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.)
--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$$hole$. Take your losing team and go to Florida.
See if I care. Chicago gave us massive, corrupt politics, Acorn, the
worst president in my lifetime, and a bunch of whiners who can't field
a winning team. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Good
I've never been a spectator at a Cubs spring training game. However, I
do know they bring $$$$ MILLIONS of dollars to mesa EVERY YEAR. During
the late 80's, early 90's, Mesa had to expand the facilities to keep
the Cubs. Even then, the city claimed 'financial hardship' and shorted
the Cubs over 3000 sq ft of promised facility. The Cubs stayed. If the City again does not live up to promises, the Cubs will likely leave, taking MILLIONS of $$$ 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
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.
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
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