Game 41 Recap: Cubs 11, White Sox 6

Grand. Play by Play Box Score Photos Game Center

 

W - Howry (1-3), Drama.

L - Aardsma (2-1), MLB.TV, FOX, and everyone else who conspired to keep me from viewing this game.

 

Things to take from today's game

1. Blowing in the wind

The fifth inning saw a series of home runs, including a particularly wind-aided one from Barrett, and another from Marquis.

2. Derrek Lee nearly killed Santo

Lee hit a pinch-hit grand slam, his first at bat in a week, in the bottom of the 8th, breaking the game open 11-6. The Cubs had already come back to take the lead in the inning, on a triple by Theriot, single by Soriano, and triple by Ramirez.

3. Rockin' Wrigley

Limited to the audio feed, it was impressive to hear the chorus of boos that preceded each A.J. at bat, the chants of "Let's Go Cubbies," and especially, the sing-along at the end of the game. It sounded as if 40,000 were joining in on "Go Cubs, Go."

Due to only having the audio cast, I don't have many observations about the game. Help me fill them in, on the message board. Parachat review, below.

 

 

 

 

  • I'd like to take this moment to express my blinding-white hatred of MLB.TV, FOX, WGN, and my local cable provider right now. For what I'm paying for mlb.tv and regular cable, you'd think ONE of them would let me view the Cubs/Sox game. Nope. Will have limited commentary here, due to my inability to watch the #@%@@# game.

 

Parachat Review

Inning 1:

Who should go to the bullpen? Who is getting this game on TV, and who isn't? The distance between a person's eyes. Are Theriot's eyes "bovinesque?" Artist wives. Made up quotations. People who generalize, and people who don't.

Inning 2

Leadoff walks, Marquis' start to the season, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater athletics department. What's up with AJ's hair? Why AJ and Ozzie make the Sox-rivalry an easy one to get worked up about. Small televisions.

Inning 3:

The smell of thunder. How many obvious middle-school quality double entendres can we make with Rocky Cherry? Living in a broken time machine. Parachat/MLB Audio/TV delays. Waiting for Ward. The Nerf Turbo as a pickup line. Is there an uglier team, playing in an uglier city, than the Milwaukee Brewers? Why Houston ain't much better. Why Kelly Clarkson ain't much better. Unusual and long city names. Spaniards. Really unusual and really long city names. Finger-lickin' good. Why Mousis Alou shouldn't eat at KFC.

Inning 4:

Remembering Ricky. Remembering Prior. Angel Pagan's valley-girl interview style. Why we dislike A.J. Soriano's fielding troubles. Why doesn't Dye run on Jones' arm? When will Barrett punch someone and make this game fun again? Marmolade.

Inning 5:

Random baseball talk, not taking walks. Roger Clemens, Santo's orgasmic Home Run "call." Colonoscopies, noses, and Katie Couric.

Inning 6:

FOX broadcast, Joe Mauer's pepsi commercial, Cable news, dumb conversations in the Sox dugout. Creative similies to describe bad swings of the bat.

Inning 7:

Correcting each other's grammar. Cialis and vision loss: a worthy trade-off? Pagan. People named Skippy. Lack of perspective.

Inning 8:

Icebergs. Cowering before God. Blame. Kenny G. Theriot man-crushes. Eckstein/Theriot comparisons. Cheering on the Cubs. LOLing at Ron Santo's call, and the IBB to Ward. FOX goes black. (will it go back?) How does Lee look, now that he's had his head amputated? Ecstacy. (the emotion, no the drug) (well, maybe that, too.)

Inning 9:

the University of Chicago. The fastball is Marmolade's bread and butter pitch (from Johann). Celebration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

I'm so sad I missed it. Sounded like an awesome game. I was at work, instead. Suck. Go Cubs.

I did not have tickets so had to watch on TV. Fun, exciting game. Great to see Lee get the pinch hit home run. Go Cubs.

