Please Destroy Your Priceless Cub Souvenirs: TCR Friday Notes

-- Tigers, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Astros; that's your complete list of the teams which ranked lower than the Cubs in Kevin Goldstein's organizational rankings at Baseball Prospectus (subscription required).

Goldstein's comments about the Cubs, who stood 16th in his '08 rankings:

"Josh Vitters is one of the best pure hitters in the minors; 2008 top pick Andrew Cashner's post-draft struggles were a fluke and his stuff will play; Jeff Samardzija finally began figuring things out."

"Other than Vitters, there is
really not a single hitter in this system that excites anyone; the
weakness in terms of the organization's depth is the key reason that
the long-rumored Jake Peavy deal never went down."

"Samardzija is the only player who is likely to lose his prospect status; there's no reason to see (the Cubs) moving up considerably (in the rankings)."

--We all know that spring training numbers mean next to nothing, but since Opening Day is, what, another 11 weeks away?, they're the only numbers we have, so let's enjoy them, dammit!

Micah Hoffpauir leads all NL hitters with 17 RBI and is tied for fourth
with 4 HR; Mike Fontenot is hitting .391 with an OPS  of 1190; and new #5 starter Sean Marshall has allowed but 1 ER, 1 BB and zero HR in 14 2/3 IP.

Reality check: former Cub Craig
Monroe leads all NLers this spring with 6 HR.

--The Cubs have a new Official Cookie. I have no idea what the previous Official Cookie was, but I do know it didn't help us win any World Championships, so I support the change.

--A publishing company and a local funeral home are behind a promotion called "Cremate the Curse." Cub fans are being invited to "a real cremation ceremony," in which they can incinerate "memorabilia related to the Fred Merkle curse of
1908, the billy goat curse of 1945, the black cat curse of 1969 and the
curse of Steve Bartman's 2003 haunting of Wrigley Field."

If you own any authentic 100-year-old Cubs memorabilia and you burn it, you're an idiot. Even if it does afford you an opportunity to shake hands with Tom Dreesen.

(Note: the Cubs won the World Series in the year of the Fred Merkle game, which proves that Merkle was no better at curse-casting than he was at baserunning.)

--Earlier this week, the Cubs announced the retirement of Bobby Ayala's #31.

Congratulations, Bobby!

--As you've probably read, the Cubs are threatening to vacate their spring training base in Mesa following the 2012 Cactus League season unless the city funds major improvements at Fitch Park.

A related story in the East Valley Tribune prompted these colorful reader responses:

Bye, bye. Ingrates. Yeah, you Chicagoites have a lot of class. This is
how you show appreciation for the 30 years the city has bent over
backwards for you? A$$hole$. Take your losing team and go to Florida.
See if I care. Chicago gave us massive, corrupt politics, Acorn, the
worst president in my lifetime, and a bunch of whiners who can't field
a winning team. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Good
riddance!

I've never been a spectator at a Cubs spring training game. However, I
do know they bring $$$$ MILLIONS of dollars to mesa EVERY YEAR. During
the late 80's, early 90's, Mesa had to expand the facilities to keep
the Cubs. Even then, the city claimed 'financial hardship' and shorted
the Cubs over 3000 sq ft of promised facility. The Cubs stayed. If the City again does not live up to promises, the Cubs will likely leave, taking MILLIONS of $$$ with them. The
current mesa city manager, brady, is big on telling fibs. I'm sure he
will tell the Cubs some more lies. Just hope his acting is convincing
enough to keep the Cubs. The city needs the cash!

Don't knock the Cubs. I haven't been to a baseball game in 40 years. I
just think baseball is boring. However, other teams have gotten
state-of-the art facilities while Mesa sat idly by. Mesa had the money
in past years, before the crash, and should have seen this coming. Why
not let them move to the "Field of Dreams" facility in Gilbert? From
what I hear, it's not doing to well. This is just another case of
"p*nis envy". Other teams have new facilities and now the Cubs want
one, too. Like I said before, Mesa had the money and should have seen
this coming. This is a Mesa problem, not a Cubs problem.

