Who Needs Tickets?

Mr. BojanglesToday is Ron Santo’s birthday. Seems like a good day to open the ticket windows. Before it’s through I expect to have a couple for August 10, the date for the unveiling of Santo’s statue. The radio broadcasts will take some getting used to, but I’ll manage. Keith Moreland will do a good job, a better one in important ways than his predecessor ever claimed to. But Santo’s absence will be felt on other levels by those of us old enough to have listened in when he was playing.


One of the first long pauses in life is when your favorite ballplayers start retiring. Another is when you realize that you’re older than the stars du jour. And when your boyhood heroes start biting the dust you know you’re into the late innings [not to get too maudlin, but my own birthday was yesterday].


When you’re a Cub fan folklore has to tide you over in the absence of league pennants and World Series appearances. And Santo was literally buried in it. His funeral as the occasion for bringing a prodigal pitcher back home is the sort of stuff I’ve learned to get by on.


Younger generations are more acronymic than mere AVG, ERA and RBI. But those old standards in combination with memorabilia like Santo’s black cat and Dawson’s blank check are the only baseball measuring sticks I know how to use. Hell, I can’t even remember a particular signature play of Santo’s. I remember when a busted jaw interrupted his 20+ game hitting streak. Somehow that figures. He was broken but unsinkable, a Cub fan in a nutshell. His number 10 reminds me of when I was 10. There are fewer such reminders all the time so I’m glad one of them still flutters above the statuary park formerly known as Wrigley Field.


No more flaming toupees. No more sweater & tuna smack. No more Acapulco taco pie - and a lot less amusement.


I hope the team picks him up.


 

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Comments

Santo and Jenkins were my favorite players back then. At some point Sosa broke Santo's record for walk-off homers and that did surprise me because I never remember him hitting one. Williams, Banks, Hickman.. even Jose Arcia, for godssakes! I remember them all hitting walk-offs but not Santo. In fact, late in games, my friends and I would groan when Santo was coming up because - and this is just my memory - he seemed to roll into an incredible number of rally-killing double plays.

As for the clicking of the heels - I loved it as a kid. I read that he did it once spontaneously after a big win and Durocher asked him to keep doing it because the fans loved it. I wish he hadn't done it. Today it's hard to imagine how bush that was at the time. Players just didn't show up the opposition. If someone had stood and admired a homer against any pitcher back then, not just the Gibsons and Drysdales but anyone -they would have expected to spend the rest of their ABs that day, and probably in a future game as well, on their backs. I think the heel clicking really hurt Santo's reputation with his contemporaries.

don't see heel-clicks as showing up...what about the home plate mosh pits that routinely await walk-off homer hitters [someone got seriously hurt in one last year]? what i think may have been bush if true is the durocher angle of the story...i've read that too & think one spontaneous click is fine but manager directed win after win seems too contrived...having said all this, i've also read that santo wasn't well-liked around the league in his prime for whatever reasons, a rumor that's beleivable given his snubs by the vets committee...

I think as a losing visiting team collected its things in the first base dugout, watching Santo run to the left field corner clicking his heels to the cheers of the Bleacher Bums might have definitely rubbed them the wrong way.

yeah, i guess they might have considered it a 'show-up' but i don't...

I do not recall seeing the heel-clicking in-person that year. But a couple times on tv, after the schtick was born.

Its sorta like he created a SNL character after the first time and as he said, he kept doing it.

T-Bone nails it that this behavior at the time was verboden. And, more than likely, added a negative tone to his post-player days.

"Its sorta like he created a SNL character after the first time and as he said, he kept doing it."

I thought the story was Derouscha told him to keep doing it.

OT: I have seen and heard two interviews with Pena recently. What a great cat.

Interesting, articulate, self-deprecating.

Sense of humor.

I hope he can perform on the field this year. Now that would be awesome.

Happy belated bday, MW... for what it's worth, you don't look a day over 25 to me.

