The DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

So I was approached a few weeks back to be part of a donation drive for an organization known as Donors Choose. You may have noticed it on the right sidebar. Since Kirk buttered me up by saying he's a regular reader of the site, I couldn't help but take kind to his cause.

So if you have any extra money left over that you were planning on spending on playoff tickets or World Series merchandise (sigh, slams forehead on desk), consider making a donation to a very worthwhile cause.

DonorsChoose.org is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.

Proposals range from "Magical Math Centers" ($200) to "Big Book Bonanza" ($320), to "Cooking Across the Curriculum" ($1,100). Any individual can search such proposals by areas of interest, learn about classroom needs, and choose to fund the project(s) they find most compelling. In completing a project, donors receive a feedback package of student photos and thank-you notes, and a teacher impact letter.

I do know a little about this as the Angel Fan Wife and the Angel Fan Wife's mother are both school teachers. Well the Angel Fan Wife was a school teacher I should say, she's moved on to bigger and better things. But to say the least, the public school system isn't easy on teachers or their pocketbooks. I'm sure you're all aware of the budget crunch that many states face when it comes to education and for the particularly low-income areas, if a teacher wants anything for their kids besides prepping for standardized testing, it almost always comes out of their own pockets or more likely doesn't happen at all.

So I picked a few high poverty areas in Chicago and projects that seemed interesting or sports-related. A lot of schools no longer have gym teachers and the regular teacher has to do it themselves and there certainly isn't money for equipment. If you know of any other projects, I'd certainly be willing to add them to our donate page. TCR will be donating about $120 before the month is over. If you can help out, great. If you click on "Top Giving" tab on the right sidebar widget, you'll see the challenge part of all this and see we have ground to make up. 

I also wanted to mention that even if you can't donate at the moment, consider voting for Donors Choose at the American Express Members Project Page. There are 5 charities that are up for a $1.5 M donation for the winner. You do have to be an AMEX card holder and the voting ends today. But if you can, please drop a vote as they are currently second.

 


And just to have something baseball related here....some photoshops that Dr. Hecht sent me over the weekend that I assume were sent to him.

 

the new DVD set coming to Amazon in November...


 

one for the kids...


 

sure to be a Parachat and Chad favorite


 

and the winner...


 

 

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Comments

and go Phils...

 

Shouldn't the Dodgers be starting the lefty Kershaw vs the lefty-heavy Phils tonight?

does that make too much sense?

I got these from a Sox friend today.

I forgot to ask him where he stole a computer from to get these.

Pujols just had elbow surgery but not ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery), instead Pujols had ulnar nerve decompression and transposition by Cardinals team orthopod (Dr. George Paletta). This is the same elbow operation that Angel Guzman had in 2007. Of course, expectations and recovery time are different for a pitcher.

If I extrapolate from what surgery was performed, Pujols was having medial elbow pain with numbness radiating into the little and ring fingers (aka Cubital Tunnel Syndrome). He should be better by spring but who knows since all previous reports were that Pujols UCL was damaged. If the nerve was transposed it means it was moved out of it's normal path (aka, the crazy bone, medial elbow) and put in a more anterior position. It is fairly traditional operation but there are some risks to mobilize the nerve to get it to move anteriorly, so some surgeons have gone back to just decompressing it without the transposition part.

This is the same doc who scoped Chris Carpenter's elbow, supposedly for arthritic spurs then about 2 months later decided Carpenter needed UCL Reconstruction. Shows you that even in the best of hands these problems are somewhat unpredictable, especially if the diagnosis isn't clear.

More people are familiar with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is a different nerve (median n.) which gets pinched in the wrist/palm area and produces pain/numbness in the thumb, index long and half the adjacent ring finger...and one can get it from frequent long posts to sports blogs.

Doc,

I don't know nuthing about medicine.

Was this caused by swinging the bat, or hbp?