I was listening on the radio - up on the a ladder, clearing maple seeds out of my gutters (what a pain). Turned the game off when the Sox took the lead on Konerko's homer. Turned it back on in time to catch the last out. OK, I'm a wimp. So sue me. Go Cubs.

was there, the sox oddly look like the bizarro cubs

Wrigley Field was as loud as I've ever heard during a regular season game when DLee swung at the 3-1 pitch.

Dempster was up at the start of the bottom of the 8th, he was definitely going in to the game even if it was still 6-5. Marmol only started to throw after DLee's at bat, although he had been throwing in the pen earlier (about the 4th) when Marquis gave up the first 3 runs.

Theriot is a wonderful player, his triple in the 8th was a game changing hit. It's a pleasure to watch him really hustling as a baserunner.

Nice to see Trans thinks the entire Internet and Cable TV network is built around him... Just kidding, that loser line had me laughing out loud. Ok, maybe the 8 drinks had something to do with it as well.

We switched seats from upper deck box to reserved grandstand in the 8th inning. I have not felt such electricity since the playoffs.

Truly remarkable.

Howry is terrible. Oh-man! still walks plenty of guys.

Demp as the new 5th starter?

Twins beating Bruki's 4-1 in the 8th

...that's Brewski's

REAL NEAL

"The bullpen has been bad, but Lou being in constant panic mode anytime someone gives up a walk probably doesn’t help things much."

Maybe you might consider letting the guy manage, cause he knows what he's doing, and you stick to the finance world where you probably know what you're doing.

MAybe you don't recall that all spring the team concentrated on NOT giving up walks with the pitching staff. Walking men in late innings is not a good thing in most people's books. Especially a walk-off walk to lose a game Neal. After three straight walks.

Is this "panic mode" NEAL? No, I'd consider it good managing, but maybe after four years of Dusty and Don Baylor before this, you don't know the difference?

i wanna have whatever ron santo's having...

Brewers lose 5-2. Dropping their 7th in 9.

Todd Wellemeyer in relief for the Cardinals, with his team closing in on the Tigers lead

...Sheffield HR, 8-5

been there, done that...

I wish I could have heard Ron today. I'll listen to the bits they put on cubs.com tomorrow. I was listening to Girardi for some of the game but Fox had some serious technical difficulties. Great win today.

Checking in from Miami to say:

Behold the Mighty Brewers as they reach the Crest of Chad. Sure they might win tomorrow but they will be at or below 9 games over .500 for the rest of the season soon. They are not that good. They are not for real.

So, let's get that sweep tomorrow, let's get back to .500 and let's get back in this race.

Way to go DLee! Let's face it, if we end that inning without getting any more runs, we head to the 9th with a one run lead. And who here amongst us has faith in that happening.

If we are in first or second in June, we will trade for a closer. Mark this down. Who is out there that could help? Frank Fransisco?

Zeus was impressive hitting 99MPH on his first pitch. After seeing that wicked slider bounce right in front of the batter's foot, it's easy to see why he has so many HBP in AAA.

BTW, I think the Fox trouble was local to Chicago. I live in Ft Wayne and didn't have any trouble during any part of the game.

I'm so glad to see D-Lee's power back. I had missed it.

Theriot is such a kick-ass player. Another day, another 2 for 5.

I predict the Cubs win 10 out of their next 13 games. Fun times.

FOX troubles were more widespread than that...I'm in St. Louis, and I could hardly hear the announcers for 3 or 4 middle innings, just the crack of the bat and the crowd noise.

btw, the HR given up by Wellemeyer to Detroit cost the Cards the game...lost 8-7. How is the ex-Cub factor supposed to work again?

Fun 2 games at Wrigely -- nice for Fonzie and the new guys to see the energy when they win at home.

Meanwhile -- at AA -- Holliman with 8 innings of shutout ball, and he hit his first HR.

Loooking forward to Lou's bombshell on Monday, whatever it is.

AZ Phil or someone else:

What's the skinny on Mark Holleman (sp?), is he this good? What's his stuff rate, and what is his upside? For all the Donny Veal hype, Holleman has been the most impressive Cubs minor league pitcher so far this year, along with Blevins.

