Support my attention-whoring ways by following us on twitter!

Get the SKOdcast imported directly into your brain!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yet another Change to the Roster Preview

Alright, Lou Piniella has announced that for unexplainable reasons both Cedeno and Fontenot have made the big league club, leaving Matt Murton off the roster and about to be sent to Iowa, or more likely traded (for Matt's sake I really hope he is). So adjust your scorecard so the countdown now looks like this

25. Ronny Cedeno (originally Fontenot/Fuld)
24. Marshall (originally Marshall/Hart)
23. Reed Johnson (originally Cedeno)
22. Mike Fontenot (originally Wuertz)
21. Michael Wuertz (originally Lieber)
20. Jon Lieber (originally Hank White)
19. Hank White (originally Eyre)
18. Kevin Hart (Eyre on DL)
17. Felix Pie (originally Dempster)
16. Ryan Dempster (originally Marquis)
15. Jason Marquis (originally Murton)
14. Ryan Theriot (same)
13. Bob Howry (same)
12. Daryle Ward (same)
11. Carlos Marmol (same)
10. Kerry Wood (same)
9. Geovany Soto (same)
8. Mark DeRosa (same)
7. Rich Hill (same)
6. Kosuke Fukudome (same)
5. ??

So there, that should keep things straight until the next bizarre Cubs roster decision.

F*&k Andy MacFail

God Damn, Do I hate Andy MacPhail

My God I'm a contemptible douche bag..

Alright Andy, you've made official what's been sadly obvious for months. The Brian Roberts deal is off. So really, thank you. You have officially proven that you will continue to fuck over the Cubs regardless of which major league team you are currently working (read: giving the owner a rim job) for. All sources say that the Cubs and Orioles couldn't "match up" on players. Match up? What the F*&k don't the Cubs have that doesn't match up with the Orioles? Ronny Cedeno is actually BETTER than your starting shortstop option, Luis Hernandez (if you don't see the disparity given the small number of major league at bats for Hernandez, check out the minor league stuff). Sean Gallagher would literally be your fifth starter by default. Jose Ascanio, Cerda, Donald Veal, who ever the hell else the Cubs offered would easily have been worth the trade. You already shucked off Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard, and Roberts was your last bargaining chip, unless you really think you're gonna get something for Kevin Millar.YOU NEARLY WOUND UP WITH FREDDY BYNUM AS YOUR STARTING SHORTSTOP. FREDDY BYNUM! God Damnit MacFail, learn to trade a player. Did you fail to notice that the Cubs were the Only bidder for Roberts? The ONLY one. Chances are no team at the July 31st deadline will offer you 4 prospects for Roberts, especially if he should get off to a slow start. This ranks among the greatest baseball executive blunders of all time. When the team you built, er, rebuilt, is busy working its way to its 11th straight losing season this year, Daniel Cabrera has finally managed to flame his way out of your organization (which he would have in a successful franchise 3 years ago) Jay Payton is still rotting on your bench, and Roberts has managed to score only 40 runs on one of the worst offensive team in the majors, look around at the Cubs minor leagues and wonder how many of those players would have had a chance of rescuing you sooner from your team's quagmire of despair. Christ, even Tampa Bay is supposed to have a chance this year and you're wondering whether four prospects , two of whom are considered in the Cubs top 10 prospects and one of those two being in Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects, are worth a career .281 hitter who won't be in an O's uniform past July 31st anyways? No wonder we managed to get two fucking playoff appearances out of your 15 years as Cubs President. Go to hell, where you'll probably find all of the cellar dwelling teams you've built waiting for you.

Cubs Preview 3/26/08

Roster Spot #6- RF- Kosuke Fukudome #1 (Kohs-kay Foo-koo-dough-may)
Ht: 6'0'' Wt: 190 Bats: Left Throws: Right

Insert obligatory samurai/zen-like concentration caption.

Enter the Fukudome. Since signing with the Cubs in November Fukudome has become the big story of the 2008 season. That and that whole century thing. You know the thing where its been 100 years since the Cubs won the World Series? Oh, you hadn't heard that? Me neither. Fukudome has proven popular with Cubs fans already, as many fans can be seen at spring training games wearing his #1 shirt with his last name written in Japanese Kanji script. Fukudome has also become quite popular with his teammates, who have pulled a variety of pranks on him ranging from Zambrano putting on his #1 jersey and telling Kosuke that he is #1 around the Cubs to Scott Eyre leaving a cheeseburger (?) next to his locker. What can you say, he's Scott Eyre. Cheeseburgers are apparently the only things he understands. Fukudome's name has also led to much fun for the Cubs blogosphere, as he's earned such nicknames as Fukakke (Desipio), K-Fuk (Hire Jim Essian!), and Fukker (Iggins!).

So we've established that Fukudome is now a pop culture icon for Chicago fans? But what about the player himself. Well, last year he hit .297 with 13 hrs and 48 RBIs and a .443 (!) OBP for the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League. Due to bone chips in his elbow requiring surgery, Fukudome put up those numbers in only 81 games last year. For those of you unable to do the math to figure that into a full 162 game schedule, that amounts to 26 homers and 96 RBIs (get it, you multiply by two). That followed a 2006 season where Fukudome was Cental League MVP after hitting .351 with 31 hrs and 104 RBIs with a .438 OBP in 130 games. For his career Fukudome has a lifetime .397 OBP, and has posted OBPs of .400 or better in 4 of the last 5 seasons. He is also a Gold Glove outfielder in Japan with a cannon for an arm. Exhibit A:
In the words of Iggins!, "commence the pants-shitting".

But what can Cubs fans expect in this first season out of Fukudome in the United States? Japanese hitters play in smaller ballparks and Japanese imports Hideki Matsui, Kaz Matsui, and Hideki Okajima all saw declines in their power numbers once they came to America. Personally I do not believe the power drop will be all that drastic for Fukudome playing at Wrigley Field, and see him putting up 20-25 home runs. But even if he falls below the 20 mark, if his average and OBP remain at his Japan levels he will still be extremely valuable to the Cubs lineup. Even as his spring training average has hovered around .230 Kosuke has still put up a very impressive .406 OBP in 19 games, so Cubs fans can still look forward to seeing Fukudome on base even as he adjusts his hitting style to the Majors.

Fukudome was the Cubs most important free agent acquisition in what was a rather quiet off-season for them, and he will be a huge factor in deciding what the team does in 2008. If he follows the Hideki, and not Kaz, Matsui route, the $48 million deal he signed with the Cubs will look like a bargain. If he fails, then he'll be the latest goat in 100 years of frustration. (I know, I said goat. guh.)