Gameday Open Thread / Royals @ Cubs

It's back to Cactus League play as the Cubs host the Royals at HoHoKam Tuesday afternoon at 3:05 Central.

Kosuke Fukudome will see some familiar faces in new Royals manager Trey Hillman, who managed the past five seasons in Japan, and righthander Yasuhiko Yabuta, who pitched the last 12 seasons for Chiba Lotte. Yabuta has given up 14 hits and 8 earned runs in 7 innings pitched and Fukudome is hitting .229--I wonder if they'll talk about the good ol' days.

In Hated Rival News, would-be Brewer trade bait Chris Capuano is now just another guy whose elbow needs watching. And while second baseman Rickie Weeks has been horrible in the field this spring, with a team-high five errors, at least it's deflecting attention from how awful Weeks has been at the plate: 20 strikeouts in 40 AB and a .125 average.

Through it all, the Brewers have gone 14-6 in exhibition play.

We just have to keep repeating:

Spring training records don't mean anything...

Spring training records don't mean anything...

Spring training records don't mean anything...


Pagan is tearing it up too and Met fans actually think that he might be good.

angel pagan worshipping? new yorkers partaking in idoltry? What's next, a golden calf?

If Spring Training games don't mean anything, how can anyone explain the remarkable MLB career of Gary Scott?

At least I think his first name was Gary.

Today's game is a must win.

Remember Gary Scott's grand slam in April 1992 that barely made the basket? It led the Cubs to a 8-3 win. That was 1 of only 4 hits he had in 44 at bats before getting demoted. God that guy sucked balls. I knew he was bad, but I didn't realize his career average was just .160 in 175 big league at bats. Ouch.

I very much remember that AB.  It came at the end of a long,
battling AB, and I remember Harry and Steve treating it like it was the
one AB that could put Scott over the hump and turn him into a success.



I remember watching this AB as well. And found it ironic, of course, that the HR came off of Lee Smith.

"The data looks random. This is confirmed by the correlation coefficient of .177. Note, however, that while the correlation is small, it is positive. In other words, a team that plays well in the exhibition season is more likely to play well during the regular season."

someone pass me a bottle of common sense.

did you know that a majority of criminals are right handed? be careful of right handed people. the data don't lie.

They just plotted all the dyads and then computed a best-fit line that would go through the points. So then when they predict based on that everything has to coverge. Notice in the table below, based on spring training winning percentages no team is predicted to fall below .479 or above .520 - which of course is simply not realistic. It was kind of a dumb exercise in my opinion.

What it really shows is that it's a crap shoot. You can do really really well (.600 ball), or really really bad (.350 ball) and you still basically have a coin flip's chance of being either above or below .500 in the season.

How about this:

Teams with more talent, GENERALLY, play better than teams with less talent. So whether it's spring training or regular season, a more talented team will generally win more than the less talented team.


Lou Piniella will put out his Opening Day lineup for Tuesday's game against Kansas City, though he has to use an asterisk because of the probability of a trade or two.

The lineup has Ryan Theriot at short, Aflonso Soriano in left, Derrek Lee at first, Aramis Ramirez at third, Kosuke Fukudome in right, Mark DeRosa at second, Geovany Soto catching and Felix Pie in center. Jason Marquis is pitching, though Carlos Zambrano will obviously be the Opening Day starter.

Piniella (will) announce the closer later this week and one of the final two starting spots behind Zambrano, Ted Lilly and Rich Hill.

and, he says, DEMPSTER is gonna be our #3 So how does that jibe with what he wrote above(?!)

WHy Lou why!! I like Lou for the most part (minus the zambrano debacle in Game 1 last year) hitting Soriano 2nd is just a terrible idea. I like getting Soriano out of the lead off spot, but don't hit him 2nd!!! YOu want someone who makes contact and willing to go the other way and hit and run with, none of which applies to Soriano.

As a matter of fact, of all the players on that opening day lineup, Soriano is the LAST one I want hitting 2nd and that includes Zambrano!!!

This clearly is a bad bad idea. My choice for 2nd would be Fukudome, who will clearly struggle in the beginning and the protection of the big boys behind him, would help him out tremendously. So what does Lou do with him but hit him 5th??? WHere there is absolutely no protection for him and where Ramirez probably won't see much to hit because pitchers would rather face Fuku who'll be struggling early.

