Siberian Baseball

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Two for the road

Hitting the Internet this morning and saw that the Cubs have reportedly signed Jason Marquis to a three-year deal for roughly $20 million, just furthering the belief that Jim Hendry has confused his MLB '06 - The Show roster with the actual Chicago Cubs roster.

This is all very strange and disorienting to me.

It's like moving the furniture around on a blind dog. did the math and it's $272.5 in new contracts, not even taking into account Lou Piniella's deal. It's like some bizarro Brewster's Millions plot.

Aside from another arm in the rotation - See? See? They're finally figuring this out! - Marquis brings hatred for the Cardinals who left him out of the post-season last year. Let's hope he uses this as motivation and not as a moment of clarity that maybe he's not big league material.

(Sidenote: The stories of Hendry being told to take it easy as he makes two signings in a few days from his hospital bed makes it so I don't know whether to be excited for 2007 or worried for the poor guy's health. These are the kinds of stories that are told months from now if the Cubs are doing well, or, more likely, are snickered at by Bill Simmons in a Page 2 column. It could really go either way.)

* Why should Twins fans be angry this morning?

This link, right here.

Rondell White, boo bird bait in a town where I hear the least amount of heckling per capita than any other sports town, is being "courted" by the Twins to be their every day left fielder.

Let me break that down to hit all the important parts:

Rondell (third on the depth chart in left / no home runs as a DH prior to the All-Star Game) White is the top candidate for the starting left fielder's spot in Minnesota next year.

While he seems like a nice enough guy in post-game interviews, let's not forget that this is the man Twins fans wanted to kill to start the 2006 season. While he struggled, hacked and grounded out his way to an .081 batting average, the team nearly drowned before finding new life and making a surge to the division championship. If you needed to point to one guy who was at least indicative of the team's awful play - if not largely responsible for it - White was at the front of that line.

I file this along with Nick Punto's stunning second half. Yes, it's great to get above-grade production from guys in your lineup that weren't supposed to be very good. Now, revisionist history says that White turned things around down the stretch and was a vital cog to the team as it pushed for the playoffs.

What a bunch of bullshit.

The trick is not looking at your roster on paper in the winter, seeing the Punto that turned it on in the stretch run and standing pat. Same with White. Here's a guy who was brought in to do one thing - Hit the baseball - and he found new and amusing ways to stink up the joint on a nightly basis.

While quality, good-value players aren't falling off trees just waiting to sign up here, there's a baseline of talent that the Twins organization needs to maintain with solid young players and a better than they look core of pitchers.

Why you'd let this slip away as Johan Santana, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau enter their primes is beyond me. A new ballpark is right around the corner and I haven't heard a (serious) peep about breaking out the cash for a big-name bat yet.

Hell, at this point, I think the Twins fans would be happy with a middle of the road guy versus overpaying for the Jeromy Burnitzes and Jeff Cirillos of the world, but it'd be nice to at least hear that the Twins were in the running for someone, even if it's not true.

(Image from

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  • Hey. This is Pete, one of the founders of Yardbarker ( I couldn't find your email address, but I'd like to speak to you about the linking program that we're doing with a bunch of sports bloggers. It's basically a way for you to get a lot more sports fans reading your best posts. Would you mind contacting me at so I can email you with more info? Thanks.


    By Anonymous Pete, At Monday, December 11, 2006 11:32:00 AM  

  • Get lost "Pete". If that really is your name...

    Oh man, Rondell. Did you mention how incredibly old and fragile the man is? He has no place on a ML roster, unless it's a coaching position.

    I don't feel like the Twins will get another big bat this off season. They probably won't even pick up a desperately needed pitcher outside of the club. I hope I'm wrong.

    By Blogger Sooze, At Monday, December 11, 2006 12:01:00 PM  

  • Unless that wasn't spam. In that case, sorry Pete. Carry on.

    By Blogger Sooze, At Monday, December 11, 2006 12:01:00 PM  

  • Is it really the mythical Soozycue - one of my favorite Deadspinners? Or just an incredible coincidence?

    I just remember the fans around us giving us dirty looks for booing the hell out of Rondell when he hit .081 and then joining in later in the week.

    How is Rondell in the everyday lineup a good idea to anyone?

    By Blogger Minneapolis Red Sox, At Monday, December 11, 2006 9:52:00 PM  

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