Or is this a similar weird injury that sluggers had in late 90's early 00's? (hint, hint)

The cause of these nerve compression syndromes is always tough to say but repetitive activities (hitting, pitching and typing email to family members in Venezuela) are always suspects. I'm surprised it's not more common but pro athletes are relatively young and I suspect they get more of these as they age if they stay active athletically. The symptoms usually develop over years and the UCL is very nearby anatomy so there can be overlap to what area is getting repetitive stress and then wear/inflammation. I doubt it has much to do with the "hint/hint" stuff as that's more likely to have tendon ruptures or chronic tendonitis rather than nerve compression problems.

Thanks, Doc!

"I'm surprised it's not more common" -

Which is why I suspect with all the weird injuries that users had back in the day.

Sad news to report. Kevin Foster has died. Condolences to his family and friends.

http://www.jg-tc.com/articles/2008/10/14/ap-state-...

snip-
CHICAGO - Kevin Foster, who broke into the major leagues as an infielder and later converted to a pitcher, has died of cancer at age 39.

His brother, Mark, said Kevin Foster died in an Oklahoma City hospital on Saturday after a six-month bout with renal cell carcinoma.

Raised in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Foster was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 29th round of the 1987 amateur draft. The right-hander was traded to the Seattle Mariners and the Philadelphia Phillies, where he broke in the major leagues in 1993.

Foster spent five seasons with the Cubs after being acquired from Philadelphia for Shawn Boskie in 1994, going 32-28 from 1994 to 1998. His best season as a Cub came in 1995, when he was 12-11 with a 4.51 earned run average.
snip-

very sad indeed. I remember him well when he was with the Cubs.

The Padres activated Michael Barrett from the 60-day DL and have outrighted him to AAA, meaning he will refuse the assignment and become a free-agent.

It will be interesting to see if the Orioles sign Barrett to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, because if they do, it could be an indication that Andy MacPhail will pursue Rich Hill this off-season (or during Spring Training 2009), with the plan being to reunite Hill with his favorite catcher & big brother (Michael Barrett) and his former minor league pitching guru (Alan Dunn). If you wonder why having Barrett and Dunn on the team would matter, you don't know Rich Hill.

And don't be surprised if the Milwaukee Brewers sign Iowa Cubs skipper Pat Listach as their new manager if they decide not to retain Dale Sveum. A couple of scouts I talked to believe Listach (who was PCL 2008 Manager of the Year) is a "rising star" and will get an MLB managerial job in 2009, and Listach spent most of his playing career with the Brewers. Listach would have the added advantage of having more than just a little bit of inside knowledge about the Brewers #1 adversary.

 

Do you really think Listach knows that much about the Pirates?

In all seriousnous, do you figure the current AA and down managers will move up a rung? Any chance Ryno leapfroggs up to AAA to get 'better prepared' for his goal of replacing Pinhead after '10? Do you think there will be a power struggle between him and Trammel for that gig? I'm alright with either one of them, but assume Ryno's not going to want to be a minor league manager indefinetly.

Jody Davis has been managing with Cubs longer than Ryno. I would believe he would have first crack at it.

Fwiw, the DonorsChoose finished 2nd in the AMEX project and will receive $500,000.

If anyone voted...thanks.

Random FYI, the Alzheimer's Association, where I work, finished first. Sorry, Rob, but good for us...

small world, eh?

Congrats and of course I could care less who actually wins...they're all good causes.

Would it be inappropriate to make a "I hope they don't forget where they put the $1.5 M" joke?

Do you have to resist the urge to make jokes about being forgetful their or does everyone have a good sense of humor?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Tue, 10/14/2008 - 12:03pm. Do you really think Listach knows that much about the Pirates?

In all seriousnous, do you figure the current AA and down managers will move up a rung? Any chance Ryno leapfroggs up to AAA to get 'better prepared' for his goal of replacing Pinhead after '10?

