Czech, please!

Game 106 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (1 of 4)...how's that for a good bluff, Rob?

From Stripes:

John Winger (Bill Murray): C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis): Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once.

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

After a glorious 6-4 win in the opening game of this key Milwaukee series, I wanted to take a minor detour and reflect on my recent travails, aka, life following the Cubs in central Europe including the Czech Republic.

I've been to Europe several times and remember the days before mlb was so accessible on the internet. In Med School, I was in London and Paris "studying" for 6 weeks toward the tail end of my senior year and remember following the 1984 Cubs via newspaper info only. The International Herald Tribune was about my only daily source and the info was usually 48-72 hours old. Their friday edition was actually friday-saturday-sunday, so there would be no scores for 3 days and the monday edition often didn't have any of the sunday results yet.  So on my recent vacation just for grins I looked at the "sports section" of the IHT and nothing has changed. MLB Standings and 2-3 day old results with a minimal top news story often about bicycling or tennis. 

I needed to travel light on this trip so no laptop computer,  just my iPhone set up with an extended data package for what is fairly pricey internet access. I did have the new mlb at-bat application, which is essentially mlb's gameday for cell phones. Apple had just upgraded their software the morning I was leaving for Europe. Given the glitches at Apple that morning with everyone trying to download the new software,  I got a bit lucky getting the download completed with 15 minutes to spare. I was panicking an hour before leaving home as the software upgrade wasn't happening and I couldn't go back to the earlier version without losing my phone software. Visions that I might be going back to the days of IHT hell danced in by brain.  Fortunately the download completed and I might have been the first Chicagoan to have the iPhone 2.0 software. Alas, no slingbox this trip, which is the ideal way follow from afar if you have wi-fi (but that's another story).

The first hotel we stayed in (Munich) had free wi-fi and computer access in the lobby (but not in the hotel room). Given the time being 7 hours ahead, that first evening in Munich, I was following the Saturday noon start game against the Giants, Rich Harden's debut. As you recall he left with a 7-0 lead and as it was almost 9pm, I headed back to the room to crash with that secure feeling of having a game in the W column. You know the rest but since I was messed up from Jet Lag, I woke up around 3 am, couldn't get back to sleep and went back down to the hotel lobby to check out the other final scores. Two hours later...after trying to sort out what the hell happened, I was finally able to crash. Welcome to the Cubs, Rich Harden. Oh, and in Munich don't miss the Viktualienmarkt, where you can have the popular Frühstück of Weisswurst (white sausage) and sweet mustard (Weisswurstseif), sauerkraut with a pretzel and a Pilsner for breakfast although it was really more of a late night snack, Chicago time.

The trip was planned so I could miss the fewest games during the season, so it was a premeditated act to relinquish the all-star week for this vacation. I did follow some of the mid-season classic, using the gameday feed as Dempster finished the 9th. It was tough to follow much beyond that for it was the wee hours of the early Vienna morning. My Cubbie paranoia had me figuring that it would end about the 12th inning with Marmol blowing the game, permanently ruining his confidence and forcing him to enter the land of Steve Blass disease. Fortunately, Marmol was great in his inning of all-star glory and we get to forever kick Dan Uggla and Brad Lidge around instead. In Vienna, we loved the Leopold Museum and don't miss the pastries although you can get them in Chicago right here.

We were in Prague after the All-Star break and the night games were tougher to follow closely as by now I was adjusting to the time zone and an 8 pm start translated to 3 am in Prague. I did gameday watch the 5 run ninth inning in the game Dempster pitched a complete game shutout to avoid a sweep in Houston.  On the last morning on the trip, I awoke about 4 am to catch the last 4 innings of the Randy Johnson vs. Rich Harden game with his almost a no-no. It must have been a very depressing game to watch in real time let alone on a cell phone at 4:30 am in a hotel in the Czech Republic. Ah, Prague. Wonderful city of Bohemian Crystal, Czech deep red garnet jewelry and Smažený sýr (a local cheese dish)...yep, it's just like going to Wisconsin.

See you at Miller Park tuesday night, it's Little Cubster's 23 birthday party! We're rooting for WeissWurst in the sausage race.

Comments

Yo doc,

Slingbox + iPhone? thoughts?

Slingbox + iPhone? thoughts?
---------
the slingbox people did announce it's coming to the iPhone at the MacWorld conf last January, just don't know how soon. Probably >6 months is my guess. It took them a year to come out with the slingbox for mac although it works really well on a fast internet connection (ie. Wi-Fi or 3G).

To quote my hero, Peter Griffin:

Freakin' sweet!

Ahh, you were in Munich a week after I spent 15 hours there trying to connect flights. I had the white sausage for breakfast as well. It's pretty bland without mustard.

It was great to see Marmol throwing so well. He looked like he did in May, Zeus-like. Wood is "not close," Howry has been shitty, but Marmol, Gaudin, and Samardzija look like the new late inning options.

Nice to take game 1, looking forward to the Z-Sheets matchup tonight.

I don't know what I'd do without the internet. Living in Rome for 5 years a decade or two ago would, I imagine, just about cure me of my Cubs' addiction, but thankfully TCR and, probably, MLB.TV are around to make sure that doesn't happen. It is frustrating to not find out the scores of the current Brewers series, for example, until they're several hours old. Of course, the excitement/anxiety of living the play-by-play is probably something I can do with out as well.

let me say, not only does the lineup suck, but please stop posting game threads!

