Z Tossed, Freel Hurt, Cubs Win

An eventful afternoon at Wrigley as the Cubs take their first series in two weeks and climb back over the .500 mark.

Why The Cubs Won: It took eight innings to get there, but the Cubs offense put up five runs and Zambrano pitched mostly well for his 6.1 IP before he got tossed. The bullpen managed to go 2.2 IP without giving up a run as well. 

In the first, after a Theriot one-out single, Bradley lined a triple down the right field line to put him over the Mendoza line briefly... finishing the day 1 for 3 and right at the .200 mark for the first time this season. After Derrek Lee walked, Reed Johnson hit into a sure double play, but with defensive wonders Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez resting, Delwyn Young botched the double play turn and bounced one into the dugout to score the Cubs second run of the inning. 

The Pirates scored their first run with a two-out single in the fourth and things remained quiet until the top of the 7th. Nyjer Morgan led-off the inning with a single down the left field line that he was probably going to try and stretch for a double. Alfonso Soriano whiffed at the ball and it bounced up against the wall just past the bullpen and Morgan cruised into third. Electing to keep the infield back and conceding the run, Zambrano got a quick pop-out for the first out and then the Cubs brought in the infield to try and preserve the lead. Z bounced a breaking ball in the dirt that ricocheted towards the Cubs dugout on the third base side. Morgan doesn't have much going for him besides his speed so he put it to use and took off towards home plate on a ball that most wouldn't dare try and score on. Soto pounced and delivered the throw to Zambrano at the plate to beat Morgan. Z blocked the plate with his foot and put the tag down and it looked like he might have had him but the umpire called him safe. Replays showed that Morgan just snuck his left hand in before the tag got down.

Z went ballistic (edited video here) and in the middle of the argument, the umpire leaned in with his left shoulder pressing against Z's right shoulder. Z pushed back with his right shoulder to get the ump off of him and was quickly bounced from the game for making contact with an ump even though the ump initiated the contact. Z then put on a show that would make Lou proud, ejecting the umpire himself, tossing a baseball into left field, throwing his glove into the dugout and taking a baseball bat to the Gatorade machine. It'll certainly warrant him a six-game suspension and a missed start.

Guzman and Marmol came in to hold the tie including a nice catch up against the center field wall by Reed Johnson. Then with one out in the eight, Johnson lined a home run to left field for the winning run. The Cubs tacked on two more including a double by switch-hitter Andres Blanco and a one-hop shot off the wall from Jake Fox. Kevin Gregg came in for the three-run save and promptly walked the leadoff man and then got behind Morgan. Morgan ripped a ball to deep right just past the well that Bradley caught up to and Freddy Sanchez curiously was standing at third base and was easily doubled off to erase any real 9th inning threat. Gregg though managed to walk another batter before finally striking out Nate McLouth to end the game.

Armchair Managing: In the bottom of the eight, the Pirates bring in Jessie Chavez and he gets Derrek Lee out. Reed Johnson is due up and you would think that it would be time to bring in Kosuke Fukudome as a pinch-hitter. Lou kept in Reed though and he rewarded the gesture of faith with the game-winning home run. I would have probably gone with Fukudome there, but then you have to figure that John Russell would have countered with a lefty and Lou would have just burned a pinch-hitter for no real good reason.

The Curious Case of Andres Blanco:  In his first at-bat versus lefty Zach Duke, the switch-hitting Blanco batted right-handed and grounded out back to Duke. In his second at-bat with a man on first, he batted lefty versus Duke and flied out to right. In his third at-bat versus Duke, he batted lefty again and flied out to right again. Then in the bottom of the eighth, lefty Sean Burnett came in to face Mike Fontenot and then Blanco and Blanco stayed with the left side and doubled in a crucial insurance run. Why the switch-hitting hijinx? I have no idea. My only thought that Duke is more of a fastball/change-up pitcher with a weaker breaking ball and sort of rule of thumb is that left-handed pitchers try to avoid throwing left-handed hitters change-ups as it usually ends up in the lefties happy zone which is low and inside.

