Items of Interest

I don't really want to wait around till Friday on these, so a bit of link-mania. - For some reason folks keep wanting to ruin their fine podcasts by asking me to appear on them. In this case, 14-year old phenom and Red Sox fan Alex Reimer asked me to talk about the NL Central(Episode #111) and do one of my least favorite things, make predictions. I was a bit skeptical at first at the whole 14-year old thing, but once you hear the open to his show you realize he's going to be taking over the world at any point and I'd like to get on his good side. - John Sickels does a prospect smackdown between Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury and Cubs CF (you may have heard of him) Felix Pie. Sickels gives the nod to Pie and has him quite a bit higher than most prospect lists at around #22 overall in baseball, although he originally had Ellsbury one spot above Pie, but seemed to change his mind in the midst of writing his article. - Hardball Times uses their projection numbers that you can find in their preseason book (including an article by yours truly) to try and predict the division races. They've got the Cubs and Cardinals in a virtual dead heat, with the Cards winning by one game finishing with 85 wins. - SI.com has revamped their team pages and made it considerably more fan-friendly. So much so, that our RSS feed (along with a few other fine Cubs blogs) are included at the bottom. Smart way for SI.com to try and differentiate themselves from all the other sports sites if I do say so myself.
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Comments

All hail the mighty Cub Guru!!!

I just love the headline on one of the articles over at cubs.com. "Cubs Enjoy Luxury of Patience with Wood, Prior." Too funny. We have mostly been waiting for these two guys ever since 2003. I mean, is there anyone who is surprised that neither guy will make the 25-man roster for opening day? THis is the baseball equivalent of Bill Murray's film, "Groundhog Day." If Rumplestiltsken had fallen asleep after the 2003 season, nd been roused early from his sleep this month, he would have missed hardly anything that Wood and Prior have done.

some great pictures too at the SI page....

Can anyone tell me something about the Cubs outfield prospect Chris Walker who played in yesterdays split squad game and made the great catch in center. I don't know anything about him.

turns 27 this year, fast, very fast, pretty good glove, strikes out a lot for a guy with no power. Not very highly regarded.....

Best-case scenario is a Scott Podsednik like chance to get a shot in his late 20's, but probably never with the Cubs.

ARM, I think you mean Rip Van Winkle.

FWIW

more BP fun

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.p...

someone with an account tell me the Cubs predictions...

has Brewers finishing first, Cubs 2nd, Cards at .500

" I was a bit skeptical at first at the whole 14-year old thing, but once you hear the open to his show you realize he’s going to be taking over the world at any point and I’d like to get on his good side."

To quote Jack Donaghy from "30 Rock":

"In five years, we'll all be working for him or dead by his hand."

Another thing Rob, how come every time I hear you on the radio you sound like your talking on the phone, driving your car and tuning the radio all at once?

Not for nothing.

I dunno...

first time I was on a cellphone in a stairwell hiding from my co-workers.

This time I was pacing in my bedroom on a regular phone.

It appears to me that I have a tendency to not take a breath during my rants...I'll work on it, although after those 2 performances I doubt I'll have to work on it much.

http://www.rotoworld.com/Content/playernews.a...

cubs.com story I'm sure will be up soon enough, but
Ryan O'Malley
Carmen Pignatiello
Jake Fox
Micah Hoffpauir
Casey McGehee
Geovany Soto

sent down, Soto optioned to AAA technically.

That SI Cubs page is fantastic. One stop shopping.

OZZIE!!! (someone asked him if there would be a 20 yr reunion of the 2005 White Sox)

''Those ceremonies -- 'Oh, let's bring back those guys from 2005,' we're all crippled and fucked up, pushing wheelchairs, kids crying because his dad was on the ballclub -- fuck that,'' Guillen said. ''I don't need that bull. A bunch of fat guys, another one is broke. 'Hey, where's your ring?' 'Oh, I don't know, I sold that son of a bitch two years ago.'''

from Roto world:

The Marlins are considering making an offer for Angel Pagan, perhaps using shortstop prospect Robert Andino as bait, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports.

