Friday, June 19, 2009

Browsing the Interweb

So, the Cubs are sitting in a rain delay at Wrigley Field, hosting Cliff Lee and the Cleveland Indians.  I thought it'd be nice to share a look at what's been out their on the ol' www...

The Cubs currently sport a 31-31 record.  There have exactly 100 games left.  The Cubs probably have to win at least 58 or 59 games to qualify for the postseason.  Right now, they look like a team that will win about 38 of their next hundred.  But, I still think they have a chance to go on at least one really good run where they win 19 out of 25.

There are a variety of factors that will determine the Cubs' fate.  Like every other contender, they have to get a solid, consistent effort from their pitching staff.  But the big X factor that I see is what Aramis Ramirez will be like when they get him back.  He is their Most Valuable Player, but the shoulder injury he's recovering from sounds pretty severe and could diminish his power.

The Cubs also welcome back two former fan favorites: Cub legend Kerry Wood and ladies' man Mark DeRosa.

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How different can two .500 teams feel?  Take a look at Colorado.  The Rockies are talking about how this team could be better than the 2007 team that went to the World Series.

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Big News out of Detroit.  Magglio Ordonez has been benched indefinitely, and it's probably going to be more or less for good.  If he plays in 69 more games or gets 235 more plate appearances this season, Ordonez will trigger an $18 million extension for next season.  Since the man once dubbed the Venezuelan Paulie Shore kind of can't hit for power anymore, the Tigers would rather not have to give him 18 million dollars next year.  Howard Megdal really nailed the reasoning for why this move is more than just a temporary benching.

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Keeping with the Detroit theme, Jim Leyland needs an extension, as his contract is up at the end of this season.  He makes about $4 millon per year, and we think he's worth every penny.  He may be the best in the business, and he makes less than Brandon Lyon.

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This article was primarily about what the Nationals may do as sellers in the trade market, but what caught my eye as the note at the end about Drew Storen.  The Nationals just signed him and are assigning him to Singla A.  When they drafted this guy at #10 overall, we thought he would have a chance to make the major league club this season.  He closed at Stanford, signed quickly, and is on the fast track to a major league bullpen.

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Brad Penny's trade value hasn't been this high in years.  The Phillies are said to be taking a long look, since their number 2 starting pitcher is Joe Blanton.  We still think that a deal will be worked out between the Red Sox and Texas Rangers.  The Rangers could probably use Penny, and we know Boston would love Taylor Teagarden, Max Ramirez, or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

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The news out of the desert does not sound positive for Brandon Webb.  I expect him to be shut down for the season.

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Did any of you see Joel Piniero in the 7th inning last night?  He was cramping up from dehydration and looked like he was embarrassed, as he was smiling between cringes throughout the cramps.  Pinero's quotes in the story reflect that feeling, as well.  It's good to know that he's not seriously hurt because it was funny looking.  Even he was smiling from embarrassment because it looked funny when his non throwing arm, then legs cramped up a bit and he couldn't stand up.  Poor guy; I'm really glad he's okay.

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Ricky Nolasco pitched his best game of the season, while facing the best lineup he'll face all year.  So, for you fantasy players out there - maybe he's worth grabbing if you have the room.

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Heath Bell was outstanding again last night.  He pitched two shutout innings, the 9th and the 10th, allowing the Padres to win the game in the bottom of the 10th when Adrian Gonzalez ran through a stop sign.

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The last stop on our web tour goes to the friendly confines of Joe Posnanski's blog.  He's very careful to separate his opinions about discussions with his opinions about people.  As he writes, "I don't have to agree with someone to like them."  Joe's the best.

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