Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Chairman Fell Off His Rocker........

So yesterday out of his cave comes “The Chairman” for a long 30-40 min sit down interview on a local television program and says the following about the disaster (as he stated) of this Bulls season:
“But if there’s one person that is not responsible for what’s going on right now, it’s John Paxson. I have tremendous confidence in John Paxson. He’s really one of the best people that I know. He’s a great general manager and a great judge of talent. I just worry that he not be too hard on himself. He takes all of this very, very seriously.”
Jerry, I love ya and you’ve brought alot of joy to Bulls/Sox fans over the years…..but to be polite…you’re out of your freakin’ mind!!
How is John Paxson not responsible for what’s going on right now with the Bulls? That’s like saying Jerry Angelo isn’t to blame for the lack of production out of the quarterback position. That’s like saying Kenny Williams can’t be blamed for the lack of a strong center fielder since the departure of the fire and passion. That’s like saying that every general manager since 1908 can’t be blamed for 100 years of misery on the north side of town.
The job of a general manager as I understand it is to place the pieces and let it play out on the field and your success is based on how those pieces fair in the game. So, let’s look at the success of John Paxson.
Paxson was named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in April of 2003. During his tenure….the Bulls have gone:* 213-244 (31 games under .500)* 3 Playoff Appearances (remember…the east is weak)* Of those 3 playoff appearances (2 first round exits…and 1 semifinals exit)* Now on his 5th head coach in as many years (Cartwright/Meyers(twice interim)/Skiles/Boylan/Del Negro)* 5 times you’ve drafted in the top 10 in the NBA Draft (Hinrich/Gordon/Aldridge/Noah/Rose) and on top of that you’ve traded for Tyrus Thomas (#4 pick) and Luol Deng (#7 pick) in the their respectable drafts.
Paxson is one of three current general managers who have had the position for 5 years or more and still have yet to win a division/conference/league title (Chris Wallace {Memphis} Ernie Grunfeld {Washington}.)
Jerry….maybe you’re right though cause after all Paxson took over a team that went 30-52 the year before he took over and since then you’ve been in the big dance 3 times since. Isn’t Paxson the guy who brought in the core of your current roster right now though?? Let’s look at the roster today:Luol Deng - traded for by Paxson in 2004 draftDrew Gooden - traded for Ben Wallace (oh yeah…remember that signing Jerry)Ben Gordon - drafted by PaxsonAaron Gray - drafted by PaxsonKirk Hinrich - drafted by PaxsonLarry Hughes - traded for Ben Wallace (yeah…he’s a cancer)Lindsey Hunter - please…..Joakim Noah - drafted by PaxsonAndres Nocioni - drafted by PaxsonDerrick Rose - drafted by PaxsonThabo Sefolosha - drafted by PaxsonCedric Simmons - traded for Ben WallaceTyrus Thomas - traded for in 2006 NBA Draft (LaMarcus Aldridge)
Alright Jerry….of those 13 players…9 of them were acquired in the draft. You say that Paxson is a great general manager and a great judge of talent. Where’s the talent?
Let’s face it Jerry….what can you trade from this stack of garbage“talent” that would bring you back anything in return? Remember also that Paxson wouldn’t give up the rights to ”any of his young players” for Pau Gasol when Memphis was looking to trade the big man. How’s Gasol looking in LA?? Pretty good if you ask me… the Bulls have needed a big man that can score since………………?
Jerry, if you could please tell me why Scott Skiles decided to walk out again? Yes, I believe he walked and you didn’t fire him….but if I recall it was because those young players quit on the coach. Those young players that quit on Skiles were all Paxson draft picks right? Well….you gotta figure that Paxson would send a message to those players by getting rid of some of em so the next coach that comes in won’t have that problem. I knew it was Chris Duhon too….thank god he’s now on the Knicks(averaging a career high in points/assists per game). Yeah…he held the Bulls back. He’s also playing for that coach….gosh….what’s his name again. Wasn’t he gonna come coach the Bulls…..Mike D’Antoni THAT’S HIS NAME!!! You had to open your mouth about his defensive philosophy and he headed to the NYC.
Jerry…let me get this straight again. Between 5 head coaches, an under .500 record in a weak eastern conference, a 53-75 record since your last playoff appearance and not one of your draft picks turning into true “talent” or a leader for this organization….Paxson isn’t responsible?
I remember that shot in the 1993 NBA Finals. What a great moment for the franchise, a 3-peat with the greatest player in history on your team. However I think you look at Paxson and his performance as GM of your team with rose-colored glasses.
Jerry…you need to accept reality. You have a bad team full of selfish players with a rookie head coach and a GM that sticks by his draft picks like they’re his kids where he’ll support them fully. This team is gonna go no where unless Paxson grows some and rebuilds this team starting by letting go of some of his kids and build around Derrick Rose…..the only player you have that has heart on this roster.
All in all….Jerry…..stop playing favorites and get this team back to respectability starting with getting rid of your buddy ol pal Johhny Pax.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

