At the "Meet the Management" gathering at the Cubs Convention (listen to it here), somebody brought up the Peavy puzzle and Jim Hendry explained that unfortunately Peavy isn't a free agent and it's a violation of MLB rules to talk about him.
Luckily, it must be okay to talk about him behind closed doors because yesterday the Cubs made another move that would appear to be part of this Peavy Puzzle.
They shipped off Felix Pie to Baltimore for pitcher Garrett Olson, who the Padres apparently wanted way back in the time of the Winter Meetings Rumors.
In real life meetings that I've been in, the Powers That Be want to show the clients the people who will be working on their business.
Maybe it's the same with the Cubs?
Like a new business pitch - in this case you and I are the clients, the Powers That Be are Cubs Brass, and the workers would be the players...
At this year's convention there were a couple of minor leaguers who we hadn't seen before (can't remember their names), and I thought it didn't bode well for the "name" guys in the Cubs minor league system (I don't know...Josh Vitters? Sam Fuld? Etc?) who may be part of this Peavy Puzzle as well.
On the other side of that coin there's Sean Marshall.
He was at the convention, which led me to think that maybe he isn't part of the Puzzle.
Silly logic, of course, but I was an art major.
Every time Lou talks about Marshall, he uses the word "swing man", meaning he can start (Hey Rich Harden, need another week before your next start, dude?), or come out of the bullpen.
I think there aren't a whole lot of guys with the temperament and skills to be a "swing man", and Marshall's already done it and done it well.
To me, he's way more valuable as one of the best "swing men" in the league vs one of a bunch of 5th starters, and if Jim Hendry can get Peavy AND keep Marshall well, now you're talking.
On the other hand, there may be another Cub You Like suddenly becoming a Padre in order to make this Peavy deal happen.
You never know, but...steel yourself.
Lastly, do not forget to take a minute today and think about Martin Luther King.
I could write pages of stuff about this convention, but...naaaa.
I'll tell a couple stories, though.
First off, right after the Opening Ceremonies, Sutter and I walked around downstairs, and you can get kinda lost pretty easy - physically and mentally.
Like, you get caught up looking at all the signed baseball bats and what they cost ($400 for a game used Soriano bat), or all the pins or baseball cards.
Then you look up and you're like, how do you get out of here?
Anyway, we were walking around and BAMMO! There's Keith Moreland just getting done with his autograph session!
(In this drawing, his nose is WAAY too big)
You could tell he was tired of it, but a couple people asked for photos and he happily agreed.
I chickened out and just took a picture of him getting his picture taken.
But...KEITH MORELAND was RIGHT THERE!
The Opening Ceremony was in the Grand Ballroom, and there were so many people they actually shut the doors and stopped letting them in.
Sutter and I were late, and walked all around the perimeter until we found a crack in the mass and worked our way in there. In the middle of the hole, there was an empty bottle of Jack Daniels laying on the floor, so I figured whoever left that left the hole when they left.
Pat Hughes was the emcee, and he introduced everybody.
It's the 40th anniversary of the '69 Cubs, so a bunch of players from that year were there.
It's also the 20th anniversary of the '89 Cubs, so same deal with the players from that team.
Everybody got a pretty big applause.
I thought the crowd might be a little divided when they brought out Milton Bradley, but the crowd went nuts.
Reed Johnson has a mondo-beard, Rick Reuschel was lookin' pretty trim, it was all super cool and I got a little yelled-out.
Then they showed a video starting with the '69 Cubs, '89, and then highlights from last year (Johnson's Catch, Big Z's No-No, that great catch by DeRo... stuff like that) - it was pretty well done, and when they turned on the lights this big guy in front of us had tears down his cheeks.
That's passion, I guess.
Next day, I saw Jim Hendry in a big question and answer thing at 9, and then later Lou and his "Lou-tenants" (all the coaches, get it?) came out for the same kind of thing.
So if you want to ask a question, you get in this line and stand at a podium in the middle of the room and ask away.
This one guy was upset about Alfonso Soriano leading off.
Lou jokes, well, why do you think Gerald's (Perry - batting coach) beard turned white?
Everybody laughs, and then Perry gives a pretty honest answer about constantly talking to Alfonso about laying off some pitches but the implication being well, you can talk all you want but he's Alfonso Soriano and he's probably gonna bat like he wants to bat.
Then the guy, feeling he didn't get a satisfactory answer, sort of yells out that if he was a pitcher he'd NEVER throw Fonsie anything but curveballs in the dirt because he swings at them EVERY TIME.
And without missing a beat, Perry patiently says, "I'll tell him you said that."
It was kind of tense, that question.
And then with this little joke I think Perry got the biggest laugh of the day.
Plus, I was glad he didn't say he had a solution because I wouldn't have believed it.
This post is too long already, but throughout the day one thing that kept coming up was the new line-up with all the lefty bats.
We'll talk more about that tomorrow.
PS. DB and Donna, it was great to meet you guys in person finally. The game of "text-tag" was hilarious.
Bummer to be talking about this on the first day of the Cubs Convention, but I think the steroids thing is gonna come roaring back to life soon. You've seen it happen - If a player's name comes up in this mess, they get stained. Or they "have a little Clemens" on them. Or "a little Bonds" or "Palmeiro"...
Choose your poster child, I guess.
With Miguel Tejada, you can read about it in this story from The New York Times.
Here's the short version:
Steroid supply guy Kirk Radomski had a visit with a federal grand jury and deputy U.S. attorney Daniel P. Butler in Washington yesterday.
Radomski is the guy who led investigators to Brian McNamee, who claims to have injected Roger Clemens with steroids, who claims that McNamee is lying.
At the same time Roger began denying, Miguel Tejada was called in front of the same House committee and said he had never used steroids either.
Then the Mitchell Report came out, and a guy named Adam Platt who used to play with Tejada in Oakland claimed that he'd provided Miguel with steroids, and to prove it showed photos of Miguel's cancelled checks from 2003, which is the same year Miguel signed a $72 million dollar contract with the Baltimore Orioles.
Which brings us to the really dicey part of the whole deal.
Yeah, all these guys can get into big trouble for lying to the government, but I think the idea that someone could inflate their value falsely by using performance-enhancing drugs and make oh, $72 million dollars... that's where the really big legal discussion will end up.
Okay, back to regular life.
Cubs Convention tonight.
I'm bringing a video cam, Sutter, and an open mind.
Lets see how the crowd reacts when they introduce Milton Bradley...
is a sports and art blog following the Chicago Cubs with cartoons, gifs, animations, and illustrations by Chicago artist Tim Souers.
I began the illustrations in 2003 - you can find the links to the 2003 - 2006 seasons below.
2007 - present is in the regular archives.
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