Well, I've never seen you, so you don't look a day under 25, either.

fwiw, thanks ryno! as for pena, i got a good feelin' about him...

Happy Birthday #10 (and Happy Belated Birthday, Mike)!

it is either a sign of a more streamlined system or a reduced demand for tickets [or both] that i got mine in one hour, a personal best on 1st day of single sales...the VWR now features a bar graph w/ a walking man icon placed @ 1 of 10 blocks to indicate your relative position in line...i opened @ block #5, moved to #4 @ 10:17, #3 @ 10:30, #2 @ 10:37, #1 @ 10:45 & was inside the vault @ 10:54 - mission accomplished @ 11:02...could have had pick of choice games but man are they gouging us now!

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/411721...

Soto says shoulder is 100% percent

Happy Birthday Mike!

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.js...

You can start renewing or purchasing MLB.tv today, includes spring training games. Appears they're more lenient or at least advertising it better that you can cancel your account at any time if you go with the monthly.

i was hoping WPGB (PIT) would be carrying the PIT vs. "Some College" game before MLB.com took over the feed...i tuned in to be treated to rush limbaugh ranting about how obama did something or other rather than the game feed. he's probably just pissed they closed down all those prescription pill mills in florida.

i miss the days when mlb.com couldn't secure their feeds properly and you could guess through trial/error the direct links to their audio feeds. sigh...

Still can't see Cub games if you live too close to Chicago?

Anyone view MLB.tv via Roku or Boxee? I read about all sorts of problems with Roku last season. But I really don't want to have to hook up my laptop to the TV every time I want to watch a game. I guess Google TV might be another option, if it didn't suck.

And, er, hey everybody! Happy Spring.

I hope not with Roku, I just got one.

fwiw, spring training games won't be available on Roku

http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3...

Roku doesn't list MLB as one of their channels available this year. They're gone.

hmmm, they do seem to be missing from their channel list at the moment, even under the sports tab.

http://www.roku.com/roku-channel-store

it is still listed as a supported device and crunch's link.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/devices.jsp

for $60 it was still good for netflix and amazon rather than buying another Blu-Ray player and wireless stick, so I won't be too torn up about it if it doesn't work

Thanks, fellas. I'll keep my eye out for MLB.TV on the Roku site.

Trying to read up on Fantasy ranking and came across this tidbit:

You’ll be tempted to spend aggressively on your outfielders in 2011, no doubt, because this roster spot offers a significant number of five-category assets – just check the position stats below. In 2010, the average top-40 fantasy outfielder slugged 22 homers, swiped 20 bags, scored 88 runs, delivered 82 RBIs and hit .285. If that were a real person, Jim Hendry would give him $18 million a year for the rest of his life, plus a no-trade clause, plus a statue.

http://sports.yahoo.com/fantasy/mlb/news?slug...

funny line although I generally think Andy Behrens is a hack

wonder why Carlos Lee is worth $7 and Soriano $3?

behrens produces more text than stephen king on crack. i think he writes 200 articles a week on every sport under the sun except hockey.

Holy sh!t, Phil "Bourbon" Rogers actually has a thought on lead off hitters-

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2011/02/...

starlin castro?

maybe in a year or two, if ever...he could use a little more method to his plate approach besides "im gonna f'n swing at that, yo!"

...same for a.ramirez

juan pierre's 68 steals last year says he's still a viable leadoff man...and he gets a lot of his limited hitting strength from being able to hit in positions where the D can't force an out at 2nd. he's not ichiro.

he complains about pierre only having 45 walks last year...ramirez had 27...sigh...

I saw a local CSN piece on his work-out routine.

It is truly impressive.

The dude starts at 5:45 AM with his legwork, then continues until team workouts ensue.

I still am shocked, however, that Hendry traded three pitchers for the noodle-armed OF.