10 Things I'd Rather Do Than Watch Bulls Basketball

#10 - Read A Book On Dirk Nowitzki The best part is it's written in German.....and I don't speak a lick of it. Wo ist das Badezimmer? #9 - Watch The First Round Of The Austrailian Open - The Men's Side

Ouch!! #8 - Get Rick Roll'd OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and..............

and over and over and over and over......AHHHHHHH!!! #7 - BUY COLLECTOR EDITIONS OF WEEKLY WORLD NEWS Gotta get that Sarah Palin is really a man issue!! #6 - Become This Guy's Agent...

wonder if comcast is hiring? #5 - Listen To The Eagles.......... (*cough*) #4 - Write A Three Page Blog On Combovers In Sports might as well be productive since the Bulls can't be. #3 - Do Laundry #2 - Eat Shards Of Broken Glass While Watching Re-Runs Of Maury

and finally.... #1 - Sit Down With A Glass Of Falanghina White, Light A Fire, Turn On My Computer And Watch Classic DEL NEGRO!!!!

When does baseball start? -RoCk

Fox News Still Coming To Gripps That Our President Is Black...sad

I really feel sorry for the people at Fox News. It's a fucking popular song....but the black people don't like Bush....therefore it's news.
Yet another reason why Fox News should be considered satire rather than substance.

Fox News Yet Again Grasping At Straws To Bring Down Obama..sad

Last time I checked....don't you have to pay a fee to get FoxNews?
You think the performers of at the memorial had talent fees to perform? Maybe HBO paying for the talent? That never came up in this 7 min waste of air. Even the douche sitting next to her wasn't interested......body language people!!
Again....Satire....not substance.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Victim Of PPM....Indie 103.1 FM

Indie 103.1 FM was indeed a favorite station of mine and on Thursday it crumbled to the ground thanks to the all new Arbitron approved PPM meters. Oh how those tiny little meters have changed radio across the land. It almost wants me to scream for the ol school diary days.

For those that are out of the loop....PPM meters are the new Arbitron diaries. How radio is rated is random people from all random ranges are asked to wear these little meters (about the size of a pager) on them at all times of the day. What happens is that the meter picks up on all radio signals and makes a record of what that person listened to/at what times/for how long..etc. It used to be that people would recieve diaries (surveys) in the mail and they would fill them out and mail them back....and that was how radio was rated.

Keep in mind that broadcasters make their contracts based on ratings....everything is based on them in fact. People who work in sales bring paperwork of ratings in every imaginable demo (market) to prospective sponsors for advertising.

Now PPM is the new big thing....Arbitron believes it gives a better gague on who listens to what and we can get a better sense of how a radio station really rates.

We used to complain in the business that diaries weren't the way to go cause people would fill the thing out and just put "all day" on it or draw a line down which in turn tells arbitron that you listen all day everyday.

Now PPM's are a little controversial because like the diary where people weren't guaranteed to fill em out in the first place......PPM meters must be worn to record.

Now, I'm a 27 year old male who listens to alot of radio.....If I was asked to wear something on me for an extended period of time just so some guy sitting behind a mic can make a few extra you....I probably would mail it back or disregard it all together.