AZ Phil Question #2: Jose Ceda, is he injured? I haven't seen any info on him.

AZ Phil Question #3: Mark Pawelek? Another bust??

And a general observation, speaking of busts: All hope for Brian Dopirak has ended, he's been demoted back to Daytona. Clearly, 2004 was a classic low-level, one-year fluke. What the hell is this guy doing on the Cubs' 40-man roster?

That light flickering in the corner of Ryan Harvey's eye is his own career dissipation light, it is about three shakes away from going permanent.

CAN WE EVER DRAFT A SUCCESSFUL KID IN THE FIRST ROUND? Man oh man....

Eric,

No, we can't. And according to BA's website with a Mock Round 1 draft, the Cubs are projected to take Vitters, 3B...........yes, another HS slugger who could very easily go the way of Dopirak and Harvey.

I didn't have a chance to chime in last night, but I was at Wrigley on Friday, so here's a late first-hand report.

Like others have said, it was a terrific atmosphere -- at the key moments, a lot like a college football game. The late inning electricity was enhanced by the fact that the Sox had looked like they were destined to win the game through the middle of the 7th, so the many Sox fans in attendance grew louder and more bold as the game wore on. By the fourth, it was annoying, Through the fifth it was grating and by the top of the 7th it was obnoxious. It made the bottom of the 7th all the more sweet.

The scream of anticipation when Pagan dropped his triple down the right field line felt like watching a punt return for a TD -- that feeling of anticipation, panic and exhiliration! And when Pagan sprinted home to take the lead on that wild pitch, it was like watching a (very thin and fast) fullbeack break through the line unexpectedly to dive in for a key touchdown. It was one of the handful of moments at Wrigely when you high-five and hug nearby strangers.

I can only imagine today was even more dramatic. DLee's HR was the kind that will be remembered in 20 years in "Remember when" fashion. Personally I was out for a jog during the bottom of the 7th, listening to Pat and Ron. When Pat came on after a commercial break and announced, over the deafening roar, that "the noise you are hearing is because Derrek Lee will be pinch hitting for Jacque Jones" was enough to give me goose bumps even in mid-jog. I think I will always remember the street corner that I was on when Pat bellowed "Graaaaand Slaaaaam Hoooome Ruuuuun!"

We pay our dues as fans for moments like these, so let's enjoy it! This is the good part. In 25 years we will remember this weekend, but we won't remember how many games ahead the Brewers were, or even that the Brewers were ahead in the first place, or maybe even anybody who played for the Brewers.

We certainly have bigger goals in mind, but this is pretty good for now.

Santo sounded like every cubs fan out there after that grand slam, a evil sounding laugh and a "how about that". its like every single cubs fan was thinking that, especially after the nightmare that was thursday.. if you get a chance to listen to it

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/wrap.jsp?ymd...

lets hope thursday was our kick in the ass

the media, especially chicago media...is GUSHING over this game...

a game that most of us cubs fans outside the midwest didnt get to see because of mlb/fox.

instead of going on a rant about how its wrong and how it shows mlb doesnt care about blah blah blah...im just gonna jump to the reality that this is a multi-billion dollar business and just say "damn."

btw, not to take away from trans' funny comment in the loss column leading the article...these recaps are taking on a nice life of their own.

E-Man,

OK, you're right. Yelling at his players from the dugout like a Soccer Dad gone wild is good managing, and undoubtedly the best way to get the most out of them. My bad, what could I have possibly been thinking?

I mean, if you need any proof of his managing genius, just look at the Cubs' record in one-run games.

'Don't walk people' - It's amazing Lou Piniella is the first guy in baseball to ever think of this strategy. Too bad he has the only team in the entire universe who can't just stop walking people on command, or on juvenile scream, in Piniella's case.

Dusty, for all his faults, was able to get the 2004 Cubs team to a winning record, despite having much inferior talent in the bullpen. They probably would have made the world series if he screamed at his players as they were pitching.

Oh yeah,

Maybe you should stop commenting on the blog, and just stick to drooling onto your bib, or whatever you do for a living.

