All Stardust Memories
Hey, consecutive weeks with three-day undefeated stretches! Do you think…never mind.
Ever been to an all-star game? I’ve been to two which ties with holes-in-one on my personal list of something-you-don’t-see-every-day experiences.
I went with some pals to the 1983 game at Comiskey Park where Fred Lynn hit the first [and still the only?] grand slam in AS history off of Atlee Hammaker. What I remember more than that is drinking across the street at a joint called McCuddy’s [I think] that was presided over by an old matriarch proprietress who regaled us with stories about Ruth dashing over for a cold one between innings when the Yankees were in town. Speaking of the Bambino, the other highlight of that trip was another old gal, the Babe’s sister, who was in attendance and whose autograph I got on a game program which I cannot locate now. I don’t remember her name but I remember that she noted herself as “Babe Ruth’s sister” in a parenthetical p.s. to her signature.
I also went to the 2001 affair at Safeco Field in Seattle courtesy of tickets arranged by an MLB ump who used to work part-time at a pub I owned while he was in college at Iowa State. That game fell on the golden birthday of the son who is the eldest of our three kids. You might remember it as one where Cal Ripken was named the MVP for swatting a homer after being waved over from 3rd base to shortstop in the top of the first by A-Rod; a gesture in deference to the last year of Ripken’s illustrious career. Later in the game Tommy Lasorda was knocked on his ass in the 3rd base coaching box by a splintered bat as I recall.
My fondest all-star memories have nothing to do with games actually attended. I remember being at a friend’s house during a tremendous thunderstorm when Cub Jim Hickman lashed the single that lit the fuse on Pete Rose’s game-winning, career-ending charge into and through Ray Fosse in 1971.
I vaguely remember the years during my little league days when two all-star games were played per summer; the golden era of Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Clemente, Koufax and Marichal. That’s why the 1983 game at Comiskey marked the 50th anniversary of the first all-star game but was the 54th one played.
By the way, the reason that 2001 game fell on my son’s golden birthday is because his mother went into labor about the time Andre Dawson went deep on Roger Clemens in Toronto at the 1991 game. That was on July 9. By the time the kid was born it was the wee hours of July 10 which also happens to be Dawson’s birthday.
They’ve awarded the 2012 game to Kansas City, an easy trip from Des Moines. The date has again been set for July 10, the day Dawson will turn 58 and you-know-who turns 21.
So there you have my contribution to the passing of the break…
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!