Such a deal wouldn't solve the problems of either team. Pagan wasn't quite as bad as expected for the Cubs last year, hitting .247/.306/.394 in 170 at-bats, but he doesn't have the range in center to make up for his bat and he'd be fortunate just to have a long career as a fifth outfielder. As for Andino, well, he's just 22, giving him plenty of time to improve. However, he'd be a downgrade from Tomas Perez in a utility role right now. He hit .255/.303/.363 in a great hitter's park at Triple-A Albuquerque last year.

yeah, check this one out aaronb:

http://mvn.com/mlb-cubs/2007/03/16/this-angel...

Sorry about that. I didnt see the previous post. I'm kind of like the guy interviewing at DuMass and DuMass in the A&W commercial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMe3WDmxBEI

re: #13

damn that's great...seriously, that crap probably floored john kruk with laughter if he read/heard that.

i love it...

Rob, all you need to do now is make a movie and you can challenge for King of All Media ...

Who says I haven't?

I do have an imdb page actually, I'll let you guys find it.

I already Googled you.

**restraining order**

Janusz, is that YOU?

All hail the king! Planet of the Apes, eh?

crappy movie, kick-ass show we did.

yes, it was a crappy movie. although i love the heston version.

the original was great, some of the sequels not too bad, Tim Burton's "re-imagining"....ugh

Well, your Starmeter is up 247% since last week.

the 3 people or so that must have visited since I just mentioned it probably gave it a boost.

man, call me a fool for actually thinking we would actually break camp with prior and wood (or ONE of the two for that matter) actually ready to contribute to the business of actually playing baseball games.

foolishness. hey how much does mister calve-tacular make with each shwoosh of the towel? aw screw him, i cant believe woody. F&@% the damned goat and bartman and all that, these two guys are our curse.

we have GOT to move on from these 2. until now ive been trying to reverse-jinx myself by naysaying while in fact harboring a stack of hope for them, but its just the same, old, tired, injured song.

in other news...Archuleta to the Bears for a conditional 6th round pick and much cheaper contract..

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp...

Sosa will play in Mesa tomorrow against us....shall they boo or cheer?

Cheer!

Remember the great years.

http://www.rotoworld.com/Conte....._teams=CHC

cubs.com story I’m sure will be up soon enough, but
Ryan O’Malley
Carmen Pignatiello
Jake Fox
Micah Hoffpauir
Casey McGehee
Geovany Soto

sent down, Soto optioned to AAA technically.

=======================

So does that leave just two catchers on the active roster? I wouldn't have minded if Soto stayed up longer. He's had a good spring and having another catcher would be handy.

sosa will be boo'd.

i will feel dirty either way.

I'd certainly stand up and cheer, but sounds like the Cubs crowd has grown more bitter as the years go by.

Koyie Hill is still with the team I believe...

Koyie Hill is still with the team I believe…

===============

Thanks, Rob. I forgot about Hill.

If they boo Sosa then they can go F themselves.

I’d certainly stand up and cheer, but sounds like the Cubs crowd has grown more bitter as the years go by.

Yeah, that tends to happen when a long suffering fan base is teased with success before being presented a hearty meal of crushing defeat and subsequent years of miserable despondency.

yeah we suck, everyone should boo our own minor league kids in spring training, new players who haven't even played a week and some of our best players of all time. We're going to be Philly in about two years....

How about booing the other team....it's more American.

Despite my previous post, I completely agree with not booing Sosa. I hate what he did, but he gave this team a helluva lot. And booing your own players is just really low class, not to reopen a can of worms.

rotoworld says Wood threw 25 pitches in a mound session today...

Rob G. — March 20, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

rotoworld says Wood threw 25 pitches in a mound session today…
---

ball or towel?

Rob G.:
"I’d certainly stand up and cheer, but sounds like the Cubs crowd has grown more bitter as the years go by."

If TCR is any indication as how bitter the Cubs fan has become, Sosa better wear some Kevlar.

Booing in itself seems chicken, if you ask me.

I booed in Minnesota last year. If I don't feel like I'm seeing MLB-quality play or hustle I'll do it, I don't care. But I would also bet most Cubs fan don't heckle at concerts, and I do that at bad shows all the time.

Rob,

Good interview with the youngster. I liked it.

