A Split is Like Goosing Your Brother

banana splitThe Cubs and Padres split. The Cardinals and Nationals split. The I-Cubs and Isotopes split. Look, up in the standings - it's a Dairy Queen! It's a gymnastics meet! It's a doubleheader...

The best thing to be said about the April weather in the upper Midwest is that it's good for pitchers. All four starters in yesterday's twinbill in Des Moines recorded quality starts. This in a league where the I-Cubs' 6.57 staff ERA in the first two weeks isn't even the PCL's worst and five entire teams have batting averages north of .300. Albuquerque's John Ely came within one out of throwing that franchise's first no-hitter in game two [note: PCL doubleheaders consist of a pair of seven-inning games].

Tonight's turnstile promo for the I-Cubs is more practical than most. They're passing out stocking caps to the first 1,500 fans. I suspect there will be plenty of leftovers.

Some of these playing conditions are like showing up at an arena for basketball to discover that they left the rink out from last night's hockey game - and then proceeding as scheduled! The only thing worse than crappy weather is indoor baseball.

Come on ivy!

Otherwise, could Project .500 be any more on pace? There is a definite pattern emerging here. But who knew that a share of first place would be part of the deal?! Actually calling the Central a division right now is a misnomer; there's precious little division at all...


I would note that it was Marquez Smith who broke up the no-hitter with a double.

Peoria had two shutout wins yesterdays. Starting (and winning) pitchers were Austin Kirk and Dallas Beeler.

Burgess hit his fifth for Daytona.

Speaking of juggernauts, Tennessee had three home runs (Jackson, LeMahieu and Clevenger) last night, and ten hits in the last four innings.

duly noted...

Braun re-uped $105/5 yr?

from Rotoworld...

Well, this certainly came out of nowhere. Braun was already under contract through 2015, so he is now guaranteed $145.5 million through 2020. He will earn $19 million per season from 2016-18, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2010 while the 2021 mutual option is worth up to $20 million with a $4 million buyout. The contract includes a $10 million signing bonus. It's officially the largest financial commitment to a player in franchise history. Braun and Troy Tulowitzki are now the only MLB players locked up through 2020. Prince Fielder was probably already a longshot to stay with the Brewers anyway, but it's now virtually certain that he'll be playing elsewhere next season.

Yearly salary-wise, that's a nice contract for the Brewers if Braun doesn't get hurt and/or decline too much in later years. He's a clutch hitter, fan favorite, and just took a second under-market deal to stay in Milwaukee.

Where's the potential reward for Milwaukee? All I see is risk.

winning games?

takes him through age 37 fwiw....

judging by the offseason and rumors, MLB must be forecasting deals in the $25-$30M range for FA superstars in the nearish future.

It's hard to forecast what wins will cost that far out, but he'll have a declining skill set; he'll anchor an "easy" defensive position which limits potential acquisition of impact hitters; and he probably didn't sign for much less than he would had if he became a free agent after 2015.

Even if he rakes for the 4.5 years, when he would have been a FA, Milwaukee very likely could have brought him back for a guaranteed $95M for his age 32-36 seasons.

High risk, (very) low reward.

So top hitters in the game in 2011 are going to get $22+ million per year, but in 2015 they're going to get $19 million per year? Be right back, I am going to convert my 401K to gold really quick...

Gold bubble. Consider Yuan. :)

I don't think it's that hard to forecast and I'm sure MLB teams have a much better idea of expected incoming revenues, inflation, expected rise in salaries than the casual fan.

He'll be making about the same as Soriano signed for at the same position and age, but with a better skill set and 8 years down the road. It's easy to see that $23-$25M a year is going to be the going rate at that time (or more). Plus I'm sure they really like the guy, realize you don't attract FA's to Milwaukee and he wants to spend his career there.

Nothing wrong with well-earned loyalty...

Unless he goes Jeff Bagwell on you... But that is a discount, and likely a pretty nice one if he continues on his current pace and stays healthy.

You gotta want it to win it. If nothing else, he's a fan favorite and a reason to put cheeks in the seats.

After further speculation, given his overall value to the franchise, it's not a recklessly risky move. They're enjoying an attendance renaissance, and I'm sure they want to maintain this momentum.

Still, I think there's a fair amount of overall risk in this move. His most comparables, using B-R and setting aside Chick Hafey and Manny Ramirez, are Raul Mondesi, Shawn Green, and Jeff Heath. All were essentially toast by age 35 or earlier.


4 wild cards play each other in first round with 6 division winners getting a bye.


formatting and scheduling is gonna be a blast...really need to go back to a 154-game schedule if this is the plan.

so much bullshi...

hopefully this isn't a road to crapfest where 1/2+ the entire block of teams get into the playoffs. nba/nhl might as well not even play 1/2 their schedule with their playoff structure.

Add another round to the playoffs? No thanks.

I'm sure you'll stop watching.

The Cubs won't be in them, so no.


Breaking news: sprained ligament in my foot out 2 to 4 weeks. Suck on that. Told u fantasy people not to pick me up.

that's great

W. Castillo back with Iowa and they will carry 3 catchers for the time being.

I just noticed that Brett Jackson's OPS (1.265) is double that of Marlon Byrd (.632).

Byrd doesn't seem like himself in CF lately. Think he's getting nervous?


We can't trade him soon enough.

Bruce Miles says, "No, the Cubs aren’t seeking to trade Marlon Byrd, from what I’ve been told."


I hear the Nats are searching for a center fielder, better chance of moving Byrd over Fukudome. The defense already sucks this year, maybe they can get Gorzelanny back. :)

from that article...

According to [Kevin] Goldstein: “One front-office official also believes that how the numbers are compiled on a day-to-day basis can be as important as the numbers themselves. ‘The biggest thing we're looking for when thinking about promotions is consistency,’ he said. ‘We want pitchers looking good every five days as opposed to throwing seven shutout innings one start and then not getting out of the fourth the next. We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next.’”

We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next, unless it's Josh Vitters.



fwiw, Goldstein's article is a general baseball story, not Cub specific.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM