Sunday, January 18, 2009

Same Old, Same Old...

The Cubs Convention is over and most of what I have heard is not a surprise. According to Melissa Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune, the tone was subdued with a hint of boredom.

The Bleed Cubbie Blue site reported that there were not many surprises during the Q&A sessions. Crane Kenney took the blame for having the priest blessing the dugout. He said the blessing was for good health, not necessarily to break the curse. I don't believe it, and I would have rather heard him own the fact that he believes in the curse.

They also mentioned that the Chicago Hilton & Towers may be too small to host the event. I have personally wondered why they have not moved to a larger facility. Frankly, I believe they could draw 250,000 people during the weekend by holding it at McCormick Place or another larger facility. (The current estimate of passes sold I have seen is 60,000, which I figure to be at least in the ballpark of accurate.) I'd rather they sold more passes to raise revenue than continue to raise my ticket prices.

Lou Piniella is reading some books while looking for answers to change the Cubs' inept performances in the playoffs the last two years. That says to me that Lou has no friggin' idea how it would be any different this year, and that scares the hell out of me. If Lou has no answers in mind after all of his experience, I'm not sure how a book or two is going to help anything.

The one true surprise came when pitching coach, Larry Rothschild seemed to contradict himself and the Cubs position when discussing Rich Harden's health. Supposedly Harden has been on a rigorous strength and conditioning program for his shoulder that will enable him to avoid surgery on his shoulder. Yet, after saying how Rich is throwing the ball well, he said, "'He's not close to throwing off a mound yet. There's some issues there, no question.''

So Harden is on course to not miss any time when pitchers and catchers report in less than a month, but he's not close to throwing from a mound? This is typical Cubs-speak and my interpretation is that he will miss most of the spring, and probably be left behind in Arizona at the start of the season for a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, the Cubs traded the last "phenom" from the Cubs' farm system, Felix Pie, to Baltimore for what appears to be the equivalent of pocket lint. I don't know much about the prospect they got in return, but Garrett Olson has just under a 7.00 ERA over the last two years. That is not good, nor is it in the vicinity of good. For comparison, Bob Howry had an ERA of 5.35 and just about everyone hated seeing him come into a game last year, so you can imagine how we will feel about Olson.

Lastly, Kerry Wood took out a couple of full page ads in the Trib and Sun-Times to thank Chicago fans for their support and to say goodbye as he moves on to Cleveland. In leaving Chicago, he once again shows the difference between himself and Mark Prior. Class all the way. I found a better version of the 20K montage I posted earlier. Don't watch it if you are easily depressed by what could have been. Thanks, Kerry.


Arnold said...

Zamboni's going to kick butt after his Lasik is finished.

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