosa (3 years, $13.5 million) and two relievers, Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre are making a combined $23 million over a three year period.
How about giving backup catcher Henry Blanco two years and $5.25 million (with a $3 million option) for 2009? That is insane and should make Twins fans thrilled about having Mike Redmond at about $1 million.
The Cubs signed WR/Pitcher Jeff Samardzija a five year, $10 million major league deal, just to keep him away from football.
Add in the fact that they are going with Jim Edmonds as a primary CF option and you've got a highly paid, aging team that will win some games. But when it comes to the playoffs, it's all a crap shoot anyway. Things happen. The Curse of the Billy Goat? I don't know, but now that the Cubs have become the Yankees, I am good with whatever it is that keeps the Cubs from winning.
I have no problem if people like the Cubs, but let's please not forget how they are doing this. In my mind, it is about the process to get there. I appreciate teams that go about winning by building from within and developing players and retaining players and complimenting your team with a free agent or two. It's annoying and frustrating when an organization is simply trying to buy a championship.
What are your thoughts on the Cubs?
TWINS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Any other Twins thoughts?
Twins Minor League Updates
Thursday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Jason Pridie, Rochester Red Wingss
Thursday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Angelo Sanchez, GCL Twins
Thursday – Rochester 7, Indianapolis 8 – Bobby Korecky has gone back to Mr. Hittable since his return to the Red Wings. He takes the loss with another blown save in this one. He came into the game in the 8th with a two run lead and did not give up a run that inning, but he gave up three runs in the 9th. Francisco Liriano started and gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk in just five innings. He did strike out seven. Casey Daigle then went 1.2 scoreless innings. Jason Pridie had a big game. He was a single away from the cycle. He hit his ninth double, eighth triple and fifth home run in five at bats. Ryan Jorgenson went 2-3 with a walk. Darnell McDonald went 2-3 with two walks.
BONUS - Jim Mandelaro reported that the Twins sold Chris Basak to the Scranton/Wilkes Barre. More for Red Wings fans to apparently be upset about. Yes, I did comment my thoughts, so check those out.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Thursday – New Britain 2, Connecticut 4 – The Rockcat bats managed just three hits in this game. David Winfree hit a two run homer (his 12th) in the ninth inning. Drew Butera hit his 13th double. Ryan Mullins started for the Rockcats and went five innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and five walks. Frank Mata walked three (and struck out two) in his three shutout innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Thursday – Miracle 3, Sarasota 4 – Tyler Robertson returned to the mound and it was as if he hadn't left. Limited to four innings, he gave up no runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out five. Matt Williams now has an ERA in the Florida State League. He gave up two runs and two hits and a walk in three innings. Jose Lugo takes the loss. He gave up a run on two hits and a walk in one inning. Blair Erickson gave up a run on two hits, and struck out two, in his inning. Yangervis Solarte went 2-4. Danny Berg hit his third home run.
Thursday – Beloit 5, Peoria 1 – David Bromberg picked up his fifth win of the year with another solid outing. In 5.2 innings, he gave up one run on seven hits and a walk. He struck out five. Brian Kirwan gave up a hit and a walk in his 1.1 innings. Loek Van Mil walked two in a scoreless eighth frame. Spencer Steedley threw a perfect ninth. Paul Kelly went 2-4, and Joe Benson went 2-5. Estarlin De Los Santos hit a two-run triple.
Thursday – E-Twins 4, Pulaski 1 – Bobby Lanigan made his first professional start in this game and helped the E-Twins improve to 4-0. Lanigan went the first four innings without allowing a run. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out seven. Lee Martin got the win as he gave up one run on four hits over the next three innings. Mark Hamburger recorded the save by throwing two innings of shutout baseball. He gave up one hit and struck out two. Another 2008 draft pick, Evan Bigley, went 2-4 with his first double. 2007 pick Andrew Schmiesing went 2-4 with a walk, his first double, first homer and three RBI.
GCL TWINS TALK
Thursday – GCL Twins 7, GCL Orioles 3 – Venezuelan Angelo Sanchez started and threw five shutout innings. He allowed four hits, but he walked none and struck out five. Moscow-native Andrei Lobanov came in and gave up two runs on four hits in 2.1 innings, but the timing was right for him to get the win. 2008 pick Alex Curry got the final two outs of the 8th inning, although he gave up a run on two hits and a walk first. Kelvin Mota, from the Dominican Republic, threw a scoreless ninth. Andres Diaz led the offense by going 3-5 with his first double. Reggie Williams went 3-4 with a walk and his second double, his second good game out of two so far!
Have a great weekend!