I have no problem hitting Fuku 5th in say June or July where he's getting used to the daily adjustments to MLB, but not on March 31.

i don't understand how they're gonna handle any of this without a trade.

marquis has pitched well this has loober...and dumpster in the pen would add a redundant arm to the current core of howry/wood/marmol/wuertz/hart (all righties).

someone has to go.

In the Nationals' 6 run sixth inning during the ESPN televised game today, CLAY RAPADA, obtained in the trade for Craig Monroe, was brought in to get the last out. The first two pitches went for hits. JACQUE JONES then air-mailed a throw allowing a run to score. Tiger fans boo-ed him. (~a spring training de ja vu~)

Comment from the booth: Jim Leland isn't going to like this. You have to hit the cutoff man. (~snicker~)

Rapada, who kept throwing 77 mph junk, walked the next two batters forcing in another run.

Comment from the booth: Rapada is not going to make the team.

I don't get any enjoyment from watching Jacque continue to suck.

"JACQUE JONES then air-mailed a throw allowing a run to score. Tiger fans boo-ed him. (~a spring training de ja vu~)"

Those racists are following poor JJ.

You do realize that there actually racists that JJ dealt with when he was with the Cubs, right?

He didn't label people racists for attacking him. He labeled people racist for making very offensive and racist comments both verbally and in writing.

Yes, I did hear that, and they were completely wrong and dispicable. But I also heard it the racist who started right off the bat with him booing him according to him and his former manager, when he air mailed balls, got doubled off second three times in 10 games, and batted terribly.

Personally I blame Michael Barrett for the whole affair.

No question Jock had his baseball issues.

But I am still not sure how his baseball issues are related to any racism.

Everyone knows if there's anywhere in the U.S. that black people are not welcome, it's downtown Detroit.

JACQUE JONES then air-mailed a throw allowing a run to score.

Are we sure it was Jacque Jones? Jones couldn't even get the ball to the relay guy without it bouncing let alone "air-mail" any throw...

Spring training records don't mean anything...

I don't get too worked up over spring training wins & losses. It's much more important to get ABs & IPs and to evaluate up-and-coming talent. The last week or so of ST you'll see a team start to gel and you'll see some intensity ratchet up in the players (hopefully).

And for the record, I am SO not okay with putting Demp in the rotation "because that's what he wants to do". He's being paid millions of dollars salary as an employee of the Chicago Cubs. He'll pitch where he's most valuable to the team, and that is most ceratainly not the rotation, imo. Cub's mgmt should grow a pair and tell him he's a closer.

Maybe they'll start the year as Woody closing and Demp starting and swap roles about June...

The last time we lived in a world where Wood's elbow/shoulder could feasibly switch from bullpen to rotation halfway through the year, Michael Jordan was nailing a pull-up jumper over Bryon Russell and people thought dotcom stocks with PE Ratios over 500 were sustainable, wise investments.

I would actually rather see Lee in the #2 spot, K-Fuk #3, and Ramirez #4. Until Roberts arrives, just keep Soriano in the leadoff spot...

LOU'S LOGIC (I guess...):

The Cubs lineup is marginal, at best, from 6 through 8, which means the #5 hitter won't get much to hit. Fuku will recognize this and will take a walk; Soriano will swing away madly at sliders in the dirt. Thus, Fuku makes more sense as a #5 hitter. Also, if Lee/Ram are hitting, the #2 hitter should see more strikes, which again favors Fonzie at #2.

Trying to balance between the prototype #2 (on base = Fuku) and the prototype #5 (power = Fonzie), and Fonzie's inability/unwillingness to not swing at bad pitches.

Sorry if 3/44. Per Rotoworld:

Kosuke Fukudome left Tuesday's game in the sixth inning after getting hit in the face by a thrown ball.

Fukudome was hit by the throw while stealing second. He appeared to be fine, but Eric Patterson came in to run for him.

Ladies & gentlemen... our starting CF & SS: Pie & Cedeno...

They just tied the game, btw.

the sCrUBS win!

Gotta say fellers, I'm really surprised at how well Jason Marquis has thrown the ball this spring.