Great win for Lou, D. Lee and the Cubs...the Saturday game was a classic...I want the Cubs to SWEEP the Sox on Sunday.

Pagan has been a pleasant surprise too -- this guy should play as often as they can get him into the line-up.

Time for the Cubs to try to sustain some momentum and really go after the Brewers.

cubsterLA--Angel Pagan, I have three words for you: small sample size. He is a very mediocre player over the long haul, useful as a deep bench player because of his speed, but that's about it. Don't get too excited. If you do, look at his numbers last year, and with the Mets before that, you'll find that bracing enough.

Sammy Sosa: 9 HR, 32 RBI. Alfonso Soriano: 3 HR, 9 RBI. Discuss.

Discuss...

Texas Rangers 16-27 .372

Sosa 9 HR...

Good for Sammy, but what impact has it had on his team? Seems like we've seen this movie before. But hey, I'm happy for him.

As far as Soriano, I'll wait till the sample size is bigger.

Is it me, or are the Cubs relying much more on their own scouting staff? Case in point, the discussion about Howry's velocity, the way Marshall looked in the minors, etc...In years past, they would usually wait unitl the veteran player failed beyond a shadow of a doubt before making a move.

Kevin:
Santo sounded like every cubs fan out there after that grand slam, a evil sounding laugh and a “how about that”.

Yeah, Santo catches a lot of crap for his style of in-game commentary, but usually he's just saying what everyone is thinking.

Jesus Christ, We're now going to revise history to the point where Dusty will get gettting the 2004 Cubs to a winning record? And we're going to give him credit in part because of the bullpen, which might have been the single most mismanged bullpen in the history of baseball?

The 04 Cubs should have been able to sleepwalk into the playoffs, instead they couldn't even get to 90 wins, in large part because the bullpen pitchers were more concerned about what the broadcasters were saying about them, than they were about throwing strikes, and because we kept seeing the same closer every game, even though everyone in baseball could see the visible puddle that formed every time he entered the game in a high pressure situation (you know that top tier setup guy, who had failed as a closer in the past, had an ERA below 2 before being moved to the closer role, and was so able to handle the closers role he called a press conference to say he wasn't going to talk to the media anymore because he was named closer?).

yes-I know we'll hear from crunch how there's no difference in pitching the 3rd inning or the 9th, and humans don't feel or deal with pressure, blah, blah blah.

Dusty's use of the bullpen in 04 alone should have gotten him fired, Lets not go back and now praise him for their failures. And while I'm not thrilled with everything that Lou has done with the pen, at least he recognizes failure and tries to make improvements. I'll take experamentations that fail, over someone who trys the same thing every day, and then sits back, gnaws on a toothpick, and wonders why he's not getting a different result.

unless Sosa's been pitching for Millwood, Padilla, Loe and McCarthy, Texas troubles have little to do with him. He was 5th in the AL in RBI's btw when I checked Friday.

Let's not forget that Jon Daniels is competing for worst GM in the league.

Aardsma for Cotts...discuss.

Nick Masset starting today instead of Contreras btw...

Looks like Wood going to give it one more try this year:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Nobody hold their breathe. Hopefully it will be the last time we see Wood in a Cubs uniform.

Oh yeah, WOO!! HOO!! Go Cubs...Nice win (even though like many, I couldn't see it).

Baseball is a funny sport, lose 3 of 4 in embarrassing fashion to the Mets, then come back and at least take the series against the White Sox.

REAL NEAL:
"Maybe you should stop commenting on the blog, and just stick to drooling onto your bib, or whatever you do for a living."

Maybe you should try attending a game some year instead of sitting around looking at your numbers in your microscopic voyueristic Cubland and whacking off to them. At least you'll have some experience with something you actually attend, and attend to.

You are the guy that hasn't been to a game in over ten years and you're fucking commenting on what and who Lou is yelling at.