Desperate Hendry.

yeah...the trade aside, you should play the guy to his strengths if you have him.

pierre may not hit into many double plays with his legs, but he's not going to push a guy from 1st to 3rd very much with anything he does with the bat. it's not that he hits singles...it's the type of singles he hits. he relies on the bunt more than a lot of players as well as using his speed to get himself to 1st. he's not smacking stuff into RF/LF over the infielder's heads.

imo, he's not a guy you want hitting 2nd...or anywhere there's likely to be a guy on 1st in front of him.

Ramirez, on the other hand, was a Silver Slugger winner at shortstop a year ago, when he got more than 60 percent of his plate appearances in the bottom third of the order. He doesn't get on base as often as Pierre (a .313 on-base percentage, compared to Pierre's .341) but he does a lot more damage at the plate, and makes fewer outs.

Actually, if you take out sacrifice hits - Ramirez didn't make an out an anemic 28.9% of the time, compared to Pierre's 31.9% Were their positions reversed Pierre would have taken a bit of hit from GIDP's and Ramirez a bit of a boost, but it is a really stupid proposal, unless hisunderlying theory is that Pierre is on the bench because of it.

I can get behind Castro as an leadoff hitter, though. The Cubs don't have anyone better, and him consciously trying to work the count would probably help him develop as a hitter.

I think they see Castro as more of a #3 than a #1. I wouldn't want Castro experimenting with batting lefthanded to get a head start to first base. If they wanted their shortstop to bat leadoff, they should have traded Castro and kept Lee.

With Guyer and Fuld gone, Jackson and Perez are the two players in camp who could reasonably bat leadoff. I would be happy to see either of them take starts away from Soriano/Byrd. (There is also Tony Campana, but he wasn't given an invite to ST and a shot to make the team.)

"I wouldn't want Castro experimenting with batting lefthanded to get a head start to first base."

Who the hell said that?

The Rays said it to Perez. Many other prospective leadoff hitters have heard the same advice, including Theriot.

Perez was not a switch-hitter in college. He didn't even consider it. He never had a problem batting from the right side. But if Perez could hit from the left side, he could take advantage of his speed, which is what the Rays were thinking during a tryout camp in 2004 at Tropicana Field. One of the scouts asked him to take a few swings from the other side.

. . . The Rays selected Perez in the seventh round and let him bat right-handed in 2005. He hit .289 and stole 57 bases in Class A. However, once a week, he would take batting practice from the left side and occasionally hit off a tee.

The next year at high Class A Visalia, the then 24-year-old Perez was told to switch-hit, and he batted .307 overall.

The only guys that are asked to bat left handed are those who have speed, but are poor offensive players. The Cubs, and for that matter no team, would ask Castro to try to bat left handed merely to bat leadoff.

That said, he should not bat leadoff for other reasons. Not the least of which is that he should not be jacked around the way Patterson and Pie were. Leadoff is the least of the Cubs problems, right in there "who bats third"?

Patterson and Pie were totally different hitters from Castro.

castro may swing at everything, but at least he can make contact on a high fastball...patterson wishes he could.

Yeah, Castro can hit with two strikes, so if he goes up there with the idea of taking a pitch or two, it's not going to ruin his at bat. For Pie if he takes two strikes, the PA is over.

This comment is crazy.

Nobody has to bat left-handed to be a leadoff hitter, Lee was in A-ball, and Fukudome, DeWitt and Castro are all better leadoff candidates than Perez (hell, most of the regulars are better leadoff candidates than Perez).

I'm certainly not touting Perez, I have no idea if he can play. But I know he can run. If you look around the league, most teams have leadoff hitters who run. Do they know something you don't know?

The Cubs valued speed at the top of the order, too, when they had any speed available: Pierre in '06, Soriano in '07, Theriot after Soriano's legs went bad.

Jackson will be ready soon. In the meantime, it's a flaw in the lineup for which Fukudome, DeWitt and Baker are no remedy.