This I believe is what caused the fall of Indie 103.1. You're asking young adults who listen to alternative/rock music to wear a pager at all times? Come on....

Common sense would tell you that's not going to happen....yet Entravision who owns Indie 103.1 decided to hold a meeting on Thursday and fire everybody.

From a person in a market that uses PPM.....GM's and PD's shouldn't be so quick on the trigger finger. This technology isn't even a year old yet in Chicago, yet PD's and GM's are making staff changes to "improve programming."

Just like everything else, you need to give it time. At least a year for gosh sakes. But I guess with a sluggish economy, CEO's not willing to take a pay cut to save people's jobs/lively-hood and big time business running radio (not neccessarily understanding how to run it however), it's a bad time to be unique in a world where it seems it's all the same already.

God bless stations like Indie 103.1 FM......unfortunate for them to be cast off like they were, but that's business...right?


Pain Is So Hard To Forget....Unless You're A Cubs Fan

Welcome to yet another edition to the Rock Report weekend edition.....don't need to pay a cent for this one folks....just make sure you're ISP bill gets mailed on time.

So this weekend brings the Cubs Convention back to downtown Chicago. OH YEAH!! I can wait in line for an hour to get Mike Fontenot's autograph!!!


Fan conventions are nice and they give people that may not make it out to games at Wrigley a chance to get "up close and personal" with their favorite players/coaches. The pep-rally attitude of the whole experience along with $5 dollar hot dogs, large crowds mixing kids and parents with autograph seekers who are merely getting the signature to make a quick buck. It's alot of unexpected tension, bordom, and disappointment for me when I don't get to do/see what I want because you have to wait for hours and hours. It's like going to Great America and maybe getting on 4 rides in 6 hours of waiting for 45 seconds of a thrill. Wouldn't you rather just go bowling or something? It'd probably be cheaper.

Now fan conventions are around to celebrate the team as well. Looking forward to another great season of Cubs baseball........right? The Cubs Convention program includes the following quote:

" Baseball's popularity is at an all-time high and the Cubs are coming off their greatest season in generations. "

Cubs fans....please tell me you haven't forgotten the last 2 years of Cubs baseball. Great season....yes.....postseason....HELL NO!!

Remember this feeling....

Cubs fans....remember how you felt when the final out was cast in game 3 against the Dodgers as Alfonso Sorriano struck out on 3 straight pitches. Remember how the Cubs got outscored 20-6 in 3 games against you remember?

Remember talking to your friends the next day, reading comments on blogs around the net, calling the Score and saying you're done with this team. Why should you spend your entire summer waining on every pitch and living through the daily crisis that is Cubs baseball only to have high hopes going into the postseason and your heart broken again in October. It's kinda like a girl that you dated and loved in high both move on to up later in life....share a good time or two.....and then she cheats on ya but comes back and admits her mistake...."Oh, i'll be better, i'll never do it to you again."

Cubs fans....they've cheated on you for 100 years....but do you remember the pain? Do you remember that wound being opened yet again with another early exit from the postseason? Do you remember or are you so blind as a Cubs fan that you fit into every stereotype there is about being a loveable loser?

If you're headed to the Cubs Convention this weekend, I'm not going to ask you to be angry. I'm not going to ask you to be upset, I'm not going to ask you to be the buzzkill.

When you see Lou Piniella and he says to forget the past and look forward. When you see Alfonso Soriano and you cheer and cheer knowing that there is no doubt he will be your leadoff hitter once again. When you see Milton Bradley introduced and you know he's an injury prone designated hitter playing right field at Wrigley all year.

Remember and make sure to not forget the past.

Don't be fooled yet again.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wanna Make A Bet?

The crescendo of the NFL playoffs is this weekend.....the Super Bowl is too much of a phony spectacle to count as the crescendo to me.

Are you excited to see if Kurt Warner can return to the big game?

Can you imagine if Donovan McNabb gets another shot at glory?

How about a rookie QB in Joe Flacco doing the impossible and taking his 6th seeded team to the promised land?