Dr. Hecht Could Pick-Up Some Extra Work: Ryan Freel left the game after singling to right, rounding the base hard and doing a sort of slide stop before returning to first. He was was replaced the next inning by Fontenot because of a hamstring injury. Don't get too cozy in Iowa, Bobby Scales.

Milton Bradley sort of winced and was doing some stretching after fouling off a pitch in his third at-bat. He ended up flying out to short right which meant Soriano couldn't score from third and whether due to injury or frustration he didn't really run out the play and sort of walked back gingerly to the dugout. He finished the game though so hopefully it was nothing.


The Cubs start a four game set versus the Dodgers tomorrow to finish out the month of May with three lefties scheduled to start for the Dodgers, but no Manny Ramirez's.

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Comments

At the moment, Freel is listed day-to-day (aren't we all?). I believe Freel has a history of tight hamstring problems and in fact he wasn't available the day or two after he was traded to the Cubs because of hamstring issues (supposedly, he hurt it in batting practice).

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/playerNews?categoryId...

Rich Hill update:

lasted 3.1 innings vs Blue Jays today. 7 runs/ 6 earned. 3 BB, 3K

...we haven't gotten a PTBNL yet, so this isn't good news.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2009_05_2...

As my wife, who is not a baseball fan or nonfan would say when she sees someone strike out --- whoops!

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/draft2009/insider/n...

who does he have the Cubs picking?

The BP guy did a mock draft recently as well.

" Brett Jackson, of, University of California: Scouting director Tim Wilken loves athletes and Jackson hasn't hurt himself with some of his recent performances. Eric Arnett could also fit here if he gets this far."

thanks.

Doesn't it really take a 9 day suspension to make a pitcher miss a start?

I would guess the Cubs appeal it then drop the appeal after Z's next start, unless it is ridiculously long. This is twice now that Umpires have fucked up and the Cubs have had to pay for it.

Was Soto out on that play at the plate? I thought so but the FSN broadcast didn't show me a replay (or I was watching the soccer game).

6 games seems to be the SOP on a starting pitching suspension, with an off-day it wouldn't mean much or as you said, appeal it and then drop the appeal around an off-day. Nonetheless it would require some roster/rotation juggling if it is 6 games.

Soto got his hand in right before the tag

Rob G. you still write for these guys??

sometimes

whew. We wouldn't want you to be taken over by the workers/state ala GM/Chrysler. Have you applied for any of the stimulus package? I am pretty convinced there is something there for everyone, including cub blog owners. Do it!!!!!!!

I just looked it up and the bailout only includes provisions for W Sox blogs. Freaking Obama...

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MlbTradeRumors/~3/v...

unfortunately none of them play 3b...but Nick the Stick, Kearns and Willingham can all be had.

31. Chicago Cubs
Brett Jackson, of, University of California: Scouting director Tim Wilken loves athletes and Jackson hasn't hurt himself with some of his recent performances. Eric Arnett could also fit here if he gets this far.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

thanks Neal, didn't see it...projecting the 31st pick is an exercise in futility, but good to see what's out there.

Another easy guess here, since the Cubs like Notre Dame guys, and this time, there's actually a guy worth the bonus, unlike Jeff Samardzija and Grant Johnson. With very good speed, center-field skills afield, and a smooth swing, outfielder A.J. Pollock has moved up from a second-round projection by showing a little power this year as well.

Selection: A.J. Pollock, OF, University of Notre Dame

pick, due to Hendry's odd affinity for over-drafting and over-paying ND players. I would expect us to take Pollock even if we picked 10 picks higher.

This could get confusing if both the Cubs and Sox have a Pollock named A.J.

Jackson...Pollock. Jackson...Pollock. I just can't decide.

Interesting article from U.S.S. Mariner. He makes a case for the M's to make a trade for Fontenot, who "is exactly the kind of player the M’s should be trying to acquire right now." His ideal trade would be straight up for Lopez.

http://ussmariner.com/2009/05/26/mike-fontenot/

yes, ideally the Mariners should trade for a struggling Fontenot with a player that is struggling even more.