You fucking prick. All you see is what your tv shows you. You have NO choice to look at anything else. The majority of any "yelling" if any, and there is not much done from the dugout by Lou, is by Alan Trammel. And your "soccer coach" reference is laughable. If you had come to a game and watched you might have some insight other than someone looking into a fishtank.

What an asshole you are. Now go whack-off to your calculators and multi-screen spreadsheet.

Rob G.:
Aardsma for Cotts…discuss.

I didn't like the trade at all. Aardsma has a much better upside and a real live fastball. Plus Cotts is a former WSox, and grew up (I think) a Cards fan. Ugh, no thanks.

Nick Masset starting today instead of Contreras btw…

Yay.

Flaming is so 90's. BTW, interesting tidbit, I'm a huge fan of multi-screen spreadsheets.

no lee today at first, according to wmvp - ward at first

E-Man, geez how do you really feel about Real Neal?

...my computer's internal fan won't shut off after accessing that exchange

I'm going to see the Cubs at Cincy the last weekend in July. Anyone know what hotel the team stays at in Cincinnati? I wanna go drinking with Uncle Lou and Santo.

henry:
no lee today at first, according to wmvp

Best... bench... player... ever.

cubster:
Anyone know what hotel the team stays at in Cincinnati? I wanna go drinking with Uncle Lou and Santo.

Sweet... I'm actually going to the Saturday game in that series. I don't know where the Cub's are staying, and I'm not staying that night, but I can tell you I've stayed at the Cincinattian in the past on business and it's nice. Nothing special, but I was pleased with it and it's right downtown within walking distance of Great America.

oh, and a general comment (my own opinion) about posting here. i don't know what some of the agendas are, i know that i am here to get information, give information on the very rare occasion that i have information, and to kvetch a bit about my cubs. those who get personal, for whatever reason, really sound silly and very tedious. trust me on this, whenever someone posts something that is personally directed demeans himself. i mean if you all cannot feel happy after a game like yesterday's, what's the point? go follow the travails of paul wolfowitz or something...

henry, that's f*ing stupid. You must be stupid.

:)

rynox, you're right, i should have said go follow the NHL....

I want to retract #37 above and apologize to the board in general.

I will try harder not to let the "Formerly Real Neal" bait me - nor get upset at his innocuous comments.

Cubster,

According to the media guide, the Cubs stay at the Westin Cincinnati (513-621-7700).

I don't post here often, more of a lurker, but 433, what an excellent post. There are those moments, whether you are there in person or watching it on tv or listening to it on the radio, that transcend the game itself. These moments that will, and I'm acknowledging the full-blown cliche, live with you forever. And maybe that's why we are fans.

I'll remember the explosion from the stands as Eric Karros took the Yankees reliever deep, thus preventing Clemens 300 win. I'll remember after opening day, 1994, my friends and I guessing how many home runs Tuffy Rhodes was going to hit that year. I'll remember when a miracle of atmospheric conditions allowed me to get WGN on my radio when I was well beyond its range, and I got to listen to Pat and Ron call that second game of the double header against the Pirates during 2004.

Sappy, sentimental, sure. But it's good to hold on to those because soon enough, and today may be that day, I'll be back swearing at the radio vowing I'll going to start to root for the Harlem Globetrotters--they never lose.

I'm perplexed by the unguarded optimism, but you'll pardon me if I don't jump on board. It's not that I think I have it all figured out--how many wins this team will have at season's end, or how good/bad an overperforming/slumping player will end up when all is said and done.

Doesn't your excitement when the Cubs play well translate into a long tumble down into the abyss when the Cubs are owned by the Mets/Brewers/Pirates?

I have no choice but to be flat and passionless after these many years of heartbreak. I look at those of you who can still get their pulse up more than one game at a time now with a mixture of curiosity and amazement. Aren't you concerned about the coming fall back to mediocrity or worse? How can you take the repeated disappointments and jump right back into it?

Go Cubs, yeah, for sure. Great win, no doubt. Go for the sweep, that'd be great. But win the division? Make the playoffs? Win it all?! Are you really that resilient that you're back on that bandwagon with this sub .500 team? I'm a little envious. A Cubs win to me now is more like a good movie. It was fun and enjoyable while the entertainment flickered on. But now it's over and time to let my eyes readjust to the bright light outside.