And then there is the Pittsburgh Steelers...champions of 2 seasons ago trying to return to the pinnacle of the NFL for the sixth time in their history.

The storylines are endless for this coming weekend that the fact that it's just two football games gets lost in a sea of what this player Brian Westbrook Anquan Boldin ready to go....has Big Ben recovered fully from a late season will Rex Ryan scheme Ray Lewis/Ed Reed and that defense this week.

But the stories that I enjoy are the ones that involve people outside the inner circle of the remaining four nfl teams. For example....the Mayors of Glendale, Arizona and Philadelphia, PA have made their bet for the upcoming game on sunday.

If the Cardinals win - Philly would have to buy Cerreta Chocolate for everyone on the Philly city council as well as the mayor of Philly wearing a Cardinals jersey at the next city council meeting and treat a school class to a Cardinals home game next season.
If The Eagles win - Hersey's Chocolate for everyone on the Glendale city council plus the Mayor will wear a Eagles jersey in the next city council meeting and treat some Philly kids to a game in Philly next season.

If you ask me....that sorta a lame bet. Why not a ride with Shaq in his new whip......or a cameo in the next Rocky movie or something like that. Chocolate and wearing a jersey is sorta kindergarten if you ask me.

The best story however that I've seen so far from this past week is the Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA changing his name in honor of the game this coming weekend. Mayor Luke Ravensthal officially changed his name to Luke Steelerstahl for the remainder of the week and will not change it back till at least the end of the AFC Championship game.

Now some in the media that I've seen in the past couple of days (print/tv/radio) are calling this guy a total idiot and this has gone too far. Of course it's all about getting himself some pub....but this guy is a football junkie. He played high school football at North Catholic High in Pittsburgh....Graduated from Washington & Jefferson College which is also where Roger Goodell graduated from....and he was arrested outside Heinz Field in 2005 after getting into an altercation with a cop. His name ends in 'stahl' which is german for...........Steel.

To me this guy isn't an idiot/moron/dumbass/bonehead/nincompoop/dunce/dork/geek or any other word you may want to use......he's a "Superfan."

Mayor Luke Steelerstahl got me thinking though....say the Bears/Sox/Cubs/Hawks/Bulls make it to the Super Bowl/World Series/Stanley Cup Finals/NBA Finals.....what should Mayor Daley do that would trump what Mayor Steelerstahl has done with his personal last name?

Of course depending on the city our team would be about Daley agree to volunteer Ronnie Woo Woo for for public speaking engagements around the city we're betting against.

Or how about Mayor Daley bet the 2016 Olympic bid because frankly no one who lives in Chicago wants it.

Wouldn't mind losing that one if you ask me.

Or how about this...

Daley could offer the services of one Steve Perry (ex-Journey) to annoy the hell out of the crowds at the celebration parade.

Now that's a bet!!!


The Steroid Era And Baseball's Grand Shrine

So yesterday the Baseball Hall Of Fame announced that they will be enshrining two new members this coming July to their home in Cooperstown, NY.
"The Greatest Leadoff Hitter In History" Ricky Henderson

Saturday, January 10, 2009

BCS/Cubs/Sox/NHL...and Rick Pitino? Rock Report Weekend Edition!!

I figure with the start of the year, and a little snow on the ground.....every Saturday I'll post a little random thoughts type blog here on the all new much improved vanilla scented So, here's my random thoughts for Saturday January 10, 2009.

Congratulations to the Florida Gators and Tim Tebow on winning their 2nd national title in the last 3 seasons. I'm sure it was an exciting game...i tuned in from time to time to check the score but had really no interest in watching the game itself. College football may not be my cup of tea, but apparently the game did anywhere near a 20-25 share in the nielsen ratings. Football in general (college or pro) dominates television ratings like no other sport in our culture. Does that mean that football is our new national pastime? I think football does better overall than any other sports because there is a week separation from games. and for this game it was a month of hype. The Superbowl has 2 weeks in between for hype and still does great numbers....but the BCS title game has a whole month. Try doing that with baseball....can you? I don't think so. I'm not going to say football is better than any of our other sports, but people that say that football ratings shatter any other sport because it is better than any other sport are just insane. If baseball was only on the weekends rather than everyday, I'm sure the ratings would be higher than they are currently. So, for people to bring ratings into the arguement that football is the best sport in America....please stop.