Like a brand new fancy state of the art facility is going to make a
difference. Plz go to Florida and take all of your mentally unbalanced
die-hard fans with you. I am sick of cub fans....go hang with the
yankee fans.

Love the spelling of A$$hole$. We're going to have to use that around here some time.

--Finally, a big TCR Friday Notes Shout-Out to Aaron Miles and Joey Gathright.

No particular reason except loyal readers The Joe and The Real Neal were wondering if this TCR Curse has any teeth to it.

Comments

Cubnut forgot to mention that Albert Pujols' ability to battle through health problems without a drop in productivity throughout his career has been simply amazing and shows no signs of letting up.

Well played.

No need to put the jinx on Pujols for that. All you need to do is find a way to steal his supply of hgh.

I'm not sure I have ever heard of the Fred Merkle Curse, and if I did, I would have assumed it was the anguish that the oversight rained down on a promising and good-natured baseball player. Hell, we could use another curse that results in a championship.

Does anyone still have any faith in the Cub's minor league coaching? Every time Pie was called up he had that same, goofy, sweeping swing. Hell, he practically had to start that swing before the pitcher started his windup. I think a retarded monkey could swing the bat better than him. How did Soto get through the minor leagues? The only thing I can figure is he didn't need any coaching.

And Mesa... Mesa can suck my big one. It's March 20th and it was 23 degrees when I left for work this morning. F-off, world.

I think Phil (the one the people worship around here) said that he finally started hitting after he stopped listening to the coaches.

<i>--Earlier this week, the Cubs announced the retirement of Bobby Ayala's #31. Congratulations, Bobby! </i> 55555555555. That's laughter, in Thai. Very nice. [edit] Just finished the article. <i>No particular reason except loyal readers The Joe and The Real Neal were wondering if this TCR Curse has any teeth to it. </i> Did you just curse me?

Depends. The curse can only affect those wear an athletic supporter in their normal course of work.

Um...well...uh...I'm safe, then...

i hate this curse shit. I couldn't have been angrier last post season when I saw that the Cubs had a freaking priest or whatever sprinkle holy water on the dugout benches. I knew they were doomed to lose the moment I saw that. If you fear losing so much and are convinced you are likely to lose, guess what..You will lose! Everyone just needs to f'ing get over it. It is not a curse. It is simply a factor of many things from bad management throughout the years to the fact that getting to the world series is REALLY hard let alone winning the damn thing. Take a good look at the Braves. They were dominant in the 90s and walked away winners how often? The Yankees are yet more proof. Yes they had that one nice streak of wins. But they still prove every year since their last world series that a good/great team still has a major challenge to win it all. We've been to the post season 2 years in a row (a first in my lifetime). If we keep getting good teams that contend, our chances of winning the whole enchilada greatly increase. We just need to give it some time without having any major regression in the quality of our team.

I think Phil (the one the people worship around here) said that he finally started hitting after he stopped listening to the coaches. --- I think Theriot had the same quote after he gave up switch hitting that was forced on him by the minor league coaching staff

<i>I think Phil (the one the people worship around here)</i> AZ Phil is the only meaningful reason I want the Cubs to not move to Florida.

I wasn't passing judgment, but I'll go ahead and put you in that list.

"I've never been a spectator at a Cubs spring training game. However..." and i quit reading there. there is no where on the internet to find the angry and reactionary self-righteous rants like a newspaper article reply blog. one of the best wastelands of humanity on the web. pick any paper, almost any article, and take the ride down "sky is falling" lane.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Schlitter still pitching for Iowa? Guess nobody wanted him?
  • JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
  • Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
  • Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
  • No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
  • solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
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  • un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
  • DAT TIE THO.
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  • Just about to type the same thing.....Augh!
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  • Tony Four Sacks # 27
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