Blog Entry

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee

Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:47 am

By Matt Snyder

At this time last week, we were busy pouring through rumor after rumor as the non-waiver trade deadline approached. There were a few Cubs' veterans we knew weren't going anywhere, despite playing for one of the worst teams in baseball. Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood in particular weren't going to waive their respective no-trade clauses. It might seem baffling to some people, but former teammate Derrek Lee says it's too great a place to play to want to leave.

"It's not that easy," Lee said (Chicago Tribune). "It's easy to look from the outside and say, 'Well, go play on a contender. This team is winning, so why don't you want to go there?' But you build roots in a place.

"Those guys have families. It's not that easy just to pack up and go. And how many cities are there as good as Chicago? You're going to have great crowds there every day, an atmosphere, and also those guys probably want the challenge of turning it around and winning there."

Baby steps: We've opined in this space several times about the sheer idiocy that are the MLB blackout rules and it appears there might be some ever-so-slight progress. Evidently MLB Extra Innings subscribers in northeast Ohio were all of a sudden blacked out from watching Pirates and Indians games due to a merger of several local cable providers. For once, Major League Baseball rectified an issue and lifted the blackout. So I guess that's a step in the right direction, but the rules are still absurd. (Biz of Baseball)

Remember me? Wednesday, we posted a video of an apparent Ichiro Suzuki fanatic in the Mariners crowd, who interfered with play by accident. Well, he was back at the ballpark the following day, once again dressed in full Ichiro garb. (Super Ichiro Crazy)

Bat-flavored beer: In Seattle, a brewing company has made a beer that soaked maple bats in it for three weeks. Interesting idea. Personally, I'm not sure I'd want to try it -- it just sounds weird, no? -- but who knows, maybe it's great. (

Trade bait: has an excellent flow chart showing all the trades of Edwin Jackson, who has been dealt six times (and he's only 27 years old). Roughly 15 players have been traded for Jackson, though it's tough to very accurately say the proper number, as there have been a pair of three-way trades involving him.

Bad signings: Once you get past the Yankees, the Red Sox are generally maligned by casual fans for being a huge spender in free agency and just throwing money at players. The truth, however, is that the Red Sox are actually pretty good at developing their own. Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon and more came directly from the system. Meanwhile, many free agent signings, like John Lackey and Carl Crawford, have thus far been a disaster ( Maybe Theo Epstein should stop spending so much on external players?

Back off, Tony: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa took exception with some comments from Brewers fans earlier this week, and I got his back. On this, however, I will not be doing so. He heard a Brewers announcer say the Cardinals throwing at Ryan Braun was "bush league" and called said announcer to discuss. I mean, really? The two did "clear the air," so I guess all's well that ends well. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Chipper return: Chipper Jones hasn't been in the starting lineup for over a week. He returned from the disabled list only to come down with a new injury and has been relegated to pinch-hit duty since. He's planning on returning to the lineup Friday, not surprisingly, against the Mets. He's hit more homers against the Mets than any other team in his career. (

Moose rests: Royals rookie Mike Moustakas has struggled, for the most part, since his promotion to the bigs. Manager Ned Yost gave Moustakas Wednesday night off to work on his swing mechanics. (Kansas City Star)

Alonso at third: Reds rookie Yonder Alonso projects as a very good major league hitter, according to most scouts, but he's a first baseman by trade. Not sure if you've heard, but the Reds have a decent 1B. Alonso has been played in left field, but most scouts see him as a bit of a butcher out there. Maybe third base could be a fit, with Scott Rolen being out for the next four to six weeks? He's been working out at third recently. (

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:03 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 5:45 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 6:04 pm

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee

Commonly My hubby and i normally do not blog post for web blogs, although I'd favor to point out that an excellent without any doubt pressed to me you need to do so that. Fantastic surrender!

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:58 pm

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee

This is funny. Lee was the same player who "confirmed" that Cubs fans are racist after Milton Bradley accused the fans of the same.

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:51 pm

Oh for god sake

These vets do not want to leave because we rewarded them with huge contracts. Yes, wrigley is a great place to play. We continuously overpay for top talent (or what we think of as top talent). Jim Hendry, the GM needs to be fired along with bush league manager Mike Quade. 

Look, no one can accuse this management of trying. We spent 190 million a year. We paid our top guys (or who we thought were top guys), and even brought in a hall of fame manager in Lou Pinella. 03 and 08 were our chances. We had great teams and team chemistry those years. We peed on our legs in the playoffs.

I hate to say it, but there is no pressure during the regular season. Cubs fans expect to lose at this point. The CUbs are such a beloved item (win or lose) in Chicago, they fill the seats every year. The problem is when we DO have a good team and get to the playoffs, everyone puckers up. It's almost as if we WILL playoff loses since it's all we know. I'm 32, so I can hopefully see a Cubs World Series in my lifetime. I do know we will have to get rid of the high paid guys we have now since there is not 1 leader on this team.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:53 pm

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee

The Cubs failure for years has been mismanagement.  They had coaching staffs that failed to develop or overused young talent (Pryor and Wood) a terrible scouting system that has left them devoid of any upcoming stars, and ownership that has gone with eithe the current completely inexperienced manager or big name retreads who had no idea how to make the team play anything but fundamentally terrible baseball.  They hire a hitting coace whose resume is padded by roided up stars, they had a pitching coach for years whose pitchers only got worse under his tutelege and now they find themselves concerned only with revenue and not the product on the field.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:45 pm

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee

It is hard for me to believe in a curse.  However, the Chicago Cubs have some very, very, bad luck.  They spent millions of dollars trying to win a championship when they signed, D. Lee, A. Ram, and Soriano a few years back when they were coming off huge years.  Zambrano, Wood and Pryor looked like Cy Young contenders for the next ten years at that same time.  I mean, they really had great promise for years to come.  Then Wood and Pryor went down and all that money paid to them was flushed down the toilet and it could not be used to pay other players.  D. Lee, A. Ram and Soriano under produced and they went from a great team to watch to what they are now.  I am not a Cubs fan, but I will always root for them every time they make the playoffs from here on out.  That city supports there team and they really have had great misfortune.  The Cubs ownership has also done what they could and they need their luck to change!

Since: Jul 9, 2011
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:08 pm

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee

Never been to Chicago, although I've always wanted to live there for a few years.  I heard that its a great city:  great food, great nightlife, great people (majority of them).  But is that REALLY the reason why they didn't waive their no-trade clause?  Because they love the city so much?  Chicagoans:  let me know what you think.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:19 am

Pepper: Some Cubbie love from Lee

As a Chicagoan and Cubs fan myself, I agree 95%. Great food, great nightlife, safe compared to other large cities, good schools (in the suburbs).

However, some of these guys aren't even trying. This city is one of the few in the majors that pays premium dollar for people either past their prime or with 1 good season under their belt. Dempster. Zambrano. Soriano. And may even be next Pujols (less than 20% chance IMO), but his next 10 years won't be like his first 10, but we'll pay him like they will)

Bottom line, we have the 4th highest payroll and the 28-29th "best" record. No one wants to leave cause they don't have to give a shit and they still get paid outrageous sums of money.

IMO, Overall, Hendry is the bigger problem, not the players.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or