Great write up. I am starting to know how you feel as my childhood heroes are losing their hair and very occasionally dropping off as well. I was never a big fan of Santo's broadcasts, so I am looking forward to Moreland, but I can understand the sentiment of a link to the past that is suddenly taken away.

much appreciated...

4 hours in & you can still get opening day tix! only sellouts are yankees & cardinals/chisox summer saturdays...if this team gets off to slow start 3 mil will be unreachable...

Really? Geez...

I usually do it every year, but it's always such a pain in the ass (waiting in the stupid waiting room and whatnot) I decided to not bother. I'll just go see them at Great American Ballpark.

make that 6 hours cuz the windows opened @ the ballpark @ 8; online sales began @ 10...$70 for bleachers on primo dates!

nice to see Cubs fans unwilling to pay inflated prices w/o knowing if the product is good

A day later and you can still buy tickets to the home opener. Lots of Bleacher seats still available.

And except for the Cardinals and Yankees, it looks like all the Saturday home games are wide open.

Ahh, it's like the good old days.
Go Ricketts Go

Rob G's annual nl central roundup sure to be on everyone's coffee table.

http://www.maplestreetpress.com/index.cfm?boo...

Contenders Or Pretenders?: 2011 Cubs Player Profiles
by Rob Glowacki

The Competition Rises: 2011 NL Central Preview
by Rob Glowacki

wanna be my agent?

despite the feelings some of you may have on Al, it usually is a diverse and interesting read to get you geared up on the Cubs season.

Wait...

Isn't Al Yellon the Editor of this?

Good When It Counts: Introducting Matt Garza
by R.J. Anderson

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2011/02/22...

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2011/02/22...

Fukudome, Castro, Byrd (facepalm!), Ramirez, Pena, Soriano, Soto, DeWitt

is the Opening Day Cactus League lineup...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. In Quade's defense, when you've got a lineup full of 5-7 hitters it makes lineup construction a bit tricky.

just switch Soto and Byrd at the very least

this is the time that I point out that Byrd was the worst hitting outfielder out of the 4 last year...

"just switch Soto and Byrd at the very least"

This

get used to soto bringing up the rear of the lineup...quade inherited that disease from lou it seems. maybe he'll have a power-filled spring and earn his way to the #5 slot that he should be in anyway.

he can't run well...therefore his power needs to be buried...sigh.

I don't think it has anything to do with his speed--Pena and Ramirez don't exactly burn either. I think Lou and Quade are both afraid of lineup irregularity--Soto is going to sit out more games than any other regular, and at that point nobody is going to let Hill hit 3-6. I think Quade is afraid of having to move guys around in the lineup when he starts his backup catcher. (I also think that's really dumb.)

we may not have a 'best' hitter...

Ugh. I freaking hate this team sometimes. Byrd hit 12 HRs... Now I am debating if drafting Soto in my fantasy league is a good idea if he is buried in the lineup again =/

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/25/...

Has this been posted?

Cubs over/under win total is 82. 4th in the division and still behind a Wainwright-less Cardinals.

Does it make me a total homer if I say over?

Yes, but not if Ramirez and Pena look good in the first couple weeks of ST.

I'll bet a lot on the under for the Phillies and Cards.

this looks pretty interesting, the Bill James Baseball IQ iPad/iPhone App (coming soon)

...the example from the stat of the week site uses Carlos Pena's strikeout zone (and Carl Crawford's).

http://www.actasports.com/statoftheweek/

We'll know we're in trouble if we see Soto checking his iPhone between pitches.

Happy yesterbirthday and thanks for the nice read, Mike.

"the statuary park formerly known as Wrigley Field".

out. stand. ing.

thanks for the nice article.

If a Sox fan shows up and fornicates one of the many Cubs statues around Wrigley, is that Statuary Rape?

thanks, brick & dc...

baseball on TV...aaaaaaaaaaaaah.

i dont care that it's phi@nyy. mlb network, btw...another game at 11pm EST (replay of ARZ/COL)

this game is awesome...good back/forth scoring battle.