REORG: Does anyone recall WHY, during the reorganization of the NL, the Pirates were put in the CENTRAL, from the East?

As I vaguely recall, it had something to do with P.K. Wrigley, and time zones, etc. - but truly, I just can't remember.

It dawned on me again tonight that with 6 teams, the Cubs have a 16.66% chance of winning the division, while the other 5 team divisions each get a 20% chance. With the Cubs, it already is challenging every year without losing 4.6% possibility points!

If anyone knows this trivia, I'd appreciate it.

WPZ:
i>"I booed in Minnesota last year."

I did too. That was a horrible performance those 3 games. PATHETIC!!!

i have friends that actually go to minor league games to heckle...i just cant go to games with them anymore.

they're not even mean people...one is an improv actor and the other is a stay-at-home-mom ex-hippie...they just love to showcase their "tallents" at 10-20 minor league games a year. i think its inappropriate to use a venue others are paying to watch a show to put on your own show in a captive audience. they...well, they dont care. oddly/sadly...most people around them either dont mind or dont care enough to tell them to shut up.

I think it's crap the NL Central is the only division with six teams. Someone will need to explain the fairness of that to me.

Googling Rob Glowacki gets me the IMDB hit (editor of various "making of"s) but also a pitcher with an ERA over 5. (GENERAL: Hard-throwing righthander should add depth to Marist's stable of middle relievers this season)

Now I'm both confused and intrigued. And a little creeped out- Rob, if I own the two disk set of The Incredibles, this means you edited one of the Special Features on it?

Some of my work is on DVD (Ice Age, Entourage Season two come to mind), but most of my stuff is pre-release of the theatrical film. Once in awhile they put that stuff on the DVD, but not normally.

As far as I recall it didn't make The Incredibles DVD.

Never made the minors, flamed out in high school, Maine East in Park Ridge.

We KNOW its ST But CHECK THIS!

DLEE - .537 OBP
IZZY - .486 OBP, 7BB!

Is Washington stressing walks?

re #46. It's 3.33% by the way. And anything worth doing is worth doing the hard way. That will make victory just that much sweeter for the '07 Cubs.

The E-Man:

Is Washington stressing walks?

Wait... what? You mean Perry? So confused.

The business about the Pirates on the interview with the kid reminded me of that Onion article. hehheh

Excellent news Floyd to start the season on the bench to give his surgically repaired foot more time to heal.

I kind of figured that, that type of injury is notoriously long to heal and get over.

"Wait… what? You mean Perry? So confused."

DOH!

Sorry! I'm confused!

Yep - Perry. I was thinkin - OBP >Oakland > Washington...

E-man,

The went to 3 divisions in 1994 and at that time there were only 14 teams in the NL, the East and Central had 5 each, the West 4.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL_...

if you look at it, pretty reasonable way of breaking them up.

in 1998, 2 expansion teams were added the Diamondbacks and DRays. At that point a decision had to be made on which league got 16 teams and which got 14, since you obviously can't have 2 leagues with 15 each. And for whatever reason, it was decided that the Brewers would switch leagues and very naturally they needed to be put in the Central. Voila!
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL_...

Maybe someone knows the exact reasoning behind it all, but I imagine Bud's considerable influence had something to do with that and there was some sort of advantage for the Brewers to move from the AL to the NL.

I wouldn't have even brought it up, but I thought I missed something.

MikeC:

Excellent news Floyd to start the season on the bench to give his surgically repaired foot more time to heal.

That would mean the Cub's only have 1 lefty in the lineup... who is allegedly on the trading block. Yikes.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

Awesome response by Lou here...

"We can start Opening Day tomorrow," Dempster said. "I'm ready."

Piniella scrunched his face when he heard that comment.

"And it'll be 86 degrees in Cincinnati, and we're going to be drinking pina coladas," Piniella said. "He needs a little more work."

Piniella does say that he's less worried about Dempster being ready since he's been pulling bullpen duty for a few years now.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

the Floyd story that Mike C. eluded to.....

the bench it is for him.

two lefties Rynox...Izturis.

let's see last year we had JJ, Pierre, Walker

2 years ago we had Burnitz, Korey, Walker and at times Holly and Neifi.