Do you think there will be a power struggle between him and Trammel for that gig? I'm alright with either one of them, but assume Ryno's not going to want to be a minor league manager indefinetly.

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

REAL NEAL: I don't know what the Cubs are planning as far as their 2009 minor league managerial assignments are concerned, but I would say Jody Davis has a better chance of moving up to AAA than does Ryne Sandberg.

Ryno seemed to get increasingly frustrated at Peoria in 2008 (he got thrown out of a number of games), and while he is presently the "bench coach" with the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL (Ray Burris is the Mesa pitching coach, BTW), I just don't think he has a future as a manager. (Jody Davis was the manager of the Cubs team in the AZ Instructional League, and that's the job you get when you are an organizational guy on the move).

I could see Ryno fitting in more along the lines of a Billy Williams, maybe a Genuine Lifetime Cub/Spring Training Instructor/Special Assistant to the Team President type of gig.

Wow, Phil, I can't imagine Sandberg signing on to all those bus rides without some promise of upward mobility.

Piniella got frustrated and was tossed once or twice in his career, too. Sandberg is a manager type, not an easygoing rah-rah, take-me-out-to-the-ballgame Billy Williams type.

Davis just won the FSL title and is competition, sure. Competition is good. Just don't keep adding years to the 60-something guy who goes 0-6 and blames his team.

The Chicago Cubs: trading youth for age since 1946.

Wow... so now you are complaining that LouPa is too old?

AGEISM!!! John McCain approves...at least Palin isn't Piniella's successor.

 


the 0-6 playoff run is has been pretty brutal and Lou certainly deserves as much blame as any other player, but 7 bb's by dempster and 4 errors in game 2 are probably the bigger culprits. As well as Rich Hill and Ted Lilly throwing fastballs to Chris Young and all the double plays in 2007? Or am I just crazy and Lou should have willed better performances out of them?

You are crazy.

Lou should have told Soriano to not strike out.

And he should have told DeRosa to not hit into that double play.

And he really should stop telling the Cubs infield that they are all equal, so they should ALL make an error.

And why the hell did he tell Dempster to throw so many balls? He really should have had Koyie Hill catching, and Dempster would have been throwing so hard the ump wouldn't have been able to see the pitch, and would have had to call the pitches strikes.

well, he did tell Fukudome to bat 2nd in the most important game of the year.

I like Lou, like him a lot. We didn't lose because of Fukudome or the lineup in general. But I still can't get over why he attempted to change things up after a 97 win season. It would seem to send an odd message to the players.

On the otherhand, I don't blame Lou for leaving Dempster in for the grandslam...If your game 1 starter can't go 5, chances are the next guy comes in and gives up the big hit, or the next guy, or the next guy.

yeah, I guess he wanted to get the lefty higher up in the order...shame DeRosa got hurt because I think he would have been playing RF and Fontenot at 2b.

I didn't even think about taking Dempster out before Loney. Dempster's been walking the tightrope all season with the walks and then getting out of it and who the hell would you trust in the pen anyway? Go to Cotts or Marshall there, but I don't think that's really improved the odds there or for the rest of the game.

The whole thing is after that inning the team went into an ass tightening-oh-shit-we're fucked-trance for the rest of the series.

I thought the biggest indictment of Lou's roster management was game 3. After game 2 he said that Fukudome wasn't going to play anymore until spring. Then the DeRosa/Fontenaught alignment costs us a run on defense, then Fukudome gets into the game, and gets a hit against the starter that the rest of the lineup had mistaken for '96 version of Hideo Nomo.

Yes, the players didn't execute, but Lou's job is to put the players in the best position to execute, and trotting out a 3rd basemen to play right with Harden on the mound wasn't doing that. Nor was benching the guy with the most experience against the opposing starter.

The Z/Dempster thing is pretty inconsequential in my mind, they both got roughed up and neither game was close. There was someone saying that Dempster should have pitched more in the final two weeks of the season to stay sharp and strong... he was right.