PHI scores 2 in the top 8th to regain the lead with 2 outs, 5-4.

woo! televised wood bat baseball.

robb quinlan (PHI) has a weird ass new batting timing mechanism.

he sits in the back (wide) of the box, takes a step forward on the pitch, taps the leg he brings forward, then loads his leg and swings. wow. wonder where the hell he picked that up. last year was a bad year at the plate for him, but this is interesting.

Um, Robinson Chirinos with 4 RBI in his first spring game. Meanwhile, the Cubs will trot Koyie Fucking Hill out there for 200 ABs this year. What is wrong with this picture?

The Cubs are retards.

i can't believe they gave k.hill an 850K contract...even if they cut him this spring that's too much.

i don't care if he's a future coach or not...he's barely worth minimum-500K, imo...he can't even hold runners anymore if last year is an indication.

I'm sure Chrinos' play in 1 spring training game means he's going to be a HoF'er.

People are making too much out of who the backup catcher on a sub-.500 team is going to be. Who cares.

it's not like chinroinionronos wasn't an expendable piece for the cubs to pick up garza, who comes at a 4-6m discount this year vs. his market value based on skills/performance.

wellington i'd rather have as a backup rather than giving 850K to k.hill, though.

as decent as chinironornonros's bat is for a 26 year old in the minors people run at will on the guy...be interesting to see how that will play out in the majors. he snags a decent enough amount of runners, but no one seems to fear running on him.

-edit-

150 games at C the past 2 seasons (A/AA + 15 games AAA) - 122sb 52cs - 30% cs rate

that was more than i thought it was...30% cs rate isn't horrible, but 122sb in 150 games is. odd mix of success and suck.

It could be that he just happened to play against a lot of guys in A who liked to steal bases, and those same guys got promoted with him to AA/AAA.

174 sb attempts in 150 games...and that doesn't mean he's playing 8-9 innings every game...says a lot about how much they want to challenge him. i'm all for giving some leeway in looking at trends, but this one seems to be straight forward.

Three flaws here.

1. The basic premise that because you have a wealth of something, you should undervalue it while trading.
2. The Cubs back up catchers had about 560 PA's over the last two seasons
3. Chirinos projects to be a better than average regular catcher.

1 - no one is gonna give away matt garza even if you don't like him too much and you like chris archer a whole lot

2 - welington castillo and his 1 month of mlb service time...there's not much question about his arm and he projects for power, though he's not got the hitting stability chirinos is showing...he also got promoted to the majors over chirinos last year because of the arm and defense over chirinos. if the cubs could get hill out of the mix (or he gets himself out of the mix) that'd be nice.

3 - with a bat, maybe...and he's still got work to do to even become TB's backup catcher in 2011 unless they also want to work him in the IF . no one's questioning chirinos's ability to block a ball and he's not mike piazza throwing it, but he's got work to do getting it all fluid even if he adapted quickly to the position change to catcher. he's gonna have to do a lot of steady hitting to be considered a regular for any team rather than a backup. he's proved nothing above AA yet, aside from a few weeks in AAA.

...it's too easy to pull the age-card when talking about chirinos, but it does seem he figured something out at age 24+. he's nearing age 27, but it's not his ability to put a ball in play safely that causes much concern about the guy.

crunch, I haven't even seen the guy play catcher, but if Baseball America says the guy is better than Brenly and Castillo defensively, I am going to to think it means he can play passable MLB defense. I could agree that he may have some small issues to work on.

I would guess that the reason he Castillo got promoted before him is that Castillo was ahead of him on the organizational ladder. The Cubs brass may like Castillo more, but the Cubs brass does things like gives Aaron Miles two year contracts.

-edit- on second thought, im not getting into it.

i'm not saying chin is retarded defensively or welly is god's gift to catching, but i think when it comes to D one has a better arm and they can both block the plate well.

