Biting My Blue-Pinstriped Tongue

I encountered a number of Cardinals fans heading for Chicago Union Station during this evening's rush hour. I thought about making a smart remark or two in their direction, but I held back.

It's the middle of April, there are two games left in this series, and they're still in first place.

Besides, those Saint Louis-bound fans were going to be dealing with Amtrak for the next five and a half hours.

A person should only be subjected to so much grief in a single day.

Freaky Stat of the Day: The four Cardinal pitchers—Walters, Miller, Boggs, and Perez— combined to fan 13 Cubs this afternoon. That's the highest number of strikeouts by Cub hitters in a nine-inning game in which they beat St. Louis going back to 1954, when Baseball-Reference's Play Index data begins.

Comments

i was interested in one thing really from this win. Zambranos pitch count. Ya he gave up 7 runs and 3 walks, but he still managed 7 innings on 109 pitches. For some reason i am really pleased with that.

Absolutely agree. Piniella said before the game he needed his starters to go deeper into games so he wasn't always having to go so deep into his bullpen, and Zambrano did that for him.

Yo Phil!

Looks like it may be time for RHSP CASEY COLEMAN to break into your top 15 Cubs Prospects list. Last year all he did was go from FGCU starting shortstop to their SP rotation to our 15th round draft choice to Boise to Peoria to Daytona.

Now he's pitching for Tennessee and Smokin' the opposition.

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Smokies starter Casey Coleman is quickly making a case to be the ace of the Smokies pitching staff. Following up on his solid Double-A debut last Saturday in Jacksonville, Coleman shut down the Birmingham Barons Friday night and led the Smokies to a 9-0 win in front of 4,003 at Smokies Park.

For the second night in row, Tennessee’s pitching staff led the way. Coleman (2-0 0.75 ERA 0.83 WHIP) set the pace Friday night, allowing only three hits in seven innings.

And he's only 21

http://www.volunteertv.com/sports/headlines/432134...

Go Casey Coleman!

I want to open a can of worms. For those of us who follow all Chicago Sports (except WSock of course), the last three games of the Blackhawks regular season were so much fun to watch. Why? Because they were in an intense battle for home ice advantage, and the first playoff game that home ice 6th man was a key in the OT win.

The Cubs already know they will not have home field advantage in the World Series. Some obscure Mets short stop in the all star game who doesn't give a darn will commit two errors in the 9th inning of the All Star Game and the American League will win again.

And the Cubs will start the 7 game series in Arlington, Texas, or some other "historic" park like Royal's stadium (just examples, not saying anything), whether the Cubs win 97 or 100 games.

Can someone (like us) start lobbying to change that stupid ASG ratings gimmick rule? Best Record in the majors would make for some kinda fierce games, building momentum to the very end for the best prize of October: Home field advantage all the way through the playoffs. Reward the team who has to weigh the benefits of September call-ups vs every game means something! Plus I would guess MILLIONS of dollars is at stake for the players who earned it.

OK, I know it won't happen this year. But if we keep reminding Selig "NO WBC" and "September games mean something too" we can makes some historic changes to the game we love most.

Emails to MLB? Facebook campaign? Whatever grassroots we can muster, please...

Um, the Hawks were fighting in the last three games for home ice advantage alright...for the first round of the playoffs. They finished the season 8 points behind Detroit in their division (112-104), let alone 13 points behind the Sharks for the most points in the conference. The Sharks will host every series they play in the playoffs. Even if the Hawks do make the Stanley Cup Finals, they would still not have home advantage if they were to meet up with Boston (116), Washington (108), and New Jersey (106).

The Hawks will probably only have home ice for the 1 series w/ Calgary.

I'm assuming you are talking about the all-star game from last year. If you are, it was a Marlins (not a Mets) middle infielder (a 2b nonetheless, not the SS you claimed) named Dan Uggla who had the two errors that cost the NL the game (and subsequently home field advantage).

