Born in L.A. in 1958, moved to Des Plaines in 1966, moved back to L.A. area in 1974. Because of Jack Brickhouse and WGN, I most definitely bleed Cubbie blue.
Tim Sheridan has been the public address announcer at Ho Ho Kam during Spring Training for almost 30 years. From the moment he began he's kept records and recordings of everything he's come across. He very recently sent me an e-mail regarding a documentary he's been assembling called Boys of Spring, which is about all he's seen and heard during his time with the Cubs. I had purchased a DVD from Tim titled the Voice of Summer, which is about the late Cubs' radio announcer Vince Lloyd. The Lloyd DVD is well worth owning. Tim is asking for contributions to help complete the work on his movie. I asked Al if it would be okay to post this and he said it would. There are various levels of contributions, all of which would be greatly appreciated by Tim.The link in the title will lead to a website that has a trailer for the movie and details about pledging. Tims needs $50K by August 23. As of this writing, there is $1,510 pledged. Please click on the link and if you feel so inclined, contribute what you can.
LAPD finally made an arrest a short while ago in the senseless beating of Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium. The cowardly, tattooed punk was taken down this morning. They're still looking for other suspects. This is great news.
Not to shill for the store Cub World per se, but the camera link on their site has always been pretty cool. It now has sound, so for those of us who don't live in Chicago, it is a pretty neat feature. It's very clear and picks up everything. Anyway, enjoy. P.S. It's a pretty neat feature for those not at the game, no matter where you might live.
Bingham McCutchen is the firm that drafted the document Frank tried to use to say he had sole ownership of the team. The firm wants to bar Frank from suing them "if and when" he loses the team (considered an inevitability in these parts) because it won't be from the agreement but: "Any injury, loss or expense he has sustained or will sustain were caused not by Bingham's conduct, but by his own widely publicized financial problems, huge withdrawals of cash from the Dodgers, and strained relations with Major League Baseball," The other interesting tidbit from this is: "Bingham has long resisted any suggestion of malpractice, and the firm last fall declined a mediator's invitation to help fund a divorce settlement. Money from Bingham, as opposed to money from television contracts or minority investors, would not have been subject to Selig's approval." What that means is Frank is so broke he tried other ways to basically borrow money that wouldn't come under Selig's scrutiny.
We just got back from a 3/16 to 3/22 trip to Mesa. Some comments, etc.: - Saw Dempster, Zambrano, Wells and Cashner pitch, plus a slew of relievers. Dempster and Wells looked fine, Zambrano not so...
I like Scioscia's take on it.
Bud Selig has rejected Frank's proposal to have Fox front him $200M.
If we're going to race to post that a certain former Cub now on the Mariners has done yet another bad thing, we should also post when authorities have decided there isn't enough evidence to warrant charges on his latest incident.
My wife saw this on Facebook. I want one.
Frank McCourt and the Dodgers have obtained advance money from Fox in order to cover off-season operating expenses. From the article: "It is unclear whether the cash advance indicates the Dodgers are in immediate financial peril, but a sports industry consultant said the timing was curious, given that team expenses are lower out of season than during the season. The Dodgers had projected revenue of $279 million last year and $287 million this year, according to court documents. Fox owes the Dodgers $35 million for television rights this year, $37 million next year and $39 million in 2013, according to the documents." Also from the article: "Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon has certified as final the ruling in which he threw out a marital property agreement that would have provided McCourt with sole ownership of the Dodgers." I think those who insist that the Dodgers are a cash cow and won't be on shaky financial ground are going to have to re-evaluate that opinion as long as Frank McCourt is anywhere near the team. His lawyers are going to try a different tactic as it relates to who owns the team, but they have yet to specify what that's going to be. All anyone knows is that it will involve an entirely new court case and a lot more in lawyer fees, something that hamstrung Frank during the divorce proceedings. However, this doesn't mean that other teams can start lining up at the Dodger Buffett of available players just yet. McCourt told Ned Colletti to go out and spend like a drunken sailor during the off-season to dispel the rumors they were broke, and Uncle Ned came back with such gems as Juan Uribe for three years, $21M, 35 year old Ted Lilly, three years, $30M, 36 year old Hiroki Kuroda one year $12M, 35 year old Rod Barajas one year $3.25M (he's expected to start), Jon Garland one year $5M, and Vicente Padilla one year $2M. They've also collected Dioner Navarro, Juan Castro and Tony Gwynn, Jr. off the scrap heap while letting Russell Martin go for nothing and trading Ryan Theriot to the Cardinals for pitcher Blake Hawksworth. If McCourt allows Ned to trade Ethier, Loney, Kershaw, etc., it's raising the white flag, and his public posture on that so far has been that he never will do that. Their rotation isn't bad, but projected 3B Casey Blake turns 38 in August, they have no left fielder, they expect a full year at 2B from Uribe, Rafael Furcal is 33, Matt Kemp is in danger of going into permanent career sulk, and did I mention they expect Barajas to be the everyday catcher? And if not him, Navarro? But they still have Vin Scully, who turned 83 in November. It doesn't cost anything to listen to him.