2010 was a year chin stepped up with the bat, but spun his wheels on D when he was expected to keep up his improvement.

Chirinos is overvalued, if anything. He brought us a solid starting pitcher.

He's 27, has had a whopping 15 games in AAA in his career, is a .260 career hitter. Yes, he's hit well in the last 3 years, but c'mon, he's not going to beat out Soto and we already have two other decent catching prospects in Castillo and Brenly.

Good teams use their depth at one position to fill holes at other positions, which is exactly what we did.

Our backup catcher(s) got so many at bats because we had a manager with some analytical problems. I think that is likely going to be different, or at least I hope so.

Yeah, you guys are right. I really need a new car. I think I'll go out and pay $75K for an Accord this afternoon. I have the money, and I am sure that the salesmen will be happy to take that.

I'll bite. What would have been a fair trade for Chirinos?

One thing you could do is get him established a little in the majors, and then trade him. By then, of course, you might have changed your mind about trading him.

Sometimes it's nice to show a little confidence in your prospects. It occurred to me the other day that if the good thing about Byrd is his diving catches in center, Fuld could be doing that--and he could also bat leadoff, draw walks like Fukudome, run well.

I defended the trade, but I'm sympathetic to TRN's continued grousing about it. If we assume that everyone involved in the trade does well, it will be quite a haul for Tampa.

It is a tough call (as to trading for a proven starter, or going with "let's see what we have in our system).

The problem - or challenge - is that since 2003, even 1989 going back further, is that the Cubs fans expect a "winner". And, this has not been delivered upon yet.

So, there just is not enough confidence (this is my opinion, here) in the fans tolerating losing while the team gets much-needed experience for its prospects (unlike teams like the Marlins, D-Backs, Pads, etc.), and ad revenues and ticket sales dwindle.

On the other hand, Hendry tried to replace last years' best pitcher with a guy that pitches innings figuring that there was no-one currently who could replace that - looking at a potential of Demp, Z, and Phil 'n the Blanks. Now you would be talking about a 70-win team perhaps and Ricketts would not be too keen on this.

Trading the four prospects for Garza is what you do when this is the scenario the GM has to deal with - coupled with the fact that he was saddled with several bad contracts that handicapped him from doing much else in the corner he painted himself into.

At this point we are all going to have to see how the year unfolds.

as little as it's brought up, part of garza's appeal to the club is he was "only" going to cost 6m bucks...in the open market he'd command 4m+ more. you gotta give up something to save that kind of loot.

they wanted a quality rotation guy with club control who was going to fit into the 2011 budget and garza was the guy who was available and they wanted.

"Trading for Garza is what you do when this is the scenario the GM has to deal with..."

Why? Garza is far from proven as a star and he is not going to make us a winning team. Even if we did the trade for fair value, it isn't a wise trade. The fact that we gave up more than the Rangers, for example, who lost a big time pitcher from a team that was in the WS last year, says we overpaid.

You just didn't understand or read the reasons I gave.

Whatever.

My first reaction, and probably the reaction of 90% of GMs was "who the f*** is Chirinos?" Cubbie land likes to pretend all their prospects are David Price and Matt Wieters when most of the time they are basically trash. When is the last time they traded someone away that was worth a damn? McGehee? Nolasco? Beyond that, I got nothing.

The whole Matt Murton thing still pisses me off. He did real well early on, but Cub fans couldn't let it go when it became obvious he wasn't cut out for the big leagues.

Yeah, that .297/.365/.444 he put up in his 1st full season was awful.

Lol.

Word.

I went to a Rays practice in Charlotte the other day. I talked to a Rays scout who told me that they would not have made the trade without Chirinos and Archer. The Cubs kept trying to substitute Castillo, but the Rays wouldn't go for it. They even tried to make a three way deal with several other clubs since they couldn't seem to get Chirinos in a straight deal.