......

Back to the subject: I would be surprised if Ryno is managing Peoria again next year. His stated intent was to be a big league manager, so if the Cubs aren't moving him along that path - particuarly if a spot opens up higher in the ranks - then he'd have to find an ogranization that is interested, or hang it up.

be nice to know if Fukudome's experience versus Kuroda was in Japan before I make that leap. If Kuroda owned him in Japan, maybe not such a great idea. Fwiw, 1/5 with a walk in the 2 games in the regular season plus the hit in the playoffs so 2/6.

But yeah, the defense bit us in the ass in the third game from DeRosa (and game 2 as well at 2b). Not playing Fukudome in game 3 and put a gimpy DeRosa out there seemed too reactionary for my tastes.

Of course there were a lot of other things that went wrong in Game 3 as well.... 

Early in the year, the first time Fuki faced Kuroda, I remember it being said that Fuki hit pretty well off of Kuroda. Something like .330 in his career in Japan. I know my memory from something being said during a WGN game a few months ago is hardly quantitative evidence, but I don't know where to find the numbers for sure. Does anyone else remember this, or did I dream it?

Z didn't get roughed up.

If we could field he probably would have gone the distance.

He gave up three earned runs and four unearned runs in 6 and a third innings. Even if he only allowed on run in the big inning, he's not going to get a CG without throwing 130 pitches, and being we only scored three runs, we probably would still have lost (Z was on pace to give up four or five earned runs).

I'll tell you where he fucked up

Game 1. you pitch Carlos Zambrano.

You go with your ace.

One problem with your whack job theory to start one of the worst pitchers in baseball over the final 2 months of the season in the most important game of the year.

Lou did pitch the unquestionable ace of the Cubs pitching staff in game 1.

But I know how happy you were to see Dempster fail...as being a self righteous arm chair manager is more important to you than the Cubs success. Be proud Chad, be proud.

#3 starter.

Z was/is our ace. Always has been. And will be until a better pitcher comes along. But unless Rob G's trade simulator comes through, Z was going to be and will continue to be our best pitcher.

I don't give a damn what Dempster did in the regular season. He pitched way over his head. Z is a big game pitcher who thrives in the spotlight.

For reference, please see game 1 of the NLDS 2007.

F lou. If I owned the cubs, i would have fired him the moment the last out of game 3 was recorded.

It would be one thing if Z was simply mediocre for a couple starts. He wasn't. He was AWFUL. Absolutely, dreadful. One of the worst pitchers in the league over August and September, and that includes his no hitter. No sane manager in their right mind in a short series would have put Zambrano on the mound in game 1 after his Aug/Sep performance (Many of which were "big games). In a 3 game series, you throw an erratic pitcher who had nothing in the regular season in game 1, you play with fire.

With Dempster, he was steady from start to end. He walked 7 batters the entire month of September.

2007 was 2007. He was not the same pitcher in August and September as he was in that 2007 playoff game. You simply don't throw your most erratic pitcher out in game 1 knowing that you can't predict if he is going to throw a 1 hitter, or give up 8 runs.

You were wrong then. Fooolishly wrong. And you are wrong now. The Cubs didn't lose because Dempster started game 1 instead of Zambrano. They got crushed top to bottom...and even Z did not pitch well. Yes, he pitched better than Dempster, no doubt...but as an "ace" you pick your teamates up. He didn't, he left some meatballs up, and the game was gone.

Again, I find sports fans like you absolutely pathetic. During the worst moment in the Cubs season, after 162 games of us following every pitch...you cared far more about being right in your ridiculously wrong arm chair manager views, then you did about the failure of the team.

Be proud Chad. Be proud. Whatever makes you feel better.

Bullshit. The series was over when loney's ball cleared the basket.

I don't give a flying fuck what you thought about zambrano's meaningless starts in september.

NO FUCKING HITTER

He's the best pitcher on that staff and a big game pitcher. the only one we have.

