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November 2010 Archives

Paulie and Larry

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Which is more surprising, that Paul Konerko was offered arbitration by the White Sox, or that long-time pitching coach Larry Rothschild walked out on the Cubs?

Though Rothschild's departure to become the pitching coach of the Yankees--ironically under a manager the Cubs may have once hoped to hire--appears to have come out of nowhere, But, Rothschild leaving may not be so surprising in that he has always been with Cubs teams that were either contending or close to contending, and that certainly will not be the case going into 2011.

Personally,I always thought Rothschild was a bit over-rated for most of his tenure as Cubs pitching coach, but he may have been at his best in 2010, getting a great half-season out of Carlos Silva, helping Carlos Zambrano get back on track after his rant and keeping Carlos Marmol focused and consistent, But, Rothschild had a great reputation when the Cubs got him, and his new job shows how highly valued he still is throughout the leagie.

Meanwhile, the Konerko arbitration offer shocked me. I was convinced the Sox would let him walk, even if t meant forfeiting any draft picks that maight come if another team signs him out of arbitration. Despite his great 2010 season, I figured the Sox would say thanks for the memories, but we need a younger left-handed hitting first baseman.

You could argue Victor Martinez signing with Detroit forced the hand of the Sox here, but there are still so many first baseman available on the free agent market. Of course, even with the arbitration offer, there is still no guarantee Konerko will actually re-sign with the Sox, and I think they will still pursue Adam Dunn as a DH and possible first base back-up plan if Konerko does walk.

Who's on first? A Cubs wish list

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If you believe absolutely everything you read, then here is where the Cubs' wish list stands for their first base job:

--Adam Dunn: Probably too expensive a free agent for teh Cubs to afford. In any case, I think he White Sox are willing to out-bid them.

--Adrian Gonzalez: What the Cubs would give up to San Diego to get him is a scary thought indeed. Tyler Colvin and Carlos Zambrano? Starlin Castro and a boatload of minor leaguers? Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome? Actually, I could live with that last trade...

--Lance Berkman: The Yankees didn't pick up his option. He's a switch-hitter who has done well in the National League, certainly better than he was briefly in New York. Intriguing.

--Carlos Pena: He strikes out a lot, walks a lot, and hits a lot of homeruns. Depends how willing you are to ook past a .230 average.

--Aubrey Huff: He drives in runs in big bunches and has decent first-base power. Wears a thong. Turned out to be a significant piece of the puzzle for the current world champs, but that's why the Giants want him back.

--Nick Johnson: Nice hitter, walks a lot. Not much power. Injury-prone. Sounds a lot like Xavier Nady.

So, what's wrong with Nady?

Mike Fontenot is getting a ring

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Think about that for a minute--little Mike Fontenot, who could never really hang on as a starter with the Cubs, is a member of the Word Series Champion San Francisco Giants. Good for Mighty Mite. Former White Sox Aaron Rowand and Juan Uribe are now two-time world champs. Couldn't happen to a better couple of guys.

Meanwhile, in the land of current Cubs and Sox, there is some news this week, though not nearly as awesome:

--Omar Vizquel was signed for another year by the Sox. He had a much more productive season than the Sox were expecting, and at times was the most consistent offensive and defensive player on the team. Still, he's 43, and the Sox can't possibly expect the same next season, can they?

--Joey Cora reportedly will not get the Brewers manager job. I don't whether I feel sorry for him more because he a bridesmaid once again, or more because he may have to spend another year with Ozzie (just kidding, Ozzie).

--Jim Hendry says Ryne Sandberg has declined to return as manager of the Iowa Cubs, possibility the least surprising news of the off-season so far. It would probably be good for Sandberg to get more experience in the minors, but by all appearances, he was jilted by Hendry after being told four years ago that he need to get some experience in the minors. Ryno is saving face, and allegedly will pursue other jobs with other teams, but I wish for his sake and for the Cubs' sake that he would stay in the organization for a bit more seasoning.

--Todd Ricketts is going to clean toilets on TV. Insert joke here about Alfonso Soriano's crappy contract.

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