Quick Shots: Cubs get better deal than Brewers

Matt Trowbridge

Harden addition again makes Cubs the team to beat

Everyone says Rich Harden is no CC Sabathia. Quick Shots says he’s better. At least dollar-for-dollar. Harden costs $9 million for the next year and a half. Sabathia is a three-month rental for the Brewers.

Harden has a better career ERA (3.43 to 3.82) and season ERA (2.34 to 3.79) than Sabathia. His drawback is he always seems to get hurt. That’s less of a drawback on a Cubs team loaded with seven All-Stars. Chicago will still make the playoffs if Harden misses 10 or 12 starts. As long as he’s healthy for the playoffs.

And for that gamble, the Cubs gave up, basically, sixth or seventh starter Sean Gallagher. Chad Gaudin alone is worth the other three players the Cubs gave up.

Torres above suspicion

Most of the skeptics hurling steroid suspicions at 41-year-old Olympic swimmer Dara Torres defended Ireland’s later-disgraced Michelle Smith in 1996. They also helped make FloJo a track legend. Smith and Florence Griffith Joyner improved drastically overnight. FloJo cut her 100-meter dash time from 10.9 to 10.49, and many runners — but not media — wondered if she cheated.

Here’s why it’s unfair to look askance at Torres: she volunteered to provide a lifetime of medical records to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, submit DNA samples and even take a lie-detector test. That makes her innocent until proven guilty.

Favre, Packers both look bad

Could the Packers — and Brett Favre — look any worse? ESPN reports Favre asked the Packers for his release after he “emphatically expressed his desire to play” in a conference call and received no encouragement for GM Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy.

Favre started this problem with a half-decade of retirement hemming and hawing. Thompson exacerbated it by drafting Aaron Rodgers in the first round four years ago, then by doing nothing to encourage Favre to stay. Thompson basically pushed Favre out the door.

If I’m the Packers, I try to trade Favre for a 2009 first-round draft pick (even if it’s to the Vikings or Bears). I’d accept a second-rounder if it’s to the AFC (Ravens, perhaps). Anything less and I’d keep him. If Thompson and McCarthy are committed to Rodgers, they could put Favre No. 2 on the depth chart and hope he goes away.

Rose bigger worry than Beasley

The Bulls were worried about Michael Beasley’s character because he attended six high schools in five states. Well, All-Star center Amare Stoudemire also went to six high schools. Turns out, Derrick Rose’s knee (tendinitis) is a bigger worry. Rose could still be a great pick, but Quick Shots continues to think Beasley would have been a safer choice.

Sox get what they deserve just moved the White Sox up to No. 1 in its power rankings. Maybe that will stop Sox fans from whining about no All-Star pitchers despite the majors’ best team ERA. Truth is, the Sox should blame themselves. John Danks (fourth in the majors with a 2.52 ERA) would be an All-Star if his record wasn’t 6-4. But the Sox saved most of their runs for Gavin Floyd (10-4), whose 3.22 ERA isn’t quite All-Star worthy.

Matt Trowbridge’s can be reached at (815) 987-1383 or