Look at that stats for teams that win game one of a series. It's staggering.

The series was lost that night because we sent the wrong pitcher to the mound.

F lou.

And if you think that i'd rather be right than see the cubs win, we'll that is a pretty stupid thought.

personally, i think both sides could be perfectly correct (if that's possible, which i'm proposing is...ptth).

Z or dumpster...Z because he's been the man for so long and is what he is...and dumpster cuz he was consistently the best cubs pitcher this season. i had a preference for Z, myself, but it was so close to seeing either side that it ultimately didn't matter to me.

Z shit his pants in September, Dempster didn't shit his until October -- but they both blew it down the stretch. Z needed to pull it together late in the season like the ace you say he is, and Dempster needed to throw more strikes. But Z lost himself that Game 1 start with his performance in September, even counting the no-hitter.

There was no right choice for the Game 1 starter, as long as the Cubs lost that game. Had they won, either choice would've been correct. Would've helped if they'd hit a bit, too.

Just curious what people think makes a guy a good manager, specifically.

Also, what in minor league managing seems to be a good indicator of a manager's future?

keeping 25+ people from trying to kill each other while maintaining a workplace where those people actually feel like showing up.

people can point to all kinds of numbers/wins/etc.-based stuff all they want...you're gonna find most managers get dismissed because they lose their clubhouse's control or the clubhouse becomes unstable with cliques.

of course there's a chunk that get fired because the organization wants to "shake things up" or the losses keep piling up and the "leader" takes the fall regardless of what led to the losses.

what happened to the brews and yost vs. mets and jerry is a good starting point to compare/contrast similar incidences with dissimilar locker room situations.

-edit- accidently but "charlie" in the last paragraph...as in the manager of the phils (replaced with jerry)

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/10/13/sports/...

Peavy possibly available in trade talks...

Rich Hill, Felix Pie, someone good and someone else who is good for Peavy
Done and done :)

fwiw, full no-trade clause

'09: $8M team option

'10: $15 M

'11: $16 M

'12: $17 M

'13: $22 M club option ($4 M buyout)

according to Cot's...

that makes it sound like the team can just drop his option for 2009 and not pay the rest of his contract if they wanted, but I doubt that's the case. He signed an extension before the season and my guess is that it guaranteed the '09 season. 

pays to read...

Peavy makes $11M next year.

Peavy would prefer to play in: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and St. Louis

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/oct/14...

I think we can rule out LA. Also I tend to doubt Atlanta and Houston as serious contenders due to lack of prospects and payroll inflexibility. I imagine the Padres will want a SP to replace Peavy, a RP to help fix their pen, and a CF. I think I like the Cards as the favorites in the Peavy derby as Garcia/Todd, McClelan/Perez, Rasmus beats out Marshall/Ceda/Pie.

I don't think you can rule out Atlanta. They don't have a top pitching prospect but they could include Jurrjens in a trade along with Heyward or Schafer and/or Brandon Jones. Plus they have something like $30 million to spend this year after finally losing Hampton's contract + Glavine among a few others. Not to mention Peavy grew up a Braves fan so that would certainly be a team he'd waive his no-trade to. Too bad Dempster wasn't in the middle of that 3/$15.5M contract. The Cubs could flip Dempster and Pie + whatever else for Peavy.

my baseball trade simulator 3000 came up with this

Peavy/Gonzalez for

Lee, Hill, Pie, Samardzija, Atkins, Ceda, Colvin 

F Gonzo. I want tex. find us a trade that doesn't net us a first baseman.

unless he doesn't make that much cause we could probably flip him.

of course I made that shit up and no idea what they would do with Lee unless they could flip him. But as for the new Gonzo vs. Teix...

Gonzo is way cheaper and 2 years younger.