I would imagine that unless something fantastic falls in their lap, the Cubs would try to actually play with the team they wanted for longer than a week before making too many moves. 

 

How dare you criticize the content of an article I linked to? If I linked it, then it's good and right. Plus, I'd love to trade Fontenot to a team that thinks he's a starter. And dude, they'd have a Cedeno-Fontenot DP combo. That'd be killer.

There are teams that don't consider Derosa a starter and he's twice the player Fontenot is. Just sayin'... I'll brace for the stats. Personally, I don't really care about the stats... what I say is true.

And dude, they'd have a Cedeno-Fontenot DP combo. That'd be killer.

lol! Awesome.

Asked how much he paid to have it fixed (re: Gatorade machine), Dempster said: "They should be paying us for all the publicity we've given them. Everyone will want one now."

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild tried to stop Zambrano, and was almost hit in the arm with the bat.

Milton Bradley gave Zambrano's act his official brand of approval.

"That was really impressive," Bradley said. "It was on a Bradley level,"

Piniella also laughed about it afterwards, saying: "I'm the only calm, cool and collected one." He later got serious and said Zambrano "has got to be more careful than that."

at least they have a sense of humor about it...

I hope this is a tension breaker. This team needs to relax. This and hookah should do the trick.

Dude, seriously, if Harden did fucking yoga he would never go down. He could then even do a bong hit or three.

i still like milton bradley.

this just adds more to it...

I would like the credit I am due for challenging Zambrano last week to do something "really futile and stupid," per the line from "Animal House."

I would say he nailed it.

Of course, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but still...

...and Lou would have just burned a pinch-hitter for no real good season.

Freudian much?

all my posts are actually coded like this, your the first to catch it.

* Speaking of Fox, Piniella isn't ready to start him at third even though the Cubs are desperately seeking some offensive help from that spot. Fox will workout with bench coach Alan Trammell at third so he's not a defensive liability. "We'd love to have his bat in the lineup," Piniella said of Fox. "Let's see him over there for a few more days working with Alan and I'll let Alan make that determination."

"If Scales isn't too far, he should catch a taxi back from the airport," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said after Wednesday's game.

Muskat says they'll know more about Freel tomorrow but a DL trip seems possible.

I've watched the video of Z ejecting Mark Carlson about 60 times. Still just as funny as the first.

Wes, that may explain why you didn't become a major league pitcher. 59 times I can understand. But 60, dude.

I think Z should have done what pro basketball players do to accentuate inappropriate contact--he should have fallen to the ground and rolled around clutching his shoulder after the ump leaned into him.

I guess that just betrays my method of vengeance: make the other guy look like a total fool. Mockery is in my mind a sweet little taste of "fuck you" in an otherwise boring existence.

love Z...not loving the impending suspension. he could get a week to 10 days for this one.

2 wins in a row feels good.

Yeah, not loving the suspension (hoping it is only 7-10 days) and not loving his stupidity with his antics afterwords where he could have easily injured himself. It is good to see Lou is going to have a talk with him, but can't imagine that will do much good. And what makes Z look even worse was that Morgan was safe.

I believe that baseball to you is ideally played with all players completely covered in bubble wrap.

You worry more about guys getting injured in non-baseball ways than anybody I've ever heard of.

If you had it your way, there wouldn't be any laughing allowed in your clubhouse, else they'd pull a muscle while telling dirty jokes.

EDIT: And before you have a fucking manny pity party because I'm being a big meany doo-doo head to the awesomest fucking cat on the planet, understand that's a joke.

On a more serious note, I do think that if you were to manage a team, you're overcompensation in trying to avoid silly, outside of the normal day-to-day injuries would cost your team more ballgames than the injuries themselves would.

No, you're right Wes. I think the Cubs should start a trend after every K they should try to break the bat over their knee. Or after every close play that goes against them they should go in the dugout and smash things needlessly. Hey, injuries happen when they happen, right? Nothing anyone can do.

NOTE: Before you get your panties in a ruffle I am just being as over the the top as you were, please understand it is a joke.

