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

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  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 15 min 48 sec ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • 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.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • 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.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 22 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 5 hours 19 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 7 hours 39 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 9 hours 28 min ago view
  • 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!

    Eric S 18 hours 36 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 18 hours 52 min ago view
  • 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?

    billybucks 19 hours 6 min ago view
  • Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.

    billybucks 19 hours 7 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 19 hours 8 min ago view
  • Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?

    The E-Man 19 hours 21 min ago view
  • Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?

    The E-Man 19 hours 22 min ago view
  • Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.

    billybucks 19 hours 26 min ago view