He said that the Cubs gave up a lot to get Garza, but he will be worth it. The bigger the game, the better he is.

He also said that they thing Chirinos is the most likely of the position players they got to make an all star team.

I have no idea if he knows what he is talking about.

The Cubs aren't planning on playing in any big games this year.

Chirinos was like the fourth best hitting catcher in baseball last year. He and Archer even up is fair trade for a #2/3 starter. Maybe you throw in one more guy to make the Rays actually do a deal they don't really need to - but 4 of the top 16 prospects from a strong system for a #2 starter, which doesn't even make you the favorite to finish 2nd in your division? It's just a bad trade. If Garza reals off two Cy Youngs and the four guys all bust, it is still a bad trade.

Uh...if Garza reels in 2 Cy's, and the 4 guys the Cubs traded don't make it.....that's a win.

Given that scenario, how is that a bad trade?

Because stupid decisions don't change into good ones. It will always be a bad move.

Ok. At the time, trading Lou Brock for Broglio was a win for the Cubs. Broglio was a decent starting pitcher, who won 18 games the year before. Brock was an OF who the Cubs felt was not playing up to his potential, and did not have the power they were looking for.

Who won that trade?

Just looking at 1964 game logs in BR, there was something wrong with Broglio when the Cubs traded for him on June 15th. Maybe it was serious, maybe not, but he had only pitched once in the month of June, on the 12th. He was 3-5 at the time of the trade. Caveat emptor.

It's well known that Brock was called up to the majors from class C ball in 1962. That's like an outfielder being called up from Peoria or Daytona today. He was very green and he struggled for a while. I remember, he spent a long time learning how to flip his sunglasses down in left field.

Brock hit .263 and .258 his first two seasons, not bad for a kid with 500 minor-league at-bats. He was never a great fielder (which is why he played left) but he had the great speed, of course, and intermittent power. Real power: as a Cub, he once hit a bill into the centerfield bleachers at the Polo Grounds. I forget if it was 440 or 460 feet.

Through their own mishandling of him, the Cubs had no way of knowing what they were trading away.

Edit: it looks like there were a couple of A classifications in 1962, so class C would have been the fourth level down, like Peoria today.

"I forget if it was 440 or 460 feet." Re: Polo Grounds dimensions @ the center field clubhouse was posted as 483 ft. from home plate. Wikipedia has the center field bleachers on either side of the runway to the clubhouse starting @ 425' from the plate. Only four players reached the center field bleachers -- Luke Easter, Joe Adcock, Hank Aaron and Lou Brock (the last two on consecutive days in 1962 -- June 17 and 18).

ROOOOOOOOOOOIDS!!!!

Chirinos was like the fourth best hitting catcher in baseball last year.

Gee, I could have sworn in the MAJOR LEAGUES it was Brian McCann, .269 .375 .453 .828

Oh, that's right, Chirinos has not played much in this league -

Just because there isn't much that you think wasn't worth a damn doesn't mean Chirinos or any of the other pieces traded ARE NOT worth a damn. Missing on prospects happens. Trades go off of relative value.

woo...more baseball on mlb network...don't care i already know who won, that it's not the cubs, and that it's a replay. there's mark grace working the mic, though.

for those that don't care or don't have mlb network, have this:

http://www.youtubedoubler.com/?video1=http://...

btw, mlb network's "30 clubs in 30 days" for the cubs is march 11th.

mlb network: 3pm EST LAA vs. LAD - 8pm EST NYY vs. PHI (replay)

cubs WGN radio 3pm EST (2pm CT)

fwiw...mlb gameday (the text in-game live update flash application thingie) is valid for spring training games for those desperate to follow the cubs action with no other way to track the game.

Jody Gerut officially retires. Funny how, after so many injuries, it's now his mentality that's leading him to hanging 'em up.

http://twitter.com/shannondrayer/status/41901...

Somwhere, John Hill sheds a tear.

