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.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.
The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.
That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.
On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!
KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.
Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?
Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.
Down a run. Fowler on first. Nobody out. KB singles to left, Fowler makes it to third, perfect throw from Cabrera nails KB trying to stretch for 2nd.
So, instead of 1st & 3rd and no out, you have 3rd with one out. It was a perfect throw, but why take the chance with 3-4-5 hitters coming up?
Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.
Splitting hairs, but Jake's pitch was poor execution, while KB's play was a poor decision (and the 2nd time he got thrown out trying to stretch in the game). Poor execution happens. Poor decisions are preventable. Speaking of poor decisions -- Baez's steal of 3rd made absolutely no sense.
Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?
Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?
Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.