Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from The Full Count!

Quote of the Day:

"Merry Christmas!"

-- Everyone at the Full Count.

There's no Hot Stove today as literally nothing ever happens on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Today we have our last two Christmas Wishlists from The Full Count co-founders Wade and Tommy.  Former college buddies, Wade and Tommy thought it would be more productive to blog about baseball instead of arguing about it in person.  So WALLA! "The Full Count" was born...

With Wade and Tommy being a White Sox and Cubs fan respectively, expect their wishlists to be very different but very similar.  Chicago is the best baseball town in America (in my opinion, sorry New York) so sit back with your hot chocolate and Christmas cookies and enjoy their views of some of the Second City's finest baseball minds as they contemplate what Santa will put in the Wrigleyville or South Sider's stockings this season.

All Tommy Wants for Christmas is...

"Obviously everyone is expecting me to say that I want a Cubs World Series Championship for Christmas. I'm gonna avoid that, as my Christmas wish as a Cubs fan is simple; for the Cubs to just continue what they've doing. With every move the Cubs make, I become more and more confident in the future. I trust the plan completely. It excites me that I won't have to watch Justin Germano, Jason Berken, or Brooks Raley in the rotation in 2013. 

The Cubs have already jumped in one season from a bottom third minor league system to arguably a top 10.  The future is bright in the lower levels of the minors with guys like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, and Dan Vogelbach, also known as "Jabba the Cub" (best nickname EVER). Here are my top 3 things on my Christmas list. I have been nice this year Santa (that's not true, so let's just pretend for the sake of this list), so I think I deserve them.

1.    I wish for the Cubs to actually get some minor league pitching talent. There are some promising young arms in the system like Arodys Vizcaino, Dillon Maples, Pierce Johnson, and Paul Blackburn, but none of them are even close to a sure thing. I want that number 1 potential in the Cubs minor leagues (like Dylan Bundy, Danny Hultzen, Zach Wheeler, or Taijuan Walker).

2.  I wish for a Cubs deal to not be falsely confirmed. Yes, this is what happens with social media, including us at The Full Count (in my defense I just put what I see from the "experts"), but it's gotten a little ridiculous for the Cubs, although they have all been for different reasons. The Dempster trade (The Braves leaked before Dempster vetoed the trade), the Marmol trade (Marmol leaked this one to the media), and the Sanchez deal (Don't even get me started on his agent) all were confirmed at some point. I just wish for people in the media to stop using words like "confirmed" "official" or "done deal."

3.  Lastly, I wish for hockey back. Yes I know it has nothing to do with baseball, but I really miss the Blackhawks.

Hope all of you have a great holiday and look for more trade and signing reviews from Wade and I starting again on Wednesday!!"

-- Tommy, Full Count co-founder

All Wade Wants for Christmas is...

"As a Chicago baseball fan, there is no doubt that our wish list should be a mile long.  As a die hard White Sox fan, my list is a tad bit shorter than those on the North Side, but only 1 World Series title in my lifetime, is not enough so my South Side Christmas wishlist follows:

1.   Losing the "win now" attitude every year.  I am sick of trading away every prospect for washed up players like Roberto Alomar (twice), (The Ghost of) Ken Griffey Jr., Nick Swisher, Javier Vasquez, and Jim Thome (Yes he helped with a division title).  The likes of Ryan Sweeney, Daniel Hudson, Brandon Allen, and the one that kills me the most Gio Gonzalez (TWO TIMES, THAT IS RIGHT TWO TIMES) have all been traded from the White Sox and Hudson and Gonzalez really hurt because they are servicable number 2 and 3 starters.  Could you imagine a team with Chris Sale, Daniel Hudson and Gio Gonzalez heading into the next 3 seasons?  I just want a little consistency, not Atlanta Braves consistency, but a few division titles every 5 years would be GREAT!  Second place has gotten the White Sox no where the past few seasons, an AL Central Title would make my year.

2.  Gordon Beckham to decide that he wants to be a major league second basemen.  I understand his defense is "the best in the league" according to Hawk, but let's be honest he is above average and I would rather have Darwin Barney.  Beckham needs to pull it together or I think Carlos Sanchez or Angel Sanchez to take over at 2b, or look for Jeff Keppinger to move to 2b and one of the Sanchez boys to move to 3b.

3.  Robin Ventura to be able to keep his cool, calm and collected demeanor and still control the team like he did last year.  It was very impressive for a first year manager to have such a great presence in the dug out and clubhouse.

4.  Paul Konerko, Chris Sale and Jake Peavy to stay healthy. Enough said.

5. Tyler Flowers to be a serviceable everyday catcher.  Replacing A.J. will be tough shoes to fill, and I just don't know if Flowers is the answer.

6. Alex Rios and Adam Dunn to have repeat performances from 2012.  If they revert back to 2011, it will be a LONG SEASON!

7. My fantasy baseball team to continue on the path to the top of the league after finishing third place in two separate leagues last year.  After putting together a good core of young players in a keeper
league, this wish should not be a tough one to come by.

And one completely non baseball related thing...

8.  For the University of Illinois basketball team to continue their success heading into the new year under the guidance of John Groce.  A 5 seed or higher in the NCAA tournament and a Sweet 16 appearance (at
the VERY least).

Happy Holidays everyone and have a safe and Happy New Year.  Let the countdown begin, Only about 48 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training!


-- Wade, Full Count co-founder

That might be the best Christmas gift ever...less than 50 day until pitchers and catchers report.  On another note, we'd all like to thank our readers for tuning in.  Sometimes I see the traffic stats and I'm shocked that many people are actually checking out our stuff.  Then I also think about what a super-fantastically-awesomely-perfect game baseball is and I'm not surprised.  I'm more surprised I'm not driving people away. 

I'd also like to thank Wade and Tommy for inviting me to contribute.  This is their thing they started and I was stoked they thought of me to contribute to a blog dedicated to baseball (!?!?!?!).  Being a bachelor, living far away from home in Texas, I really don't have much else to do so I jumped when they invited me to help.  

I'd like to personally wish them a super Merry Christmas and cheers to old Concordia times.  I hope to catch up with them in person sooner than later.  For their Christmas gift from me to them, I'd like to give a Kate Upton JPEG in super high resolution.

Actually, that's my gift to all of you too.  Merry Christmas!!!  

Ho, Ho, HOTTTT!!!!