But seriously, there are stupid actions that can potentially cause serious injuries, they are absolutely needless. Why do them or condone them? Injuries for pitchers are already a major part of the game, why needlessly add more risk for instances that are stupid and don't help the baseball team in any way?

I agree to a certain extent. You can't stop everything, but you take it into the tunnel to something soft (some teams even having punching bags just up the way). We've heard of too many guys breaking pitching hands punching lockers and walls. And I thought Larry was going to get hit with the bat yesterday when Z was breaking the machine. You don't swing bats widely at plastic and metal objects 2-3 feet from your teammates who are sitting on the bench. That's just dumb.

But ejecting the umpire and heaving the ball and glove, pretty hilarious.

People who don't lose their temper don't really understand what it's like. I am not sure how much Z was just doing that to show his displeasure, or if he was really losing it but when people say 'Well, he should have done X, he should have done Z', it just means that you don't understand what the phrase means. It means you lose control of your actions.

LOL. That is hilarious! So why didn't Z punch the umpire in the face? He punched Barrett after all. Because people, despite losing their tempers, are still cognizant of right and wrong. This is why in court it is so difficult to prove temporary insanity. If it was as easy as saying "I lost my temper, I didn't know what I was doing" then everyone would get off.

The Gatorade machine still works. If Z were to have broken it, and the rest of his teammates let him know that they were pissed off at him for doing it, I guarantee next time he "lost" his temper he would look for a different target.

You're just a moron.

Wow... how old are you?

Real simple question: do you really believe that any time a person "lose[s] their temper" that they lose all control of their actions?

They lose their ability to reason over what is appropriate and what is not.

Have you geniuses ever heard of anger management disorders?

To think that you understand what Zambrano is going through when he loses his temper is akin to thinking that you know what it's like to be a different race because you watched The Color Purple or Milagro Beanfield War.

You're both, really, appallingly ignorant on the issue. Do some research and if you have any questions that are still unanswered I'll be happy to try to help, but to say exceedingly stupid shit like "you can't use it as a legal defense"... I mean, that is moronic, and there's no legal defense that will disprove that.

To think that you can diagnose individuals you watch on TV with a legitimate anger management disorder is akin to saying you are a doctor because you enjoy watching House.

Also, Neal, there is a whole lot of gray area in the world, there is plenty of room, feel free to come on over. It isn't the case that you either have 100% control over your ability to reason or you lose that ability entirely. Come on. That assertion is moronic. No matter how angry he gets, Zambrano is probably not going to murder someone. Now why is that? Could it be that despite being angry he doesn't lose all sense of right and wrong or social norms? Genius, ever hear of the term impaired judgment? Look up the word impaired. Does it mean lost entirely? Do some research and if you have any questions that are still unanswered I'll be happy to try to help.

Chill out, Dave...Neal's got anger management issues.

...and he is not responsible for what he says or does. {ducks from flying computer screen}

Sure, but you've gone on record multiple times in exactly the same manner about things do help the baseball team, which is more what I was referring to.

"We have been for sale for almost 2 1/2 years now. That's hard on anyone ... a franchise of this magnitude," said Hendry. "I think the last four or five months, it certainly has taken its toll on not just how you run the club day-to-day, but just the overall situation. It is not easy to deal with. Not that we were not able to put a club together that way, but it just would be nice to have the thing done and behind us."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

"I would like to think we have earned the trust of the fans," said Hendry.

haha...no...no you haven't.

lol!

Thanks ROB G.

Who knows how long this BS will drag on?

IF it is not done by ASG 2009, we can forget about taking on any salary in deals.

That's not necessarily true. Typically they've had some money budgeted for mid-season trades in years past. It may be that they don't have any this year, but I haven't seen anyone say it.

And of course they wouldn't say it, it would let the other teams know that the Cubs won't be upgrading.

They've said it before...

Evidence?

Apparently it was Jake Fox Jersey Night at Principal Park this evening.

Missed it by that much.

Al Yellon was on fire today. In the morning, he posted this: "Notes: sources tell me, despite me and some others wanting the Cubs to go after Mark DeRosa, the Cubs will not seek his return, nor are they at this time looking for help outside the organization; and, further, there are no immediate plans to call up Jake Fox. If the team keeps hitting the way they have the last two games, a turnaround could come as quickly as the losing streak did."

