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.

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

Congratulations, Bobby!

55555555555. That's laughter, in Thai. Very nice.

[edit] Just finished the article.

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

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 think Phil (the one the people worship around here)

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

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • 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.

    johann 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 7 hours 40 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 7 hours 46 min ago view
  • 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...

    crunch 8 hours 4 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 8 hours 40 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 8 hours 58 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 9 hours 13 sec ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 9 hours 18 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 9 hours 25 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 10 hours 21 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 10 hours 38 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 10 hours 43 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 11 hours 53 min ago view
  • 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."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 12 hours 32 min ago view