Here in Manila the internet is all I depend on. ESPN here will show the Cubs live maybe about 3 or 4 times all season.

Sorry Cubster. Vienna Pastry has closed.

However, Lutz on the North Side on Montrose is still open as far as I know.

I had my first taste of Lutz in utero. My mom's friends threw her a baby shower there.

And yup, it's still around.

We're so damn lost. Where the hell is Innsbruck, Austria?

Well then.... Goodaayy Mate!!!!!! Throw another shrimp on the Barbie!

5.8 earthquake in the middle of the day and i'm on the 7th floor. Fun times.

You ok over there?

That was fun.

it's all good, epicenter was like 45 miles away...the building swaying was the real fun part. It does that some times when it's super-windy.

 

 

bill hicks' Arizona Bay beachfront property has to wait another day.

i don't think that Bill Hick's will be buying beach front property any time in the next, i'd say, eternity.

(i know, i know)

I guess if your building doesn't swing, that's when you're really in trouble.

I looked out the window when I was on the 8th floor of a hotel in Manilla once during a quake and it looked like something from a cartoon. All the buildings around swaying haphazardly, scariest thing I ever saw.

I wonder was that in the 90's or the 2000's? The last truly massive quake we had here was in 1991, but only a few pretty noticeable ones since then.

It was 2004 I think, sometime between August and October. Never heard the number, but it was enough to wake me up and make me wonder 'what the hell is going on'?

Edit: The beauty of the interweb:

http://english.people.com.cn/200410/09/eng20041009...

6.2 at the epicenter I guess.

Oh yeah remember that one. I was having late dinner at the time. Good thing I live on the ground floor where it's not as shaky :)

In my best Keanu Reaves "whoa"....

What part of LA do you work in , Rob?

beverly hills...

Are you a plastic surgeon Rob?

yup, I parachat even during surgeries.

 

You must have been working on Bruce Jenner during the 2007 NLDS

Or game 3 or the 89 World series

That wins the thread in a runaway.

to the Angels for Kotchman and P Stephen Marek.

crazy good deal for LAA.

even if they dont keep teix they get to pay a 1st round pick replacement less money than they'd pay for a power-streaky kotchman the next few years.

LAA gets a playoff push with very little downside unless marek makes more for himself than people expect.

I can't believe the Braves didn't at least get Adenhart or Walden.

seems fair for a 2-month rental....

I think Kotchman will only get better getting out of Anaheim which is really tough on lefties.

 

I think it's a better haul than the 2 first round picks if he left at season's end.

that's the thing...i dont think kotchman is any more that a 20HR 30-double guy who's not gonna walk a lot. some think he's ready to break out with his power. personally, i think a guy who swings and makes contact with as much stuff as he does should be showing more of that power by now.

i also don't like his prospects playing in ATL/FLA/NYM parks.

and i don't really understand why rotoworld (and some others i assume) want to paint marek as a future closer.

those that think highers of either or both would have a view i dont, f'sure. it's not a slam-dunk thing based on a flaw or anything.

atl is a launching pad and who knows what new shea will be like. and we all know about philadelphia.

Turner field is an average park (this year is 6th in runs scored and 05 it was 8th, but in 06 and 07 it was 21st and 24th in that department) and Citi Field (New Shea) is suppose to be pretty identical to Shea.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor?sea...

Its a good deal for both sides. LA3 needed a run producer and Atlanta needed cheap talent. Though I wish they would have waited until Thursday to do this because this is going to be one boring trade deadline as Jose Guillen is the best player who might get dealt.

well the old atlanta was known as "the launching pad", the new one plays a little more for pitchers. That being said, it doesn't have the dead West Coast night air or the big wall in RF.

"those that think highers of either or both"

my god...i dont know where to start with that one.

i should use that preview more often...or type less than 3987294872394 wpm.

He had some pretty solid BB numbers last year, but that's regressed this year. His HR's and K's are trending in the right direction, so I guess his hitting coach Bakerized him, and he's being more aggressive early in the count. After last year, he looked like another Mark Grace in the making. This year, hard to say, but first basemen who slug .440 and have a OBP in the .320's are not going to have long careers.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Sorry if I made it sound like a Schwarber for Sale straight up deal was reasonable, obviously Cubs would need to give up more than that. You don't trade Sale unless you're rebuilding and if you're rebuilding you want more than one piece. Easily 3-4 pieces with Schwarber being the main one...but that type of an ace arm or All-star talent with a few years of control is the type of return the Cubs should look for if they move Schwarber. I don't think they'll move him until he's healthy though. TheJedi are pretty good at maximizing trade value.

    Rob G. 2 min 15 sec ago view
  • I think you're very much overvaluing Schwarber if you think he can fetch Sale by himself. An unproven rookie with demonstrable offensive flaws he hasn't had the chance to show he can overcome and with no defensive upside will never fetch an ace of the quality of Sale in today's market where pitchers are fetching insane prices, especially with Sale's team friendly contract. You'd for sure need to throw in a pitching prospect in return at least.

    johann 53 min 50 sec ago view
  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 4 hours 33 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 4 hours 44 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 4 hours 49 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 5 hours 31 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 5 hours 50 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 9 hours 3 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 9 hours 8 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 9 hours 31 min ago view