Emphasis mine. Of course, Fox was called up hours after the post, in a move that surely didn't look sudden; then, in the post acknowledging the move, he mentioned this: "This has to count as a fairly major shakeup -- those of you clamoring for the dumping of Cotts and Miles have gotten pleased; Waddell's numbers weren't great at Iowa, but he threw well in spring training and is more of a true LOOGY than Cotts."

Emphasis mine, again. Christ, does Al know how to look for pitcher splits? Does he talk just for the sake of filling a blog post? He's getting torched to the tune of a .346 BAVG vs lefthanded batters, and the only homerun he's allowed was against one.

And finally, the evening game recap says this: "So an umpire admits publicly that he missed the call on 4.7% of the pitches in a game? That seems like a large number to me -- any one of those could have changed the complexion of the game."

How about some research Al? I'd do it, but I didn't bring up the subject; did he bother to look for the MLB average of missed umpire calls? Sure, that might be hard to do by himself -- maybe he could ask his sources?

This makes me feel right.

you're talking about a guy who argued with his own readers over a blown call 400ft. away from where he saw in it person that cameras showed was correct. his view was "I was there and you were not" (not exact quote) on the issue when told the cameras showed otherwise.

keep in mind this was well after the game was over and even he had to have more than a few chances to see the camera replays, himself.

go figure.

Historically, Waddel has been better against lefties, but yeah he should have at least aknowledged that wasn't the case thus far in 2009.

he is best used as a loogy...still...he's a pretty desperate choice for one, imo.

i just like it when al declares things. he doesn't flake out too much, but he picks some weird battles with his readers on some things.

http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl...

FIP vs. BABIP

wee.

interesting career #s, too.

he's not the 9th most popular sports blog for nothing...

http://www.sportsmediachallenge.com/

while that is amazing in and of itself, what is more amazing is that there are blogs who spend most of their time just making fun of Al. 

bradley and zambrano wwe tag team champs whos gonna beat them?

NO ONE.

And this reminds me...does anyone else think it is NOT a coincidence that Soriano started slumping immediately after he was totally clowned? What are his batting numbers after that specific day he was completely humiliated in front of tens of thousands of people? I bet they SUCK.

Ok, so I looked it up.

The post "Great Moments in Awkward History" went up on 5/18. The next game was on 5/19. Since that time, this is what Soriano has done:

4-32, 1 2B, 2 BB, 12 K.

.125/.176/.156 (.332 OPS)

Plus at LEAST two errors in LF.

Looks like Sori should have jumped in the ring.

Leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano revealed to the Sun-Times before the game that he has been dealing with a sore left knee for most of this month. While rounding the bases on a fifth-inning leadoff double, it was clear Soriano was not 100 percent.

''I've been battling with my knee for three or four weeks,'' Soriano said. ''Nothing serious. A little sore, but I'm fine. Nothing to worry about. I get treatment every day to feel better because this game is not easy to play with pain.''

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/15957...

Jeez, how many guys can we get banged up at once? The sad thing is that the team actually got younger this year and got rid of injury candidates like Ward, Wood, Edmonds, etc.

Same article indicates that Freel will be DLed later today and Scales is coming back.

Ugh...another injury? This is getting really annoying.

But with the payroll the Cubs have, they should be able to overcome these injuries. The NYM and NYY have had just as many injuries, if not more, this year and they are both in 1st place.

Yes, last night was a Jake Fox jersey shirt giveaway & his same-day promo to Chicago was in keeping w/ a growing I-Cub tradition. Previously, Sean Gallagher, Felix Pie and Sean Marshall were all summoned on the day their shirts were handed out @ the turnstiles - now, w/ regard to Zombie...he's entertaining & clownish, but he's not a winner; not a championship sort of fellow...one of the Chicago papers described the Cubs this morning as "outlaws" in the eyes of the NL & MLB - sounds more or less accurate...as if this organization didn't carry enough baggage already the current edition of the team seems unable to get out of its own way...