Maybe we'll have another fun game today. Maybe we'll even win. Go Cubs.

I have been listening to our local 670 WSCR "Hit and Run" show.

The beat reporter David Schuester has stated he believes that Dempster will be moved to the 5th starter's role after this weekend. Lou stronlgy hinted at this.

"Had Howry and Eyre performed as they were expected, this type of move would not have been necessary" acccording to the reporter.

Only speculation on who the closer will be.

So, if Marmol, his control is not great, and as a starter, Dempster's control was REALLY bad! So - WTF?

Everyone should read 433's post # 21.

And I'm glad, replying to a couple comments in there, that no one is taking my "Won" and "Loss" comments too seriously.

I've heard that theory, too, E-man, but Lou also said it wouldn't be (and I'm paraphrasing) real easy to stretch out a reliever to start games, so I don't think Demp is going back to the rotation... I hope not anyways. I think a trade is in the works or something. Damn Lou for keeping us hanging.

And btw...

Mr. Whipple = Buzzkill

:(

"when the Cubs are owned by the Mets/Brewers/Pirates?"

How did the Brewers make this list? The season series is at 3 - 3 right now. And the Mets didn't 'own us'. We outscored them in that series and blew two of the three games we lost. We actually should have won the first and last games. And sure I guess we can say we got owned by the Pirates cause we shouldn't lose a game to them but its not like they beat the crap out of us either. The only team that really owned us was Philly.

Yankees want to void the remainder of Giambi's contract. Dude should've kept his mouth shut.

By the way, Rynox, thanks for that morning laugh. :)

Eric the Great — May 20, 2007 @ 12:04 am
AZ Phil or someone else:

What’s the skinny on Mark Holleman (sp?), is he this good? What’s his stuff rate, and what is his upside? For all the Donny Veal hype, Holleman has been the most impressive Cubs minor league pitcher so far this year, along with Blevins.

AZ Phil Question #2: Jose Ceda, is he injured? I haven’t seen any info on him.

AZ Phil Question #3: Mark Pawelek? Another bust??

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

ERIC: Mark Holliman was the Cubs 2005 3rd round pick out of Ole Miss, but he signed late in '05 (August 13th), so unlike most draft picks selected and signed that year, he did not make his pro debut until Opening Day 2006. The Cubs thought enough of him to skip him past Extended Spring Training (EXST) and Peoria, assigning him to Hi-A Daytona right from the gitgo.

The reason Holliman wasn't rated higher coming into the 2007 season is because he started off very well at Daytona in '06, but hit a wall in July. The thought was that because he had never pitched more than 113 innnings in college, he just wasn't used to throwing more innings than that. But his sudden loss of velocity and command 2/3 of the way through the FSL season did send up a red flag about his stamina as a starting pitcher over a full season. (When he came out of college, Baseball America had projected him as a future MLB middle reliever, so what happened to him last year just seemed to confirm that appraisal). It will be interesting to see if he hits a wall again in July, or if he shows '06 was just a learning curve.

As far as what he throws, he's got a low 90's fast ball, a decent curve, and an OK change-up. But what makes him special is that he has (normally) excellent control, and he is not afraid to trust his stuff and throw strikes. He's not a "nibbler." He shows no fear, and goes right after hitters. When the Cubs drafted Holliman, they knew they were getting a polished college pitcher, which is why they were not afraid to "jump" him to Daytona for his pro debut.

What's interesting is that the Cubs had not one but two 3rd round draft picks in '05. The other one--RHP Mike Billek (Central Florida)--was selected with the compensation pick the Cubs got from the Red Sox when Matt Clement left via free-agency. Billek pitched well at Boise and Peoria in '05, and appeared to be (like Holliman) on the fast-track, but he went into free-fall last year, going backwards from Daytona-to-Peoria-to-Boise as the year wore on.