"Physcially, I'm fine. But mentally, my reasons for wanting to be in uniform have become so thin and narrow that I refuse to disrespect the game that has provided so generously for my family in a halfhearted way.

This game of ours owes me nothing, but I owe the game at least that much. When a player finds his willingness to compete to be so greatly diminished, that player must leave the game so as not to disrespect it by becoming a player who plays solely for his paycheck and his own personal glory.

This is a notion so distasteful to me it makes me physically sick to my stomach."

Interesting. He articulated that pretty well. I also doubt that he would have been able to perform very well if the fire to play has gone out.

Agreed, though I wonder if he was a better player with guaranteed money if he'd feel the same way.

fuku, castro, byrd, aram, pena, soriano, soto, dewitt

seems that 2-6 are locked in unless something changes this spring.

Z strikes out crisp, barton, and gets willingham to ground out to SS.

not a bad 1st.

Z has a 1-2-3 inning, 2K's and a GO Castro-Pena

not cahill's day...2 runs in, still no outs

4 runs, 1 out now...

im not watching the game...but if c.pena can get to 1st preventing a double play on a ball put into play in the IF and score from 1st on a double by soriano to LF then why can't he hit 3rd?

4-0!

162-0 here we come

All this without Chrinios too!

welcome to the cubs, garza.

4 runs on 4h and 1bb (1k)...grand slam to coco crisp.

single, single, walk, grand slam, k, single, ground out, pop out...

2ip 0h 0er 1bb 2k - zambrano
2ip 5h 5er 1bb 1k - garza

justin berg is busy throwing BP.

it's early and pitchers are rusty, but yeeesh.

.1ip 6h 7er 1bb 0k (two ER score after t.diamond takes over and gives up a single)

I really wish they would release that guy. He needs to go teach gym somewhere.

FREE BOBBY SCALES!

Great. Then we could have a whole generation of youngsters that throw like that.

...and wtf happened to the mlb network LAA/LAD game? they're showing a highlight show now...wtf?

-edit- technical difficulties...meh...game is back now.

HOF'r duke snider has died.

Just Willie is left.

RIP, Duke.

Chirinos HR in top of ninth in 10-3 loss to Pirates.

Chirinos HR in top of ninth in 10-3 loss to Pirates.

---------------

That proves Chirinos sucks. If he can't beat the Pirates on his own he's never going to be the Hall of Famer everyone is making him out to be. :)

Welcome to the orioles, Justin Berg

11 pitches producing 6 hits, a walk, an out, and 7er. efficient suckage.

13 different OAK hitters with hits in today's game...brilliant.

grabes throwing pretty much every pitch high fastball in the zone...and they're swinging 1st pitch effectively. neat.

Berg is starting where he left off.

Suckage.

Are you looking at the gameday? Because I think that things has to be wrong on number of pitches.

yeah...gameday.

It's wrong. It doesn't count balls or anything. only if they walk. Then it will add 4 balls. Weird...

thnx...the pitch counts for everyone seemed low.

I will say I am glad to see only one Cub strikeout victim. I am surprised.

The Tribune has some spring training pics up, including one of Augie Ojeda, whom I forgot we signed.

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

Several pics of Soriano in there and he looks like he's slimmed down (I never noticed he had any weight to lose).

Also pics of Reed Johnson, one of Colvin playing 1b, and one of AZ Phil's favorites: Matt Camp, along with all the other players.

I like that Augie will be around. I feel like he could step in if Castro turns into a defensive train wreck.

Starlin will play anyway. If Castro isn't successful, we'll be a bad team anyway.

Thank goodness Shark has a near lock on a pitching roster spot, otherwise I'd be worried it might go to Justin Berg.

and that may be the only positive about Samaramadingdong

i hope cashner, maine, caridad, and guzman step up, themselves.

I really wish Cashner would start in Iowa.

Who's the better pitcher right now, Justin Berg or Matt Lawton?

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