For the most part the Chicago White Sox have been pretty quiet this off season and now it's starting to bother me as a Sox fan. I see name after name being swept up from other teams and I start to wonder is the economy really going to hold back my team from going out and getting a free agent or two? I trust Kenny Williams as I'm sure most Sox fans do but it's almost a month away from those four words "Pitchers And Catchers Report." While the Indians has bolstered their roster with names like Kerry Wood, Mark DeRosa, Carl Pavano...the Sox have added Dayan Viciedo, Wilson Betemit, and Jason Nix. Just from those 6 names I just mentioned it seems Kenny is going young and cheap...dare I say "These Kids Can Play 2009?" I guess I can't be disappointed since I seemed to be the only one on the station last year calling for take a year off and get rid of the old and expensive and build your horrible minors cause the Indians have it all wrapped up.....well, that didn't work out as the Sox of course went on to win the division somehow someway. I like what Kenny is doing, but normally every offseason he makes one move that makes me feel good as a Sox fan that makes me look forward to the new year. Swisher last year for example.....but this offseason may be one that I wanted to see last year but am having trouble coming to terms with. Kenny....if you're reading this.....two words...Ben Sheets!!!

Now that Mark Cuban aparently is out of the bidding for the Chicago Cubs, is it just me or are the final 3 bidders for the franchise just not as exciting as Cuban? I know with Mark Cuban comes alot of exposure and excitment and fun and the bleacher bums would rejoice in pools of Old Style and sun tan lotion. Have you looked at the list of the final 3?? The founder of Ameritrade, a guy who directs IMAX, and a real estate guy from South Africa. OH BOY...NOW THAT SCREAM EXCITEMENT!!! Maybe it's me since I work in the "media" of this town...but the mere thought of any of these 3 guys owning the Cubs makes me yawn. It's just funny to me now that Mark Cuban is out of the deal it's just not interesting anymore. It's like when you're expecting that big toy at Christmas and you get new pairs of socks. Sucks.

I know that hockey is slowly becoming one of the top 3 sports in this town with the wonderful story that is the Chicago Blackhawks this season. But in an age where we always seem to rip on voting for all-star games in each of the 4 major sports.....why is there no outrage over the NHL All Star Game rosters? Have you cared to look at the rosters. Here's a simple rundown for you as far as the stating lineups.


Sidney Crosby (Pit)/Evgani Malkin (Pit)/Alexei Kovalev (Mon)/Andrei Markov (Mon)/Mike Komisarek (Mon)/Carey Price (Mon)


Patrick Kane (Chi)/Jonathan Toews (Chi)/Ryan Getzlaf (Ana)/Brian Campbell (Chi)/Scott Niedermayer (Ana)/Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Ana)

I know hockey is a game of line changes and such and you'll have multiple players out there from time to time....but during the starting lineups at the pregame which I always enjoy'll have 4 teams represented for 12 players. Does this seem odd to anyone else besides me? Ovechkin, Iginla, Modano, Thornton, Datsyuk....some of the bigger names in the sport.....not starters? WHAT?? Also...only 2 members of the San Jose Sharks (30-5-5 this year...19-0-2 at team in the NHL) but you have 3 members of the Ducks who are 18 points behind the Sharks?? All star voting by the fans should be banned in every sport. Period. This is a perfect example of why. The 2nd best team in the East only has one guy going....rediculous. you've for sure seen blogs where they have caption contests on a funny picture that they come let's try that here and see if we can get some convo going amongst the readers. Here's your picture and comment a caption you would attach to it.

Best caption, I'm sure I can hook you up with a Mully and Hanley T-Shirt or something.

Thanks for reading the Rock Report!!! Appreciate all the feedback I've been getting by e-mail and Facebook.