This year, Billek struggled at minor league camp and so he started out the season at EXST (Boise/Mesa), but got a promotion to Peoria earlier this month when several members of the Chiefs starting rotation went on the DL. But Billek got released yesterday, adding his name to a growing list of failed Cubs pitching prospects taken with high draft picks in recent years who got a pink slip this season (Bobby Brownlie and Chadd Blasko during ST, and Luke Hagerty earlier this month at EXST).

Meanwhile, 2004 #1 pick RHP Grant Johnson (Notre Dame) continues to struggle at Daytona (he was there last year, too), trying to work out his mechanical difficulties by pitching out of the D-Cubs bullpen.

As for Jose Ceda, he is at EXST at Fitch Park with a sore shoulder. There is no timetable for his return to Peoria. When he's healthy, he throws 96-98.

Mark Pawelek started the season working out of the Peoria bullpen (so he could work more often to help him learn to repeat his delivery), but his mechanics were so fouled up that he got demoted to EXST after only two weeks. I've seen him pitch three times in the past couple or three weeks in EXST games at Fitch Park, and he continues to struggle with command of his fastball (which tops out now at 88 MPH--down fom the 93-94 he threw when the Cubs drafted him). His breaking ball looks somewhat better, though. I would think Pawelek will get assigned to Boise, but I don't know whether he will be used as a starter or as a reliever. A lot depends on whether he shows any improvement with the command of his fastball in the next couple of weeks.

For those of you who don't read my EXST game reports over at "Road to Wrigley," here is the Cubs up-to-date EXST (Boise/Mesa) roster:

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS (ACTIVE):
Francisco Acosta
Alberto Cabrera
Julio Castillo (demoted from Peoria)
Brad Clipp
Miguel Cuevas
Wily Garcia
Chris Huseby
Kevin Kreier
Jordan Latham (2006 29th round draft pick signed last week as a Draft+Follow)
Matt Maradeo
Oswaldo Martinez
John Muller (recently signed 5th year college senior)
Andrew McCormick
Blake Parker (converted from C-1B to pitcher last week)
* Mark Pawelek
Leonel Perez (converted 3B)
Audy Santana
Ryan Searle (will be going to Australia Baseball Academy once EXST is over)
Larry Suarez
Brandon Taylor (converted 3B)
Harol Tolentino
Donny Walters

PITCHERS (REHAB)
Jose Ceda (shoulder - limited activity only)
Michael Cooper (shoulder - is throwing in EXST games)
Rafael Dolis (elbow - limited activity only)
Adam Harben (TJ elbow surgery rehab - limited activity only)
Junniol Lami (unknown if elbow or shoulder - limited activity only)
Juan Mateo (shoulder - is throwing "live" BP)
Billy Muldowney (elbow - limited activity only)
* Taylor Parker (elbow - limited activity only)

PITCHERS (INACTIVE)
Brett Jackson (unknown)
Kitt Kopach (shoulder surgery)
Roberto Novoa (fractured shoulder)
Mark Prior (shoulder surgery)
Kerry Wood (shoulder - is supposed to begin throwing this week)

CATCHERS:
* Steve Clevenger (converted 2B)
Mario Mercedes
Carlos Perez

INFIELDERS:
# Marwin Gonzalez (3B)
Gian Guzman (3B-SS)
Elvis Lara (2B)
Elvin Puello (1B-3B)
Jesus Reyes (1B)
Nathan Samson (SS)
Cesar Valentin (SS-2B)

OUTFIELDERS:
* Cliff Andersen
Sammy Baez (converted SS)
Cody Gilbert
# Valerio Heredia
Edgar Herrera
* Nelson Perez (was signed last year as a RHP, has been moved to RF)
# Andres Quezada
* Drew Rundle

POSITION PLAYERS (REHAB)
* Jeff Culpepper, OF (is playing in EXST games)
Ryan Harvey, OF (hamstring - second time in last two months)
Andy Lopez, OF (quad)
# Francisco Tirado, INF (is taking BP only)

The most impressive pitchers I have seen so far at EXST are 18-year old Venezuelan RHP Robert Hernandez (and he just got promoted to Peoria and made his debut there last night) and 18-year old Dominican RHP Alberto "El Toro" Cabrera. (I liked 2006 12th round pick RHP Jake Renshaw a lot, too, but he got promoted to Peoria in early April, so I don't count him as an EXST guy).

