The I-Cubs Have Hit a Sandberg; Not Much Else

Whenever the Iowa Cubs finally win a game they will be the last team in the Paciifc Coast League to do so in 2010.

This afternoon they dropped their 4th straight to Nashville, 4-2, on a sunny blustery day in Des Moines. The team managed only eight runs while being swept by the Brewer wannabes.

The flags were waving like pretty girls on parade floats all day and Jason Dubois rode the wind way out of the ballpark into the parking lot beyond the leftfield wall to give the I-Cubs a 1-0 lead in the 2nd. It was his 70th career homer for the team, a total which has him second on the club's all-time career list. The only thing worse than being second on a minor league team's career HR chart is being first. Dubois needs 21 more to pass the forgettable Joe Hicks. Later in the game he made a tumbling catch in left, looking like a fleeing gunshot victim as he made the play to end the top of the 4th before he, naturally, led off the bottom.

Micah Hoffpauir made a similar play in RF that became a sacrifice fly and tied the game in the top of the 3rd.

Hoffpauir was also involved in a play that offered a chance to see the team's manager, #23, do some managing.

Perhaps being overly aggressive in an effort to shake the team's dormant offense awake, Sandberg eagerly beckoned the slow-footed Hoffpauir to 3rd in an attempt to stretch a run-scoring double into a triple with two outs in the home half of the 3rd. He was out on a close play to end the inning.

The other obvious button Ryno pushed worked better. His hit & run call in the 2nd resulted in a stolen base for an otherwise dead to rights Bryan LaHair when Marquez Smith whiffed at the pitch and Nashville catcher Ben Johnson threw the ball into center field, but that was as far as LaHair got.

Casey Coleman got the start on account of Ted Lilly's aching back and looked solid. It took him only 78 pitches to log six innings. Only two of the three runs he allowed were earned and he walked nobody while fanning four, three of them looking on a nice breaking pitch.

Sandberg patiently signed autographs before the game until 1:00 with a 1:05 start scheduled. It looked like a majority of the fans queued up for a signature were old enough to remember him from his playing days. He still looks in fighting trim in his uniform.

Most of my attendance was from the left field corner which is where the wind was blowing everything. The Dubois homer slalomed around the foul pole on its way to Kenmore, er, the parking lot, and both the hot dog & t-shirt bazookas recorded casualties in our picnic seating area. The hot dog gun bounced one off the back wall and took out a guy's brand new beer and a couple frames later a t-shirt made a direct hit on a tub of popcorn. It takes such measures to draw even momentary attention to the game itself. Such is the investment in winning and losing at the minor league level.

Next in town are the Memphis [F]Redbirds and our old friend Rich Hill, who used to do some of his best work at this ballpark, is slated to pitch on Thursday afternoon. I'll have to pass on account of work, but if Lilly actually does pitch on Wednesday night I'll try to be there.

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Comments

FREE DUBOIS!!

off all the lame excuses in all the years...

Soriano says he didn't want to go full speed into wall because that's "dangerous," which is why he took eyes off fly ball in 7th. E-7

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/120130...

Getting out of bed is also dangerous. I suggest he stays in bed tomorrow.

I rode my bike today on Chicago streets. But, I wore a helmet and looked where I was going.

someone give this man $18 million.

Nice basket and streamers, E-man. Old school.

lol. I replaced the basket with Swedish panniers left and right rear. The streamers and horn are staying though.

Haha, great exchange here, but regarding Soriano's comments, I'm thinking something was lost in translation.

"I took a couple steps then hit the grass, and as soon as I hit the grass, I thought I had two more steps," Soriano said. "I took little steps, because I didn't want to hit the wall. You know, full speed into the wall can be very dangerous."

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100...

Add coward to idiot and fragile and you have $ 100 million in laughs.

Maybe he should start using a heavier bat.

fwiw, he's full of shit and just trying to make excuses

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?co...

he was on the grass the whole time and took one step on the warning track just as the ball arrives (possible he just meant the dirt and not grass). And I don't see him taking any little steps there or slowing down much, he just flat out dropped it.

"But at the last moment, I take my eyes off the ball and just think about the wall," he said. "One second, I took my eyes off the ball, and I dropped it."

Soriano has been hesitant to run into walls, fearing an injury.

"I've got to have a little stop, because I don't want to go into the wall," he said. "If you go full speed into the wall, it can be very dangerous."

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

those dangerous padded walls

I hope management reads that quote. i would rather see a solid prospect than Sori 4 x a week, plus Nady.

What on earth will Ricketts do with this contract? It is strangulating.

there's not much to do with the contract right now besides DFA him and that has a veeeeeery small chance of happening. even if he's slumping his contract size and length warrants playing time until he's showing he's in an epic slump.

given his play in LF it seems he's the 1st baseman of the future for the cubs, but i haven't heard a word of him even playing there in any practice or spring workouts. plus, i doubt they're looking to shift dlee unless they're out of it or they can somehow work some magic epic trade that would balance things out early and still leave the cubs competitive.

I am wondering, hypothetically, if this situation happened to Tony LaRussa. I.e., Holliday becomes truly bad - and is not the player he was - what would he do?

a shipment of HGH from the batting coach?

marvin benard (SF) finally admitted to using roids, btw (he was in the M.Report)

I don't think HGH helps you catch a routine fly ball, but what do I know? I've never taken HGH.

And you can already catch a routine fly ball...

If Soriano is hitting 40 home runs, you can take a few dropped routine fly balls. So bring on the HGH!

Cubs need to find a way to get Rickie Weeks. The sad part is, he'd probably immediately become the Cubs second or third best player.