Thursday, January 8, 2009


So tonight is:

If all the hype is true that this game is gonna be one to remember....why do I yawn at the mere mention that it's on tonight and interrupting my usual Thursday night helping of Kitchen Nightmares on FOX?

I can't understand why I simply can't get into watching an entire college football game....especially one that means so much for the sport itself. Maybe it's just the way I was raised. My parents never went to a major university although my father believes Harper College is a big deal. I also grew up in the heart of the Big 12 in Fort Worth, Texas.....which btw is home to the eleventh ranked Horned Frogs of Texas Christian.....need to make sure everyone in this town knows what I speak of. Even when I was in high school, no one I knew followed college sports like they did when it came to the friday night lights of high school football. People I grew up around could name the top 10 high school teams in baseball in the state of texas and each teams' trainer, but they didn't know who Desmond Howard was. Don't say it's just the crowd I hung around with though...I hung around with everyone (jocks, geeks, nerds, rich, poor, white, black, hispanic, asian, punks, fat, slim, etc.) That's simply not the case.

I've been trying to figure this out ever since I moved back to Illinois in 2002 and got into sportsradio in 2003. Why do college sports, especially football, seem inferior to me or lack the same excitment I have for the other 4 major sports?

Take tonight for have two teams who have NEVER faced each other. Oklahoma who enjoys putting up a billion points (minimum of 35 in each game this season) on everyone including ranked teams. The Sooners take on "the chosen one" Tim Tebow and his Florida Gators. Possibly the 2 hottest teams going down the stretch in college football with offenses that average over 45 points per game. I guess if "chicks dig the long ball" in baseball....the numbers for this event will be huge. This is the final game of a BCS system that almost everyone in America says is flawed but yet if Florida pulls out a close victory...are they national champs or does Utah have a say? Where does Texas fit in all of this if Oklahoma wins? They have a strong arguement.....right?? Neutral field (Dallas) and win by 10 and Oklahoma was #1 at the time of that game.

You would figure with all the possible story lines that this game is must-see-tv. I'm sure the numbers will be huge for this game as they were with both the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, but my household probably won't contribute to the share. WHY?

Here's a question to ponder....what if a Big Ten team was in the title game....Penn State for example. Would that make it more of a must see? How about Ohio State? Northwestern? Michigan? Probably not, but WHY?

Here's the way college sports can get me to watch their title game it on new years day along with the rest of your major bowls. That was the whole point of football on New Years Day in the first place, right? You're celebrating the sport on a day where no other sport plays. Does the NCAA realize it's January 8....I'm in full Blackhawks happy/Bulls angst mode already. You wanna play your title game tonight and why on Thursday? Couldn't you place it on a Friday where 5th Grader and that horrible Don't Forget The Lyrics shows are on?

Do you realize that there are now 34 bowl games on the college schedule starting on December 20th and ending on January 8th. That's 19 days of college football that no one cares for because it doesn't mean anything. Do you think the average joe cares that South Florida beat Memphis in the Magicjack St. Petersburg Bowl? Do you think the average joe knows South Florida has a football team?

Maybe that's why I can't get into it. There are 68 teams playing "postseason" football in college football. Maybe the NCAA is to blame for my lack of interest in their sport. Is it like this for you as well? Too many teams playing in so little time.

I know the bowl games are a great way for smaller schools to get big time exposure on the national scene as well as getting money for participating in them. Tuition is at an all time high currently...does East Carolina University really need the money from playing in the Autozone Liberty Bowl? 24,000 students with tuition costing thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

I'm not saying a playoff system, but limit the number of bowl games to maybe half or a quarter of what you do now. Maybe then I won't have so much college football shoved in my face from mid December to mid January. Then when it gets to New Years Day....celebrate your sport with big bowl games as well as the national title game. It's just too much when every time I turn on the's college this college about the Epic Records Frank's Car Wash Bowl.

College football needs to change somehow someway whether it be playoff system or something else. I think if you limit the amount of "postseason" teams with me, it'll draw my interest more in the bigger stories of the being the final game of your "postseason."

My question to you....are you gonna watch? I won't. Let me know how it goes!!