Hernandez resembles former Cubs OF Dave Martinez, and besides his plus fastball, curve, and change-up, he also has outstanding poise for a kid his age (and he looks like he's about 14). He is all business, I've never seen him smile or joke with the other players.

Cabrera has the best pure fastball (mid-90's) at EXST and he also has a sharp breaking ball that he throws for strikes. He pitched at DSL Cubs last year, and will probably be the #1 starter at AZL Mesa in '07, unless the Cubs decide to jump him to Boise.

6'7 19-year old RHP Chris Huseby (2006 11th round pick who got 1st round money to keep him from going to Auburn) has had his ups-and-downs at EXST, but on his good days, he has a nice mix of three pitches, including a 93-94 MPH two-seamer (he had a 7/0 GB/FB in his last outing).

Among the position players, 2006 9th round pick CF Cliff Andersen has been the most-impressive. A young Jim Edmonds but with a better arm, Andersen hit a 450-foot HR over the 30-foot high green metal CF hitting background at Fitch Park Field #2 last week, but what was especially impressive about the dinger was that the 19-year old hit it off a left-handed pitcher (Andersen is a left-handed hitter).

A former high schooll baseball and football star from Salt Lake City who gave up a baseball scholarship at Oklahoma State to sign with the Cubs, Andersen is an excellent defender at all three OF positions with outstanding speed and a plus arm. He just needs to work on cutting down his strikeouts. (And doesn't THAT sound familiar?)

2006 7th round pick Steve Clevenger was converted from 2B to catcher in the Arizona Instructional League last September, and he has really taken to his new position. Clevenger is a good hitter (he's a lefty) with a high baseball IQ who lives and breathes baseball. He's another guy who never smiles. Already he has better catching mechanics than half the catchers in the Cubs organization! (OK. I know. That's not saying much...)

And 22-year old Dominican Sammy Baez came to Spring Training taller and heavier (and I would say the growth spurt was just a little bit startling), so since he had (apparently) outgrown shortstop, the Cubs decided to move him to CF. He is still learning to adjust to the new position and he needs to work on reading line drives and fly balls, but he has tremendous potential. The added bulk should make him more of a power threat than in the past, and he already had a strong (though erratic) throwing arm and plus-speed.

Thanks as always Phil. I don't even want to recall the players the Cubs passed on to take Pawelek, it's too painful to recall.

“Had Howry and Eyre performed as they were expected, this type of move would not have been necessary” acccording to the reporter."

I like Lou in all, but "solving" the pen problem by taking out one of the 3 guys (Wuertz and Cotts) being the other 2 who has been decent doesnt seem like a good solution. Also having a starter on a pitch count doesnt help either. I hope they send him down for a couple of weeks to bulid some staminia because I dont want to see this pen have to pitch for atleast 4 innings a game in his first couple starts.

I have no choice but to be flat and passionless after these many years of heartbreak. I look at those of you who can still get their pulse up more than one game at a time now with a mixture of curiosity and amazement. Aren’t you concerned about the coming fall back to mediocrity or worse? How can you take the repeated disappointments and jump right back into it?

Baseless optimism is what being a Cubs fan is all about. Having a selective memory also helps. My approach to life is the same. Let the future worry about the future.

E-Man,

Nice to see the retraction, but can you explain how exactly I baited you? I am curious, because I thought I gave an opinoin about Piniella on a previous thread, which you got upset at (for whatever reason) and carried over a personal attack to this thread.

You 'attacked' me, unprovoked, and I ripped you for it. What exactly were you expecting? Really I want to know.

I mean, unless you Lou P's lover, I don't see how I baited anyone.

And where did you get the idea I haven't been to a Cubs game in 10 years?

Earth to E-Man!

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