I agree that I find Z entertaining, but it also bothers me a bit too because all I can think about is Alou's fit in 2003. I still think if he calmly jogs back to LF the Cubs win that game, instead he throws a fit and the walls start caving in. I fear Z will do something similar in a key situation down the road and cost us big.

I'm okay with the Cubs being considered outlaws -- it's better than lovable losers by a long shot. But if they're gonna be outlaws they better win. If they could get back to the way they were last year they WOULD win. Work the count. Umpires, by and large, are not gonna screw them even if they are considered outlaws. Umpires have their own bosses to answer to, and their own metrics. And damn, I don't care if Jake Fox is an error machine. If he hits like it looks like he can, you find a way to get him into the lineup every night. At the very least, we could get another high end prospect for the guy a bit later.

described the Cubs this morning as "outlaws" in the eyes of the NL & MLB
---
I found it funny that if you look up Barrett's stats on yahoo sports there is a link to Zambrano's antics from yesterday.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6098
---
Note to Z: Michael Barrett isn't available (he's on the DL).

Barrett begins long rehab road: The Toronto Sun reports that Blue Jays backup C Michael Barrett (torn shoulder muscle) has begun playing catch but could be out weeks or months. "It's going to be a long road," Barrett said. "I can't let my expectations get too big," he said. "I hit off a tee (yesterday). Hitting won't be as bad as throwing. It's still a challenge to work through the pain."
(Updated 05/08/2009).

Barrett hurt himself on a bizarre play when he landed on a weighted sleeve in the on-deck circle while retrieving a wild pitch

Barrett hurt himself on a bizarre play when he landed on a weighted sleeve in the on-deck circle while retrieving a wild pitch

Ouch! The injury to his pride alone might put him on the 60 day DL. I'm guessing he'll stop catching hell for that from his teammates around the same time as never.

It's Barrett's fault the Cubs are in the funk they've been in.

Don Cooper, W Sox pitching coach, when asked about the Zambrano thing, said he thought it was funny, but they wouldn't stand for someone like that on the team. He said they don't want an "asshole" destroying the dugout.

Ha.

Really? They've never had a player go nuts and destroy the cooler or something? I find that hard to believe.

they wouldn't stand for someone like that on the team. ... Really? They've never had a player go nuts and destroy the cooler or something? I find that hard to believe.

Nah... instead they just have an asshole managing the team, rather than on the team.

Coop should worry about his team getting to .500 and when the infield tarp company will be sending Colon's new pants.

But I would be a little spitefule too, all the media does is ask the Sox about the Cubs, have not seen much if any questions to the Cubs about the Sox.

Back to your room red headed step child.

He said they don't want an "asshole" destroying the dugout
---

Look no further than Coop's boss and his exploding mouth.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/whiteso...

there are tons of examples but the one I remember most when Guillen called wscr/mike north with a profane tirade about criticism of his lineup

ROB G:

Just heard on ESPN 1000, Bruce Levine believes that Z will incur a 7-10 game suspension.

Z is my favorite Cub. Exact opposite of Cotts to me.

However, this shit just hurts the team and has to stop. He has been in the league long enough and should know what the "line" is.

That sounds about right to me and will equate to him missing one start.

I'm sure he will appeal, and then drop when Harden comes off DL.

The big question is when will Harden come off the DL though.

Paul Sullivan says "three or more weeks" in today's Cub Bits.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

Rich Harden's DL time may be extended, and he could miss three or more weeks.

not sure if that means 3 more weeks from today or 3 or more weeks total from when he went on which is dated back to May 18th. He was due to come off of it on Tuesday, but that's definitely not happening.

Smells like more injury hijinx again.

Of course "three or more weeks" could mean the rest of the year. So basically they are saying is that it will be at least three more weeks, but we really don't know how long it will be after that. Something smells a little fishy...

*Starts Peavy Chant*

... Pea-vy... Pea-vy... Pea-vy!

and we lose a switch hitting pinch hitter for that suspension, well maybe Fox makes him #3 off the bench now.