Welcome your comments anytime!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Milton Bradley - The Greatest DH To Ever Play For The Cubs?

So the Cubs have agreed to sign designated hitter Milton Bradley to a 3 year/30 million dollar deal, and yes...I said designated hitter. My whole problem with this deal is not that Milton Bradley has had some past problems with emotions boiling over on umpires, teammates, broadcaters, and That's not a problem for me because most of the time in this city people are screaming for that "fire and passion" from their teams' players. My problem with this deal is that the Cubs have signed a designated hitter to play right field. Can this work?? Will this work??

Of course time will tell, but looking objectively from the stats that we all have in front of us we can see that a Milton Bradley can't stay healthy enough on a consistant basis to play the field every day. Did Jim Hendry not see this trend in his statistics? Did the Cubs lose all faith in one season of Fuk-u-dome-mania that the only hope is a 30 year old injury prone problem child? Obviously someone must have printed out his career statistics for Mr. Hendry and he would have seen that he hasn't played right field on a consistant basis since 2006.

Bradley has had stints on the disabled list with a christmas list of various injuries including his knee, hamstring, ankle, shoulder, back, calf, torn ACL, oblique, quad and a partridge in a pear tree. Even last year he missed games due to hamstring, shoulder, knee, wrist, and quadricep injuries. This guy got an eye contusion in 2002 for gosh sakes. If you were to look at this injury history....would you play him full time in right field over Fukudome??

Yet as a designated hitter last year with that team in Texas who no one pays attention to unless they put up 19 runs against the Tigers on some humid August night....Bradley hit well. In 99 games as a designated hitter Bradley hit .322/15HR/55RBI with an on base % of .446. His .321 avg overall was tops in the American League last year among "full-time" designated hitters. He led the American League in OBP% and even though the Cubs were looking for that left handed bat in the lineup....he's a switch hitter too!!

There is no doubt that Bradley can rake the ball, but was the need for left handed hitting worth 10 million dollars a year for the next 3 seasons on a player who can't stay healthy? Was the desire for that left handed pop in a great hitting lineup (pre-October) so high that you're willing to lose some defensive aspects of your team? Certainly pitching and defense wins you championships, but the Cubs problems are more offensively when it counts.

I look forward to see if the mistaken board game inventor Milton Bradley can hush his critics...including myself.

I think the Cubs signed a designated hitter to play right field. What's next?? Are they gonna bring in Ken Griffey Jr. to shore up that #5 spot in the rotation once Jason Marquis heads for the Rockies?

Don't get me wrong, I trust Jim Hendry in what he's done before and I have no reason not to believe in him now. But after 101 years and 2 straight seasons of being shut out 3 straight in the playoffs....isn't it about time to go for the top name no matter what the cost?

Al Davis said it best.....just win baby. I hope Jim Hendry is putting his trust and the Tribune's money (?) in the right pieces to do just that.


Welcome to all of your comments!!! Please feel free to say your piece as well.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Moving Mark expert's opinion.....and for once, I agree with him.

For anyone who listened to Joe Ostrowski and myself....I present Buster Olney's Blog on ESPN.COM. Glad I'm not the only baseball "expert" that thinks moving Derosa is a bad move.

