Daily Herald
Granderson fits Cubs, but only at a price
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 11/19/2009 12:02 AM

There's little doubt Curtis Granderson would look good on the North Side of Chicago.

But not so good that the Cubs will give up a top prospect for him - let alone two.

The rumor mill is in full force, probably fueled a bit by Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski, who would love to get Cubs fans all stirred up and then get his hands on shortstop Starlin Castro.

That's not going to happen.

Castro is due to arrive in Chicago sometime in 2010, perhaps even pushing Ryan Theriot to second, so Castro isn't going anywhere.

Would the Cubs like to have Granderson? Sure, but at the right price.

Granderson, after all, is not without his faults, which is why he's available. If he were perfect, Detroit wouldn't be considering a trade.

Granderson is a great teammate, solid player, can hit home runs and steal bases, but he also can't hit lefties, played below his standard in center field in 2009 and had a poor on-base percentage with a high number of strikeouts.

The Cubs would take him if the right deal were there, but they're also looking at Marlon Byrd and Mike Cameron, too, and they won't be rushing to overpay anyone this winter.

So while the Tigers try pitting the Cubs against the Yankees and others, don't expect the Cubs to bite unless the deal's fair.

From what we hear, they like Granderson and would be happy to have him in center field at Wrigley Field against right-handers, but they're not about to get held up, especially so early in the process.

There are going to be a lot of players still looking for jobs after Jan. 1, and there's going to be some serious bargain hunting taking place all the way up until spring training.

And sometimes it's those well-motivated bargains on one-year deals that get you to the World Series.

There could be a couple of Chicago baseball teams looking at that avenue this time around.

Condolences

To the family and many friends of longtime Park Ridge resident Nick Kladis, who died at the age of 81 Tuesday.

Kladis was a star basketball player at Loyola in the early '50s, had his number retired, and later was an assistant coach on the Ramblers' 1963 NCAA championship team.

Kladis was a part owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, partner in the East Bank Club and in Harry Caray's Restaurants, and a very good friend to Dutchie Caray since Harry passed away 11 years ago.

The good guys

The Wolves host their 10th annual food drive to benefit the Belvidere Boone County Food Pantry at the next five home games.

Last year the Wolves collected 2,720 pounds of food at four home games, which provided 1,965 meals for those in need. In nine years Wolves fans have donated nearly 13,000 pounds of food.

For more info, visit chicagowolves.com.

The line

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook is out for Sunday night's game in Chicago, the Bears can't cover anyone anyway, and the beloved can't run the ball.

Add it all up and we put the over-under on total number of combined pass attempts for Donovan McNabb and Jay Cutler at 117.

Estimated time for game's end: 12:42 a.m. Monday.

Scariest stat

The Bears have allowed the eighth-most QB hits in the NFL this season with 51, and the Philadelphia defense arrives in town with the second-most sacks at 29.

Ouch.

Case for defense

If you're not watching SEC football, you're missing something amazing.

The two best defensive teams in all of football, including the NFL, are at Alabama and Florida, and the draft will likely prove that out in the long run.

Seam stress

Babe DeRosa, perhaps the greatest player of the last 50 years, reportedly is set to sign with Philadelphia.

Guess that pretty much guarantees the Phillies a third straight pennant and dooms the Cubs to yet another year of watching the World Series on TV.

One and counting

Isiah Thomas picked up his first college coaching victory Tuesday as Florida International University (1-3) delivered a stirring 88-82 decision over NAIA power Florida Memorial.

Anyone think Thomas makes March 1 before losing his mind?

Make me laugh

Some of David Letterman's Top Ten Signs Your NFL Team Owner Is Nuts:

"Encourages vendors to sell beer to players during game."

"Asked owner of Detroit Lions for tips on building a winner."

"Pregame pep talk - asks team to lose by more than 71/2."

"Gives players the weekend off."

Delayed reaction

Wait, it just hit me: Tommie Harris penetrated and made a tackle for a loss last week. Be still my heart.

The quote

The Lakers' Phil Jackson, after watching Pau Gasol's guest appearance on "CSI: Miami" this week: "I told him to keep his night job."

Best headline

Sportspickle.com: "Rookie of Year winner hoping to be next Walt Weiss."

And finally -

Washington Times' Dan Daly, on Jay Cutler's $20,000 fine for verbally abusing a back judge in the Arizona loss: "I'm guessing Cutler jumped the official because he blocked his view of the intended receiver - the Cardinals' free safety."

brozner@dailyherald.com