I'll live without the lefties.

http://www.nbcsports.com/mlb/1252971/detail.h...|

crap, that BBQ Ebay sale by Manny was legit, sorry Chad.

hmmm....from that Floyd article

General manager Jim Hendry said earlier this spring that Floyd was upset with him for holding him out until March 12, so it's possible Floyd won't be satisfied with a lesser role than he may have envisioned when he signed. Floyd did not make the trip to Tucson but is expected to play Wednesday against Texas at HoHoKam Park.

and some talk about how he has incentives in his deal which will be hard to reach if he's sitting. Maybe Floyd gets dealt (not until June 15th in all likelihood) instead of JJ.

I hope it's 86 in Cincinatti and we're drinking pina coladas. I'll save one for Lou from a few rows behind the Cubs dugout.

A common myth is that you need a lefties in the lineup just for the sake of having lefties in your lineup with their supposed ability to hit RHP better.

That simply is not true. If your team has players that can hit both righties and lefties well it doesn't matter if your offense is right hand dominated. The Cardinals have been right handed dominated lineup for years, sure hasn't slowed down their offense.

Murton hits RHP and LHP. Floyd only hits RHP, and even that might be in a steep decline. I have never understood the basis Floyd needs to play over Murton just because he bats lefty. Who cares, it isn't important.

From what I recall in 1998, the Brewers switching leagues was because Bud Selig wanted to stoke the flames of the Milwaukee-Chicago rivalry by putting the Brewers in the same division as the Cubs. For whatever reason, that worked better than with the White Sox... probably because people in Chicago at that time actually cared about the Cubs.

I remember reading an article on ESPN about how that rivalry has panned out, mentioning that the Cubs and Brewers have been duking it out for last place most of the time since then.

Here's some march madness-related fun with kids in MiLB with names that make me giggle. I don't know jack about html, so here's a tinyurl. Rocky Cherry's on list. But my vote is for Dognnt.

http://tinyurl.com/3dle89

Mike, I disagree that is the lone reason why you need lefties in the lineup. If you have good lefties and good righties, you should play both. It's about bullpen splits and stuff, too.

That said, if you have good righties and only one good lefty, a crippled lefty, a fat lefty, and a kinda light-hitting switch SS like the Cubs, well then. It's obvious. Hit the righties. Duh.

As unlikely as this would be to happen, what if you had three decent right handers due? Hypothetically, Theriot, Murton, and Barrett due against a nasty right hander. Who do want to hit? A good righty or a good lefty? Good lefty, obviously. We just don't have that any to do that with.

In theory, that's why you balance the lineup. So you don't have waste a bench player to pinch hit just to break up 3 straight righties in the order against a really tough right-hander. Superstar hitters are exempt, of course.

You think that Rocky Cherry stands a chance against Jorge Poon Tang? Oh the delicious irony!!

Sorry! Poo Tang. But the point still stands.

As I vaguely recall, it had something to do with P.K. Wrigley, and time zones, etc. - but truly, I just can’t remember.

If I remember, I think the whole time zone issue you're refereing to came with the split of the NL into 2 divisions. The Cubs and Cards should have been in the West and the Reds and Braves should have been in the East, but the Cubs and Cards were moved because they complained about having to play too many games on the west coast with 9 p.m start times.

At least thats how I remember hearing the stories.

The Pirates are in the Central because it made sense before the 98 expansion. The Brewers were moved to the NL in part because both the NL and AL wanted to split the money from the Expansion fees, so the D-Back and D-Rays were split, but since that made for an odd number of teams, someone else had to switch leagues. I'm not sure exactly how it came to be the Brewers, although I'm sure Selig had a whole lot to do with it.

Fwiw, Kansas City was given the first shot at switching to the NL. When they turned down the opportunity, the Brewers were next in line.

ROB G: I enjoyed your podcast interview with the Phenom, but I was disappinted by your lack of profanity. I counted at least a couple dozen places in the interview where a well-placed F-Bomb would have made your point a lot clearer.

haha, I didn't want the Phenom's mother to get on the line and yell at me.

Hey Rob, thanks for giving me the plug on your blog.

Whew, 76 replies....very impressive.

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