Friday, January 2, 2009Cubs making offseason mistakes
The Cubs played 161 games, pitched 1,450.2 innings and had 5,588 at-bats in the regular season, and through all that, they were the best team in the National League, winning five more games than the NL East division winner, 13 more games than the NL West winner. The Cubs were a great team for six months.
And then, in a period of 96 hours in October, they were awful, getting swept by the Dodgers, the imbalance of their very right-handed lineup exploited by the L.A. pitchers. The Cubs went into the offseason devoted to adding a left-handed hitter, and if they complete their negotiations with Milton Bradley, on paper, their lineup will look more balanced; on paper, their lineup will look better.
But I'll be honest: I don't like the moves they've made at all. I think the flurry of moves has made them more vulnerable -- and in time they'll wish they had simply kept Mark DeRosa, an extraordinarily versatile and underrated player, rather than spending millions and millions on Bradley.
Look, Bradley is a fine hitter who is coming off an excellent offensive season with the Texas Rangers. In the summer in which he turned 30 years old, Bradley had a staggering .436 on-base percentage, hitting 22 homers with a .563 slugging percentage. A switch-hitter, he fared better against lefties than right-handers, but was excellent against righties nonetheless, batting .309 with a .415 OBP.
If he signs with the Cubs, there will be inevitable questions about his temperament and whether he's suited for Chicago, but all of that should be secondary to this larger concern: Bradley has had a tough time staying in the lineup. He is in his physical prime but played 283 games over the past three seasons. Last year, Bradley played in 126 games -- only the second time in his career he's played that many -- and of those, 20 were in the outfield. He has reached 100 games in the outfield just once in his career, and if the Cubs wind up signing him, they presumably will be asking Bradley to play 140 games in right field, perhaps some in center field.
Sources on the union side expect Bradley's deal with the Cubs to approach $10 million per season, for perhaps three seasons, which explains why Chicago has had to work to find financial wriggle room. The Cubs saved some money by trading Jason Marquis to the Rockies, and then scraped together more by swapping DeRosa to the Indians for three young pitchers -- each of whom has a chance to pitch in the big leagues, rival talent evaluators say, but the same evaluators say none of the pitchers is a Grade A prospect.
And one of those evaluators made the argument that DeRosa may have been the Cubs' best player last season. He finished third among the everyday players in on-base percentage, at .376, and was fourth in slugging percentage, at .481. He finished the season with a club-high 103 runs scored, partly because he's such a good baserunner. What he may have done best, however, was provide the Cubs average-to-above average defense at four different positions: second base, third base, left field and right field (he also played a game at first base and another at shortstop). If Aramis Ramirez came up sore, DeRosa could step in, and when Alfonso Soriano got hurt, DeRosa provided Lou Piniella flexibility to better cope with the problem, allowing him to shift DeRosa to the outfield and play somebody else in the infield. The Cubs are going to miss DeRosa in a big way next season.
Cubs GM Jim Hendry built that great regular season and doesn't need any advice from here. But I think there may be two other options that would have been better than unloading DeRosa and signing Bradley.
1. The Cubs could've kept DeRosa and re-signed Jim Edmonds to a low-cost contract to hold down center field at the outset of the season. That would buy time for the Cubs, as the year progressed, to search for a more reliable left-handed hitting outfielder, someone who has a history of being in the lineup more than Bradley, someone who might give the Cubs better outfield defense.
For example: If the Rays were to struggle in the first half of the 2009 season, it's possible (and this is pure speculation and nothing more) that they would entertain some trade conversations about Carl Crawford, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2010 season. If the Rays were not in contention in 2009, it would be better for them to deal Crawford in the middle of the upcoming season, rather than wait until the winter of 2009-10, if they can't re-sign him. Another possibility would be the left-handed hitter Brian Giles, because the Padres intend to weigh offers for him next season.
The Cubs seem to be in a rush to balance their lineup by Opening Day -- and given that their lineup won almost 100 games this past season, it seems like they had more time to find a better fit.
2. Rather than use the money saved on the Marquis and DeRosa trades to sign Bradley, the Cubs could've re-signed Edmonds and used the extra money to finish the proposed deal with the Padres for Jake Peavy. A Cubs team with a rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Peavy, Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden might be better than a team without Peavy and with Bradley.
No matter what their lineup and rotation is when the season starts, the Cubs will be heavily favored to win the NL Central. The Brewers have huge holes in their rotation and at the back end of their bullpen, the Astros are trying to improve with nickels, the Reds appear to be swimming in place, the Pirates are reloading and the Cardinals need a return to form from Chris Carpenter, who hasn't been right the past two seasons.
But there will be days next season, and maybe next October, when Piniella might be wishing he had DeRosa available -- and maybe Bradley, as well.
Hendry said the decision to trade DeRosa was difficult, as Paul Sullivan writes.
In the aftermath of the Cubs' deals, Tom Krasovic speculates that the Peavy deal might get resurrected. I was told that isn't the case.