14 IP 3ER 14H 6BB 7K

I'm a little concerned with the walk number, but I think his sinker looks great. Had another good day today.

Look, we all know what his second half numbers are like, but that's still 4 months away. In his career, he's still a 4.22 pitcher in the first half of the season. Doesn't he deserve it more particularly when Dempster has had a god awful spring?

Marquis seems to do better early and especially in the colder months. Last year, he was one of the few bright spots around June 1.

Easy enough, keep him until his first bad start, then trade him or cut him.


I'd rather have Fukudome struggling at the beginning of the year while batting second with nobody on base in front of him instead of struggling with DLee and/or Ramirez on base in RBI spots. If you want to break him in you don't put him in a key RBI spot, especially with how poor he looks swinging the bat right now. Hit him 2nd or drop him down to 6th or 7th until he gets it going.

And Soriano, have people been noticing how poorly he's running? Last weekend he looked like he was really busting it going to first on a groundball but was barely moving, and he looked to be in pain. It didn't look to me like he's "85% and hasn't gone all out yet". It looked like his quads are still really bothering him. I've had tight quads before, and once they happened it ended my softball career. The last time I played was in a tournament, playing SS, and they locked up in the first game. I had to bumble through the next 3 games barely able to move in the field or run the bases (and I kept getting singles and walks, so there was no rest). They kept re-occurring, and still do if I move just right, and it's been five years. Hopefully Soriano heals up, and soon, but there's no sane reason to hit him higher than number 5 right now with the way he's running and his consistent k numbers. Put the obp in front of the hr guy, not the other way around.

It did look like he was gritting his teeth.

I saw that as well. He hit a chopper down the 3b line that hit off the bag. He barely beat the throw, and I think Mark Grace would have beaten it out. I just figured he was jogging or something, but when they showed the replay he was clearly busting it 100% but he looked like he was running through 2 feet of water.

Get this man some HGH and heal those quads!!!

I'm not sure I agree about Fukudome. You could easily make the opposite argument. With men on base the pitcher will be destracted and give Fukodome better pitches to hit. Also, when there are men on base he might just focus on hitting a flyball to score the runner from third, or hitting it to the right side to move the runner over, etc. Sometimes this type of focused hitting is exactly what a player needs to get on track, versus the free swinging, no one on base scenarious he'd have batting 2nd if Soriano was leading off.

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  • i like how strop played LF with his "crooked cap" look...that's not just for the mound.

    crunch 33 sec ago view
  • let baez pitch the 15th, he earned it.

    crunch 11 min 3 sec ago view
  • Forget the save, finally Javier!!

    cubbies.4ever 11 min 30 sec ago view
  • Can a pitcher get more than one hold in a game? Or a Win and a save?

    cubbies.4ever 14 min 30 sec ago view
  • Didn't they do this sort of thing with Sean Marshall years back? Sticking him in LF to save him to face others, but without a pitcher replacing him in LF.

    cubbies.4ever 23 min 42 sec ago view
  • This is the most beautiful thing ever.

    Transmission 27 min 46 sec ago view
  • all i wanna know is...when's d.ross gonna pitch?

    crunch 31 min 1 sec ago view
  • Maddon is over-managing the shit out of this game.

    Rob G. 33 min 2 sec ago view
  • yeah. ...or not...

    i was a bit more confused why the guy who gave up a HR to votto last night was facing him with 2 men on. that wood is coming in to pitch the following inning, the whole thing gets weirder. so like, okay.

    crunch 33 min 12 sec ago view
  • Javy 0-6. At least he's consistent.

    The E-Man 42 min 9 sec ago view
  • Sweet play.

    What's with the Travis Wood stuff? Is it because he pitched the last 2 games?

    Rob G. 43 min 4 sec ago view
  • peralta (and maddon) owes zobrist a coke.

    crunch 45 min 27 sec ago view
  • #cantpredictball

    Rob G. 52 min 53 sec ago view
  • The Reds bullpen -- statistically one of the worst in the history of baseball -- has no-hit the Cubs for 7 innings. That just sucks.

    billybucks 54 min 32 sec ago view
  • Nice inning from Carl Edwards Jr - two straight quality appearances for a pen that could use it.

    Eric S 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Heyward; Baez, J 2; Bryant.

    The E-Man 1 hour 41 min ago view