To do what? Slightly improve the bottom of our lineup? Fontenot is actually off to an okay start. He's got a line drive rate around 25% and he's playing okay defense.

They need the middle of their lineup to start hitting. When your 4-6 suck and your offense is likely to suck. We can be annoyed with the defense and the bullpen all we want, but if the Cubs don't score runs, what does it matter?

Harrumph.

True Dat, Charliee

Huh? I thought it was Soto's fault the offense isn't scoring - not the three and four batters hitting in the 100's.

just read that next season for the Simpsons (season 22) will have the second episode title: MoneyBart

titles usually don't have much to do with the episode but it's hopefully got some baseball stuff in it.

Soriano on the Simpsons?

http://www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth/homer.jpg

http://www.tv.com/the-simpsons/show/146/episo...

from the simpsons wiki

"When Bart buys a ticket from the lottery, he wins and makes a lot of money."

i still love the hell out of the baseball/softball-team episode from 193 seasons ago.

And shave those sideburns, Mattingly!

Might be my favorite Simpsons episode. (My favorites all occurred before 1996.)

Mattingly, after bring kicked off the team & having shaved his head:
"He's still better than Steinbrenner"

Unacceptable defense from Soriano (a supposedly healthy Soriano) so far this season.

I might actually want Vernon Wells contract, atleast he can still play some D.

Vernon Wells is not going to get traded for Soriano.

Soriano couldn't be traded heads-up for any player/contract combo in baseball at this point. I think he's the most untradeable player in MLB. Not ironically, he plays for the same team which spent its entire offseason working to dump another guy's contract. Ironically, the GM who handed out both contracts will still be calling the shots for the next few years.

Put him on waivers and see if Kenny Williams picks him up.

I took the liberty as a STH to write Tom Ricketts today saying in essence that while I appreciate the Bison Burgers, new facilities, the PNC Rich-Man's club, and new paint, if he were to survey all STHs, the vast majority would opt for a talented bullpen addition (see Matt Capps and Chan Ho Park) and still just pee in the old trough.

It is about winning. I have been sold the "Great Tradition of Wrigley Field" for 30 years!

In checking Bruce Levine's blog today, he said the following -
"Rickets and his family are excited about the April 12 opener at Wrigley, but a friendly reminder to the group: Don’t forget about adding a player or two in the bullpen if you want to see the grand old ballpark dressed up for postseason.

Don’t forget about adding a player or two in the bullpen if you want to see the grand old ballpark dressed up for postseason.

Yep, that'll do it.

I would be okay with spending money on the park if it were in areas that might actually allow the Cubs to play there longer, not making crowded public bathrooms slightly fancier.

I would've liked to see the Cubs get Capps, though, so I'm with you there.

man alive. this team is shaping up as the kind that makes me want to stick my head in the sand for the season. As Crash Davis would say, they can't hit water if they fell out of a fucking boat.

A reason to smile: Milton Bradley's hitting .048.

Bradley for Silva = the steal of the decade (which decade, I'm not exactly sure. Is 2010 the last year of the 00's or the first year of the '10s?)

But, oh, baby, it would have been a scene in RF tomorrow if Uncle Milty had come home from the road trip hitting under .050, then blamed it all on Chicago.

Still, props to Milt -- fleecing Hendry for $30 million by batting his eyelashes was a vey impressive feat.

Yes. We should all be thrilled that a player our GM thought was worth $30 million is batting under .050.

I was thinking that Silva should actually help us win a game, and not have shoulder surgery before we gloat about how Hendry fleeced the Mariners.

Schadenfreude just doesn't do it for me...except of course where Croatians are concerned.

It's way to early to start judging the trade, but Bradley doing bad does nothing for my happiness.

Plus, Aramis was the steal of the decade. Or Lee.

My question would be when does Lou start Fontenot at short?

I think a lot of Cubs fans, though pretty alarmed by the length of Soriano's contract, were pretty happy with the acquisition at the time. It was a gamble that contributed to 97 wins one year. Then came the playoff disaster. Following of course, the one before that. When that second one happened, I just sort of went, "uh-oh" and have just been shrugging my shoulders ever since. It was during that second playoff that I noticed that Soriano really just can't hit breaking stuff, especially sliders. I know, I'm a little slow.

This talk about Soriano being the first baseman of the future is nonsense. Can you imagine him scooping shit out of the dirt? Stabbing line drives in the middle of one of his bounces? Hitting a slider? This albatross of a contract is not going to end well no matter what, but it is beginning to look like it may end badly sooner than we thought. As mentioned by another poster, he's completely untradeable, to anyone for anyone, and will become more so as his career continues its death spiral.

The slider he hit for a homer the other day wasn't a slider. It was an attempted slider and it doesn't count. I guess we can hope he'll keep finding a way to connect on some mistake pitches but I have a strong gut feeling this guy's career is about over.

The scary thing is that there really isn't anyone waiting around to take his place. I suppose they could try Colvin but as much as like his swing he's about as unproven as you can get. I liked Hee Seop Choi, too, and look what that got me.

The bottom line is that the bottom half of Hendry's tenure will be a disaster unless Lee, Ramirez, and, unfortunately, even Soriano step up and start earning their money.

Ugh.

Unless Dh rule comes in he's moving to 1b.

My scenerio is he the opening day 1b in 2011. He sucks and at the end of the years Cubs try to pawn him off to an AL team and eat half the contract, which at that point would be a $ 30 million shit sandwich over 3 years.

not a lot of RH DH's out there...

If Soriano is hitting 40 home runs...
---
He'd be Adam Dunn without the walks

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