Keep Hope Alive :: A Cubs Blog

This is a Cubs blog created for the Cubs faithful. Those of us Cubs fans who will continue to support our boys in blue till the end, who will be tuning into WGN in September no matter what the standings. This is for those of us Chicagoan's and other across the country who refuse to root for that other team on the south side of Chicago. Click on comments and respond to my words positively or negatively with opinions of your own. Lets continue to bleed Cubbie blue and Keep Hope Alive!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

First piece of the puzzle locked up?

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Aramis Ramirez is very close to a contract extension and should be inked in the next couple of days. How credible the sources are is up for grabs, but this site is about keeping hope alive baby! Trading a bullpen guy or two for Sheffield and getting rid of Jacque Jones next on the agenda list.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dreaming of Daisuke: Scouting Report on MVP of the WBC

Oh, to dream. Here is a scouting report on the Japanese 26-year-old phenom. The baseball world will find out soon who has the rights to negotiate with him. I'm crossing my fingers and keeping hope alive.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jim Hendry's Off Season Shopping List

Over at Cubs Hub I put up this story detailing my opinion of what Jim Hendry should do with the many options and decisions he must make by this upcoming March.

In other news, the Cubs have announced that Alan Trammell will be the new bench coach. Trammell coached the Tigers for three years, most notably the dissaster that was the Tigers 2003 season. Despite not having much luck with the Tigers, many of the young players Trammell coached have now blossomed for the 2006 World Series Tigers. Trammell is a baseball man, having played for twenty years in the big leagues. He has been to multiple All Star games and should be a solid presence on the bench for not only the Cubs players, but for Lou Piniella as well.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Not my first choice...

...but the Cubs could have done worse. Lou Piniella is the new manager of your 2007 (and beyond hopefully) Chicago Cubs. Does that mean Lou will get into a brawl with Ryan Dempster (after fighting with Rob Dibble while manager of the Reds)? We can only hope. Without seeing much of Piniella manage since his last two teams were in the American League, his coaching styles are somewhat unknown here. However, one thing that is for certain, Lou's players will hustle and if they do not, each player will be held accountable.

Thank GOODNESS for this.

Let's not pretend to know everything that was going through Dusty Baker's head when he would make perplexing decisions such as calling for the Neifster to bunt down a run with a man on can never hope to understand such moves. The same should hold true for each and every manager. A manager is measured on whether he wins or loses, a little bit of that has to do with lineup choices, in-game moves etc. but what percent of a win is atributed to a manager no one will ever know. What is known though is that Dusty Baker basically let his players run wild like little banchies on the playground and if one of his "children" was climbing on the monkey bars when he knew he was not supposed to, Dusty could not have cared less.

Lou will not let a player go running around climbing on monkey bars. His attitude is a welcome addition to a clubhouse that was either ruled by a veteran player, or in the case of 2006, by no one at all.

Welcome Lou, good luck, hopefully you can land us a couple free agents. If things don't go your way don't hesitate to toss one of the bases, I'll at least be able to laugh...while I cry.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

First Baker, now...

...the entire coaching staff has been dismissed. This is just another reason for hope in Cubbie Land. Rothschild was horrible, ruining Prior and Wood and was also laughed at by Maddux. Clines and Matthews switched roles and neither could get as much out of Corey Patterson as the Orioles did. Good riddance men. Hopefully this is just the precurser to our announcing Girardi as the next Cubs manager. Keep Hope Alive!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Starting a Riot at Second Base

Here's a little write up on Ryan The Riot, our impressive young second baseman. Some interesting stats in here using Ron Shandler's contact rate formula and walk ratio which can very successfully predict whether or not a player is a true .300 hitter. Some other good stuff in there as well so check it out and the other stories over at Cubs Hub.

MacFail resigns

Cubs president Andy MacPhail resigned on Sunday, a surprise move that has many Cub fans dancing in the streets. Most people could not have seen this coming. Was MacPhail to blame for the Cubs horrendous year? Probably not any more than Hendry, Baker, or simply injuries, however, it is MacPhails job to see that all levels of management are performing and this past year they did not perform. It is kind of sad to see a man who was so successful as the GM for the Twins not make it in Cubs management. MacPhail was the GM of the Twins during two world series years and many were excited upon his arrival on the North Side.

In all, this will move the Cubs in the right direction. Whether or not he should have resigned is not the issue, the issue is bringing in new motivated management who will shake things up and move this ballclub in a new direction. Of the three, MacPhail, Hendry and Baker I believe the only one who should be allowed to stay is Hendry. While his not addressing the starting rotation to a further extent this year was a big reason for our collapse, I feel that his good moves have outweighed the bad.

This is the same GM who brought us Michael Barrett for next to nothing and traded Hee Sop Choi for Derrek Lee as well as Bobby Hill for Aramis Ramirez. Also, don't forget that it was Hendry who made sure Matt Murton was involved in the Nomar deal. Lee, Ramirez, Barrett and Murton are the heart and future of this team and they are only here because of Hendry's shrewd manuevering.

Bringing in Juan Pierre in the off-season and addressing the bullpen also secured glaring holes heading into 2006. Hendry's problem was underestimating Wade Miller's injury and failing to see Prior and Wood let the team down once again. For this I am willing to give Hendry a pass simply due to the immense talent he has been able to farm from other organizations. The Maddux trade was a nice move as well as Cesar Izturis is regarded by many to be the best defensive short stop in the league. Hendry was able to deal away Walker for a good prospect in fireballer Jose Ceda and also managed to get some value in return for Phil Nevin, who was a good pickup in his own regard.

Hendry will have this off-season to prove he was worth the extension and I believe he will turn this Cubs team around. That turn around starts with ditching Baker and hiring either Joe Girardi who would bring discipline in, or hiring Braves third base coach Fredi Gonzalez in who will bring in years of tutelage under Bobby Cox. Hopefully Baker's firing will be announced today and Cubs fans can begin to get excited for 2007.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

An Interesting Note from

"Another interesting note on team records this year: on July 9, at the All-Star break, the White Sox were 57-31, second to the Tigers by two games but leading the wild card by six. Since that date they have gone 30-40.

That is precisely the same record the Cubs have since July 9, when they were 34-54; they also have gone 30-40 in the second half."

HAHAHA. Wow, how the mighty have fallen. A day after saying good ridance to the Cardinals I say hasta luego to the White Sox. This is so much sweeter when one recalls listening to talk radio in May when everyone was talking about how the White Sox were a lock to repeat as World Series Champions. Classic, have fun next year with Garland as your ace White Sox, us over on the North Side will be pleased to watch Big Z and Rich Hill shut you out when you come to town.