Facts are...well your facts are wrong. The Cubs had home field advantage against the Marlins in 03, and that didn't end well. They had home field against LA last year, and got swept. Home field doesn't matter much if you fail to show up (or take out your ace after 120+ pitches and a 3-0 lead going into the 8th), you will lose.

The Cubs need to worry about getting to the playoffs, and keeping the players in their rhythm. The results of the all-star game didn't matter for anyone since there hasn't been a game 7 in the world series since 2002 (and before that, only 7 others prior to 1980).

The Cubs need to get to the World Series before I take gripes about the all-star game seriously.

I think he was projecting a new set of blunders based upon last year's craptasticly uggly experience.

I don't think Jose Reyes is obscure, nevertheless.

WTF man. I'm pretty sure he was coming up with a hypothetical situation to illustrate how ridiculous the ASG deciding home field advantage is.

What's with everyone being assholes lately? Is it because Rob's away?

I've started the season cold after the horribleness that was my first two ballgames of the year in Milwaukee vs the Cubs. Maybe I was out of line, but year after year I am becoming increasingly more angry at the homer Cubs fans and their crazy What-Ifs, curse talk, etc. Maybe it's too much Boers and Bernstein, I don't know.

As far as the all-star game goes, it adds some fuel to a fire that was dormant for the better part of a decade. If the all-star managers, and the manager of the US WBC club would actually manage the same way they would manage their world series teams, I believe that the all-star game, and the US interest in the WBC would be huge.

I forgive you, I was being hypothetical. There was, however, a lot of talk about HFA for the Cubs last fall. If it's so important, and fans are 10th man, I want it for every game I can get it. Witness the lethargic Astros playing a "home game" in Miller park.

I cannot watch the ASG because I know a major economic and tangible playoff decision is being made by players and managers who for the most part don't give a crap.

And the Blackhawks now have a 2 game advantage and 2 games of experience that having the home fans started the puck rolling, so to speak. How much more might they want to push Detroit out of the top spot next season? But along comes Gary Bettman and says, " The east won the ASG therefore the Stanley Cup finals will start in Boston (or some other) no matter what. Yuck.

If Baseball ASG was WINNER TAKE ALL....$$$$$ Now then I'd watch.

trivia quiz: which # is higher - Lou Piniella's career wins as a manager or hits as a player?

I'm going hits as a player

according to my spanking new Cubs 2009 Media Guide, as the year began Lou's 1,705 hits were against his 1,701 wins as a manager; starting today's play then, the wins had nosed in front 1,707 - 1,705...this little beauty is chock full of such nuggets...

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  • Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario named to Futures Game...

    See past Cubs' participants here. Let me know if you see a mistake or any other info that may prove useful and I can add it.

    http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_that_Played_in_Futures_Game

    Rob G. 11 min 4 sec ago view
  • Now pitching for the Cincinnati Reds:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwbUCI9bEvA

    QuietMan 27 min 15 sec ago view
  • Sorry if I made it sound like a Schwarber for Sale straight up deal was reasonable, obviously Cubs would need to give up more than that. You don't trade Sale unless you're rebuilding and if you're rebuilding you want more than one piece. Easily 3-4 pieces with Schwarber being the main one...but that type of an ace arm or All-star talent with a few years of control is the type of return the Cubs should look for if they move Schwarber. I don't think they'll move him until he's healthy though. TheJedi are pretty good at maximizing trade value.

    Rob G. 30 min 53 sec ago view
  • I think you're very much overvaluing Schwarber if you think he can fetch Sale by himself. An unproven rookie with demonstrable offensive flaws he hasn't had the chance to show he can overcome and with no defensive upside will never fetch an ace of the quality of Sale in today's market where pitchers are fetching insane prices, especially with Sale's team friendly contract. You'd for sure need to throw in a pitching prospect in return at least.

    johann 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 41 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 5 hours 2 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 5 hours 13 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 5 hours 18 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 5 hours 51 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 5 hours 59 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 6 hours 19 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 9 hours 14 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 9 hours 32 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 9 hours 37 min ago view