True. And I'm not sure if you are being serious or not, but I would agree that Z is the 3rd best bench bat.

Orioles may DFA FELIX PIE today if they decide to keep an 8 man bullpen. (NOLAN REIMOLD's 11th inning walk-off home run after replacing Pie in the 8th didn't help.)

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-os...

You do know that in standard internet usage capitalizing words means that you're yelling, right?

Just try to stop me.

I am trying to help you not look like quite as much of a lunatic.

Someone will take Pie and try to teach him how to hit. I wish someone in the Cubs organization could do that because he has all kinds of raw ability.

I hope so, but both the Cubs and Orioles had personal hitting coaches working with Pie with zero results.

Pie and Brooks Kieshnick, victims of Cub coaching.

Von Joshua usually had good results with Pie.

Pie actually had a higher minor-league BA (.299) than any current Cub except Aramis (.304).

For comparison, Corey Patterson hit .280 in the minors--but it was lower than that in AA and AAA on the way up. Ryan Harvey is at .248 for his career.

Baltimore turned out to be a land of no opportunity for Pie, since he should be playing center or right, but both positions were locked up long term. In left he has to contend with the young sluggers in the organization who can't play a position. I don't know if Reimold is exactly in that category--maybe he's more all-around--but Pie is not going to compete well in left field while he's learning to hit.

Their best defensive alignment was always Jones-Pie-Markakis. They should have known that Pie wasn't going to walk into Camden (or whatever they call it now) and be an instant .300 hitter. They should have put him in center, let him bat 8th for 250 at bats and saw what happened, but then they won 6 out of their first 9 and thought they were going to win the division. Just stupid, and being that McPhail is in charge, nothing we haven't seen before.

Well... for what its worth, he wouldn't be competing well in CF or RF either.

Well, left field is the position he was least comfortable with. Just one more thing to worry about as he puzzles over the major league pitchers.

It's nice to be a fan of a winning team again, even if it may only last for 30 hours.

If I recall correctly that 2005 team was pretty streaky. I hope if we get a good streak going it won't be another sign of 2005 redux.

For some reason, I get more of a 2004 vibe from this team. A lineup that should have produced more than it did with good starting pitching and a crummy bully. We led the NL in homers that year but finished 8th in runs.

That wasn't that great of a season, either, but there isn't a 105 win team in our division this time.

I just had a wtf moment...

Sam Zell, chairman and chief executive of Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co. today told Bloomberg Television that financing has "obviously contributed to the delay" of sale of the Chicago Cubs to the Ricketts family.

"These are very difficult times. These are difficult times to arrange financing," Zell said in an interview, adding that if the Ricketts deal falls through, he is confident the media company--which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December--will find another buyer for the ballclub.

"We’ve made it very public that the Cubs don’t fit into the long term picture of the Tribune," he said. "So if the Ricketts deal doesn’t get done, I’m sure there will be other ones."

With a bid said to be worth around $900 million, the Ricketts in January emerged from a pack of would-be buyers to enter into exclusive negotiations with Tribune Co. for the team, Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a regional cable network.

"If the Ricketts deal doesn't get done..."?

Wow.

Source: Chicago Tribune

"If the Ricketts deal doesn't get done..."?

Cuban! Cuban! Cuban!

Nothing new about this really. Ricketts was the top choice of the owners rather than Zell. But you have to have the owners on board to get the deal done so they went to the top of the list. Other bids were higher and as it's turning out probably more viable.

Yes, Zell hinting that the Ricketts deal might not happen is news.

doubtful they were more viable...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/sports/baseball/...

Two of the people involved in the sale who were not authorized to speak
publicly said Ricketts offered more cash upfront, an important factor
for creditors, but that the Utay-Hindery bid had a higher net present
value.

if financing is indeed the issue for Ricketts, then a deal that would require even more of it getting financed isn't going to go any better. Personally, this is all a PR ploy by Zell as they're negotiating over the TV rights.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-tue-cub...

 

Reed Johnson = Skinny Dick

Real Neal = Dick

Tito = Hypocrite

Congrats on spelling it correctly.

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