From the TCR E-mailbag
Well, it's time once again to dip into the mailbag and answer questions submitted by you, the fine readers and commenters at TCR. Let's see what's on your mind, and what I can do about it.
For the last three and a half years, I was involved in an emotionally intense relationship with another man. You could cut the tension between us with a knife, but we always made it work, thanks to some wild but truly epic games of pitch and catch. In the last few months, however, well, it wasn't so good anymore. He'd go out when I'd want in, or I'd go down when he was expecting up. Things came to blows a few weeks ago, and while I've always had a temper, this was the first time that I ever hit him! I feel horrible about what I've done, but now, I'm afraid that I've driven him away for good. I think I've even driven him to "switch teams." Please help me, Trans, I'd do anything to get him back.
Buddy Is Gone, i'm a Zero.
Dear "BIG Z,"
I am impressed that this rocky relationship lasted as long as it did. The sort of emotionally tumultuous relationship you describe often can lead to electricity between the lines, but they almost never last in the long run. If you truly love your Buddy, you will respect that he needs to leave, and that you need to seek help. He's gone, and you need to use this tragic affair to concentrate on getting your own house in order. Who knows: maybe once things have settled down, and you're both more mature men for it, you'll both be wandering through a big city some day, say, New York, and happen to reunite for some real magic!
I started working for a prominent corporation a few years ago. I've always done a solid job for them, in spite of their lack of professional training and resources for entry-level professionals like myself, and I know I could do so much more if they'd trust me with more responsibility. But they never give me the toughest assignments, and are always contracting out work that could go to me, in favor of guys with twice my experience, but half my talent! There was a pretty big shake-up in middle management here, last year, and everyone thought it'd be my big chance to shine. But instead, they transfered my job out from main HQ, and to one of the regional offices! Is there anything I can do to get noticed, or should I look for a better job, elsewhere?
Misery is Minor
While working for the Big Company always sounds exciting and sexy, the reality is that the Big Company often is so bloated, so busy shuffling the deck chairs, so set in its corporate ways that it can't see what is right under its nose. Given the lack of guidance that you say they are offering, two options come to mind.
First, you could try to seize the innitiative by voluntarily taking on, in your own time, some new project: learn how to cover some additional position in the company besides the one assigned to you, or teach yourself ambidexterity so that you can work with your left hand as well as your right.
Second, you could recognize that it's the company that's dysfunctional, not you. Pack your bags and get a fresh start with one of the smaller companies in your line of work with a reputation for recognizing what they've got. The Bay Area seems to be the hot place to go for innovative corporate structures, these days.
Is it true that all you guys at The Cub Reporter live in a big house together in Chicago and compete for choice writing assignments, sort of like in the reality TV show "Big Brother"?
Yes, it's true. In fact, most of what goes on at TCR, in fact, likely is tied to the work of our consultants who are trying to create a reality TV pilot out of our work here. For instance, Arizona Phil doesn't refer to where Phil lives, it's a nickname the consultants gave him, to make him more of a swashbuckling Indiana Jones type. The "G" in Rob G was added to give him more street cred. Cubnut, by far, is the easiest to live with, in part because he is the de facto chef.
Your a big fraud who poops your pants! All I know is, a man named Trans can't write about baseball! Research proves that heart is 3.5 times more important than statistics when writing about chemistry. And you, my friend, have no chemistry and no heart. You don't inspire readers to give 110%. That's why I'm calling on Evan Brunell to fire all of the TCR staff and bring in a proven writer to shake some life into this so-called "blog." This will anger many fans of reading, but if you ask me, we should trade Literacy to the Yankees, who are always willing to overpay for spare parts, and bring Johnny Damon in to TCR, instead.
Jejune? Ah, Yes.
To respond in language you will understand: "I know you are, but what am I? Takes one to know one! I'm rubber, and you're glue!"
Ok, ok! You'll get your million, I swear it. I just need a few more days, ok? Please, just no more packages reminding me of my mistake. Have some mercy, please?
I think you meant to send this to someone else. Good Luck.
I work with a younger guy, with more education than me, who likes to show off his vocabulary and his esoteric knowledge of popular culture. Now, I don't think I'm an idiot or a dinosaur, myself, but I can't help feeling that my coworker is trying to bait me into conversations about things where he knows I'm ignorant, just for his own kicks! How can I put this young punk in his place, given that I have to work side by side with him, for another three and a half months?
"Bob" or "BB"
There are many different ways to deal with this situation, but I'll share one of my personal favorites with you, here. Whenever something like that happens to me, where someone recounts stories or information that I obviously know nothing about, I just respond in kind. I offer random and absurd stories from my own past, completely unrelated to the topic at hand, as a way of politely changing the subject. If I can recount a particularly random and absurd story, the other guy will find either find it funny enough to forget what he was talking about, or get the point. I find that stories about feet, or about co-workers from my previous job, often are a good way to go.
Your the best! You always sound so smart and funny, and you know so much baseball! I print out everything that you write at TCR, and then tape it to my wall so that I can look at it as I fall asleep at night. But you really hurt people when you go weeks or even months without writing. You might make some people think that you don't care any more, that you've found something better to do with your time than to write to the people who love you and understand you the way we do.
Fan, and needing a Transmission I can always love
You deserve someone better than me. May I suggest that you turn your attention to this man ?
Who do you think should be the regular SS and 2B? There are just so many possible combinations. Fontenot, Theriot, DeRosa, Izturis, this Eric Patterson kid... It's enough to make the head spin!
Lineup Ordering is Ultimately Problematic, Aggrevating
If it were me, I would go reverse-alphabetical by first name to fill out the middle infield.
Hope this helps!
Got Questions? Of course you do. [email protected]
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.
cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.