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.
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.
Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
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.
Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.
Just about to type the same thing.....Augh!
5 times in the last 3 games, Cubs have taken the lead or tied the game in the bottom half, only to give up runs in the top half.
<p>I'd like to see stats on opposing pitcher batting average. It's probably not real, but seems like we give up hits all the time to f-ing pitchers. </p>
Tony Four Sacks # 27
Hammel has k'd Votto twice. /baseball