Anyone else having the problem where it doesn't matter if you're logged in, all content appears as if you're not logged in, reading as a guest? Nothing is showing up as read or unread, and it's...
For those of you planning on going to 2011 Spring Training, the A's tickets at Phoenix Muni are already on sale. Cubs play there Tuesday 3/15 and Thursday 3/17, St. Patrick's Day. Really, really good seats are available.
The Red Sox have re-signed Rich Hill, who will resume trying to jump start his career as a reliever. Eric Patterson was sent to the Padres to complete the Gonzalez trade, and Ryan Harvey, former Cub number one pick, is also going to try to re-start his career as a pitcher in the Red Sox organization.
Idle speculation over at Bleed Cubbie Blue. Soriano to the Angels for Juan Rivera.
MLB announced a new veterans committee ballot with 12 names, none of which are Ron Santo. Does this mean he's being left off, is this different than when he's been on? What goes here?
Season Ticket Wait ListI've moved up over 2600 places in less than two months. Is this because of expanding the number of seats available or people giving theirs up or a combination of both?
Anybody else having a problem signing in to BCB the last couple of days? Every time I visit the site my screen name has been lost and I have enter it and my password again. And sometimes even...
"City prosecutors have charged ESPN personality and sports columnist Jay Mariotti with seven misdemeanors in connection with an incident last month in which he allegedly grabbed and shoved his live-in girlfriend, officials said Monday. Mariotti, known for his unsparing commentary of athletes on ESPN's "Around the Horn," faces seven counts in all in connection with the domestic disturbance call last month at the couple's condominium near the Venice-Santa Monica border, said Frank Mateljian, spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office. Charges include two counts of domestic violence with injury, two counts of domestic violence, one count of grand theft, one count of false imprisonment and one count of vandalism. Each of the counts carries a maximum of a year in jail, meaning he could face up to seven years behind bars. Mariotti is to be arraigned Friday at the downtown criminal courts building."
So's Casey Blake, Scott Podsednik and Jay Gibbons. Gibbons has been on fire at the plate since replacing Garrett Anderson on the roster. I can see someone possibly snatching up Blake.
Can this get any better if: 1) You're a family law attorney in Los Angeles (I am) 2) You're a Cub fan who hopes the Dodgers implode and they have to jettison top talent (Me again) 3) You believe in karma, especially when it's a bitch (Yup, me) Well, sure it could, but even if it doesn't, it has already been a primo three ring circus and it hasn't even gone to trial. From the article: " The agreement that Frank McCourt says gives him sole ownership of the Dodgers was thrown into dispute Thursday when his estranged wife asked a court to consider three copies of that agreement that she says specifically exclude him from sole ownership of the team. In a court filing Thursday, Jamie McCourt argues there were six copies of the agreement, three that provided Frank with sole ownership and three that did not. Dennis Wasser, an attorney for Jamie, said the wording that provided Frank with sole ownership was changed after Jamie signed the agreement, thus committing fraud. If the judge deems as valid the three copies that Jamie has urged the court to consider, Wasser said, the case could be quickly decided in Jamie’s favor. "I don’t think there’s much to argue about," Wasser said."
