BJ Bookends Not So Subtle Hints


The street that runs behind the right-center field wall of Principal Park in Des Moines is no Sheffield Avenue. Ballhawks do not roost there nor are there rooftops from which knotholers eavesdrop on the ballgames. Beyond it runs the Des Moines River which has been known occasionally to swell up and invade the playing field.

Yesterday I stood near an exit ramp inside the ballpark in the bottom of the 8th inning, waiting for Brett Jackson’s last at-bat of the day before making for the parking lot. When he stroked what was clearly bound to be his second homer of the day I decided to amble out toward the approximate landing area and see what I might find. When I got there a young girl was bouncing a baseball on the pavement. Next to her was a man I presumed to be her father. He was talking on his cellphone, trying, he said, to fetch her brother, who was still inside. Nobody else was around.

“Is that the ball that just flew over the fence,” I asked. She nodded.

“Hang onto it,” I said. “The guy who hit it might be somebody someday,” a possibility lost on most of the crowds at PP where Jackson’s name booming over the PA elicits none of the rippling that accompanied the intros of past phenoms like Patterson and Pie. The man and the girl looked at one another and smiled.

In between homers [the other coming on the second pitch in the bottom of the first] Jackson tried to bunt a few times without succeeding even to the point of drawing in Sacramento’s third baseman, Kevin Kouzmanoff. He also drew a walk on a full count; as good to see, maybe, as the long balls. I was hoping it might be prelude to a stolen base attempt but DJ LeMahieu’s at-bat didn’t last long enough to allow for that. BJ & DJ at the top of the lineup; another possible prelude?

Afield, Jackson had only one chance, gliding back and to his right to make routine work of a well-hit drive to left-center. Both LeMahieu at 3B and Ryan Flaherty at 2B turned in sparkling plays. The former is rangy at the hot corner. The latter has a nice wide base defensively but needs to get his Triple A batting average north of .200.

He’s listed at 6’2”, but Jackson is actually built more along the lines of Lenny Dykstra. He has made himself right at home in the pitching-poor PCL, swatting seven homers in just 24 games but fanning twice as often as he walks. His days in Des Moines are numbered. May the ones he spends in Chicago be countless.



From the headline, I thought I was on the wrong site.

Perhaps a new title is in order? Bow-chicka-wow-wow....

Kevin Kouzmanoff

Cub Killer

Word is that Cubs 2011 7th round pick 1B-OF Trevor Gretzky's contract was either voided by the Cubs or was rejected by MLB. The signing was officially reported by the Cubs via the MLB eBis system on July 22, but then the Cubs did not place him on a minor league Reserve List within 15 days, as would be required if everything was OK.

Whether the contract was voided because of a pre-existing medical condition (like his torn labrum) or rejected by MLB because of the way it was structured, I don't know, but he is back in California and is now considered "unsigned."

The Cubs apparently have now turned their attention toward signing 1B Rock Shoulders (25th round draft pick out of Florida State JC/Manatee CC, who supposedly wants 4th or 5th round money to sign), with the signing of 2nd round pick 1B Dan Vogelbach (with an over-slot bonus) expected to be delayed until the deadline (8/15).

Is Baez going to be put off until right before the deadline, too? I guess that is only a week away anyway...

Do you think we get Gretzky signed again, or has that ship now sailed?

rock shoulders? didn't he work w/ fred flintstone @ the quarry?

This is Rock Shoulders.

And here is Rock again.


he doesn't look toolsy

Big McLargehuge

I want him to be Ryan Howard. Is that too much to ask?

Yes, but what we can do is, have him play 1B, put him on straight weight-gainer, grow a beard, trick the Orioles into thinking he's Prince and rape them for whatever meager bits they have in their system...

You know what I like most about that first clip? There was approximately 7 seconds in between pitches. He never left the batters box, didn't have to adjust his batting gloves, etc. If MLB wants to shorten game times, just enforce rules like not leaving the box between pitches.

Carlos Pena doesn't understand your comment

Nomar Garciaparra's eye just started twitching and he has no idea why

"He’s listed at 6’2, but Jackson is actually built more along the lines of Lenny Dykstra."

BR lists Dykstra at 5'10, 160. I'm sure he got heavier than that but probably not taller.

It's Jackson's solid frame, along with the company he keeps. On the field with him yesterday were LeMahieu (6-4), Flaherty (6-3), Snyder (6-3), Spencer (6-4) and LaHair (6-5).

I saw most of these guys in Tennessee back in June and their size was impressive, especially compared with the team they were playing. Snyder and LaHair weren't there but Ridling and Vitters were. Even the shortstop, Marwin Gonzalez, was 6-1 and solidly built.

A 6'2" post steriod discovery Lenny Dykstra would probably come in at about 230.

He's definitely added some muscle if he looks like that now.

If we could have Rebel and Rock on the same team, along with a bunch of tall dudes, it might make up for the team being so sucky all the time.

jackson is not 6'2"

He's wearing a dress belt in this picture. Looks dangerous.

from Kapman

Just spoke w/ Andrew Cashner after his side session. Says shoulder feels great and he expects to pitch in the big leagues again this yr.

Ah, but pitch well?

Castro named NL Player of the week

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Rami 3B, Pena 1B, Byrd CF, Sori LF, Colvin RF, Soto C, Garza P

Rain delay to start...


Recent comments

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  • I'm guessing 3/30 and all the two foot long hot dogs you can eat didn't work

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  • Shit.

    Blew my prediction! I had them signing Zimmerman and trading for another arm.

  • Damn wanted Zimmermann

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  • in this market that seems like a decent deal relative to the market.

    given that d.price will probably get 30m-ish a year, 22m for 29yo zimm doesn't seem bad. i wouldn't complain about him suiting up for the cubs. one less option gone...

  • Zimmermann 5/$110m with Tigers. Youch.

    And the updated predications page:

  • Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA. 

  • CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.

  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  •'re flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing