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...


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  • Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario named to Futures Game...

    See past Cubs' participants here. Let me know if you see a mistake or any other info that may prove useful and I can add it.

    Rob G. 22 min 56 sec ago view
  • Now pitching for the Cincinnati Reds:

    QuietMan 39 min 7 sec ago view
  • Sorry if I made it sound like a Schwarber for Sale straight up deal was reasonable, obviously Cubs would need to give up more than that. You don't trade Sale unless you're rebuilding and if you're rebuilding you want more than one piece. Easily 3-4 pieces with Schwarber being the main one...but that type of an ace arm or All-star talent with a few years of control is the type of return the Cubs should look for if they move Schwarber. I don't think they'll move him until he's healthy though. TheJedi are pretty good at maximizing trade value.

    Rob G. 42 min 45 sec ago view
  • I think you're very much overvaluing Schwarber if you think he can fetch Sale by himself. An unproven rookie with demonstrable offensive flaws he hasn't had the chance to show he can overcome and with no defensive upside will never fetch an ace of the quality of Sale in today's market where pitchers are fetching insane prices, especially with Sale's team friendly contract. You'd for sure need to throw in a pitching prospect in return at least.

    johann 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 5 hours 5 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 5 hours 14 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 5 hours 25 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 5 hours 30 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 6 hours 3 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 6 hours 11 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 6 hours 31 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 9 hours 44 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 9 hours 49 min ago view