There are still some people who think that despite the McCourt divorce troubles, the Dodgers as a baseball team will be just fine, they're a cash cow, etc. Well, let's see what they say now. Yes, money comes in. But where does it go? The Dodgers own Dodger Stadium, but they've been charging themselves rent on their own property since 2006. The article details how much, about $14 million a year. However, charging themselves rent isn't quite the same as paying themselves, or more practically, paying the company they set up to accept the rent. They still "owe" themselves $24 million, which is $24M siphoned off team revenue that is sitting someplace but not given to the company created to accept it. Moreover, this $24M is on top of a drop in payroll already totalling $23 million. In other words, they could have afforded to AT LEAST added back the drop in payroll, but have chosen not to do so. Where does that money go when it's paid? Roughly, a third of it goes to Frank McCourt personally. Due to bank loans already made, the banks have limited his personal income,meaning, clauses built into the loan contract state that he can only make so much, they want their money back before he just pockets it and buys another house. So Frank set up this company as an end run around that. Another third goes to debt service, and the rest to "construction managers" for projects that have been on hold since 2008 because they can't get loans to finance it. Other teams charge themselves rent, but not anywhere like this. Some teams that have landlords pay less than a million a year. The strong inference here with the Dodgers is that this is just a sham, another way for the McCourts to suck the team dry for their own personal gain, because they've leveraged everything else to the hilt. They've been embezzling from themselves as a way to still live the high life and pay as little as possible on their huge debt. Within L.A. family law circles, there's been talk that both sides are coming to the realization that if they go to trial at the end of this month, it will be disasterous for both of them personally and for the team. However, neither one so far is willing to budge an inch. The Dodgers as a baseball team are likely to be very screwed.
Those of old enough to remember will feel just a little bit older now with the passing of Mike Cuellar, not to mention losing yet another portion of our youth. Cuellar was an excellent left handed screwballer, back in the days when you took the ball every fourth day and finished what you started. He won 20 games in a row in a four year stretch, as well as being an All Star and a World Series and Cy Young winner. In 1971, he was part of a four man rotation that won at least 20 games each, along with Jim Palmer, DaveMcNally and Pat Dobson. RIP, Crazy Horse.
Yep, you read that right. Frank McCourt plans to spend less in the coming years on payroll than he did last year. He's spending 40% of revenue on it now, and plans on reducing it to 25% while doubling ticket prices over that span. All this comes to light due to papers filed in the divorce. Who now wants to say the Dodgers will be unaffected by the Divorce That Keeps On Giving?
Markas was a very good announcer and an even better person. This is a real loss for the game.
The above link is from Halos Heaven (again), with some good analysis attached in their comments, and within their post is a link to Truebluela, the SBN Dodgers site. The Truebluela commentary is also spot on. The deferred contracts (which really can't be laid solely on Colletti because McCourt had to be instrumental as it relates to them), the divorce, the decline in revenues, all are pointing to imminent disaster. While the core is young and good, as we've mentioned before (Kemp, Ethier, Loney et al), what doesn't get discussed here surprisingly is that many of these same core players are eligible for arbitration, and as I've said in another thread somewhere, whatever they've got that the Cubs might need/want is definitely available for the right offer, whether the Dodgers will say so publicly or not.
The Angels and Mariners, of course, being arch rivals in the AL West. Some fairly entertaining posts/entries.
As I sat here in Southern California this Christmas morning, I decided to look at the Cub World cam facing the main gate to see how Wrigley was faring today. What occurred to me as I did so was...
Whoop de doo.
After ten starts, 63 innings pitched, 49 hits allowed, 14 walks, an ERA of 2.43, a WHIP that was 1.09 before today's game, I think it is time to say out loud that Randy Wells could very well be...
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