Teix WARP 3 since 2005:

 9.2, 7.7, 7.8, 10.8

Gonzalez:

.2, 7.5, 8.8, 8.6

if it was in anyway possible, I'd certainly take Gonzalez for 3 yrs instead of the ridiculous 8-10 yr deal Teix will get.

 

You mean the trade simulator 3000 doesn't exist?

I feel cheated. And confused. and hungry.

Lee and Samninja both have NTCs, though the Shark would have to be stupid to not want to pitch early in his career in San Diego.

Not sure why the Padres would want Lee, but maybe that's not part of the equation. I could see them being interested in Ceda, Samardzija, Pie, Hill, and Atkins. Colvin add's little to that deal--he's not really the sort of player I'd want if I were the Padres.

well I made it up and I'm fully aware of all the NTC's.

I'm sure they'd want Soto instead of Lee anyway if they'd move both.

I'm all for trying to get Peavy and/or Gonzalez, but if the Trade Simulator 3000 is spitting out punch cards with Soto's name on them then I respectfully submit that it needs a swift kick.

detroit tigers approve.

Does he bat lefthanded and hit with power?

I'd love to get Tex too, but it's not going to happen. I think y'all know it, too.

Time to talk about Rafael Furcal and Milton Bradley or maybe Bobby Abreu.

Maybe a trade for Curtis Granderson. Pie and pitching?

Tex would be perfect for the Cubs lineup except the whole Derrek Lee thing and the whole $200 million thing.

I actually think Bradley makes a lot of sense for the Cubs, way more than Abreu.

He's the #3-#4 hitter the Cubs have been looking for, and the Cubs really wouldn't have to live and die by him being healthy, being that they could turn Fukudome, Pie, or DeRosa (/Fontenot) to take his spot in the field when he's hurt. I would think that Lou would be able to contend with his combative personality, and he could add some "fire" to an otherwise fairly quiet team. Or he, Zambrano, and Cedeno could all have a bad game some time and beat the crap out of each other.

If he's looking for more than 2 years and an option, though, the Cubs shouldn't even talk to him. I'd like him a lot more on a 1 year and an option contract, but he wants multiple years.

I really expect Hendry to make a big play for Furcal and a lefty or switch hitting, slugging outfielder. Time will, tell though. Feel bad for Theriot if the Cubs sign Furcal and don't open up 2nd for Riot--he's not likely to have many years better than 2008 that could earn him playing time.

He's the #3-#4 hitter the Cubs have been looking for

He's the guy looking to end up on th DL that the Cubs are looking for maybe. I think he's played one full season his entire career.

I still take him over Abreu.

*cough* furcal? *cough*

if you think Rafael Furcal's injury history compares to Milton Bradley's, you're an idiot.

If you think Rafael Furcal, who hasn't been healthy for two years, and his career OPS+ of 96 is going to upgrade the offense more than Bradley than you're a bigger idiot.

They're both injury risks. Bradley, however, also has the risk of being one of the top 3 offensive players in the game.

I wonder if Lee would OK a trade to the Rays, as we matchup good with them on a trade. They could use a RH bat to equal out their line-up and they have a surplus of SP annd SS's. I am thinking something like Dlee (cash for half his contract) and Atkins for Sonnastine, Brignac and Jonny Gomes.

I wonder if Lee would OK a trade to the Rays,

answer: no

that and the Rays already have Carlos Pena signed through 2010 at a better contract. The Rays have Bj Upton and Longoria to hit in the middle of the lineup from the right side. They want a right-handed RF ie their efforts to land Jason Bay and Casey Blake.

Inappropriate? Not really. But trust me, we've heard them all.

There's a fair amount of joking, but there's also a fair amount of sensitivity, depending on who you're talking to. A little bit of a fine line.

Me, I don't really make the jokes, having lost my grandmother to Alzheimer's, though of course we did use humor quite a bit while coping.

I don't like when TV shows joke about it, but that's more because it flies in the face of trying to raise awareness about how serious the disease is.

Blah, blah, blah...

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